The Proclamation: An Appeal for Prayer


Another president-elect: here we go again

Five elections left—Between now and April of 2033, there are five presidential elections left.

Date: Nov. 2016 Nov. 2020 Nov. 2024 Nov. 2028 Nov. 2032 Apr. 2033
Approximate Number of Years Left of 6th Thousand Years 16 ½ 12 ½ 8 ½ 4 ½ ½ 0

The Proclamation still has not gone forth

Back in 2008, I gained the understanding that the proclamation commanded by the Lord in D&C 124 to be made by Joseph Smith “to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president-elect, and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad” (D&C 124:3), still had to be issued by Joseph Smith and given to some president-elect of the nation under the U.S. Constitution. Joseph Smith never made that proclamation because he died before he could do so, so the Twelve Apostles wrote up their own proclamation in 1845 to obey the instructions found in that revelation. Their proclamation, though, was addressed to “all the King’s of the World; To the President of the United States of America;  To the Governors of the several States; And to the Rulers and People of all Nations.” Most Mormons would say that the deed was fully done as the apostles had the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and I would have agreed with that assessment, except that, as I said, in 2008 I got a new understanding, which indicated that Joseph Smith needed to come back from the dead and make that proclamation still. Not to a President of the United States, but to a president-elect of the United States.

2008 was an election year and Barack Obama was the new president-elect, so I wondered and waited and watched to see if Joseph Smith, newly risen from the dead, would show up and issue the proclamation. In January of 2009 I even received a manifested belief that Joseph Smith was now back in the flesh somewhere. This manifestation served to increase my anticipation of the release of the proclamation, but Joseph never showed up.  After the botched swearing in ceremony, in which President Obama could still, technically, be called the president-elect, I still continued to wait and watch. Eight years have now gone by and no proclamation has been made. There has been a suggestion that maybe it was issued in secret or privately, but I do not believe that. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that Joseph has returned or that the proclamation was issued to president-elect Obama. So, the prophecy remains unfulfilled.

This turns my attention, then, to the next five presidential elections.

I didn’t know

In 2008 I didn’t know anything about the Josephite, nor about the future Confederacy, nor about the April 2033 date for the end of the 6th thousand years, nor about the need for Joseph Smith to appoint Joseph-Nephi as his successor. A lot of new information, and clarification, about the prophecies has come forth in the last eight years. Back in 2008 I thought that Joseph Smith would make the proclamation, being sent only by the Lord. Now, however, having learned about the Josephite, it is my understanding that when the Josephite is empowered, Joseph Smith will appear to him and appoint him as his successor, and then the Josephite will send Joseph Smith to make the proclamation. So, the proclamation cannot go forth until the Josephite is empowered.

While the proclamation waits for the Josephite, the Confederacy waits for the proclamation. So, a New set of Articles of Confederation (NAC) cannot be installed until Joseph Smith makes the proclamation to a president-elect of the nation under the United States Constitution (for there is no president-elect under the NAC.) The proclamation is all important because it will prophesy of the future events of the 6th thousand years (and perhaps also of the 7th thousand years), that concern the kingdoms and nations of the world.

Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same; for it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.  (D&C 124:4-5)

This leaves them all “without excuse” (D&C 124:7), for they will know exactly what will happen and the consequences of their actions.

Given the great number of things that must occur between now and April of 2033, and the fact that it all starts with the empowerment of the Josephite and the release of Joseph Smith’s proclamation—which must be issued to a president-elect of the U.S. Constitution—that leaves only the aforementioned five elections as possible times the proclamation can be issued.

Narrowing it down to one

There are approximately 16 ½ years left of the 6th thousand years. According to my understanding, here are some of the things that have to happen in this time frame—(not listed in chronological order) : The Josephite must be empowered; The Proclamation must be made by Joseph Smith to the president-elect under the U.S. Constitution; The State of Israel must cease to exist; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be broken up (by an earthquake); The Book of the Lamb of God must appear; The Church of the Lamb of God must be established; The United States of America must be established as a Confederacy; The promised land must be fortified; The Great and Abominable Church must be formed; The Great and Abominable Church must remove many plain and precious parts from the Book of the Lamb of God; The saints of God must be brought down into captivity by the Great and Abominable Church; The Gentiles must go out of captivity to the promised land; The Remnant must be scattered and smitten; A great war must occur between the nations of the world and the Gentiles on the promised land; The Gentiles must stumble; The Book of Mormon and Small Plates of Nephi must be re-translated; The Large Plates of Nephi, the Plates of Brass, and the Plates of Ether must be translated; The world must split into two churches; Zion must be redeemed; The House of Israel must begin to gather; The first six seals must be opened via the translation of 6/7 parts of the Sealed Portion; The Josephite must perform all the work for the dead (of the first 4000 years) and resurrect these people prior to 1823, changing the past; The 144,000 must be sealed; Wars must ensue among the wicked; Saints must be martyred; The Sun must turn black, the moon to blood, the stars fall, and mountains and islands must be moved out of their places; etc.

Right off the bat the fifth election can be crossed off. 2032 leaves only half a year, which is not enough time for all these many prophecies to be fulfilled. Even the third (2024) and fourth (2028) strike me as too little time (8 ½ and 4 ½ years, respectively.) That leaves this year (2016, giving about 16 ½ years) and the next presidential election (2020, giving 12 ½ years.) Of the two dates, my mind cannot help but think it must be 2016.

16 ½ years seems to me to be the perfect amount of time to accomplish everything. It can be broken down into three parts. First, there is half a year. In this period of time, the Josephite can be empowered, Joseph can issue the proclamation (before the swearing in ceremony in January of 2017), and the Confederacy can be installed by April of 2017. That gives us a full decade (ten years) under the NAC, from April 2017 to April 2027, in which all of the prophecies can be fulfilled minus the opening of the six seals. The last six years, then, are reserved for the opening of the seals, one seal opened per year.

Again, it seems to me that God would give the Gentiles no less than a decade (ten years) to repent, before He started opening the seals. That invalidates the 2024, 2028 and 2032 elections, because they don’t even leave ten years. Also, it seems to me that God would open one seal per year, requiring an additional six years. That invalidates the 2020 election. Which leaves this year’s election (2016) as the likeliest time when the proclamation would be made.

I may be the only one

I may be the only one that believes all this stuff. If so, then this post will have no effect, whatsoever. If, however, there are others who believe these things, then I will speak to those who believe, and perhaps some good will come of the post.

To the believers: let’s empower the Josephite

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the status quo. I’m dying for the Josephite to be empowered, for the proclamation to go forth, for the Confederacy to be established, for the new scriptures to be translated, for the angels to start descending from heaven, for the miracles to start happening and for the prophecies to be fulfilled. Yet it all begins with the empowerment of the Josephite. There is an ideal window of about three months, between now and December, in which if he gets empowered, the proclamation can go forth and the prophecies can start to be fulfilled and we won’t have to wait until the next election in 2020.

So, let’s pray for this guy. Let’s pray that he gets empowered NOW. Let’s pray that the proclamation goes out to the president-elect this year.

It may be that the Josephite is even weaker than first thought. It may be that he needs our daily prayers and supplications, perhaps even our fasting. Pouring out our souls to God in his behalf day and night wouldn’t hurt, either. It may be that the hold up isn’t the Josephite. The hold up may be us. There are scriptural precedents for all these things.

And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.  (Morm. 8:25)

The ancients knew that the Josephite would be raised up and would accomplish his mission, yet they still prayed for him. How many of us believing in him are doing the same? God received the prayers of His ancient saints in behalf of His miracle-working seer. Has He received the same from His modern saints? Perhaps God requires of us the same offering of prayers that was given by the ancient saints before He empowers His seer.

We know Jesus is coming back, and yet the saints of the future will be praying for it anyway:

Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying:

O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.

And it shall be answered upon their heads; for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.  (D&C 133:40-41)

James taught:

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  (James 5:16)

This is increased when there are more people involved.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.  (D&C 6:32)

For verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so ye shall receive.  (D&C 42:3)

In this case, the one thing touched, upon which all are agreed, is the empowerment of the Josephite in the next few months. When groups of people do this, God takes notice and action.

And again, I say unto you that ye shall not go until ye have preached my gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church whithersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville; for, behold, they pray unto me in much faith.  (D&C 37:2)

Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the people in Ohio call upon me in much faith, thinking I will stay my hand in judgment upon the nations, but I cannot deny my word.  (D&C 39:16)

The saints were instructed to uphold Joseph Smith, and also the First Presidency, by the prayer of faith.

And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.  (D&C 43:12)

Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.  (107:22)

This same principle may apply to the Josephite.

According to my understanding, the Josephite is already among the LDS population, but maybe because no one is upholding him by the prayer of faith, the Lord is leaving him in his weakness. This accords to the law and doctrine of deliverance, which requires exact obedience to the deliverer, by those being delivered. If we do not do what the Josephite (who is a deliverer) says, with exactness, the Lord will not empower him to deliver us. The Josephite hasn’t said anything, for he is unknown, but the fact that he is among the people already may put the law of deliverance into effect, through our prayers.

So, let’s cause the Lord to empower him by praying to God in much faith, and get the end time events started.

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O Lord, give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound


The following scripture has always perplexed me:

And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me.

And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.

But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying:

O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.  (1 Nephi 7:16-18)

I’ve always wondered, “Why didn’t the bands burst as he prayed?  Why were they loosed, instead?”  I finally understand this scripture, and my understanding comes from personal experience.

Two weeks of miracles

During the past two weeks I have been experimenting with the various gifts I have, and I have been able to work ten miracles—four during the first week, and six during the second week.  Now, these weren’t mighty miracles, meaning unexplainable miracles of power, but the type of miracles that skeptics can say were mere coincidences.  Of course, all miracles are wrought by the miraculous power of God, but I differentiate between mighty miracles (unexplainable miracles of power) and coincidental miracles (explainable miracles of power.)  Here is a breakdown of the list:

Week one

1)  Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: I asked for one thing specific to happen on a specific day, to solve a specific problem.  I also asked for a second specific thing to happen at that same time.  Result: within 24 hours of asking, my problem was solved, the first specific thing was given, as well as the second specific thing, at the very last minute.  Both things asked for were unlikely to happen, and the first hadn’t happened for many months and the second hadn’t happened in over a year’s time.  I asked emphatically, for it was a bit of an emergency.

2)  Gift: Faith to be Healed.  What I asked for: I asked for a specific healing to address an annoying problem.  Result: within 24 hours of asking, my problem was solved.  I do not know whether the healing I asked for is occurring or not.

3) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: I asked for a specific alteration of the weather, to address an annoying problem.  Result: The weather was altered precisely as I asked, all day long, except at the very end of the day the weather started to resume its normal course, but I sent up another prayer and it instantly changed again to the precise thing I had asked for.

4) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: I asked for a specific thing that was impossible to happen, requiring a bona fide miracle of power.  This was to address a specific problem that I had.  I asked emphatically.  Result: the specific problem was resolved in a non-miraculous way, unexpectedly.

Week two

5) Gift: Word of Wisdom.  What I asked for: a life and death situation presented itself, and my mind went a mile a minute trying to figure out how to get out of it, but I could find no solution, and I needed one fast.  Panicking, I turned my attention to the 14 best gifts and decided that the gift of the word of wisdom could get me out of my danger. I then quickly cried to the Lord to empower my gift and give me wisdom to know what to do.  Result: Instantly, upon saying the prayer, an image of an object I possessed popped into my mind and then an image of a second object I possessed popped in, and I immediately saw that by using the two objects together in a certain way, the danger would be averted.  I offered up a prayer of thanks and then went to work, saving the day.  Needless to say, I was astounded by the operation of this gift and praised the Lord for days afterward.

6) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: I needed a specific and better object, to replace an object that I had, and so I asked for it.  Result:  Later that same day, it simply appeared in my way, just for the taking.  It was perfect except it was the wrong size, so I did not take it.

7) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: Again I asked for a specific thing to be given to me on a specific day, and also the second thing, just as I had done the week before.  But this time I didn’t ask quite so emphatically as before.  Result: The first specific thing was again given, but the second thing was not.  But it didn’t matter, because my problem was solved by the first thing anyway.

8) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: Again I asked for the weather to be altered.  Result: Again it was altered according to my prayer.

9) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for: I needed a better item to replace an item that I had been using.  So I asked for it, being very specific as to what I wanted.  Result: That same day a similar item appeared in my way, merely for the taking.  In fact, not just one item, but three of the same item appeared.  But these things were much too big, and also, they weren’t precisely what I asked for, nevertheless, they were quite similar to what I had in mind.  So, I left them alone and did not take any.

10) Gift: Working of Miracles.  What I asked for:  My means of transporting lots of heavy things decided to self-destruct mid-trip, and I found myself having to figure out how to get to my destination and carry everything by hand, using brute strength.  After getting everything loaded onto me, I realized that the load was much too heavy for me and I’d have to stop every so many steps to catch my breath and my quick trip would take hours now.  So, I cried to God for the strength of the Lord, so that I could bear all these heavy items easily, and I continued my cries as I trudged along.  Result: A few minutes later, two seemingly brand new metal carts appeared in my way, for the taking.  I put everything into one of the carts, and went my way with ease, my problem having been solved.

All of these answers to my prayers were remarkable because instead of requiring lots of prayer, they required but one prayer or just continual prayer for a few minutes.  The answers typically came within 24 hours, or within minutes or even instantly (in the case of the word of wisdom miracle) and, in the case of the weather alterations, the miracles lasted all day long.

Slow to hear

Historically, it has taken me an astounding amount of prayer to get anything out of the Lord.

And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.  (Mosiah 21:15)

Yea, and it shall come to pass that when they shall cry unto me I will be slow to hear their cries; yea, and I will suffer them that they be smitten by their enemies.  (Mosiah 11:24)

The above “slow to hear” curse, put upon the wicked, has been my curse from the very beginning.  To give some examples, I prayed for over a year to get the Lord to give me the woman I ended up marrying, and this was even before I began pursuing her.  (I don’t “fish” for women, nor do I use the “spear gun approach.”  I always opt for the miraculous guaranteed approach, in which I pray for the biggest fish I can find, and at the appropriate time, she jumps out of the water, into my boat.)  Another example was when I went on my mission.  I never studied the language.  No, not one bit.  Not in the MTC, nor on the mission.  The book they gave me to study the language while in the field, I thumbed through once, and then threw it away.  After I got in the field, in my first area, I said to the Lord, “I am not going to study this language, so if you want me to preach to these people, you are going to have to give me the gifts of tongues and interpretation, and then I’ll preach.  But I’m not going to lift a finger to learn this language, because I don’t like this language.  But I will pray for these gifts, and that is all I will do, until you give me ability to preach in this language, and then, and only then, will I preach.”  And so I continued to pray for the gifts all through the months of my first area.  When I got to my second area, suddenly I could preach in the language, and that is the only ability the Lord gave me to do (to preach), for that is all I asked for.  In other words, I couldn’t talk of other topics, but I could preach in the language, and that was fine with me, because that is all I wanted.  And so I stopped praying for tongues and interpretation and started preaching, but it took me months of prayer to make it happen.

