The doctrine against dissent


I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. (D&C 38:27)

Unity is required of the saints

We are commanded to “be one” (D&C 51:9) in Christ, even “as [Jesus is] one in the Father” (D&C 35:2), for the gospel principle of unity is patterned after the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, “which is one Eternal God” (Alma 11:44). The required oneness is to “be perfect” (2 Cor. 13:11), the saints being commanded to be “of one mind” (1 Pet. 3:8), “of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32), “of one accord” (Philip. 2:2), of “one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity” (Mosiah 18:21), as “one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5), being “united in all things” (2 Ne. 1:21) and “united in mighty prayer and fasting” (3 Ne. 27:1).

The “one body in Christ” refers to the church of God, meaning that the saints have a “duty to unite with the true church” (D&C 23:7), to worship as a group and “agree upon [God’s] word” (D&C 41:2). This is a physical gathering of saints in which they are to “meet together often” (D&C 20:55,75).

Just as the resurrection of the dead will dress the naked spirits again, restoring the body “unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy” (D&C 138:17), so the physically gathered church, or corporate body of the church, is designed to never be divided into schisms, so that it becomes “a whole and complete and perfect union” (D&C 128:18).

Such unity is only to be of like things, thus the saints have been taught by Paul “that a believer should not be united to an unbeliever” (D&C 74:5) and every man of the church has been commanded by the Lord to “be alike among this people, and receive alike” (D&C 51:9).

The commandment to be one makes dissenting behavior a sin

There are nine instances of the word dissent in the scriptures, all of which occur in the Book of Mormon. The word never appears as a noun, only as a verb. It is also always portrayed as a sin.

For the modern reader, using modern dictionaries, the idea of dissenting behavior being a sin makes no sense, whatsoever. A review of the modern definitions and the definitions at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon (taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) will quickly show why there is so much confusion on this issue.

According to the modern definition of the intransitive verb to dissent, it means “to withhold assent” or “to differ in opinion.” (Assent means “an act of agreeing to something especially after thoughtful consideration : an act of assenting : acquiescence, agreement”.) The verb has no religious connotation, however if we look at the noun dissent, we find that although it can be used generally to mean a “difference of opinion”, it also can be used more specifically to mean either “religious nonconformity,” “a justice’s nonconcurrence with a decision of the majority,” or “political opposition to a government or its policies.”

The current religious meaning (“religious nonconformity”) is a nonspecific version of what the word used to mean during the times of Joseph Smith. In Joseph’s time, to religiously dissent specifically meant “to differ from an established church, in regard to doctrines, rites or government.”

So, for example, if all the men who attend my ward dress in white shirts and ties (not because of church doctrines, rites or government, but just because that is the customary attire) and I attend wearing a blue shirt with no tie, I am guilty of nonconformity (and some might call it religious nonconformity since it is nonconformity to a custom that occurs in a religious setting), but not guilty of differing from the established doctrines, rites or government of my ward, for none of that gives a dress code for attending the ward. Dissent in the modern sense could be any religious nonconformity, regardless of how insignificant it is, whereas dissenting behavior in Joseph’s time specifically meant nonconformity to the doctrines, rites or government of an established church.

No one can righteously dissent from the true church of God

The scriptures brought forth by Joseph Smith teach that dissenting behavior is a sin, but this must be understood by the definition used in Joseph’s time. Here are all nine instances in which the word dissent is used in the scriptures, all of which are found only in the Book of Mormon:

And the people of Ammon did give unto the Nephites a large portion of their substance to support their armies; and thus the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites, and the descendants of the priests of Noah. (Alma 43:13)

And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord. (Alma 46:7)

And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ.

And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites. (Alma 46:27-28)

Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites. (Alma 48:24)

Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the Lamanites, when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world? (Alma 60:32)

And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.

And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers. (3 Ne. 3:10-11)

Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them. (Hel. 5:35)

All dissenters from the true church of God are sinners

According to our modern dictionaries, a dissenter is “one that dissents”, and since we know what it means to religiously dissent, that means that a religious dissenter is one that does not religiously conform. But in the time of Joseph Smith, a dissenter was “one who separates from the service and worship of any established church.”

The words dissent and dissenters, as found in the standard works, carry the meanings the words had during the time of Joseph Smith. So, when we read in the Book of Mormon that there were people in the church who dissented, it doesn’t mean that there was a difference of opinion or general religious nonconformity, but that those who dissented were advocating a change in the church’s doctrines, rites or government. And when we read of dissenters from the church in the same record, it does not mean that they were just people who had a difference of opinion, but that they were people who had separated from the church and had begun performing worship services that were different from those of the church.

Unbelief is the cause of dissenting behavior

Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers. They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened. And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God. (Mosiah 26:1-4)

Although the above scripture speaks of non-members who never ended up joining the church, the dissenting process is the same for members of God’s church. Any believing member who chooses to begin to doubt the word of God will begin to dissent in his heart, meaning that he will begin to desire that the doctrines, rites and/or government of the church of God be changed (in conformity with his new belief system). This state of heart, in which the man spiritually separates himself from those who choose to not doubt the word of God, can lead to contention and disputations, and if not resolved by a restoration of belief (through repentance), ultimately will end in the member becoming a dissenter, so that he now physically separates from the body of the church and engages in worship services of another church or belief system. The Zoramites present a prime example of this process:

And it came to pass that as he [Korihor] went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. (Alma 30:59)

Now it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people. (Alma 31:1)

Now the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites; therefore they had had the word of God preached unto them. But they had fallen into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God, and his statutes, according to the law of Moses. Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation. Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances; therefore, for this cause, Alma and his brethren went into the land to preach the word unto them. (Alma 31:8-11)

We see from this that Zoramite dissenters had separated themselves from both the church of God and also the Nephite nation itself, creating a new religion which rejected the established doctrines, rites and government of God. This separation occurred because they stopped believing in the things of God, as taught and practiced by God’s church:

Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. (Alma 31:16)

All dissenters from the church of God make the same claim: that the church of God is apostate and thus its doctrines, rites or government must be modified in order to bring it back into God’s good graces. This claim may be made because the church does not sufficiently change with the times or it may be made because the church has made a change that the dissenters feel was not authorized by God. When the saints of God inevitably refuse to permit the dissenters from altering God’s current callings, laws and ordinances to conform to a more modern philosophy or to a more ancient or earlier practice, the dissenters separate and do their own thing, becoming a law unto themselves.

Now, from the perspective of the church body, to dissent is to advocate heresy and thus a dissenter is an apostate heretic (someone who advocates heresy and has separated from the church), whereas from the perspective of the dissenter, the church is too corrupt (apostate) to improve and thus must be abandoned and perhaps even actively criticized and fought.

We see from this that both sides make, essentially, the same claim: that the other party is in error and refuses to be corrected.

Unrepentant dissenters must be silenced and cut off

Unbelief is an infectious plague, that if left unchecked will affect the entire church body, causing both spiritual and temporal destruction to come upon the church. Spiritual destruction happens because unbelief and dissenting behavior are sins, thus subjecting the man to the devil’s power and captivation. And temporal destruction happens because the church body no longer qualifies for temporal deliverance from the Lord, which requires unity.

Because of these real dangers to the church, when a dissenting voice is heard among the church, it must be silenced as soon as possible. Thus we read,

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes; and after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes (WoM 1:15-16)

False Christs, false prophets, false preachers and false teachers cause people to doubt the word of God, creating dissenting behavior, which could grow into church schisms, in which people become dissenters, separating from the church of God. There are three valid (authorized) ways that men of God use to silence dissenting voices.

And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures. But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults. (3 Nephi 1:24-25)

So, the first way to silence false ideas and teachings is to have the high priests correct the errors, showing them their faults, so that such people repent of their sins and turn from their errors and become, again, converted to the true faith and doctrines and rites and government of God, confessing their faults. This first step allows people who made honest, doctrinal mistakes to self-correct and remain in safety with the body of the saints.

If, however, the false teachers do not repent, but persist in their dissenting behavior, endeavoring to preach and teach the same errors (heresies) to other members of the church, the high priests are required to shut their mouths by cutting them off from the church. Although the now non-member is free to preach as he sees fit to the members, excommunication removes his legitimacy in the eyes of the body, so that they may more readily see that the false teacher is in error, and thus should not be listened to.

Repentance, disfellowship or excommunication

In the modern church of God, the saints have been give three ways to deal with dissenting behavior: the leadership can correct the errors and those who dissent can repent and be restored to full fellowship, or, if the dissenter needs more time to repent and come to a proper understanding of the word of God, he may be disfellowshipped, so that he is not permitted to teach false doctrine to the church, until such time as he fully repents and becomes, again, a believer in God’s word, understanding it by the Spirit. Disfellowship really is for those who are still confused over the word of God, but who desire to come to an understanding that allows them to remain with the church. The last way is excommunication, which is for dissenters who refuse to repent or even acknowledge that they have done anything wrong.

The door is left open to return to the flock

Jesus told His twelve disciples, concerning the member of the church that was unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, because of transgression,

But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth. (3 Nephi 18:31-33)

Excommunication, then, is a true principle of the gospel, one which must be performed on all those church members who do not repent of their sins after they have been admonished of them. Following this commandment keeps those who are in charge of regulating the church justified before the Lord, and also keeps the flock safer from the effects of false teachings and bad examples, which effects or fruit is spiritual and temporal destruction. The commandment to excommunicate unrepentant sinners was also given to the modern church, with the same promise of justification for the leadership if they obey the same.

And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not, ye shall bring before the church, and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation. And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver—verily I say, for this cause ye shall do these things. (D&C 64:12-14)

So, even if the judges (who are charged to judge whether the sinner will remain in the church) forgive the man who refuses to repent of his sins, and would rather release him without any discipline applied, doing so would break the commandment given to the leadership, of excommunicating (cutting off) unrepentant sinners. The only way to remain justified before the Lord is to obey the commandment and cut off all those who refuse to repent, regardless of what the sin is.

Nevertheless, after being cut off, they (the leadership) must keep an open door policy, allowing the dissenters who repent of their sins to come back into the fold.

A difference of opinion does not constitute dissenting behavior

Scriptural dissenting behavior deals only with church doctrines, rites and government. Some people, though, cannot differentiate between scriptural dissenting behavior and the modern, generic definition of dissent, which merely means “a difference of opinion.” So any censuring they see, of any kind, is viewed as morally wrong, a violation of one’s right to free speech, as put down in the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The problem with that view, is that a church is not a public institution, but a private one, and like all private institutions, it has certain rules which its membership is expected to obey.

We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship. (D&C 134:10)

A case in point: Korihor

In December of 2011, I wrote on the Times and Seasons blog the following:

Korihor was not a religious freedom advocate battling an oppressive central government.

Korihor was a liar couching his lies under the guise of belief. He did this because liars were punished, it being against the law to lie (see Alma 1:16-17.) So, he pretended to preach according to his belief. Everyone who heard him preach, knew he was lying, for he told blatant lies (see Alma 30:35) but pretended it was merely his belief. He was repeatedly bound and taken before the authorities because it was obvious to everyone that he was breaking the law by lying, but no one knew what to do with him because of his stubbornness in always couching it in belief, for the law had no hold upon anyone for their belief. In other words, atheists had freedom in their society, but not pretended atheists, only people who truly believed that there was no God. Korihor, though, from his speech, revealed himself to be a liar and showed that his intention was to merely deceive the people.

Now the text clearly shows that this was Korihor’s crime: lies. Repeatedly when questioned by Alma, the topic of lies is brought up. He is on trial for lying, or intentionally deceiving people, which was a punishable crime among them. The people of Ammon, who first bound him, “were more wise” (Alma 30:20) than those at Zarahemla because they were more righteous. The Nephites at Zarahemla could see that he was a liar and deceiver, but they just let him go about breaking the law and deceiving the people. Not so with the Lamanite people of Ammon.

Again, Korihor was bound and sent up to the authorities with testimony of his lies, for there must be witnesses. Nevertheless, they couldn’t do anything to him because he pretended he was entitled to his own beliefs, therefore, he was, each time, set free, outside of the lands that he preached among, until he finally came to Alma, who, through the power of God, put a stop to his destructive work of lies.

I could have worded that a bit better than I did, but it’s good enough for the point I am trying to make, which is that once you break the laws of a society, whether it is a public society like the Nephites or a private society like the church of God, you become subject to whatever penalty is attached to that broken law. In the case of religious dissenting behavior and dissenters, freedom of speech or of the press is allowed only insofar as you do not transgress the laws of God by your speech or writings. Once you are found promoting wickedness or falsehoods by your spoken or written words, the church has jurisdiction over you and also a responsibility to censure you (to shut your mouth) in the prescribed, scriptural manner (correction and repentance, disfellowship or excommunication). In public society, freedom of speech or of the press does not grant you the right to commit slander or libel.

What saints do when unrepentant sinners are around

We are free, then, to use our agency to do good, but when we use it to commit evil by our speech and the words we write, we come under condemnation of God and it is every saint’s duty to denounce and resist all the evils that are observed by them. This is why the witnesses came forth during the first trial of the original Mormon church:

And now in the reign of Mosiah they [the unbelievers] were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.

For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.

And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest.

Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.

And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. (Mosiah 26:5-9)

Now, I will unfold this saintly duty and peculiarity a little farther down in this post, as it cannot be overemphasized.

Pahoran wrote:

Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God. (Alma 61:14)

But Jesus commanded:

But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (3 Ne. 12:39)

Which instructions are the saints of God supposed to obey? Both. (I only mention this in case some commenter says, “But Jesus said to not resist evil! So Pahoran was wrong!”) I will not explain this seeming contradiction as that is not the topic of this post. Just suffice it to say that a saint typically does not shut his mouth at iniquity, unless the Holy Ghost constrains him not to speak.

The following instructions were given to saints:

And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled.

And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.

And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many.

And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God.

If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things. (D&C 42:88-93)

Who does the chastening? Who does the rebuking? Who determines who has offended publicly or in secret? Who delivers the unrepentant sinners to the law of God? The saints do. More on this later.

Re: those who learn and obey the whats only if the whys suit them

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them (Abr. 3:25)

Doing all things that the Lord commands includes bridling the tongue (see James 3), which means that the spoken and written word must likewise be put under gospel constraints. Intentionally false (heretical) teachings, then, break the commandments.

Some people in the church say that mortality is a school to learn the things of God, as if it were knowledge that saved us. They emphasize that we ought not to be blindly obedient, but ought to obey rationally, with understanding of why we are commanded to do whatever it is we are commanded to do. They are more concerned with the why than with the what.

Such people, if they cannot understand the reason behind a commandment or doctrine, may end up openly questioning its divinity. In other words, they may start to propose a theory that the doctrine or commandment has a non-divine source and begin to teach it among the people. If confronted by a saint and told that the alternate teaching is heretical, the proponent may do as Korihor and say it is merely a belief or a hypothesis which may or may not be true, and that there is no harm in questioning things which may be false. In other words, he or she will claim, like Korihor, that this is not a teaching, but just an interesting idea: to consider that a doctrine or commandment or teaching of the church is man-made and not divinely given.

Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true….And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ…I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe. (Alma 30:24,26,48)

Such heresies come from putting knowledge before faith and requiring that one know and understand something before one will believe it to be true.

Although it is true that man is here to learn, he is only here to learn obedience to God.

And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer. (D&C 105:6)

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb. 5:8)

Separating goats from sheep is a gospel principle based on obedience

Obedience to the whats, not knowledge of the whys, is the deciding factor in determining where we go.

and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate (Abr. 3:26)

So God separates those who keep His commandments from those who don’t, and puts them into separate kingdoms. This is why the church is charged with excommunicating all those who do not repent of their sins. This separation, or division, is based upon the heavenly pattern. Just as there was a separation in heaven between the 1/3 and the 2/3, and the 1/3 were cast out, so here on earth more separation is commanded to occur, for those who transgress the law of God and do not repent.

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted (Alma 42:22)

Once you break the law, the punishment is not immediately inflicted, but you are granted a space to repent, resulting in two sets of commandments. The first commandment is to keep the law, which, if you disobey, you then get a second commandment, which is to repent. Only when you refuse to take advantage of repentance and the atonement, does the law require that you be cut off from the church by excommunication.

Cutting off the people by excommunication furthers the work of division that the Savior spoke of.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)

Jesus gathers his elect into one body and then uses his sword to divide the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, pruning the body from time to time as fruit withers upon the branch, showing its true nature. In other words, the gospel net draws all sorts of fish into the church, and then it gets sorted, according to what type of fish it shows itself to be. If a man appears to be a sheep, or wheat, or good fish or fruit, he is to remain with the saints, but if he shows himself as a goat, a tare, rotten fruit or spoiled fish, he is to be cast out. The test of goathood, or tarehood, or rottenness is two-fold: does the man obey the commandments? If yes, he stays. If no, does he repent of his sins? If yes, he stays. If no, he must be cast off.

Pruning (excommunication) is to take place on an as needed basis, in order that the gospel tree does not perish.

Church trials

Before anyone can be excommunicated in this church, they must first be tried for their membership. As everyone is considered innocent before being proven guilty, the Lord has given in His scriptures the divine pattern of church trials and courts.

There are three types of church courts or trials that the scriptures speak of, and six types of judges.  The pattern is designed around checks and balances, in order that power is not concentrated in the hands of any one person or group and so that everyone who is accused has a fair, balanced trial, in which everyone’s rights are upheld.

The six types of judges

The witnesses

Two or three (or more) church members in good standing become judges when they act as witnesses. This is the law of witnesses and it is based upon the righteousness and holiness of a saint. It is the saints who will judge the nations and all things pertaining to Zion, for they are sanctified (holy) and are duly qualified to determine whether someone has transgressed.

The bishop

The bishop judges the good standing of the membership, and thus the saints, because a bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship.

The two elders

The two elders judge the case laid before them by the two or three (or more) saintly witnesses, the bishop attesting to their good standing. If there are sufficient witnesses, the two elders judge whether the accused has confessed and repented. If the accused refuses, then the elders pass judgment upon the accused, as required by the scriptures.

The church congregation

After the two elders come to a guilty verdict, they must lay the case before the congregation, which then must take a vote to sustain the action or oppose it. If the majority agrees, the decision is ratified and valid and the accused is excommunicated. If the majority disagrees, no action is taken. The congregation, then, judges the decision of the two elders, and decides whether it was correct or not.

The stake president

The stake president, like the two elders, judges the case laid before him by the witnesses and makes a decision concerning which party is right or whether both are wrong.

