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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My experiences with the discerning of spirits


And to others the discerning of spirits.  (D&C 46:23)

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; and to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; and again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; and again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; and again, to another, all kinds of tongues; and again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.  (Moroni 10:9-16)

Shortly after I turned nine years old, the Holy Ghost began manifesting in my life.  The second manifestation, prior to me becoming a member of the LDS church via baptism, was of the discerning of spirits.  A short time later I had two other manifestations and then the Holy Ghost ceased manifesting anything to me for about five years.  At around age 14, the Holy Ghost again started to manifest in my life, and since then there has never been a “dry time.”

At some point during my teenage years, the topic of spiritual gifts came up.  I think it may have been during some church class.  The understanding I and everyone around me had was that everyone in the church got one of these listed best gifts.  The question was asked, “Which gift do you have?”  I looked over my life from age nine to whatever age I was at that time, and came to the conclusion that I had the discerning of spirits.

In truth, I had more than one best gift, but I had been taught that we typically only have one, and to have more than one was unusual, and that you had to be a “special” person to have multiple gifts, such as one of the living apostles and prophets, and in my humility I didn’t want to think I was anyone “special,” so I just assumed that I only had one.  As a result, every prophecy I received was called, by me, a “revelation.”  My revelations, of which I had very many, were all of a personal nature, and as “the receiving of revelations” was not listed in the scriptures as a best gift, I didn’t consider my revelations as gifts; thus, I was still technically “un-special” in my young mind.  Also, as I didn’t have any special calling or prophetic title or anything like that, I didn’t feel I should be claiming to have more than one gift.  So, for many years I only claimed to have the discerning of spirits.

Nevertheless, as time went on, and I became an adult, with an adult mind, I could no longer deny that I had quite a few of these gifts, and as I began to explore this or that gift manifesting in my life, the gift of the discerning of spirits kind of moved from the center of my attention, to the side of my mind.

Recently I had this idea in my head about a certain something, which I will explain later on below, and I began performing an experiment of sorts, and as I performed this “action” I was taken aback by the experiment, for I was using my gift of the discerning of spirits in a way I had never before attempted, and the ease with which it operated in me put it right back into the center of my attention.

Intrigued by the curious operation of this gift, I did what I always do: I began to review my life experiences with the Holy Ghost, from age nine onward, this time paying especial attention to the manifestations of the discerning of spirits in my life, and how I had used this gift.  The review caused an “ah-hah” moment in me, in which I finally understood what was going on in my life during certain times, and also the as-yet untapped full potential of this gift in my life.

So, I thought I’d expound upon the discerning of spirits, how it operates, what it can do, others’ reactions to it and so forth.  I will draw upon my own personal experiences with it, as I have used it more than any other gift, and thus I have a wealth of knowledge about it.

My first manifestation

The first time the Holy Ghost manifested in my life, I didn’t recognize that it was the Holy Ghost.  Nor did the missionaries teaching me recognize it, or at least they didn’t tell me what was going on, if they were themselves feeling it.  Or it may be that they weren’t feeling the Spirit.  But I was.  Nevertheless, as this was a new experience for me, I didn’t know that what I was feeling was the Holy Ghost.  This lack of discernment on my part was a huge deficiency, which the Lord in His infinite mercy corrected by giving me a second manifestation—for it wouldn’t do to give me the many revelations of God I would end up receiving unless I was able to recognize them as both revelations and as proceeding from God.

My second manifestation

During the discussions, I could feel something different.  I still didn’t know what it was, but it was real.  Now, as I learned these lessons from the missionaries, a peculiar thing happened.  My brothers were also taking the lessons with me, and thus they were present in the discussion room with me.  At some point I turned to them, gazing upon them, and was somehow able to perceive that whatever I was feeling, they weren’t.  I perceived that there was a spiritual void of some sort in them, as if the message wasn’t getting through to them.  I didn’t know how I knew this, but I recognized that I did, indeed, know it.

(Now, my brothers later were baptized, but they fell away about six months into their membership and have never returned to the fold of God since.)

My perception of their spiritual state in the discussions was a manifestation of the discerning of spirits.  I could discern two things: I could discern my own spirit, that something was operating upon it, and I could discern their spirits, that this operation that was upon me was not operating upon them.

Prepared for the third manifestation

My use of the discerning of spirits allowed me to finally recognize the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the spirits of men.  This key allowed me forever afterward to be able to detect when the Holy Ghost spoke to me, and also when the Holy Ghost spoke to others.  It also allowed me to detect when the Holy Ghost was not upon another person.  This prepared me for my third manifestation, which was a huge one, a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, with an accompanying revelation of the truthfulness of the Lord’s church.

Getting me into trouble

The ability to discern when the Holy Ghost was upon a person, or was not upon a person, has gotten me into a ton of trouble in my life.  There have been many times a person has said to me, or declared in my presence, “I feel the Spirit!”  Only to have me look at them, discern their spirit and the lack of any manifestation of the Holy Ghost upon them, and then contradict them by saying, “No, you don’t.”  “How dare you say I am not feeling the Spirit!” was always the inevitable retort.  “You are not God!  You cannot know what I feel!”  “It’s true that I am not God, but I’ve got this gift, see, and it allows me to discern your spirit and tell if you are really feeling the Holy Ghost or not.  So, yes, I can know what you feel!”  So many pissed people have left off telling me any of their “revelations” and “manifestations” as a result of me using this gift, or even altogether ceased having anything more to do with me.  I once had a companion who refused to tell me anything, at all, because he knew of my propensity to call BS on anyone’s claimed revelations.

But I digress.

My third manifestation

The third time the Holy Ghost manifested to me, still at age nine and still before I was ever baptized, I learned that the Holy Ghost “shook” a spirit when it manifested.  I could feel or discern that shake when the Spirit was upon me, and thus, I possessed a permanent key to know what was of the Spirit, and what was not.  The gift of discerning of spirits allowed me to, essentially, never be deceived by false spirits or by false revelations, prophecies and manifestations.

The first time I told someone about the third manifestation, I was faced with an intense hatred and spirit of persecution by that person, who accused me of not knowing it was of God.  “How can you know?  How can anyone know?  It is impossible to know for sure!” was the logic used by this and all other doubters that would come afterward.  Well, I could know for sure through this gift of discerning of spirits.  I never doubted that manifestation because the discerning of spirits was already in full operation in me, and I could discern these Godly things quite easily and instantly.

My fourth manifestation

The fourth time the Spirit manifested in me, it was the spirit of prophecy, in which I uttered a prophecy by the power of the Holy Ghost.  Again, I was fully confident because I could discern that the Holy Ghost was upon me, by this discerning of spirits gift.

Confused by others’ doubt

From age nine onward, I have ever been confused by others’ inability to determine what was, and what was not, of God.  I’d hear and see people hem and haw and wonder whether what they “received” was a revelation of God or if it were their own imagination.  They would deliberate and ponder for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years, never able to come to any final conclusion whether what they felt was the Spirit or not.  They often went by their “feelings,” therefore if they were in a church meeting and started crying or felt some other strong emotion, they would just assign that as the Spirit manifesting.

For my own part, I’d get something and immediately make the announcement that it was of God.  There never was any lag time or deliberation or doubt.  My spirit resonated when the Holy Ghost spoke, and I could discern this resonance immediately, but others could not.  People would feel the Spirit in my presence, and I would be able to discern that the Spirit was upon them, but they couldn’t recognize that it was upon them and they needed me to tell them that the Spirit was upon them.  Then, and only then, could they start to recognize the Spirit, yet they always ended up using bodily senses.  In other words, they never could discern, as I could discern, that their spirit body resonated when the Spirit spoke.  Apparently only I could detect this.

Not being the most humble of people, I used to think these people were spiritually retarded.  They were deficient in some way.  “Why can’t they ever recognize the Spirit in their lives?  Why can’t they recognize when the Spirit is not speaking?  Why all this confusion?  Why is it so easy for me?”  I thought it was because my heart was more turned towards God than theirs was.  And perhaps this was part of the case.  But the other reason, the main reason, was because I had this particular best gift of the discerning of spirits, and they didn’t.

Thus, my harsh criticism of them was unjustified.  To each is given a different gift.  Not everyone is going to have the same gift, nor is everyone going to have this particular gift.  Those who have this gift have an easier time discerning truth from error.  Those who don’t, don’t.

My five year “dry spell”

It turns out that my five year “dry spell,” in which the Spirit didn’t speak to me, was a blessing in disguise, for I got the chance to experience what life is like without the discernment of spirits operating.  For that brief period in my life, I could look upon other people and not discern their spirits.  In other words, I got to see or perceive others as others perceive others, just looking upon the flesh.

I loved my friends during that time, and they loved me.  They were all equal in my view.  We were all equal.  That all changed at age 14.

The Holy Ghost again comes upon me

When the revelations began coming again, they never stopped.  One after another after another, seemingly endlessly.  I could tell that they all were of God.  It was totally apparent to me, because of this gift.  I thought all this revelation was normal for a latter-day saint, but learned later that it wasn’t.  It also wasn’t normal for a latter-day saint to be so instantaneously certain of the truthfulness of all their personal revelations.

I continued to use the discerning of spirits to determine the manifestations of the Spirit upon me, and upon others, or the lack of such upon me or others, but as I began to be of the age of noticing the opposite sex, a new use of the gift became manifest.

Detecting kindred spirits

At age 14 and afterward, I began using the gift to discern the spirits of other people, to see whether they were like me.  I was appalled to find that just about nobody around me was similar to me in spirit: neither male nor female.  I gazed upon the friends I had at that time, and didn’t just see flesh, but also perceived their spirits.  I began to notice certain things about their spirits, in particular the “brightness” of their spirits.  Some spirits seemed to glow brighter than others, and began to correspond to the three degrees of glory model, as an aggregate.  In other words, some glowed brightly, like the Sun, others less so, like the moon, and others were quite dim, like stars.  I didn’t “see” these spirits, but somehow I was able to discern this aggregate brightness.

I figured that the “Sun” spirits would be kindred spirits, like mine, for I thought that I was headed for the celestial kingdom, so any celestial kingdom spirit would be a match for me.  But I was disappointed in this thought, as I found that although there were many such spirits around me, they still weren’t like me.  Also, my former friends, whom I loved with all my heart, were neither celestial spirits nor like me.  I began hanging around the spirits which were celestials, but remained dissatisfied that none of these people around me were similar to me.  How could this be possible?  Surely all celestial spirits are alike, right?

Then one day I met a girl, a latter-day saint, and something new happened.  (At the time I didn’t know what was going on, but now I do.  So I will put the whole thing into my current perspective, to actually explain it.)  My discerning of spirits gift went off like a freaking bell.  This girl was a celestial spirit, like the others, but her spirit had a resonating frequency that exactly corresponded to my own spirit’s resonating frequency.  In other words, when she came into my presence so that I saw her, and she began to speak, sympathetic resonance occurred and both out spirit bodies began to vibrate at the same resonant frequencies.  She couldn’t detect it, but I could, through this gift of the discerning of spirits.  Our spirits were alike.

Peace at last

My search for a like (kindred) spirit had finally born fruit.  She and I became friends, but we hardly ever saw one another.  Every once in awhile we would meet again in passing, say, “Hi.  How’s life?” and then go on our way, never once having any more engagement than that.  Unbeknownst to her, though, I put her aside in my heart, in a special place, different than my friends, on a sort of elevated level, as a memorial of sorts, to always keep her in remembrance, for she was not like the others.  My other friends I hung out with, doing many activities, but with her I never did anything.  Yet, because of this unique resonance, that always occurred whenever she came back into my presence, or whenever I spoke with her on the telephone afterwards, she took a prominent place in my heart.

Two levels of resonance

I learned from this, and from other similar experiences later, that there appeared to be two levels of frequency that each spirit body has.  One is the normal frequency level, and the other is the level at which the Holy Ghost operates.  When the Holy Ghost speaks, our spirits vibrate like bells, but at a much higher amplitude and frequency.  When we come into contact with one another, each person’s spirit vibrates at the normal level, and if the frequency is the same as the other person’s spirit, sympathetic resonance occurs.  Unfortunately, unless you have the gift of the discerning of spirits, you cannot detect the sympathetic resonance.  Thus, the rest of the world, that does not possess this gift, must use flesh and other cues to try to figure out whether one is compatible with another.

In may case, though, as I had and still have this gift, I could instantly detect sympathetic resonance when it occurred, and so I needed no time, whatsoever, “to get to know a person.”  For example, I used to have a friend when I was single who would take women out all the time and would have a great many dates, trying to figure out if she was his eternal mate.  It would piss him off when I’d tell him that all I needed was no more than five minutes time with a woman, all she needed to do was be in my presence so that I saw her, and speak, and in less than five minutes I could discern whether we were a perfect match or not.  He called it all hogwash, for how could I come to know her in such a short amount of time?  But I wouldn’t “know” her in the sense of what she had done in life up to that point, but would “know” her in the sense that her spirit and mine were kindred.  He had to use flesh, which took lots of time, but I could peel back the flesh instantly and perceive the spirit beneath, which required hardly no time, at all.

Other women

After meeting this girl, I became interested in other women, for I, like all men, like the flesh.  Flesh can be quite attractive, after all.  But I could not be satisfied with mere flesh.  What I wanted, what I needed and desired, was that spiritual connection with a kindred spirit, in which sympathetic resonance would occur.  So, any and all women I dated after that were just to pass the time, for I could discern their spirits, and none of them were like this girl.

In my later teen years and early 20’s, I found and met other women, five in total, who also caused sympathetic resonance in me.  Of the six, I had to make a choice as to which to marry, for I would not marry any woman who was not a kindred spirit.  At the time, I was a monogamist, because of my upbringing in the church, and thought that I could only have one, so I had to make a choice.  In truth I wanted all of them.