But, in the past two weeks, this “curse” seems to be finally lifting, and now an emphatic prayer can get the Lord to act instantly, or quite rapidly, in my behalf.  Which leads me to the scripture about Nephi.

Imperfect or weak faith

From the experience I have gained in the past two weeks, it seems apparent that God must respond to any level of faith, whatsoever, in some way, even if the faith is weak or imperfect.  As long as there is faith, there will be a miracle of some kind.  The ten miracles I worked were not demonstrations of perfect or strong faith, except in the case of the word of wisdom miracle, and also the altering of the weather miracles.  But for the others, I didn’t get exactly what I asked for, just as Nephi didn’t get exactly what he asked for.  Nevertheless, I had exercised a measure of faith, however imperfect and weak, and because of it, God had to supply something, to help alleviate my situation, just as he had to supply something to Nephi, to alleviate his situation. This then, is the reason why the bands were loosed from off of Nephi, and not broken by his “strength of the Lord” strength.  It wasn’t that he had prayed “amiss.”  It was simply that his faith wasn’t perfect or strong enough in that moment for that specific miracle to happen precisely as asked.  Nevertheless, the very fact that the bands were loosed, in other words, the very fact that something happened as a result of his prayer, bespeaks that he had, in very deed, prayed in faith.

And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.  (Alma 37:40)

Later, of course, Nephi’s faith was made strong, even unshaken, for all these daily witnesses (miracles) of imperfect or weak faith tend to make one’s faith stronger and stronger as time goes on, so that later, when Nephi prayed, God performed the miracle exactly as he asked for it.

Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.  (Jacob 4:6)

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New Thoughts on Faith


“Take no thought”:

In the New Testament, Jesus uses the phrase “take no thought” to describe a condition of faith.

no person can serve two masters
for either they will hate the one
and love the other
or else they will hold to the one
and despise the other
you cannot serve god and money
therefore
I say unto you
take no thought for your life
what you shall eat
what you shall drink
nor thought for your body
what you shall wear
is not your life more than food
and your body more than clothing?

o ye of little faith
therefore
take no thought
saying

what shall we eat?

or

what shall we drink?

or

what shall we wear?

for the gentiles seek after all these things
but your heavenly father knows that you have need of all these things
so seek ye first the kingdom of god
and his justice
and all these things shall be given to you
therefore
take no thought for your next day
for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself
the business of today is sufficient

and

take heed and be on guard
for they shall deliver you up to councils
and you shall be beaten in the places of worship
and you shall be brought before political rulers because of me
as a testimony against them in the day of judgement
at the time when the gospel has been made known among all the nations
but
when they shall lead you
and deliver you up
take no thought beforehand
about what you will say
neither premeditate
but whatsoever she gives you in that moment
that shall you speak
for it is not you that will speak
but the holy spirit who is with you

In this view, we are to mimic nature — where the sparrows and the lilies go about their activities without spending effort worrying about obtaining what is needed.  It is an act of faith, in Jesus’ sermons, for a disciple to make no prior arrangements for something, but to trust wholly in God to meet the need when it arises.  In fact, taking thought would show that the person must not have trusted God to provide.

In contrast, Alma uses the phrase “take no thought” to describe a condition of NO-faith.

behold
as the tree begins to grow
you will say

let us nourish it with great care
that it may get root
that it may grow up
and bring forth fruit unto us

and now
behold
if you nourish it with great care
it will get root
and grow up
and bring forth fruit
but if ye neglect the tree
and take no thought for its nourishment
behold
it will not get any root
and when the heat of the sun comes and scorches it
because it has no root
it withers away
and you pluck it up
and cast it out
now
this is not because the seed was not good
neither is it because the fruit thereof would not have been desirable
but it is because your ground is barren
and refuse to nourish the tree
therefore
you cannot have the fruit thereof
and thus
if you will not nourish the word
looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof
you can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life

In this view, we are to mimic agriculture — where the farmers who cultivate nature expend their effort in the hope that they will be rewarded with an abundant harvest.  It is an act of faith for a disciple to make the effort towards something even when its results are not immediately evident, and not to passively wait for someone to just drop what you need in your lap.  In fact, in Alma’s sermon, taking no thought would show that the person must not have trusted very much in the thing they were hoping to attain.

This is the same view on “taking thought” and its relationship with faith that God communicated to Joseph Smith.

behold
you have not understood
you have supposed that I would give it unto you
when you took no thought save it was to ask me

God then gives him a description of the kind of premeditated effort that a disciple should invest in the matter, as an act of faith, before a revelation as to the truth of something can be obtained.

 The Language of a Science:

I have long thought of “faith” as a state of mental acceptance of a claim for which the physical evidence is either not there or is forthcoming.  As in,

now
faith is the substance of things hoped for
the evidence of things not seen

It’s been, to me, a possession that one can either have or not have.  I’ve since changed the way I view faith — to more of a description of an active process of discovery and progression.  Akin to the scientific method, which uncovers truth and is always conditional, faith is the activity of:

  • taking a proposition
  • holding it to be true in your mind
  • experimenting in your life as if that were true
  • making conclusions about its truth based on the results

Alma’s sermon differs from Jesus’ sermons because he is using the language of the sciences, rather than the language of a theology.

  • awake and arouse your faculties
  • experiment upon my words
  • try the experiment
  • your faith is dormant
  • a particle of faith
  • because it is discernible
  • your mind doth begin to expand
  • O then, is not this real?

Alma is talking about a physical process by which a particle is implanted into your mind and produces the observable effect of enlarging it.  He goes so far as to call it an experiment — one in which you have to arouse your physical senses to make real conclusions about things that are observable.  Furthermore, this process is, in principle, never-ending — subject to continual expansion at each new horizon.  Once you have achieved results in one thing, you’ve got to reapply your faith to a new thing — or else it all falls dormant (or becomes at rest).

So,

yea
a person may say

you have faith
but I have thought

then show me your faith without taking thought
and I will show you my faith by taking thought

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Master, Master, We Perish


I will go down with this ship:

now it came to pass
on a certain day
that he went into a ship with his disciples
and he said unto them

let us go over
unto the other side of the lake

and they launched forth
but
as they sailed
he fell asleep
and there came down a storm of wind on the lake
and they were filled with water
and were in jeopardy
and they came to him
and awoke him
saying

master
master
we perish

then he arose
and rebuked the wind
and the raging of the water
and they ceased
and there was a calm
and he said unto them

where is your faith?

and they
being afraid
wondered
saying one to another

what manner of man is this!
for he commands even the winds and water
and they obey him

Taking this story as a metaphor for one’s life, it goes like this:

  • Jesus has a mission for you
    [let us go over unto the other side of the lake].
  • You are obedient to him
    [and they launched forth].
  • His mission leads you into harm and peril
    [but as they sailed … there came down a storm of wind on the lake and they were filled with water and were in jeopardy].
  • He is not all that concerned about that
    [but as they sailed he fell asleep].
  • You will have to either rouse him — or fix it yourself
    [and they came to him and awoke him — where is your faith?].

Wait, what?  God will lead you into peril and jeopardy and then leave you there so He can take a nap?  Yes.  And if you don’t have the faith to either fix it yourself or to cry out to Him, then He will keep on napping — while the situation drowns you.  Having let the Lord of the Universe into the “ship” of your life and being obedient to His directions will grant you zero security that your travels will be safe.

And it wasn’t just the 12 disciples:

Lehi’s vision of the tree of life did not begin with “a large and spacious field” in which he “beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.”  No, it starts ominously with:  a dark and dreary wilderness,

and it came to pass
that I saw a man
and he was dressed in a white robe
and he came and stood before me
and it came to pass
that he spake unto me
and commanded me to follow him
and it came to pass
that as I followed him
I beheld myself
that I was in a dark and dreary waste
a
nd after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness
I began to pray unto the lord
that he would have mercy on me
according to the multitude of his tender mercies
and it came to pass
after I had prayed unto the lord
I beheld a large and spacious field
and it came to pass
that I beheld a tree
whose fruit was desirable
to make one happy

You see, we begin our story in a miserable place, a dark and dreary wilderness.  Then, all is well, a man in white appears and commands us to follow him, presumably to deliver out of this situation.  And instead, we are led into an even worse situation, a dark and dreary waste.  Thanks a lot Man-in-White.  Then he just leaves us there — to wander in the depths of despair and depression.

And there’s where the story would’ve ended had it not been for Lehi’s impulse to begin to pray unto God for mercy and deliverance from the darkness.  It’s only then that we can find ourselves in the large and spacious field with the fruit of happiness and family togetherness.

God isn’t troubled by your bothers, unless you can be bothered enough to trouble Him:

and he spake a parable unto them
to this end
that people ought always to pray
and not faint
saying

there was in a city
a ruler
who didn’t fear god
nor care about people
and there was in that city
a widow
who came unto him
saying

give me justice
and stop my oppressor

and he would not
for a while
but afterwards
he said within himself

though I do not care about god
nor respect any person
because this widow troubles me
I will exact justice for her
lest by her continual coming
she tire me out

and the lord said

ponder what the unjust ruler said
and shall not god avenge his own elect
who cry day and night unto him
when he has patience with them?
I tell you that he will grant justice for them speedily

Next Article by Justin:  New Thoughts on Faith

Previous Article by Justin:  Tithing the Widow’s Mites

A Small Stone


The scriptures describe the acts of God being accomplished by “small” and “simple” means – meaning that great and miraculous effects are often brought about through seemingly insignificant causes.  A simple example of this principle is in the actions that have been done though the use of a small stone.  An arrangement of organic materials and minerals, yet in many cases, they can bring marvelous things to pass.

Show your faith:

and it came to pass
that the brother of Jared

did molten out of a rock
sixteen small stones
and they were white and clear
even as transparent glass
and he did carry them in his hands
upon the top of the mount
and cried again unto YHVH
saying

O YHVH
look upon me in pity
and turn away your anger from your people
and suffer not that they shall go forth
across this raging deep
in darkness
but
behold these things
which I have molten out of the rock
and I know
O YHVH
that you have all power
and can do whatsoever you will
for the benefit of humankind
therefore
touch these stones
O YHVH
with thy finger
and prepare them
that they may shine forth
in darkness
and they shall shine forth
unto us
in the vessels which we have prepared
that we may have light
while we shall cross the sea
behold
O YHVH
you can do this
we know that you are able to show forth great power
which looks small to the understanding of men

We can take something small and simple, offer it to the Lord in faith [trusting that He will do anything that His people ask of Him in faith], and have that thing transformed into the very thing we require.

Slay your enemies:

and it came to pass
when the Philistine arose
and came and drew nigh to meet David
that David hurried
and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine
and David put his hand in his bag
and took from inside a stone
and slung it
and smote the Philistine in his forehead
that the stone sunk into his forehead
and he fell upon his face to the earth
so David prevailed over the Philistine
with a sling and with a stone
and smote the Philistine
and slew him
but there was no sword in the hand of David

We can turn away from the “weapons” of the world [the swords and the armor that have not been “proven”] and instead trust in the Lord to fulfill our need with the simple “stones” we are comfortable with using.

Send away your accusers:

they say unto Jesus

master
this woman was taken in adultery
in the very act
now Moses
in the law
commanded us that such should be stoned
but what do you say?

this they said
tempting him
that they might have reason to accuse him
but Jesus stooped down
and with his finger wrote on the ground
as though he heard them not
so when they continued asking him
he lifted up himself
and said unto them

he that is without sin
among you
let him first cast a stone at her

and again he stooped down
and continued writing on the ground
and they which heard it
being convicted by their own conscience
went out one by one
until Jesus was left alone
and the woman standing in the midst
when Jesus had lifted himself up
and saw none but the woman
he said unto her

woman
where are those who had accused you?
is there no man to condemn you?

she said

no man
lord

and Jesus said unto her

neither do I condemn you
go
and sin no more

The principle upon which the atonement works is that only accusers will be accused and only condemners will be condemned. Using a simple stone, the atonement can remove any and all accusers – leaving a sinner, sitting alone with Jesus and forgiven.

All of this done by the small and simple means of a stone.

then the white stone
mentioned in Revelation 2:17
will become a urim and thummim
to each individual who receives one
whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms
will be made known
and a white stone is given
to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom
whereon is a new name written
which no one knows except the person that received it
the new name is the key word

Next Article by Justin:  Equality

Previous Article by Justin:  Custom LDS Scriptures Priestcraft

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


Continued from part thirteen.

for behold [2 Ne. 27:23]

i am god

and i am a god of miracles

for behold [Mosiah 3:5]

the time cometh

and is not far distant

that with power the lord omnipotent

who reigneth

who was and is from all eternity to all eternity

shall come down from heaven among the children of men

and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay

and shall go forth amongst men

working mighty miracles

Omnipotent defined by Webster

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

OMNIPOTENT, a. [supra.]

1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.

The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Unequaled; arrant; mighty.

Humorous. Shak.

Webster (apparently) corrected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.  Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent.

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

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

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

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

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

c.  Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

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

  p -> q
  ~q
  ------
  ~p

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

I.  God is omnipotent (according to theists).

II.  Thus God can create or do anything.

III.  A square circle is a thing.

IV.  Thus God can create a square circle.

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

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

God is a maximally powerful being

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

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

God can create a square circle.

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

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

God cannot create that which cannot be created.

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

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

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

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

To sum it up:

God is a maximally powerful being.

That which cannot exist, cannot be created.

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

Omnipotent…

The traditional, dictionary defined view says,

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

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

…or a maximally powerful being?

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

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

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

The scientist and the miracle worker

The scientist

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

The miracle worker

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

God as an advanced scientist

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

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

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

The midi-chlorian menace

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

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

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

Mormon speculations running rampant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, to quote Parley P. Pratt:

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

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

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

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

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

(Miracles by Michael R. Ash)

Btw, Pratt wrote the above in 1891.

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

Moroni asked,

who shall say [Morm. 9:17]

that it was not a miracle

that by his word the heaven and the earth should be

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

and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought

and who shall say [Marm. 9:18]

that jesus christ did not do many mighty miracles

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

The Bible Dictionary on miracles

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

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

The scientific trap: creation by knowledge

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

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

into a false gospel of creation and miracles by knowledge.

