LOUD LAUGHTER


LAUGHTER-DAY SAINTS

Initiates of the endowment ceremony which takes place in LDS temples accept a charge to:

“avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice”

This charge is to be accepted by covenant “as it has been explained to you” but in reality it is never fully explained. It is assumed that we know what we are promising when we foreswear these things, but few ever bother to raise any questions as to what constitutes unholy and impure practices. Beside the fact that these oaths are to be made between a man and his maker, there have been more or less official interpretations put forth by LDS leadership in regards to taking God’s name in vain, and of course, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed. But, although I am sure I am not the only one whom is struck a little strangely by the phrase “loud laughter,” rarely if ever have I heard any type of commentary offered by the clergy or the laity as far as what “loud laughter” entails and why it ought to be avoided.

For many it may seem a very straightforward phrase and spark neither uncertainty nor curiosity. Laughter is what people do when they think something is funny, and loud laughter is simply doing it at a volume of high decibels. But if that is the case then there can be no louder laughter than that of the crowd. The throng transforms the softest revelry issued as reverently and politely as possible into the loudest collective roar. The loudest laughter peals out like the laugh track that follows every one of Thomas S. Monson’s silly jokes, or like the obligatory laughter which Crown Prince Frederick Hoepnick queues from his court in the 1965 comedy The Great Race.

I am sure that the guys at Comedy Sportz in Provo, Utah aim to evoke the loudest laughter possible from their paying customers. Are they guilty of promoting covenant-breaking among the college students at B.Y.U.? If you are sure that you are complying with your oath to avoid loud laughter then I would ask you: what is laughter really? Can you explain it, or tell us why it happens?

LAUGHTER IS LANGUAGE

Laughter is a part of our native language, not the languages which we learn and inherit from our parents, but the native language of raw emotion which all humans speak fluently at birth, and which unfortunately gets suppressed and all but forgotten in favor of the limited language of the oppressor. What do I mean by “language of the oppressor”? It has been discussed in detail elsewhere on this blog, and bears repeating, that the priesthood of God is a language. Prior to the point where we are beseeched to avoid loud laughter, the temple drama introduces us to the rebellious character of the Devil in the form of a man wearing an apron. Adam as representative of mankind asks in his innocence and ignorance, what the meaning of that apron is and is told that it is an emblem of the Devil’s power and his priesthoods/languages. The Languages of Lucifer get placed over the holy garments of the endowment we receive from Heaven. Throughout the ceremony we are sure to always place the Devil’s Apron on top.IMG_0028smaller

In life we do the same, insisting proudly on outward expression through the means of so much psychobabble in one or another of the many mixed up languages/priesthoods in use since the confounding and corrupting of man’s relationship to his fellow man in the days of Babel. That the Devil’s A-Pron representing his many languages/priesthoods takes A-Priori precedence in our symbolic, or spiritual manner of dress, can be clearly seen in the way we address one another. Laughter, though it certainly may stem from deep in our pre-conscious, is not randomly scattered throughout speech. For example, a speaker may say “What is that?…ha-ha,” but rarely, “What is…ha-ha…that?” For the most part, our laughter seldom interrupts the sentence structure of our speech. Rather it punctuates speech. Curiously we only laugh during pauses when we might typically cough or breathe. The occurrence of speaker laughter at the end of phrases suggests that a neurologically based process governs the placement of laughter in speech, and that different brain regions are involved in the expression of cognitively oriented speech and the more emotion-laden vocalization of laughter.

During conversation, speech tends to trump, and inhibit laughter. This is evidence of “the punctuation effect” – the tendency to laugh almost exclusively at phrase breaks in speech. This pattern indicates that worldly speech has priority over laughter which is a manifestation of the tongue of angels. Laughter is an unexpected resurfacing eruption of emotion, our first language. So laughter is in a sense a “speaking in tongues” in which we’re moved not by religious fervor but by a spiritual pre-conscious response to social and linguistic cues. Stripped of its variation and nuance, laughter is a regular series of short vowel-like syllables usually transcribed as “ha-ha,” “ho-ho” or “hee-hee.” These syllables are part of the universal human vocabulary, produced and recognized by all God’s people, the House of Israel, no matter where we find ourselves scattered across the diaspora of the world’s many cultures.

If emotion is the native language of little angels freshly arrived from Heaven and born into bondage where they must quickly adapt by adopting the language of their oppressors, then anyone with a genuine interest in establishing Heaven on Earth, or Zion as it is called, should be equally interested in the revival of the almost dead language of emotion. Note that as chaotic, unorganized, and broken as their attempts may be, still the meetings in which the gift of tongues most often manifests are called revivals. Dying languages among many indigenous tribes and cultures around the world today are a grave concern. But it is absolutely shameful, totally unacceptable, that all mankind become totally ignorant of and non-conversant in our first language – the language of the new-born – which connects us all as family. Feeling should not only come at the beckon call of words, our words should come as an answer to our feelings so that the two may share an egalitarian relationship. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. If we let our native language of raw emotion die then we will be “past feeling”. The Book of Mormon warns against this and makes a direct correlation between spoken language and feeling.

“…and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.” – 1 Nephi 17:45

It is not that languages like English, Chinese, Tagalog, or Arabic are inherently evil or serve no purpose in helping us to effectively reform and revolt till the world and its people are able to achieve Zion. However, to push certain communication skills over and onto the native language of human emotion is to enforce a backwards stereotype of superiority when it comes to the invader, and inflict a false burden of inferiority upon those meek ones whose birthright it is to inherit the earth. What we consider language may be a tool which is extremely effective, but without emotion it is not affective. Affective means – relating to moods, feelings, and attitudes. We cannot deliberately activate the brain’s mechanisms for affective expression. Try laughing on command, it is nearly impossible. To produce any authentic emotion on demand does not come naturally. Crying and laughing are usually considered opposites and thus are closely related, both audibly and emotionally. Mosiah 18:9 gives us the idea that we need to be “willing to mourn with those that mourn,” and other scriptures give the impression that we should also be willing to rejoice with those who rejoice in righteousness.

“Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.”  – Luke 6:21,25

Obviously Jesus is letting us know that laughter can be good or evil. There exists what we could call living laughter and there is also lying laughter. Laughter is a part of our native language, not the languages which we learn and inherit from our parents, but the native language of raw emotion which all humans speak fluently at birth, and which unfortunately gets suppressed and all but forgotten in favor of the limited language of the oppressor. True laughter is not a learned group reaction but an instinctive behavior we carry intact with us from Heaven for the preservation of the Heavenly Family during our sojourn here on Earth. Most people think of laughter as a simple response to comedy, or a cathartic mood-lifter. After more than 10 years of research on this little-studied topic, Robert Provine, PhD. concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together. It does this bonding through the pre-learned heavenly order of humor and sacred play. True and pure laughter is an energetic ripple that runs through and cleanses the DNA strands. Were they to remain filthy the very links of our own DNA would pull us down to hell like the chain which the Devil is seen holding in Moses 7:26.

“…and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.”

Cachinnation’ is a word that long ago fell out of use. It means “loud laughter”. It comes from Latin ‘cachinnationem’ – “violent laughter, excessive laughter,” a noun of action from the past participle stem of ‘cachinnare’ – “to laugh immoderately or loudly.” The word is of imitative origin, meaning it is a type of onomonaepia, a word which imitates the sound of the thing it describes. Its oldest root is in the Sanskrit word for ‘laughs’ –  ‘kakhati,’ from where the English word ‘cackle’ as well as the modern “ha, ha, ha!” ultimately derives. People often laugh using words like “Ha!” or “Hee hee!” Long ago, followers of geloscopy as a divinatory art believed the word you used to laugh revealed part of your personality. People who said “Ha!” when they laughed were considered to be honest but undependable, while people who said “Hee!” were considered to be sad or simpleminded, while people who said “Huu!” were supposed to be untrustworthy. People who said “Ho!” were thought of as brave and generous. That is why “Ho, ho, ho!” is the slogan of Santa Claus and the Jolly Green Giant – both products of the false prophets of a propaganda machine whose intent it is to coax mankind into giving life to the evil spirit of consumerism till it has consumed everything in its path. Remember to watch other people carefully when they laugh. Researchers have found that if a person is really laughing, he will close his eyes for a moment. If a person laughs without closing his eyes, he’s faking it!

Fake or disingenuous laughter is about the worst sound I can think of, yet it is all too common in today’s society. Having been subject to it from the earliest days of our childhood, on T.V. and in person, we are very susceptible to falsehoods. False laughter has the opposite effect of pure laughter. It will firm up the grasp that Satan has on us via that chain of our biological and fallen natures. Whether our laughter enforces or corrects the false traditions of our fathers comes as a revelation as to what we find funny. What we find funny is a revelation as to who is holding onto the other end of that long line of linkage that is our DNA make-up. Whether it is God or Satan in whom we place our trust and honor, either way, laughter can strengthen those bonds. Both Plato and Aristotle were concerned with the power of laughter to undermine authority, however – in the case of defying the general claim of authority that Satan lays to this world – this could be a very useful tactic. Diabolical laughter has the effect of paralyzing which is a type of binding spell. But on the other hand, righteous laughter invites to bind together freely, willfully, in love and cooperation. And this makes laughter by far the best banishing spell one can use when threatened, taunted, or tempted by the devil. So apparently laughter is a two-edged sword, and we will have to view it in the same way that C.S. Lewis, a Pentecostal, explains the phenomenon of glossolalia (the gift of tongues) – as something natural, in some instances pathological, at other times an organ of the Holy Ghost.

LAUGHTER IS LIGHT  article-2356591-1AAB5C62000005DC-930_964x641

If laughter is language, then laughter is light. On the day of Pentecost, not only is the gift of tongues manifest but also tongues of flame above the affected participants in that group gathering. The two major Semitic languages, Arabic and Hebrew, are both said to have been born of flame. John explains the link between language and light when as a special witness he says that “The Word” was with God in the beginning and was God – then goes on to say that “The Word” contained life, and “The Life” he contained was “The Light” in men. This light, we are told, shines in darkness, but the darkness “comprehended it not” (John 1:1-5). The verb ‘comprehend’ comes from the Latin words, ‘com’ – meaning “together, with” and ‘prehendere’ – meaning “to catch hold of, to ignite.”  Thus, to comprehend means literally to catch fire, or to light together with a counterpart. This, the darkness failed to do, at least so far. But as an all-loving, all-wise father, God has his ways to cause capitulation to occur. He may preside above all creation, but he is not above tickling his children till they double up in laughter and confess that they are at his mercy. It is said that the laughter of little ones lights a home. This textual imagery may be more literal than we think.

A phosphene is a phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye from any external source. The word ‘phosphene’ comes from the Greek words ‘phos’ (light) and ‘phainein’ (to show). Phosphenes are flashes of light, induced by movement or sound. These are what we see when we say we are “seeing stars”. Deep in our darkest moments the tickling movements of the Hand of God may provoke sudden sounds of laughter from us, which release in turn shows us the light we had stored inside us all along. Such light shows are divine displays that may be enhanced and more fully comprehended through consecrated use of psychedelics in concert with meditative practices and other reverent, but pro-active work within our temporal temples. Laughter can be a very healthy way of releasing the light within us. Giggles possess the power and potential of gigawatts if harnessed properly. Perhaps it is the proper mode of harnessing the latent and sacred spiritual voltage in laughter to which the officiator at the temple altar is referring when he tells LDS patrons to avoid loud laughter. “Loud laughter” in terms of volume would translate to “bright light”. Could it be that we are to avoid the flashy lights of this world, and turn our life’s focus toward true enlightenment, like Carl Jung said, by “making the darkness conscious”? If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt 6:23, 3 Nephi 13:23) We live in a jail called “Liberty”. The life of a prisoner can wear the spirit down, so to keep our minds sharp and clear, we should do as Joseph wrote to us from the confines of Liberty Jail, in Missouri. If our souls are going to get worn down while on this Prison Planet, let our lives at least not be a waste. Instead of drowning in misery, “we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven.” (D&C 123:13)

Laughter can light up our life. Used appropriately it can make us more aware of our surroundings. Used inappropriately it can actually leave us more delirious than ever, unconscious of the truth of our dire situation. Laughter as light may seem a ridiculous concept at first glance. But looking at the science we will see that laughter is much more visual than we Foolish Virgins tend to be aware of. As anyone who has ever laughed at the sight of someone doubled over can attest, laughter is contagious. Since our laughter is under minimal conscious control, it is spontaneous and relatively uncensored. Contagious laughter is a compelling display of homo sapiens, and we are a social mammal. Laughter strips away our veneer of culture ie. the false traditions/creeds of the fathers which have been riveted upon the hearts of the children (D&C 123:7) and challenges the hypothesis that we are in full control of our behavior.

From these synchronized vocal outbursts come flashes of insight into the neurological roots of human social behavior and speech. And from the same area of origin of humankind’s mitochondrial matriarch comes some possible insight into the revolutionary roots of the real Zion movement, and how we might cause it to spread like a contagion of hope from Ethiopia’s outstretched hands to the ends of the earth. Consider the extraordinary 1962 outbreak of contagious laughter in a girls’ boarding school in Tanzania. The first symptoms appeared on January 30, when three girls got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing. The symptoms quickly spread to 95 students, forcing the school to close on March 18. The girls sent home from the school were vectors for the further spread of the epidemic. Related outbreaks occurred in other schools in Central Africa and spread like wildfire, ceasing two-and-a-half years later and afflicting nearly 1,000 people.