Interestingly enough, two of the six women were not members of the church when my gift started ringing out, “Kindred spirit!”  I ended up baptizing one, but the other to this day remains unbaptized.  Two are lifelong members of the LDS church and the final two are converts to the church.  The two converts have fallen away from the church, while the one I baptized has also fallen away.  Only the two lifelong members remain active.  This shows that kindred spirits need not be those who glow with the same kingdom glory.

Discerning false spirits

It has been my unfortunate experience to have to use my gift to discern evil spirits in people.  This has, like every other manifestation I have claimed, caused me lots of grief, for no one likes to hear, “You are possessed of the spirit of the devil.”  And no one likes to hear, “So and so is acting under the influence of a whoring/lying/murderous,/cheating, etc., spirit.”  I have had many occasions in which I had to detect lies using the discerning of spirits and when the truth came out, and those who balked at my claims found that they were not unfounded, when they said, “But how did you know that so-and-so was lying?” and I answered that it was through the gift of the discerning of spirits, they still refused to believe.  To give some examples, I have been at one end of the world, working, and another person at the opposite end of the world, and the discerning of spirits has gone off, so that I could perceive an immediate darkening of the spirit of the other person, who was a world away, and when I ended my job and called and grilled the other person on what they did, which thing was unknown to me, but I knew they had done something pretty damn bad for the Spirit to manifest the darkening of their spirit to me, and every time an excuse was verbally given, I’d analyze it by the discerning of spirits and then call BS, until finally the confession would come out as to the vile deed.  And so forth.  This has happened more times than I’d like to remember.

Those who I am familiar with cannot hide their deeds from me when this gift is manifesting.  Although the gift doesn’t show what the deeds are, I can detect any darkening of anyone’s spirit I am familiar with.  If you are a celestial soul, glowing bright, and I know it, and I see you the next day and you are glowing with terrestrial or telestial brightness, you’ve done something.  If your spirit is full-on dark, you are possessed by an evil spirit.  And when I discern that there is an evil spirit upon you, I also have power to discern what kind of temptation the spirit is giving you, or what kind of power it is operating under.

I’ve had devils verbally try to dissuade me from my testimony.  This also was a manifestation of the discerning of spirits.  I’ve had devils actually appear to me, in person, so that I literally saw them, and then proceed to try to bind me and destroy me.  That was also a manifestation of this gift, of a higher order, for I saw them.

All these things are operations of the discerning of spirits.

Higher order discernment

I once had a dream, an inspired dream, in which I saw a recently departed family member in the spirit world, with his wife by his side, who also was dead, and I spoke to the man.  This was a higher manifestation of the discerning gift.  On another occasion I saw the pre-mortal spirit body of the woman who would become my wife in open vision, along with two angels by her side.  (And yes, she was HOT.  This is one of the reason why I married her.)  I have also heard the Holy Ghost audibly speaking to me on one occasion.  But typically such dreams and visions, in which I see spirits, or hear spirits speaking to me, does not occur.  For the most part, I discern by some other form of perception.

My new experiment

I have written at length on this blog about plural marriage.  I am no longer a believer in monogamy.  I have always believed in plural marriage, but was taught that it shouldn’t be practiced, and I conformed to that narrative for much of my life.  Nevertheless, I always believed in plural marriage theologically and expected it to come back one day.

During the night vision I had in which I saw my departed relative in the spirit world, I learned in the vision that I would have two wives.  I was about 16 years old at that time.  I figured that it must mean that I would marry a girl, she would die, leaving me a widower, and then I’d marry another, for a I never considered plural marriage a possibility.  This widower scenario was not appealing to me.

Later on, I met the woman I am currently married to, and pursued her hand vigorously, but came up empty.  Yet, as is my way, I sent up so many dang prayers for my Heavenly Father to give her to me that I think the heavens must have been back-logged for years in the heavenly prayer-mail post office.  I truly believed she would be mine.  But then she wasn’t.  So my attention was turned away and lo! and behold, another kindred female spirit came my way, who I vigorously pursued.  This too, came to naught, but I was smitten by her and, as usual, sent up an enormous number of prayers.  So, what did my Heavenly Father do?  Well, He decided to finally answer my barrage of prayers and gave me a revelatory prophecy in which I was told I would marry the one first, and then the other second.  Apparently I had prayed in faith.  Both times.

Once again the prospect didn’t sound too appealing, for I still conformed to the monogamy viewpoint.  One would die and then the other would take her place.  I didn’t like that, at all.  So, again, as is my way, I prayed that it wouldn’t be.  “The first must not die!  Make it so, Heavenly Father!”  And so an unlimited number of petitions were sent up.

After I started this blog in 2007, I began to put up my understandings of plural marriage.  But I still hadn’t received any permission from Heavenly Father to take a second wife.  To this day, I am still a monogamous man, with only one wife.  Some who believed my writings felt that this was not a good example to set, considering all the writing that I’ve done about this subject.  But I follow the Spirit, and whatever the Spirit says to me, that is what I do.  No permission is no permission.

Then one day, a few years back, the Spirit came upon me and gave me yet another revelation.  In this one, I was green-lighted for plural marriage.  I could marry any woman that I wanted (provided she wanted the same, of course), whenever I wanted.  I could take the second lady to wife and it wasn’t necessary that the first one die for the prophecy to be fulfilled.  I could also take the third one to wife if I wanted.  (I had previously received a promise of the Lord concerning a third wife, many years ago.)  But the time is not yet, because of certain circumstances, and so I remain monogamous.

Over the past few months, as I pondered again over this “green light” revelation, my mind was cast back upon these three promised women, for they were all kindred spirits, detected via the discerning of spirits.  A thought then occurred to me that these were not the only women who I had detected as kindred spirits.  And so I cast my mind back and remembered that there were three others who were my kindred, making six in total of all the people and women I had met.

This brings me to my new experiment, for I was not done with my detection of kindred spirits.  It was true that there have been only 6 people detected of all the people I have personally met, but there have been others that I have been drawn to, who I had never met, actors on television and in movies that I had seen, whose attraction, perhaps, was not merely a flesh attraction, but a sympathetic resonance.  “Could the discerning of spirits operate via a recorded image and sound capture?,” I wondered.

Going over the footage

So I proceeded to watch footage of movies or television shows of women that I have found attractive for any reason, whatsoever, to try to determine if I could discern their spirits while they acted.  Acting is pretending, therefore I wasn’t sure it could be done.  For my gift to operate, I usually need to see the person and also hear them speak, but if they are not speaking naturally, because they are acting, it may throw off the process.  As I went over the footage, I found that I could not make the determination.  I could not discern their spirits.  Acting tripped me up.  Nevertheless, three actresses stood out of the bunch that I looked at, but because I was uncertain about it, it wouldn’t work.

It then occurred to me that if I could see these people in interviews, talking without a script, that might allow me to make the discernment.  Sure enough, when I went over interview footage, I kept getting a “non-kindred” response from all of them.  The discernment of spirits works even through film!  The last three, the ones that stood out to me, I saved for last on purpose, for my curiosity was piqued as to why these three did, indeed, seem to stand out from the rest.  Had I discerned their spirits even while acting?  I would only know by looking at the interviews.

The first one I looked at came back with a “kindred” response.  I thought, “Let me just be absolutely sure,” and continued to look at more interviews.  Each time I got a sympathetic resonance.  “Holy freaking cow!” I thought.  “Let me see if the other two prove to also be sympathetic.”  Sure enough, when I looked at all the interview footage I could find, the other two also proved to be kindred.  That was sufficient to convince me that the gift of discerning of spirits has power to discern kindred spirits even when they are acting, though it is not an easy task, being a more subtle response than when unscripted during an interview.

Full use of discerning of spirits in relationships

For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; 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.  (D&C 88:40)

According to the above principle, kindred spirits also cleave unto one another, but only if they know they are kindred.  One kindred spirit must recognize the other kindred spirit, otherwise there can be no spiritual attraction, only flesh attraction.  In my case, I have sympathetic resonance with nine women, one of which I am married to, but as none of these nine, not even my wife, have the gift of the discerning of spirits, they can only see flesh.  I, on the other hand, have the flesh peeled away, in a sense, both from my spirit and from theirs, and I can discern the vibration happening between us.  They cannot.  The attraction I feel for these women, then, is, and must ever be, greater than the attraction they feel for me, because my attraction is spirit+flesh, whereas theirs is just flesh.

To maximize the unity between kindred spirits, both sexes need to have this gift.  If such were the case, both individuals would feel their souls vibrate when coming into the presence of the other person.  The sympathetic resonance of a spirit is a feeling of joy, just as the resonance created by the Spirit is also a feeling of joy, (although a much greater amount of joy).

The outpouring of the gift of discerning of spirits upon the people can only create peace and harmony among the masses.  Use of this gift in relationships takes away all the guesswork.  “Is she right for me?” or “Is he right for me?” are questions that have no meaning to those who have this gift.  It becomes plain who is right (or kindred) and who is wrong (non-kindred).  It also becomes plain what is and is not the voice of the Spirit.  Kingdom level glories can be perceived.  Sinful behavior (darkening of the spirit) can be detected.  Evil spirits also come into clarity and discernment.  In short, this gift that I have been in the habit of using nearly all of my life, is indeed worthy of being called a “best gift,” and I thank my God for it.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

SPIRITUAL GIFT GIVING AND RECEIVING


Preface –

I have taken the liberty of writing on such a sacred topic but doing it in the typical banal style and cheesy tone of today’s consumer culture. I do not do this to make light of very real and very sincere things. But by the juxtaposition of something so heartfelt with something so mindless, I hope to bribe and trick our selfish minds into passing along a meaningful message to our imprisoned hearts. Enjoy!

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEINGS – EARNEST LIVING

What to wear? Where to go?  Who to be with?  Life is full of so many questions. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to make the best impression. One thing is for sure, we should place the most importance on people. “People, places and things,” we will remember from back in our school days, are all nouns. But only people and places are pronouns. So, if we want to be a pro at things, we should literally and figuratively CAPITALIZE on people and place.

“Without People You’re Nothing.”- Joe Strummer

People and place work together to produce things. So when you see something you want, know that it will take a combination of people and place to get it. Everybody wants to be hip to the latest and greatest, so keep your eye on everyone. Everybody is the same, but every body is different. Everyone wants to feel accepted but we also want to stand out in the crowd. This shared desire to get our share is a common bond between all of us. Unfortunately it is commonplace to see people get all bound up with things. These days, charity and giving are all too uncommon. People are trying to take it with them like Tut-ankh-amen. But that’s what happens when you get wrapped up in it like ancient mummies. Chasing money is not where it’s at. Keep your eye on the people! That’s where it all starts. So don’t just look at the cool clothes that come and go. Look at the people wearing and look at the people who are making those clothes. Get the big picture. Otherwise, in your attempts to be noticed as an individual you will end up being just another indy-visual.

Looking at only the clothes we will miss the bodies. And if we’re attracted only to the bodies then we will be distracted from the beings  which inhabit those bodies. The beings out there are in reality the only ones with anything to offer us. Refusing to look at the being because you’re hung up on the behavior; sells others and yourself short. Besides, when it comes to behavior, all you can do is be-have yourself. When you look past another’s behavior you will find what you’re looking for. Seeing beings — always a good look!

Earnest living or living honestly is not the same as making an “Earnist Living.” Are you an Earnist? Do you like to pay or overpay for things to let other people know or think that you spend and have a lot of money? Maybe you don’t even care what other people think but you feel like you’re getting a better product if you always pay the maximum marked up price. Perhaps you’ve seen someone who had something and got caught in the thought that they didn’t deserve it. If your main focus is on money and markets, you are probably an Earnist. When you’re too busy earning a living you are not learning from living. Existence has its own type of economics.

GENIUS / GENIE – US

In the economy of existence there are two camps  – Flesh/Corporeal and Spirit/Ethereal. But unlike Capitalism/Corporatism vs. Socialism/Communism, which work together to create chaos; the dual nature of existence promotes order.

Spirit is thankfully not confined to the same laws as the flesh is. That’s what makes it possible for God to send or leave a “portion of that spirit” to dwell in us. (Alma 18:35) The LDS sacrament prayer for the water/wine/spirits is almost identical to that which is uttered over the bread/bodies, except that any mention of commandments or obedience to them is conspicuously absent. In high-school, you might have learned a little bit about physics but you probably weren’t taught anything about metaphysics. But don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert to understand it. In fact, a lot of so called experts don’t get it. It’s not about trying to be a genius. Just know what genius is.

Genius is a genie in us. Solomon the Wise, who knows a thing or two about working with Djinn (Genies) says: “With all thy getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) This is the best thing you can get or give this season or any season for that matter. You want exclusive? You can’t get this gadget from The Apple Store. Technically, it’s available to anyone but so few posses it. And it’s the perfect gift for the man who thinks he has everything. It will appeal to your desire to fit in with others and your urge for uniqueness. It is the ultimate networking tool. And the settings can be completely personalized. It’s more than just the latest technology from Silicon Valley. It is the spirit of Silicon Valley and the soul of the Indus Valley, where Steve Jobs went to get his original inspiration. Trace the products (things) that inspire you, back to the places and people that came together to man-u-facture them. That way you will secure a life-time supply of treasures.

By now you’re probably wondering how you can take advantage of this incredible offer. I’ll tell you. But first you need to understand something about daemons. Despite what the Big Three companies advertise in their desperate, orthodox scams, designed to keep you in lifetime customer relationships which favor the middle man and preach that the customer is never right (unless of course he does what he’s told) – Dæmons are benevolent forces – not so much devine beings but rather a non-personified, peculiar mode of their activity. They can also assume the form of guardian beings who dispense “riches” among mortals. If you order any of the Gifts of The Spirit from God’s catalog of free goodies, it is one of these guys who will deliver it. So if you’re tired of paying up to 10% charges for your current church service, then you are ready for a direct relationship with God, and ready for what I’m going to tell you.