The high council

The twelve high council members vote to ratify (make valid) the decision of the president. If a majority does not agree with his decision, it does not go through.

The three types of church courts or councils

Bishop’s court or council

The bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship and is to know who is consecrating properties and moneys, or donating funds as tithing or fast offerings, etc., to the Lord. This gives him a unique perspective into who is and is not a wise and just steward. Nevertheless, his judgment and jurisdiction are not independent but only activate with just testimony.

And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children; and to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the prophets of God. (D&C 58:17-18)

And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church (D&C 42:32)

And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. (D&C 107:72)

Because of this, a sinner who confesses to a bishop cannot be tried by the bishop, nor his testimony used against him, because the testimony is of a sinner, not a saint. In other words, only the testimony of the just (someone who hasn’t broken the laws) can be used in trials. Nevertheless, with just testimony, the bishop and bishopric are authorized to judge only whether someone is in good standing or not, and is contributing to the upkeep of the poor and the kingdom. In other words, the bishop’s jurisdiction deals primarily in temporal matters.

Elder’s court or council

The elders’ jurisdiction to judge is activated by witnesses coming forth and testifying of the wickedness of some member. The bishop, if available, is required to be present that he may attest to the good standing of the witnesses. If two witnesses in good standing testify against a member, that is sufficient to condemn. If there is no confession and repentance afterward, the elders must lay it before the members, to ratify the excommunication. The elder’s council is designed to be used for matters of transgression only, to try a person for his or her membership.

High priests’ court or council

This court, known as a high council, is to settle difficult and important matters, and like the other courts, only receives jurisdiction when two or more saints testify as witnesses. For example, if there is a property dispute, one saying that his property line extends 15 feet down the hill and his neighbor saying that it only extends 10 feet, the high council can be used to address these matters, if there are sufficient witnesses.

Scriptural patterns are no longer followed

The above are the scriptural patterns, which are no longer precisely followed. For example, the elder’s council has been completely done away with. Instead, the high council now tries the men of the church who have had Melchizedek priesthood conferred on them, and the bishopric tries everyone else, for membership. Nothing outside of transgression is brought to trial anymore. You can’t take a property dispute to the church courts and receive a judgment. Instead, everyone is told to settle the matter amongst themselves, or to use the man-made court system.

The checks and balances that were present in the three-court pattern have been removed and power has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Many of the rights guaranteed to all the members have been weakened or altogether removed. If we compare the scripturally revealed pattern of church courts with today’s current practice, it can plainly be seen that today’s practice and procedure makes the word of God, as written in the scriptures, of none effect, effectively removing the justice that was inherent in the original pattern. In other words, the current church court system is no longer based upon just principles, but is corrupt.

Church courts and the rights of a member

Disfellowship and excommunication is to occur in the church according to prescribed laws given of God in the scriptures. The procedure itself is divine and designed to preserve the rights of every accused member in the church, that justice prevail at all times. As I explained in another post, the Bill of Rights may be used in a church setting to protect one’s rights:

Because the Lord has approved of, or justified, the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints are fully authorized to include it as part of their scriptural canon. This is not to say that it is scripture, for it was not written by the power of the Holy Ghost, nor does it contain the revealed words of God, nevertheless, as an inspired and approved writing, it may be used to defend or safeguard one’s rights in a church setting.

The Fifth Amendment says,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The twelve high councilors are, essentially, a type of grand jury, charged with investigating the merits of any accusations, witnesses and evidence. Their duty is to judge whatever is presented to them according to the canonized word of God. Church courts, then, were intended by God to incorporate this principle.

An accused latter-day saint cannot be a witness against himself because according to the law of God, only church members in good standing can act as witnesses. A confession, then, is insufficient to convict. Church courts, as detailed in the scriptures, cannot use someone’s confessed testimony as evidence against them, yet that is exactly what is done today by the church bishops, and also for high councils (disciplinary councils), if the accused allows the testimony into evidence. Such practices are completely at odds with the word of God.

The Wikipedia says this about due process:

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Typically, “Due process” means 1) NOTICE, generally written, but some courts have determined, in rare circumstances, other types of notice suffice. Notice should provide sufficient detail to fully inform the individual of the decision or activity that will have an effect on his/her rights or property or person. 2) right to GRIEVE (that being the right to complain or to disagree with the governmental actor/entity which has decision making authority) and 3) the right to APPEAL if not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance procedure. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

The church court system is supposed to incorporate the principals of due process, requiring notice, granting a right to grieve and also to appeal. Current practice has kept these safeguards more or less intact. Now let’s turn to the Sixth Amendment.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

All of these principles are supposed to be incorporated into church courts. The trials are supposed to be speedy and are supposed to be public (when they are presented to the church congregation for a sustaining or opposing vote, which no longer happens). The jury, which is the 12 high councilors, are supposed to be impartial, which is often no longer the case. The accused is to be tried locally, in his branch, ward or stake, where the sins were allegedly committed. (Trials are still local, but accusations may come from outside of the branch, ward or stake, such as from Salt Lake.) The accused is to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. (This still happens.) The witnesses are to testify in front of the accused during the trial. (The law of witnesses, to my knowledge, has been almost completely phased out.) The accused has the right to call witnesses in his favor. (This is still allowed.) And lastly, one half of the high councilors that speak are to be the advocates of the accused. (This no longer happens.)

There is also the Seventh Amendment:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

All high councils were designed to be, in fact, trials by jury, requiring a ratification vote by the high councilors to validate the president’s decision. This is no longer the case. In current practice, the stake president can convict regardless of what the other men say about the case. Therefore, the right to trial by jury has been denied to the saints. But this right is found in the scriptural pattern, like the others listed above.

So, we see from this that the church court system, as detailed in the revelations, incorporates many of the same principles found in the Bill of Rights.

D&C 42 and D&C 102

The patterns of the two main court (trial) systems, the elders’ council and the high council, are given in D&C 42 and 102.

D&C 42:78-93

Section 42 gives the pattern for the elders’ council, which dealt specifically with transgression, beginning with verse 78 through verse 93.

Verse 78 states that every church member must obey the church commandments and keep their church covenants.

And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church.  (D&C 42:78)

Now, that is the standard (obeying commandments and keeping covenants). But what does the church do if it transgresses? The previous section (41) said the following, but did not give the procedure for how one should be cast out or judged unworthy:

He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you; for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. (D&C 41:5-6)

So, the rest of section 42 gives instructions on what the church should do when someone transgresses, or how to go about casting him or her off. We learn in verses 80-82 that when there is transgression in the church, the transgressors are to be tried in a church court trial before two elders of the church, and that if there are two church witnesses, that the accused shall be (not may be) condemned, and that after condemnation the congregation is to be informed of the case and of the decision and they are to vote on the matter by the raising of their hands, the Lord expecting them to uphold the decision and testimony of the witnesses:

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop be present also.  (D&C 42:80-82)

We also learn that the bishop needs to be present, if possible.

The next verse (83) basically says that verses 80-82 is the pattern for all church trials for membership.

And thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you.  (D&C 42:83)

Verses 79-87 give the pattern for dealing with transgression in the church as follows: if a man breaks a law of the land, he is to be delivered up unto the law of the land, and if he breaks the law of God, he is to be tried in a church court.

Verses 88-89 explain that no member is to be tried in a church court unless he has offended someone and been confronted and rebuked and has refused to confess, repent and be reconciled. Also, that the first part of the trial is to take place in a private meeting with the elders, so that the accused has an opportunity to confess, repent and seek reconciliation, avoiding any judgment and embarrassment in front of the congregation. The second part of the trial (in front of the congregation) only takes place if the accused refuses to repent.

Verses 90-92 explain that public or open offenses require public or open rebuking, while secret offenses require secret rebuking.

Lastly, verse 93 says that this is the pattern in all things for behavior concerning rebuking, chastisement, offenses, confession, repenting, reconciliation, and church trials.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things.  (D&C 42:93)

D&C 102

Trials for membership due to transgression were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the local elders and congregation, since they would have much more knowledge about the individuals involved (accused and accusers) than would the high councilors and stake president, who potentially could live elsewhere, in another part of the stake. On the other hand, trials about other matters, such as property disputes and other similar matters, were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the high council because they would not have intimate knowledge of the details of the local disputes, and therefore would be more likely to be impartial judges, the outcomes not affecting them one way or another.

That said, let’s examine section 102. The heading to Doctrine and Covenants section 102 reads:

Minutes of the organization of the first high council of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1834. The original minutes were recorded by Elders Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde. The Prophet revised the minutes the following day, and the next day the corrected minutes were unanimously accepted by the high council as “a form and constitution of the high council” of the Church. Verses 30 through 32, having to do with the Council of the Twelve Apostles, were added in 1835 under Joseph Smith’s direction when this section was prepared for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Although D&C 102 is not a revelation, it contains the information on how the first high council was organized and operated, which organization came of revelation, and which operation was given by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. So, although we don’t have the pattern dictated directly by the Spirit, we do have a recording of the pattern (the minutes) as witnessed by two men who were present when the pattern was shown. The minutes were later corrected by Joseph, so we can be sure they are reliable.

As I said before, the modern procedures for how church disciplinary councils are operated render the word of God of none effect, making modern courts fundamentally unjust. The error comes from a misreading of section 102, which gives the “form and constitution of the high council”, to be followed by all high councils.

Okay, so let me unfold the errors.

Modern church disciplinary councils operate under color of law

The following document,

Church Disciplinary Councils

gives the current procedures used in these courts. Here are a couple of quotes which manifest the errors:

“In a stake disciplinary council, the stake president is assisted by twelve high councilors. Their role is easily misunderstood. Uninformed persons are tempted to liken the high council to a jury. In view of the not well understood instructions in section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, there is also a tendency to view individual high councilors as prosecutors or defenders. Neither of these comparisons is appropriate. Members of the high council are present to “stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice’ (Doc. & Cov 102:17). In other words, they are to give added assurance that the evidence is examined in its true light and that the procedures and treatment of the accused are consistent with equity and justice. Their roles are illumination and persuasion, not advocacy or decision.” (Dallin H. Oaks)

“After hearing any additional comments from the high council, the stake presidency withdraws from the council room to confer in private. After consultation and prayer, the stake president makes the decision and invites his counselors to sustain it. The stake presidency then returns and announces the decision to the high council. The stake president asks the high councilors as a group to sustain his decision. The high council cannot veto the decision; it is binding even if it is not sustained unanimously.” (Church Handbook of Instructions)

Neither of these quotes is correct. Or, in other words, they are correct in that the modern church procedure operates as they state it does, but they are not correct in that the procedure they use is entirely at odds with the written word of God.

Here is what the section actually says,

Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one and so in succession to number twelve.

Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.

But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. (D&C 102:12-14)

So everybody picks a number out of a hat, from one to twelve. If the case is easy, just two men speak; if difficult, four men speak; and if really difficult, six speak. The rest do not speak, but just listen.

The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.

And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.

Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice. (D&C 102:15-17)

In behalf of

Now, here is where brother Dallin gets it wrong (and shame on him!, since he’s supposed to be a lawyer). The expression “to stand up in behalf of the accused” means “to stand up as an advocate of the accused.”

BEHALF, n. behaf. [See Behoof.]

1. Favor; advantage; convenience, profit; support, defense, vindication. The advocate pleads in behalf of the prisoner. The patriot suffers in behalf of his country.
2. Part; side; noting substitution, or the act of taking the part of another; as, the agent appeared in behalf of his constituents, and entered a claim.

AD’VOCATE, n. [L. advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for; of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.]

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law. Hence,
2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts. We say, a man is a learned lawyer and an able advocate.
3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument; one who is friendly to; as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

AD’VOCATE, v.t. To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal; to support or vindicate.

All of that is from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, showing that this is the very meaning of the phrase, contrary to what brother Dallin would have us believe.

The reason why brother Dallin and the other church leaders feel the need to wrest this scripture into saying something it isn’t saying is because they have transfigured the high council into something it was never intended to be: a church court dealing with transgression and trials for church membership. So, they cannot conceive of a righteous man advocating the cause of someone who could be an unrepentant sinner, like the lawyers do. (Jesus is our advocate with the Father only if we are penitent, for the impenitent do not have Him as their advocate.)  The thought of advocating impenitence, then, is understandably repulsive to them, so they simply interpret the scripture another way, to make it work according to their procedure. But the very words themselves do not fit.

High councilors could advocate the cause of the accused because these were not meant to be matters dealing with transgression, but merely “important difficulties.” In other words, disputes over this and that private matter. In such cases, the accused may be right, or may be wrong. The high councilors who were chosen by lot to speak, could put themselves in the place of the accused, for they weren’t attempting to excuse sin, but to show a private matter from the perspective of the accused.

Veto power

The CHI says that the high council cannot veto the stake president’s decision, but that is flat out wrong.

After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.

And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.

But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same. (D&C 102:19-22)

Here is the meaning of the word sanction, from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

SANC’TION, v.t. To ratify; to confirm; to give validity or authority to.

Thus, the twelve high councilors vote to ratify, confirm, give validity or authority to the stake president’s decision. Without such validation, the president’s decision is non-binding. That is what ratification is all about.

Unanimity is not required for ratification, only a majority vote. In other words, the majority of the council has power to determine whether the first decision shall stand, as well as whether there is no additional light given. The reason for the re-hearing is not because some councilors disagree, or even that one councilor disagrees, with the president’s decision, but because one or more of them think there may have been an error, meaning that the stake president overlooked something. This is why the section talks about additional light.

Impartiality

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing. (D&C 102:20)

IMP`ARTIAL, a. [in and partial, from part, L. pars.]

1. Not partial; not biased in favor of one party more than another; indifferent; unprejudiced; disinterested; as an impartial judge or arbitrator.
2. Not favoring one party more than another; equitable; just; as an impartial judgment or decision; an impartial opinion.

Current church practice in church courts creates a conflict of interest. The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony, are biased, but the high council and stake presidency is supposed to be unbiased and impartial. That requires that none of them can act as witnesses, nor make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as a witness or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial and thus is nothing but a farce.

Guilty until proven penitent is a bastardization of the law

Another practice in the church court system is the assumption of guilt upon the accused. In the Lord’s law, every saint is innocent until proven guilty, but the modern church court procedure assumes the accused is guilty and thus that the accused, in order to be in God’s good graces, must confess his sin and show penitence before the council, otherwise the council will see him as an impenitent sinner, instead of as a penitent sinner, and will have to apply the penalty the Lord’s law requires. This practice makes all those who say they are innocent of any charges appear impenitent, even if they really are innocent.

Evidence alone is not enough

It is called the law of witnesses for a reason. Evidence of wrongdoing, without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes some literature or book, but none of the saints are offended by it or bring up accusations against the author, the high council has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the stake presidency, nor the bishopric. Charges or accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints’ testimonies for any of these men to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first and final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations.

For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.

And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.

And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. (D&C 64:37-40)

The saints are given free reign to judge all things, both inside and outside the church, including all the leaders from top (apostles and prophets) to the bottom (bishops). The word of two or more saints against any man, woman or child of age in this church condemns that person, regardless of his or her office.

Excommunication is supposed to be a congregational affair

Excommunication (cutting off a person from the church) is in similitude to the cutting off from the presence of the Lord which will happen to all the sons of perdition at the last day. Since that last act of cutting off is, in actuality, a spiritual death, even a second death, cutting off is representative of death. In other words, excommunication represents the death penalty, or capital punishment. Only those who do not repent receive this penalty.

The authority to inflict (the similitude of) death upon a sinner was never meant or designed by God to be in the hands of one man (a stake president) nor three men (the stake presidency), nor twelve men (the high council). The final decision was meant to be in the hands of the saints who make up the congregation.

But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:81)

Without such congregational ratification, we end up with secret trials like those of the Gadianton robbers.

Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges, that the knowledge of their death came not unto the governor of the land until after their death. (3 Ne. 6:23)

Let the saints do their duty

It is the duty of a saint to lay charges, make accusations and bear witness against all wickedness they see. If they see (scripturally-defined) dissenting behavior, they will resist it and seek to silence it. They are the Lord’s anointed and the only ones authorized to condemn; not the bishop, or high council or stake presidency. (See Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.)

And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. (Moroni 6:7)

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:80-81)

It is right and proper for them to prune the church and bear witness against unrepentant sinners. They would be remiss in their duty if they shut their mouths at the sight of wickedness. So do not harp on them or put obstacles in the way of their duty, otherwise they will end up condemning you.

The purpose of this post

I wrote this post to show that, according to the scriptural definition, there is no such thing as a sinless dissenter; that the church is commanded to be one; that dissenters should be silenced; and that excommunication is a divine principle. I never expected to get into the unrighteousness of current church court procedure. I never expected or intended to judge the courts and find them “wanting in the balance” (see Dan. 5:27). But I did and that’s that. Nevertheless, despite the courts being corrupt because they do not conform to the divine pattern, to dissent is still a sin, all dissenters still should be silenced, unrepentant sinners still must be cut off from the church and excommunication of unrepentant sinners is still a righteous thing to do.

The question that remains, then, is what do we do about the courts? How can they be reclaimed and made right and just again, according to God’s revealed pattern? What steps must be taken by saints, working in unison (as one in Christ) within the stakes and acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, to administer “judicial reform” and bring the courts back into conformity with God’s laws? I don’t, as yet, have an answer to these questions. But there is one thing that I am certain of: although the institutionalization of the current church court procedures, in defiance of the written word, poses an obstacle to change, God’s saints have power through faith to rebuke anything they deem offensive, and correct anything they deem incorrect, whether within or without the church, for it is their duty and prerogative to judge all things. So I guess it just comes down to this: will they also judge the church courts and find them wanting?