The irresistibility of others’ laughter has its roots in the neurological mechanism of laugh detection. The fact that laughter is contagious raises the intriguing possibility that humans have a neural circuit in the brain that responds exclusively to laughter. Scientists speculate that it may be triggered by auditory means, (similar to the way they think contagious yawning may involve a process in the visual domain), but I feel that there may be more than meets the physical eye in the case of laughter, (and possibly more meets the ear in the case of yawning). Spiritual ears to hear and eyes to see aside, what is clear is that once triggered, the laugh detector activates a laugh generator, a neural circuit that causes us in turn to produce laughter.

But how do we harness the power of the gigglewatt? How do we direct the laughter-laser so that it might work for the good of Zion? The awkwardly obvious answer presents itself in the form of our neighbors, our fellow beings. After all, Dr. Robert Provine’s research concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together. And his work is corroborated by the findings of Dr. Robin Dunbar, another investigator in the field of geloscopy (the science of laughter). He suggests that social laughter, relaxed and contagious, is like “grooming at a distance,” an activity that fosters closeness in a group the way one-on-one grooming, patting and delousing promote and maintain bonds between individual primates of all sorts. In other words: it is a ritual that cleans our spirit bodies and promotes unity. God’s goals for Zion are achieved through this kind of laughter, not the tyrant’s cackle or the “polite titter” of awkward conversation. When we laugh, we’re often communicating playful intent. So laughter has a bonding function within individuals in a group. It’s often positive, but as we have seen, it can be negatively used as well. There’s a difference between “laughing with” and “laughing at.” People who laugh at others may be trying to force them to conform or casting them out of the group. Zion is Heaven on Earth, Zion is inclusive, not exclusive. If we want to establish Zion, one thing is for sure: we need each other.

For the Word to be made flesh it is necessary for the Light and the Dark to comprehend, or activate and discharge in harmony with, one another. Light made material manifests in many hues. Hue-manity is just that – the many hues of mankind in the flesh. For Mormons, the gathering of the 12 Tribes of Israel is a necessary precursor to the establishment of Zion and the return of Christ. In color theory there is a family of only 12 Original Hues, the purest and brightest, which form the basis for all the Many Colors which decorate the Coats of Man. White is not one of them, and neither is black. But there is no such thing as a truly black person or a truly white person. These are only general expressions which do not come close to describing the endlessly nuanced beauty and variety within the Hue-Man race.

color wheel

Hue is a physically perceptible product of the dominant wavelength of light as it “shineth in darkness.” White Light can only be produced by combining all twelve tribes in spirit. What does the combining or gathering of the Twelve Tribes look like on a literal level? Black is the Color resulting on a physical level from an equal combination of all the 12 Tribes. The concept of one perfect pigmentation is a lie, and those who view themselves and others in terms of a gradient of glory somehow determined by pigment wallow in a pigmentality. To admire one look above another is to add mire to the trough of racist thought which causes God’s black and white pearls alike to go unnoticed and unappreciated by swine and by their very selves. The only thing that will finally end this war between tints and shades is a mixing of the Twelve Tribes, which does not make an end of either side but simply ‘tones’ down the tension by adding both black and white.

When only white paint is added to a mixture it produces what we call pastel colors. ‘Pastel’ is derived from Italian ‘pastello’ – a word that means “material reduced to a paste” and is a diminutive form of the word ‘pasta’. A person who has a very light skin tone may be described as “pasty” and likely comes from multiple gene-rations of people who have subsisted off of a grain-based diet. (In Cain & Abel, Die-It & Diet, I cover the connections between the Mark of Cain and the grain-based diet) So-called white people live in a culture which in modern times has developed a serious addiction to sweetness. They pride themselves on their knowledge of good and evil obtained from years of rigorous scientific taste-testing of that forbidden fruit while seeking for a way to isolate and separate the bitter from the sweet.  Their “pasty” European forefathers advanced the art of “pastry” with their nutrient-low, bleached flour that tries to pass itself off as “enriched,” aristocratic, and enlightened even. Glazed over in icing, their collective voice clearly and coldly says: “Let them eat cake!” And masses of modern mankind are born sugar addicts under this white supremacy. The sugar, they claim, is “refined”. Granulated or Powdered, Crack or pure Cocaine; it has the same physiological affects, only on a much more subtle and devilishly delicious level.

The elements of art and design provide us with an excellent likeness of our cultural identity. Art can therefore help us dissect our own heads and heart to analyze and hopefully overcome the faulty phrenology of our schizoid social constructs and our relish for pseudo-sciences that segregate rather than integrate the spirit with the flesh, man with his fellow man, and mankind with their God. Within the context of art, we see the fraternal feeling makes itself known with bold strokes that strew the surreal landscape of a soft sororal sentiment with quasi pornographic classical Greek torsos and bloody foot prints leading away from abandoned pedestals where lesbian ladies of liberties once stood. It may not be a pretty picture, but seeing the canvas dripping with our true hues – blood red, washed out whites, and deep delta blues; allows us to come to terms with this Guernica of a dying Age of the Gentiles. Look upon it!

24 And when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations;

25 But they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

26 And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.

27 And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity (inequity) shall abound.

28 And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel;

29 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

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

31 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.

32 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.

33 And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another.

D&C 45:24-33

The Devil is laughing loudly indeed as the Time of the Gentiles nears its inglorious end, but most do not seem to hear him. They are too busy laughing loudly themselves, mocking others from within that great and spacious building which has been condemned and is slated for destruction. Their laughter is Lucifer’s laughter. Among those who do hear it, many find themselves petrified with fear. They fail to realize that, just as in the movies, if the villain is “monologuing” it only means that he has not yet done what he says he will do. As the enemy gloats over his successes to this point, the real heroes always take the opportunity to act and change their fate at the last minute. We can overcome the Evil One and be Saviors on Mount Zion if we will but pull ourselves together – first individually, then collectively. To this end, we have at our disposal the underrated but valuable bonding agent of pure laughter. Long has laughter been used as a weapon in the hands of the wicked. And no doubt we will be laughed to scorn like the Sons of Mosiah should we seriously propose unification as those brave souls sought with their dark-skinned Lamanite brethren despite the ridicule of their fair-skinned Nephite brethren at Zarahemla (Alma 26:23). But, as promised by Jesus, we will surely have the last laugh.

HUE-MOORING HUE-MANITY

All these scattered points of light need not be lost to the New World Order. We shall use the pure laughter of children as hue-moorings with which the 12 Hues of Israel in the House of Israel may draw themselves in from the ocean of emotion and anchor themselves to the land. It may sound like some corny line from a Care Bear cartoon, but truly, laughter links us together by building rainbow bridges. We have to be hue-moored with this rainbow-rigging – spirit bodies to mortal bodies, and one to another in a Zion network. Rainbows show up frequently in folk traditions from Yoruban to Celtic, from Taiwanese to Nordic, as the bridge we must pass to reach together with our ancestors the perfect world of the New Earth. We need no more rearranged orders of this world, always doing “that which has been done in other worlds.” We want the New Heaven and New Earth that the New World could never give us. The “rainbow connection” between body and soul, ka and ba, is welded tight with an arc of light. Luminous laughter can send an electrical connection surging up through our kabod.  The medium, by which the gap is bridged between dense darkened bodies of dirt and dazzling bodies of light, is water from the emotional body. That is the way of the ancients whereby the perishable will clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality as per 1 Corinthians 15:53. Through mystical mists of emotion a person’s aura can be seen to adorn him or her like a “coat of many colors”. But it takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. The rain is our emotion, the sunshine our eternal spirit.

Plutchik-wheel.svg

The appropriately named Japanese energy scholar, Dr. Emoto showed through his experiments how human emotion has an effect on the molecular structure of water. His work specifically illustrates the energetic link between light and sound through language, and the role that water plays as a resonance retainer for any energy emoted at it. It should be understood that E-motion is nothing more or less than energy in motion. Laughter, being essentially erratic displacement of air, can bubble or burst through the watery current of emotion and affect its flow and direction. It can let the world in, or it can let Zion out. The fluidity of emotion makes it a difficult thing to map but that has not stopped many from trying. Theorists have come up with both somatic and mental models for attempting to locate the causation of emotion. But emotion washes over both body and mind and does not originate nor meet an end with either side. It is not easily managed by either side, neither is it unidirectional. E-motion is simply energy in motion and it is meant to flow like water. Positive and negative energy waves push and tug at the body, upwards of 70% of which is composed of water.

Like any body of water, the emotive body can become polluted with debris lodged in it. These emotional contaminants block energy from flowing smoothly and are felt as concomitants accompanying unpleasant emotion. In reality the movement of energy is neither good nor bad, but changes in bodily sensations can greatly alter our initial perception and experienced intensity of E-motion. Biofeedback between the brain and the rest of the body is all that can be tracked or explained by neuroscientists, but the cortex is only a middle-man (Dr. of chemistry Francoise Tibika likens it to a traffic cop) that can either function as a dam or an open gate for the constant tide of energy-motion forever flooding to and from mind and matter. In the case of laughter, which is generally associated with positive energy flow, the mind can unfortunately play the role of a party-pooper, or an outright tyrant. Mindful cherubim may see themselves as honorable life-guards along Life’s Beach who keep vigilant watch and prevent us from drowning in emotion, when in fact they are blocking the pearly gates and barring entrance into the Kingdom just like Jesus accused the Scribes and Pharisees, religious leaders in his day of doing. Sometimes we have to do as Brigham Young taught in his quote which is still repeated today at the veil in LDS temples. That is, we must slip past the “angels who stand as sentinels there” and dive in with joy and laughter. You will recall that the research reveals we only laugh during pauses when we might typically cough or breathe. Is it the laughter which threatens to drown us, or the stifling, and choking back of emotion that poses the real danger to our souls?

In the LDS temple endowment session we are admonished to avoid “lightmindedness” lest we judge lightly the things of the Lord. But that directive in no way ought to interfere with Christ’s command to “be of good cheer”. Lightheartedness should never be prohibited, for it is according to our hearts that we are judged at the pleading bar, as depicted on ancient temple walls. Those whose hearts are as light as a feather are granted entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven, those who’s hearts exceed that weight are judged too heavy for the Land of the Light. Laughs are like gasps for fresh air – the spirit of freedom – which fill our lungs and our heart with love and light that then shoots out to surrounding brothers and sisters like so many delightful sparks.

From a purely physical standpoint, hue-man laughter evolved from the panting behavior of our ancient primate ancestors. Apes laugh with a panting sound in the same conditions in which human laughter is produced, like tickle, rough and tumble play, and chasing games. From a spiritual standpoint, the laughter of hue-mans is capable of lighting the sky like fire-works. Light laughter is like a safety flare that can attract good spirits to our aid and ward off evil spirits. Remember I said laughter was an excellent banishing spell, and laughter coupled with colorful light is even better. Many are familiar with Holi, the Hindu springtime festival also known as festival of colors, but not many may be familiar with its origins. Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colors,where everyone chases and plays with each other, throwing brightly colored powder and colored water. One of the chief scriptural bases for this ancient celebration comes from a story in the Bhavishyottara Purana.

25VZMPHOLI_34502f

The legend says that there once was a good king named Raghu who was endowed with all good qualities, a kind speaker, and deep read in the Vedas. He treated his subjects as if they were his own children and during his reign there was neither famine, nor sickness, nor any iniquity, nor departure from the precepts of religion. So the man was a perfect picture of the LDS temple initiate who strives to live up to every covenant made within those hallowed walls, supposing he knows what it is to truly be of a regal caste. But despite his exceeding righteousness, one day a female demon appeared and started terrorizing the people, especially the little children of his kingdom. The demon could not be driven out by charmed bracelets, or magic garments; not even with water, olive oil, or by holy home teachers skilful in exorcisms. When the report came from the people to King Raghu, he consulted the Muni Narada. Narada replied:

“I will tell you by what means the fiend is to be destroyed. This day is the fifteenth of the light fortnight of Phalguna; the cold season has departed, the warm weather will commence with dawn. Let the people, freed from terror, laugh and sport; let the children go forth rejoicing, like soldiers delighted to go to battle, equipped with wooden swords. Let also a pile of dry wood and stones be prepared, and let it be lighted according to rule, while incantations are recited destructive of wicked fiends. Then let the people, fearless, thrice circumambulate the fire, exclaiming, ‘Kila, kila!’ (Flame, flame!) and clapping their hands. And let them sing and laugh, and let every one utter, without fear, whatever comes into his mind. In various ways and in their own speech, let them freely indulge their tongues, and sing and sing again a thousand times, whatever songs they will. Appalled by those vociferations, by the oblation to fire, and by the attahasa (loud laughter) of the children, that wicked Rakshasi shall be destroyed, and thenceforth the festival of the Holika shall be renowned among mankind.”