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

First things first: some definitions

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

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

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

Creatio ex nihilo

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

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

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

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

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

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

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

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

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

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

and the light of the sun

and the power thereof

by which it was made

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

and is the light of the moon

and the power thereof

by which it was made

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

and the power thereof

by which they were made

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

and the power thereof

even the earth upon which you stand

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

which giveth you light

is through him

who enlighteneth your eyes

which is the same light

that quickeneth your understandings

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

to fill the immensity of space

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

which giveth life to all things

which is the law

by which all things are governed

even the power of god

who sitteth upon his throne

who is in the bosom of eternity

who is in the midst of all things

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

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

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

God’s omnipotence

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

and he said [Mark 14:36]

abba

father

all things are possible unto thee

take away this cup from me

nevertheless

not what i will

but what thou wilt

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

God is omnipotent, according to His will and pleasure

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

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

Nothing is impossible with God

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

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

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

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

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

as they are

and as they were

and as they are to come

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

The greatest feat God can do

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

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

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

ah lord god [Jer. 32:17]

behold

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

and there is nothing too hard for thee

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

To glorify God

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

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

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

Giving impossible purpose to the impossible Nothing

wherefore [2 Ne. 2:12]

it must needs have been created for a thing of naught

wherefore

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

wherefore

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

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

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

wherefore [D&C 76:44]

he saves all except them

they shall go away into everlasting punishment

which is endless punishment

which is eternal punishment

to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity

where their worm dieth not

and the fire is not quenched

which is their torment

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

neither the place thereof

nor their torment

no man knows

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

neither is

neither will be revealed unto man

except to them who are made partakers thereof

nevertheless [D&C 76:47]

i the lord show it by vision unto many

but straightway shut it up again

wherefore [D&C 76:48]

the end

the width

the height

the depth

and the misery thereof

they understand not

neither any man

except those who are ordained unto this condemnation

wherefore [D&C 29:28]

i will say unto them

depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire

prepared for the devil and his angels

and now [D&C 29:29]

behold

i say unto you

never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth

that they should return

for where i am they cannot come

for they have no power

but remember [D&C 29:30]

that all my judgments are not given unto men

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

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

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

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

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

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

else the new wine doth burst the bottles

and the wine is spilled

and the bottles will be marred

but new wine must be put into new bottles

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

else the bottles break

and the wine runneth out

and the bottles perish

but they put new wine into new bottles

and both are preserved

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

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

The limitations created by God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Chantdown recently wrote:

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

Emphasis mine.

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

for behold [Moses 1:35]

many worlds have passed away by my power

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

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

Reality altering faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The nature of God is unnatural

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

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

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

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

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

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

jesus answered [John 2:19]

and said unto them

destroy this temple

and in three days i will raise it up

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

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

but i lay it down of myself

i have power to lay it down

and i have power to take it again

this commandment have i received of my father

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

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

Impossible any way you look at it

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

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

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

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

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

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

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

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

Ceasing to be God

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

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

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

infinite and eternal without end

amen

and behold [Alma 34:14]

this is the whole meaning of the law

every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice

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

yea

infinite and eternal

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

that there is a god in heaven

who is infinite and eternal

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

Even trusting God is an impossible miracle

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

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

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

The works of God defy logic

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

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

Answer: Yes, He does.

Question: Does He exercise this power?

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

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

It is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent

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

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

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

Dispersing His omnipotence reveals His nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADAM: What is that apron you have on?

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

ADAM: Priesthoods?

LUCIFER: Yes, priesthoods.

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

Infinite faith produces unlimited power (omnipotence)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not restricted in the least

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

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

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

God as a miracle worker

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

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

The answer is: No.

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

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

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

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

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

The devil as an advanced scientist

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

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

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

and taketh away light and truth

through disobedience

from the children of men

and because of the tradition of their fathers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demonic and divine technologies

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

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

the miraculous directors [D&C 17:1]

which were given to lehi while in the wilderness

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

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

according to that which is written

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith exercises faith

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

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

and i will draw near unto you

seek me diligently

and ye shall find me

ask

and ye shall receive

knock

and it shall be opened unto you

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

wisdom receiveth wisdom

truth embraceth truth

virtue loveth virtue

light cleaveth unto light

mercy hath compassion on mercy

and claimeth her own

justice continueth its course

and claimeth its own

judgment goeth before the face of him

who sitteth upon the throne

and governeth

and executeth all things

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

we ask thee in the name of thy son jesus christ

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

who partake of it

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

and witness unto thee o god the eternal father

that they are willing

to take upon them the name of thy son

and always remember him

and keep his commandments

which he hath given them

that they may always have his spirit to be with them

amen

Conclusion

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

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Our Devotion to the Church.


In reading some of the comments on this blog I see this type of emotion.

I became a member of the Church, because I prayed and told the Lord that I wanted to find His true Church. I searched for the truth for many years. I’m a member of the Church now for many years. I love the church and the local leaders and my brothers and sister there. I love the prophet and the other general authorities. I have listened to them closely and served them faithfully. I have sacrificed much for my faith. I have done all in my power to fulfill all my covenants even to consecrate all that I am to the church. I have found out that the Church is even more true then I expected.

Reality is that as humans we are strongly effected by the contradicting ideas of the false doctrine which is now in the LDS church. I have seen people who are literally insane.

One of them I loved very much. She was my first wife.
I married her at age 23. We had a fairy tale romance. It was so wonderful. God blessed us so much. She saw a vision of light around the man who sealed us in the Salt Lake Temple. I adored her and for many years felt she was perfect. I was willing to do anything for her. But unknown to me or her she had a mental illness. By the time the mental illness got real bad about 20 years into our marriage she had me convinced that everything she said was true.
She told me over and over again how she was in tune with the spirit of God. She explained that she had lived a clean life and God was working through her. About 25 years into the marriage she convinced me that one of our 4 daughters had a real evil problem and we needed to force her out of the house. I went a long with it. This daughter was not even permitted to associated with her other adult siblings.
Then she convinced me that I had a serious problem and did not in fact love her, that I didn’t even know what love was. I resisted but eventually out of love for her I believed her and tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I remember during those last 3 years I would lay in bed after hearing 5 plus hours of castigation from her and pour out my heart to God. “Please Father Please something is not right. Either I am wrong or she is. I don’t care which I don’t care if I am right or not I just want to know the truth.”
She began telling me over and over again every few days that I had to repent. Then it became every day. Then it was multiple times a day. With long and unrelenting confrontational sessions she would keep me up till all hours of the night.
She began hitting me and slapping me. But I never got mad or yelled at her. I turned the other cheek on several occasions. I tried to never ever find fault with her. I loved her so much. We had been sealed in the temple. It was my dream to be with her forever. And as she had told me she had lived a virtuous life so I believed what she told me.
She told the ward members behind my back that I was an abusive husband and had been for years. She said this to the bishop and then to her lawyers. She said I needed to sign a post nuptial agreement to save our marriage. In it I agreed that if there was a divorce she would get 100% of my money from the high paying job and 100% of the retirement if I retired (which I was eligible for). And she would get the house (which was all paid for) and everything in it. In fact we had zero debts. And a years supply of food.
She said I had to fast which I did for days at a time. She said I had to get a second job. I was working 40 hours a week making over $100,000 a year but to show I loved her I got a second job making $13.75 an hour about 20 hours a week. All the new money I made went to fix up the house.
Why did I do all this because I was convinced she was “true”. The one and only true spouse for me.

You may be wondering where the money was all going if there were no debts and I was making such good money. Why did I have to spend all the money from my part time job to fix up the house. Just a second I will tell you why.
Well 12 days after I signed the post nuptial she convinced me that to save my soul I had to divorce her.
I was so sad. I felt I had lost my chance for eternal happiness. I moved out of the house into a tiny apartment (all I could afford on my part time job since she was keeping all the money I was making from the 100K plus job). But in just 6 weeks of being away from her lies and mental abuse I was able to open my eyes and see that it was her that had been abusing me. That she was not in any way inspired by God. She was so heinous in her viciousness I think the devil may be taking notes. And she is 5th generation LDS.
Oh the money. She had been writing checks every two weeks from our joint account to her Utah Community Credit Union which she had removed my name from just weeks before the post nuptial agreement. She stuffed away about $20,000 before the judge overturned the insane divorce decree.
So why am I telling you all this? It is a cautionary tale. It is true; every word of it. The point is when you love her so much you refuse to see how corrupt she is. You are sealed to her. It is in your belief that life eternal is to obey her and do all in your power to please her. She has told you that she is virtuous, everything she says is true, that she loves you but if you doubt her then you don’t love her.

But you do love her. You want everything she says to be true. You adore her so much. She was God’s greatest gift to you. You have been through so much together. She bore you children. She was your bride. She was always the most beautiful woman in the world to you. How could you ever comprehend leaving someone that you have sacrificed so much for? The more we sacrifice for anyone or anything the more convinced we are that it is a good thing.
I have no doubt that there are and have been through the ages men and women who have given their all to what they believed was the truth. And the more they sacrificed the more they were sure it was the right thing to do. Even to the point of doing some very irrational things.
I saw plainly that God had delivered me from a prison I did not know I was in. I am completely sure given the amount of control she had over me that if I had stayed with her she would have eventually convinced me that I needed to kill myself. And I would have done it unless God intervened.
So what has this got to do with you?
Babylon has a religion. Just as there is not a whole nebulous group of governments which constitute the present day Babylonian empire, so there is not a nebulous cloud of churches. Satan has picked the one church to infiltrate. And he has done it. After the death of the true witnesses of Christ (the original 11 and then Matthias and Paul and a couple others) Satan chose the remnant of the Christian faith to join to his then Babylonian Kingdom, the Roman empire.
Will he do it again? I don’t know to what degree. But he has already infiltrated the LDS church so deeply that the members are programmed to say and act upon this saying, “I don’t care what the brethren say, I will follow them because it is God’s true church.”
Should every member of Christ true church be saying, “I don’t care what the Brethren say, I will take the Holy Spirit as my guide and not be deceived.” Or maybe, “I will prove all things that any man or group of men say by the Spirit of God.”
Oh but you can’t do that I remember one of the Brethren said I am supposed to trust what they say more than what I get from God directly. He said that I “cannot communicate reliably through the direct, personal line if [I am]… out of harmony with the priesthood line.” (April Conference 2010 Dallin H. Oaks). So that means I can tell if I am listening to a false spirit by whether or not what I receive from it is in 100% agreement with what I hear from the Brethren. So if I think the Brethren might be wrong that is proof positive that I am in sin and cut off from the spirit of God and I am the one who is wrong.

Wow just exactly like my first wife. How clever.

Now my brothers and sister you know this is what you are being taught. Why then does anyone need to pray? Oh to get personal guidance right. But we can’t get personal revelation which would ever tell us if the church were in apostasy, can we?
Well don’t worry we have been told that the first presidency and the 12 apostles will never lead the members of the church astray.

By whom were we told that? By the voice of God? Is it in the scriptures? Is that what the Book of Mormon teaches?
Oh by one of the men who we are taught to trust above our own personal revelation?

Imagine you are told that there is an organization dedicated to the pursuit of truth and light. And then you are told that the leaders of this organization are all taught that if they disagree with the head of the organization then they are not capable of seeing the truth. Can you at least see the total lack of credibility such an organization has in reality? Or at least how anyone who follows the teachings of such an organization is prone to being mislead?

Yes don’t worry my 5th generation LDS wife told me she would never be lead astray also.

A parting shot. As long as I subjected myself to the constant indoctrination of my first wife God could never get the truth in to my head. There were countless times I had real strong questions and doubts. But each time I went to talk to her about them I was beaten down and threatened with my salvation if I disagreed with her. She would get angry and I feared her anger. I was used to doing what she said so I did not get chastised. I could see the obvious actions which would prove to any rational person that she was either evil or insane. But I did not act upon rational ideas. I acted on faith and love and a desire to always be with her. I acted on fear of punishment and desire for approval.

Epilogue

I have stopped going to the LDS church now for over a year. I have received my own tribal ordinances now. I did not know it before I did it but it freed me from the obligation to be under the thumb of the LDS leaders. I know God still guides me. I know he is pleased with me.

I can read what the LDS leaders are saying with a new perspective. Brother and sister it is pathetic what those men have substituted for the truth of God. God does have things He wants us to know and learn. But they will not come to you from the drunkards of Ephraim. You are being programmed to do what the Babylonian Empire Satan’s earthly government wants you to do. That is the main purpose of the church now. And they use access to the ordinances of salvation as the carrot and stick to keep you in line.  Sorry to tell you. Your wife is insane.

…and I’m a Mormon


Maggie asked me:

“I believe in a similar fashion and lately I have been unable to call myself a Mormon because of it.  Is one a “true” Mormon if they do not take everything in the rigid literal?  I started to feel I couldn’t be much like I can’t call myself a vegetarian if I eat meat.  But now I’m not so sure.  Isn’t this what Mormonism is at its core, its base?”

I’ve also read similar sentiments – e.g.

“I [have x-y-z different opinion on this-or-that facet of Mormonism, yet still identify in some degree as “Mormon”].  As a result, when I speak to others [and] I say, “I am a Mormon.”  Am I being deceptive if I don’t reveal what that phrase means to me upfront?

This represents my ~4500 word response to that.

The religious experience of the gospel of Jesus Christ — at its core, its base — is the subjective and transcendent experience of God:

I was once told in conversation that:

“Mormons just don’t drink alcohol – that is the least that is expected of them.”

And I thought – really, that’s the least that’s being LDS means – abstaining from alcoholic drinks?  I’m sure if we are talking about LDS youth, then that person would probably say that the “least” is something related to body modesty or not having sex.  But again – that’s our least?

For a religion proclaiming Jesus Christ – the “least” ought to be pretty straightforward.  Jesus called people to consider themselves the servants of all – and act accordingly.  Having the same mind in you that was in Him:  who did empty himself and take the form of a servant [Philippians 2:5-8].  That’s it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is fluid.  It’s meant to be lived by every human who’s ever lived on the whole earth.  As such, it is flexible, adaptable to the variety of conditions that exist among people.  What makes nature so beautiful and awe-inspiring is its diversity.  Even though nature follows certain patterns, it is ever-new and always creating – never boring or monotonous.  [see, Going from Concrete to Flowers]

However, a “hardened” religious tradition cannot tolerate subjectivity and diversity.  So, when one’s mind is informed by such a belief system, God ceases to be the experience of the Supreme Being – and becomes instead This-Thing who sits Up-There in the sky ruling over nature and who must be related to according to in That-Way [see, Making an Image out of God].

The fundamental aspect of the gospel is people having a transcendent experience of God – one that experiences God as a continuous happening that we are all a part of.  It’s that experience of Joy that all our myths, stories, and rituals are telling about and pointing to – so that we may come to that same place where we too relate to God with an I-Thou relationship framed in terms of family and covenant [see, Taking our Myths Literally].

That relative experience is expressed outwardly in a material sense in various ways:

Now – the gospel does manifest itself outwardly as a physical space-and-time institution according to the doctrine of expediency.  Suiting itself to the conditions found among the people at that time and place [see, There are no “higher” or “lower” laws; there are only expedient laws and D&C 46:15].

But the base-layer, the common experience is always about coming to relate to the Power of the created universe in terms that break-down the left-brain sense of separateness and open-up the right-brain sense of complete continuousness and connectivity.

There may be behavioral or moral implications of a covenant with God – but it is not the jurisdiction of the gospel to lay down specific “hither thou shalt come and no further” fence-posts for human behavior that have a universal application across space-and-time.

So, within Mormonism, there is a wide range of possibility for diversity in belief and practice that can be characterized by having different people fill in the following blanks:

  • A Mormon is known for at least always ___________.
  • A Mormon is known for at least never ____________.

We should not be ashamed to display a bit of a bell-curve variability with respect to what a Mormon looks like, especially considering the subjective morality and the generally ambiguous nature of the standard works [see, Methods of Scriptural Interpretation].