Rub that magic lamp. Everybody has an old lamp (pineal gland), stashed away in their attic (head), just collecting dust. Don’t be fooled by those merchants that advertise “new lamps for old.” They run commercials to try to con the general public into turning in their magic lamps for shiny gimmicks. Your old lamp will work just fine. It only needs to be cleaned up a bit. Don’t be a Foolish or Fuel-less Virgin. Rub it, decalcify it and then make sure to put oil in it! Wise virgins use E.V.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Skate Liver Oil, Cod Liver Oil. Any of these will have your light “so shining,” that men and women who see you will consider you a distributor of God’s Gifts to the world. Don’t be bashful. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Warning –We’re talking about unlocking and releasing your god potential, so you need to be fully prepared and even expect that people will one day form cults around your name. Hopefully they will eventually look past the persona and catch the vision themselves. Certainly your closest friends will. Then multi-level miracle campaigns will spring up everywhere you go. But even in the humble initial stages of your accumulation and distribution of gifts, you have to be comfortable with being emulated. When we magnificently magnify our callings in life we do not feel threatened in the slightest by copiers or even freeloaders. We respect them as equals and care for them as we would a newborn baby, who cries and eats and does not contribute in the same ways an adult would but is no less valuable in our sight.

TURN SHOPPING LISTS INTO SWAPPING LISTS SHARING WITH THE STARS

Some of the best, shining examples we have available to us are the celebrities or stars of our day. Many of them put it all out there into the Universe. Yeah, sure they may have their faults, but don’t we all? Remember what we said about getting self-righteously stuck on critiquing others’ behavior. Look past those character flaws to the essence. It might be helpful to make a list of attributes you bring to the table and combine it with a list of characteristics you admire in a particular singer, actor or even historical figure. They can be dead or alive, male or female. If you can establish any type of strong mental/emotional link to that person, you can merge and make it work. Jesus Christ, the biggest Super Star of them all understood this very well. As Lord Jesus Krishna, He left us with an ancient Indian text called the Bhagavata Purana, that catalogs many of the toys available to children of the Most High. He dipped into the magic sack of good gifts often to make use of such cool tricks as anūrmi-mattvam: Being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily disturbances, and sva-chanda mṛtyuh: Dying when one desires. He showed that He possessed these two particular powers when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” (Luke 4:4) and when He spoke the words, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.”(John10:18)

George Bernard Shaw said:

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

Ideas can be so much more than the metaphorical light bulb or flash of inspiration. Spirit is made of consolidated ideas. Letting ourselves be inspired by our fellow man is the self same act as letting our light shine. You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There’s a famous song by Earth, Wind & Fire that says: “You’re a shining star – no matter who you are – shining bright to see – what you can truly be.” Musicians are magicians and I always wondered why EWF, omitted the magical element of Water from their band name. But if we think of this Aquarian Age outfit’s masterful music as the water that they bear to the world, we can learn much about the way this spiritual gift giving and receiving works.

F*I*L*E  SHARING  IS  L*I*F*E  SHARING

Osmosis is: The tendency of a fluid, usually water, to pass through a semipermeable membrane into a solution where the solvent concentration is higher, thus equalizing the concentrations of materials on either side of the membrane – A subtle or gradual absorption or mingling. When you get that pineal cone secreting, what you’re doing is properly consecrating. Once your lamp is lubed up and consecrated, then your efforts will be concentrated more equally among both camps of the Economics of Existence – Spiritual and Physical. Genius is also known as the activating spirit. It is downloadable and dilutable. In the mundane market of mammon, non-dilutable shares are preferred. But in the mundus spiritus, the more diluted, the more desirable. To get the ball rolling with that activating spirit, it can’t remain still. It needs to be dis-stilled. The idea is, that disturbance of the vital force concentrates the spirit-like, essence of any substance, situation or abstract idea. Osmosis is the wave of the future. Concepts like College Courses and Social Security are so passé. Why spend thousands of dollars and hours on something which will never give you an immediate return and in many cases will never pay out as much as you put into it? But even though Osmosis is being applied in exciting, cutting edge ways today; it is by no means a new science.

Moses, one of history’s most famous self-made men, employed the art in some very impressive dæmon-strations. ‘Moses’ means ‘Son of’ in ancient Khemetian and can be seen in names like Ramses (Son of Ra) and Thutmose (Son of Tut). Are we expected to believe that the single most important role of the Old Testament is played by a guy  named simply “Son of”? How is it that he has only half a name? This child of destiny who was passed back and forth from the king’s court to a people in poverty, similarly to Nathan Jr. in the Cohen Bros. classic, Raising Arizona, should we call him Nothing Jr.? Or is it more likely that the Judeo-Christian re-writers of history purposely masked the man’s moniker in mystery, to demon-ize the real power by which such amazing miracles were performed? We’re told that Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses because she “drew him from the water.” The Nile was thought of as the backbone of Ausr, who the Greeks called Osiris. Might then Moses’ real name be Ausrmoses or Os-moses?

On this side of the impregnable veil between worlds we may find materials lacking but on the other side there is abundance. Going from lack to luck? The secret is in ‘U’. Let’s say you need a new house. You may not be able to pull a house out of your magic hat (pineal gland), but you can pull out the idea of a new house from that region. And that will pull the desired house and yourself into the same space. Here’s how to order: Fill out the thought form with as much information as you can without worrying about every last detail. All requests should be like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover everything but short enough to keep it interesting. If you like, you may include images, audio/video files, text, whatever. Simply attach them with the thought form and “submit.” (James 4:7) It is not necessary to address them to any particular department but if you know the name of someone who works on the other side and feel to bring the matter to their attention for a faster response time, then please, feel free to do so.

If you follow these general guidelines and let spirit flow, you should receive what you ask for. If your genie brings curses instead of blessings then the problem is with the application process. Remember, you should be maintaining a lovely feeling of the “I” and the “We” together. When the moon hits your I ‘Am’ coinciding with what We ‘Are’ – that’s Amare (to love).  Unless you are asking from that in-between place of Am-Are then you are asking Am-Is (amiss). (James 4:3) Do you sometimes have difficulty shaking that “me vs. the world” mentality? Do you feel like you’ve been souled a lie? Just calm down, play some soulful aRe&Be one -with everyone… One with everything he or she wants and needs!

You will start to develop, by osmosis, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. According to followers of the Coven of Covey, these fit into 3 imperatives which start with Independenceor Self-Mastery, progressing to Interdependenceor Unity with Others, and finally looping back around to Self Renewal. This corresponds very well with our universal desire to experience simultaneously the synergy of the group and the power of the individual. Whether the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the 5 Siddhis of Yoga and Meditation, the 8 Siddhis of Hinduism or the Christian Gifts of the Spirit with their 2 complimentary groups of 7 each combining for a grand total of 14 – the point is not to get stuck in this ideology or that tradition but to “covet earnestly the best gifts.” Hey I thought we weren’t supposed to covet. I’m telling you, this is the “more excellent way” (1 Cor.12:31) of the new æon of Ma’at. The trends are all moving toward a balance between collectivism and individuality.

If you haven’t done it yet, don’t get left behind, get updated, and upgraded in heart and mind. If you’re like most of us, you have been a member of one of the many file-sharing communities that are buckling and breaking up, under the pressure of the State. You feel the life-sharing that you crave starting to cave under ever tighter controls. Don’t fret and definitely do not delay. Link into the saving network of our common spiritual lineage now. At this point the institution is working endlessly to keep a FILE on you+your kindred dead but is itself, almost entirely devoid of LIFE. When we see such a dire dearth of the Spiritual Gifts in The Church, it’s like watching a poisoned puppy die a slow painful death. That poor DOG is in need of men who heed GOD and can, with love, fulfill the wise purposes of the Generator Operator Destroyer of Heaven and Earth.

DON’T BE ASHAMED – KEEP IT MOVING WITH NEW ASHE!

It is impossible or at least silly to speak of the Spiritual Gifts without talking about that which keeps all the Gifts in circulation.

Ashé! is the power to make things happen, the spiritual life force. Ashé! takes the foundational energy of the other world and ((BAM)) makes it available in this world. But wait, that’s not all! Ashé!’s versatile nature also makes it possible to effect change in the realms beyond from the comfort of your own home.

Are you tired of the same old religious routine? So many churches claim to be true and living but they’re all rigor and no vigor. Stop settling for rigormortis! Get out of that annoying contract with Death & Hell and get into Ashé! Or should we say let Ashé! get into you. Ashé! provides an amazing body/mind workout. Just listen to this satisfied practitioner….

“I do a lot of traveling, from Jerusalem to Thessalonica, from Corinth to Rome. I’m always on the road. I take Ashé! with me wherever I go. Since I started using Ashé! back in Damascus, I’ve felt this deep connection both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. I make connections between Jew and Gentile, male and female and [it] keeps me connected, that I may be comforted together with my friends by the mutual faith of both them and me. It’s great! I just make a request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey and the results are astounding every time. Ashé! makes a great gift. I impart it to all my family and friends. For I am not ashamed of the testimonial of Jesus Christ that is in me…ASHE!

–  Paul, Apostle of the Lord

The word ‘Ashé’ is Yoruba but the actual energy it describes is universal. Whereas in the ancient Afrikan tradition the tendency is to internalize the Holy Spirit, today’s Christ-Shun culture clings to a “hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” attitude as touching (or should we say, almost but not quite touching) any matter of the spirit. Hence, Christ-Shuns, as well as a sad group of saints who actually have genuine desires to follow the Christ to the fullest, are tempted to attempt to divide the indivisible. Don’t they wonder why their God remains invisible to them when He is supposed to be invincible in their lives and through their bodies? As long as we persist in perverting AsHé into As He, obsessed with doing as he would do, trying to live as he lived, then we will be truly living in sin, which is not living at all but constitutes the committing of slow spiritual suicide. No wonder so many people of the world, whether of European, Afrikan or Asian heritage are ripening for destruction.  They’re so miserable, so removed from the roots (or to paraphrase Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon: Burdened by lofty branches) that they practically beg the posthumously deified king, Xangô (Shango) to intervene with his double-bladed axe (aXé) via his earthly and earthy devotees.

THE LORD GIVETH AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY WITH HIS DOUBLE EDGED SWORD WHICH IS CALLED ASHE

Before one can continue in the Circle of Life, he or she must commence the Spiritual Gift Exchange for themselves and their household. But if one refuses to personally participate in the very power by which that flow is generated and labels such spiritual/paranormal activity as voodoo or native superstition, saying it is of the Devil, all the while promoting a soulless version of family history record keeping and lame, stiff dance steps, to replace the spontaneous movements of the dance of life, then I ask you….Who is the devil, who is the zombie? Once you have hardened your heart to such a point; once you’ve set your heart like a flint against H.I.M (His Imperial Majesty); that’s when, in the symmetry of the universe, the poetic justice of the Lord, He will set His face like a flint against you. You’ve probably seen Him staring you right in the eyes and didn’t even know it. Traditional Afrikan art often depicts the carved figure of a woman holding her bosom as a gift to God with a single double-bladed axe sticking up from her head. Yep, just like He did through the “foreheads” of His prophets Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:9) and Isaiah when He possessed them and made them unashamed to preach against the rebellious House of Israel. (Isaiah 50:7)

Here is where the gloves come off. A-SH-E becomes A-CH-E. And the Ori’shas – literally ‘owners of heads’ – become a headache if we deny them. This has a very real physiological effect that is not to be ignored. Neurotransmission is the process by which spiritual signals get propagated throughout the physical body. It is necessary for the regulations of bodily secretions and organ functions critical for the long-term survival of multicellular vertebrate organisms such as mammals. There is an enzyme called AChE (Acetylcholinesterase). This is a perfectly appropriate name for it, since it functions like a “small axe” that cleaves peptide bonds by means of hydrolysis. If it becomes inhibited in its function, it creates serious problems for the flow of important spiritual messages across the synapses. AChE is specifically intended to aid in the smooth flow of a neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine (often abbreviated ACh). ACh has a variety of effects as a neuromodulator upon arousal and reward. ACh has an important role in the enhancement of sensory perceptions when we wake upand in sustaining attention. If AChE is not able to function correctly, the ACh and the messages it carries, literally clog up the synapses. Irreversible inhibitors of AChE may lead to muscular paralysis, memory deficit and Alzheimer’s disease or even death by asphyxiation.

If that sounds bad, check out the drastically negative spiritual effects: When ASHE turns to ACHE, the softer, even soothing sound of consolation, signified by the letters ‘Sh’ and whispered by Our Mother to quiet fears in our formative years, now changes to the harsher, chastising sound of the ‘Ch’, from The Father. Shango retains cool self-control but subtly shifts to Chango.  Suddenly, Ere we are aware, our vain shopping for shoes at City Creek Mall turns to chopping block blues for any and all cocky heads that refuse to ‘choose the right.’ One of Shango’s sacred colors is white. It symbolizes the logic He gets from His Grandfather, Obatala. Oh, but alas He will not spare the stubborn head that has not inherited some of Aganyu’s blood red. Past all feeling and passion, unrepentant hearts will wither. Like the Lion of Zion, Bob Marley, sings in the song “Small Ax,” It is the small acts of the righteous that eventually “cut down” the “Big Tree”. And in a Jamaican accent ‘Big Tree’ could be understood to mean ‘Big Three’. Let the pride of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims fall like a great and spacious building in an earthquake! The Lord of the Vineyard uses Aché like a hatchet to prune and cast into the blaze, all lofty branches who do not acknowledge the roots. If this seems un-fair to ye so called ‘fair-ones’ remember, Nephi said, “If ye ask not….ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark” (2 Nephi 32:4) In other words, “If you don’t aks, you get axed.” Brethren, are we therefore justified in lingering while the Spiritual Gifts fall completely out of use for fear that some might misuse them? Seems to this author, that the Master employed the metaphor of money in the parable of the talents to show us that, abstaining from using them is in fact (ab)using the Gifts of the Fathers.