HOLI_IN_INDIA_-_ENJOYED_BY_ALL

In Sanskrit ‘hasa’ means laughter, ‘atta’ means loud…‘attatta’ means very loud. So perhaps only ‘attattahasa’ – very loud laughter – was to be avoided in ancient times. Or perhaps more likely the moral of the story is that: even loud laughter has its appropriate time and place. Superstition and false traditions will over time attract and even create devastating demons which can be difficult to root out using the same religious dogma and social order that attributed to their being in the first place. The Church would have us guard against every unholy and impure practice. But while we are attending to all the do’s and don’ts, administering in complete righteousness like King Raghu, and avoiding the appearance of evil, then evil itself will sneak in and reek havoc – particularly among our poor children. I include this story, not only because of the striking use of the word ‘attahasa’ meaning “loud laughter,” plus various other more subtle parallels to Mormon culture, but to call attention to the observance of and credence given superstitions in the broader context of our cherished Christ-Shun cult-sure.

Attahasa is somewhat commonly used in India as a boy’s name as it is another name for Lord Shiva in Hindu religion. But of course, a good Christian must assume that Lord Shiva is the name of a pagan god, and possibly even one of the many titles of the Devil himself. There was a group of religious fanatics circulating a rumor recently on the internet; that when one types the letters ‘L-O-L’ they are really typing “Lucifer Our Lord” and thus unconsciously evoking the Lord of Darkness. Most people of course considered the idea humorous and took it and ran with it as a joke. I do not think that usage of this common communication trend is tantamount to summoning Satan. But like many things in the drama of life, while the practice may not be insidious, there is a comedic side, as well as a tragic side to it.

NO LAUGHING MATTER

The acronym LOL stands for “Laughing Out Loud” and is used online or in text messages to express the feeling or at least the idea of amusement. While thousands of people are prone to use this internet slang item multiple times weekly or even daily, of the countless occasions where one might type ‘LOL’ only a small number of those occasions are likely to actually involve any real laughter escaping the vocal cords. The initialism has crept into even our face to face speech in this spiritually dull digital age which is chock full of meaningless exchange. Is feeling going to become completely taken over by banality? If the Christian fanatics were right, then the irony for LDS would be that Lucifer actually helped them to stay true to their temple covenant not only to avoid loud laughter but to virtually avoid laughter altogether. LOL! Even though Jesus in the Book of Mormon explicitly states that anything more or less than his simple doctrine of believing on his name, repenting, and being baptized, comes of evil, still, going above and beyond is what Latter-Day Stains excel at as members of the broader scheme of Christ-Shun culture. Laughing in silence is just another extreme, every bit as unholy and unhealthy as laughing too loudly.

While these matters of silly superstition are surely to be laughed at with lighthearted laughter, I would hope we might simultaneously take the opportunity to reflect with a sober mind on the deterioration in the quality of feeling among men in today’s world. This deteri-oration is a detour-oration, an onslaught of empty speech steering us away from our hearts and our emotions. The coldest, longest emotional winter is setting in upon us with each passing year. It may be felt more harshly in some places than others but it is, on the spiritual plane, a bona fide ice age that calls for the ritual igniting of bonfires, bond-fires to ensure the survival of the huddling hue-man race. These cold days upon us have been prophesied for many centuries now. In Christian scripture it is known by the general title of the Last Days. Mormon scripture more specifically calls it the End of the Time of the Gentiles. And Old Norse prophecy gives it the name of Ragnarok – Final Fate of the Gods of the Nordic Peoples. All of these speak of the love of man “waxing cold.” In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá goes into gory detail and tells us that:

“Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters’ children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife – an axe age, a sword age – shields are riven – a wind age, a wolf age – before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another.”

Stanza 46 of the same Scandinavian scripture states that the “Sons of Mím” are “at play” while “fate burns”. Though no further information about these “sons” has survived we can understand the reference to mean those mortals whose personalities correspond to the symbolic attributes of that god. Mímir is Old Norse for the “The Rememberer”. Mimir’s head is stuffed with knowledge, for which he is renowned and sought after. But, he ends up loosing his head, literally, in a battle; after which Odin carries it around with him and it recites secret knowledge to him whenever he seeks counsel. When the individual becomes enamored with the knowledge he amasses and the intellect he dispenses, then the head can easily become severed from the rest of the body. The “Sons of Mím” are the intelligentsia of our day. Whether they are the college educated fools, the YouTubeversity graduates, or the intelligence gathering NSA, and CIA agents on the other end – The Book of Mormon slams them all saying:

“When they are learned they think they are wise…their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” (2 Nephi 9:28)

Nephi’s doomsday prophecy often goes overlooked as simply hyperbole by the Mormon “Sons of Mím” who function in life as headless bodies, and who serve as bodyless heads in various Church and State positions. When Nephi tells them that “it profiteth them not” they know very well that he is not speaking of profit in the sense of money. But their heads are so immersed in the world of business, and so anxiously engaged, gainfully employed in the world of business that there there develops a detri-mental disconnect between so-called religious life and so-called real life. Neither realm is real in this derangement. For most Mímirs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints either their dismembered body is “at play” while the head is “at work” or their haughty heads are play while their bodies slave away. Nephi continues in verses 29 and 30…

“To be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world.”

Some may think it is unfair and even inaccurate to make a particular case for these things against the LDS people, however there is undeniable corollary. When Nephi says: “Wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us” (2 Nephi 9:27), when Nephi says: “Wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world” he is specifically addressing the LDS who are rich as to things of the world, not anyone else. If God arranges for your voice to cry from the dust through the words of a book entitled with the name of Mormon, then it is because your message is especially for Mormons. Mormons have for many years been numbered among the rich and today they are even to be found in no small representation among the elite ranks of the super-rich. And, contrary to Zeezrom Daft Benson’s eleventh point in his 14 Fun-dumb-mentals for Following the Profit, we’re not talking about ex-mormons or even inactive members here. The rich and super-rich LDS are our very own Snake Presidents and Area Fauxthorities. 3 Nephi 6:12 further establishes the connection between the learned and the rich. It says that:

“The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.”

So a societal portrait of the false god Mím begins to emerge with the working class as his body and the educated elite as the talking head. This specifically applies to Mormondom because from Brigham Young to Gordon B. Hinckley the Mormon people have placed a very high value on receiving a college education. Hinckley expressed it most succinctly when he said:

“The world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.”

Hinckley knew that we the people are classified by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning, just like the Nephites were only a few chapters before the pending destructions, and he honored that dishonest social order. He established the Perpetual Education Fund and in so doing, he put the money where the mouth is, where the hungry head and the mouth of Mím is. Hinckley’s Perpetual Debt-U-Cation Fund is undeniably poised to feed the rich while offering better training to the poor as their servants. In 1964 the Church established the Benemerito school in Mexico. In 1999 Church News referred to it as the “BYU of Mexico”. But by 2013, just over a decade after the PEF had been founded, the Church decided to discontinue the education of all the students of Benemerito to convert the facility into what the Church Office had determined to be the more lucrative venture of another missionary training center. What Hinckley meant when he said:

“You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education.”

was more explicitly expounded by J. Craig McIlroy as president of the BYU Alumni Association in his commencement address given to graduates on April 26, 2007. He prefaced the main body of his remarks with these words:

“Might I suggest that you consider wealth creation as a commodity made up of financial, human, and intellectual capital. Business people know that they must spend 70 to 80 percent of their time growing assets. In families, growing the human and intellectual assets is often overlooked. The members in the family are the human capital.”

Then McIlroy referenced the founder of the secret combination known as the Illuminati:

“Mayer Amschel Rothschild understood that two important elements of a family’s wealth are its human and intellectual capital. He saw to it that all family members were well educated and that they worked. He also provided specialized mentorship opportunities as his sons entered the workforce.

Like the Rothschild children, you have been given a figurative loan, if you will, in the form of a financial subsidy of your tuition by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You represent the human and intellectual capital of your own families and, in a broader sense, of the Church.”

Hinckley himself was in attendance when these words were spoken, along with Vice President Dick Cheney. The presence of the Profit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at that commencement ceremony, his actions while there, as also his inaction, speak volumes, and voluminously. In short it said:

“You BELONG to a CHURCH that teaches the impotence of education.”

It is all a big joke. It’s okay to laugh. They are certainly laughing at you, and LOUDLY!

All of this ties in strongly with Ragnarok – The Final Fate of the Gods of the Nordic Peoples in many ways. Firstly, the Gods of the Nordic Peoples are just that, they are the Gods of Nordic people. They could be land and riches, or whatever else people of Nordic descent idolize. They could be the various names of the Old Norse pantheon, Odin, or Thor, or Mím (who we have discussed in detail here). But most importantly, they are the Nordic people themselves. We all have our heavenly counterparts dwelling in dimensions high above us. Something similar to the basic plot for the 2012 film, Upside Down – they live an existence of relative luxury while we struggle to survive here below in the lone and dreary physical world. For now we, like the characters in that movie who were inhabitants of “Down Below”, scavenge for bits of “inverted matter” from that better world overhead to warm our furnaces during the dead of winter.

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The Bible foretells the day when Heaven and Earth will be rolled together as a scroll. It says that the stars will fall as they are shook from the sky. Literally this will come about as a result of a reversal of the Earth’s poles. Inter-dimensionally and spiritually speaking, this means that the hosts of Heaven will have to come down from their high places. If there are spiritual powers of wickedness in high places as Paul warned, and we do not struggle against them, then those forces will take us over as they fold into us, their mortal counterparts here below. I’ve written of the Lorentzian Manifold in What Makes the Book of Mormon a L.I.T.M.U.S. Test? pt. 2, and in We Are The Weather about the pole shift set to occur for this planet. Eurocentric interpretations of verses describing the Lost Tribes of Israel as returning from the “Countries of the North” will be shook. Even those few LDS who hold that Inner Earth beings resembling Nordic Gods will come to the rescue may want to do as Isaiah says and consider that which they have not heard (Isaiah 52:15). They can start with considering what ancient Norse prophecies like the tale of Ragnarok have to say about these matters.

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The world tree Yggdrasil shudders and groans. The gnomes groan by the stone doors which are entrances to their inner earth dwellings. Rocky cliffs open and the Jötunn women sink. All this may seem like very strange and foreign imagery, but a side by side comparison between the legend of Ragnarok and Christian/Mormon scripture and even modern American news documents should serve to clarify. First of all, Yggdrasil is the World Tree of Norse mythology. In What Makes the Book of Mormon a L.I.T.M.U.S. Test? pt. 2, I make mention of the simple and universal concept of the Axis Mundi, and I endeavor to emphasize that this fractal fact applies not only to the planet but to individual people too. When the Old Norse legends tell us that the World Tree will shudder and groan, they are testifying to the same truth that the apostle Paul spoke upon in Romans 8. For, said he:

“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For we know that the Earth and all creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Crying and Laughing are parts of that vibratory language which can not be uttered with words. These actions cause our sides to shake and our personal axis to align with the Spiritual North. This allows for smooth assimilation of the spirit body which is, esoterically speaking, the Nordic Man. Until perfect alignment is achieved, there is an unequal distribution of power between the world of the Fathers and that of the Children. The prophet Elijah was sent to remedy this injustice, and set things straight. Perhaps you will recall that the prophet Elijah laughed loudly in the faces of those priests of Baal when, in a showdown against the God of Israel, they failed to produce fire with which to light the sacrificial altar. We have apparently forgotten the power of the One God, and have subscribed to dumb idols who deny us that heavenly flame we all need. Under these present circumstances, as it says in D&C 123:7…

“The whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.”

Gnomes are also heard to groan at the onset of Ragnarok. There are good and bad gnomes. Gnomes are creatures which hide treasures deep in the Earth, either by placing them there, or by preventing those treasures naturally contained within Her from surfacing to see the light of day. They work in huge underground halls, away from the eyes of the world, but very much affecting events upon the face of the earth on a geological plus geopolitical scale. Many major cities have underground catacombs and some of these are very extensive and elaborate. There is a subterranean network of halls and rooms known to exist underneath the streets of Salt Lake City. It is also no secret that the Church has immense cavernous vaults in the mountains where they hide many treasures.

And speaking of mountainous country, according to the Norse eschatology, rocky cliffs are to open and the Jötunn (pronounced Yotun) women will sink. The Jötnar are a race of frosty, gluttonous, man-eating giants who live in Jötunheim. But why would their women specifically take such a hard fall during this apocalyptic scene? I believe that one reason has to do with the schemes of the Evil One in these last days which are specifically targeted at young women. The strange sounding name of the World Tree in Norse Mythology – Yggdrasil – may hold the answer to the mystery. Though its etymology is disputed, its pronunciation is indubitably known to be – ɪɡdrəsɪl. Without removing or adding any letters to the word, and by reversing the sequence of the first two letters, then flipping the third and fourth around, we get – ɡɪrdəsɪl – nearly an exact phonetic match for “Gardasil”, the Merck manufactured vaccine against HPV, the cancer-causing human papilloma virus. Gardasil received FDA approval in the summer of 2006, and by 2008 had been accepted in 41 states of the U.S. The vaccine garnered a great deal of controversy from the start. It was thought to be the cause of many cases of illness and several deaths even when it was first released and marketed for females ages 9 to 26. Since that time it has been shown to damage young girls’ ovaries to the point of being rendered useless, and causing premature menopause.