But institutions patterned after the doctrines and commandments of men [such as corporations] generally dislike such variation — seeking instead to streamline and control naturally variable situations.  So, in Mormonism we see things like correlation, the CHI, etc.  But that’s a different matter entirely.

Specific manifestations of a common subjective experience express natural diversity:

The point is – [to go back to Maggie’s vegetarian who eats meat example] is there nuance within vegetarianism?  Certainly.

Is it animal meat only?  What about organs, or fish, or mollusks, or crustaceans, or dairy, or eggs – or is it all animal products altogether?  Is it only about the eating, or is it also about using them too?  Or is it really about a protest against the industrialized rearing conditions of the modern food system?  Or is it about choosing to only eat plants?  I’ve known vegetarians who could go a whole day and not eat a single vegetable – what with soy burgers, breaded tofu nuggets, and pizza.

There’s variation among a community that is informed by a common impulse – i.e. something is wrong with our current way of relating to the Life that we eat.

Fundamentally, all that matters is if you experience the miraculous works of the Father or not:

Being of this-or-that religion, practicing this-or-that model of worship, conforming to this-or-that belief system – none of that gives any indication about whether a person has experienced Jesus or not.  And therefore doesn’t matter.  The only standard for determining that a person is a true believer in Christ is the presence of the miraculous works of the Father, or signs that follow them that believe [D&C 84:64-72], in their life.  Anything else is not a righteous judgment [John 7:24] – but is a judgment based on the outward appearance or the works of men.

Telling me you read the scriptures, participate in the rituals, are active in the church, etc. – tells me nothing about the experiences you’ve had with Jesus.  Those things are just the retelling or reenactment of someone else’s story.  It is all pointless and vain unless it is pursuant to you having the same experience — seeing eye-to-eye with the seers who have laid down those stories before you.  Their stories will not save you.  Reenacting events from their stories as a ritual will not generate Joy in you.  Such things are meant to motivate you to get on the same pathway, to receive a similar connection with God, and to see eye-to-eye with them [see, The role of angels in Nephite preaching and How to receive what you ask for].

I don’t want to hear anything about what system of stories a person believes in their brain to be “true”.  Whether those stories “happened” or not is completely irrelevant to me – because what matters is what “happens”, right now – in you.  I don’t care if you believe in the stories about Adam or Abraham or Moses or Lehi or Joseph Smith having real experiences with the Father – I care if you’ve had them.

The only thing that discerns a good thing from a bad thing is its relationship to the thing that Alma termed the ever-good seed [Alma 32:28]:

the Son of God
that he will come to redeem his people
and that he shall suffer
and die to atone for their sins
and that he shall rise again from the dead
which shall bring to pass the resurrection
that all men shall stand before him
to be judged at the last and judgment day
according to their works.

Anything that persuades you to believe in and plant this ever-good seed into your right-brain-heart is itself a good seed.  While anything that persuades you not to believe and plant this ever-good seed is not a good seed.

Nothing in the gospel is based on the merits and works of men.  Righteous judgment has nothing to do with having mainstream LDS beliefs.  All things are judged to be good or evil with respect to how they measure up to the ever-good seed and whether they point people towards, or away from, it [Moroni 7:13-19].

Everything in the gospel is based on the merits of Christ and whether we harden or soften our hearts in response to the experience of His love.

The presence of miraculous works should be our only concern:

What should characterize LDS and be our over-riding passion is the experience and the celebration of the stories of people who’ve experienced faith as a principle of power, instead of action [see, The seeds of the powers of godliness] – which are the examples of the miraculous works of the Father being manifested.

The scriptures are our collective stories of such events.  But we should be celebrating the experience [nothing more, nothing less] – and with an emphasis on the newest miraculous experiences.  Because a proper celebration of the spiritual works of God invites others to receive the same experiences for themselves – so there would be no need to hold on to the stories of a by-gone generation.  Every country, culture, and local group needs to have their own body of miraculous works of the Father among themselves to celebrate.

It is dangerous to celebrate non-miraculous works [the works of men] and call that “faith.” All it does is encourage drudgery, or the non-miraculous works of men.  There are plenty of people of all religions who sacrifice for their beliefs and religions, but who have no works of the Father in their lives.

I’ve met people who receive multiple visions or prophecies, who’ve spoken in unknown tongues on demand, and who’ve been ministered to by angels.  On the other hand, I’ve also met people who’ve never received a revelation in their entire life.  In either case, every one of those people professed to believe in Jesus and came from different churches and belief systems.  The only substantial difference between the two groups is that the former manifested the works of the Father – while the latter manifested the works of men.

Someone who has denied their Self, experienced the transcendent joy of the Supreme Being, and received Christ will be totally obsessed with Jesus.  And only the truly obsessed have faith – and only those with faith demonstrate the manifestations of the fruits of the Spirit in their life.

Being a “good Mormon” or Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan – or any “faithful” [add-Religion-here] only tells me whether a person adheres to the creeds of their respective belief system.  That says nothing about whether they have faith in Christ or not.

We should only be concerned with having faith in Christ and experiencing the miraculous works of the Father.  Unless one has communed with God, been ministered to by angels, seen visions, received prophecies and revelations, etc. – all incessant talk that professes belief in Christ is just mental masturbation, feeling good but not producing any fruit.

The all-important, saving faith in Jesus Christ that we should be obsessed with is centered in Jesus only

With sufficient faith, a believer can come to know the truth of all things [Moroni 10:5].  But faith in this-or-that true doctrine does not blossom into experiencing the miraculous works of the Father.  If faith is ever transferred from Christ to true things about Christ – then even though what’s spoken may be true, there is no faith there.

Mormons have much truth – but they have essentially transferred all faith to the truths, and thus none of it is on Jesus.

The vast majority of our conversations at church are centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and the temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

In fact – a good test is to ask how much of our religious conversations are devoted to the relative, periphery matters and how much is devoted to the experience of God’s love.  How comfortable are we in talking about this-or-that issue of the day in light of Mormonism – and how comfortable are we talking about our spiritual contacts with Jesus Christ.  With the latter, I’ve found we stumble, are vague, express doubt, and likely just say nothing at all because most people have nothing to say.

Any church not based on the miraculous work of the Father may potentially be a true church, but will be a dead and blind church:

We may have true stories and properly authorized rituals – but they are not enlivened with the Spirit of God because none of them are experienced eye-to-eye as shared experiences.  Our standard for judgment is informed by outward appearances instead of by the light of righteous judgments informed by the fruits of the Spirit. [see, What does the phrase “only true and living church” mean?]

This has made the LDS successful in being exactly like the rest of Christianity.  There may be true doctrines, disciplines, and rituals – but such things have been made into absolutes and pedestalized as ends unto themselves – instead of being the means to an end – which is obtaining the experience of the miraculous works of the Father.

To convert a bona-fide revelatory experience with God into a prescribed system of creeds and approved practices dodges the real issue.  It’s easier to tell ourselves that the important thing is keeping certain rules and believing certain doctrines – instead of turning ourselves over to the transcendent idea that the fundamental nature of Reality [God] reaches into human history to covenant with humans and gather them into a family.

The basic purpose of what we call “the church” is to take unrelated believers in Christ and knit them together by covenant into a single body or family:

When people see a problem with their group worship dynamic – the temptation is always to get together with some like-minded and “do church” more scripturally.  However, this often will just create a slightly smaller, less-controlled replication of the same dynamic they were trying to get away from.

The problem lies in the fundamental way we feel towards God, towards the earth, and towards ourselves.  It is a model based on the underlying concept of separateness [see, Split-Brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man]:

  • God as the male-figure seated on a throne exerting control over nature,
  • relating only to a certain in-group by virtue of their religious behavior towards Him,
  • living as separate islands of skin-encapsulated centers of will that are plopped onto a earth of otherwise disorganized, inherently-flawed stuff.

The very ideas that are informing our relationship with the world and with other people has to change – the pattern or model of a hierarchy of religious rulers and approved ways of thinking is [itself] broken.

Putting different people in power can’t change a problem that exists because there are people in power.  Power must instead be pulled down [Alma 60:36].

You can’t have meetings with an instituted body of the like-minded become “more scriptural” – when the gospel is tribal in nature and meant to be experienced by a group of kin who naturally meets.

One can use religion to serve their Self or to serve God.  If you believe that only your collection of stories is the One, True Way of experiencing God – then you are using it to serve your Self.  This is the hardened or atrophied religare that creates feelings of superiority and maintains a sense of separation and conflict with others.

On the other hand, when in the service of God, a fluid religare is just the stories left behind by men and women who have had miraculous experiences with the governing Power of the universe that direct the community to receiving that experience for their selves, eye-to-eye.

Effectively, what we call the “Great Apostasy” represented a hedge that had been built up around an individual person and the experience of God.  The whole essence of a religious life was reduced to a commodity that needed to be brokered by a male-dominated priestly class.  And the “Restoration” was about taking scattered and disconnected people and gathering them – not by virtue of what they believe in the mind or confess with the mouth – but by covenant into a family.

But instead of having a passion for this tribal notion of a separate people-group bound by covenants, gathered out from their scattered state among the tribes of the earth – leadership patterned after the works of men care more about uniformity of thought than about making actual tribal connections between individuals.

Focusing on these outward appearances [which include prescribing behavioral standards and acceptable doctrines] is a manifestation of the current state of the church being guided by the doctrines and commandments of men.  While the gospel could be said to prescribe a certain approach to human problems and decisions – any ethical component is but a consequence of a person’s genuine relationship with God – not the basis for receiving one.

The mission of the church of God is to be the ministerial support for individual members becoming Kings and Priests, Queens and Priestesses in their own right – to teach them the word of God, explain and offer the covenants of the gospel, and then allow them to organize themselves accordingly as their local circumstances dictate – helping them as they go from an unrelated body of like-minded and knit them together into a bona-fide family.

As long as a part remains in the body – it is the body:

Most LDS speak about and relate to “the church” as this entity that exists outside of them or separate from their selves.  But there is no such thing as a group without the context of the individual people.  You cannot have a body without all the components that make it up all together.  A group is the sum-total of the individual units that make up that group.  The whole is the parts as they are arranged.

Thus, each person is the church.  You are the church – and so long as you remain in the church, your views are representative of what the church believes.  You are Mormonism — as it is lived out or as it is taken literally by you.  The only time that ceases to be true is when you cease to identify as a member of the church.

That’s why I would never advocate someone leaving the church.  The group is [hands-down] always better served if everyone who’s ever left over this-or-that doctrinal/history/etc. issue didn’t leave – but rather stayed and lived out their own story in the community.

By most estimates, there are at least as many, if not more, of them than there are of the toe-the-line, mainstream Mormons.  So, at this point, if they’d all stayed — they could potentially outnumber the rest, and we’d have an entirely different dynamic in the church.

You represent you – and that is representative of what it means to be Mormon – if it happens to be that you are Mormon.

Now, the Church [as it is organized currently as a corporate entity] is something altogether different.  None of us are their representative for what that group is or believes.  For that purpose, the Church has official Church spokesmen.  You can identify them by the corporate logo they wear on their name-tags.  If we all were official representatives of that corporate entity and what it says, then there would be no need to have a group of specially-called official representatives, now would there?

But when people tell me that they no longer find any value in the Mormon experience and want to leave – I get it.  I see in many respects how the church is laden with the doctrines and commandments of men, leader-worship, female repression, etc.  I truly empathize with people who feel disaffected with church because they’ve increasingly found the three-hour Sunday block [and all that comes with active participation] to be more of an obstacle, instead of a vehicle, for them experiencing the Lord.

I get why they don’t speak up to church leaders in an attempt to change things too.  There is no real platform for open and honest discussion among members without getting the:  “Well this is the way that the brethren have approved — so like it or leave it”-rhetoric.  I wouldn’t expect open and honest disclosure from people who feel put-out [even though I admit it would be better if they all did speak-up].

The environment provided by leaders at church leaves them with no voice and no room to have non-mainstream opinions [at least in some open and honest capacity] – so many don’t see how speaking-up matters.  They’ll just be told:

“Look here, if you do not want to subscribe to our form of worship of the Savior, then there are many other Churches to try out until one finds the one that provides that appropriate outlet or none may suffice.”

So they throw-up their hands and leave.  I get that.

Imagine a marriage relationship in which every time the wife brings up a certain issue she has with her husband, he gets defensive, he belittles her and yells, etc. — and nothing ever changes.

Now, the husband is doing that particular behavior one day and the wife has that look that women get when you know something’s wrong — she’s obviously bothered.  So he asks, “Honey, what’s wrong?”  And if you’re married, then you know her answer is, “Nothing.

Now — it’s not nothing, it’s most definitely something.  Why does she say “nothing”?

  • Because she’s a liar who doesn’t care about getting the marital issue resolved.
  • Because of her experience with her husband, she knows that bringing the issue up will only result in a fight and nothing will be resolved.

Are their marital problems her fault because she won’t be forthcoming about what’s wrong when asked?  Or are they his fault because he has failed to provide an environment where his wife feels comfortable talking about her issues in emotional-safety?

The key for me is that the church doesn’t belong to such people.  It belongs to Jesus – and He says you have a place in it:

To make that distinction further – each member was baptized into the church of God, not the Church.  None of us are listed on the corporate charter of that agency, and are therefore not their agent.  The scriptures only describe us as agents “unto ourselves”.  As believers in Christ – we ought to also consider ourselves to be agents “unto Him” – and act accordingly.

But our fundamental allegiance is to Christ and to the word of God – thus there is very little concern for whether this-or-that aspect is considered contrary to “general Church-approved practices”, the “long-standing traditions”, etc.

The assumed state of things in the church is to trust no one until you know them well enough to open-up and share your story with them:

Now, I’ve acknowledged that the leaders do not provide a platform for open and honest discussion among members – and there’s no outlet for the disaffected to express their nuance of opinion or their concerns about certain issues.  As such, church leaders cannot reasonably expect open and honest disclosure from people who are feeling on the outs.

In fact, in my experience, leaders are often witch-hunters [taking the “judge in Israel” thing to the extreme], always looking for someone to judge as unfaithful, apostate, etc.  The only valid reason, in their minds, for “contrary” points-of-view or “unapproved” behavior is worthiness issues.  And so although the scriptural law is innocent until proven guilty – according to my experience, when leaders see dissension, they take a guilty until proven innocent stance.

Which is why I’ve taken Alma’s admonition to “trust no one…” [Mosiah 23:14] to be my marching orders and usually keep my mouth shut.  I’ve seen that those who implicitly trust the leadership [not living Alma’s admonition to “trust no one” unless you know beyond a reasonable doubt that they are men of God], will often say more than is expedient to say and quickly get into trouble.

I’ve been protected by a revelation I received some years ago that the word of the day for me is, “Shhh” — or that it is always best to be silent, to say nothing, to openly answer no questions to church leadership — sticking with “Yea” for yea and “Nay” for nay if I am ever asked.