SHARING IS PREPARING

Do we need to be commanded in all things? What are we, a bunch of high-school girls (foolish virgins) before prom? Don’t wait to be ‘axed out.’ Ask for your gifts today and start giving and getting in the United Order right away! There have been many, many groups who have sought to live as one and establish Zion. The Oneida Community in New York, New Harmony in Pennsylvania and Nauvoo in Illinois are only three of endless defunct examples from the past. There is no shortage of people trying today either. From southern Utah to Canada, California to Russia, gathering for the purpose of spiritual enlightenment and good living is ‘in’. Organization and reason figure heavily into the planning of these communities. Polygyny and even polyandry in some cases are working themselves into mainstream culture as polyamory peaks the public’s interest. Everywhere, the word ‘Share’ is in the air.

Even within virtual realms so far detached from physical people and places, there is a great meeting of the minds taking place. If you know how to read the signs you will find memos from God popping up in the strangest of spaces. Key words are everywhere surging up from the collective consciousness to clue you into the New Multidimensional Jerusalem where all are intimately linked. Verizon Network has recently revealed a “Share Everything” plan for the family. Could the Logos spell it out any more plainly for us? A whole generation of ambitious and admirable attempts at community based on sharing were spawned by Napster, who lived up to its name as it succeeded in its purpose to stir us from our napping. And speaking of naps, extremely esoterically coded messages, probably with deeply intended dual meaning, appear before our eyes and ears in the advertisements for the new feature film, Paranorman. It is an animated zombie [movie] set for release right on the day of the new moon (8-17-2012). Norman Babcock, a misunderstood boy who speaks with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. One specific ad being run is not your ‘normal’ preview. Only spiritually awake and alert audience members will notice what the foolish and sleepy virgins fail to see. The young hero, who symbolically represents the hearts of the children that must be turned to the hearts of the fathers to avoid the curse, tells us that he is promoting something called NAPZ (National Alliance of People and Zombies). He says, “Life shouldn’t just be for the living.” Nap time is over folks!

MAKING THE CHOICE BETWEEN DECREES OF DECAYING DEATH AND LAWS OF LOVING LIFE

You don’t have to be a fan of the band to agree that ‘The Grateful Dead’ sounds a lot better than the ‘Ungrateful Undead.’ In “Friend of The Devil,” Garcia gives some good advice on how to nec-romance the nasty nuisance of not so kindred dead by killing them with kindness. He suggests keeping it moving but never running in fear from the ghosts of our past. Spending “a night in Utah, in a cave up in the hills,” while lighting out on the lamb, wending our way from one wife to the next, as the lyrics indicate, might just transform any shy man into a Sha-man. Without shamanic elders after the likes of Alma, how would we understand that, “that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” (Alma 34:34).  To the same degree that a man or woman was a terror or a tyrant to his or her own family and fellow man during life, that same foul spirit will resume reeking, and wreaking havoc from the great beyond. At this very moment you and your family most likely have relatives, both dead and alive, who are involved in your life either as a help or a hindrance. If you do not recognize them, then you can not fully accept the goods they bring, nor fully reject the garbage they bring. What non-tribally structured utopians do not grasp is the firmness of the grip that spirit holds on flesh and the irresistible draw that the flesh holds for the spirit. Upon death, the disembodied spirit becomes very clear in his understanding of this fact as he can clearly see how the flesh is unable to wield any influence independently of the spirit. When we love our bodies right, we do indeed become one with them but if we aint’ lovin’ ’em right,  then we will feel  unable to resist the evil urge to break that eternal law of our Mother Matter who says – “Love Me Or Leave Me.”

Mother Earth moans and groans under oppression of evil spirits who buy up false priests to exercise unrighteous dominion over the elements. (D&C 123:7) Afflicted since the dawn of civilization along the Indus Tributaries by men of renown and their giants of industry who, in dust, try to subjugate the womanly wilderness under their man-ipulation. The saints will in dust, cry against the monstrous men strewing their blood like a morbid menstrual cycle of mortal combat. But the beautiful body of Christ is starting to exercise her rights and exorcise the demons who torment her. Just as Jesus said through Isaiah:

“Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”  – Isaiah 52:2

Or as Jesus said through a young, full of life, Michael Jackson in a chiasmic channeling during the break down of one of the most popular songs sung by him and his brothers:

Sit down girl, I think I love ya? No, get up girl, show me what you can do Shake it, shake it baby, come on now. Shake it, shake it baby” – Jackson 5:ABC 1:50

Alma, (Soul in Spanish) tells us that, though all gifts are by definition freely offered some are automatically received in this life due to prior arrangements. But even the great gift of resurrection is made available by and through LOVE which must be accepted before the gift takes effect for the individual. He also mentions that, meanwhile, the soul who did not accept part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing its teeth. (Alma 40) And the reason he gives for this is that, due to their wicked choices and also their abdication of choice, the spirit of the devil enters into them and takes possession of their house.

THE TRUE LAW OF THE JUNGLE – CHOOSE OR LOSE

Possession must be thought of as a neutral term. It is up to us as individuals to choose between demonic or angelic influences. But remember that demons are only fallen angels. Nothing can compensate for a lack of personal righteousness. So while a proper understanding of possession opens us up to an endless universe of possibilities, if we decline to work consciously with cohorts and instead hand over our will to another, we are left with zero excuses. The Real King of The Jungle has clearly delineated the True Law to us. He will gladly work with us if we are either hot or cold, But if we won’t choose, the Conquering Lion chews us up and spews us out. When we gingerly nibble and sip at the Body and Blood of Christ rather than being enthused (en “in” + theos “god”), literally possessed of God, then we eat and drink to our own condemnation.

Possession is nine tenths of the law. But still, many would-be inheritors of Zion focus all their attention on the one tenth of the law of tithing. And this they usually pay out to others in cash or kind as a religious duty rather than a natural, free and fractal continuance of the fractions of infinity. It is said that a human being typically only uses ten percent of his brain, leaving nine tenths to be possessed by whatever entity has a mind to do so. We must allow ourselves to be spatially and specially occupied by the Spirit of Christ. Because, “charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni 7:47)  The true church of Christ is waking up to the power she alone holds and the people have taken to occupying places from Wall Street to Oakland. And yet, these well meaning 99 percent masses have not fully realized that no one mighty and strong like moses can or will free them from the 1 percent masters. Until we all step up to fulfill our role as saviors on Mount Zion, our sad state will be reflected in both ecology and economy. Millions in debt could be instantly transmuted into millions in death benefits through the death of the ego. From ego, we go to a mutually beneficial, cooperative relationship with our dead, a simple symbiotic bond with nature and a planetary paradise. To achieve this, we have to stop waffling and just ‘leggo’ our ‘eggo’. This truly is eternal life insurance. The verb insure derives from the Latin word securus, meaning “safe” or “secure,” which itself derives from se, meaning “without” and caru, meaning “care” – literally “without care or worries.” Before the Lion King of The Jungle can reclaim his throne and restore the Circulation of Life’s Gifts, he must learn to live the law of “Hakuna Matata!”

RICH-U-ALL – SNACKRAMENTS & BATHTISMS

It is good to get. It is good to give. The two actions are really one and the same as they form a balance. There is absolutely no need to obsess over rules, traditions or laws, even good laws can turn bad real quick if they are not kept simple. Love is the law and sharing of our own volition is how we show our love. You should know that the only reason for Lucifer’s fall was because he did not want to share. In essence, the only thing we have to share is our will and that is freely given to us and must be allowed to operate freely through and around us. So Lucifer had to invent a scenario wherein we are conned into giving up our will and thereby limiting love.

There are endless ways in which we can share love. Rituals as seemingly unimportant as a midnight snack or a shower after work can serve to revitalize the individual. And that vitality can be shared with the group through meals or sexual intercourse. But how do our routines regain that vital spark that transforms rote ritual into rich-u-all? How can a snack become a snackrament and a bath become a bathtism? We have to make our spiritual intent more intense. Many have hoped to establish a heaven on earth and have failed because their focus was on arranging the external in such a way, in hopes that following formula would provide security and comfort. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work from the outside inward at all, that fractal alignment of temporal things can not draw down the blessings of heaven. I’m saying if we are going to have all things in common, let’s not skip any steps. That we must meet the Lord halfway is true but unfortunately when only a trickle came through, as opposed to the pouring promised in scripture no one seemed to notice. And why did they not notice? Because they had never done the internal work of wanting, desiring, dreaming and imagining heavenly blessings. They relied and focused too much on ‘laws unto themselves’ rather than eternal law. They followed the double-minded tradition of their fathers  – “Pray as if it all depended on the Lord, but work as if it all depended on you.”

The Law of Consecration outlined in canonized LDS Church scripture and its attempted implication in the early days of the Church, provide a perfect example of an imperfect understanding of spiritual law. D&C tells us to “consecrate our properties” and that this will help God’s people to establish equality and bring security, then prosperity to all. We could start with money, cars, and canned goods in an honest desire to care for one another and tend to the poor. But if we never take consecration to a deeper level then all our efforts will be temporary in their effects. Why don’t we read “properties” as a scientific term, as in our physical and chemical properties? Is it because we do not believe it possible to share such things? Is it that we are SELFish and are happy to give away extra cash as long as we can remain detached from the poor “in spirit”? If we can donate so called non perishable food items at the drop of a dime, then why not move one step closer to the truly non perishable qualities of the spirit? Would ‘sister wives’ in a polygynous situation or ‘brother outlaws’ in a polyandrous family structure, be more likely to share and share alike, not only their spouse, but material things as well, out of an external expectancy to comply with household rules? Or do you think maybe a greater motivation would be heart to heart spiritual connection, which would dispense with the need for any lists of do’s and don’ts ruling over their minds. This is why men seem to so easily set aside differences and assimilate when they are told that it is for the defense of women and children. This is why women more naturally share in the role of raising children than in the sharing of the clothes of their wardrobe (providing they are the right size). But I have seen strange and wondrous shape shifting override our physical programming. With my own eyes, I have witnessed how one superconscious size fits all. What if I told you it was possible to share physical attributes by uploading the pre-seeding spiritual attributes and participating in a non jealous potluck of properties?

The term potluck is very similar to potlatch. The potlatch was a big celebration among Native Americans of the northwest, which involved some serious gift giving and receiving. Often the host would give all his possessions away. This continued until European settlers outlawed the practice. The settlers’ problem was in their settling for less, for a world view severely lacking connection to the unseen world, instead of hanging on to their own lucky tribal traditions extending back before the Middle Ages, in Europe. Going from lack to luck, as it turns out, actually has a science to it. Remember it’s people coming together in a place that produces things. Viewing ‘luck’ as some kind of arbitrary thing, will not get us anywhere. Anytown U.S.A. would be wise to wake up to distinctly American mixes of Afrikan, European, and Native spiritual sanitation practices like Hoodoo, which are extremely practical in their applications and will serve the people in the approaching Greatest American Depression. In order to weather the stormy times ahead we will need to make sure we are on the right side of the right law.

LEGAL MATTERS & LAWFUL SPIRITS – DON’T MISS THE MYSTIC MARRIAGE…DIVORCE THE DEVIL

In a 1973 interview, when asked his opinion of all the crime and violence going on in the world, Bob Marley stated that it was laws that caused crime and violence and that any man could know that fact. The Pharisites tried to ensnare the prophet by asking him if there were any of man’s laws in particular which he wished to publically decry. To which he responded: “Every law! The only law which is law is the law of life.” That same year, Marley demonstrated his knowledge of and love for the law of life when he recorded the infamous I Shot The Sherriff.” IF you want to SHARE in “all that the Father hath,” (John 16:15) then you will have to shoot the ‘SHARE-IF.’ He is the impish being who enforces the “death & taxes” mode of business among men to stifle and kill good will. There is only one real way you can steal; and that is to uphold a policy of force. And a police force does just that. The Share-If will only let you share IF, your papers are in order, IF you are a member of the club, IF his masters don’t decide to completely mono-polize it. The Sherriff is an enemy to Zion. While this single track eventually served to make a mixed Marley sound militant and look iconic, the following year, it provided a caucasian, cowboy-hat clad Clapton with an ironic #1 hit on the charts. Both versions had their own lives. Both came from the same divine creative spark. Bob deserves praise for the original revelation. Eric deserves credit for bringing the message in some level of purity to other sheep in the fold. This is how The Good Shepherd works. Linking through Christ Consciousness is ultimately The Way we are gonna’ run the devil outa’ town. Of course, the Sherriff is always trailing strong, long-haired types like Sampson, Jesus and Bob with his hellhounds. The head imp himself sent imposters with a devilish counterattack.

Ashé is a chain that, if unbroken, ensures eternal connection between the creator and the creation. While writing the preceding paragraph, the spirit of Bob Marley, who was guiding my hand, reminded me of a personal revelation regarding “I Shot The Sherriff” which had impacted me as a teenager. In part of the lyrics, Bob explains that the Sherriff always hated the singer and he tells us:

“Everytime I’d plant a seed, He’d say, Kill it before it grows.’ He’d say, ‘Kill them before they grow.”

When I first heard those lines, my mind supposed that they could very well be a thinly veiled reference to cultivation of marijuana plants. But from behind the innermost veil, the Holy Spirit bore witness to my heart and mind, that there was a deeper meaning. The seeds referenced were unborn children.

The creator in this case, had guided my hand from the beginning paragraph of this section, when he cited the correct year of these scenes from his life, leading my fingers to type it in spite of my skeptical mind, which was sure they must have occurred later. Now as the doubting Thomas in me double checked the date online, the consciousness of the creator indulged me and then whispered that there was more he wished to reveal to me at that time. So, having brought this previously released information about the scripture of the song to my memory, and I having brought myself to an online search engine for the purpose of proving the more subtle and recent received details; my mind was sufficiently humbled to hear a still small voice.