Within the first two years after the vaccine was introduced, the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, run by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, collected 8,000 reports of problems after Gardasil shots, including paralysis, seizures and miscarriages. Earlier this month, national talk show host Katie Couric featured a woman on daytime TV who was the mother of the first girl whose life was claimed by this vile vaccine. Jessica Ericzon, 17, collapsed dead in her bathroom on Feb. 22, 2008. On the advice of her family doctor, Jessie had taken a series of three Gardasil shots. jessySeeing such uncanny parallels between Yggdrasil and Gardasil, it is chilling to note that the blond-haired, blue-eyed honors student bore the most famous and common Scandinavian surname of all time. And even more eerie is the fact that she died on Feb. 22nd, the last day of the feast of Jolablot, the third of a series of tri-annual feasts celebrated by the Vikings. This is also the date when experts in Norse mythology estimate that Ragnarok will begin. The first two feasts of the Viking calendar – Sigrblot and Vetrarblot – happen to coincide with the summer season and harvest time. Jessica Ericzon got the first injection in July 2007 followed by her second shot in September.  Her mother, Lisa, said she complained of a pain in the back of her head which would subside after some time, but grew progressively worse with each injection.

In Utah, the controversy over Gardasil takes on very Mormon moralistic overtones which aren’t always distinctly addressed by members of the medical establishment poised to make decisions related to the issue. Utah’s Southwest Health Department says Gardasil is too expensive and questions its effectiveness while the Utah Scientific Immunization Advisory Committee pushes for its implementation state-wide. However, the generally conservative public does not particularly like the idea of issuing a vaccine designed to counter sexually transmitted disease to girls so young. They fear that it might reflect poorly on their morals. But this defense does not truly have the young women of Utah’s best interest in mind or at heart, nor does it truly provide for their safety and well-being. The LDS people are very open to the idea of vaccines as they are led by men who laud the so-called modern miracle of western medicine. As soon as the cunning doctors of death can find a presentation for their poison more in keeping with the people’s Victorian ideals, they will administer it and the Utahn/Jötunn women of the land in the mountains will fall.

gardasil

Descendants of Scandinavians settled in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. There are about 2 million Americans of Danish descent. Like other groups of Americans of Scandinavian descent, many of them are Lutherans. However, they contrast with Norwegian and Swedish Americans in that a large percentage of them are Mormon converts who settled in Utah and southeastern Idaho. Early Mormon missionaries were particularly successful in Denmark, but there are also many families in Utah with Swedish ancestry. Nordic blood runs through the veins of many Utahns. What might be the effects when the blood of the slain Norse gods runs through their vain brains in the form of false traditions passed down from their fathers? Shall all of their “work for their dead” in Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain, amount to nothing more than “dead works” in defiled temples when their false gods finally die?

asgard temple of doom

In 2010, former member of the 3rd Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Hans Mattsson and his wife Birgitta made news when they came forward and expressed serious doubts and dismay about the history of the Church and how it has handled faithful and honest members who have questions. Many Swedish Mormons including a stake president then also opened up about their feelings and formed a group to discuss the faith crisis they were facing. This group seriously alarmed Salt Lake and a special “emergency” fireside was held for local leaders. Church historian Elder Marlin Jensen and his assistant Elder Richard Turley were sent from Salt Lake to Stockholm to attend the meeting and deal with the “problem”. It can not be denied that major stirrings are awakening many of the Scandinavian people. Whether they are stirred up to anger or to spiritual strength and liberty remains to be seen.

Vikings believed that as a prelude to the Ragnarok apocalypse, three freezing winters would follow each other with no summers in between. In The Thermodynamics and Eternodynamics of Desire – Continued, I touch on the elementary connection between temperature and time. In We Are The Weather pts. 1 & 2, I try to explain the spiritual, multigenerational and multidimensional facets of weather phenomena. Time cycles and weather patterns mirror each other, and can offer clues to those who know what to look for. Last year Utah experienced its coldest winter temperatures since 1978. Now as winter sets in again official statements from Salt Lake echo that time when the Church altered its policy on priesthood regarding non Caucasian males. Of course the Saltican city is only trying to keep in step with the Vatican city as they vie for publi-city. Their statements do not represent repentance in the present and therefore have no effect on the past. As for the future, the forecast looks grim.

What bitter winds blow from Angel Moroni’s horn? And do they portend a similar fate for European emigrants as that signaled by the blowing of the mythical Gjallerhorn said to herald the approach of Ragnarok? Solar activity as recorded by astronomers has entered a period of freefall, always a precursor to a cooling cycle, and scientists say 2014 could be the harbinger of a mini or even a full-scale ice age. Europe’s Little Ice Age was a period of cooling that took place between 1550 and 1850 AD. It brought about catastrophic consequences for peoples all across the European continent but was most drastic for the Vikings who suffered much death and total loss of their holdings in Greenland. Today people may not think that they are as susceptible to death and disease due to changes in the weather, but despite our modern lifestyle, the environment still has a way of adversely affecting our health by stealth.

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In some accounts of Ragnarok it is foretold that: the soil and the sky will be stained with poison. As the spirits of deceased warriors gather on the ethereal battlefield, we see the militaristic and industrial forces of mortal men take to the sky in planes spilling mass amounts of poison which affects and infects not only the air quality but also the soil. Swedish parliamentarian Pernilla Hagberg has stood up and voiced growing concern over chemtrails on behalf of her constituents. She personally vows to do all she can to put a stop to the spraying of tiny particles of aluminum and barium chaff in the skies over Sweden. The U.S. military admits that “cloud seeding” as they call it has been going on since the late 90s. The expanding program was launched with the purpose of creating “clouds of microscopic computer particle all communicating with each other to form an intelligent fog that could be used for various purposes” according to a research paper produced for the U.S. Air Force. As chemtrails rapidly grow ever more prevalent in the skies over Utah, the Mormon people below would do well to review their scriptures and read in Mosiah 7:30 where the Lord says:

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

Norse legend and Chrisian lore both tell us that an angel in heaven shall sound the trump. The sons of Odin are called to the battlefield, the whole of earth and creation anxiously awaits the manifestation of the sons of God. Apocalypse simply means revelation, and that which is to be revealed is our own future form. John 3:1-2 reminds us….

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

After the gloom and doom comes light and life! After the death of the Norse gods, after the Time of the Gentiles is finished, then a new and glorious earth will emerge.

THE SIDE (SPLITTING) EFFECTS OF LAUGHTER

Yes, Zion will E-merge, but before the new Heaven-N-Earth energy merge is possible, the world will be submerged in cataclysm, and all worldly creatures will be divided by multiple schisms. Mankind will be split into various opposing sides. Laughter plays a significant role in this societal side-splitting. This should be no surprise after examining its dual nature as a tool for simultaneous connectivity and corrosiveness. The charge to avoid loud laughter should make us aware of the powerful electromagnetic charge inherent in laughter. And with a basic understanding of electromagnetic principles we ought to recognize its potential for repelling as well as attracting, energizing as well as zapping. If we would tap into laughter’s healing properties and potential we have to be aware of the delicate nature of this spiritual technique.

Laughter is an energetic activity that raises our heart rate and blood pressure, but these physiological effects are incompletely documented and their medicinal benefits are even less certain. Lennart Levi, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reported that comedy activates the body’s “fight or flight” system, increasing catecholamine levels in urine, a measure of activation and stress. Lee Berk, DHSc, of the Loma Linda School of Medicine, countered with a widely cited study that reported that laughter reduced catecholamines and other hormonal measures of sympathetic activation. This reduction in stress and associated hormones is the mechanism through which laughter is presumed to enhance immune function. Unfortunately, Berk’s studies show at best a biological response to comedy. His reports included only five experimental subjects, never stated whether those subjects actually laughed, and were presented in only three brief abstracts. Does a sense of humor or a lighthearted personality add years to your life? Not necessarily.

A large-scale study by Howard Friedman, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside, found optimism and sense of humor in childhood to be inversely related to longevity. This may be because people with untempered optimism indulge in risk-taking, not so much believing, but thinking that the system of slavery we live under in this present physical reality will somehow not affect them adversely. And ultimately, not loving and valuing their souls enough because of long-term abuse, they do not care if their brash rebellious reaction does effectively free them or not. Of course the parable of the talents, if anything, teaches us that risk taking is crucial. But to indulge in untempored emotion is not in line with the scriptures which warn us to bridle our passions so that that they can be to us, tempered tools with which to build Zion. The warning against defiling one’s garments with “untempored mortar” was very prevalent in freemasonic teachings during the early part of the nineteenth century in the United States, and this provides a very accurate analogy and important lesson in regards to “loud laughter”. It is not good for building, and certainly not fit for building the type of familial bonds necessary to sustain Zion.

Pain reduction is one of laughter’s promising applications. Rosemary Cogan, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Texas Tech University, found that subjects who laughed at a Lily Tomlin video or underwent a relaxation procedure tolerated more discomfort than other subjects. Humor may help temper intense pain. James Rotton, Ph.D., of Florida International University, reported that orthopedic surgery patients who watched comedic videos requested fewer aspirin and tranquilizers than the group that viewed dramas. Humor may also help us cope with stress. In a study by Michelle Newman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University, subjects viewed a film about three grisly accidents and had to narrate it either in a humorous or serious style. Those who used the humorous tone had the lowest negative affect and tension. A problem with these studies is that none of them separate the effects of laughter from those of humor. None allow for the possibility that presumed effects of laughter or humor may come from the playful settings associated with these behaviors. And none evaluate the uniqueness of laughter by contrasting it with other vocalizations like shouting.

Loud laughter, similar to copious amounts of alcohol, might drown out pain entirely, in which case we are sure to miss the pricking effects of the Holy Spirit upon our soul. Loud Laughter could well be classified as laughter which solidifies a lie, rather than gently helping us cope with reality while we work to change it for the better. Laughter was developed in our species as it was adopted from heavenly helpers for beneficial bonding between brothers and sisters. It is not to be used as a drug. Yet this has become its primary usage in today’s society. The larger the group gathering these days, the louder the laughter – and we are not speaking in terms of mere volume. The more recreational our bouts of laughter, the less reconciliatory it becomes in its effects. A purely wreck-creation-all approach to laughter, like most of modern medicine, often ignores the side(splitting)effects. It only re-creates a false atmosphere of comradery by forcibly inducing mass release of endorphins. If we use comedy as a pill to mask the symptoms of social ills, then, like an anti-depressant with a 99% success rate, 1% of the time the built-up depression will suddenly erupt from the unconscious mind in violent fits as we have seen with the alarming, and growing frequency of infanticide and suicide in the U.S. lately, where a very high percentage of cases involve some kind of anti-depressant medication.

Mass media promotes laughter as medicine, and it certainly is. But today’s decadent culture does not promote responsible use of powerful medicine. Print and broadcast reporters produce upbeat, often frothy stories like “A Laugh a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.” A best-selling Norman Cousins book and a popular Robin Williams film Patch Adams amplified this feel-good message. But left unsaid in such reports is a jarring truth: Laughter did not evolve to make us feel good or improve to our health. Certainly, laughter unites people, and social support has been shown in studies to improve mental and physical health. But the presumed health benefits of laughter may be coincidental consequences of its primary goal: bringing people together. Bringing people together as family must be our focus. Without this focus, laughter is improperly used, and sorely abused to keep people from feeling sorrow for the sins of the world. Since laughter was intended to hold the human race together then any other use can eventually lead to condemnation in the spirit. This condemnation is hastened in our day by a new trend: Laughter as a carelessly administered vaccine or drug.

Laughter, in many ways, can be observed to behave similarly to a virus. A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Laughter can be highly contagious. In a study conducted by Dr. Robert Provine and associates, 1,200 people were observed laughing spontaneously in their natural environments. The results of their study surprised them because they suggested that the critical stimulus for laughter is not a joke, but the presence of another person. While we usually think of laughter as coming from an audience after a wisecrack from a single speaker, contrary to expectation, the speakers observed laughed almost 50% more than their audiences. The study also showed that laughter mostly follows comments which are not particularly clever or comical. Only 15% of laughter followed anything joke-like. Excluded from the study were all vicarious social effects of media (television, radio, books, etc.). The direct social nature of laughter was striking: Laughter was almost 50 times more frequent in social than solitary situations. In fact, a person laughing alone is sometimes judged to be mentally unstable. We’re much more likely to talk to ourselves or even smile when alone than to laugh. However happy we may feel, laughter is a signal we send to others and it virtually disappears when we lack an audience. Like a virus, the ripples of laughter can only ripple-cate themselves in other living organisms.

Just as live viruses are used in many vaccines, laughter is used similarly in modern social media. Earlier I mentioned that laughter has the potential to let the world in, as well as bring Zion out of us. In appropriate doses one’s external environment should be let in for purposes of building a spiritual immunity, but always through the filter of laughter, never taking in quantities that would prove lethal. For this reason we are told to avoid loud laughter and be prudent in our use of this potent practice. Most people these days do not go to God for their laughs. They go to mass media, and here laughter is isolated and mass produced like the active ingredients in most modern medicine. Technologically triggered mini-epidemics are produced by television laugh tracks. Laugh tracks have accompanied most television sitcoms since September 9, 1950. At 7:00 that evening, “The Hank McCune Show” used the first laugh track to compensate for being filmed without a live audience.