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WEARETHEWEATHER – Pt. 2


RETURN TO OZ – RETURN TO US – RETURN OF THE LAND OF ZION

Have we come full circle, across the rainbow and back again to Kansas, without even recognizing the shift? Not to worry, such has been the case with many a traveler. We have learned much concerning the far-reaching links between

1. Space(s)–especially centers, heartlands, or heart-stars–the multidimensional Kansas

2. Time(s)–past or future only as extensions from the present–multigenerational  Kansas

3. Season(s)–the passage of time through spiritual/physical topographies-current Kansas

The name Kansas itself is connected with the idea of “wind”. The Kansa tribe was known as “the people of the south wind” (In the original Oz books, Glinda was the Good Witch of the South). Wind is a current and weather can be seen as a spiritual connective flow circulating throughout all creation. The state of Kansas that we know is only one meaty chunk toward the tip of a penetrating Kolob Kabob. Revolutions toward the top base of the downward pointing skewer are spinning in a much wider compass. As those same motions swirl lower and lower, the cosmic funnel cloud eventually touches down, like a tightly wound tornado on the temporal plane of this central plain. Great stirrings seem to be going on in current-day Iran (seasonal), where medieval Muslim mystics once wrote in visionary travel-logs (temporal) of the “emerald cities” – Jabarsa and Jabalqa, which are said to exist respectively in the oriental and occidental regions of that interworld isthmus of Na-koja-abad (spatial). But peeking beyond the physical veil covering this globe of dirt, might we uncover some dirt on these globalists running the show from Tehran to Topeka? What exactly is behind the Arab Spring, is it a synthetic season we are witnessing in the middle-east? What exactly is behind the recent outbreak of tornadic activity during late spring of this year in the American mid-west, was it manufactured meteorological madness? Both boisterous occurrences are boastfully broadcast via modern weapons of mass distraction in the media. But remember, poet/prophet Gil Scott-Heron told us, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised!

A reverent long-time student of the Afrikan divination tradition known as Ifá writes:

“Those who try to control Nature are inviting a disruptive encounter with Esu the Divine Trickster. I have seen my teachers alter the weather. They were not making a demand, they were making a request. There’s a difference.” – Falokun Fatunmbi

Oh how vitally important it is for us to learn to recognize the real gods from the fake ones, to distinguish clearly between the proper usage of power and the abuse of it. We must stop dividing the universe into two forces, one of good and another evil and admit that it is all one power; so that man and his gods, the hearts of the children and the hearts of the fathers may finally be reconciled and so that peace can again reign. Only by confronting and deconstructing the false gods we have fashioned and empowered can we ever hope to bring again the real city of Zion. When we bring Her on down it will simultaneously “bring down” the Wicked Witch of the West. On that glorious day, when we activate the wind-power of our inner Door-o-Thee Gale, we, along with Glinda the Good Witch of the North Countries (Lost Tribes), can say: “Be gone with you, before someone drops a (Zion) house on you!”

The synchronous symbolism linking Mormon teachings regarding Zion and the story of the Wizard of Oz is copious and very particular but at times not so obvious to the eyes of the world. I would like to point out a few interesting coinciding instances (coincidences) running through Salt Lake and Hollywood. Hollywood’s most recent work based off of L. Frank Baum’s Oz book series is a 2013 Disney production called Oz the Great and Powerful. The movie focuses on Oscar “Oz” Diggs, a womanizing con artist, stage magician, and barnstormer who is part of a traveling circus in the midwest. Even when Oscar gets whisked away to the magical land of Oz, where to his surprise his arrival is seen by the inhabitants as the fulfillment of prophecy and he is heralded as a great wizard, still he is eventually accused of being intimately involved with multiple witches at the same time. In this regard, the movie’s main character is meant to reflect Joseph Smith.

The first person Oscar meets after running for his life and somehow ending up in this strange new world, is Theodora, the naïve witch of the west who eventually turns into the most wicked of all. Theodora is a type and shadow of the naïve group which was entrusted with a theology that was once restorative, collective, all-inclusive, liberating and ever developing in the light of truth; but who’s intellectual, emotional, spiritual sloth and ever growing pride has condemned the group to lie under a lost legacy/labor of love. Jesus is commanded by the Father to speak plainly unto the Nephites and by way of them unto the Latter-Day Gentiles in 3 Nephi 16:10.

“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”

The words He speaks in this verse aptly apply to American gentiles in general, but it must be remembered that the Savior’s words recorded in the Book of Mormon are most specifically speaking to and of the Mormons. As this prophecy fulfills itself we see the Church deteriorate. Those who inherit Joseph’s role as religious leader have openly admitted that they have never matched his ability as a prophet. They have not received their calling from the Divine, and this, more than anything, because they fail to remember that a life calling like that of Joseph, is initiated by calling on the Divine in faith, “nothing wavering”. And though the issue is more complicated than one might suppose at first glance, it is clear that the Church Presidents have, on various levels, been shams, not only in the eyes of critics but in the eyes of the Lord.

It matters not at all what the world thinks, because the Lord is no respecter of persons. But it does matter what God’s children think of themselves, because their thoughts will either make or break the relationship they have with their Heavenly Father. In Oz the Great and Powerful, Oscar Diggs has a self image that is anything but great and powerful. In the opening scenes he expresses to a love interest, his desire to do great things. She has more faith in his ability to be a great man than he does in himself. This is the real conflict of the plot and what the magician/trickster has to overcome to finally release the greatness from his heart and through his mind. In this regard, the movie’s main character is meant to reflect Gordon B. Hinckley.

Art is never accidental; it is always on purpose, even and especially when that purpose does not originate in the conscious mind but is rooted in the preconscious. The film is said to take place in the same time period in which Gordon Bitner Hinckley was born, but the plot of course crosses over boundaries of time and space once Oscar Diggs finds himself over the rainbow. Oscar reflects Hinckley in many subtle and yet succinct ways. The two are interested in magic and can be seen waving their iconic white hankies in front of the people. As men with a deep and enduring belief that is sadly besieged by secrets both Oscar and Gordon feel and know that in many ways they are being frauds. They nonetheless have a mission which involves many other people yet can only be performed by them. At first, Finley the Flying Monkey is the only one who knows Oz’s secret. Oz confides in Finley that he is not a real wizard, but of course reality is mostly a matter of perception and that can change with a little faith.

Hinckley waves hanky at Santiago's Estadio Nacional

Finley the fantastical character in this movie is a representation of Thomas J. Finley from the Talbot School of Theology. In 2002 Finley wrote a highly critical article entitled, “Does the Book of Mormon Reflect an Ancient Near Eastern Background?” in a publication called The New Mormon Challenge. This article was used in many other books and pieces attacking the authenticity of the LDS Church’s claims. Gordon, had always been a masterful P.R.iest and P.R.eacher, but those holding master’s degrees in the field of theology felt jealous and threatened by the advances the Mormon President had made with his P.R. skills and sought to pull the rug out from underneath him. Hinckley knew that the concept of public relations is only more powerful than theology because it a step closer to the true source of power – i.e. the public or the people themselves. No one can use theology to control the masses unless they can first succeed in getting the masses to accept, embrace and embody that theology. Gordon B. responded to the The New Mormon Challenge with his own Book of Mormon Challenge for the LDS Church members. Latter-Day Saints world-wide, both of the wheat and tare caliber, engaged in a sort of scriptural chug-a-lug contest, trying to down the entire Book of Mormon within a period of 5 months. The grand majority of members, who qualify as the Drunkards of Ephraim foretold by Isaiah, drank condemnation down “straight” like high-school scripture “chasers” in LDS Seminary. There were those of us who may not have completed the leader’s challenge exactly as it was put to us, but who nonetheless made wise use of the intake of strong “spirits” to strengthen our own spirits. In the end, mistakes do not matter once the purifying power of the Holy Spirit is applied.

HINCKLEY MAKES A SPRINKLEY

Speaking of Hinckley and the subconscious symbolism linking his life to the main character in the 2013 prequel to the Wizard of Oz series, there is a word which that character uses repeatedly throughout the film – “Prestidigitation!” Prestidigitation means sleight of hand, which is what Oz uses in his tricks. President Hinckley was known for his frequent and deliberate hand gestures when performing before large crowds. But how about conjuring up large clouds? Is there something to be said for the connection between sleight of hand and weather manipulation besides the fact that the words prestidigitation and precipitation sound vaguely similar? Well, towards the climax of the movie Oz puts his tricks to good use in defense of the oppressed people of the land by creating a big cloud upon which he projects a hologram of his face to scare the wicked witches into retreat. But all of that was only special effects.

On the 26th of April, 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed an audience of 57,500 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Santiago, Chile. This was roughly 10% of the country’s total LDS population. The event still holds the record as the Church’s largest-ever gathering of members in one place at one time. His remarks were rather brief but the entire occasion was heavy with water symbolism. The attendees came from other outlying areas as well, but local Santiago residents and travelers alike found the skies to be heavy with rain clouds on the morning of the President’s arrival. This was significant since the area had been suffering a pretty severe drought. As one full-time missionary in attendance noted, “Usually a rainy day means low attendance levels at the wards and branches around here, but in this case everyone was so excited to see the prophet.” That electric excitement filled the air and a light drizzle started to fall. When the meeting officially commenced the light drizzle ceased and the entire throng listened intently as their guest of honor spoke.

Chilean Church members in the Estadio Nacional - Santiago Chile

Gordon expressed his love for the Chilean people and reminisced about a visit to Chile he had made 30 years earlier almost to the date. Back in 1969 there had been a drought even more severe than this one. President Hinckley said: “There had been no rainfall for a very long time, and I was here to dedicate a chapel in La Cisterna. [Cisterna is Spanish for Cistern which is a large receptacle for catching and storing rainwater.] During the prayer of dedication I prayed and pleaded with the Lord for moisture.” President Hinckley quoted the words of Robert Burton, who was serving as a mission president in Chile in 1969: “The day after Elder Hinckley’s visit, the rain began to fall in southern Chile. Gradually the rain clouds moved north, bringing welcome moisture to the entire country.” President Hinckley then continued: “That was not my doing. That was the work of God our Eternal Father in behalf of the people of this land. I believe that it was an answer to the faith and the prayers of the Latter-day Saints, then few in number, whose very presence and whose very faith came to bless the entire nation.”

Upon closing his remarks in the name of Jesus Christ, the multitude uttered the typical “Amen” and then Hinckley suddenly turned back to the pulpit and leaning towards the microphone, he said, “Let it rain!” The translator, taken off guard, hurried back into place to provide the Spanish translation for Hinckley’s tag-on declaration and the multitude then sang a closing hymn, followed by a benediction after which the clouds overhead burst. Happy faces could be seen everywhere as faithful Latter-Day Saint families scurried under the downpour back into the busses, cars and metro trains that had brought them to Santiago’s National Stadium that day to hear a man who they considered a mouthpiece for the Lord.

Those witnesses to this amazing event spoke of it for weeks to come. But I would say that they did not really think about what had happened. I write of it now to review the circumstances and reveal a few of the “magician’s tricks”. First of all, through his reference to past events in a 30 year time cycle (tiempo in Spanish means both time and weather), Gordon B. Hinckley was careful to point out in the words of his talk, that he alone was not responsible for the rainfall. He could perhaps take humble credit as a facilitator of faith. But it was God ultimately who did it, and God works by faith.

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A precedent  for this type of thing was set in this era by Church President Lorenzo Snow. The appositely named apostle, Snow, brought forth desperately needed rainfall for the drought stricken people and land of Utah around the turn of the century. How did he do it? Simple, he aligned a physical action (giving tithing) with the spoken word (a conference talk wherein he made a prophetic promise to the people) and linked the two with a specific desire (rainfall). Desire is itself a combination of the eternal elements of thought and feeling. God has thoughts and feelings, man has thoughts and feelings. It is the mixing of mudras with mantras, gestures with spoken word, which serve to align the thoughts and feelings of man with those of the gods. Lorenzo Snow Reflecting

Notice who Hinckley was addressing when he said, “Let it rain!” – the faithful people who filled that stadium. And it was they who were most responsible for the cloudburst. The water was trapped up there in heaven, ready to fall, and awaited only action on the part of the people on earth. Even the greatest magi of all times, Jesus of Nazareth, was quick to remind those to whom he extended His healing hands of the details of the process by which the individual’s faith brought forth the blessing. In multitudes of thousands or much smaller settings, the process between giver and receiver is instantaneously personal and collective. God is the giver and God is the gift, however if God is not perceived as the receiver too, then the flow of faith can be somewhat limited.

 

WEATHER HAPPENS WHETHER OR NOT WE CHOOSE TO BE MIRACLE MAKERS

So, if faith is such a powerful tool why is it not used to do greater things on a consistent basis to correct the awful situation of the violent and cruel world of today? The answer is simple but terrifying to most and therefore largely ignored. As alluded to in previous sections, the faith of the people is what makes the world go ‘round. And, every 24 hours of that world-go-round, faith is actively used, mostly for evil. Channeled through ideology and idolatrous institutions, the faith of individuals gets sucked dry daily in order to “make it rain” for false gods atop Mount Olympus. The devil tries to tell people he does not exist, but alas, we do not believe him when he speaks this profound dark truth, only when he tells us flattering light charged lies. He is, after all, an apparition of the vain imaginings of men.

This is the reason why the same colossus arena that hosted Hinkley’s Sprinkley was the site of mass murders under conservative leader, Augusto Pinochet. And it is a well documented fact that the phenomenal growth of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since those years has a direct correlation to the violence instigated by the state against the humble people of Chile who President Hinckley tearfully thanked for their devotion. So, while the coffers of the Church fill with tithing funds, the neighborhood of La Cisterna (The Cistern) in Santiago, where Elder Hinckley prayed for rain so many decades ago, remains a poor run down ghetto full of hard-working people making a meager living and dying in squalor, in vain. While the coffins of “The Brethren” are watered by the tears of adoring church-goers, unnoticed fall the tears of The Sistren, as the Rastas would call them – strong and stoic sisters of the darker races of this earth who stand in stark contrast to the rich white males who run the religious/political institutions of the world.

Dead men tell no tales. A portion of the spirit identified by millions as Gordon B. Hinckley wants to now, posthumously release his inner wizard. Mingling with gods, he and Joseph, and countless heavenly hosts of others desire all to receive it – the key of power. The key comes not a second to soon, as, in the words of clueless Church Authority, Lance B. Wickman, or at least the words of his writers, “we are swept along in great events that we can neither fully understand nor control.” That’s a convenient cop-out for people like Elder Wickman and Elder Robert Oaks who have spent their entire lives taking their marching orders from both the Imperial Armed Forces and the Unholy Church. They appeared alongside Elder Voyd K. Packer and others in a 2008 video which shared the title of Packer’s 1991 book reissued in 2010, and twisted Jesus’ message of “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” into one of perverted peace, or Pax Romana.

Perhaps the weather patterns in which we are “swept along,” according to Wickman, would not be so impossible to “fully comprehend [or] control” if we would simply acknowledge that the G.P.O. (Great and Powerful Oz) works with the same writers as the G.O.P. (Grand Old Party). They are all false prophets and fakirs, proponents of the false Oz, a fake Zion. Recently, weather patterns in the Mammon controlled mass media shifted when Cumulus Media, the second biggest broad/forecaster in the country, announced it is planning to drop talking heads Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh from its stations at the end of the year. Taking his lead from the LDS Church, Hannity, told his listeners: “Business has never been better thanks to all of you out there. Let not your heart be troubled. There are forces at work here that I will explain in due course, I promise. I just can’t really explain it now. I’m not trying to be mysterious here but it’s something that is unfolding and I am frankly excited about it all and we’ll keep you up to speed as soon as I can, I promise.” This at least sounds like much more of a promising message than the hollow and helpless rhetoric of Elder Wickman. Hannity continued, “We have about 540 radio station affiliates on the Sean Hannity show. And there’s a report out this morning that a group that has 40 of them may drop Hannity and Limbaugh, Limbaugh and Hannity… blasphemy. And, I can only tell you, that there are many options in many markets, are there not?… The point is that, you know, if that’s what somebody chooses to do then that’s their choice. Everyone has free will, free choices in life, but I can very confidently tell the audience that I am confident… let their hearts not be troubled.”

Dropping code words like “business” and “blasphemy,” the false prophets of this age seek to lead away the hearts of the people. And in order to do this it is crucial for them that we let not our hearts be troubled to the point of waking up and investing our trust in the True and Living God by exercising our “free will” against the “forces at work” in this wicked world. This LNYHBT mantra is used several times in the Book of John. Sean hi-jacked it and has been using it on air since 2008 – the same year that the Church released a video by the same title. The two sides of supposedly separate institutional platforms are mirroring each other closely. Between conference talks by Quentin L. Crook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostates and U.N. addresses by pushers of Agenda 21, we hear the exact same talking points. As Moses wished, God’s true people should all be metaphysical meteorologists, prophets and prognosticators, and should all be watching the word magic of the secret combination of Church & State very alertly.

In The Thermo Dynamics & Eternodynamics of Desire – Continued, I made brief mention of a literary and oral technique employed by the forked tongue elite priest class who once ran ancient pre-Colombian societies, literally, into the ground. Difrasismo is a term derived from Spanish that is used in the study of certain Mesoamerican languages, to describe a particular grammatical construction in which two separate words are paired together to form a single metaphoric unit which may carry a meaning completely separate from either of the words when used independently. It is therefore fitting that the term difrasismo, while referring to a dichotomy of phrases, also happens to resemble the Spanish word for disguise – disfraz. An example of this linguistic disguising of meaning is found in the Nahuatl expression “cuitlapilli ahtlapalli” or “in cuitlapilli in ahtlapalli”, literally “the tail, the wing”, used in a metaphoric sense to mean “the people” or “the common folk”. Another example would be “tēmōxtli, ehecatl”, that literally means “dust, wind” but appearing together would take on the secret meaning of “sickness”.

We find this strange grouping of the ideas of dust, wind, and sickness in the Book of Mormon. In Mosiah 7: 30, King Limhi addresses his people.

And again, he [the Lord] saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.

I always read this scripture and found it quite odd since, in our language, we don’t typically relate the idea of a whirlwind with poison. But upon making the correlation with the common practice of difrasismo in ancient American writings, it makes more sense. When this thing was first made known to me, I was struck by two startling revelations. It was sort of an A+B=C, difrasismo effect stemming from the very discovery of the Nahuatl phrase: “tēmōxtli, ehecatl”. When I found out that the words “dust” and “wind” coupled together meant “sickness”, I instantly had the horrifying thought of airborne disease. From there my mind was led to discover further links between these ideas in the scripture and modern day prophecy of the calamities that await those who sow filthiness upon this American continent. The modern day revelation I speak of is not limited to sources of truth thought to be monopolized and distributed by dutiful LDS service(s). It deals with atmospheric pressures as they flow through inter-dimensional wind tunnels and move over multi-generational Mosiahs.