It told me to enter the words “birth control” alongside the numbers of the year in question, “1973.” To my surprise, this resulted in the discovery of an obscure prog-rock band from Germany whose name directly related to the prior revelation regarding the slaughter of innocents and gave me a foreboding feeling. Birth Control came out with a song that very year entitled “Gama Ray.” The name of the song was equally scary since gama-rays have everything to do with those decrees of decaying death which we spoke of above in contrast to the law of loving light and life. Gama-rays are associated with radioactive decay and DNA damage. In addition to radioactive decay, there are also some non-nuclear sources that are known to produce gama-rays, for example, thunderstorms. This then is a summoning of Shango’s bad side, since apart from his axe, Shango is known to throw lightning bolts. Shekinah is a Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God, especially behind the veil in the Temple. Shekinah is a parallel idea to Sophia (wisdom) in Christianity. Imagine the Shekinah or Shock n’Awe I felt come over me when I clicked on the video clip before me and saw images of mass destruction. Even more awesome was the wisdom which distilled upon me as I heard and read between the lines, a not so cleverly disguised eugenicist message calling Afrikans out by name. Then most chilling of all, was the music. The notes of the transitional breakdowns were slightly off but nonetheless unmistakably close to the famous chords in the transitions of Marley’s lively anthem. The notes contained, hidden within them, the indisputable evidence that this had been the Devil’s direct response to the Reggae Renegade, who must have been to the forces of evil, a devastating Bo[m]b Marley, on the battlefield of spiritual warfare in that year of 1973.

The immediate seizing upon the powerful life force which was born into the world with this one Bob Marley song, is a perfect example of the truth that: Even in the humble initial stages of your accumulation and distribution of gifts, your journey to godhood, you have to be comfortable with being emulated. I know we expressed these things earlier but it is worthy of bearing bolder witness again and again. When we magnificently magnify our callings in life, we do not feel threatened in the slightest by copyright infringers, freeloaders or even detractors. We respect them as equals and care for them as we would a newborn baby, who cries and eats and does not contribute in the same ways an adult would but is no less valuable in our sight. Even when those babies become annoying adolescents, willfully rebelling against us as creative beings and sometimes hijacking our dear creations to serve nefarious purposes for which they were never intended; we remain calm knowing that truth & righteousness always prevail. For so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that came before us. Why should we be afraid? We stand on the shoulders of the ancestors. We maintain perfect clarity on this point, that we are where we are today, and forever, because we were allowed the complete freedom to emulate or rebel against God according to our wills. Then why not see good and perfection in ourselves? We know and we understand that mighty God is a living man. We have been granted a glorious vision from Heaven, wherein we can see ourselves simultaneously as God’s and as GODS. Yes, we know that all things shall work together for our good. AMEN.

 

Special Thanks –

I would first and foremost like to thank God/Christ for making this special, spiritual collaboration possible. As for God’s specific aspects who’s combined efforts helped to write this piece, I sincerely thank my good friends, Frederick Douglass, Joseph Smith Jr., Robert Nesta Marley and The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

P.S. Hugh Nibley, if that was you, then I thank you for your brief appearance and pointers.

Making SENSE of It All – Pt. 1


SUIT UP & TUNE IN – WE WILL GO DOWN

When we take the Faith Fall from heavenly angelic status to three dimensional mortality, it is as the poet has said, “Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness” but equipped with a backpack full of supplies. These supplies which protect us from suffering irreparable injuries like total amnesia or overexposure to the new elements with which we will come into contact, could be accurately described as the functions of a special space suit. The space suit not only covers us but also features a communication device in the helmet, so that we may ever maintain contact with our Celestial Home Base. When we were issued these psychonaut space suits, we were told that – Inasmuch as we do not defile them, they will be shields and a protection to us until we have finished our work on the earth. The space suit is your physical body and its particular functions with which your soul interfaces are the senses.

Ray Bradburry, who recently completed his “work on Earth”, called it the “Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.” Brother Bradburry spoke of this interfacing not only in terms of the powers with which the suit seems to endow us, but also the gifts that we bring to it. By cherishing it and refusing to die, one may become an illustrious or Illustrated Man. Hue-Man beings clothe themselves in coats of many colors, through which their Christ Light may shine to the world. But we must remember that it is not the clothes that make the man. God makes the man and wears him as clothing. Perhaps this is not the best analogy for we who have been raised in modern materialistic culture to place such importance on clothing and not so much on the body and even less on the spirit. It is this imbalance that turns useful tools into stumbling blocks. But I am of the opinion that many of us are awakening day by day to a greater understanding of the condescension of God. And we are starting the journey with an echoing of Nephi’s humble declaration: “I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”

Whether Lehi’s Dream or Nephi’s accessing of that same dream; from Joseph Smith’s First Vision to Saul’s Visitation on the road to Damascus, what is being described in these scriptural accounts is typically multi-sensory. There are sights, sounds, tastes, smells and sometimes extreme shaking. But were these in every case detected by the physical senses or were they sometimes only perceived spiritually? Or is it in fact necessary that there be a separation between the two? I believe that what we commonly refer to as the five carnal senses exist only as extensions of their spiritual counterparts. We read the words on the pages, where holy writ admonishes us to activate the spiritual senses, but do we really see with eyes to see or hear with ears to hear?

At church we have all heard mention of our spirit bodies but in our pride and ignorance we rarely pause to ask Sunday School teachers, Priesthood™ leaders or even ourselves about these bodies. The youngest of children in the Nursery and Primary programs sing a version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” which is peculiar to the disappointingly non peculiar people of LDS culture. Our version, however, shares much in common with the rest of the World’s version and they both end with the lyrics, “Eyes, Ears, Mouth & Nose.” It just so happens, that the Yod, Heh, Vau, Heh of the sacred name of YHWH correspond with Sight, Hearing, Taste & Smell. Touch also is alluded to in this children’s song through the pointing actions which accompany the performance of it. When the spirit brought these facts to my attention, I began to suspect that senses were of more import than I had been led to think. For it had been an Inner Sense in the First Place, that inspired my mind only moments before the revelation, to invoke the name and thereby tune into the radio frequency of  EEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEE

Proverbs 20:12 – The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made even both of them.

Isaiah 11:3 – His delight will be in the fear of Yahweh. He will not judge by the sight of his eyes, neither decide by the hearing of his ears.

BABY STEPS – GROWING UP UNTO THE LORD

It is not too surprising that we should be generally unaware of our spirit bodies. We are, after all, awakening from a Deep Sleep that came upon us directly after the formation of our physical bodies was completed. At this point, that we are as childish “babes in the gospel” should be to our shame, as Paul teaches in Hebrews. But babes or child-like in terms of purity of soul are exactly what we must become if we are to inherit the Kingdom. At some point after a little baby takes her first “breath of life” it starts to fall into the Deep Sleep. But for a time she retains much awareness of and from within the Heavenly Realms. It is the lower realms that take some getting use to for the newborn at first. For example, how long does it usually take a baby to discover that she has a mouth? But notice how much of the world the baby is already instinctively discovering through that mouth even before understanding that she has one? The young child, upon finding himself in the Lone and Dreary World, already loosing some feeling in his spirit body, seems to retain enough spiritual wherewithal to use the mouth to cry out unto the Lord. “Oh GOD, hear the words of my mouth!” We would do well to realize that the prayers of the righteous are only advanced baby cries. Now we find ourselves working backwards to become like little children again. A psychological map would be helpful. From where we stand now, we have a severely limited concept of things like, spiritual taste buds, even though these pre-seed the physical taste buds on our temporal tongues by who knows how many millennia. We have to grow back into them. Be of good cheer and let the Gods soothe us in our growing pains. These spiritual senses, though they may hurt coming in (like wisdom teeth) are the Gifts of The Spirit. And they are spoken of by many of the mystics of Mormonism and countless other traditions.

Alma the Younger – “It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.” –Alma 32:28

Joseph Smith – “This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ; and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more.” –King Follett Discourse

Where clairgustance  (perception of the essence of a substance through taste from the spiritual realms.) is manifest we can be sure to find clairalience, (the gift of psychic smell). This is so because the temporal gifts reflect those of the spirit. Smell goes hand in hand with taste. Without it, prophets could not have been aware of the presence of brimstone (sulfur) in visions of Hell. Even Lehi, although he never claimed to have seen an angel outside of “visions and dreams” takes special pains to explain the vividness of his perceptions such as, “most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted” and “white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.” It is interesting to note that these things were perceived in a dream state yet are unhesitatingly compared to things perceived in a waking state. What is the difference? If anything we can see that Lehi’s perception while in dream state was more intense than “normal” waking experiences typically are. Things seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled while “in the spirit” are in this “sense” more real or true than those detected with the outer senses. Our mortal frame is only a shadow of our light/spirit body. The five so called Classical Senses are developing in their probationary state and are therefore inferior to the Spiritual Senses.

Although they are today commonly grouped together and referred to by the vague term,  “sixth sense”, the Spiritual Senses were actually much more widely understood and utilized in ancient times. Mankind collectively has, for the most part, followed the same path as we see the individual take. It’s a round leading from enjoyment of intimate contact with the divine through fully functioning Inner Senses, to increasingly lower levels of spiritual sensation while the Outer Senses take over. Then, if we are diligent in honoring the Circle of Life both within and without, we will come back around to heightened spiritual awareness. But when we come back we will notice that although the “Prodigal Sense” has returned, all is not exactly as it was before our departure. No, this time everything is even better! Now the party really begins and we know what it is to FEEL a FULLNESS of Joy!

STUNTED SPIRITUAL GROWTH – A GROWING  PROBLEM

Why should we be shocked that The Gifts of The Spirit are one and the same as the Psychic Abilities we hear spoken of more and more these days? Are we represented by the character of the “Good Son” who never left Home but lacks a great deal of love and understanding when he displays a “goodie goodie” attitude toward his brother upon his return? I hope we will rather exemplify the more positive aspects of adolescence; namely those of curiosity and an adventurous spirit.

Many a Mormon youth at Especially For Youth (EFY) has asked their supposed spiritual leaders: How can I know if it’s the Spirit or if it’s just me?Their leaders, who “receive not the spirit” and therefore should “not teach” as per Doctrine & Covenants 42:14, will unhesitatingly respond with some regurgitated piece of vomit about a “burning in the bosom”, which, to hear them describe it, sounds indistinguishable from indigestion induced heartburn. Then they will strongly recommend always double checking it against the rule of thumb issued by “The Brethren”. They are not to be trusted, especially with our youth. They have, in all too many instances, buried alive that portion of spirit with which they were entrusted. Like the wicked and slothful servant whose soul is stripped from him in the parable of the talents, they supposed that they would be justified because of their “knowledge” of “how the World works”. So they buried their Lord’s talent in that dust of the earth which, for now, composes their temporal bodies. That our temples may serve a holy purpose, it is true. But they are nonetheless TEMPles which when not understood, deteriorate to factories of “dead works” (Moroni 8:23) or “whitened sepulchers” (Matt 23:27) wherein the “dead bury the dead” (Luke 9:60) while vainly imagining they are doing some great service. This goes for LDS temple buildings as well as our physical persons.

“Burning in the bosom”, is a term taken from Holy Scripture and it is all too often erroneously applied to mere emotional reactions. In proper context it is used to describe one single sentiment out of endless possible manifestations of clairsentience,or the alignment of external feeling of the flesh with inner feeling of the spirit. One problem with this overemphasis on a “heart warming” sensation as the main fruit of the Spirit is that it is perhaps the most easy to isolate from the Spirit. And once cut off from the Source this vibration fragments into a series of automatic muscular reactions which can be easily replicated and used by the deceiver to synthetically provoke spirit-like spasms on demand. The implications of such emotionally manipulative imitations of the presence and voice of God being available at the flip of a switch to those who seek control over their fellow beings are very terrible. The general public does not know about or think about things such as Extreme Low Frequencies (ELF). This is particularly dangerous because they know and think even less about the still, small voice of the Good Shepherd. Not having anything else to compare it to leaves them in a very precarious path indeed when trick-nology comes into play.

Once again, it is the children who suffer most when “burning in the bosom” is downgraded to “warm fuzzies,” then further diminished in any of its remaining spiritual qualities by uprooting it completely out of the hearts and minds of LDS youngsters and placing it in the physical plane to die alone as a pom-pom in a jar; a false form, literally sealed off from the life sustaining air/ether/prana of the spirit realm of imagination. This was an actual project carried out to honor Pres. Monson’s 82ndbirthday. (Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?) They then used it as a gimmick to push sales for his biography “To The Rescue” though Deseret Book.

http://deseretbook.com/warmfuzzies

ELIJAH TO THE REAL RESCUE

So the kids have need of being rescued from imposters. They are expeer-encing some interfear-ence while trying to re-cognize the REAL voice of the Good Shepherd. Their right brains/hearts are “failing them for fear” [False Evidence Appearing Real] “and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” Luke 21:26. And Jesus says it’s only going to get worse during the commotion that ensues after the destruction of the Temple. Take special note of the verb ‘looking’ that Jesus uses in that passage. Remember it is crucial that we use our sense of sight correctly and that means developing what is technically and truly our First Sight but often called Second Sight, which ironically and poetically could be said to emanate from our Third Eye. One, Two, Three…Three, Two, One. Are you starting to see how it all works? First, Last…Last, First. “Yes, yes, that is all very interesting.” we might say, “But tell us, who will save the children?” –The Storyteller responds: “Why, who else would come to rescue The Children but The Fathers?!”

The Lord is sending the Spirit of Elijah or in other words, The Spirit of The Ancestors, “To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers,” D&C 110:15. According to D&C 138:48, this great work is “to be done in the temples of the Lord in the  dispensation of the fullness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.” But how is this possible when Jesus told us that the Temple itself would be utterly wasted as the kick-off for all this excitement? How will the Fathers rescue the Children? They will act through the Children. And how will they act through us? It will happen via our genes and our senses. So we can see that it is of utmost importance that we purify our physical senses and attune them with the spiritual wavelength of the ante-sensors (ancestors).