Canned laughter may sound artificial, but it coaxes TV viewers to laugh as if they were part of a live audience. Lying laughter promotes disconnection from our fellow man. Not only have live audiences become extremely rare, but viewing of live performances, up-close and in person, have become largely a thing of the past in today’s virtual world. We can see this same trend leading away from life-promoting laughter towards increasingly dead forms of social interaction in the area of LDS ritual. Live temple sessions are extremely rare, and dead works are rampant. Of course we may say that laughter seems completely inappropriate to us in such a sacred setting. I admit that laughter has been conspicuously absent from any temple session I have ever attended, but I am not entirely certain that this is as it should be, or as it was intended. God’s people are always infamous for missing the point of God’s teachings.

Joseph Smith’s sense of humor comes out very strongly in the lines of the original temple drama which has been slowly but significantly edited over the years. Joseph’s sense of humor reflected his sense of humanity. Here, through the symbolism of the Adam and Eve story, Joseph addresses the spiritual and physical beginnings of humans. Comical characters like the Preacher play along side the Lucifer character that constantly spews forth wickedly witty lines. We sit in complete silence, many of the audience members, from the geriatric to the youthful; experience acute drowsiness in the darkness of the theatre while watching the viral program which is projected on the video screen many times a day in temples throughout the world. Up till recently the Church had two temple “vids” catering to a corrupted race dominated by males who are in turn dominated by “visual” stimulation. Initiates basking in the soft glow of the video screen, illuminated by illusion, were offered the options of blonde or brunette to appeal to their vain and false sense of individuality. So-called individuals have been reduced to Indy-Visuals who are not independent, nor are they capable of seeing truth.

lds plato's cave

One truth that the temple drama was originally intended to convey was that humanity, as in physical mankind, can become separated by our minds from the spirit of humanity. Or in other words, humanity as a heavenly attribute may be either attained and expressed or suppressed and lost through cultural practices. The temple drama, like life was meant to rotate with the Prayer Circle of Life, not remain rote and mechanical. Once upon a time in humanity’s distant past, all the performers, including the witness couple, formed one interactive whole with the audience members. The whole point of RITUAL is to en-RICH-YOU-ALL! In the beginning, the ancient temple drama was infused with LIGHT and LIFE! Call and response chants, and raw animated acts kept the participants from simply “acting” as we see the practically emotionless figures do in the previously used LDS temple movies, or in the pretend emotion portrayed by the actors of the new temple film. I don’t know which is worse, but I know there is a more excellent way, and so do you.

When dealing with laughter our minds must remain sober if our hearts are to be freed. We need to always retain a remembrance of laughter’s sacred purpose – to connect human beings to one another. In his post, Connecting With Pixels, Justin explains that pornography addiction is so prevalent in this age, especially in places like the U.S., and it reaches its highest rates in the Mormon state of Utah. Justin says that pornography’s prevalence in latter-day culture is a question of technology making it so readily accessible and even pushed. And he identifies pornography addiction as a symptom of larger underlying social problems – namely: “poor socialization by parents on sexuality, unaddressed childhood abuse, an addictive personality, or feelings of insecurity.” LDS men may acknowledge pornography as a plague, they may even take measures to restrict online access and guard against such images, but sadly, for the most part it is their pre-dis-position to remain locked into and tied down by various aspects of the bigger pornographic picture projected by Satan onto humankind as they sit like a captive audience in Plato’s Cave. Sports, military service, and even manual labor are highly addictive hero-porn for the body. Schooling, political debate, and even reading can all be forms of intellectual porn for the mind. Church and temple attendance is religious porn for the spirit. Porn in all of its forms channels real energy into fake settings, encourages complacency, and replaces authentic human exchange of energy with holographic projections – hollow graphics dancing provocatively across the walls of our private porn prison cell. plato-cave

Porn, like anything else, can be impproperly used to prop up imppersonal personas. Our persons are poisons, and should be used with a certain degree of precaution. But the point is not to imagine that we may cast them off permanently, or cover ourcellves and our sins with pretentious priesthood garments of our own make. They may be more holy for a time, but over time they also may become more holey, moth bitten, and vain than the Emperor’s New Clothes – vain because of vanity, and vain in their ridiculously failed attempt to cover our nakedness. Holy and protective layers of being “may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover” up…then we are not sealed as Heaven’s own but are left to ourselves (D&C 121:37). Why do we revel in a con-sealing when we could strip down to the bare-naked truth of all things as revealed by the see-through robes of the Holy Ghost? True success is never achieved by outward means, and herein lies the real power to protect and strengthen. Focus on outward appearances will only bring us suck-cess, and will forever be susceptible to spiritual and physical sickness. King Benjamin tells the people:

“And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.” – Mosiah 4:29

But through shifting our awareness into the all-encompassing true order based on the first-born flow of the inward being, we are able to not only justify, but purify and eventually sanctify every action, and everything around us.

Ancient life-affirming ways have been hacked by a wedge shaped virus that is perverting sacred r-i-t-u-a-l into v-i-r-t-u-a-l reality. Virtue is lost in the present virtual reality, and the people are not even aware. Mankind and males in particular are spoken of as predominantly unaware beings in the Doctrine & Covenants section 121 in the succinct lecture on the rights of the priesthood that falls between verses 36-40. Why is man not aware when it comes to his inimical, enemy stance towards God? Man is not aware because he is not man enough to be. The simple and eternal truth is hidden from us behind the etymology of the word ‘man’ and the word ‘virus’. Although not “aware” in literal terms, literary examples from Anglo-Saxon writers in the 5th to 12th century show us that, in Old English, a ‘man’ was a ‘wer’. ‘Wer’ meant man, and from this word we get the modern English word werewolf (literally man-wolf). From the Old Norse – verr, through the Caucasian Mountains to the Ossetian – ир (ir), and Latin – vir, on back to its Proto-Indo-European root – wiHrós, and all the way back to the original Sanskrit cognate – वीर (vīrá); earlier linguistic roots all held the same simple meaning. And this ancient root word for man or male can be found today in the word ‘virility’, meaning manhood, or masculinity. It can not be ignored that it is also part of the word ‘virus’. The Latin word ‘virus’ means poison, venom, or slime. Its more ancient roots lie in the Sanskrit – विषम् (víṣam), which means “anything active” but has the connotation of “anything actively pernicious” such as poison, venom, or bane. विषम् (víṣam) is only a masculine a-stem declension of विष (víṣa), meaning ‘servant’.

Following a similar trail as the linguistics from the Indian subcontinent to the Mediterranean culture of ancient Palestine, Jesus, the greatest/least Master/Servant Teacher of all, brought us wisdom and presented us with the concept that:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Matt. 6:24)

If a man is aware, Christ is awareness. Awareness is a virus. A virus spreads. It can spread in one direction or another. If a virus is aware of its self as awareness it knows it has the power to save or it can ravish, but it can not do both simultaneously. It can not serve God (All) and Mammon (Some/$um). Complete companionship with the Christ means at-one-ment, true enlightenment, or lightening the load rather than weighing one’s self down with more and more of “that which doth canker”. The difference between a lifestyle driven by the principle of seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first and a deathstyle driven by the habit of taking care of bu$ine$$ before tending to things of the spirit, is the same as the subtle yet decisive difference between all, and most. All/Most knowing God does not count. Mankind can either identify its self with God or it is an enemy to God. We are either fully aware or else we are at least partially unaware of the extent of our actions. From moment to moment in time we are either being human or we are acting as  poison. There are of course varying degrees in either direction, but generally speaking, when we are acting as poison we are acting prideful and we tend to Euro-neously call Original Hue-manity slime and despise it when we “see” it. The truth is we can’t see humanity for what we are while in the service of Mammon. Only while in the service of our fellow man are we in service to our God, like King Benjamin taught in Mosiah 2:17. PathoGen-tiles who remain unrepentant have a deadly effect on the Blood of Abraham, and they act as a scourge upon the House of Israel wherever they are found throughout the Earth. The extreme damage that an unaware man is capable of is truly devastating.

“Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.” – D&C 121:38

“Kicking against the pricks” paints the picture of a person whose awareness has become numbed to the point of not feeling the pain caused by his actions in either direction. Unwittingly fighting against one’s own creator and the sustainer of all life is a sign of a very pathogenic pathos. Unaware human beings are virulent in their emotional illiteracy. Father may forgive them, for they know not what they do. But when there is willful ignorance and a conscious acceptance of falsehood over real emotion, then those germs will be utterly eradicated in their physical form by the Mother’s immune system.

The modern phrase “going viral” has no greater consummation than the Biblical prophesy of Christ’s ultimate sovereignty, that: “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.” In fact this scripture (Romans 14:11) is an expression of the viral nature of Truth. Like an unstoppable live Virus of Veritas, the Lord sayeth:

“As I live, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

And the preceding verse talks of the futility in resisting the Virus of Veritas, the True and Living Church of the Firstborn. In it Paul asks:

“why do you judge your brother? Why do you regard your brother with contempt?”

When one stops seeking his life, he then finds it (Luke 17:33). As soon as he succumbs to the Christ, the Virus of God, he instantly recognizes that there is no difference between his brother and his self. Through Christ we become aware that self does not end where our skin begins. When we awaken we abandon our destructive vices. We join as part of King Benjamin’s greater audience. His audience was surely wrought upon by a spiritually viral epidemic of conversion. Envision it; a whole huge crowd spontaneously crying out with one voice, and suddenly feeling “no more disposition to do evil” (Mosiah 5:2). We will no longer behave like vicious virions for we are at one with our environs. The Love of God exceeds even the speed of light and it completely takes us over as it explodes from our hearts and assimilates all creation. But until that moment when one feels and understands his unique position in the universe, then he is literally dis-positioned towards unrighteous dominion and all manner of evil. This is the unfortunate state of almost all men in the world as a study of D&C 121 will tell you. The study of viruses is known as virology and it has revealed to us that viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity.If man’s nature tends toward that of a vile, havoc-wreaking virus how then are we to be redeemed from our toxic attitude? What could possibly reconcile a man’s violently torn soul? Well, another hallmark of those who are found possessed of the Love of Christ in these latter days is recorded in Doctrine & Covenants 84:71, also known as the Oath & Covenant of the Priesthood.

“If any man (vir) shall administer poison (vir) unto them it shall not hurt them”

The Bible also testifies to the divine protection and immunity experienced by God’s servants. Harriet Tubman, who not only led over a thousand slaves to freedom at great personal peril, but also administered to Civil War soldiers who lay sick and dying with dysentery and small pox, was unafraid of death in any of its forms because she was on the errand of the Lord and stayed busy about her Father’s work. She acquired quite a reputation for her skill in curing dysentery with a medicine she prepared from roots which grew near the waters that gave the disease. She never once suffered even the slightest symptom of the diseases she was treating and it was said of her that the Lord was with her. The Hevajna Tantra contains several verses referring to men and their relationship with poison. On page 93 we read:

“With the very poison, a little of which would kill any other being, a man who understands poison would dispel another poison.”

Then on page 107 it says:

“If he drinks strong poison, the simple man who does not understand it, falls senseless. But he who is free from delusion with his mind intent on the truth destroys it altogether”

One more reference on page 117 delivers what it calls, “the profoundest secret of the beauteous purifier of existence”….

“Useless is a gem uncut, but once cut, it gives forth its brilliance. Likewise this gem of the saṃsāra (continuous flow), possessed of the properties of the five desires (five carnal senses), becomes like poison in its unpurified state, but when purified it becomes ambrosia (food or drink of the gods).”

The profound truth in all these scriptures, LDS, Christian, and Buddhist, is that a man of god may partake of the same things which an impure man does, but the effect will not be the same. One of the great mysteries of God is how holy men and women arrive at consecration and subsist by purifying themselves, by purifying poison. Transmutation is the key.

It may sound weird to hear the Word of God-to-Man articulated in terms of the Virus. But think of it; a virus is an active strain of DNA-altering particles and “As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become”. Even if Lorenzo Snow, who coined that phrase, and was in many ways a prideful product of his gene-ration, never considered it; the fact remains that at some point the agent that offers to take him from manhood to godhood is going to require some altering of those prideful genes. On April 6, 1844, Joseph Smith preached to a congregation of 20,000 saying:

“Here then is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods have done before you” (JOD 6:4; TPJS p.346)

Of those who have gone before us, few ever thought to attain to godhood, and of those few even fewer obtained it. I believe this is because, like the Founding Fathers, they too died holding firmly to a freemasonic belief in the “pursuit of happiness” which is perhaps the main lie underlying all of the Devil’s false doctrine. God suffers us to conduct experiments with life and liberty, hoping and trusting that we will one day tire of experimenting and desire now to enter his presence. From the Colonial English of the U.S. Constitution to the Latin of the Magna Carta, we should remember that in Old English ‘Wer’ meant ‘Man’, and “We the People” being a vir-us, must remember that our ancestors were-us and we are them. This is the real meaning of priesthood lineage.