But whether you choose to remain in the church and identify yourself as “Mormon” has nothing to do with what the approved practices and long-standing policies of the corporation that runs the church:

“Mormon” is a lot like the term “Christian” — it is more about what the person professes to believe.  It is not a term that can be brokered by a particular class of rulers “in charge” of the word.

For example, LDS insist that we are Christian just like everybody else, based on our professed belief in Christ.  Others would claim that our more nuanced understanding of Christ, the Godhead, etc. are beyond the leeway allowed for by orthodoxy.  But since we profess to believe in Christ – we generally call ourselves “Christian”.

Likewise, the Church has a hard time with professed Mormons who practice polygamy – thinking the term “Mormon” belongs to the corporation.  However, polygamist Mormons are Mormons.  The Community of Christ are Mormons.  Everyone has a professed belief in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  We may have more nuanced approaches to certain things [polygamy being the key example], but [like “Christian”] the term is general and correctly identifies all of us [in a general sense].

A person that hears me identify as “Mormon” starts viewing my actions and words as representative of the church.  This is why the Church – as a corporate entity – is big on the members considering themselves walking “advertisements” for the Corporation, carefully monitoring the public image that the members “sell”, etc.

But I am not their spokesperson.  I am not a broker for their religious product.  I am Me.

People do not exist as Platonic Ideas — pure representations of terms or concepts.  Being Me means that I represent the unique symphony that is the arrangement of my Life.  I can’t pour the entirety of Me into your brain all at once.  Each human being is a storytale that has to be shared in order to be known.

We come to know people as we interact with each other.  The “whole truth” doesn’t come by “telling” – but by coming to know the real You through experiencing.  It cannot be shown all at once – but people do come to see it.

So I’d say, “I’m Mormon” is generally not a bad start for me.  Granted, my family does understand certain things differently and holds a bit more of a nuanced opinion on things like what church authority means, what the role of the church with respect to our family is, the priesthood keys and common consent, marriage and family relations, etc.  But those views aren’t applicable to every relationship we have with every other church member — just like my entire set of views on things like politics, diet, marijuana, vaccination, homeschooling, etc. don’t need to be put all out on the table every time I meet someone new.

Should the particulars come up, I don’t hide or obscure them — but I don’t hand them out like business cards either.

We should treat our religious identification like we would any other interpersonal interaction – we start basic and progress towards the more specific/personal as [or if] the relationship goes that way.  To attempt to disclose the whole picture of the entirety of the specific nuances and peculiarities all at once at a first meeting or in casual interactions is both impractical and unhelpful.

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How to receive what you ask for


It is a gospel law that if you ask God for something that is good and right, in the name of Jesus, in faith, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing, you will receive what you ask for.

A new investigation

Lately I have been perplexed by the lack of spiritual best gifts among the church of God. In my interactions with church members, I had come to the conclusion that we do not have the gifts “because [we] ask not, neither do [we] knock” (2 Ne. 32: 4), after all, Jesus said that “every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (3 Ne. 14: 8.) Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?

That got me thinking that in all likelihood the truth was that while the vast majority of the membership no longer sought the gifts, a small minority did. Yet even among them the gifts are absent. I wondered, why haven’t these people received what they are asking for?

Moroni records Jesus as saying, “Whoso shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him I will confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 25.) He also gives his own prophecy, “Whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 21.) God cannot speak a lie and still remain a God of truth. This means that for the entire gospel to be true, all its individual parts must also be true, including this promise, because the principle is that God “never doth vary from that which he hath said” (Mosiah 2: 22; also Alma 7: 20 and D&C 3: 2.)

I decided, then, that I would put Moroni’s promise to the test and follow the prescribed steps so that Jesus would have to confirm His words to me. I believed the word of God to be true and had full confidence that I would receive what I asked for. Specifically, I was going to ask for a spiritual best gift, for the gifts of the Spirit are things that are right and good, which is one of the qualifications necessary for the promise to be fulfilled. (See 3 Ne. 18: 20 and Moroni 7: 26.)

I began my trial sometime between the 19th and 26th of January, 2011, and have continued it to this very day. This post contains what I have so far learned from this ongoing experiment with the word of God.

Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. (Ether 12: 6)

A trial is a proof. A proof is “any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; test; trial; as to put in proof.” The trial of your faith, then, is the proof of your faith, or an effort, process or operation designed to establish or discover whether or not you have faith.

The “effort, process, or operation” that is used to establish that we have faith is a very specific type of prayer. By praying in a specific way, our faith will be instantly put in proof and we will immediately know whether we have faith.

How to pray, part one

For the purposes of this experiment, we shall attempt to obtain one of the gifts of God. In particular, we will seek a gift that is easily recognizable as having been received. Of the three lists of gifts in the scriptures, the list given to the Lamanites is the only one that contains the gift of the beholding of angels (see Moroni 10: 14 and The role of angels in Nephite preaching.) So, this is the gift we will seek, for once an angel of light appears and is discerned (see D&C 129: 4-9), there is no doubt that the gift has been received.

The instructions of how to ask God for one of His gifts, which were given by Jesus and Moroni (in Mormon 9: 21, 25; 3 Ne. 18: 19-20; and Moroni 7: 26), are summarized in the following manner:

Ask the Father

Ask in the name of Christ

Believe in Christ

Believe in the name of Christ

Ask for something good and right (the gift of the beholding of angels qualifies)

Ask in faith

Believe you shall receive

Doubt nothing

The promise is that if the above steps are followed by anyone, it shall be granted/done/given and Jesus’ words will be confirmed.

Let’s write up a sample prayer based upon the above instructions.

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A deadline

On the surface, the above prayer seems to serve its purpose of putting our faith in proof. If you have faith, the angel will appear. If you do not have faith, the angel will not appear. What it lacks, though, is an element of time. When does the angel have to appear? The prayer does not specify. The time frame is left up to the Lord. If the Lord decides to send the angel at the end of your life, 60 years from now, how does this tell you now whether or not you have faith? It doesn’t. What if the Lord decides not to send an angel because you didn’t exercise faith, would you know? Nope.

Prayers that don’t have an element of time in them are insufficient to put your faith in proof. A deadline, such as a day and time, must be included so as to make a discovery of faith (or lack thereof.) If the deadline comes and goes, with no result, you didn’t pray in faith. If the deadline arrives with an angel, you now have passed the trial of your faith and have received your witness.

Here is the same prayer altered slightly so that it serves as a trial of faith:

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me right now. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All things can be asked for

Notice in the above prayers that I asked for everything. I didn’t say, “Give me this according to the faith that I have,” I said, “Give me faith in your Son.” I didn’t say, “I believe that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer,” I said, “Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer.” I didn’t say, “I have no doubts whatsoever,” I said, “Take away my doubts.” The Lord has everything I need to make a prayer work. If I lack anything, He can make up for it, if I ask Him for it.

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. (Mormon 9: 27)

Different amounts of faith

To move mountains, you need faith the size of a mustard seed. Jesus told Peter that he had little faith. The scriptures speak of having the gift of exceedingly great faith. All of this shows that faith comes in different amounts. Depending on what you are asking for, you will need a greater or lesser amount of faith.

The mere act of asking God for something, believing that you are going to receive, is an act of faith. How much faith? No one but God knows. However, if you ask, believing that you will receive, and do not receive what you ask for—and you know for a fact that you have not received what you asked for because you asked in the manner detailed above, using an element of time so that the prayer creates a trial of faith—it causes you to confront your false beliefs. You must then admit to yourself that the belief that you had that you would receive what you asked for was false. Again, you may indeed have asked in faith, because the very act of asking is an act of faith, but it was of an insufficient quantity to receive what you asked for, therefore your belief that you would receive was false.

When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, you will have to completely ignore the evidence. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

If you are able to get back on your knees and offer another prayer, asking again for something with a deadline, so that the prayer becomes another trial of your faith, and with the (irrational) belief that you will receive, the very act of attempting the experiment again requires more faith than your first attempt.

Each subsequent attempt will again naturally increase your faith. But each time you fail to receive, you will be faced again with a religious crisis that can only be overcome by faith.

The theory in all of this is that eventually, continuing on in this manner, you will finally arrive at the amount of faith required for what you are asking for, and you will then receive the gift you seek, obtaining the witness promised in the scriptures, which comes after the trial of your faith.

The veil of unbelief

The Lord prophesied that the people of our day would have a veil of unbelief, which, unless rent, would keep us in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart, and He would withhold the greater things from us.

Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4: 15)

The purpose of the veil of unbelief is to hide “the great and marvelous things” of God from us. As long as it is upon us, we can pray until we are blue in the face to see angels or obtain the powers and gifts of the Spirit and we will forever remain in the dark about such things, never tasting of the goodness of God, nor feasting upon his fatness. Only those who pray to God “with a broken heart and a contrite spirit” are the ones who rend the veil of unbelief and partake of the greater things, such as the ministration of angels. To all others, the heavens are closed.

God has power to cast away the veil of unbelief from our minds

Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God— (Alma 19: 6)

Anyone can ask for the same blessing from the Lord.

It is extremely important that the veil of unbelief be removed, because it will prohibit us from exercising faith.

And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. (Mormon 9: 20)

Using disappointment to rend one’s soul

…when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief… (Ether 4: 15)

The disappointment of not receiving what we ask for, as promised in the scriptures, is a heart-wrenching experience. If repeated over and over again, using back-to-back deadline prayers, it feels like your whole soul is being ripped apart. This might be the reason why the Lord chose the word “rend” when speaking of what to do with the veil of unbelief.

To rend means “to part, tear off, or take away, by force.” It also means “to separate into parts with force or sudden violence; to tear asunder; to split; burst; tear; to affect as if tearing asunder; as, ‘powder rends a rock in blasting; lightning rends an oak; a lion rends its prey; to rend one’s garments; the nation was rent by discord; a heart rent with grief.’” So, there is nothing gradual or subtle about rending the veil of unbelief. It is supposed to be done suddenly and violently, creating rapid change in the individual.

What the veil is

Man cannot perceive the veil of unbelief that covers him. The word veil is used to describe it because it feels very much like a thick piece of cloth that envelops the spirit. We can’t see out through it and, in fact, can’t even feel that it is there. However, once a part of the veil is rent, suddenly we can perceive that something real (an actual thing) is covering us, like a cocoon that gets cracked, letting the airy breeze in. The breeze feels good to us and the contrast between the exposed and covered parts (where the veil is still intact) enables us to finally perceive the veil.

The first perception of the veil is an alarming experience. The initial reaction is, “Get this off of me!” It feels like an uncomfortable, alien, spiritual cloth. And indeed it is. The veil of unbelief is Satan’s spiritual garment that he imperceptibly places upon all mankind when they arrive at the age of accountability and sin. Its purpose is to reduce agency, faith, knowledge, wisdom, etc. It allows him to more easily deceive us and lead us to destruction. It is the counterpart of the garment of the priesthood.

The veil of unbelief appears to be an extension of the spirit of the devil and not an individual thing placed upon each person. The result of being subject to it is damnation (see Damnation.) Once you can perceive that it is on you, you want it off of you immediately, because you can perceive that it is not a part of you and that it has been placed there without you even realizing it and that it is stopping you from spiritually progressing. In other words, you can perceive that an enemy put it there.

Even if one goes through all the ordinances of the gospel and wears the physical priesthood garment, etc., as long as Satan’s spiritual garment (the veil of unbelief) is still being worn, spiritual progress will be stunted and the gifts of the Spirit will remain off-limits. The gospel teaches that the proper order is to first rend the veil of unbelief and take it off, and then we are to put on gospel covenants and clothing. But even if things have been done out of their proper order, it is of utmost importance that Satan’s veil be removed.

The chains of hell

The chains of hell are twin filaments of spirit matter (plasma) that twist and revolve around each other in a pattern that looks like the links of a chain.

One end of the chain leads to, and is held by, Satan (see Moses 7: 26.) The other end of the chain leads to the veil of unbelief. It is attached to the veil at the back and base of the skull. One filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s left brain hemisphere (the mind) and the other filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s right brain hemisphere (the heart.)

There are three modes of plasma discharge: glow, arc and dark. The chains of hell are twin filaments of plasma discharging in dark mode.

The mind operates in arc mode, while the heart operates in dark mode. The mind is designed to believe what it sees, therefore it is designed to be lit up so that it can see everything and thus believe everything. The mind is also designed to be firm or fixed. When illuminated, it clearly can see where everything is and instantly can fixate upon what it sees without any wavering. When minds are darkened, it cannot clearly see things or where things are and must waver in order to try to find its way in the darkness, just as a blind man moves his cane left and right to figure out where things are.

When a chain of hell is attached to a veil of unbelief, the dark mode discharging filament that goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that encases the mind causes the mind to go into dark mode. The mind becomes darkened, and undergoes a state of blindness. It begins to waver. As it cannot see anything or much at all, it does not believe much either, or it begins to doubt or exhibit unbelief. Wickedness is simply a state which goes against the purpose God designed. It is a perversion. The mind was designed to operate in arc mode, in a digital manner. The veil of unbelief causes it to operate in dark mode, in an analog manner. The mind is now in a state of wickedness.

As stated above, the heart operates in dark mode. It is designed to operate in this mode and is designed by God to be soft and malleable, or easily entreated. When the other filament of the chain of hell goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that covers the heart, it cannot change the discharge mode of the heart, because the chain of hell is also in dark mode. However, it does have an effect upon the organ of the heart: it causes the heart to become hard or fixed. So now, instead of feeling its way around its environment like a blind man, as it was intended to do, the heart functions like a mind, fixating on individual emotions, instead of expanding to encompass the infinite gradations of feelings. In other words, the heart is designed to embrace the infinite, or feel an infinite variety of feelings and emotions. When the veil of unbelief, powered by the chains of hell, covers the heart, it becomes selective in what it feels, acting in a digital manner instead of the analog manner it was designed to operate in. It, too, is now in a state of wickedness.

Satan is able to deceive mankind through his chains of hell and the veils of unbelief that are attached to all sinners. Through sin, the veil of unbelief and its chain becomes attached to man around the age of eight. Through continual sin, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be removed.

The chains of hell not only look like chains, but also function as chains. If a man does not, while in mortality, repent and shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief that is attached to his mind and heart, when he dies he becomes exposed to the full captivating power of Satan. Satan has power to pull on his chains, dragging the souls down to hell, but he has no power to pull the spirits into hell while they are still in their physical, mortal bodies. Only when the spirit leaves its body can the devil pull the helpless souls into hell. The body serves as a temporary protection from the devil in this manner. Once in hell, the devil can fully subject the spirits to him, through his spirit (the chains of hell and veils of darkness). (See Alma 34: 33-35.)

Having an understanding of these things is extremely important, in order that we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling before God. (See Alma 34: 37.)

A tare sown

The chains of hell and the veil of unbelief, if turned upside down, look like a plant stalk with roots going into the heart and mind of man. This is, in actuality, the tare that is sown by the enemy. The tare seed is planted in the heart of man first (see Moses 6: 55) and then takes root in both heart and mind. In other words, the first plasma filament of a chain of hell first begins its connection to man in the heart, then the second filament connects to the mind, creating the veil of unbelief which encompasses the mind and heart of man.