THE SACRED SCIENCE OF SENSE

While the act of connecting with one’s ancestors is very organic and bound to blossom in a variety of personalized ways, there is however a scientific side to it. And praise be to the ancient ones for that. Our minds need a healthy level of scientific method. The left hemisphere of the brain has the potential to present us with as many stumbling blocks as it can tools of precision. It is Adam, an inner husband kneeling across the altar from our right brain bride and swearing to play the role of personal protector. But unless the left brain/mind is given the right things to fixate on, it will inevitably become confused. In a confused state it alternates between being a poor protector at best and an abuser at worst. The left brain likes a certain degree of causality. It makes him feel productive and puts him in touch with his creative powers. From this left side of our brain we stand and issue edicts and laws like a king as our queen looks on from her spot enthroned at our right hand, stoic, silent, sexy. When the King and Queen are in agreement as to how to rule the land, it provides balance and peace. Looking to antiquity we find very few examples of this type of arrangement perpetuated perfectly throughout history, whether on an individual or more literal level. What we do find when we retrace humanity’s steps are certain times and places when people considered all things to be more sacrosanct.

The Wadjet Eye  or Eye of Horus, is an ancient Egyptian representation of the inner recesses of the brain. Its individual parts were also used to represent mathematical fractions and the senses

Eye of Horus – Human Brain

Besides the mysterious absence of the last Sixtyfourth, it is also intriguing to see the overall resemblance to the configuration of Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Medulla Oblongata and Corpus Callosum that scientist call the reptilian brain. Furthermore the various pieces of the image seem to match up with those outer body parts which would be used in the gathering of sensory data from the presently detectable world around us. We have glyphs looking very must like the nose, an eye, an ear, the tongue and a finger. But the most fascinating aspect of all this is the fact that thought is presented as one of six senses. Thought is here represented by a linear waveform , which when incorporated with the complete pictogram, becomes the brow over the Eye of Horus.

When we look back in the archives of religious records there are several shining examples of righteous rulers who remind us that you can not have RIGHTeousness without the RIGHT Brain. But one stands out in a special way because we are told that he and his people, who founded a whole city/nation, were taken up, people, place and things alike, into Heaven. This is a singular achievement which has sparked man’s imagination ever since. Many who speak about the concept of Zion will refer to this as the ultimate success story. Whether you are a Mormon who only talks about it, or one of the few who actually desire Zion in reality, you will be somewhat familiar with the City of Enoch. Enoch appears in the ancient Egyptian pantheon as an ibis headed man named Thoth. As the god of magic, healing and wisdom, and patron of scribes, ThothTaughtThought. His main cult center was the city of Khumun, which sounds like ‘Common’ and translates as ‘Eight Town’. Could it be that Thoth or Thought is the Common Sense, the Sixth Sense connecting the five carnal senses with the two houses of our spiritual senses located in our left and right brains? Can Thoth be thought of as the Sixth Chakra ball of energy spinning in the vicinity of the pituitary gland which activates during adoleSENSE alerting the teenage initiate to his potential for adulthood? Is thought then the Christ which, if allowed to roam freely between Heaven and Earth, will eventually succeed in reconciling us with Father & Mother? Think about it.

I THINK, THEREFORE I-SLAM – INTRODUCING AVICENNA

If the ancient inhabitants of Egypt worshiped previously translated beings but failed to grasp certain plain and precious truths lost in translation and so were not collectively translated themselves, then subsequent eras under Greek and finally Arab domination brought with them, not only more open rejection of The Truth, but continued chances for redemption as well. Even from within the cage of enforced religion, the sacred Ibis of human thought yearned to fly again. And the avian aspects of man’s thinking sang a song of freedom through the thoughts of Ibn Sina known in Europe by his Latinized name, Avicenna

Avicenna(981 – 1037 CE) was the major influence upon the history of Islamic psychology, taking the ideas of the Greek philosophers, who had taken them from the Egyptians, he adapted them to fit Islamic doctrine. He began with Aristotle’s idea that humans possessed three types of soul, the vegetative, animal and rational psyches. He held the belief that man shared the first two in common with the plants and animals and that the latter was something shared in common by man and God. Man was thus simultaneously earthbound and heaven-bound.

Avicenna attempted to shed light on this curious condition. He proposed that we have seven inner senses to complement the outer senses. This was an attempt to understand the mechanics of reason. We could say he was presented with an obstacle by the Islamic prohibition of dissection. Nevertheless, he was led by the Spirit and came up with the following psychological map of the inner senses.

  • Common Sense: This sense collates the information gathered by the external senses.
  • Retentive Imagination: This sense remembers the information gathered by the common sense.
  • Compositive Animal Imagination: This sense allows all animals to learn what they should avoid and what they should actively seek in their natural environment.
  • Compositive Human Imagination: This sense helps humans to learn what to avoid and what to seek in the world around them.
  • Estimative Power: This is the ability to make innate judgments about the surrounding environment and determine what is dangerous and what is beneficial. For example, an innate and instinctual fear of predators would fall under this sense.
  • Memory: The memory is responsible for remembering all of the information developed by the other senses.
  • Processing: This is the ability to use all of the information and is the highest of the seven internal senses.

COME UNITY – ALL THINGS IN COMMON

“And now come, saith the Lord, by the Spirit, unto the elders of his church, and let us reason together, that ye may understand” – D&C 50:10

If we understand the first point on this chart to be transitional, then we will see that the word ‘Common’ in the phrase, ‘Common Sense’ should not be misconstrued as holding the same meaning as when we say ‘Common Knowledge’, since this term is often no more than a clever euphemism used to try and grant a more regal sounding heir to misleading popular opinion. In reality, ‘Common’ here refers to the meeting place between the outer and inner senses.

Modern neuroscience tells us that it is the cerebral cortex or pallium where the brains of all vertebrates take sensory information to integrate it, learn from it, and decide how to respond. The equivalents to the cerebral cortex in invertebrates are clusters of neurons known as mushroom-bodies. Until recent years, scientists thought that invertebrate mushroom-bodies and vertebrate pallium had arisen independently during the course of evolution. But in-depth research into the marine ragworm has proven this was most probably not the case. How could they possibly determine whether the Gods spoken of in Genesis laid the foundation for the brain of Man at the very moment that their spirit “moved upon the face of the waters”? Well it intuitively makes sense that the blueprint for God’s own children would be present throughout all creation, but the particular proofs that modern research points to were found when comparing the olfactory of the worm with that of man.

What could be more amazing than finding a humanlike brain structure in a worm? How about the identification of a wormlike structure in the human brain? The cerebellar vermis is that worm. In the 14th-century Cambridge brain diagram illustrating Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine, the cerebral worm is represented between the powers of memory (vis memorativa) and cognition or imagination (cogitativa vel ymaginativa). Mediating between the two, the worm works as a valve modulating the active and passive operations of thought, its movement translated in the human tendency to lower the head when thinking (You and each of you, bow your head and say yes) and raise it when we are re-collecting (sense data from the realm of the past). We raise our heads in order to expose our nostrils more directly to the air; so that through this elevation we may evaluate the information which God is whispering on the wind at any given moment and compare it to that which he has communicated to us in times past; so as to have the most potent effect on the present and into the fragrant flow of the future. For everyone who has a nose knows that smell, more than any other sense, has the power to conjure up memory.

Avicenna’s Cannon
Vermis Detail

When we consider that our sense of smell is perhaps the most anciently bestowed of God’s gifts, it seems very appropriate that the olfactory would be associated with the ½ fraction in the breakdown of the Eye of Horus symbol. Halfway between Heaven and Earth., man is endowed with a nose to lead the way before him. Functioning as a sacred rendezvous platform between worlds, the olfactory bulbs are the only parts of the nervous system which have direct contact with the outside world. In-cense stimulates Inner Sense when lit and offered up at the apertures to the Holy Temple. But if the afferent priest, who’s lot it is to “make perfume” going into the sanctuary of the Lord, should doubt the message of his inner senses, it will be with him as it was with Zachariah. The moral of that story is: Don’t be ‘dumb’. Listen and believe in what your inner senses tell you.

The lost people we are, could anything be of more value to us in helping us find our way than memory of past eternities? But alas our odor decoders are taken for granted or repeatedly weakened through doubt, causing this most poignant of sensations to be so fleeting. This is known in scientific terms as sensory adaptation. We might also call it a lack of faith and a rebellion against God. To rebel means to wage war again. Our fallen senses have cut themselves off from the presence of the Lord and still suppose that they know how to interpret their surroundings better.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy [Senses], and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the at-one-ment of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19

When King Benjamin says that “The natural man is an enemy to God” he is not talking about people who enjoy camping or being in ‘nature’. Nor is he saying anything of those who follow their natural inclination to “multiply and replenish the earth”. Other passages in the Book of Mormon are very clear on the effects of the fall, which King Benjamin cites as the point where the problem began. In speaking of the fall, Alma says:

“Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare” Alma 42:10

When Alma says ‘sensual’ he does not mean ‘sexy’ or even ‘sexual’ since it was God who made us to be sexual beings. No, he means simply that we are controlled by the carnal senses. We trust the outer senses over the inner and have therefore fallen out of touch with reality. We are double-minded beings, tottering back and forth between inner and outer nature but mostly focusing on the outer. We must do as the scripture advises, put off the natural man and become saints through the at-one-ment of Christ. If our inner and outer natures are not AT ONE with each other, then we will forever be AT ODDS with ourselves. We will be enemies to God.

When we feel both our inner and outer natures come together, this COMMON ground establishes a Zion and a sense of expansiveness comes over us, causing us to exclaim:

“COME ON people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, got to love one another right now!”   –  Get Together” by Youngbloods

Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin


The married Life:

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Genesis 2:18]

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

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

  • with God
  • with each other

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

  • from God
  • from each other

Thus, restoring the kingdom of God will:

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

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

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

[Genesis 2:25]

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

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

[The Garden]

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

An experience of Life that is founded on separateness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Having Life, or just having the image of it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Article by Justin:

Previous Article by Justin:  Paul and the church at Judea

[In Search of a New Church Home].

“Every elder, priest, teacher or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts…of God unto him.”


My text for this post is the part of D&C 20: 60 that says,

Every elder, priest, teacher or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him;

First callings, then ordination, then gifts

We are taught by our leaders that “whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.” This means that the gifts come with, or belong to, the calling. In other words, that once a man is called to an office and ordained, the Lord gives him the gifts necessary to fulfill the duties of that office as long as he magnifies his calling. I have also heard people testify that once released from their callings, these gifts leave them and they are once again just every day members.

In all honesty, I can see how such an interpretation can fit the scripture. All that is required is to read the scripture as if it said, “Every [priesthood office] is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God [which will come] unto him [through this ordination].”

First gifts, then callings, then ordination

Another way of reading the scripture is as if it said, “Every [priesthood office] is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God [which have already come] unto him.” In this view, God (and man) sees that the priesthood candidate already has all the necessary gifts for one or more offices of the priesthood, so He calls the man to one of those offices and has him ordained.

For the purpose of this post, I am going to take this latter interpretation as my guide and see what picture it paints. I’m not doing this just as a useless exercise, but one based upon historical fact and precedent. For example, if we look at the life of Joseph Smith, we find that his life followed the gifts-callings-ordination order precisely.

Joseph was a prophet, seer and revelator before he was ordained to any priesthood office In fact, he was using a seer stone before he was even called by the Lord to be a seer. So, his gifts came to him first, then he received a calling from the Lord and finally he was ordained to the offices of the priesthood. This same pattern can be found elsewhere in the scriptures.

One gift, church; many gifts, priesthood

And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church. For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. (D&C 46: 10-11)

The Lord has said that “every man is given a [singular] gift.” But He doesn’t expect us to stop at just one. In fact, He has commanded the church to “seek ye earnestly the best gifts [plural]” (D&C 46: 8.) And He has even opened up the possibility of getting every gift.

And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; that unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby. He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh. (D&C 46: 28-30)

All of the offices of the priesthood require multiple gifts. It takes a lot more faith to obtain many gifts than to obtain just one, therefore the priesthood is designed to be a body of men who have exercised exceedingly great faith. They are “called…on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling” (Alma 13: 3). The “good works” of these men is the use of their multiple gifts of the Spirit, for “if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God” (Moro. 10: 25).

After having obtained several gifts, the Lord calls these men into His priesthood and has them ordained to one of its offices, according to the gifts they have, so that they can more widely use them “for salvation” (D&C 84: 73) and “for the benefit of those who love [Him] and keep all [His] commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited” (D&C 46: 9), and “in order that every member may be profited thereby” (D&C 46: 29).

A man is ordained in this manner—exceedingly great faith and repentance, good works (working by the power and gifts of God), called by God to an office of the priesthood according to the various gifts he has, and then ordination to the office he’s been called to—”that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to [the] Son for redemption” (Alma 13: 2). This manner of ordination also virtually guarantees that “the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” because no one would be ordained who did not have access to a variety of the gifts of the Spirit and thus to the powers of heaven.

New Testament and D&C 4 qualifications

Before going into an enumeration of the gifts that pertain to each office, let me back up a bit because the New Testament has requirements for priesthood office that precede the gifts.

1 Timothy chapter 3 and Titus chapter 1 give some qualifications for the offices of elder, bishop and deacon. The description is of a righteous, God-fearing, charitable man who has a good reputation in the church and in the community and a well-behaved family. Of particular note is that the elders, bishops and deacons all had to be married men with children.

We typically think of the office of a deacon as the “entry level” position, therefore, the New Testament requirements for a deacon can be extrapolated to all other offices of the priesthood.

D&C section 4 also has a list of qualification for those called to the priesthood, namely that the man should possess faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of God.