Until we succeed in bringing past and future gene-rations into alignment the present will remain a perpetual prison to us. That is the curse with which the earth is to be smitten if not for the Spirit of Elijah. Only a turning/tuning of the heart signals of the Fathers to the heart signals of the Children and visa versa will result in the meeting in the middle which is necessary to eliminate the phase effect of sometimes constructive and other times destructive interference that varies with frequency, giving a series of peaks and troughs in the frequency response of the god-man system which in general do not occur in a harmonic series. Such are the uneven and troubled waves of spirit produced by the dis-positioning of all-most-all-most-all men, or the patronizing pattern-all pattern lamented in D&C 121:39 where it speaks about the patriarchal passing of priesthood. But there is hope. For, as verse 33 says:

“How long can rolling waters remain impure?”

Whether surface water waves, sound, or light; the ripples of laughter can be grasped to displace air waves which essentially help us begin to freely ripple-cate ourselves as children of the Divine rather than children of the Matrix. There is a way for us to dial in our hearts, and sync the radio receiver of mind. A way to shift our physical body to resonate in harmony with the high and low pitches of the Yahweh frequency as it goes, “EEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEE.” In audio engineering the technique is known as flanging. Flanging is done by taking the original signal and adding a uniform time-delayed copy of itself, which results in an output signal with peaks and troughs which are in a harmonic series. 200px-Flanging_vs_Phasing_effectThe flange effect was developed in the days of tape reels at EMI’s Abbey Road Studio. And it was first featured in the recording of the symbolically titled Beatles track, Tomorrow Never Knows from the album Revolver, which was recorded on April 6, 1966. This is symbolic of what Joseph Smith had proclaimed precisely 122 years prior to the date. He said that we have got to learn how to be Gods ourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods before us. He said that eternal life is here, now. It requires direct action in the present, or else you will be forever stuck in the revolving doors. As the Beatles sing; “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

THE LAST LAUGH

If tomorrow never knows then certainly the past is equally ignorant. The present is the true point of origin and the ultimate destination of all beings. The first shall be last and the last shall be first, and he who laughs last laughs best. We are all the same, age means nothing. Life’s pilgrim-age is cyclical like the Haj of the Muslims who come from far and wide to Mecca only to run in circles around a big black cube with a piece of meteorite in it.   milky hajThis metaphor extends to (or from) the center of the galaxy. The galactic center is a dark void from our perspective. Around it spin stars and star systems, billions like (or unlike) our own. All of life, in this way, is a-void-dance – a dance around a void. But within the dark abyss is God. Light within dark, surrounded by swirling light enshrouded in more darkness, and so on and so forth, this is the fractal nature of reality. This cosmic dance around the throne of God is repeated throughout the Universe, and is addressed in the book of Job.

Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

And thou sayest, How doth God know? Can he judge through the dark cloud?

Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

Job 22:12-14

This was the laughable reasoning of earlier empires upon the face of the earth in the time of Noah. They laughed at Noah for counseling with an inner voice. But that global network of civilizations was cut off right at its peak. It was not the first time this had happened and would not be the last, but as far as the Earth’s cycles go, we are told that: As it was in the time of Noah, so shall it be in the end (Matt 24:37). Today we hear the loud laughter of the wicked, but who will have the last laugh?

Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.

Job 22:15-19

Our persons are our people self-replicated over time. Those fathers farthest removed from the present into our past are those most closely acquainted with our future. Our people are the peep-hole through which per-ception filters as per the con-ception of each individual being, who in turn subjects his or herself to new and everlasting in-ception of old ideas and revolving IDs which have been changed to protect The Innocent children; perSONS and perDAUGHTERS of the G.O.D.s in the whirl-P-O-O-L of consciousness which is one big L-O-O-P-whole of eternity and reality. We could liken it to a donut with a jelly-filled center of plasma discharging simultaneously in arc and dark mode. It is to that center that we must go if we wish to comprehend the whole configuration. Joseph Smith once likened it to a ring. Said he:

I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man-the immortal part, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man.”

Being only a fraction of divine mind, the psyche of man sometimes suffers a fraction in its perception of the eternal round. To help us stay centered we can do as the Book of Mormon advises:

Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

Alma 34:20-27

Laughter is intimately linked with crying. Of course the verb crying is used in these passages to mean vocalize out loud and not necessarily to cry as in shed tears. Still, the point is to pray with emotion and out loud whenever and wherever possible. The last verse above deals with what we should do when it is not possible to cry out and it is a perfect description of Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhist Thích Nhất Hạnh says:

“The moment of awakening may be marked by an outburst of laughter, but this is not the laughter of someone who has won the lottery or some kind of victory. It is the laughter of one who, after searching for something for a long time, suddenly finds it in the pocket of their coat.”

The reason why the wicked, whether in times past or times to come think that God is ignorant of their evil deeds, is because they themselves are not present to the fact that God exists in the midst of everyone and everything. They never think to look inside. They are convinced that there is nothing there in the dark pockets of life. Well, not exactly convinced, but the fear of the unknown keeps them from penetrating that cloud under which they go about in circles like the Israelites in the desert region around Sinai, afraid of their own God and unable to enter the Promised Land. Moses beckoned them, but they preferred to keep God at bay, and opted to obey Ten Commandments written on their stone hard hearts instead. Until we jump into the thick dark clouds mentioned in Job 22 and connect with God, our obedience is abeyance. We avoid the void and thereby keep God in a state of suspension, in a state of dormancy, in a state of uncertainty, up in the air. It is a classic case of the childish notion that: If I can’t see him he must not be able to see me. Oh, but he CAN judge through the thick dark cloud! It is only we who fool ourselves as we walk round and round in the circuit of heaven.

samsara wheel

To testify of Christ is to be a prophet (Rev. 19:10). When we speak as prophets we have to understand that in many or most instances along this big spinning people-WHEEL one functions simply as a SPOKES-person for and in behalf of the ante-sensors (ancestors) as well as the un-born. I can’t expect people to always listen or even understand what I am saying until they actually disregard “me” altogether and look/listen past me, beyond the messenger to get the message its self. Alma 26:23 tells us that the Sons of Mosiah were laughed to scorn by their brethren back home. So, to all those who are or have desires to be traveling teachers of the gospel, I say: Be of good cheer. Learn to love and laugh at yourself, and when you have learned that all is self, you will laugh and love your way through life. Job 5:22 makes this grand promise:

“At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.”

I’m sure you have heard it said that God has a sense of humor. The figure of the Laughing Buddha is fairly well known. The Laughing Christ portrayed so often in the Gnostic Gospels, which were never admitted into our censored and perverted bibles, may be less well known; files.phpnevertheless we must come to know this laughing Christ. The name Isaac means ‘laughter’ and his character and back story in the bible reveal much about the Love/Laugh of God. Upon first hearing of foretelling of Isaac’s birth, both his parents’ first reaction is to laugh. Surely the idea of begetting a son in their extreme old age tickled their souls. Genesis 17:17 says that:

“Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”

In the book Arcana Coelestia, Emanuel Swedenborg – a Swedish philosopher, theologian, chemist, anatomist, and visionary whose writings had a profound influence on the mind of Joseph Smith Jr. – wrote the following commentary on this bible verse.

“[…and laughed] That this signifies the affection of truth, may be seen from the origin and essence of laughter, for its origin is nothing but the affection of truth, or else the affection of what is false, from which come the gladness and merriment that in laughter display themselves in the face, which shows that the essence of laughter is nothing else. Laughter is indeed an external thing that belongs to the body because to the face; but in the Word interior things are expressed and signified by exterior things; just as all the interior affections of the mind are expressed and signified by means of the face, interior hearing and obedience being signified by the ear, interior sight or understanding by the eye, power and strength by the hand and arm, and so on, and in the same way the affection of truth by laughter.”

Swedenborg, who influenced Joseph Smith, was himself influenced by Ibn Sina aka Avicenna, author of Canonica Medica and The Book of Healing, to whom I make extensive reference in my Making SENSE of it All series. Each of these men did not rely solely upon the words or his predecessor for an understanding of these heavenly secrets, but were inspired by one another’s works to “experiment upon the word” in a direct, and personal, spiritually scientific manner as Alma advises and as all true men and women of God do. Remember we are talking about the curious and wonderful relationship between spiritual and physical, immaterial and material, being and form, and so these things are very literally a matter of life and death. In the previous section we looked at life and death on a microbial level and determined how spiritual intent begins to manifest on the physical plane at that microscopic level. It is wisdom to know the essentially viral nature of all things so that we may be conscious and choose either to operate for good or evil, to be one with God or an enemy to Him. Avicenna illustrates this in his Treatise on Love:

 “Every being which is determined by a design strives by nature toward its perfection, ie., that goodness of reality which ultimately flows from the reality of the Pure Good, and by nature it shies away from its specific defect which is the evil in it, ie., materiality and non-being. Therefore, it is obvious that all beings determined by a design possess a natural desire and an inborn love, and it follows of necessity that in such beings love is the cause of their existence. For everything that can be signified as existing belongs into one of these three categories” (i) either it has arrived at the specific perfection, (ii) or it has reached the maximum of defect, (iii) or it vacillates between these two states with the result that it is essentially in an intermediate position between two things….Beings in the real sense, then, are either such as are prepared for the maximum of perfection or such as are in a position intermediate between a defect occurring by reason of some cause and a perfection existing in the  nature itself. Therefore, no being is ever free from some connection with a perfection, and this connection with it is accompanied by an innate love and desire for that which may unite it with its perfection.

This becomes clear also from another aspect, that of causality and the “why”; since (i) no being which is determined by a design is devoid of a perfection specific to it; since (ii) such a being is not in itself sufficient cause for the existence of its perfection, because the perfections of the beings determined by a design emanate from the per se Perfect; and since (iii) one must not imagine that this Principle from which perfection emanates intends to cause a loss to any one of the particular beings….”

I want to interject here and demonstrate how Avicenna’s treatise is in alignment with the teachings of Father Lehi. I also intend to show how Lehi’s words borrow from the Asian tradition with which the Lord had brought him into contact along the way to the Americas, and how that ancient wisdom corroborates the new discoveries we have made here in our study of laughter as a poison which must be administered expertly – neither too much nor to little will do. Avicenna is firm on the point that all real beings must be determined by a design. Lehi reiterates this fact as he attempts to explain his Grand Theory of Unified Opposition in All Things. He 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 at-one-ment— For it must needs be [so], that there is [be] an opposition in all things. If not so….righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, 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.” – 2 Nephi 2:10-12

When Avicenna defines real beings as: “such as are prepared for the maximum of perfection or such as are in a position intermediate between a defect occurring by reason of some cause and a perfection existing in the nature itself,” the “cause” to which he alludes and ascribes blame for the intermediate position, or “opposition” as Lehi calls it, between Per-Fect and De-Fect, is in fact poison and more specifically its mode of administration. We could identify it as “forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter” for so does Lehi a little later in verse 15 of 2 Nephi chapter 2. We might suppose that the ‘bitter one’ is the forbidden fruit and comes from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we could suppose that the ‘sweet one’ is the Love of God and comes from an entirely different tree – the Tree of Life. However these things are supposed to have played out in physical reality, the lesson is ONE, one of deadly poison and its anecdote. The “only way” we really have of discerning between the two is by noting the key difference between hurting and healing.

Thus we come to know the “Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings” that is referred to in Malachi 4:2. And we may see that the rendering of this bible verse with the word “Sun” not “Son” purposely points back to the trunk of the Tree of Theology, the religion of ancient Egypt based on a firm understanding of the “Aten” sometimes called the Winged Sun Disc. Ancient Egyptian religion having stemmed from a deeper, Sub-Saharan root system of sacred regard for the interaction between the bright Sun and the dark Soil, it is vital to The Restoration of the health of hue-manity that we continue digging and reaching where the Prophet Joseph left off when his life was taken at Carthage. As Latter-Day Saints we take upon ourselves a vow more sacred than the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm, but to build up Zion. Let us no longer mock God with hypocritical oaths. Let us compare the latter-day scripture of the Doctrine & Covenants side-by-side with the ancient teachings of Afrika, India, China, Scandinavia, Ancient America, etc. to discover just how long these devils have been doctoring covenants with malfeasance and priest craft.

aten

Avicenna continues his treatise with these words:

“It is a necessary outcome of His wisdom and the excellence of His governance to plant into everything the general principle of love. The effect is that He thus indirectly preserves the perfection which He gave by emanation, and that He thus expresses His desire to bring them into being when they are absent, the purpose being that the administration [of the universe] should run according to a wise order. The never-ceasing existence of this love in all beings determined by a design is, therefore, a necessity. If this were not so, another love would be necessary to preserve this general love in its existence, to guard against its non-being and to retrieve it when it has lapsed, anxious lest it might disappear. But one of these two loves would be superfluous, and the existence of something superfluous in nature – which is divinely established – is impossible. Therefore, there is no principle of love other than this absolute and general love. And we can conclude that the existence of every being determined by a design is invariably accompanied by inborn love.”