MOSIAH’S MESSAGE–METAPHYSICAL METEOROLOGY–MORMON MYSTICS

The third mystery veiled by our unwillingness to recognize the relationship between two  supposedly separate things – like the Church & State, Mesoamerican tradition and Book of Mormon verses, between dust and wind, or airborne toxins and Latter-Day Gentiles – can be unveiled by the spiritual identification of import inside these secret-combinations of outwardly different things. We had once foolishly supposed “opposition in all things” to mean some sort of necessary eternal conflict (except of course in cases of Church sustainings when no one with a “clean” heart ought to oppose, right?). We vainly hoped to lock ourselves into the “Lord’s side”, never realizing in our pride that these opposing forces were naturally engaged in a creative relationship, creating and spreading evil unhindered all across the face of the land (the troposphere). But now, as metaphysical meteorologists with spiritually opened eyes we see the potential for good and evil in all things. Will we accept, with spiritually open arms, our personal responsibility not only as weather reporters, but real weathermen and weatherwomen? Or, will we shun shamanism and cling to carnal security like some scared-stupid suckers in Satan’s sick and twisted cyclone of death and destruction?

Since many labor under the false impression that membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides them with some kind of virtuous brownie points in the eyes of the Lord, it is necessary that I write a bit more before giving the plain, simple truths which are at once spiritual as well as temporal in their relevance to us. Because these white guys in ties, LDS propped-up puppets are not always so reliable as prophets, we should not make the mistake of thinking they are the quorum of 12 apostles called by the Lord to be His special witnesses in any given time period. There are not so much as 2 true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ among that prideful bunch. But from Jesus Christ Himself by way of the record keeping of Mormon and Moroni, and also through the receptive mind of Joseph Smith, we receive the reality. It is a reality that spells doom for the Gentiles’ time of authority in general, a reality which only leaves the possibility of escape for those true disciples, be they proven and purified remnant or genuinely repentant Gentile.

And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.

But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.

D&C 45:30-32

Well may we ask ourselves: “Where are the Lord’s true apostles? Where are the Lord’s true disciples? And, where are the Lord’s true holy places?” The ultimate answers to all these questions and more can only be true if they are all found in one place…YOU!

The name/word môšiac (pronounced moe-shee-ah and transliterated as Mosiah) is a word peculiar to Hebrew, a “word invariably implying a champion of justice in a situation of controversy, battle or oppression” according to John Sawyer in an article from the Old Testament journal Vetus Testamentum published in 1965. A BYU Maxwell Institute article fleshes out the details of this Hebrew word:

“Apparently the form of the word Mosiah is a “hiphil participle” in Hebrew. It occurs in the Hebrew in Deuteronomy 22:27; 28:29; Judges 12:3; Psalms 18:41; and Isaiah 5:29—texts that in all probability were on the Plates of Brass. This word, however, was not transliterated into the English by the King James translators, and thus the Hebrew would not have been known to Joseph Smith. It was, however, known and used as a personal name in the Book of Mormon, as well as by people in the Jewish colony at Elephantine in the fifth century B.C.”

Sawyer’s exhaustive studies led him to conclude that the term applied to a particular kind of person or role and was sometimes a title designating “a definite office or position.” Typical of this office are the following traits:

1. The môšiac is a victorious hero appointed by God.

2. He liberates a chosen people from oppression, controversy, and injustice after they cry out for help.

3. Their deliverance is usually accomplished by means of a nonviolent escape or negotiation.

4. The immediate result of the coming of a môšiac was “escape from injustice, and a return to a state of justice where each man possesses his rightful property.”

5. On a larger scale, “final victory means the coming of môšicim [plural, pronounced moe-shee-eem] to rule like Judges over Israel.”

The Book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon is then aptly titled as it is an account of many living examples of God’s greatness in the form of men who accepted the role of deliverer for their people. Like Hinckley before him, LDSAnarchist has speculated about the divine attributes inherent in the name/term Mormon. While Mormon may very well mean “More Good”, as Mormon was indeed a man who gathered and embodied the “more righteous” parts of his people, still, God is bigger than Mormon. God is not LDS. God has foreordained and will continue to call Moshim among all people in all times and all places.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. was one such man, a Moshiah among Moshim. Born the 17th of August, 1887 in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey was a prophet with a message of empowerment for what, in many ways, is the most downtrodden people on the planet in this dispensation. 3 Ne. 29:8 admonishes us to:

“not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel

In this century, propaganda has induced the killing of many cultural Jews, and propaganda has hyped up the suffering of European Jews under the 3rd Reich for the purposeful blinding of the world to the more intense and ongoing suffering of billions in Asia and Afrika and America. Holywood Jews fund periodic propaganda films to supposedly remind the world not to repeat the cruel history of “The” Holocaust, meanwhile genocide and holocausts are in turn funded through support of the U.N. created state of counterfeit Israel.

The Afrikan Diaspora is scripturally a closer match than most groups who publicly proclaim to be the literal blood of Israel scattered far and wide upon the face of the earth today. Who else so literally fulfills scripture by being forcibly “removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt”? (Jer.24:9) The Diaspora of Scots-Irish from the 1820s till the mid 1940s, and the current immigration of Hispanic people, particularly Mexicans, into all parts of the world could be said to have been to their hurt. Certainly they’ve endured their fair share of taunts and have been called “Dirty Micks” or “Dirty Spics”. However, these people left their poverty-stricken homelands to pursue job opportunities they were not “removed”. What other group more fully fits this scriptural description of a “reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse”? Years of colonization in their own motherland has caused many Afrikans to view their dark skin as a curse to be remedied with the use of chemical bleaching. Who other than black people have more visibly and valiantly fulfilled that role of a people to be “afflicted, and to be slain (lynchings from as far back as the 1800s to as recent as the 1980s), and to be cast out from among them, (segregation) and to become hated by them (violent and silent forms of racism), and to become a hiss and a byword (the infamous N-word) among them in all places” (from South Carolina to South Africa), all exactly as stated in 3Nephi 16:9?

Did you happen to see George W. Bush wiping his hand off on Bill Clinton’s neatly pressed shirt after clamoring Haitian youths had reached out and touched it? The very fact that those afflicted young people of Haiti (the poor man’s Afrika in more ways than one) responded so enthusiastically to the visit of Gringo Gadiantons, neglecting to see the greatness in their own bright black spirits – which in times past were responsible for the first seeds and fruits of the freedom revolution in the Americas – is a symptom of their acute amnesia. A god-like people who have forgotten their identity, Deut. 28:37 describes them as “an astonishment”. Indeed it is nothing short of astonishing to see the Spirit of God Almighty descend so low into Forgetfulness (Menasseh), to take on the image of man (human form), as per the words of Abinadi who stated clearly in Mosiah 7:27-28 that “it should be the image after which (hue)man was created in the beginning (ab-original)” long before the younger brother Ephraim (Was Fruitful). In some West Afrikan dialects, including Yoruba, Abi is an extremely common prefix used in names and it means “to be born”. Ironically, in some Native American dialects from the Southeast, including Chickasaw and Choctaw, Abi means “to kill” or “to abort”. Abinadi’s name is assumed to be of Hebrew origin and thus would translate to something along the lines of: “My Father is Present with You”. Is it not astonishing, or at very least ironic, that the Son of Man would be “despised and rejected (aborted or ejected) of men,” as Abinadi quoting Isaiah reminds us later on in Mosiah 14:3?

Marcus-Mosiah-Garvey-Jr

Marcus Garvey spoke to that matter of esteem and knew that it started with self, since one can neither love God nor neighbor if he loves not himself. Marcus said: “Christ the crucified, Christ the despised, we appeal to you for help, for leadership… Why should we be discouraged if somebody laughs at us today? Did they not laugh at Christ, Moses, Muhammad?… Then why not see good and perfection in ourselves?” In several verses in the Old Testament the despised and scattered House of Israel is referred to as “a proverb”. The image of Afrikan people standing in chains on auction blocks, being whipped and bloodied on plantations in the New World is the most explicit and urgent “proverb” that the entire human race needs to hearken to and comprehend. They are a proverb that tells us that mankind is in bondage, that humans have become slaves to devilish entities and now is the time for us to get off our knees and rise to remembrance of our glory as children of the gods.

Garvey sparked a movement specifically aimed at inspiring those of Afrikan ancestry to “redeem” Afrika. His was and is an aggressive preparation for revolutionary and real redemption of the dead, true temple work. Afrika and Afrikans represent the roots of humankind, the original people on the planet, and the first we find in the early history and pre-history of any place on the globe – including the promised land of the Americas. Long before Lehi & Co. arrived this land was inhabited by black skinned people. That’s why the first time that the Book of Mormon mentions the so-called “curse” on those people who were branded with the general term Lamanites, it describes it with the phrase “a skin of blackness” (2 Nephi 5:21), but later in the record the skins of Laman and Lemuel’s mixed posterity are described simply as “dark” (Alma 3:6). From at least as far north as the Mississippi River Valley down at least as far south as Brazil, there is archeological evidence in the form of skeletal remains which testifies to the widespread presence of Negroid races. The civilizations appear to have spread out from a point in-between those two latitudes, from the eastern shores of Central America, where the young Marcus felt led to travel between the years of 1910 and 1912.

As a black man, Garvey was a servant of the Lord pushing for one more, last-ditch effort to save all the trees of the Vineyard by preserving the original roots of the original tree. In the Jacob 5 analogy, well-known to Mormons, it becomes apparent to the Lord and His Servant that, in order to save the trees of the Vineyard, it will be necessary to disencumber them from the lofty branches which are taking all the strength unto themselves and rejecting the roots. The lofty branches represent the most recent development in the upward growth of the tree, but the Lord has decreed that they will have to be pruned and burned. The message of the Messiah as well as that of His Mosiah does not sit well with the G.O.P. (Grumpy Old Pretenders) who lead the Church. Thus, you will not hear any talk of the “overflowing scourge” among them, as they choose to keep the focus of the flock on things that make themselves look good. Dead Presidents speak louder than Living Profits in this bizarre masquerade. I don’t think there is much truth to be gleaned from Pres. Woodruff’s suspect claims of having been spoken to by past presidents of the United States. But like the true Lion in Zion, Prophet Robert N. Marley told the world, there is a “natural mystic floating through the air”. If you listen carefully now you will hear dead Church president, George Albert Smith, leaking deadly secrets like a G.A.S. To continue quoting from Marley’s song: “This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last…Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die. Don’t ask me why.”

It should be painfully obvious by this point that the time of the Gentiles is coming to a quick close. The how, what, where and why, as well as the who of the massive destruction of this Gentile empire can be revealed clearly to those who read the scriptures with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The scriptures give us many consistent clues. How will it come? – “Speedily!” What will it look like? – “A whirlwind!” (D&C 112:24) And that is just the beginning, we are told. Where will it start? – “Upon my House” (D&C 112:25) Why will it happen? – “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.” (2 Nephi 28:19) Who will bring this mass destruction about? Well it is typically assumed that it is the Lord who will do it, but what exactly does that mean to a people who know not the Lord? The Lord works in this realm via willing servants. Remember in Mosiah 7: 30, the Lord, via Limhi, said:

“If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.”

Marcus Mosiah Garvey showed himself to be a worthy and willing servant of the Lord when he said:

“If death hath power then count on me to be the real Marcus Garvey I would like to be. If I may come in an earthquake, or a plague, or a pestilence, or as God would have me, then be assured that I shall never desert you and let your enemies triumph over you.”

The Lord certainly inspired his servant when he said:

“Look for me in the whirlwind or a storm, look for me all around you, for with God’s grace I shall come back with countless millions of black men and women who have died in America, those who have died in the West Indies and those who have died in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life.”

“And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them, and whirlwinds shall carry them away, and buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.”

2 Nephi 26:5

“Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.”

Alma 26:6

“And now, whoso readeth, let him understand; he that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see and behold if all these deaths and destruction by fire, and by smoke, and by tempests, and by whirlwinds, and by the opening of the earth to receive them, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.”

3 Nephi 10:14

The first prophecy of the Book of Mormon scriptures listed above was recorded by founding father, Nephi, circa 559–545 B.C. And although it greatly pained Nephi to behold the loss of life among his people in the distant future, he exclaimed that God was “fair” in his dealings with the “fair ones”. The second prophecy was uttered by Ammon around 90–77 B.C. Ammon was rejoicing in the righteousness of recent converts to the Lord who were assumingly dead and long gone by the time that Nephi, son of Nephi and grandson of Helaman, records the terrible calamities that took place about A.D. 34–35. What “storm at the last day” is Ammon claiming these souls have avoided if the long foretold destruction did not come about till over a century later when we would suppose that those people Ammon was speaking of would have been unaffected by the storms described by Nephi at the virtual end of the Nephite and Lamanite civilizations?

Of course the divisive classification of Nephites and Lamanites would only take a brief hiatus of 200-240 years before resuming. And the eyes of some will see that the Nephite survivors were never in fact willing to fully take upon them the name of Christ to the divestment of the name of Nephi. Instead they chose to repeat the pride cycle. In their minds they were insistent that the name Nephi meant “good” and by default, Laman had to be “bad”. This is not the godly and productive “opposition in all things” which Father Lehi tried to explain to his contentious sons. The name Nephi was derived from the Egyptian word nFr which as an adjective means “good, or “goodly” and as a noun denotes “goodness.” But if Nephi was such “good” guy, acquainted with the “goodness” and the mysteries of God, maybe he ought to have listened more to his “goodly” parents, who desired good things and unity for all their posterity, and not to have perpetuated a national story which painted himself, Sam and Jacob as favored saints while casting Laman and Lemuel as cursed heathens.

There is nothing wrong with seeing goodness or even perfection in one’s self, just as Marcus Garvey encouraged, but how real is that goodness, yea how great is that darkness if your supposed light is not even bright enough to let you see the same good in others? Are we guilty of doing the same thing with the name of Mormon? No, this would be a continuation and therefore aggrandizement of the pride of the fallen self-righteous Nephite culture. We are not making the same mistake, but rather are doing it the way everything is done in America, “bigger and better”! Nephi means “good”…Mormon means “more good”…I sense a storm brewing. In 3 Nephi 5:20 Mormon identifies himself as a “pure descendent of Lehi”. As the forces of evil attempt to whip up a race war, it will be key for anyone who identifies on any level with the name Mormon, to notice that what Mormon seems to touting as something special are the promises through Lehi not necessarily limited to Nephi. Let us not be guilty of ignoring or neglecting God’s prophets as the Nephites, even the “more righteous” Nephites, did with Samuel. And because the Lord told Mormon that the “greater things” which He personally taught to a select group of ancient American inhabitants would be withheld from those who read the Book of Mormon without an eye of faith, it is then most important to realize that the crucial part of that phrase, “pure descendent of Lehi” is the word “pure”. Racial purity does not equate to spiritual purity.

Now, to bring my comments back around to the topic of weather, that subject to which humanity seems to turn as an international default in casual conversation. I believe that weather is a constant expression of eternity, and like Clarence “13X” Smith, I believe that it results from and reflects mankind’s use or misuse of the raw emotion and will power which GOD has granted us. Whether the weather is “good” or “bad” is not only a matter of perspective but a matter of how we choose to grapple with, glide through, or gripe about the weather. I know that weather is closely related to the passage of time, and that by observing it, we may identify many cycles from which we are meant to learn. I firmly believe that the development of time does not just follow a straight linear path. Therefore I see these time cycles as spiraling out from a central point or eye, in a similar pattern to that which we see tropical storms take.

From founding father Nephi’s prognostication of foreboding weather to the tumultuous events in the days of 3rd Nephi was a cycle of roughly 500-600 years. The eye of that slow building, spiritual-to-physical storm could theoretically be located at around 250-300 years into the cyclone from its periphery. That periphery penetrates through the outer edge of another coming cycle as these storms spiral out in almost a Mandelbrot style, making exact time calculation according to man’s reckoning almost a complete waste of time. Focusing inward has always been the secret message of the prophets, because in this way one becomes Christ Centered and able to endure life’s storms. This is literally shown to be sure if we will measure the approximately 250 year span of time from the beginning stages of the Nephite/Lamanite storm system to its opposite outer edge and find ourselves smack dab in the calm eye of the next stage in this raging storm. This proverbial “calm before the storm” is centered around Christ’s actual visit, and that number 250 pops up again as the approximate time frame for perceived peace after Christ’s visit to that people. christ's visit to the americas

One of the key elements that is most often missed by observers of these time-storms is the multi-gene-rational theme. It is as if the passing of DNA spirals sends our heads spinning in a spiritual swirl when, in reality, it could just as easily be the other way around – the upper vortex perpetuating the lower “through all gene-rations of time, and throughout all eternity.” There is really no need for any upheaval unless it is to correct unequal distribution of energy from the upper and lower vortices of our Merkabah Chariots. But we can find our peace to be short lived when Satan has “great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity (inequality), and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world,” as was the case when the tempests and tremors preceding Christ’s visit in the Americas were rapidly approaching (3 Nephi 6:15). Only 13 short years after the Nephites had supposedly fixed all their governmental problems, the church was broken up into classes in all the land “save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord,” (3 Nephi 6:14). Hmm…sounds like the same Lamanites of whom Ammon had said: “Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them,” (Alma 26:6). This could not be the same group of Lamanites in the flesh unless the group to whom Ammon was referring were all newborn babies at that moment and set to all live to a minimum age of 120 to be able to witness, let alone survive, the storm at that last day. 120 years is ironically the maximum age limit supposedly placed on man by the God of the Old Testament.

Ammon must have been speaking multi-gene-rationally, but what then is the role that past gene-rations play in current day weather patterns, and what is “their place” in which it is said they “shall be gathered together….that the storm cannot penetrate to them”? Where are the Lord’s true disciples? And, where are the Lord’s true holy places?” The ultimate answers to these questions and more can only be true if they are found to be gathered together in one place. And that place is YOU! You alone can serve as the Temple of the Lord, a pivotal palace wherein Heaven and Earth combine, hopefully in harmony. When this is the case then there is balance in the external and internal worlds. Inequality is inequity which breaks up Christ’s Church in the way that Christ’s Church, New Zealand has been consistently broken up by earthquake after earthquake on a certain curious time cycle. Equality must start with balance between the individual and his or her ancestors. This is why only the Spirit of Elijah bonds the Fathers to the Children via their Kolob Heart-Stars. And this bond with our ancestors alone prevents the whole Earth from being smitten with a curse and utterly wasted. Well did Marcus Mosiah Garvey say:

“Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…”

And throughout all gene-rations of time, we might add. The type of multi-gene-rational power that is needed in the world is not to be found in paperwork from the LDS Family History programmes and it can not be found in any dead works or “work for the dead” as LDS like to call their self-important temple rites. The symbols are there, and in a million other cultural/religious practices scattered across the globe. But symbols must be charged with sufficient spirit if they are to work their multi-gene-rational magic.