(Note: the veil of unbelief only covers the heart and mind of man, not any other part of his spirit body.)

Secret works of darkness

Man cannot discover the chains of hell, nor the veil of unbelief that is upon him. If it were not for the word of God, which reveals the secret works of darkness of the evil one, no man would ever know that actual chains of hell exist, nor that veils of unbelief are secretly placed upon all mankind. These invisible plasma filaments (chains of hell) and plasma coverings (veils of unbelief) can only be detected by a manifestation of the gift of the discerning of spirits, for these are extensions of the spirit of the devil.

Satan operates in secret. As long as we have no knowledge of what he is doing to us, or what he has done or plans to do, he can work his destruction upon us with impunity. The word of God ruins his plans, because it fully exposes the danger the devil poses to us. Once a man knows that he is in chains of hell and covered in a veil of unbelief, secretly put there by the devil upon reaching the age of accountability and sinning, man can use his agency to fight it and attempt to get it off of him by calling on the power of Christ to help him. This puts a clog in the works of the devil, so he has always attempted to destroy the scriptures, or corrupt them, or get people to disbelieve them or misinterpret them. For those of us that have uncorrupted scriptures (the Book of Mormon), the devil’s strategy to stop us from liberating ourselves with the power of Christ is to deceive men into believing that all is figurative in the scriptures, or at least the parts that pertain to him. So, the expression “chains of hell” is not considered a real thing that binds man. And the “veil of unbelief” is not considered a real thing that covers the heart and mind of man. They are thought to be just figurative expressions of states of mind, not actual things that must be actively sought to be removed from one’s spirit body.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. (Mormon 9: 27)

Most LDS interpret this scriptural expression as referring to respect. In other words, when we fear God, we don’t actually exhibit fear of Him, meaning that we are frightened by Him, but accord Him the respect that He deserves. However, this expression does not refer to respect. Such an interpretation is a deception of the devil, a snare meant to blind the minds and harden the hearts of the church of God.

What fear in the expression actually means

The word fear in the expression “fear and trembling” signifies actual fear, as in fright or horror. It is the fear of being cast off forever.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. (Mosiah 28: 4)

Such fear is instilled in a person when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached in its fulness and purity (see Alma 16: 21), meaning that those parts of the gospel which reveal the power and captivity of the devilthe reality of death and hell, the chains of hell, the darkness and blindness of minds, the hardness of hearts, the state of wickedness, the fallen, evil nature and nothingness of man, the bands of death, the doctrine of damnation and endless torment, the spirit of the devil, the mists of darkness and temptations of the devil, the veil of unbelief, the wavering state of the mind, the lake of fire and brimstone, the flaming sword of justice, the rivers of filthy water, etc.such parts of the gospel sink home into the heart and mind of a man, and this new awareness causes him to fear to die because of the knowledge that the instant he leaves his mortal body he will be “taken home to that God who gave him life” (Alma 40: 11) and, being found unclean and possessed by the spirit of the devil (for the chains of hell are still attached), will then be cast off into hell (Alma 40: 13), to be kept in captivity by the devil, because of his sins.

Again, this is according to the power and captivity of the devil, which the Lord respects:

And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called. (Mosiah 5: 14)

Satan possesses all who have his chains of hell upon them. We are his property and the Lord respects that and will respect that so long as we have a chain upon us sealing us as the devil’s. This is why we are cast off when we return to that God who gave us life and cannot enter paradise or the gates of righteousness. The chains of hell are still attached to us, the veil of unbelief remains intact and our minds are still in a state of blindness or darkness, or “filthiness” and “uncleanness.” No unclean thing can enter the gates of righteousness, otherwise paradise would also be unclean. So, we are cast off and dragged down to hell.

What trembling in the expression actually means

The trembling is both physical and spiritual, or the trembling of the entire soul when a man is confronted with his deepest, darkest and most horrifying fear, that of being cast off forever. Trembling happens when a man is conscious of his own guilt before God, having transgressed His laws and commandments.

Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done. (Alma 12: 1)

Shaking loose the chains and rending the veil

Fear and trembling before the Lord causes man to be confronted with the realization that he does not have faith unto salvation, unto repentance, unto redemption. It is faith that saves a man from the hell that is prepared for him. The realization that he does not have faith plunges his soul into its own personal hell, where darkness envelops him and hell fires scorch and burn him up, in a process that, if the man learns to trust the Lord, repent of all his sins and continue on through the darkness and fires, will sanctify him, for these are the refiner’s fires, which are meant to consume the impurities found within his heart and mind, his very soul.

The trembling and shaking is not a mental process alone, but also a physical one. When it is discovered that the devil has actual chains upon his spirit, with an actual veil of unbelief upon his mind and heart, the spirit of man reacts violently against the foreign spirit of the devil, of which the chains of hell and veil of unbelief are a part, and attempts to shake it off itself. As the spirit of man is connected to his physical body, when the spirit suffers in anguish because of the awareness of the presence and attachment of the spirit of the devil,―and such suffering is known as “the pains of hell”―and then attempts to shake the chains of hell loose, the physical body likewise begins to shake uncontrollably. (See 2 Ne. 1: 13, 23; 9: 45 and Alma 5: 9-10; 26: 14.)

Faith unto repentance brings relief and liberation

If a man is able to obtain faith unto repentance, by offering to the Lord a broken heart and contrite spirit, the fear of being cast off forever and his trembling under a consciousness of guilt is turned into the joy of the saints, knowing that the Lord has redeemed his soul from hell and forgiven his sins. This happens when the chains of hell have finally been shaken off and the veil of unbelief has been rent by all the fearing, trembling and crying to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The man is now free from the power and captivity of the devil and can worship the Lord free from the guilt of his sins, with the understanding that Jesus has taken them away and that should he die this instant, he will go to paradise and not hell.

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” (Alma 19: 29. These were the first words king Lamoni’s wife said, when she arose and stood upon her feet, after having been under the power of God.) The relief of liberation from the devil and deliverance from hell is the first thing on everyone’s mind.

In this state, the man is now justified (guiltless), purified (having no more desire to sin and, in fact, looking upon sin with abhorrence), and sanctified (having desires to do only good continually). He can now ask the Lord for a gift or power of the Spirit, with faith in Christ, believing he will receive, doubting nothing, and the Lord will grant his request.

Fear and trembling, part two

“O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” (Alma 19: 29; which were the second words that king Lamoni’s wife said after arising and standing upon her feet.)

Once free from sin, the liberated man turns his attention to those around him and his now acute knowledge of the power and captivity of the devil, and how narrowly he was able to escape his grasp and hell, causes him to fear and tremble for others. He begins to fear that those around him will be cast off forever and he begins to tremble and quake at the thought that if his fellowmen do not go through the same process that he just did, liberating themselves by faith on the word of Christ, that they will perish.

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. (Mosiah 28: 3)

The man of God, having been born as a new creature, even born of God, now desires that all should have the same privilege. Instead of fearing and trembling before the Lord because of his own sins, he now fears and trembles for the sins of others. If the man’s heart remains broken and his spirit contrite, he will continue in this purified, sanctified and justified state, working tirelessly to save as many souls from hell as he can, by exercising his faith to obtain and use the powers and gifts of God to benefit others and to help them also liberate themselves from Satan’s grasp.

This principle applies even to those who overcome the world and are translated, becoming sanctified in the flesh. Such persons still “suffer…sorrow…for the sins of the world.” (See 3 Ne. 28: 38.)

Fear and trembling, part three

The unrepentant man, whose soul is cast into hell, quickly finds himself in torment, with no apparent means of escape, bound to the devil by the chains of hell, which he can now plainly see are attached to his spirit, along with the veil of unbelief, in an environment of darkness, filthy rivers, magma, mists of darkness, surrounded by souls who are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, in continuous anguish and misery.

He sees his situation as hopeless. Although he walks in every imaginable direction, hell appears to be endless and its gates are all one way. Souls continually enter but none have power to leave. There is no relief to his torment. Not even death can get him out of this prison, for he cannot die. Finding himself literally in hell, which appears to him to be a never-ending prison, he begins to fear and tremble uncontrollably and without cease, which causes him to enter a state of misery and indescribable suffering. The fearing and trembling, however, that the damned soul in hell goes through, is insufficient to shake loose the chains of hell that bind him, because he still has no faith, hope or charity. Unless he is able to obtain the word of Christ and plant it in his heart, and go through the process of repentance, by which he exercises faith unto repentance, he must remain chained as a possession of the devil and be subjected to the devil’s power to make him miserable.

All must fear and tremble

All men who arrive at the age of accountability and have chains of hell placed upon them because of their transgressions must eventually fear and tremble. A man can either do it voluntarily before the Lord during mortality and allow the hellish process to work out his own salvation, purify his heart and shake off the devil’s chains, through faith on the Son of God, thereby causing the gates of hell to be shut before him, or he can be compelled by the devil to fear and tremble while he resides within the confines of hell.

Fearing and trembling before the Lord in mortality is the same process as that in hell, except that you have a physical body. The body makes it much easier and quicker to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief. The fearing and trembling occurs before the Lord, in prayer, as you wrestle with the understanding that there is a satanic veil covering your mind and heart, with a chain attached to it that leads directly to the devil himself. And this veil and chain is causing you to remain in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart. It is deceiving you and not allowing you to exercise faith. And unless you exercise faith, you aren’t, can’t and won’t be saved. And if you were to die this instant, with this satanic spirit attached to you, this same spirit would possess you and drag you down to hell and cause you to be in subjection to it and all would be lost. (See Alma 34: 34-35.)

These are scary thoughts, the thought that you are unsaved and doomed to hell unless you can rend the veil of unbelief. This fear, when it works its way into a frenzy, causes your spirit and physical body to start shaking uncontrollably.

Again, it is the trembling of the spirit that leads to the veil of unbelief being rent and cast away and the chain of hell being loosened and shaken off. This is how all the ancients worked out their own salvation. It is a personal trip to hell done in the presence of the Lord, where the fires of hell sanctify the person by causing him to fear and tremble, which eventually frees the man from the bonds of hell that held him tight. Mind you, these aren’t the literal fires of hell (magma), but the spirit fires of hell (the twin plasma filaments discharging into our human spirits in dark mode, known as the chains of hell.) Hell, in a very literal way, is already attached to all of sinning mankind, by way of the spirit of the devil (the veil) that is rooted in us. The spiritual fires of hell is the spiritual torment a man feels knowing that he is not saved. It is a reaction by the spirit host (the man) to the alien, devilish symbiote (the veil and chain).

No one, except it be little children, will escape the fear and trembling of hell. When little children die, they go straight to paradise, avoiding hell altogether, and while little children are alive, they are sinless and have no chains of hell placed upon them, therefore they need not go through any fear and trembling. The repentant saints of God, though, must go through hell on earth, by which they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. This allows them to enter paradise when they die, thus avoiding the gates of hell. The unrepentant wicked, on the other hand, do not go through this process on earth, therefore they must go to literal hell when they die, where they do not work out their own salvation, yet still fear and tremble under Satan’s power.

Suffering and sorrow is what it is all about

Suffering and sorrow are the sanctifying, purifying and justifying principles of the gospel. Fearing, trembling and having a broken heart and contrite spirit are the three principles that bring us to the Lord. The fear of being cast off forever, or, in the case of the righteous, the fear of other people being cast off forever, is a form of suffering. Trembling under a consciousness of one’s own guilt, or, in the case of the righteous, trembling under a consciousness of other people’s guilt (because of the knowledge that they will perish unless they repent), is also a form of suffering. And a broken heart and a contrite spirit is sorrow for one’s own sin (demonstrated by uncontrollable weeping), or, in the case of the righteous, sorrow for other people’s sins.

All of this suffering and sorrow is over, or about the consequences of, sin. It is sin-centric suffering and sorrow. If we go through suffering and sorrow about anything else that is not sin-centric, such as an illness, or failure at a relationship, or poverty, etc., none of such things does us any good whatsoever in the process of working out our own salvation. Only suffering and sorrow for sin sanctifies, purifies and justifies.

Deceptions of the devil

It is the intent of the devil to have all mankind fear and tremble in literal hell, under his satanic power, and not in mortality under the power of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord destroys the devil’s captivating power, therefore, he inspires mortal men who are under his evil spirit to preach against this doctrine. One such individual was Nehor.

And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life. (Alma 1: 4)

Nehor’s preaching had devastating effect among the church of God, leading many members into sin and many were excommunicated. Since the time of Nehor, however, the devil has changed strategies, but the result is the same. Now, instead of getting the church of God to believe that the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord is false or unnecessary, the devil has caused the church to re-interpret it as something other than what it is. Now the church believes it is merely showing respect towards the Lord by striving to keep His commandments, with no spiritual and physical suffering needed. This new strategy of the devil is more effective, at least for our time, because the church actually believes that they are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, without going through any of the steps of the real doctrine.

Again, although the strategy has changed, the end result is the same. No one goes through the process of fearing that they will be cast off forever. No one goes through the spiritual and physical shaking and trembling under a consciousness of his guilt. And no one manifests the uncontrollable weeping associated with profound sorrow for one’s sins, known as a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

The doctrine of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord requires that a knowledge of the chains of hell, of death, hell and the devil, of the captivity and power of the devil, and of all things associated with Satan and hell and sin and death be explained to a person. Unless a person understands that he is in the devil’s grasp and is going to hell if he does not repent, he can never fear and tremble before the Lord in mortality, and if he never fears and trembles before the Lord in mortality, he must fear and tremble before the devil in hell.

Owing to the necessity of teaching the doctrine of hell and the captivating powers of the devil as part of the plan of salvation, the devil has enacted a plan whereby he now gets the church of God to avoid all mention of hell, death, the devil, fear, sin, trembling and any other “negative” emotional state. We focus on heaven and salvation and avoid all mention of damnation and hell. Fear is never, ever mentioned, at all, and when it is mentioned, it is immediately struck down as a barbaric relic of old-time religion. (For example, see this comment.)

Nephi saw our day (as well as the days to come) and saw the strategies that would be employed by the devil to emasculate the doctrine of fearing and trembling before God:

For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; for behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. (2 Nephi 28: 19-23)

Nephi said that “the kingdom of the devil must shake.” He understood completely the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord. Also, he foresaw that hell would no longer be considered an actual place (see Teachings on hell and the spirit world), but a state of mind, as if people could release themselves from the misery of hell merely by thinking a different thought. Such deceptions are already upon us, and even greater deceptions are to come.

The gospel has already been compromised

The Book of Mormon preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ in purity. If you look at every preacher found within that book’s pages, you will notice that when they preached Christ, they also preached the devil and hell. When they preached salvation through Christ, they also preached damnation through the devil. When they preached liberation through the Son of God, they also preached captivity through the devil. When they preached of the Holy Ghost, they also preached of the evil spirit of the devil. They preached the gospel in its fulness and purity.