Laughter and love are much more closely related than we may typically think, even at the basest of levels. Studies found that in cross-gender conversations, females laughed 126% more than their male counterparts, meaning that women tend to do the most laughing while males tend to do the most laugh-getting. Men seem to be the main instigators of humor across cultures, and this usually begins in early childhood. Think back to your high school class clown – most likely he was a male. Typically, women seek men who make them laugh, and men are eager to comply with this request. In 3,745 ads placed on April 28, 1996 in eight papers from the Baltimore Sun to the San Diego Union-Tribune, females were 62% more likely to mention laughter in their ads, and women were more likely to seek out a “sense of humor” while men were more likely to offer it. When Karl Grammar and Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt studied spontaneous conversations between mixed-sex pairs of young German adults meeting for the first time, they noted that the more a woman laughed aloud during these encounters, the greater her self-reported interest in the man she was talking to. In the same vein, men were more interested in women who laughed heartily in their presence.

We may not always know why we laugh. Certainly there is a deep mysterious quality to the way in which our facial and abdominal muscles react to the unification of outward and inward stimuli from this world and the spirit world. But if we are in tune with the love of God then our laughter will have an uplifting effect. Laughter, like orgasm, should not be faked or forced. It should not be used to elicit self effacing techniques; rather it should come from a free heart shared in love. Laughter is a pressure valve and can let things in or out. When we laugh we are made vulnerable to higher powers and impregnable to seeds of faith. At the same time, some part of us is energized and empowered by the forceful release of raw emotion which pours out of us almost uncontrollably. Some knowing and confident presence deep inside us consoles and comforts us when we confront fear with faith. It is hard not to laugh when we feel our power, which is the power of love and goodness God has planted in our hearts. It is hard not to laugh when we realize the stupidity of society and its dictatorial die-wreck-tors. As it says in Psalms 37:13….

“The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.”

laughing-jesus

May those who find themselves in a situation similar to Job – who complained that “Children despise me and laugh when they see me” – find comfort in knowing that after these Gentile brat oppressors which Isaiah spoke of have all died from off the face of the Earth, then will the laughter of children born to you during the glorious millennial reign of Christ fill your ears. From God the Father embedded like a seed of light within clouds of darkness, followed by the starry whirlpool of the Milky Way, then pro-seeded by more ominous darkness, etc. – the pattern is a playful one, and energy moves along best through the lovely vehicle of holy laughter.

“The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General
at the expense of the Particular, quoth Frater
Perdurabo, and laughed.
But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the
Universal Sorrow.
Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.
Below these certain disciples wept,
Then certain laughed.
Others next wept.
Others next laughed.
Next others wept.
Next others laughed.
Last came those that wept because they could not
see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they
should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought
it safe to act like Frater Perdurabo.
But though Frater Perdurabo laughed
openly, He also at the same time wept secretly;
and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.
Nor did He mean what He said.”

― Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

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?

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Unity of God


A uni-verse [the One-Story]; a tale being told:

The world does not consist of “things”, but of interactions — and it is the interactions that give the appearance of “things”.  All “things” are fundamentally a verb.  But the base-“stuff” of all creation [at the deep-down and far-in level] — the noun, is the same.  What makes the variety of created things that we can observe in the universe consists of the “verb” the one-thing is doing.

Like a whirlpool, we appear as a static-and-solid form — but what we are is actually quite dynamic-and-fluid.  Your body’s cells are in a constant process of dying-out and replacing themselves:  every  moment, every day, every month — year-by-year.  Most of what you “know” was experienced by cells that have long-since been sloughed and replaced with new ones.

When you eat or breathe — your cells [which are communities of atoms] are designed so that they will be put in close proximity to the food or air [which are also communities of atoms] under conditions conducive enough for the right kind-of chemistry to happen — and allow some of these atoms to trade places.

Your skin does not separate you from the world — it’s the bridge through which the external environment flows into you, and you into it.  Because of your skin, you have a definite form/shape that others can recognize, but [as the whirlpool is a constant flow of water] the whole world is constantly moving through you.  All the cosmic radiation, all the water, food, and minerals, all the air, even the feelings and sensations — are a stream of everything, flowing right through “You”.  And you spin that stream into a constant form — a wave that I can wave to, and call “You”.

This is why you can take the particles of my body, bury them in the ground, and have them go on to become:

  • the fiber of a toadstool
  • the lignin of an oak tree
  • the petals of a dandelion
  • the keratin of the hair of a rabbit
  • starch in a potato
  • O2 for you to breathe
  • and CO2 to buffer your blood

But none of that would cause the “Me” [the stream of consciousness and torrent of particles that you would have seen, experienced, and known as “Me”] to be lost.  When resurrected, I cannot get ALL of the particles that made-up my body — because during the decades of living, there were never any ONE set of atoms that were ever “mine”.

Some of the particles I “had” as a child already went on to become part of something/someone else before I even died.  And some of the atoms that “belonged” to me at the time of death were fertilizing a blade of grass before the time appointed for the resurrection.

“I” am not the particles of my body — I can’t be the “pieces” because those are constantly changing [even right now, at this very moment].  My cells are each a constant flow of atoms and electrons:  from the environment, through me, and back-out again.

“I” am this unique arrangement of nucleotides, amino acids, and minerals — a spell(ing) of alphabetic compounds [A-T-C-G; Met-Lys-Cys-Thr-Arg-Phe; C-H-O-Na-Fe-Ca-P].  The “Me” is the energy that informs [or gives form] to that dynamic stream [or flow] of particles — making them constantly appear as the continuous form everyone perceives and relates to as Me.

The power of the resurrection does not give me the same particles back — because those are irrelevant.  There never were any “specific pieces” that made me, “Me” anyway.  The power of the resurrection is the moment when my unique arrangement of particles is made physical again.

The Supreme Being [the Ultimate Doing], the principle verb:

“Being” is a verb word — and we are Human-beings, and God is the Supreme-Being.  God is that this-or-that one Actor or Actress who is being “God” — rather, God is the “verb” that we can all do [see The Doctrine of Identity].

Those who obtain the ability to do the works of God, to be the Supreme Being — will be the ones who have the capacity to reorganize their physical form and keep it in the kingdom of God.

On the other hand, those who fail to obtain this ability will lose all power to maintain the highly-organized state of “existence”.  Their physical body [the “pieces”] will go on to provide form for other creations, while their spirit/consciousness [the “energy” that informs the pieces] will be lost to entropy, becoming an indistinguishable bit of the cosmic radiation background.

Which category you find yourself in depends entirely upon which “spirit doth possess your body at the time that ye go out of this life,” because that’s the “same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world,” — whether that be

  • the spirit of the devil
  • or the spirit of the Lord

[see Alma 34:34-35 and A person, being evil, cannot do that which is good].

Works/Doings of the Flesh [which will have an end]:

now the works of the flesh are manifest
which are these

  • covenant-breaking
  • sexual misconduct
  • ritual impurity
  • indulging the pleasures of the senses
  • idolatry
  • use or administration of pharmakeia
  • enmity
  • contention
  • jealousies
  • fiery anger
  • partisanship
  • dividing into divisions
  • and sects
  • envyings
  • murders
  • intoxication
  • engaging in revelry and debauchery

and other things of like kind
of which I tell you now
as I have also told you before
that they which do such things
shall not receive inheritance in
the kingdom of god

[Galatians 5:19-21]

and

because their hearts are set
so much upon the things of this world
and aspire to the honors of men
[and] they do not learn
this one lesson —

that the rights of the priesthood
are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven
and that the powers of heaven
cannot be controlled nor handled
only upon the principles of righteousness
that they may be conferred upon us
it is true
but when we undertake to

  • cover our sins
  • gratify our pride
  • gratify our vain ambition
  • exercise control
  • exercise dominion
  • exercise compulsion

upon the souls of the children of men
in any degree of unrighteousness
behold
the heavens withdraw themselves
the spirit of YHVH is grieved
and when it is withdrawn

amen

to the priesthood
or the authority
of that man
behold
before he becomes aware of it
he is left unto himself
to kick against the pricks
to persecute the saints
and to fight against god

we have learned
by sad experience
that it is the nature
and disposition
of almost all men
as soon as they get a little authority
as they suppose
they will immediately begin
to exercise unrighteous dominion

[D&C 121:35-39]

Upon death, we will each of us find that the laws of physics which had [until that point] allowed us to:

  • force air into our lungs by manipulating air pressure differences between our chest cavity and the atmosphere
  • force gases to exchange at our lungs and tissues by taking advantage of the partial pressures of the various gases
  • prevent our bodies from going right through physical objects [including the ground] by relying on the electromagnetic repulsion of the electrons surrounding our body and the electrons surrounding the other objects
  • rob food of its low-entropy/high-energy value by chemically stripping the carbons and the electrons from the fats and starches and giving back out high-entropy/low-energy waste products
  • etc.

will have ceased to work “just so”.

The present, mortal environment does not respond to the informing commands of our spirit out of respect for our level of righteousness.  Rather, in His mercy, the Lord has commanded the physical elements here to allow us to push them around and force them — regardless of righteousness or our lack thereof.

They are presently voluntarily-submitting to God’s request — and this is why we are presently able to manipulate the elements that make up our mortal existence, according to a specific set of laws that we’ve observed, studied, and defined as “The Laws of Physics”  [see The seeds of the powers of godliness].

Upon death — God’s merciful probation with the physical elements ends.  The elements will again respond as they always have — according to the principles of free-agency, consent, and respect.  If we have not learned to command our will in the universe according to the principles of righteousness — then we will find ourselves in an awful situation in the afterlife.  For it will be impossible for your spirit [your “soul” or “consciousness”] to force the elements to do anything against their will.

You will find yourself with an insatiable desire to eat, the feeling of unquenchable thirst, the perpetual sensation of suffocation — but have no way to alleviate the feelings.  You will find yourself pulled-down by gravity into the central portion of the earth’s outer shell — a place of immense heat and crushing pressure, a “spirit prison” or hell [see Teachings on hell and the spirit world].

Once at the center of hell, gravity pushes you equally in all direction.  Therefore, your body will act like an astronaut’s does while in orbit.  You will have no power to move this-way or that-way.  There is nothing your spirit could “act upon” in order to move around.

In fact, the only way you will be able to “move” at all is by Satan moving you around [as he desires you to be moved] by pulling on the chains of hell attached to the base of your head [see How to receive what you ask for].

This makes you entirely subject to him — which is the very definition of “damnation”:

if they be evil
to the resurrection
of endless damnation
being delivered up to the devil
who hath subjected them
which is damnation

[Mosiah 16:11]

Works/Doings of the Spirit [which will continue in perpetuity]:

but the fruit of the spirit is

  • charity
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • gentleness
  • goodness
  • faith
  • meekness
  • moderation and self-control

against such
there is no law

[Galatians 5:22-23]

and

no power or influence
can or ought
to be maintained
by virtue of the priesthood
it can only be by

  • persuasion
  • patience
  • gentleness
  • and meekness
  • and genuine love
  • kindness
  • pure knowledge

[…]
the holy spirit shall be thy constant companion
and thy scepter
an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth
and thy dominion
shall be an everlasting dominion
and without compulsory means
it shall flow unto thee forever and ever

[D&C 121:41-42, 46]

Divinity is found in being bound to the most, serving the most, and being connected to the most – not vice-versa.  The nature of reality, rather than being monotheistically ONE, is [on its basic, fundamental level] polytheistically MANY.  A plurality of intelligences.

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that the governing Power of existence is a Personage that relates to the universe with [what the Hebrews called] “chesed” – the loving-kindness and compassion of a God who relates to us with the level of intimacy that is only the result of “beriyth” – or a covenant.

God is not self-existent – for He does all things, including creation, through voluntary covenant with free entities.  Creation was an act of council – of covenant between free and independent agents.  This actually means that He is bound to all things.  And a “self-existing” Being is independent and cannot be bound.

This is why God could “cease to be God”.  Our heavenly Father is “God” because of the covenant He has bound Himself into, with us.  His covenant relationship with creation means He exists for/because of us – not Himself.  Likewise, all things exists because they have bound themselves in covenant with God.  That’s why those who breach the terms of this covenant return to “their own place” in outer darkness – where there is no existence.

Neither the elements of the universe, nor God, are self-existing or independent — because the existence of both parties is a covenant relationship with the other.  Both we and God are self-inter-dependent, one with another.

The unity of God, then, comes as a product – not as an ex nihilo starting point — but a result.  Faith, common consent, persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, charity, etc. are not some stop-gap measures or some temporary/transient states-of-mind that we can drop once we’re “with God”.

For even the Gods must have and keep faith and must persuade and cooperate – for these things are the very fabric of the trusting engagement and co-valent, covenant relationship between all things [see Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote?].  At the very bottom [the root or base], Reality is plural and “God” is the unity, order, and cooperation that emerges from that.

Each of our Stories contributes to the Uni-story — One-verse in a Multi-verse:

The universe is a fragmented web, an ornate arabesque of energy, a flow of information that moves through all the variety of interconnected “things” – as wind or water moves.  And we are sym-phonic beings — and should not be content with mono-tony:  rows-and-rows of uniform, conformed, industrialized, factory-farmed, marketed, commoditzed sameness.