Symbols become stifled if not connected to that which they signify. And symbols seen as specific to a certain sub-set of humans must eventually lead to the more ample and richer repertories of symbols from other cultures with which they are naturally linked. That is what Marcus meant when he said we must “know no clime, boundary, or nationality”. A man who was very familiar with symbolism’s spiritual power was the beloved LDS Church President, David Oman McKay. While viewing possible plots for an LDS Temple in New Zealand, Pres. McKay vetoed them all. Searching the countryside further with his executives, David came across a piece of land which spiritually spoke to him. His executives said that they had also considered that area but that it was sacred land of the Maori Elders and they were unwilling to sell or grant rights to build there. President McKay told his executives to take him there early in the morning hours, just before sunrise. David climbed the hill and at the hour of sunrise he instinctively raised his arms to the square (Earth) and to the sky (Heaven) and supplicated the One God. When he had finished the ritual he came down the hill and to the hut of one of the main Maori Elders. The Elder was waiting for him with others. They said they had known of his coming in a dream and when they saw him use that particular mudra (arms raised to the square and to the sky) they knew he was in tune with the traditions of their ancestors who also used to employ those exact gestures in spiritual practice. The practice has lost much of its spiritual power and is only known among the younger gene-rations of the Maori as a mere dance move called the “Haka”.

haka

Lingering in this magical area of the planet for yet a while longer, we find a New Zealand based company called Inertialess Drive Technologies Ltd. Their invention known as the inertialess drive rotor is a single piece gyroscopic rotor that dual-rotates in two planes at 90 degrees to each other. The Earth and Her spiritual plane are rotating at 90 degrees difference to one another. This gives more meaning to the squared arm symbolism common to many priesthoods the world over, and also explains the alternating alignment between current pole positions and areas along the present-day equator. It may very well be that most of humanity are operating with their physical bodies in a plane at 90 degrees to their spirit-body – the latter generally waking and “getting up” when the former is sleeping or “laying down”, and visa-versa. Certainly this special relationship of 90 degrees can be easily visualized when thinking of Kolob rotating in one plane with each of our hearts rotating at exact right angles to that sphere, set as they are at the ends of straight rays which emanate out like plumb-lines from there. Earlier we took a look at D&C 93:29-30 where it says that: “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also.” Now note the continuation of this idea… “Otherwise, there is no existence.” This does not mean that there is no such “thing” as “nothingness”, or that there are no actual circumstances that currently allow for the “co-existence” of existence and “no-existence” – just the opposite in fact. The one is not without the other.

Modern Mormons are taught and teach that the Spirit World is split into two territories – Paradise & Spirit Prison. Spirit Prison as it is called in Mormon tradition, or The Abyss as it is known in other circles, has been described by those with more Knowledge as a sort of whirlpool. This whirlpool is said to spin in two directions simultaneously, toward its center, and toward its periphery. So, perhaps it is best visualized as this dual mirroring cyclone configuration we have been describing. Or perhaps it is more easily seen as a sphere within a sphere. Either way, the lost substance of fragmented souls is only seemingly sequestered there, or guiltless spirits, whole and holy, kept there awaiting resurrection day by the only means that can ever limit creations of an Almighty God – that of self perception. If conscious energy there sees its self as connected to everything else in creation it will tend to spiral inwardly, tightening the sense of connection. If it feels hopelessly cut off from God and fellow conscious beings throughout the cosmos, the result is an outward spiral nearing the very edge of being and eventually passing into total unconsciousness, non existence, no-thing-ness.

LDS Church founder Joseph Smith gave the world the Book of Mormon, from which LDS Church members have taken the phrase, “It must needs be, that there be opposition in all things” out of context. In his post, Deep Waters: Lehi’s Model of the Universe, LDSA has beautifully cleared up the confusion resulting from reading this passage as if there were no comma in it. With the comma, we are invited to look to the bigger picture being described by Lehi, and make the connection between two “opposing” states. For Father Lehi’s Grand Theory of Unified Opposition in All Things says:

“Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Ne. 2:10-11)

And LDSA explains the happiness half of this divine set-up thusly:

“…the innermost location of the light sphere, the most holy place or the holy of holies, where God resides in the midst of his creations (the created universe.) It is the central location of the light sphere, being opposite in all ways to the outermost location, (the ends and outer darkness.)”

Do we see how the Mormon concept of the Spirit World, with its happy place and its place of suffering, is really just a fractal model of all worlds in this universe and beyond? So in the 1830s Joseph Smith gave the world the Book of Mormon, a collection of ancient wisdom to hopefully enlighten our understanding of the uni-versal, bi-directional whirlpool we find ourselves in. And in the 1930s Dion Fortune offered the world additional insights with her book, The Cosmic Doctrine, which explained things in terms of a creative, a destructive and a binding ring. But in order to fully appreciate the spinning vortex of a ride that is God/Love, I have to be as it says in the 1940s classic, That Old Black Magic – “Loving that spin I’m in,” and loving that spin/opposition that is in me, in all things. Existence and nonexistence are everywhere meeting in sexual union. Boundaries are bonds of life and death that bend as well as blend in love.

In all ancient Hebrew writings intimacy is equated with know-ledge. Daath means “Knowledge“. In early Kabbalah, Daath was a symbol of the intimate union of Wisdom (Chokhmah) and Understanding (Binah). The book of Proverbs is a rich mine of material on the nature of these three qualities. For example, Proverbs 3:13 tells us:

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding….She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he founded the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew”

The preceding verse takes Lehi and LDSA’s explanations of happiness to a poetic place that would be considered borderline pornographic by prudish Christ-Shuns if they “knew” what was really being laid out. Of course if they “knew” God then they would not mind at all, but would revel in joy, the type of joy that men and women are meant to have, the type of joy that produces Christ caliber children. If only they “knew” God (Mother+Father, Chokmah+Binah) and the Son who they have sent, Jesu, who has been called the Joy of Man’s Desiring. Why, then, that verse would be music to their ears.

As pornographic as they may seem to some, I personally prefer the poetics to this political and punitive God who everyone rushes to blame when weather becomes violent. This irresponsible and incorrect view of the God of Nature is nothing new. There was the recent tornado outbreak that made international news when the largest tornado in recorded history ravished the town of Moore, Oklahoma, In the aftermath, I watched as many Mormons – who had previously been discussing and deconstructing the idea of a violent and vengeful God in Sunstone forums – turned on their heels and expressed various levels of faithlessness. To be fair, what they were expressing came from fear, sadness, and a falling back onto traditional hollow cries of “signs of the times!” Of course it is a sign of the times. The times & seasons are what we commonly call weather. These saints had only just begun to deconstruct their false tradition/false god when that gruesome god lashed out with fear and destruction, in fear of destruction/deconstruction at the hands and in the minds of those who had created him and continued his existence and reign in this world from gene-ration to gene-ration.

It may be unreasonable to expect that the LDS people, who claim to be members of the only True & Living church, as stubborn and prideful as they are, would develop their faith in the True & Living God into a “perfect knowledge” as counseled to do in their favorite chapter in the book of Alma. Oh no! That would require watering and nourishing the seed of faith which God planted in their hearts, and such activities would detract and distract from “Church Activity”. Alma 32:32 cuts straight to the chase and tells the Mormons that: “If a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.” As the Bible says,“MY PEOPLE PERISH for LACK of KNOWLEDGE.” To my fellow Mormon brothers and sisters I say, “NOW is the TIME to OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE!”, if not a perfect knowledge then something that will at minimum get your faith rooted enough to survive the windstorm which rapidly approaches.

8979608242_5fd7333c85_c

Watch yourselves, and your thought-forms, and your affirmations, and your physical actions. O man, remember, and perish not! (Mosiah 4:30) Remember that time/weather is cyclical. The Oklahoma tornado outbreak of May 8–20, 2013 followed along on the same cycle as the May 2–8, 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. Also in 1999, on Aug. 11th, a very unexpected tornado ripped through downtown Salt Lake. Killing and injuring people at the Outdoor Expo held at the city’s commercial center and making a b-line for the construction site of the newly begun Church Conference Center. And here we are again, in Aug. of 2013. Please take a look, with discerning eye, at the documented events of an August long ago in the year 1638. John Taylor – no not the LDS Church President – an adventurer, propagandist, Royalist, and sometime overseer of the Company of Watermen in London, published the following:

New and Strange News from St. Christophers, of a tempestuous Spirit, which is called by the Indians a Hurry Cano, which happeneth in many of those Islands of America, or the West-Indies, as it did in August last the 5. 1638. Blowing downe houses, tearing up trees by the rootes, and it did puffe men up from the earth, as they had beene Feathers, killing divers men.

Note Taylor’s language in depicting a tempestuous Spirit which does puffe men up. Sounds an awful lot like the depiction of the Spirit of Satan as it is found puffing men up with pride in 3 Nephi 6:15. Taylor considered hurricanes a form of divine punishment intended not just to punish sinners but to bring heathens and the barbarous to a state of “Civility and Christian Liberty.” The true Spirit of God however, speaks to us in our heart of hearts and tells us that such is not God’s Nature. But in our spiritual immaturity, our falseness and our fear, we prefer to enlist natural phenomena in moral, religious, and political agendas, even today.

In a very real way, these forces have been used for religious/political agendas by false gods and us, their false worshipers, accomplice creators of terror. Hinckley may have been a false prophet in certain moments and certain ways, but he was also a true prophet on other occasions and at heart. He was very specific and tricky with his words. We should expect the same of ourselves in these days and times. We have been exhorted to be peaceful as doves but wise as serpents. And we would be wise to review Hinckley’s words carefully, not necessarily in the same type of careful spirit that they were originally delivered but in the Spirit of the Holy One of Is-Ra-El, so that we may glean deeper understanding from them. Shortly after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Hinckley was sure to publicly specify the recent catastrophic event as other than the work of God. Only through a caring heart and curious mind would anyone who heard that public statement expend the necessary energy to follow its reasoning and link to the deeper implications. If the almighty being inhabiting the imaginations of the vast majority of Hinckley’s audience had nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina, according to the message of the chosen mouthpiece, then what indeed happened?

There was the T.V. docudrama, Oil Storm, which aired in early June of 2005 and accurately anticipated the domino effect of “real-world” events shortly to come to pass starting with Katrina. And there is the fact that the storm had officially reduced to only a category 3 by the time it actually made land-fall. Aside from these evidences, there is the very revealing fact that the landed gentry of New Orleans tried to make it illegal for any returning so-called refugees to move back into their old neighborhoods. They attempted to pass legislation that said only those whose families owned land titles in the area could move back in. The Lower Ninth Ward is almost 100% comprised of black people and not a single one of them or their families own titles to the land. Such blatant gentrification is just one of many forms of separation that is prominent in the false zions which blotch the land today. To be sure, there is a true type of separation which is based on mutual respect for choices of varying groups and plays out through dimensional barriers. But forced separation between rich and poor is part and parcel with the false unity that gets promoted in the false church’s which cover the land like a cancer.

God tells us that such a faulty foundation will be shook and broken up to liberate captive mind’s and bodies, and to prepare the way of the Lord of Hosts. All prophets, whether more true or more false, actually corroborate the shaping of these storms. Whether we reap the positive or negative effects of the coming whirlwind is up to us. The famous Double-Slit Experiment showed to quantum physicists and the whole world, that on the quantum level, the form that something takes is defined by the observer. When we admire the beauty of the sky, our attention becomes a catalyst for Sky’s awareness of itself, which in turn, sparks our own self-awareness.  Nature is waiting for us to wake up to this, and the beings of Nature are calling us to draw closer to them through our hearts and attention. The spirited, sacred potential of weather is responsive in its nature. Weather manifests its particular forms in response to how it is called down, which is key to any active relationship with weather. We can make that relationship conscious or we can remain in various levels of spiritual death unable or unwilling to speak to the spirits of “the dead”. When a storm approaches, who do we address, and how do we speak? If Mormons will allow themselves to become mystics, or women and “men inspired of heaven” as it says in the Book of Mormon, then we will open up a fuller communication – not only with recent pioneer ancestors who came across the plains like a listless, weak wind – but to that ancient ancestral wisdom of all humanity which reminds us that; everything in Nature is alive and has consciousness and is therefore capable of observing and participating in the creation of ordinary reality.

May we grasp on an intellectual level the scientific works of Dan Winter, Stan Tenen, Doc Childre, and others who attempt to convey to our minds the importance of “embedding in the tornado” a harmonic heart resonance which is capable of cohering with our brothers and sisters around the world. And may we grasp on an emotional level the work we are called to do as Saviors on Mount Zion, so that Mormon Mystics may be grafted in with the ancient ordinance officiators of humanity’s past. I call upon my true Latter-Day Saint brothers and sisters to come and contribute their balanced emotion and intelligence to consecrated efforts of pre-stood power on behalf of both the “living” and the “dead”. It is my earnest prayer that we may endure the storm, that we be “gathered together in [our] place, that the storm cannot penetrate to [us]” in the words of Ammon. And in the name of Jesus Christ, I say: So let it be, Amen.
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The faith of God, part fourteen: God is a miracle worker, not a scientist


Continued from part thirteen.

for behold [2 Ne. 27:23]

i am god

and i am a god of miracles

for behold [Mosiah 3:5]

the time cometh

and is not far distant

that with power the lord omnipotent

who reigneth

who was and is from all eternity to all eternity

shall come down from heaven among the children of men

and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay

and shall go forth amongst men

working mighty miracles

Omnipotent defined by Webster

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

OMNIPOTENT, a. [supra.]

1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.

The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Unequaled; arrant; mighty.

Humorous. Shak.

Webster (apparently) corrected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.  Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent.

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

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

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

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

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

c.  Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

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

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

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

I.  God is omnipotent (according to theists).

II.  Thus God can create or do anything.

III.  A square circle is a thing.

IV.  Thus God can create a square circle.

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

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

God is a maximally powerful being

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

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

God can create a square circle.

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

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

God cannot create that which cannot be created.

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

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

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

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

To sum it up:

God is a maximally powerful being.

That which cannot exist, cannot be created.

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

Omnipotent…

The traditional, dictionary defined view says,

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

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

…or a maximally powerful being?

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

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

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

The scientist and the miracle worker

The scientist

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

The miracle worker

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

God as an advanced scientist

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

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

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

The midi-chlorian menace

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

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

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

Mormon speculations running rampant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, to quote Parley P. Pratt:

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

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

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

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

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

(Miracles by Michael R. Ash)

Btw, Pratt wrote the above in 1891.

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

Moroni asked,

who shall say [Morm. 9:17]

that it was not a miracle

that by his word the heaven and the earth should be

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

and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought

and who shall say [Marm. 9:18]

that jesus christ did not do many mighty miracles

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

The Bible Dictionary on miracles

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

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

The scientific trap: creation by knowledge

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

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

into a false gospel of creation and miracles by knowledge.

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

First things first: some definitions

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

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

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

Creatio ex nihilo

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

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

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

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

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

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

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

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

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

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

and the light of the sun

and the power thereof

by which it was made

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

and is the light of the moon

and the power thereof

by which it was made

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

and the power thereof

by which they were made

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

and the power thereof

even the earth upon which you stand

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

which giveth you light

is through him

who enlighteneth your eyes

which is the same light

that quickeneth your understandings

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

to fill the immensity of space

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

which giveth life to all things

which is the law

by which all things are governed

even the power of god

who sitteth upon his throne

who is in the bosom of eternity

who is in the midst of all things

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

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

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

God’s omnipotence

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

and he said [Mark 14:36]

abba

father

all things are possible unto thee

take away this cup from me

nevertheless

not what i will

but what thou wilt

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

God is omnipotent, according to His will and pleasure

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

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

Nothing is impossible with God

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

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

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

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

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

as they are

and as they were

and as they are to come

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

The greatest feat God can do

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

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

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

ah lord god [Jer. 32:17]

behold

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

and there is nothing too hard for thee

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

To glorify God

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

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

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

Giving impossible purpose to the impossible Nothing

wherefore [2 Ne. 2:12]

it must needs have been created for a thing of naught

wherefore

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

wherefore

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

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

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

wherefore [D&C 76:44]

he saves all except them

they shall go away into everlasting punishment

which is endless punishment

which is eternal punishment

to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity

where their worm dieth not

and the fire is not quenched

which is their torment

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

neither the place thereof

nor their torment

no man knows

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

neither is

neither will be revealed unto man

except to them who are made partakers thereof

nevertheless [D&C 76:47]

i the lord show it by vision unto many

but straightway shut it up again

wherefore [D&C 76:48]

the end

the width

the height

the depth

and the misery thereof

they understand not

neither any man

except those who are ordained unto this condemnation

wherefore [D&C 29:28]

i will say unto them

depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire

prepared for the devil and his angels

and now [D&C 29:29]

behold

i say unto you

never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth

that they should return

for where i am they cannot come

for they have no power

but remember [D&C 29:30]

that all my judgments are not given unto men

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

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

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

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

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

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

else the new wine doth burst the bottles

and the wine is spilled

and the bottles will be marred

but new wine must be put into new bottles

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

else the bottles break

and the wine runneth out

and the bottles perish

but they put new wine into new bottles

and both are preserved

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

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

The limitations created by God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Chantdown recently wrote:

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

Emphasis mine.

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

for behold [Moses 1:35]

many worlds have passed away by my power

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

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

Reality altering faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The nature of God is unnatural

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

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

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

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

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

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

jesus answered [John 2:19]

and said unto them

destroy this temple

and in three days i will raise it up

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

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

but i lay it down of myself

i have power to lay it down

and i have power to take it again

this commandment have i received of my father

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

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

Impossible any way you look at it

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

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

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

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

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

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

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

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

Ceasing to be God

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

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

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

infinite and eternal without end

amen

and behold [Alma 34:14]

this is the whole meaning of the law

every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice

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

yea

infinite and eternal

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

that there is a god in heaven

who is infinite and eternal

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

Even trusting God is an impossible miracle

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

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

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

The works of God defy logic

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

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

Answer: Yes, He does.

Question: Does He exercise this power?

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

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

It is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent

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

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

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

Dispersing His omnipotence reveals His nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADAM: What is that apron you have on?

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

ADAM: Priesthoods?

LUCIFER: Yes, priesthoods.

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

Infinite faith produces unlimited power (omnipotence)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not restricted in the least

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

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

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

God as a miracle worker

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

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

The answer is: No.