The list of best gifts

#1.   Personal knowledge of Christ, having seen Him in person.

#2.   Belief in Christ without having seen Him.

#3.   Differences of administration.

#4.   Diversities of operations.

#5.   Word of wisdom.

#6.   Word of knowledge.

#7.   Faith to be healed.

#8.   Faith to heal.

#9.   Working of miracles.

#10. Prophesying.

#11. Discerning of spirits.

#12. Speaking in tongues.

#13. Interpretation of tongues.

#14. Discerning of gifts.

Qualifications of the office of a deacon

1)  Must be a married man with children (per New Testament)

2)  Must pass other New Testament qualifications

3)  Must pass D&C 4 qualifications

4)  Must have best gift #2 (belief in Christ without having seen Him)

5)  Must have best gift #5 (word of wisdom)

6)  Must have best gift #6 (word of knowledge)

7)  Must have best gift #7 (faith to be healed)

8 ) Must have best gift #8 (faith to heal)

The duties of a deacon are listed in D&C 20: 59; 84: 111.

He must have gift #2 because he must be a believer in Christ in order for him to “invite all to come unto Christ.” (It is not necessary that he has seen Christ personally.) He must have gifts #5 and #6 because it is his duty to teach all to be wise and to have knowledge (see D&C 46: 17-18.) He must have gifts #7 and #8 because as a believer in Christ, certain signs will follow him, which include surviving poisonous snake bites and deadly drinks, healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, and causing the tongue of the dumb to speak (see D&C 84: 65-72.)

Teachers are to be assisted in all their duties by deacons, if occasion requires. Deacons can only assist teachers in their duties if they possess the gifts required for the fulfillment of those duties. So, the above list of gifts is the minimum for a deacon.

For example, if a teacher needs assistance in a duty that requires gift #11 and there are two deacons available, one that possesses gift #11 and one that does not, only the one with the required gift can assist.

This creates the need for a deacon to apply himself and seek out the additional gift required to assist teachers in all their duties (gift #11.)

Qualifications of the office of a teacher

1)  Must be a married man with children (per New Testament)

2)  Must pass other New Testament qualifications

3)  Must pass D&C 4 qualifications

4)  Must have best gift #2 (belief in Christ without having seen Him)

5)  Must have best gift #5 (word of wisdom)

6)  Must have best gift #6 (word of knowledge)

7)  Must have best gift #7 (faith to be healed)

8 ) Must have best gift #8 (faith to heal)

9)  Must have best gift #11 (discerning of spirits)

The duties of a teacher are listed in D&C 20: 53-57, 59; 84: 111.

He must have gifts #2, #5, #6, #7 and #8 for the same reasons as a deacon (see above.)

He must have gift #11 because it is his duty to “see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking” (D&C 20: 54). This requires that he be able to discern between lying, evil spirits and contrite spirits.

Qualifications of the office of a priest

1)   Must be a married man with children (per New Testament)

2)   Must pass other New Testament qualifications

3)   Must pass D&C 4 qualifications

4)   Must have best gift #2 (belief in Christ without having seen Him)

5)   Must have best gift #5 (word of wisdom)

6)   Must have best gift #6 (word of knowledge)

7)   Must have best gift #7 (faith to be healed)

8 )  Must have best gift #8 (faith to heal)

9)   Must have best gift #9 (working of miracles)

10) Must have best gift #10 (prophesying)

11) Must have best gift #11 (discerning of spirits)

12) Must have best gift #12 (speaking in tongues)

13) Must have best gift #13 (interpretation of tongues)

14) Must have the Nephite gift of beholding angels and ministering spirits (Moro. 10: 14)

The duties of a priest are listed in D&C 20: 46-52.

He must have gifts #2, #5, #6, #7 and #8 for the same reasons as a deacon (see above.)

Miracles He must have gift #9 in order to perform miracles. Now some may say that a priest does not need to possess this gift to fulfill the duties of his office. But a priest is the first priesthood office that actually performs ordinances of the gospel. Neither a deacon nor a teacher can do that (see D&C 20: 58). A priest, then, represents Jesus Christ Himself when he ordains other priests, teachers and deacons; or when he baptizes; or when he breaks bread, blesses the sacrament and passes it out. And he is to follow the example of the Savior in administering it. Sometimes the Lord used bread and wine that was already available, but other times He miraculously provided these things (see 3 Ne. 20: 3-7.) In the New Testament, He turned water into wine and performed the miracles of the loaves of bread and fishes. The sacrament being a meal, it is not a stretch to see how these miracles can apply to it. Jesus also said that His followers would do the works He did, and greater works also. (See John 14: 12.) So, it seems to me that priests (and all other offices that perform ordinances) need to possess the gift of the working of miracles in order to properly represent the Lord, who is a God of miracles. In this way, the miraculous powers of godliness may be manifest in the ordinances of the priesthood (see D&C 84: 20-21.) Additionally, the priesthood (office of priest) of Aaron “holds the keys of the ministering of angels,” according to John the Baptist (as recorded in D&C 13.) The beholding of angels is linked to, or goes hand in hand with, the gift of miracles (per Moro. 7: 29-37.)

A priest also must have gift #10 because it is his duty to preach the gospel, which is supposed to be preached according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation (see Alma 43: 2), necessitating the gift to prophesy. He must have gift #11 for the same reasons as a teacher and also because it is his duty to baptize only those who have a contrite spirit (see Moro. 6: 2 and D&C 20: 37), therefore he needs the discerning of spirits.

Unlike deacons and teachers, who are standing ministers, meaning that they do not and are not supposed to travel, priests (and all other offices of the priesthood except deacons and teachers) are to travel and preach the gospel, as the Holy Ghost directs them. This means that they may find themselves among people who speak an unknown language. For this reason alone, every priest must have gifts #12 and #13. But even if preaching among a people of a known language, these gifts are needed as a sign to unbelievers (see 1 Cor. 14: 22.)

Like deacons, priests are also given a command to assist, “if occasion requires.” However, unlike deacons, who are to assist teachers in the duties of the teachers, a priest is to assist an elder in the duties of the priest. For this reason, it is not necessary that a priest obtain any more gifts of the Spirit to assist an elder.

Qualifications of the office of an elder

1)   Must be a married man with children (per New Testament)

2)   Must pass other New Testament qualifications

3)   Must pass D&C 4 qualifications

4)   Must have best gift #2 (belief in Christ without having seen Him)

5)   Must have best gift #5 (word of wisdom)

6)   Must have best gift #6 (word of knowledge)

7)   Must have best gift #7 (faith to be healed)

8 )  Must have best gift #8 (faith to heal)

9)   Must have best gift #9 (working of miracles)

10) Must have best gift #10 (prophesying)

11) Must have best gift #11 (discerning of spirits)

12) Must have best gift #12 (speaking in tongues)

13) Must have best gift #13 (interpretation of tongues)

14) Must have best gift #14 (discerning of gifts)

The duties of an elder are listed in D&C 20: 38-45. He must have gifts #2, #5, #6, #7 and #8 for the same reasons as a deacon (see above.) He must have gifts #9, #10, #11, #12 and #13 for the same reasons as a priest (see above.)

An elder must also have gift #14 because “unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God” (D&C 46: 27).

Qualifications of the office of a seventy

A seventy is an elder (see D&C 124: 138-139), therefore, all the qualifications of an elder also apply to a seventy. The seventy are a group of constantly traveling elders, and are under the direction of the twelve apostles, whereas the normal group of elders are standing ministers that may travel (see D&C 124: 137) as they desire and as the Spirit dictates to them.

During the time of Moses, seventy elders of Israel saw the Lord (see Ex. 24: 9-11.) During the time of Christ, seventy men who were with the Lord in His ministry (in other words, they saw the Lord) were sent out by Him and performed the same work of miracles as the twelve (see Luke 10: 1-20.) So, following the same pattern, a seventy can be required to have gift #1, so as to be an eyewitness.

Qualifications of the office of an apostle

An apostle is an elder (see D&C 20: 38), therefore, all the qualifications of an elder also apply to an apostle. Like the seventy, the apostles are a group of constantly traveling elders.

Also like the seventy, apostles must have gift #1 so that they are eyewitnesses of Christ. (Seventies and apostles are called to be special/especial witnesses of Christ. The only thing that makes their witness “special” or “especial” is that they have personally seen Christ.)

Qualifications of the office of a high priest

High priests have “authority to officiate in all the lesser offices,” therefore a high priest must possess “all the gifts of God which he bestows” (D&C 107: 92) upon the church (all 14 best gifts.) Additionally, the way he receives his calling is different. Whereas all other offices of the priesthood may receive a calling via either angelic ministration or the voice of God to prophets (see Moro. 7: 22-23), a high priest must receive his calling “by [God’s] own voice out of the heavens” (D&C 84: 42).

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. (JST Genesis 14: 29)

Qualifications of the office of a bishop

Bishops typically are high priests who are ordained as bishops, so all the same qualifications of a high priest apply to a bishop. They must possess every gift.

Ordained patriarchs (evangelical ministers) and gifts #3 and #4

Obviously, based upon what a patriarch does, he would need to have the gift to prophesy (gift #10), the gift of the word of wisdom (gift #5) and the gift of the word of knowledge (gift #6). Beyond those three gifts, I leave it to the reader to figure out the rest of the qualifications of a patriarch and also whether the 3rd and 4th gifts fit into any of the duties of the non-high priest offices. (A high priest and bishop who is an ordained high priest must have every gift, therefore, they must have gifts #3 and #4.)

What’s the point?

Obviously, the priesthood isn’t currently ordained this way. It could be, but I doubt that the present church will ever require such qualifications. Finding anyone with even one gift is hard enough, let alone many gifts. It is much easier to call unmarried men and boys according to their age and some standard of “worthiness” than according to the gifts of the Spirit that they possess. Otherwise, we’d have hardly any priesthood holders.

Nevertheless, tribes can ordain as they see fit, regardless of how the church is currently doing it. There may be some gospel-based tribes out there that will require that all candidates possess the necessary gifts prior to being called and ordained to their tribal priesthood. If and when that day comes, “the rights of the priesthood [will again] be inseparably connected with the powers of heaven.”

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Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender


This is a topic about which I have much more I could write and spend more time coming to understand personally — however, considering the general interest on LDS blogs over the topics of:

I thought it expedient to expound on what I currently understand the nature of these questions to be.  Each point could be illuminated on further if a reader finds any jumps in reasoning that they perhaps cannot follow.

Male/female gender vs. masculine/feminine aspects:

Every intelligence that was created from nothing by God chose a gender for itself at the point when it was made independent in that sphere in which God placed it.  This was its first “act for itself” – choosing to be either male or female in gender.

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

Masculine and feminine, however, refer to aspects of character – not to gender.  Whether male, female, or of no gender [things] – all aspects of existence may act in either masculine or feminine aspects, and thus may be considered as male or female.

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. [D&C 88:45]

The sun is considered as a male because it fulfills a masculine role of emitting light, while the moon is considered as a female because it fulfills a feminine role of receiving and reflecting light.

A better example of the distinction between gender and aspect/role is in considering Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost:

Personal harmony:

The Eastern concept of the yin and yang is a symbol for explaining the dance that goes on between the masculine and feminine aspects within each individual person.  Whether we chose to have a male or female gender as a personage – we are all comprised of masculine and feminine particles, aspects, and characteristics.

Just as an atom – though it contains some particles called protons [positive charge], some neutrons [no charge], and some electrons [negative charge] – may manifest [over-all] either a positive [e.g., sodium] or a negative [e.g., chlorine] charge.  And it is this over-all charge that allows the atoms to interact with each other and form the molecules of life [sodium+chlorine = salt].

Every person [whether created male or female in gender] contains in their make-up the masculine aspects [yang] – or those of creation, acting upon, the left-brain-mind, the right side, etc. and the feminine aspects [yin] – those of resting, yielding, the right-brain-heart, the left side, etc.  [See also, the Split-Brain Model of the Gospel]

When in balance within an individual person, the right-brain-heart will receive [feminine/yin] inspiration and the left-brain-mind will act upon [masculine/yang] that idea and be the tool that carries out the will.

The key to harmony in this system is for masculine and feminine aspects to be in balance.  It would be improper to ask the moon [feminine] to shine like the sun – or the sun [masculine] to reflect like the moon.  Each has its proper role, power, purpose, and way of doing things.  Activity must be balanced with rest.  Contemplation must be balanced with creation.  Etc.

The two cannot be mixed together or pitted one against the other – as though “on” could ever gain victory over “off” or vice versa.  The masculine and feminine are to come together and become one – joining together, but retaining the masculine and feminine aspects undiluted, untainted, and unmixed.

Tribal harmony:

The masculine aspect pertains to males by virtue of a male birth, and the feminine aspect pertains to females by virtue of a female birth.

Humans are not born into this world absolutely free.  That is not to say that I think we are slaves to some nature that we must overcome – nor do I think we are born in any way enslaved.  I simply mean that we are all limited.  The natural completion of any one human can only be found in the joining of two humans.  The natural completion of any two humans [a marriage couple] can only be found in the joining of them to God.  Man or woman [alone] know but one part of human nature.

The male is born into this world with the symbolic wand, scepter, or sword [covered by a hood].  This is God considered as a male.  It is the will that acts to bring about something from nothing [creation].  It is the tool to penetrate the mystery.

The female is born into this world with the symbolic cup and orb [again covered by a hood].  This is God considered as a female.  It is the sacred chalice of divine compassion.  It is the fertile soil yielding to and receiving the seed.

Husbands are [by virtue of a male birth] to act in the masculine aspect of a priest.  Wives are [by virtue of a female birth] to act in the feminine aspect of a priestess.

Males must embrace and magnify their masculine aspect – while at the same time honoring feminine-ness by loving their wives.  Females must embrace and magnify their feminine aspect – while at the same time honoring masculine-ness by yielding their consent to their husbands.