Now compare that to how the Gentile church of God preaches. We leave out fully one-half of the gospel when we preach it. We never talk of damnation, or captivity or hell, etc. When we talk of the atonement, we briefly mention sin and death and how the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ liberates us from that and then move on. There is no mention of fear, trembling, or any other thing that people might consider “too negative.” We focus on the positive and largely discard anything negative from our minds and conversations. As a result, we have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for, like a scale, balanced coverage must be given to both sides in order for a man or woman to repent of their sins.

Truth be told, even the half that we do preach isn’t preached all that much. The vast majority of our conversation is centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

Now, I normally put the blame of all things wrong with the church of God on the member’s backs, but this time I point the finger at the church leadership. They are not teaching the gospel and instead of getting the people to repent, they are causing the hearts of the people to become more and more hardened.

The plan of salvation has also been compromised

The Gentile church has likewise modified the scriptural plan of salvation. The plan is, in a word, Christ. It is not a flip-chart with circles representing kingdoms of glory, earth and the Spirit World. Christ is the plan. He was sent to deliver us from death, hell and the devil. Through faith on the power of His deliverance He can blot out our transgressions, all our afflictions, all our pain, take away our temptations and even blot out death, in other words, everything that causes a tear of sadness to fall from the eyes of man. He took all this upon Himself so that He could blot it all out.

Without Christ we are subject to the devil. We are not subject to sin, but to the devil. This is an important distinction to make. Sin and death are but tools of the devil. The real danger is the devil. The plan of salvation is a plan to save us from the devil. For example, death is a problem because

“…if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself…” (2 Ne. 9: 8-9.)

And sin likewise causes us to become subject to him, so that, were there no plan of salvation, “our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils,” even angels to a devil. So, Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is designed to save us from the devil for he is the one holding all the chains of hell.

When we focus on sin and death and leave out the devil, we destroy the plan of salvation and faith. If sin were just a nebulous concept, without an actual being of power behind it, we could all be Buddhists or of any other religion and not need Christ. But this is not the case. No one can break Satan’s chains of hell. No Buddhist, no Muslim, no religion or philosophy of men. Only faith in Christ can. He, and He alone is the plan of salvation and we need saving from Satan and Satan alone. Christ and Satan must go hand in hand when presenting the plan of salvation, otherwise, it is no longer the plan of salvation and is of none effect to save men.

The Gentile church of God has pretty much divorced sin from the power and captivity of Satan. For example, if you look at the Mormon.org page on “Jesus Christ,” sin is mentioned 24 times with no mention of the devil. (A little better is that site’s page, “God’s Plan of Happiness,” which mentions sin 7 times, with Satan mentioned twice.) As a result, no one can properly exercise faith as a principle of power. Instead, we get hit and miss manifestations and no gifts.

Also, the focus of the plan of salvation is no longer Christ. Now when we think of the plan of salvation, instead of viewing the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ, we think of three degrees of glory and of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. And we most certainly do not think of the devil and hell. In fact, we don’t even use the word hell anymore, having replaced it with the more politically correct term, “spirit prison.” Yet, even with that term, we do not see it as an actual prison, with real shackles upon a person. All has become figurative states of mind.

All fear is negative and bad and inspired by me,” says the devil

All of this is according to the deceptions, plans and power of the evil one, for it is his intent to remove both Christ and himself from our conversations. As long as he remains out of sight and out of mind, he is free to go about destroying souls.

In this way, the people are deceived and never realize the danger they are in, nor do they learn the process by which to go about removing themselves from that danger. They are deceived into thinking that fear, meaning actual fear, as in fright, is contrary to the gospel, and that fear can only be inspired by the devil. So, they never enter the process by which all the ancient saints went through to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief and save themselves, which is the process of fearing and trembling and crying before the Lord.

Again, what is it that we are to fear in this process? We are to fear being cast off forever. (See Mosiah 28: 4.) It is this fear that causes the body and spirit to tremble. And, why should we fear this? Because as long as the chains and veil are attached to us, we cannot exercise faith, cannot be saved and will be dragged down to hell once we leave our physical bodies, to become subject to, and possessed by, the devil’s spirit. Once people learn of these things, they begin to fear death, while the righteous, who have been liberated from this captivity, have no fear of death.

To be clearer in writing, no one can be saved without faith in Christ and no one can exercise faith in Christ unless they go through the process of fearing, trembling and crying before the Lord. So, to ascribe all fear as inspired of the devil is to commit spiritual suicide, for you will then never be able to exercise faith unto salvation.

The scriptures explain these things in plainness, so that people can understand that they ought to go through this process right now, this very moment, while they are still alive. Such plainness necessitates Satan’s strategy to get us to misinterpret these real things as mere symbols.

The one mighty and strong is a deception

There are many who are waiting for “one mighty and strong” to show up and save the day, performing miracles and wonders and signs. Such a doctrine is inspired of the devil. I’m not saying that there will not be one or more persons arriving who will be mighty and strong and manifest miracles and perform great works. Of course there will be. However, the waiting for such a man or men to arrive is inspired by the evil one, that he might keep all those who believe such a doctrine in the status quo and ever relying upon the arm of flesh and looking for someone to lead them.

The true doctrine of Christ is that every man and woman is to repent of their sins and harden not their hearts, receiving a remission of their sins, and then asking God in faith to obtain the gifts and powers of the Spirit, so as to work miracles themselves, and not to wait for miracle workers to show up. Those who wait for miracle workers to show up, without learning how to work miracles themselves, will end up being deceived, for Satan will send miracle workers with the intent to deceive such people.

We are to obtain the gifts ourselves so that we are not deceived (see D&C 46: 8.) If you do not obtain the gifts, but merely wait for a savior to arrive, you will get a savior, but he will be sent from the evil one.

Pray against the power of the devil

The scriptures indicate that we must pray always and not faint, that we be not led into temptation. In other words, we are to pray against the power of the devil, against his power to tempt and deceive us and others.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. (Alma 34: 21.)

The Lord will grant us what we ask for in faith, but if we do not ask for something, He will not grant it. The ancients always prayed against the devil’s power and taught all men to do so. The Gentile church typically neglects this duty.

The ordinance of prayer

Prayer is an ordinance (see New thoughts on prayer) by which we offer a sacrifice to the Lord. He only accepts one type of sacrifice: that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. A broken heart and contrite spirit is a heart that is inundated with sorrow for sin. Initially, it is sorrow for one’s own sins. Later, when forgiveness through faith on Christ has come, it is sorrow for the sins of the world.

Prayer only works if this sacrifice is offered up. If any man or woman prays to God without presenting before Him the required sacrifice, which is the only sacrifice He will accept, the prayer is counted as evil and profits the man nothing. (See Moroni 7: 6-9.) Just as Cain brought the wrong sacrifice to the Lord and was rejected by Him, while Abel brought the right sacrifice and was accepted, so if we pray to God without a broken heart and contrite spirit, our prayers will not be answered, or will be of no profit to us.

The Son of God is “quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers” (Alma 9: 26), but only if they offer the required sacrifice. If they go to the prayer altar and offer up nothing, or some substitute sacrifice, they have no such promise.

If you are not weeping, you are not broken-hearted

The Lord has given us a key whereby we might know if we have a broken heart and contrite spirit: the crying of tears of sorrow. When we are crying tears of sorrow for our own sins, or for others’ sins, then we are broken-hearted. If we have not, as yet, reached that point, our hearts are still hard.

Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen (D&C 21: 8 – The Lord, speaking of Joseph Smith, Jun.)

For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. (2 Ne. 33: 3 – Nephi)

There is a reason why the scriptures tell us to “cry unto the Lord.” The word cry can mean “to make a loud call or cry, as in an effort to be heard, in prayer or supplication, in pain or anger, etc.; to call out or exclaim vehemently or earnestly; to shout; to vociferate.” But it can also mean “to utter lamentations; to lament audibly; to express pain, grief, or distress, by weeping and sobbing; to wail; to shed tears with or without making a sound; to weep.” It is the latter type of crying that demonstrates a broken heart and contrite spirit.

When we cry to the Lord, with uncontrollable weeping for our sins, the Lord is “quick to hear the cries.” Only those who have a broken heart and contrite spiritwho are they that are truly penitent and sorry for their sinshave access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, “and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Ne. 2: 7.) This means that unless you are brought to tears for your own sins, or for the sins of the world, you are currently in a state of damnation, because your heart is still hard, the veil of unbelief is still intact, the chains of hell are still attached to you and you are still in subjection to the devil, being an enemy to God.

The condition of the heart

It all comes down to our hearts. Our hearts are hard, like a stone. This is the reason, the only reason, why those of us who ask God for a gift of the Spirit, do so in vain. This is the reason why we do not receive.

No one can exercise faith while in a state of damnation. No one can be saved in his sins. He must be saved from his sins. A hard heart is a wicked heart. As long as his heart is hard, a man is still in his sins. The heart must be broken before salvation goes forth. Before Christ can forgive anyone of any sins, there must be the all-important sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Simply saying you are sorry for your sins does not cut it. You must feel sorrow for your sins. And this must be the sorrow unto repentance spoken of in the scriptures. This is sorrow that is accompanied by tears, by uncontrollable weeping. It is this sorrow that causes you to turn from (repent of) your sins.

And for those of us who have turned from our sins without the accompanying sorrow for sin (the weeping of a broken heart), such “repentance” is but a change of lifestyle and profits us nothing in the afterlife. The Lord looks upon the heart. Regardless of how one has stopped using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and breaking the law of chastity and other laws of God, if the heart is still hard, that man is still in a state of wickedness, with veil of unbelief firmly attached, and has no faith unto salvation, which is why he cannot perform any miracle and will find himself in hell upon his death if he continues in the iniquity of his heart. So, it is sorrow for sin (the broken heart and contrite spirit) that is the first and chief gift of God that one needs to be saved.

But before you can attain to that state of sorrow, you must understand the consequences of sin. You must have a proper understanding of death, hell, and the devil and the captivity of the devil. And this understanding must work in you until you fear being cast off and tremble under a consciousness of your guilt before God. Only then can you come close to obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

All of this brings us to the role of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the solution

The word of God, found in the Book of Mormon, contains everything necessary to bring people to repentance, to the broken heart and contrite spirit required before miracles can go forth. This volume of scripture is designed to “pull down all the pride” (see Alma 4: 19) of the church of God. The opposite of pride is humility, meekness, lowliness of heart. These words refer to the broken heart and contrite spirit, not to mere “teachableness” as many LDS would interpret them to mean.

The church of God is currently in a rising pride cycle, which means that it does not desire to repent, nor feels the need to. It enjoys the status quo just fine. It resembles the Nehor perversion in certain aspects.

(The order of Nehors created exceedingly hard-hearted people. It was the Nehors of Ammonihah who murdered the women and children believers by fire. See Alma 14. It was also mostly the Nehors who slew the Anti-Nephi-Lehies who were prostrate and praying to God. See Alma 24.)

So, many members no longer care about obtaining the gifts. But even the members that are concerned about the lack of gifts, and that attempt to receive them, are incapable of doing so because they “are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” In short, the devil has the entire world under darkness, both within and without the church.

The Book of Mormon is the Lord’s solution to this problem. It is intended to give us the word of God in purity so that we can learn everything we need to know about Christ’s atonement and His power of deliverance, as well as the devil’s power of captivity. It continually calls us to repentance and shows us exactly what to do to escape the grasp of the devil and avoid entering hell, how to obtain a glorious resurrection, how to repent and receive forgiveness of sin, and how to obtain any gift or power that God has ever given to any saint of any age. In short, it gives us exactly what we need to gain the victory over the devil and overcome the world by faith.

Enos and Amulek as our models

Enos knelt before his Maker and “cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication” for his own soul, “all the day long.” And when the night came, he did still raise his voice in prayer. And then the Lord spoke to him and told him his sins were forgiven.

It took Enos less than 24 hours of “crying to the Lord,” or less than the waking hours of a day, before the Lord finally spoke to him and he obtained a remission of his sins. It was accomplished in a single day.

Amulek said:

Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. (Alma 34: 31)

Again, the implication is that it takes but one day to obtain forgiveness.

How to pray, part two

Remember the list of steps? Pray to the Father, in the name of Christ, with faith in Christ, believing that we will receive, doubting nothing, for something good and right? Well, if you pray that way without a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you won’t receive a damn thing.

Before approaching the Lord in prayer to obtain the gifts of the Spirit, you must first obtain a remission of your sins, and before that you must first obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And to do that you need to be harrowed up with guilt, you need to tremble and fear before the Lord, and nothing does that like the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, even the word of God as written in the Book of Mormon. The broken heart is the first thing to ask for. With prayer and the word of God, as found in the Book of Mormon, pride will eventually be pulled down and your heart will be softened and the tears will flow for your sins.

At that point, you must pray to God for forgiveness, while in your state of tears, or broken-heartedness, for as long as it takes. As demonstrated by Enos, it won’t take longer than a day, for the Lord is quick to hear the cries of His people. When you finally receive forgiveness of sin and have had your sorrow wiped away and replaced by joy, being full of the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire, with the ability to speak the tongue of angels, etc., then, and only then, will you be able to ask and receive whatever you want.

Right after Enos received a forgiveness of sins, he got back onto his knees and poured out his whole soul to God for his brethren the Nephites. His broken-heartedness was in their behalf. Again, the Lord spoke to him. Later, he again prayed in this same manner, this time asking for something specific regarding the preservation of their records. He received what He asked for, because once again, he prayed with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

This is the grand key to the doctrine of ask and receive. If you have a hard heart, you receive the lesser portion until you know nothing and are taken captive by the devil. If you do not harden your heart, but keep it broken, you receive the greater portion of the word until you know the mysteries in full. (See Alma 12: 10-11.) Again, the key to know if you have a hard or soft heart is whether you weep over sin.

The Atonement has power to melt hearts

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7: 11-13)

The suffering that Jesus went through is designed to move the Universe to tears, compassion and forgiveness. All mankind would unavoidably perish were it not for the redemption of Christ, and He came down to save us, not to save Himself, because He loves us and does not want the workmanship of His hands to perish. So, this was a completely selfless sacrifice. Both the reasons for the sacrifice and the intensity of it work on all who plant this word in their hearts.

This means that when we plant this word in our hearts and believe it, viewing the cross of Christ and all the suffering that He underwent, we, too, can be moved to tears, compassion and forgiveness. In other words, the atonement has power to take away our stony hearts and give us a heart of flesh. For this reason, studying the word of God tends to pull down pride and humble us to the dust, making it easier for us to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

For those of us who find that we cannot cry to the Lord, meaning that we cannot feel the sorrow for sin necessary to obtain blessings from the Lord, because the tears do not come, the Lord, in His infinite foreknowledge and mercy, knowing that the preaching of the word in purity has power to break hearts and that the Gentile church would not preach the word in purity, began the foundation of the church with the Book of Mormon, for the Book of Mormon prophets preached it in purity. In this way, anyone who desired to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit, could do so by reading the Book of Mormon with a believing heart. This would be as effective as hearing the pure word preached in power.

A doctrine of two atonements

The process of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, and of calling upon the name of the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit is an atonement. To be saved, two atonements are required. The infinite atonement of Christ in which He feared that we would all be cast off, trembled with a perfect consciousness of all our guilt, and sorrowed under the enormous weight of our sins, was the first one, without which no one would be saved. But a second one, a finite one, in which each person must also go through this process of fearing, trembling and sorrowing, is necessary to activate the first one.