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

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

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

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

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

The devil as an advanced scientist

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

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

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

and taketh away light and truth

through disobedience

from the children of men

and because of the tradition of their fathers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demonic and divine technologies

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

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

the miraculous directors [D&C 17:1]

which were given to lehi while in the wilderness

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

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

according to that which is written

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith exercises faith

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

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

and i will draw near unto you

seek me diligently

and ye shall find me

ask

and ye shall receive

knock

and it shall be opened unto you

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

wisdom receiveth wisdom

truth embraceth truth

virtue loveth virtue

light cleaveth unto light

mercy hath compassion on mercy

and claimeth her own

justice continueth its course

and claimeth its own

judgment goeth before the face of him

who sitteth upon the throne

and governeth

and executeth all things

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

we ask thee in the name of thy son jesus christ

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

who partake of it

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

and witness unto thee o god the eternal father

that they are willing

to take upon them the name of thy son

and always remember him

and keep his commandments

which he hath given them

that they may always have his spirit to be with them

amen

Conclusion

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

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

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The root and divine pattern of the damsel in distress


Adam’s adamance

According to the temple account, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, prior to the fall, Satan first came tempting Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit.

LUCIFER APPROACHES ADAM

[Lucifer enters.]

LUCIFER: Well, Adam, you have a new world here.

ADAM: A new world?

LUCIFER: Yes, a new world, patterned after the old one where we used to live.

ADAM: I know nothing about any other world.

LUCIFER: Oh, I see–your eyes are not yet opened. You have forgotten everything. You must eat some of the fruit of this tree.

[Lucifer pantomimes picking two pieces of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He offers the fruit to Adam.]

LUCIFER: Adam, here is some of the fruit of that tree. It will make you wise.

ADAM: I will not partake of that fruit. Father told me that in the day I should partake of it, I should surely die.

LUCIFER: You shall not surely die, but shall be as the Gods, knowing good and evil.

ADAM: I will not partake of it.

LUCIFER: Oh, you will not? Well, we shall see.

[Adam withdraws from view.]

Satan failed to directly tempt him because Adam was adamant about not breaking God’s commandment. How do you get someone to yield whose very nature is not to budge an inch? Was there no way around Adam’s adamancy? Yes, there was, and Satan, that cunning one, knew that Adam had a weakness which he had planned to exploit. And so off the devil went to tempt Eve.

Eve’s acquiescence

Satan used on Eve the very same approach that he used on Adam, directly tempting her with the wisdom and knowledge that the fruit offered as benefits. Instead of Eve acting like the unyielding Adam, though, she acquiesced and partook of the fruit.

Why did Adam refuse? Because it was his nature to stick to the decision he had made to obey God and not to yield to temptations.

Why did Eve partake? Because it was her nature to yield to persuasive arguments. It was her nature to vacillate.

Why did Satan wait for Eve to be alone? Because if Adam had been around, he would have offered counter arguments to Satan’s temptations and Eve might have drawn strength from Adam’s unyielding nature and resisted the temptation.

Here is how it went down.

EVE PARTAKES OF THE FRUIT

[Eve returns.]

LUCIFER: Eve, here is some of the fruit of that tree. It will make you wise. It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.

EVE: Who are you?

LUCIFER: I am your brother.

EVE: You, my brother, and come here to persuade me to disobey Father?

LUCIFER: I have said nothing about Father. I want you to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that your eyes may be opened, for that is the way Father gained his knowledge. You must eat of this fruit so as to comprehend that everything has its opposite: good and evil, virtue and vice, light and darkness, health and sickness, pleasure and pain. Thus your eyes will be opened, and you will have knowledge.

EVE: Is there no other way?

LUCIFER: There is no other way.

EVE: Then I will partake.

[Eve pantomimes taking one of the pieces of fruit from Lucifer’s hand and eating it.]

LUCIFER: There. Now go and get Adam to partake.

[Lucifer pantomimes placing the second piece of fruit in her hand. He withdraws from view.]

Indirectly tempting the adamant Adam

Having received instructions from the devil to tempt Adam to partake, Eve went to find her husband.

ADAM PARTAKES OF THE FRUIT

[Adam returns.]

EVE: Adam, here is some of the fruit of that tree. It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.

ADAM: Eve, do you know what fruit that is?

EVE: Yes. It is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

ADAM: I cannot partake of it. Do you not know that Father commanded us not to partake of the fruit of that tree?

EVE: Do you intend to obey all of Father’s commandments?

ADAM: Yes, all of them.

We see from this that the devil’s plan to indirectly tempt Adam failed, for Adam was still every bit as adamant about obeying all of Father’s commandments as he ever was. The man simply refused to budge and break any commandments. Neither direct nor indirect temptation worked on Adam, for it was against his nature to budge on his decisions. But notice what happened next.

Why did Adam partake of the forbidden fruit?

EVE: Do you not recollect that Father commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth? I have partaken of this fruit and by so doing shall be cast out, and you will be left a lone man in the garden of Eden.

ADAM: Eve, I see that this must be so. I will partake that man may be.

[Adam pantomimes eating the fruit.]

There were three reasons that Eve gave Adam to get him to partake of the fruit. The first was

“It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.”

But that wasn’t enough to get Adam to budge on Father’s commandments. So Eve tried a strategy which appealed to Adam’s desire to obey the commandments. Her reasoning was that since “God commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth,” that required that they remain together, but since now Eve had “partaken of this fruit and by so doing [would] be cast out,” Adam would “be left a lone man in the garden of Eden.”

That got Adam to partake and the standard interpretation is that Adam chose to obey one commandment over another, that he was placed in a situation in which the two commandments conflicted and he chose to obey “the greater commandment” of staying together and having children over “the lesser commandment” of partaking of the fruit. We often take the view that obeying God’s commandment to have children was Adam’s prime motivator.

This is an understandable interpretation, given that the text has Adam saying, “I will partake that man may be.” To everyone who hears that (including me), Adam was obviously talking about having children.

Three commandments

However, that may not be the whole picture. There were three commandments that God gave to Adam.

  • Don’t partake of the forbidden fruit.

  • Remain together.

  • Multiply and replenish the earth.

After Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, God asked him, “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?” And Adam replied,

“The woman thou gavest me,

and commandest that she should remain with me,

she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat. ”

We see from this response that Adam himself explained the reason why he partook of the forbidden fruit. It was to comply with the commandment that the woman remain with him. This commandment was given to him because God had said that “it was not good that the man should be alone.” But let’s backtrack a bit, for we need to understand what “man” is.

What “man” is

There are four things that “man” is.

  • Man is Adam, not Eve (woman/help meet).

  • Man is Adam + Eve. (“One flesh.”)

  • Man is children and posterity.

  • Man is Eve. (Mankind.)

We can do some substitution to try to determine what Adam meant by “man” when he said, “Eve, I see that this must be so. I will partake that man may be.” The exercise might pull some additional information out of the text that is not readily apparent in a cursory first reading.

“I will partake that [children/posterity] may be.”

I think it is safe to say that most people think this is what he was referring to, but neither Adam nor Eve had any concept of what children were, for they were still innocent themselves. So, let’s try another substitute.

“I will partake that [Adam, not Eve] may be.”

Eve had partaken and broken the commandment, whereas Adam had not, therefore, Eve was already spiritually dead (and would later suffer a temporal death). So, we can look upon Eve as spiritually dead when she tempted the spiritually alive Adam. This substitution, then, doesn’t make sense because the words “may be” indicate bringing something into existence, or making something alive. The fall had brought death upon Eve, not life. By partaking of the fruit, then, Adam would also bring death upon himself. Therefore, since he was already spiritually and physically alive, it makes no sense that he needed to partake of death in order to become (spiritually or physically) alive.

“I will partake that [Eve] may be.”

Eve was already spiritually dead, therefore, Adam partaking of the same forbidden fruit does not bring her back to life, it only makes him just as dead as she is. So, this interpretation doesn’t work, either. Let’s try the last substitution.

“I will partake that [Adam + Eve] may be.”

If Adam viewed Eve as part of himself, as literally “the other half” of him, then when he saw (“Eve, I see that this must be so”) that a change had come over her and that she had become fallen, what he saw was that man (Adam + Eve) had already ceased to exist. Half of him was fallen and half of him had not fallen, causing a separation, or death, between the two halves. In truth, Adam never saw Eve as a separate individual, separate from himself. For example, there’s this:

This was bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; now she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man; (Abr. 5:17)

and also this:

This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. (Moses 3:23)

In one view, it is said that Eve was his bone and flesh (prior to her being taken out of him), and in another view it is said that Eve is his bone and flesh (after being taken out of him). In either case, she is him. Then we get these scriptures, which reinforce the same idea that Adam + Eve is man:

So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them. (Abr. 4:27)

And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. (Moses 2:27)

Adam, then, was like unto the left-brain-mind of man and Eve was like unto the right-brain-heart of man. The one is firm, fixed and adamant (unyielding), the other vacillating. They were the personification of our two brain hemispheres. Just as we need both halves of our brain for existence, so they needed to remain with each other to be complete and alive. If you leave the left-brain-mind of man alone to itself, without any interaction with the right-brain-heart, it goes insane, just like all those crazy chess players.  The reverse is also true. A right-brain-heart cannot remain separate from its corresponding left-brain-mind.

What Adam was thinking

Remember those three commandments Adam had received from God?

  • Don’t partake of the forbidden fruit.

  • Remain together.

  • Multiply and replenish the earth.

Well, in Adam’s mind, half of himself (Adam + Eve) had already broken the first one, making it impossible to comply with the second and third commandments. Because only half of himself (Adam + Eve) had partaken of the fruit, man (Adam + Eve) had ceased to exist. In order to save or rescue man (Adam + Eve) and bring man (Adam + Eve) back again into existence, the other half of himself (Adam + Eve) had to also partake of the forbidden fruit. This would allow the now fallen, yet still existing man (Adam + Eve) to comply with the second and third commandments.

Adam’s chief motivation, then, was to rescue man (Adam + Eve), for without Eve, man (Adam + Eve) could not exist. Adam would perform the rescue through condescension (“voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior”), by voluntarily allowing himself to fall. Now Adam and Eve would again be on an equal (fallen) footing and Adam, and through his faith, repentance and unyielding obedience (for this was his nature), could perchance bring both himself and Eve, his other half, back into the presence of God.

This view of Eve as himself did not allow him to merely cut his losses and walk away from her. To lose Eve was to lose himself. This wasn’t some fallen, romantic love affair in which two separate people come together, this was orders of magnitude more intense, because Eve was literally taken out of Adam. They weren’t just made for each other, they were each other! So, the possibility of losing Eve was not an option to Adam. Eve needed to be rescued.

Eve, the prototypical damsel in distress

Adam partook of the forbidden fruit because Eve was in distress and he desired to rescue her. By her transgression, she had lost the promises and would be cut off, both physically and spiritually. She had already shown that she was unable to resist the direct temptations of the devil in her paradisaical state while separated from Adam, so, what kind of a chance did Eve have to resist the devil’s temptations in a fallen state and being alone in a fallen world, with no Adam to rely upon and help rescue her? Not a chance in hell.

(Before I continue, it needs to be understood and emphasized that both the temple and scriptural accounts of this event are most likely just a part, or an abridgment, of the actual conversation that took place between Eve and Adam. Nevertheless, we can see from the few words of Eve which have been given to us by revelation, that she was in dire need of some comfort, for she makes it a point to say to Adam, and this, I believe, is the main point that resonated with Adam, “I…shall be cast out.”)

Now, everyone who has dealt with a woman in distress knows just how very nervous and agitated they can become. It is likely that Eve unloaded a barrage of words on Adam to get him to partake of that fruit, crying to him with tears of sorrow, as a weeping woman pleading for rescue. Adam likely had never seen tears before, so the sight of a hysterical woman must have been a shock to him. As this was a life and death situation—for Eve was now slated to die (spiritually and physically), alone, in the dreary world outside of the garden—it is highly unlikely that the conversation we have recorded in the temple and in the scriptures is the full account.

So, she likely used every argument she could think of to persuade Adam to partake of the fruit and to be kicked out and die with her. Obviously something she said actually worked to get him to partake, whereas the direct temptations of the devil had failed. Was it the appeal to keep the replenish commandment? Probably not. For in order to stay together, Adam would still need to break a commandment, and the end result would be the same. So why did he partake? It can only be because she was a damsel in distress and he thought to save or rescue her.

How to bring down an adamant Adam

Now this was the devious plan of the adversary, by which he would get around the adamant nature of Adam. The strategy was to use Eve to destroy Adam by putting Eve in peril (through her fall), which would cause Adam to voluntarily put himself in peril (through his own fall) in order to save her. It worked because it was based upon the nature of Adam, which was patterned after God Himself. In other words, although it was Adam’s nature to be totally obedient, it was also his nature to save his loved ones, even if it meant the voluntary sacrifice of his own life. Sound familiar?

Damsel in distress and rescue as gospel principles

As a result of these events, God patterned the entire gospel on that interaction between Adam and Eve, which resulted in the fall. How so?

By partaking of the fruit, Eve became the prototypical damsel in distress and all her daughters would follow this pattern, becoming themselves, in the gospel plan, damsels in distress.

Adam became the prototypical knight in shining armor that puts himself in jeopardy in order to rescue the maiden from the danger she is in, and all his sons would follow this same pattern, becoming saviors (or rescuers) on mount Zion.

The cries of Eve to Adam to save her from her dilemma is the prototypical prayer, by which all prayers to God, in which we plead to Him for mercy and salvation, is patterned after. Just as she wept to Adam, so are we to weep to God. When we perform a proper prayer, after this order of Eve, we take upon us the role of the damsel in distress, and God hears and answers our prayers.

Adam’s response to Eve, in which he condescended to save her from her distress, is the prototype after which the atonement of Jesus Christ is patterned. The condescension of God, then, is patterned after the condescension of Adam.

The male priesthood orders, which administer the ordinances of salvation, are based on the “rescuer,” while all female priesthood orders are based upon the “damsel in distress.”

When Jesus faces God, He pleads with Him in our behalf as a Damsel in Distress. When He faces us, He stands as our Rescuer. When a man faces Christ, he pleads with Him as a damsel in distress. When he faces his wife and children, it is as a rescuer. When a woman faces her husband or Christ, it is as a damsel in distress. When she faces her children, it is as a rescuer. Children all have the role of damsels in distress until they are of age.

The root and pattern of the damsel in distress can be traced to Eve, from the time of her fall, and the rescuer principle can be traced to Adam, from the time of his fall. The gospel given to Adam and Eve after their fall, and given to all of their children, retains the same pattern.

The ancient church, as written in our scriptural canon, was almost entirely based upon assigning men the role of rescuer and women the role of damsels in distress, with but few exceptions. The men fought the wars, not the women, and thus they became the protectors of the women. The men were expected to be the providers for their families (rescuing them from hunger, etc.), not the women. The women and children had claim on their husbands, not the other way around. And when it came to leadership, the leader was typically male. In the modern church, we now use the word preside, which is also an expected role of the men, as stated in the Proclamation on the Family.

Some Book of Mormon instances of damsel in distress

Captain Moroni’s title of liberty was “in defense of our wives.” That is damsel in distress. The kidnapped Lamanite women created a damsel in distress situation which brought out the vast Lamanite army to search for 24 women. Jacob’s rebuke of Nephite husbands because of their desire for additional wives and how they were making their wives feel bad was a damsel in distress theme, the rescue provided by the Lord who sent His prophet to call the husbands to repentance. The Nephites were commanded to defend their wives and children against Lamanite aggression even unto bloodshed. Why didn’t the Lord just authorize the Nephites to wipe out the Lamanite threat? Well, one reason might have been so that Nephite wives would have a continual source of potential distress, in the form of the Lamanites. This would allow them to more fully cleave unto their rescuing husbands.

Damsel in distress found in non-gospel cultures

Because the damsel in distress theme has gospel origins from the time of our first parents, it is to be expected that we would find it played out in many different non-gospel cultures and stories of all ages, and that is, in fact, what we see.

Fascinating Womanhood was based on damsel in distress

The book, Fascinating Womanhood, which was written by a Mormon woman, attempted to teach women what “true” femininity was. As might be expected, it had (and still has) a polarizing effect upon both men and women, some swearing by it, others wanting to burn it. It stood out like a sore thumb among many other self-help books because it claimed to be based on biblical principles, on the very laws of God. It relied heavily upon the damsel in distress theme, where women were taught to use their weakness to activate a man’s strength, or, to put it another way, they were taught to more fully assume the role of the damsel in distress, to which, it was claimed, men naturally responded (like Adam did) by seeking to rescue them. These teachings completely contradicted modern ideas, which seek to make strong, empowered women that do not need to rely upon men. (Another book was written by the author’s husband, called Man of Steel and Velvet, which was written for men and based upon the rescuer role of men.)

Modern movements against the damsel in distress stereotype

Go back a hundred years and virtually all dramas in plays, movies, radio or print (and later in television) were based on the damsel in distress theme. Times, however, have changed. Now there is a concerted effort in media of all forms to remove it and replace it with either equal roles for the sexes or a dude in distress theme. The strong female who can mop up the floor of any guy or group of guys is now found everywhere. The weak female needing male attention and help is virtually non-existent in current media. The heroine who rescues the dude in distress is becoming more and more prevalent. For example, take Disney, which used to base their fairy tales on damsel in distress and now have the fair maiden saving the man from the fire breathing dragon.   In many of the kiss and sex scenes nowadays in movies and television, it is the woman who initiates (and often dominates) and the man is on the receiving (submissive) end.

The blurring, elimination and/or reversal of the damsel in distress/rescuer theme in media is manifestly intentional. It is done according to a plan. Damsel in distress is painted as a antiquated cultural artifact that needs to be eliminated from society. And much of society has bought into that view. Even Mormon society. For example, ordaining women to the male priesthood orders would confound the damsel in distress and rescuer roles found within the church, yet there are many in the church who feel that this should happen because they do not see damsel in distress as a divinely appointed principle.

Damsel in distress in prophecy

In a previous post, I explained that at some point in the future, the women of the church shall be ordained to the male priesthood orders, and that they would fulfill the prophecy of the wicked, ruling daughters of Zion found in Isaiah 3:12-23. My next post on the orders of the priesthood was an extension of the daughters in Zion post. This post may also be viewed as an extension of the same topic, but in this post I would like to unfold that Isaiah prophecy some more and also tell what will happen afterward.