For there to be true equality between males and females, matriarchy must exist along with patriarchy and gynocracy must exist along with androcracy.  There must be a balance of power, and power must be shared – not concentrated in the hands of a few.

Women are to hold the keys of common consent by which they are free to authorize, validate, and direct the work of the priesthood.  Men are to hold the keys of the priesthood by which they are to act as the voluntary slaves of all and minister the gifts and powers of the Spirit.  Though wives are to submit to or follow their husbands – this is balanced inasmuch as the priesthood of the husband cannot be handled without the consent of those it is intended to serve [the servant must hearken to his masters in all things].  All things must be done by common consent, or else disharmony and tyranny result [rather the men or the women are at fault].  Men and women are judged by God according to how they use their respective set of keys and how they treat each other.

There is no need to consider the particular aspects of the feminine nature [or the male nature] to be a burden.  Nor do we have to somehow neutralize the difference between woman and man in the quest for some androgenous equality of andro-gyn-archy where we demand the sun reflect light and the moon emit it.

What we are to understand by the division of masculine and feminine natures is that man or woman [alone] are but half of a true person – just as a person’s flesh is incomplete without his/her spirit.  However, it is being half that allows the whole to be constructed without denying each part what it truly is.

What of Heavenly Mother?

All Gods, irrespective of gender, are masculine aspects – or are to be considered as male.  When they become the feminine aspect [the mystery, that which is penetrated], they enter the passive, sleep-state of outer darkness — and we do not relate to them here in the created universe.

The exception to this is Jesus Christ during his life on earth.  For though he was God, and therefore did not consider “Godhood” to be something he needed to cling to – he gave up or emptied himself of the masculine aspect of God, took upon himself flesh, appeared in human form, humbled himself in obedience to God, and suffered death on the cross to have his bowels filled with compassion for humanity [See Philippians 2:6-11].  Thus, for that duration of time, Jesus Christ [being God] was considered as a female while being a male personage.  However, thereafter he is seated at the right hand of God [masculine] and all humanity is subject to him [masculine] – and is therefore, as God, he is currently considered as a male.

The created universe [associated with the left-brain-mind/right side] is a masculine aspect, therefore – whether a God is a priest/king or a priestess/queen, He or She is considered as a male by humanity.  We refer to all of them as Gods [rather than Goddesses] – and we must relate to them as masculine, as in yield to the Spirit and submit our will, etc.

Outer darkness [associated with the right-brain-heart/left side] is a feminine aspect.  It is the mystery [a sea of “nothing”-ness] that is penetrated by the will [expansion of the sphere of light].  It is the passive state of non-existence that is contrasted to the active state of existence.

Thus, the Gods are all considered as males and we must relate to them in that way.  The difference in the offering of Cain [fruits of the earth] and of Abel [animal sacrifice] is that Cain could not act in faith towards God while approaching him as a feminine aspect [fertility worship].

As Gods, the purpose is to begin the Arthurian quest to drown in the cup of the Divine Feminine.  Once a God [whether male or female in gender] achieves this state of progression – they return to a state of passivity and rest in outer darkness.  The cycle of creation and expansion of this created universe must be balanced with the rest and withdraw of outer darkness.

The nature of all energy is a wave.  There is no static position in nature.  The full moon will be immediately replaced by the waning gibbous.  Once the moon’s light is altogether withdrawn — a new moon phase begins with the waxing crescent.  The sun goes thru similar phases of active solar activity and more quiet periods.  The earth wobbles on its axis to form seasonal intervals.  The sun moves thru the sky from the summer solstice to the equinox to the winter solstice and back.  Etc.

Eternal progression does not defy this natural pattern by being linear.  The course is one eternal round – or that of an undulating wave.  The kingdom of God is associated with “on” [yang, creation, left-brain, masculine] and outer darkness is associated with “off” [yin, rest, right-brain, feminine].  The point at which any God [male or female] reaches the crest of the wave – they pierce thru the created universe and begin the state of rest [as was counseled to be so since the beginning].

This state is the Divine Feminine, what people call the Heavenly Mother – this is God considered as a female.  This substance is what yields to the universal sphere of light [the seed].  This substance is what the power of creation [pro-creation] uses to bring something out from nothing.  Once any Goddess [male or female] reaches the trough of the wave – they become awake to their left-brain-mind and spawn a new universal sphere of light [a seed].

Outer darkness is, in every facet, the right-brain-heart of God – it is the Mother or Goddess – the waning or sleep state.

The created universe is, in every facet, the left-brain-mind of God – it is the Father or God – the waxing or active state.

This principle – explained in three tiers:

I.  As a person [rather born male or female], each of us must seek to harmonize the feminine and the masculine aspects inherent in our person.

This is done by subjecting the flesh [feminine] to the spirit [masculine] – and by placing the right-brain and the left-brain into their proper harmonious roles.

II.  As a marriage couple [who are made up of one male and one female], the wife and the husband must seek to harmonize the feminine and masculine aspects inherent in the role each one is to play.

This is done by women acting in the aspects of the feminine and men acting in the aspects of the masculine.  Wives [feminine] must follow their husbands [masculine].

III.  As the church of God [who are made up of the foundational unit of marriage families], we are all – as the bride of Christ – to seek towards harmonizing ourselves as the feminine with our masculine Bridegroom and Father.

This is done by all believers acting in the aspects of the feminine by relating to God only as a masculine aspect [even the Gods that are female in gender, i.e. the Holy Ghost].  The church [feminine] must subject its will to the will of the Father [masculine].

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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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The Will of God and Faith


Romans 9: 6-24 [English Standard Version]:

…it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad — in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls — she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written [in Malachi], “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then?  Is there injustice on God’s part?  By no means!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will? But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory — even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The two historical cases:

Looking at Paul’s logic — because God chose one of Abraham’s spouses over the others, it follows that claiming descent from Abraham was not sufficient to make one an heir to God’s promise:

And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Further because God chose one of Rebekah’s twins over the other, claiming descent from Isaac was not sufficient to make one an heir to God’s promise.

And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

NOTE:  However, Rebekah was told that the older would serve the younger.  Given the Lord’s vernacular for presidency/leadership as voluntary servitude – perhaps this was a misunderstood revelation, and that misunderstanding led things to play out the way they did.  Just a thought.

The extrapolated case:

From these two historical cases, Paul theroizes that it is then likewise true that claiming to be “of Israel” cannot demonstrate that a person is right with God [or justified].

The implication made by using Abraham and Isaac as examples, is that being a justified believer is still a function of God’s choice [like choosing Sarah’s son over Hagar’s, and choosing one of Rebekah’s sons over the other].   He either made you for glory or for wrath and you are in no place to dispute His choice for you.

This is the Calvinistic doctrine of “irresistible grace” — wherein they conclude that it is not possible for humans to have any role in justification — because how could we do anything more than God could do Himself?

What about faith?

However, Paul consistently stresses “faith” as the means of access to God and to a justified state with Him:

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only?  is he not also of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also:  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

and

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

and

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

and

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

and

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Faith = Word of God + Belief + the Spirit:

So, if humans have access to God by virtue of faith — then it must still be God’s irresistible choice as to who “gets faith” and who does not — right?  To answer this question, it requires one to look at Alma’s preaching on the subject of faith that is found in Alma 32:

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed.

Equating the word of God with a seed is also done in Luke 8: 11;  1 Peter  1: 23; Romans 10: 17; and Galatians 3: 2-9.  The farmer analogy is quite accurate.  The right-brain-hearts of humans are soil, which can be at varying degrees of receptiveness for the seeds, which are the various doctrines of God, the devil, and of men.  The faith that will justify a person with respect to God comes as the ever-good seed is allowed to germinate and grow in the right-brain-heart.

Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart,

This “place” is given in the right-brain-heart.  It involves the concept of yielding [Mosiah 3:19] or being lowly, humble, and teachable.  Broken soil [or a softened right-brain-heart] is a result of a person humbling him/herself — thereby having a broken heart or contrite spirit.  This is equivalent to being “poor in heart” — which Alma observed that the Zoramites were:

of whom were poor in heart, because of their poverty as to the things of the world.

In their case, worldly poverty had brought them to this “lowliness of heart” state:

And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?

Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed — yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.

So, Alma describes two options for softening the right-brain-heart:  a person may wait for certain circumstances to bring about a state of humility [or soft ground], which will make him/her open and receptive to the word — or a person may exercise self-motivation by virtue of the power of the word alone [motivated by the promises of the Lord], and give place for that seed on his/her own.

Also, if a person’s circumstances do not cause him/her to be humble and they cannot seem to humble themselves before the Lord, then the Lord provides another tool for a man or woman to obtain the required humility:  fasting and prayer.

Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

This is how the ancients did it, because this is how it is done.

Continuing one with Alma’s preaching in chapter 32:

behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed,

The seed Alma spoke of was:

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.

This is the ever-good seed.  Any seed that is planted and persuades a person to believe in and plant this ever-good seed, is also a good seed.  While any seed that is planted and persuades a person not to believe in and plant the ever-good seed, is not a good seed.  None of this has anything to do with religion or churches.  All seeds are judged to be good or evil by how they measure up to the ever-good seed and whether they point people towards, or away from, it:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

Continuing on in Alma 32:

if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord,

Unbelief is equated by Alma with resistance.  Resistance requires effort or work.  It means to oppose with force. The opposite of resisting would be to bow, give in, submit, succumb, surrender, or yield.  All of these words imply a lack of effort or ceasing to work.

As belief is an entirely passive act, any effort whatsoever on a person’s part will stand as an obstacle or impediment to the formula for obtaining faith.  It is like someone pushing you and simply allowing yourself to be pushed — or being in a river that is pushing you downriver and allowing yourself to be carried along.  No effort.  This is belief.

The moment there is resistance [in the slightest degree] to that push, even to just change the direction of travel one inch, it will decrease belief — ultimately turning it into its opposite [disbelief or doubt], which is a state of resistance to the Spirit of the Lord.

behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves — It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

This is a formula — akin to a scientific equation or cooking recipe.  Following the steps with the outlined ingredients will always produce the same result.  If a person varies one step or another — or rationalizes that a certain step is not required — or puts in some of their own effort into the formula — anything different causes “user error” and faith will not result.

The desire to believe:

But what can a person a person do if he/she is having problems with the formula?  There are certain signs following them that believe.  The purpose of these signs is to give the professed believer [and also the church] a means to discern justified believers in Christ [saints, who possess faith] from non-justified believers in Christ [Christians, who do not possess faith] — this is the fruit by which you may know them.  If one finds that he/she is not able to:

In my name they shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; In my name they shall heal the sick; In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; And the tongue of the dumb shall speak; And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them; And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.

or

And these signs shall follow them that believe — in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

Then Alma advises that:

But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words

What will “awake and arouse your faculties”?  This was mentioned earlier in describing how to soften the soil:

  • One could be compelled by circumstances to have a desire to believe.
  • One could be motivated by virtue of the promises of the Lord in His word to desire to believe.
  • One could fast and pray until a desire to believe stirs in his/her right-brain-heart.

Again, “let this desire work in you” is the same as being in that river of water that is pushing you downriver, and instead of resisting, just allowing yourself to be carried along.

God’s will is your faith:

God works according to the faith of the children of men — meaning according to the formula outlined above.  Thus, the doctrine of God saving people by virtue of His will and choice is true.  However, that He works according to our faith means that His “choice” cannot be outside the bounds of an agent’s faith.

There is no such thing as something operating solely according to the will of God without the context of our faith.  Things operate solely according to the faith of agents — and this is God’s will.  This is why, for example, when Alma and Amulek were beholding the destruction of the saints by fire — and Amulek says to Alma:

How can we witness this awful scene?  Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us [which power comes by faith], and save them from the flames.

we read that Alma replies:

The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand.

Because Alma and Amulek had the faith to stop the destruction — the Spirit needed to tell them that they should not use their gift because there was a wiser purpose in letting the saints die.  Should it be the case that God’s will can be done without regard for an agent’s faith — then there would have been no purpose in the Spirit telling Alma anything.  Alma would have just stretched forth his hand and watched as the flames kept on burning [Much like what many LDS experience with priesthood healings, etc.].

The principle is that God must act where there is faith, so the Spirit had to tell Alma not extend his hand [not to exercise his faith] so that the destruction would not stop.

Also, there are two examples from Paul.  In 1 Corinthians 14, he gives a command that members of the church who possess the gift of tongues refrain from using their gift in church meetings whenever a member with the gift of interpretation of tongues is not present:

…let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church;

No such instruction would be needed unless the gifts are available to be used at will by those who have faith.  If the gifts worked according to God’s will and choice alone, then the Spirit would simply not manifest tongues in cases when an interpreter was absent — and no one would need instruction from Paul.

Also, in Acts 21, we see Paul in a similar circumstance as Alma and Amulek.  Paul is told twice, through the gift of prophecy, not to go to Jerusalem.  In the wording of the Alma 14 story we could say:  “The Spirit constraineth Paul that he must not go forth unto Jerusalem.

And finding disciples, we tarried [at Tyre] seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

and

And as we tarried [at Ptolemais] many days, there came down from Judæa a certain prophet, named Agabus.  And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.  And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Yet, while Alma and Amulek chose to submit their faith to what the Spirit had told them — Paul chooses otherwise.  Exercising his faith — Paul feels it better to die at Jerusalem for the name of Jesus Christ.  When the people saw that Paul could not be persuaded, they acknowledged that:

The will of the Lord be done.

And His will is done — in these examples and in the example of exercising faith unto salvation.  It is God’s will that people work according to their faith — and His will is done when faith is used.  With respect to salvation, God chooses every person that He has the power to choose — and He only has power where there is faith.  Thus He “chooses” all those who have faith.

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Previous Article by Justin:  The Tribal Church

See also:  The Faith of God Series, FPR post on LDS Cessationism, T&S post on LDS Cessationism, and W&T post on Alma 32