A sense of our own nothingness

Ammon said, “Yea, I know that I am nothing” (Alma 26: 12.) Mormon said, “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12: 7.) And king Benjamin said, “The knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state” (Mosiah 4: 5.)

The broken heart and contrite spirit is attendant with a sense of our own nothingness. Lehi preached the nothingness of man to his children (see Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe) who then kept up the teaching throughout their generations to the end of their civilization. We are, quite literally, nothing, having come from the nothingness. All that we are and possess has been given to us, or leased to us, by the generosity and charity of God. If we do not turn the lease into a permanent ownership, by filling our hearts with charity, which is the love of God, our lease will end and we will return to the nothingness from whence we came. Just as from dust we are taken and to dust we shall return, so from nothing we come and to nothing we shall return, unless we take advantage of the atonement of Christ.

Even before obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit, getting a sense of one’s own nothingness assists in softening the heart, for the contrast between God’s absolute greatness, being a possessor of all things, and our nothingness, causes us to quake and tremble. Shaking, quaking and trembling are helpful in softening the heart. And after the broken heart is received, always remembering one’s nothingness and the greatness of God keeps everything in a proper perspective, so that it becomes that much easier to retain a remission of sin.

Retaining a remission of sins

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4: 11-12)

The key to retaining a remission of sins, given by king Benjamin, is to continually perform the ordinance of prayer, offering a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is the required sacrifice or atonement that is acceptable to the Lord. Doing so will fill us with the love of God (charity) so that it will be well with us at the last day, for whoever does not possess charity is counted as nothing and must return to the nothingness from whence they came, while those who do possess charity remain in the kingdom and receive an inheritance.

It is imperative, then, that we pray always and do not faint, after the prescribed manner.

There is no going back

To those who wish to use the information in this post, know going into it that once you start the fearing and the trembling, there is no going back. The pure gospel awakens you from the sleep of hell into a state of torment, even the pains of hell. The realization that you do not have faith will torment you as if your soul has been set on fire, for without faith no man can be saved.

One option (temporary at best) is to reject the gospel altogether and to believe that the promises of the Lord are false and thus the plan of salvation is a sham. But that will only work until you die and then you will find yourself in hell, in your unsaved condition. So death does not bring relief from this misery.

If you make an agency choice to continue to believe that what the Lord has promised in the scriptures is true, and that all who ask in faith, believing they will receive, nothing doubting, will indeed receive, then you must remain in your miserable, faithless state until you obtain the promised witness.

The very misery you find yourself in, then, knowing that you have no faith sufficient to save yourself, will either impel you forward to ask again and strive to obtain the witness, or drive you backward to reject the entire gospel. In this way, all who arrive at the trial of faith must make a choice. There is no middle ground. It is all or nothing.

Closing summary: A gospel prescription

Just as one goes to a doctor who then prescribes a medication or procedure to cure the ailment, so we can write a prescription based upon the above information to “cure” the world of a deficiency of gifts and miracles.

There are three steps to receiving what you ask God for. The first is the fear of being cast off forever. The second is a trembling under a consciousness of your own guilt before God. The third is a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is extreme sorrow for your sins, manifested by uncontrollable weeping.

Once a man has the fear we are speaking of, this automatically leads him to trembling. The fear and trembling, if they are continued through prayer and studying the word of God, will eventually lead to a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

It is the broken heart and contrite spirit that rends the veil of unbelief, shakes off the chains of hell and casts away every doubt. Once a person has a broken heart and a contrite spirit, he can pray to God for forgiveness of his sins and within a single day of prayer become justified, sanctified and purified. This is because God is quick to hear the cries of those that have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

After his sins are remitted, the man must continue in prayer and fasting, praying against the power of the devil, acknowledging the greatness, goodness and long-suffering of God and His hand in all things, and always remembering his own nothingness, and by so doing, he will always retain a remission of his sins.

Such a man, whose sins are now remitted due to his broken heart and contrite spirit, can ask the Lord for any gift or power of the Spirit and it will be granted him. So long as he remains broken-hearted and with a contrite spirit, he will grow in the knowledge of the glory of God, and partake of as many gifts, marvels, signs, wonders and powers as he asks for.

Now, backing up a bit: the first step is fear. To obtain this fear, a man must have the gospel preached to him in its purity, so that he has a good understanding of the power and captivity of the devil, of hell and of death, and also of the power and deliverance of the Son of God, of heaven and of the resurrection and judgment. The volume of scripture that God has given to us to preach the gospel in purity is the Book of Mormon. Therefore, to all who are serious about obtaining and exercising faith and receiving the gifts and miracles of God into their lives, may I make a suggestion?

Put every other book you are currently reading and studying aside and just read the Book of Mormon, preferably out loud, so that you actually hear it preached. Every available moment that you have, read from its pages, with the above understanding in mind, and allow it to soften and affect your heart, afflict your soul, harrow you up with your sins, instill fear in you and cause you to tremble under a consciousness of your own guilt. This can only be accomplished if you believe everything that you read and apply all the sermons of repentance to you, as if they were spoken directly to you and with you in mind. Do this until your pride has been pulled down by the word of God and you have obtained the broken heart and contrite spirit that you seek.

Also, pray to God in the above prescribed manner, using a deadline so that each prayer becomes a trial of your faith. In this way, you will be able to plainly see that you do not have faith, which will cause you to fear and tremble exceedingly.

Continue on with these prayers and scripture readings, and petition the Lord for the broken heart and contrite spirit and to rend the veil of unbelief and shake loose the chains of hell. Use every available moment to do these things and submit yourself fully to the fearful and trembling pains of hell. Eventually, the Lord will take away your stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh and you will finally feel the relief that comes from uncontrollably sobbing because of your sins. You will finally be able to feel sorrow for your sins, instead of just saying you are sorry and not really feeling it.

When those tears come, continue crying (with tears) to God, in your broken heart and contrite spirit, asking for forgiveness of your sins until you obtain forgiveness.

Once you obtain forgiveness, you can now ask God to see an angel or a vision or whatever, and it will be given to you. Then go and bear testimony to others of what you have seen so that they can exercise faith to see the same things. This is how it works.

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The role of angels in Nephite preaching


Mormon, speaking at the end of the Nephite civilization, summarized the role of angels among the Nephite church:

…[M]y beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. (Moroni 7: 29-32)

Angels performed three tasks among the Nephites: 1) they called men to repentance, 2) they fulfilled and did the work of the covenants of the Father, and 3) they prepared the way among the children of men.

Angels accomplished all three tasks by declaring the word of Christ to chosen vessels of the Lord, which were men and women of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.

After listening to an angel, a chosen vessel was instructed to bear testimony of Christ. This was done by going on missions and preaching the gospel to all who would hear, bearing testimony of what the angel had said.

Those who listened to a preacher’s message, which was the word of God communicated by an angel, could then plant that word in their own hearts and have the power of the Holy Ghost generate faith in them.

The investigator of the gospel, after repenting and exercising strong faith in Christ, with a firm mind in every form of godliness, would pray to the Father in the name of Christ, and ask to see, hear and know the things taught by the preacher, after the same manner or in the same way that the preacher learned it, and God would then send down another angel to the new convert, confirming his faith and giving him a witness.

Finally, the new convert would start preaching what the angel had told him and the process would repeat over and over again. In this way, the Father brought to pass His covenants among the Nephites (and Lamanites).

Angels were the trial of faith, as well as the witness

When Moroni wrote

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10: 4)

this wasn’t a unique promise that only applied to what he was writing. This was a standard practice among the Nephites. The Nephite preachers would teach those listening to their words to ask God, in the name of Christ, for a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that the words they were saying, communicated by an angel, were true. They taught the people to obtain the very same testimony that the preachers had received. They taught them to ask God to confirm the word they had received by sending an angel to them and declaring the word of Christ to them, just as was done to the preacher. In this way, both preacher and hearer would see eye to eye.

As Alma said, “For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.” (Alma 36: 26)

The trial of their faith, then, was to receive the angelic message (communicated by the preacher) and to repent and exercise faith to the point that they, also, prayed down an angel. Once the angel came down and gave them the same message, their trial of faith was over and they had the witness that they were taught to seek by the missionary.

Again, when Moroni wrote that “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he was speaking as a Nephite, with the understanding and learning of a Nephite. The Nephite understanding was the following:

Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32: 2-3)

So, when Moroni wrote “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he had in mind that God would manifest the truth by sending an angel to declare the word of Christ, because all Nephite preachers understood that angels spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost and that this was how the Father fulfilled His covenants (by sending angels).

(Keep in mind that the words of Moroni found in Moroni 10: 4 were written to the Lamanites and not to the Gentiles. The Lamanites are the Lord’s ancient covenant people and He will fulfill His covenants to them as He did anciently: through the ministration of angels.)

From Lehi onward

The role of angels in Nephite preaching began with Lehi. Lehi began his ministry in Jerusalem with a vision of “God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God” (1 Nephi 1: 8.)

Lehi taught all six of his sons the gospel he had received from God and then taught them that they could go to God in prayer and ask to receive the very same manifestations he had received. This is why we find his fourth son, Nephi, writing the following:

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of hold as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 10: 17)

Nephi had these desires to see, hear and know what his father had seen, heard and known, in the very same manner as his father had experienced it, because Lehi had taught his entire family this doctrine of seeing eye to eye, and had encouraged them to learn these things for themselves, by going directly to God. This is why we find Nephi so upset with his brothers Laman and Lemuel:

And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them. For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought…

And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.

And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.

Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you. (1 Nephi 15: 2-3, 7-11)

“Surely these things shall be made known unto you.” Nephi said this at the beginning of the Nephite civilization. This is the same “manifestation of the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost” that Moroni wrote about to the Lamanites at the end of the Nephite civilization. It refers to the ministration of angels, in which angels declare the word of Christ, as one did to Nephi when he desired to see, hear and know.

The confirmatory role of angels was firmly established in Nephite church culture from the beginning, with Lehi and his six sons. Of the seven men, Lehi, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi and Jacob all are explicitly stated in the record as having seen angels. And the last-born son, Joseph, was said to have been a just and holy man (Alma 3: 6), the implication being that he, also, saw angels.

All recorded Nephite preachers (as well as Samuel the Lamanite) found in the Book of Mormon saw angels before they went out to preach. For example, the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger saw an angel and then went forth telling people what they saw and what the angel said. None of the preachers kept angelic visitations to themselves, but freely bore testimony of the declaration of the word of Christ received by the angels. These experiences weren’t “too personal” or “too sacred” to share with others. On the contrary, they were only too eager to get the word out, for they wanted the residue to have faith in Christ through the word of Christ communicated (to the preachers) by the angel. When asked how they knew the things that they preached, they were quick to say it was by angelic ministration:

Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?

And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me. (Alma 11: 30-31 – Amulek)

And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours. (Helaman 14: 26 – Samuel the Lamanite)

Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people? (Alma 21: 5 – Aaron, son of Mosiah)

And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me. (Mosiah 3: 2 – King Benjamin)

Widespread angelic ministration was a hallmark of the Nephite church because Lehi’s sons Nephi, Sam, Jacob and Joseph had continued the teaching of their father Lehi, that all converts ought to get confirmation from an angel after receiving the word from a preacher. They passed this teaching onto their children, who passed it onto their children, and on and on throughout their generations to the very end of the Nephite church.

When Alma spoke the following words to the people of Ammonihah around 82 B.C.:

For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.

And it shall be made known unto just and holy men, by the mouth of angels, at the time of his coming, that the words of our fathers may be fulfilled, according to that which they have spoken concerning him, which was according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. (Alma 13: 24-26)

the “unto many” that he referred to were the members of the church of his day. This wasn’t a select few leaders, one or two here or there, a quorum of three or twelve or fifteen, it was the general membership of the church. These ancients had all received angelic ministrations because this is what they were taught to do. This was how they tried their faith and received a witness of its veracity.

The same gospel, given to the Gentiles

The gospel given to the Nephites, including the eye to eye doctrine of confirmatory, angelic ministrations, was prayed (in faith) by the ancient inhabitants of this land to go to the Lamanites of a future day, hence the appearance of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a record of angelic sermons, or words of Christ received through angelic means. It is designed to be this way so that when the Lamanites receive it, they will, like their ancestors, seek to obtain a manifestation of its truth through angelic ministration, once again repeating and initiating the ancient gospel given to the Nephites. In order to see eye to eye on angelic ministration, you must have a preacher preaching a message received through the means of angels. That is what the Book of Mormon is. So, the Lamanites then, when they read of Nephi’s visions, or Lehi’s visions, or Jacob’s or Alma’s or any one of the angelic visitations and declarations found in the record, will be able to put that word in their hearts and exercise faith and pray down the angels to manifest the same things to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

This was the intent and faith and prayers of the ancients for this record, to jump start the Lamanites and to give them the same gospel which the ancient inhabitants lived.

On the other hand, the Gentiles who obtained the book could also have the same gospel, if they wanted it. The angelic word is there, if they wanted to apply it as the Lamanites of a future day would. But history has shown the Gentiles to be a hard-hearted, faithless bunch. Joseph Smith tried to get the people to see what he saw, to behold the same visions, to see the same angels, to receive the same message—in other words, to accept the gospel given to the Nephites—but the Gentile church is more or less content with having one man in charge who receives from the Lord, and then having that man (or a small group of men) tell them what to do. Joseph was only able to get a few individuals to behold the marvelous power of God that he beheld, such as Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Sidney Ridgon. Everyone else pretty much rejected the eye to eye doctrine found in the Book of Mormon. Hence the condemnation found upon the church today.

No angels = no faith = no salvation

The doctrine the Nephites preached was not the doctrine the modern Gentile church preaches and practices. Yet, it is the very doctrine that God wants everyone to live, which is why He brought it forth.

Mormon stated that if the ministration of angels ever ceased, it would be “because of unbelief, and all is vain.” The cessation of the appearance of angels among the Gentile church is proof positive that the church is condemned, or to be plainer in writing, damned, because “if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” (See Moroni 7: 37-38.)

Let me re-phrase that to be clearer in writing. If angels ever cease appearing to the Gentile church of God, then faith will have ceased also among the church of God, and awful is the state of the church of God, for the church of God will be as though there had been no redemption. Notice, in particular, Mormon’s words: “for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” Abinadi and Alma also used such a phrase:

But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God. (Mosiah 16: 5)

And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption. (Alma 12: 16-18)

So, according to the above scriptures, if the Gentile church of God no longer has angels appearing to them, it is because they don’t have faith, and therefore they are under the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will, and they (the church of God!) are enemies to God. They, then, are not in a redeemed or saved condition, but are damned. All because they do not exercise faith to behold angels, as did the ancient Nephite church.

Remember, the Lord stated in D&C 84: 55-57 that the entire church was brought under condemnation because they did not do what was written in the Book of Mormon. This condemnation has never been lifted.  Even now, we give a lot of lip service to it, but do not live its teachings.

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