The return of the order of the Nehors

Given that there are forces at work to subvert the damsel in distress doctrine, both within and without the church, it might be asked, what would be the result of total subversion, meaning these forces completely unfolded? The answer to that question is this: when there are no more damsels in distress, there is no more need for rescue or a rescuer. In other words, there will be no more need for salvation and for a Savior, for all are saved and no one is in distress and all can rejoice. In other words, complete subversion of damsel in distress leads to Nehor’s doctrine.

And it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment-seat, there was a man brought before him to be judged, a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength.

And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.

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.

And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.

And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching. (Alma 1:2-6)

Notice, in particular, that Mormon describes Nehor as being “lifted up in the pride of his heart” and he said that he began “to wear very costly apparel,” which is a similar description to how Isaiah described the wicked, ruling daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:12-23. The daughters of Zion, then, spoken of by Isaiah in those verses, will be Nehors.

A change in conditions

Subversion of damsel in distress and the rescuer principles can only happen during times of economic prosperity and peace, for when women have money and can provide for their own, and have no need for protection, or can purchase it with their money, they do not need to be rescued by any man. Therefore, the Lord will deal with His wicked daughters by changing the conditions among men, taking away the prosperity and peace, so that Isaiah 3: 24-26 and Isaiah 4:1 will be the next thing that happens, ushering in an immediate re-installment of the damsel in distress and rescuer doctrine, for all women left alive will be in distress and will look to any man left alive to rescue them. Thus, all those who remain alive will be humbled to the dust.

And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (Isaiah 3: 24-26;4:1)

Now, the Lord’s plan is to use the same instrument to distress the wicked, ruling daughters of Zion as He did the ancient Nephite women, namely, Lamanite aggression. All those souls that survive shall repent of their sins and cleave unto their husbands, and the husbands unto their wives.

What of the righteous?

These prophecies speak of men and women who will, in their wickedness, confound the gospel doctrines of damsel in distress and rescue, but one might ask, will the righteous, meaning those who promote and support these divine principles, be among the people of the Lord when the prophesied destruction takes place? The answer is, “No.” The Lord will remove all of His people who obey His laws to places of safety prior to the Lamanites being sent in, but know this: prior to that time, all those who refuse to support any philosophy of (wo)men that subverts the Lord’s damsel in distress principle, will be tested with persecution. So, plan accordingly.

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Seeking the Good of Others


Meat Sacrificed to Idols:

One of the issues in the first-century church that was addressed in writing by Paul concerned meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Debates over what to eat might seem strange within a church established by a man who said:

Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

However, as formerly pagan/Roman converts began joining congregations of the church of Jesus Christ, an issue arose concerning the eating of meat.

Pleasing the Romans gods thru animal sacrifice resulted in temples having more meat than their priests and priestesses could eat.  So, as a source of income, the temples would sell the extra meat to vendors — who would in turn sell that meat in the marketplace for general consumption.  Thus, it was common for meat sold in the marketplace to have been previously consecrated as a sacrifice to a Roman god.  The Jews stayed away from such meat because they were wary of the chances encountering the “unclean” food-handling practices and they believed that to partake of consecrated meat was to give second-hand approval of idol worship.  The Gentiles did not believe that meat could be tainted by a sacrifice they did not participate in.  Both parties brought these preconceived cultural views on the subject with them into the church of Jesus Christ — thereby making the matter a point of contention within the church.

The council recorded in Acts 15 urged Gentile converts to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols.  In essence, the council sought to assure that at the next church sacramental meal a formerly-Jewish believer could eat meat he was served with confidence — knowing it had never been part of a sacrificial cow, and a formerly-Roman believer could not be accused of participating in idol worship.

Applying the Matter to Ourselves:

Whenever I read Paul’s writings on the subject of members of the church of Jesus Christ eating meat that had was considered “unclean” by some — I can’t help but think of the current LDS views on things like meat, caffeinated drinks, beer, and wine.  So last week, I read thru 1 Corinthians 8-10, imagining that Paul was writing to church members today on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.

Paul’s Law of Offense = Seek the good of others instead of being concerned for your own good:

The following was taken from 1 Corinthians 8-10.

Some people might think that all things are lawful for them because of justification by faith or because of all the knowledge they have on the issue.  While the freedom in Christ or the knowledge you obtain may make you feel important, it is love that strengthens the church of God.  If you claim to know all the answers, then you don’t really know very much.  However, the person who loves God – the same is known by Him.

Whether or not everything is lawful for you – not everything is expedient or constructive.

You may be able to consume any food or drink without raising questions of moral conscience within yourself because you understand that everything from the earth comes from the Lord.  Why should your freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?  If you are capable of enjoying all things that come from God, then why should you be condemned for it?  We can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – you won’t lose anything if you abstain, and you won’t gain anything if you partake.  So whether you eat or drink – whatever you do – do it all to glorify God.

However, not all believers understand this.  Some are accustomed to thinking that words of wisdom concerning diet are commandments – and their weak consciences will be offended.

Should a non-member ask you over to his or her house, by all means go if you want to and eat whatever is offered to you, out of respect for their hospitality.  But then should a member there point out that the food or drink served ought to be considered morally objectionable to you because of your religion – don’t consume it out of consideration for the one who told you.  For you must be careful that your freedom doesn’t cause another of a weaker conscience to stumble.

If your superior knowledge on a subject were to encourage a believer to do something they believe is wrong, then you would be sinning against Christ because he died for that person too.

If my dietary choices would cause another believer to sin, then may I never break the “commandments” outlined in any words of wisdom concerning diet so long as I live.  I do not desire another believer to stumble.  Don’t give offense to Jews, Gentiles, or the church of God.  Try to please everyone in what you do.  Don’t just do what is best for yourself – do what is best for others, so that many may be saved.

When you are with those who are weak, you should share their weakness because you have a desire to bring the weak to Christ.  It is best to try and find common ground with people, doing everything you can that you might save some.

Even though you are a free person, with no earthly slave master, you must become a servant to all people to bring them to Christ.  When you are with Jews, live like a Jew to bring them to Christ.  When you are with members who strictly adhere to Church™ teachings, live under that law – even though you are not subject to that law, do so in order to bring Christ to them.  When you are with Gentiles who are without the law, then also live apart from that law for the purpose of bringing them to Christ.  But you must not ignore the law of God – always obey the law of Christ.

Questions:

  • Is my characterization of Paul’s teaching on offense accurate?
  • What lessons can be drawn from his teaching?
  • Is my connection of his teaching on eating pagan meat with the Word of Wisdom™ fair?
  • Is this teaching consistent with the rest of the Scriptures?
  • How can we balance Paul’s law of offense with spicing up your church experience, rebelling against body modesty, or cheerfully doing all things?

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The seeds of the powers of godliness


We are here on Earth in a temporal (mortal) existence to develop our faith as a principle of power by walking by faith. As an aid in that endeavor, we are offered the gifts of the Spirit.

Walking by sight

In our pre-mortal life, we walked by sight.  As we saw, so we did, imitating the beings around us, learning by copying what we saw others do.

Upon entering mortality as children, we bring this capacity to imitate others with us.  We imitate or emulate our parents, our brothers and sisters, our friends and associates, the celebrities of the day, etc.  Eventually we assimilate into whatever society we are born into.  Like the chameleon, we become what is around us.  A baby born in France, raised by French parents with French customs and language will soon feel and act like all other Frenchmen.  It is the same with every other culture.

While we resided in the heavens, we copied our perfect, heavenly Parents and their angels.  Here, we copy imperfect mortals.  Mortality, then, does not limit our ability to walk by sight.

Two principles of faith

The Lectures on Faith divide faith into two principles: one of action and one of power.

Regardless of which principle you use, all things are done by faith, though most everything in mortality is done by using faith as a principle of action.

Moving mountains

There are two ways of moving a mountain.  You can move it stone by stone with your hands, or by using shovels, bulldozers or other technologies, to force the elements that make up the mountain to move to another spot.  This would be faith as a principle of action.  Or, conversely, you can command the mountain to remove and it can obey you.  This would be faith as a principle of power.  The former uses coercion or force, wrestling with the elements to model them however you want them to be.  The latter uses agency.  The elements must voluntarily move themselves at your command.

Power faith is celestial

When we lived in the heavens, as all things were given agency, nothing that surrounded us there could be forced to do anything.  We could not even pick up a handful of heavenly dirt without its say-so.  Everything in heaven was accomplished “without compulsory means,” meaning that coercion, force, was (and still is) non-existent there.  In other words, we exercised faith only as a principle of power.  The elements around us obeyed us only insofar as they respected us and they respected us only insofar as we followed (imitated) the “grown-ups.”  There we learned to use faith as a principle of power by observing our heavenly Parents and the angels, for that is the only way that they operate.  They commanded the elements and were obeyed and so did we.

Action faith is earthly

Mortality is different. It is designed to allow faith to function under both principles.

Action faith is given to us a temporary crutch, as well as a test.  The elements that surround us here are commanded by God to allow us to push them around, regardless of our righteousness or lack thereof.  They voluntarily submit to His divine command and thus we can manipulate all the various earthly materials here.  If we desire it, we may never need to develop faith as a principle of power.  Mankind can survive on this planet (for a limited time, at least) solely on action faith.

Once we come here from heaven, we find ourselves in a fallen world.  Sin is rampant, both around us and in us.  Were the elements here operating like they did in heaven, everyone would immediately die.  We wouldn’t be able to even force air into our lungs, for the air would not allow itself to be forced into the lungs of a being it did not respect (a sinful being).  This would frustrate the design of God to prepare a world in which we could be tried and tested and in which would could develop faith as a principle of power.  So, as explained above, God commanded the elements that make up our temporal (mortal) existence to allow themselves to be pushed around by us, according to a specific set of laws that we term physics.

Imperfect memory is necessary for our test of power faith

If we had arrived here with our memory of pre-mortal life intact, we would remember how to use faith as a principle of power and would never sin, keeping our heavenly powers intact, as all things would continue to respect us and obey us.  But by the design of God, our memories are wiped clean and we become, as a result, unable to use faith as a principle of power (because we have forgotten how to).  The situation is okay, though, because we now can use faith as a principle of action, forcing the elements to sustain us.

Our limited memories serve another divine purpose.  As we cannot remember our past life in the heavens and we cannot see the future, plus the memory we have of our mortal lives is patchy at best, nothing is remembered perfectly and only bits and pieces remain in our minds to access at moments of recollection.  All of this is done so that we become blinded, so as not to instinctively walk by sight as we did in the heavens (and use power faith).  By limiting our memory (which is primarily a visual organ), we can only really see the present clearly.  The future is pitch black and the past is foggy.

Blindness required to walk by faith

In this state of blindness, we can be put on probation (tested) to see if we truly desire to use faith as a principle of power.  Whereas in the heavens we all learned to use faith as a principle of power, by walking by sight (because there was no other way to operate), here on Earth we can go our entire lives without ever using power faith, for action faith is available to us.  Thus, only those who truly desire to (re-)learn to use the heavenly powers will do so.  And so mortality becomes a test.

Additionally, mortality allows us to more fully develop our faith as a principle of power by walking by faith*.  There is no one to look at (imitate) to learn how to use the heavenly powers, nor can we access our memories to remember examples of how it is done.  When we walk by sight here we only learn to use faith as a principle of action, for this is the principle under which everyone here operates.  So, to use power faith we must walk by faith, or walk blindly, trusting in only the word of God and not the sight of Him.

(*Note: Although all things in heaven walk by sight, God walks both by sight and by faith.  In order for us to become like Him, then, mortality is given to us to develop this capacity.  I may have already explained this concept in the Faith of God series, but if not, I will, that is if I ever get around to finishing it.)

To re-iterate:

In the heavens we walked by sight, imitating the celestial beings we saw around us, copying what they did, and learned to use faith as a principle of power, for that is the only way that we saw them operate. We had no capacity to walk by faith, only by sight.

In mortality, we also walk by sight, imitating the fallen beings we see around us, copying what they do, and we thus learn to use faith as a principle of action, for that is the only way that fallen beings operate.  We are unable to exercise the power faith we previously had because we cannot remember (see) how to do it.

Being essentially blind, once we are presented with the word of God we are enabled to walk by faith and re-learn to use power faith.  Mortality is a test to see if we will choose to drop the crutch of action faith and start using power faith by walking by faith.

We must walk by faith

Mortality is the brief moment that God has given us to learn to walk by faith.  We are to walk by sight and use faith as a principle of action only until we are enabled to walk by faith.  Once we are presented with the word of God, we must let go of the crutch of action faith and re-enter the world of power faith.  We must stop walking by sight and start walking by faith.

If we do not learn to walk by faith and re-learn to use faith as a principle of power, we will be in for a whole lot of disappointment in the afterlife.  This is because the orders given by God to the elements that surround us in mortality (in which they allow themselves to be pushed around by us) only apply to mortality.  In the afterlife, the former rules (agency) apply and once again it will be impossible to force the elements to do anything against their wills.  In other words, in the afterlife faith as a principle of action no longer works.  If we haven’t re-learned how to use faith as a principle of power here on Earth, we will be powerless in the afterlife.

The best gifts develop power faith

To that end, that we might re-learn how to use faith as a principle of power and that we might learn to walk by faith, God has given us the best gifts of the Spirit.

The best gifts of the Spirit are the seeds of the powers of godliness.  When all of them are possessed in their fullness, one becomes omnipotent, able to do all things.  Here on Earth we are not expected to achieve every gift in its fullness, but we are expected to seek for them continually.

The gifts given to the LDS Gentile church

The LDS Gentile church of God has been given 14 best gifts, with one gift given to presiding elders to be able to discern the other gifts and weed out imposters.  They are obtained by asking God to receive them.  Once one of the gifts are received, faith can be more fully developed, for the gifts only operate on the principle of power.  As faith increases, and petitions for additional gifts are sent up to God, He grants more of them to the individual.  Eventually, following this pattern, all gifts may be obtained.

Gifts are paired

There are seven pairs of gifts.

1st Pair – The gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. The gift of believing on the words of those who have the gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

2nd Pair – The gift of knowing the differences of administration according to the conditions among the children of men. The gift of knowing whether the diversities of operations are of God.

3rd Pair – The gift of the word of wisdom. The gift of the word of knowledge.

4th Pair – The gift of faith to be healed. The gift of faith to heal.

5th Pair – The gift of the working of miracles. The gift to prophesy.

6th Pair – The gift of the discerning of spirits. The gift to discern all best gifts.

7th Pair – The gift to speak with tongues. The gift of the interpretation of tongues.

Gifts are designed to be used in a church (group) setting, for the benefit of all

Only one gift is typically given to an individual.  For this reason, God has placed us into groups, or congregations, or churches.  If you have 13 individuals, each with a separate gift of the Spirit, each member of the group receives benefit from the 12 other people who have the lacking gifts.  If their individual gifts are fairly well developed, you can place this group of 13 people in any location, in any situation, and they will have power to do all things which are expedient to the Lord.

For example, place them among a foreign group or tribe who speaks an unknown language and the ones who have the gifts of tongues and interpretation would allow the other 11 members to communicate with the foreign tribe.  Or, place them among sick people and the one with the faith to heal would heal them all.  Or, have them deliver a message to an area of sickness and pestilence, of a highly contagious plague.  Who would be sent?  The one with the gift to be healed.  Place them among an ignorant people with no books or learning materials, whatsoever.  What would they do?  They would have the ones with the gifts of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge start teaching the people.  And if the 13 themselves have no access to learning, these two individuals would immediately begin teaching the others of the group.  Or, just place the 13 alone, without any means of survival whatsoever, would they survive?  Of course, they would.  The one with the gift to work miracles would assure that.  Put them among a lying tribe and the one who discerned spirits would discover the lies.  Try to surprise them and it wouldn’t work, for the one with the gift to prophesy would have already seen that coming.  And so on and so forth.

Thus we see that by placing us in a congregation or church, the Lord has allowed all members to receive benefit from all the gifts which they may not have yet obtained.  If we were just baptized and told to go home and worship God on our own, we would not receive any benefit from the gifts we lack, until we ourselves finally reached the point where we obtained all the best gifts.  Also, being around others, who possess gifts we do not possess ourselves, makes it easier for us to obtain them.  The same principle of learning by sight, or imitating others, works with the gifts, too.

Perfection of the saints

In fact, the only reason we are commanded to meet together is to perfect ourselves and the rest of the saints assembled through the manifestation of the gifts.  Everything done at church can be done in a home (family) setting if the priesthood is found in the home.  But to obtain benefit from gifts we do not possess, we must assemble with others who possess gifts we lack.  Said Paul:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

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.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  (1 Cor. 12)

Paul also said:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Order of the gifts in the church

The church in Paul’s day had an order to the best gifts:

And God hath set some in the church,

first apostles (gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God),

secondarily prophets (gift to prophesy),

thirdly teachers (gift of the word of wisdom and gift of the word of knowledge),

after that miracles (gift of the working of miracles),

then gifts of healings (gift of faith to be healed and gift of faith to heal),

helps (gift of believing, gift of differences of administration, gift of diversities of operations, gift of discerning of spirits),

governments (gift of discerning of gifts),

diversities of tongues (gift of tongues, gift of interpretation). (1 Corinthians 12: 28)

Another of Paul’s lists can also be assigned gifts:

And he gave some, apostles (gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God);

and some, prophets (gift to prophesy);

and some, evangelists (gift of tongues, gift of interpretation);

and some, pastors (gift of discerning of gifts)

and teachers (gift of the word of wisdom and gift of the word of knowledge);  (Ephesians 4: 11)

We see from these lists that church callings are to come according to the gifts a person has.  This is why the gift to discern the best gifts, which is given to the bishop and to the presiding elders, is so important.

Modern view of the best gifts

Modern LDS (the Gentile Mormons) typically avoid the best gifts.  It is unusual to find anyone prophesying or publishing revelations or performing miracles or speaking in tongues or raising the dead or instantly healing people, etc.

When LDS speak of the gifts that they have, they’ll perhaps mention piano playing as a gift from God, or being a good doctor or surgeon, or being a good athlete, or being a nice person, etc.  A certain percentage of Gentile Mormons believe that manifestations of the best gifts routinely happen, but are just never spoken of, since they are “too sacred.”  Stories of gift manifestations are usually hearsay.

“Someone once told me that when he was on his mission, he met a man whose companion had healed someone by…”, etc.

Another percentage of Gentile Mormons have downgraded the best gifts to fit into more acceptable administrations.  So, for example, the gift of tongues becomes going to the MTC for two months and learning the language.  Or, the gift of healing becomes going to medical school and becoming a doctor or surgeon.  Or, the gift to prophesy becomes gaining the title of President of the Church and being called “the prophet.”  In like manner, the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are delegated to those who have enough money to study at a university.   And the working of miracles becomes the “happening of miracles” and every little unexpected thing becomes a “miracle.”  Etc.

None of the best gifts work this way.  You cannot use faith as a principle of action to activate a best gift.  They only work by faith as a principle of power.  To illustrate, let’s examine the gift of the word of knowledge.

The gift of the word of knowledge

And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.  To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.  (D&C 46: 17-18; the gift of the word of knowledge is in bold type.)

Ammon possessed the word of knowledge

The Book of Mormon contains an example of the gift of the word of knowledge in action:

And it came to pass that when they had established a church in that land, that king Lamoni desired that Ammon should go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might show him unto his father.

And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying:

Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.

Now it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he said unto Lamoni:

Behold, my brother and brethren are in prison at Middoni, and I go that I may deliver them.

Now Lamoni said unto Ammon:

I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things. But behold, I will go with thee to the land of Middoni; for the king of the land of Middoni, whose name is Antiomno, is a friend unto me; therefore I go to the land of Middoni, that I may flatter the king of the land, and he will cast thy brethren out of prison.

Now Lamoni said unto him:

Who told thee that thy brethren were in prison?

And Ammon said unto him:

No one hath told me, save it be God; and he said unto me—

Go and deliver thy brethren, for they are in prison in the land of Middoni.  (Alma 20:1-5)

Ammon had knowledge that his brethren were, at that moment, in prison.  No one but God gave him this knowledge.  He then communicated the information to others, namely Lamoni.  This wasn’t knowledge of a spiritual thing, but of a physical fact that could be verified: Aaron, Muloki and Ammah were in prison at that very moment.  So, this was knowledge of something physically happening in the present.  It didn’t deal at all with anything pertaining to the future.  Nevertheless, no one but God told Ammon this fact, so, although it was knowledge of a physical thing that could be verified with one’s own two eyes, it was communicated via spiritual means.  This is, essentially, what the gift of the word of knowledge is all about.

The Savior mentioned the word of knowledge

Another example from the Book of Mormon comes from the Savior’s visit. Speaking to the Nephites, he said:

And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. (3 Ne. 16: 4; the gift of the word of knowledge is in bold type.)

Contrasted with the gift to prophesy

Notice how the gift of the word of knowledge contrasts with the gift to prophesy.  Again, an example from the Book of Mormon:

And it came to pass in the eleventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, on the fifth day of the second month, there having been much peace in the land of Zarahemla, there having been no wars nor contentions for a certain number of years, even until the fifth day of the second month in the eleventh year, there was a cry of war heard throughout the land.  For behold, the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land, even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city.

And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, and also some around the borders of Noah, and taken others captive into the wilderness.

Now it came to pass that the Nephites were desirous to obtain those who had been carried away captive into the wilderness.  Therefore, he that had been appointed chief captain over the armies of the Nephites, (and his name was Zoram, and he had two sons, Lehi and Aha)—now Zoram and his two sons, knowing that Alma was high priest over the church, and having heard that he had the spirit of prophecy, therefore they went unto him and desired of him to know whither the Lord would that they should go into the wilderness in search of their brethren, who had been taken captive by the Lamanites.

And it came to pass that Alma inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And Alma returned and said unto them:

Behold, the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti. And behold there shall ye meet them, on the east of the river Sidon, and there the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren who have been taken captive by the Lamanites.  (Alma 16: 1-6)

In this case, Alma the younger had the spirit of prophecy, in other words, he had the gift to prophesy, and so he inquired of the Lord and received a prophecy of the future.  The “Lamanites will cross the river Sidon” (a prediction of the future), “there ye shall meet them” (another prediction of the future), “the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren” (a third prediction of the future).

Similar gifts

Prophecy does not deal with knowledge of things present and past, it deals with things pertaining to futurity: what will or shall happen.  On the other hand, the gift of the word of knowledge deals only with what has happened (the past) and what is happening (the present).  Both gifts, though, come through the manifestation of the Spirit.  Or as Ammon put it, “no one hath told me, save it be God.”

So, prophecy and the word of knowledge are almost the same gift, except for this one division: facts revealed of the present or past correspond to the word of knowledge, whereas words pertaining to the future correspond to prophecy.

All best gifts obtained by faith, not by study

All gifts of the Spirit are obtained by faith.  The healing gifts are called “faith to heal” and “faith to be healed” (see D&C 46: 19-20), but all the gifts could be worded the same way.  In other words, faith to speak the word of wisdom, faith to speak the word of knowledge, faith to prophesy, faith to work miracles, faith to speak in tongues, faith to interpret tonges, etc.  Without faith, none of these gifts are obtainable.

And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.  (D&C 88: 118)

The above scripture speaks of wisdom and learning (knowledge).  Wisdom and knowledge are two gifts of the Spirit, but the only way to obtain them directly from the Spirit is by having faith.  However, because not everyone has faith to speak the word of wisdom and faith to speak the word of knowledge, we are instructed to seek words of wisdom and learning out of the best books and teachers by study.  Wisdom and knowledge obtained by studying the best books and teachers should not be confused with the gift of faith to speak the word of wisdom and the gift of faith to speak the word of knowledge.  These gifts come by faith, not by study.

Nevertheless, the Lord is saying in this verse that those who do not possess the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, can still obtain wisdom and knowledge through those who possess these gifts.  In other words, the two gifts of wisdom and knowledge are for the express purpose “that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.”  Those who possess these two gifts of the Spirit are to be the teachers that “teach one another words of wisdom” and “learning.”  They are to be the ones who write “the best books” in which are found “words of wisdom” and “learning.”  Their wisdom and knowledge does not come to these teachers through study, but by faith, directly from the Spirit, for they are spiritual gifts.

Confusion of the gifts

Modern LDS often confuse the obtaining of knowledge or wisdom through study and life experience as gifts of the Spirit.  If we find a man who is possessed of great knowledge or wisdom, and who seems to be a God-fearing righteous man, we are apt to believe he possesses the gift of the word of wisdom or knowledge.  He may or may not possess those gifts.  It all depends how he obtained his wisdom and knowledge.  If it was through studying at a university and life experience, then he doesn’t possess the gifts.  If it is through the revelations of the Spirit, (“no one hath told me, save it be God”), then he possesses these gifts.

How the best gifts work

“No one hath told me, save it be God” is the standard to determine whether a best gift is operating or not.  Regardless of the gift, for it to be a legitimate operation it must be by faith as a principle of power, meaning that if you speak words of wisdom, you must have gotten those words from God and no one else; if you speak words of knowledge, you must not have learned it from anyone but God; if you heal the sick, the healing power must not have been learned at medical school but must have come solely from God; if you work miracles, it must be a work done by you (such as Jesus turning water into wine) and not mere happenstance; if you prophesy, it must not be an educated guess based upon others’ speculations or statistics, but must be a prophecy you received solely from God; if you speak in foreign or unknown tongues, it must not have been learned through study; etc.

Let’s say that I prophesy that during this month of September (2010) that there is going to be a massively destructive earthquake in California that will turn the financial markets upside down.  Let’s say that I am the only one saying this and that I am claiming that no one has told me this, save it be God.  Let’s say that others believe me and then they also go around saying that in September there will be a great quake in California, as if it were their own prophecy. Then, along comes some date in September and lo and behold, a moment magnitude 9.0 quake strikes, sinking California’s economy and plunging the nation’s finances into the worst mess ever seen.  In which of the individuals would the gift to prophesy have been manifested?  In me or in the others who parroted my words?

The answer is only in me. Since I received the prophecy from no one, save God, the gift was manifested in me only.  The others benefited and repeated the same message, as if it came to them directly, but they didn’t have the gift.  Just because you repeat a real prophecy doesn’t make you a prophet.

In the same manner, just because some obtain words of wisdom and knowledge (through study and schooling) or ability to heal people (through study and learning) or language learning ability (through study) doesn’t mean they are possessors of these best gifts.

Some personal experience

I have had some limited experience with the various gifts. In the vast majority of the manifestations, if not all of them, I have been left totally perplexed. To the rational mind, it all appears insane.

For example, I once received a prophecy whose fulfillment was a distinct possibility. Then conditions changed and it became totally impossible for its fulfillment. But, I was sure that as crazy as it sounded, it would come to pass. So I simply waited for the conditions to change. Eleven years later conditions miraculously did change and the prophecy was fulfilled every whit.

On another occasion, I was praying for guidance on what to do and a manifestation of the word of wisdom occurred (the only time that has ever happened to me). I was told what would be the wisest course of action to take but it was the absolute craziest thing I had ever heard. But I knew this was from the Spirit and so I did it. In hindsight, I see that it really was a word of wisdom.

On yet another occasion, I remember, I was at work when the Spirit came upon me and told me that a friend of mine was in great danger. Who gave me this knowledge? “No one, save God.” As soon as I was able to, I made the phone call to my friend and sure enough, the Spirit was right.

Each manifestation I’ve received over the years has caused my logical, rational mind to protest. Yet, I have continued to ignore it. In fact, as time goes on, the revelations, prophecies and manifestations seem to be getting even more illogical and bizarre, at least to my rational mind. So, based upon my own experience, I don’t believe that we should expect to rationally understand the manifestations that may come. After all, the natural man cannot comprehend the things of God. In other words, it doesn’t really matter what the manifestation is, the only really important thing is that the manifestation comes from God.

Gifts are unscientific

Recently I commented on a blog by posting a link to The Split-Brain Model of the Gospel post. The blog’s owner replied,

“I will allow the link, but please note that I do NOT accept the proposed model therein as either good science or good theology.

A significant problem with “split-brain” popularizations is one of going far beyond the data into the realm of wild speculation. Readers of such popularizations should beware.”

The reply is interesting because it beautifully shows the reaction of the logical, rational, intellectual left-brain-mind to something written from the right-brain-heart (my post). I especially enjoyed reading that the model was considered unscientific.

Gifts are intended to engender and develop faith

Taking the gift of the word of knowledge again as an example, we should understand that even this gift, which appears to be based upon science (after all, it is knowledge, right?), is primarily designed to develop faith, not impart knowledge. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

Knowledge communicated by the Spirit through this gift is fact, not fiction, nevertheless, it is information that may not be readily verifiable.

For example, when Lehi stated, “I know that Jerusalem is destroyed,” this was the gift of the word of knowledge working in him. It was a fact. Jerusalem was destroyed at that time. This could be verified with one’s own two eyes if one could visit Jerusalem and see it for oneself. However, the Nephites could not visit Jerusalem, so they could only take Lehi’s words on faith.

Ammon’s word to Lamoni also were verifiable fact, but Lamoni could not verify them at that moment, so they had to be taken on faith.

So, the word of knowledge is a gift that imparts knowledge of present and past things that cannot immediately be verified using secular means, to the end that the listeners can develop their faith. The knowledge imparted is not of eye-witness accounts, but is a revelation from the Spirit.  The only way to immediately verify it is by another witness of the Spirit.

To illustrate, let’s say a group of 200 people are congregated and a man stands up and says that there is an army of 50,000 men in Cuba making preparations to attack Florida. Who told him this? “No one,” says he, “save it be God.” The man is not an eye-witness. The knowledge is received through spiritual means. Can it be verified? Sure, if one could be transported to Cuba. But as one can’t, it must be taken on faith.

Now let’s say that 5 other people in the group stand up and say that the Spirit has just told them the same thing. Does this add to the credibility of the first man? Not really, as none of them are eye-witnesses. There is nothing scientific about this. Yet, this is how the gift of the word of knowledge functions. It is designed to engender faith, not mere knowledge. Is this good science? Nope. Is this good theology? Yep.

Now let’s say 6 other people stand up, having just come from Cuba and they state they are eye-witnesses and can corroborate that indeed, Cuba is getting ready to invade Florida. Is this good science? Perhaps, if the witnesses are reliable. Is this good theology? Not really.

Don’t avoid the best gifts

I’ll be the first to admit that the best gifts take some getting used to, like an acquired taste. But again, we shouldn’t have an expectation that the things of God are going to be like the things of men.

The current trend in the church is to mainstream our image. As a result, I largely see LDS avoiding the best gifts. But this is a dangerous mistake, one which will lead to widespread deception among the membership.

The gifts are to avoid deception

The Lord said, “that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (D&C 46: 8). Any man or woman who possesses one of these gifts and actively uses them will be protected from the deceptions of the day, whether they be “doctrines of devils, or commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils” (D&C 46: 7).

Nephi prophesied that the Gentile churches “which are built up, and not unto the Lord” will “deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.”  (See 2 Nephi 28: 3, 5-6.)

Sound familiar? We are well on our way to fulfilling this prophecy, as LDS blindly follow their leaders, trusting that the leading brethren will not deceive them and relying upon their mortal guidance, without earnestly seeking and manifesting the gifts.

The gifts are no more

Among the majority membership, most of the best gifts are no longer manifested. The first two gifts are still among us: knowing Jesus Christ is the Son of God and believing that He is. But the rest of them are all but gone. At church, where the gifts are supposed to be manifested for the benefit of the congregation, no one prophesies, no one knows the diversities of operations, no one knows the differences of administration, no one teaches words of wisdom and words of knowledge, no one heals, no one is healed, no one works miracles, no one discerns spirits, no one speaks in tongues, no one interprets tongues, and none of the leadership discerns the gifts, for there are hardly any gifts manifesting which need discerning.

We have replaced a reliance upon the gifts with a reliance upon our leaders (the Brethren), setting up the fulfillment of Nephi’s prophecy. Instead of going to church and being spiritually uplifted and edified by participating in the manifestations of these gifts, we are lulled into a deep slumber and security. Our meetings are largely spiritually dead. The Holy Ghost has all but left the LDS Gentiles.

But two gifts left

The day that the last two remaining gifts are taken away from us will be the day when no one will join this church anymore. People currently join the church because the Holy Ghost manifests that the message is true. But the day fast approaches when the Holy Ghost will stop manifesting even that. When that occurs, the church (or churches, as it will be), will need to change their proselytizing methods. No more will it be, “ask God if these things are not true” but “come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins” and other wicked enticements to enter the church.

At that point, the wo pronounced by Moroni to the Gentiles will come to pass:

And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God. And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not. (Moroni 10: 24-26)

The return of the gifts

The good news is that although at some point the gifts will be lost to the Gentiles, He will send more messengers who will be manifesting these same gifts. Unless you, yourself, as an individual, have developed one or more of these best gifts, and have come to recognize the manifestation of the gifts that you do not have—by being around people who have them (a congregation)—you will, like the majority member, be deceived into rejecting the new messengers sent from heaven. You cannot recognize bona fide best gifts of the Spirit unless you have experience in them. We must all then become familiar with these gifts, lest we perish at their re-appearance.

The future use of the best gifts

There is a great work to be done in the future, using these seeds of power, before the advent of the Lord. Everything mentioned in the scriptures that was done by them will be done again, with additional, new uses. Everything done before is but a precursor to what lies ahead.

To give an example, we are told that the Nephites had power to move mountains, that the brother of Jared moved mount Zerin (sounds similar to Zion, doesn’t it?), that the Savior told his disciples that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed, they could move mountains.

Why all this mentioning of moving mountains by power faith? What is so important about it? Why do we need to learn this power? The obvious answer is that at some point in the future, prior to the Second Coming, mountains will need to be moved to fulfill the prophecies. Previously on this continent, the Nephites (and the brother of Jared) moved mountains. It may be that those mountains will have to be removed (or moved back) to their original locations at a future time.

There will not be the time nor the means to accomplish this using action faith, so we must learn to plant and engender and develop these seeds of the powers of godliness that the Lord’s plans may be fulfilled through us. If we do not develop these gifts, someone else will and it will be he or she who fulfills the prophecies, while we are cut off from the privileges we might have had.

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The Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition (1910-1911)


The 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica comes with the Robinson Curriculum on CD-ROMs.  Since purchasing the Robinson Curriculum for our family, I’ve had time to look over this particular encyclopedia and I’ve been really impressed both with how much information it contains and how well-written it is.  Although it is old (1910-1911), there is no doubt that the scholarship is exceptional.  Dr. Robinson extols its virtues on his web site and since reading many of the entries, I now do the same.

I was intending to post a sample entry from that edition so that visitors to this blog could get a taste of its comprehensiveness (and also for other reasons), but as I began to type every word of the entry, I realized that I could also hyperlink certain words to Ixquick searches so that people could find out further information about those subjects.  During the hyperlinking process, I decided to click on some of the Ixquick search results to see what was out there.

After a few clicks, I found myself…at an entry…taken from…the 1911 edition of the Encylopædia Britannica!  Apparently, there are other people who think this edition is outstanding and, as it is in the public domain, have endeavored to put each entry of it online.  Here is what they say about it:

The LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia is based on what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written: the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, first published in 1911. At a time when many encyclopedias have capsulated and condensed important knowledge, the 11th edition is generally much more in-depth and thorough on its topics.

It is not uncommon for its entries to be 5 to 10 times the length of other encyclopedias. As a research tool, this 11th edition is unparalleled – even today. LoveToKnow is now giving you all these thousands of entries, preserving the treasured entries that make it so unique, and where necessary and possible adding the current point of view. We hope that you enjoy and learn from the LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia and that it becomes one of your favorite places for reference information.

The Eleventh Edition filled 29 volumes and contains over 44 million words. It contains over 40,000 articles written by over 1,500 authors within their various fields of expertise. What was particularly remarkable was that many of the entries were written by the most famous people of the age. As such, it was considered to represent the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Sir Kenneth Clark, in Another Part of the Wood, wrote of the Eleventh Edition:

“One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly colored by prejudice. When T.S. Eliot wrote ‘Soul curled up on the window seat reading the Encyclopedia’ he was certainly thinking of the eleventh edition.”

Their web site is:

www.1911encyclopedia.org

Granted, what I have with the Robinson Curriculum CD-ROMs are scanned pages from that encyclopedia, so they look nicer, there aren’t any (secondary) typos, the footnotes match up, the foreign language characters are printed exactly as they appear (not an approximation) and it is printable in any size I want, but the online effort of LoveToKnow to bring this edition to the masses is encouraging.  Now that I know it exists, if I ever want to point anyone to more in-depth information about any particular subject, I’ll be hyperlinking to that web site.

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