All of our “mono-“s [mono-theism, mono-culture, mono-gamy] share the common feature of being less robust and less diverse caricatures of a natural and diverse state of Reality.  All of our –archy’s and –ism’s are just temporary, arbitrary, and illusionary attempts to control things that are what they are because they are natural, diverse, and without someone to “rule” it all.

Statists want to see God as “ordered”, “ordering”, “imposing”, etc.  They pattern Him after the cosmic monoarch because they arise from cultures that were predominately monoarchy-s — and “chaos” or “undirected activity” is a problem that causes them anxiety and fight-or-flight stress.  But there is nothing to be feared from “chaos” — for it is only the unknown we fear when we look upon chaos, nothing more.

It’s not about a battle between “chaos vs. order” — that’s the wrong debate.  It’s about fearing the chaos or desiring the order — pitting one against the other.

LDS are at a bit of an advantage [theologically-speaking] over other Christians in this regard — because the creation of earth in our mythos is said to be an organization of “matter unorganized“.  Pre-existing material, arranged and put to good use.  In our creation myth — the Gods come into a space of chaos, and give it power — give it a purpose worth fulfilling.

But it’s not about “fighting” chaos with order or about embracing chaos “over” order.  For example, the family is an ordered unit.  The higher entropy [greater disorder, “chaos”] state would be for each of the members to exist as separate ego-islands, unto themselves.  Yet we order ourselves into families — and are protected against the effects of entropy by virtue of our organization as a community [called “family”].

And our brains aren’t active by virtue of having some “King Neuron” who runs the whole show — rather it has its strength according to the number of connections running between all the neurons together.

All enduring communities are organized in a more fractal, nature-like interplay and cooperation between the unique units.

I don’t want not to be “anti-order” — rather anti-archy: the imposed order, force, coercion, or compulsive order.  Any “-archy” is that linear, meccano-like corporate conformity and mono-tonous sameness.  It says to tie-up all your sticks into neater and tighter bundles, making sure they are all the same size and length — it’s strong like a brick-wall is strong.

Any an-archy says, let things organize theirselves as they will naturally tend to when they’re left alone — like the cellular cooperation within and between a body’s organs, like atomic cooperation between fundamental particles.  The life in this universe is absolutely built-upon the enduring qualities of such interactions and communities.

Human interactions, then, become less of an oppressive power-pyramid — and something more like a dance, something that we could imagine to be fun to experience with others [see Gimme some a that Mormon-hippie love, with a side of anarchy].

It works like nature does [which can seem “chaotic”, depending on how you look at it] — without an outside foreman being habitually obeyed by the “underlings”.

The very people who fear chaos and therefore try to use means of imposed order — end-up causing more chaos.  When order is imposed, when interactions are controlled — from above or from outside [out of obligation or “duty”] things get out of a natural equilibrium or balance — and get more out of control.

Until we end-up spending all our energy fighting to control what our attempts at control have caused.  These will always tend to dehumanize the very people it’s seeking to “serve” by “giving them order” — and those it tends to dehumanize most, are the ones who think they lead it.

When fear drives your actions — it doesn’t quite matter what the goal is, how noble or honorable it may be — fear is still driving, and it will lead nowhere worth going.

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Deep Waters: Having their Hearts Knit Together in Unity and in Love


DISCLAIMER:  This post has been tagged Deep Waters because is discusses human sexuality.  

I personally do not believe avoiding the topic of sex or that teaching sex-negative messages is advisable.  I think the hope is that doing so can keep people from having sex — but all that it appears to have done is keep people from having good sex:  From asking questions about it, from communicating with their partners about it — and from being fulfilled by it.  

I also think avoiding it or teaching a negative/shame-based view of it blurs the line between sex and rape by making all human sexuality this one, undifferentiated mass of “bad”.  If we’re taught to repress ourselves sexually, it doesn’t just go away.  The “uncontrollable” horny boy and the “good girl” syndrome are all caused by our current approach of teaching young men and women about sex.  It leads to either rampant breaking of the law of chastity — or depression and unhappy sexuality within marriage [which is why an LDS couple wrote And They Were Not Ashamed], both of which are exactly what Satan wants us doing.

In any event — there’s the disclaimer, so now I’ll start.

The unity of marriage:

Adam and Eve were married before they were ever aware of their nakedness or their sexuality [see, Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin].  The marriage union was in response to loneliness – not lust.

The sexual union is the chief means of physically expressing an existing connection of Love between two people.  Sex for both procreation and pleasure is not unique to being human — it is common to all other animals.  Our unique experience in sexuality is the bonding or social adhesion between two people.

When acting as animals, we may experience the two dynamics common to all life [procreation and pleasure], we conceive children and it can feel good – but only when acting as humans may be partake of the third [or ideally all three at once].

Reproduction and sexual union are distinct events:

The genitals have three distinct purposes:

  • Urination
  • Reproduction
  • Unification

Thus, they may be considered as conduits of three things:

  • Nitrogenous waste
  • Reproductive gametes
  • Social adhesion

These three are all physiologically distinct from each other.  Sexual union and reproduction are considered just as separate from each other as reproduction is from urination.

  • The testes and the ovaries/uterus [reproductive organs] are not the ones involved in the sexual union
  • Just as the urethra is not the organ involved in producing new life

The pleasure of sex arises entirely within one’s own body.  This is why the pleasure of it can be generated in solitude.  Thus, this aspect is better considered as the sequel to a sexual union, or the end-result of one.

Disconnected the pleasure from the union:

Often, a person who is going out for a “hook-up” is said to be “lookin’ for a woman” or “out to get a man”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

A woman is exactly what a man like that does not want.  What he wants is the pleasure for which a woman happens to be a desirable apparatus for obtaining.  If a bona-fide union with the other person is not the end you are seeking – then he/she is just the means to the end you’re really seeking, your own pleasure [just as if you were producing the pleasure in solitude].

This is not Love.  Actual union did not take place.  The other person will be regarded about the same as a drug addict would regard the used syringe after he is done injecting.

and Amnon said unto Tamar

bring the food into the chamber
that I may eat from thine hand

and Tamar took the cakes which she had made
and brought them into the chamber
to Amnon her brother
and when she had brought them unto him to eat
he took hold of her
and said unto her

come lie with me my sister

and she answered

nay
my brother do not force me
for no such thing ought to be done in israel
do not commit this folly
and what of me?
whither shall I cause my shame to go?
and as for thee
thou shalt be as one of the fools in israel
now therefore
I pray thee
speak unto the king
for he will not withhold me from thee

howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice
but being stronger than she
forced her
and had sex with her

then Amnon hated her exceedingly
so that the hatred wherewith he hated her 
was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her
and Amnon said unto her

arise
be gone

[2 Samuel 13:10-15]

Union is a “sacred-act” — or “sacrament”:

The “sacrament” of sex arises from the fact that, in Love, we are not merely our Self anymore.  We become representatives or proxy of the universal Male and Female.  In the temple, we are considered as if we were Adam and Eve.  In the pagan mysteries, the man acts in the role of the Father Sky-god and the woman the Mother Earth-goddess.  All that is masculine and feminine in the whole universe – all that exerts and all that yields – all form and matter, all spirit and element – is momentarily focused and present in that singular event [see, Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender].

The word “naked” originates as the past tense of the verb for peeling or stripping – meaning it referred to something that had undergone a “naking”.

In this sense, each of us are more our Self when we are dressed.  The naked person is not one who has abstained from wearing clothing – but is one who [for a specific reason] has undergone the specific process of removing clothes.  Nudity emphasizes the common human image we all bear [or would that be bare, pun intended].

Like the story of Inanna descending to the realm of the dead, passing the seven gates, removing an article of clothing at each [or Mary, being freed from seven spirits] – we strip off all that it means to be our Self, and put on nakedness as a ceremonial robe to re-enter the garden as the universal He and She [Adam and Eve] to re-enact the drama of creation.

Sacred symbolism in LDS temple liturgy:

In BiV’s post at Wheat & Tares, The Sacred Embrace as Five Points of Fellowship, she describes how [before this aspect of the ceremony was removed] the initiates were not allowed to enter the presence of the Lord until they had conversed with Him embraced in the Five Points of Fellowship.  The closeness symbolized in that act was to represent our oneness with God — a complete embrace of our Self into Him — and was presented as the way through which we all passed from death into celestial Life.

The Five Points of Fellowship were described as:

  • inside of right foot by the side of right foot
  • knee to knee
  • breast to breast
  • hand to back
  • mouth to ear

In Wicca, there is a ritual of the “Fivefold Kiss”, which is another form of the Five Points of Fellowship.  The ritual involves kissing five parts of the body — each kiss accompanied by a blessing.

  • Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways
  • Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar
  • Blessed be thy womb / phallus, without which we would not be
  • Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty / breast, formed in strength
  • Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.

Greeting or saluting [aspazomai, “to draw into one’s self“] with a “holy kiss” was an early Christian practice referenced in the epistles of Paul [Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Thes. 5:26].

And not only did the Five Points of Fellowship get cut from the LDS temple ceremony — but so did the complete ritual blessing of the naked body done part-by-part:

  • The head, ears, eyes, nose, lips, neck, shoulders, back, breast, solar plexus, arms and hands, genitals, and legs and feet.

The ritual established by Joseph Smith was performed in a bathtub — washing with water and spiced whiskey [strong drink for the purpose of ritual washing, D&C 89:7] and anointing with olive oil:

Oliver Cowdery gave even more detail about one of these temple preparation meetings, noting how the Latter-day Saints followed Old Testament patterns in washing and anointing priests for temple service.

Oliver wrote that he met with Joseph and others at the Prophet’s house:

“And after pure water was prepared, called upon the Lord and proceeded to wash each other’s bodies, and bathe the same with whiskey, perfumed with cinnamon. This we did that we might be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath, confessing our sins and covenanting to be faithful to God. While performing this washing with solemnity, our minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord.”

Admittedly, these acts were obviously cut from our temple rituals because participants felt uncomfortable with the intimacy they suggest.  This was especially the case for women — who were not allowed to have priestesses ministering at the veil ritual for them, but had to be received by a male priest to whom they were not married.

Much like the intimacy suggested in the ritual washing and anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary [without which He was not prepared for His death and burial] …

then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard
very costly
and anointed the feet of Jesus
and wiped his feet with her hair
and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment

[John 12:3]

and did wipe them with the hairs of her head
and kissed his feet
[…] Jesus said

seest thou this woman?

[Luke 7:38, 44]

she hath done what she could
she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying
amen I say unto you
wheresoever this gospel shall be preached
throughout the whole world
this also that she has done
shall be spoken of for a memorial of her

[Mark 14:8-9]

… many felt some “indignation within themselves” when presented with such ritual acts that were quite sexual in nature.

The reason these sacred acts were removed:

These rituals are inherently intimate in nature because they express the unity between men-and-women, humanity-and-God — that the gospel is designed to achieve.  Zion requires great intimacy and connection among the body of believers who comprise it.  The church currently lacks this intimacy and connection — so these rituals felt strange for most of the people who participated in them.

However, the leadership addressed the genuine feelings of discomfort in the wrong way.  Instead of getting at the reason why we all still feel like strangers at church and are not comfortable with the level of intimacy required to be comfortable in the temple rituals — they just axed the intimate parts out of the ceremony.

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

Knitting the estranged back together:

The experience of ecstasy [ekstasis, “to stand outside yourself”], the complete unification of two people expressed through the sexual union — is what exists beyond the concepts of separateness, beyond the concepts of God-and-humans, Self-and-neighbor, man-and-woman, or any of the other this-and-that’s we might split existence into.

This is the transcendent “mystical experience” present in nearly every religion or spiritual path.  One might immediately think of the New-Agey, Eastern religions [Zen, Yoga, Hinduism, etc.], but even the big three Abrahamic faiths have their own ecstatic, mystical sects [Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosticism].

The fervor for which some Christian writers have described being given over to the ecstatic worship of God border on the sexual:

Only in God is everything pure, beautiful, and holy; fortunately we can dwell in Him even in our exile!  But my Master’s happiness is mine, and I surrender myself to Him so He can do whatever He wants in me.

[Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity]

I saw an angel beside me toward the left side, in bodily form. I saw in his hands a long dart of gold, and at the end of the iron there seemed to me to be a little fire. This I thought he thrust through my heart several times, and that it reached my very entrails. As he withdrew it, I thought it brought them with it, and left me all burning with a great love of God. So great was the pain, that it made me give those moans; and so utter the sweetness that this sharpest of pains gave me, that there was no wanting it to stop, nor is there any contenting of the soul with less than God.

[Saint Teresa of Avila]

A common monoplot in all human myth is this sacred act of the interplay between the aspects of God considered as a man and as a woman.  Their interplay manifested in:  Birth, Puberty, Marriage, Sexual Union, Death — cycling back to New Birth [or Resurrection].  It has been considered in various ways across human culture:

  • YHVH and His covenant people Israel
  • Christ, the bridegroom and His Beloved, the church
  • Jesus and Mary Magdalene
  • Sky-God and Earth-Goddess
  • Inanna and Dumuzi
  • Isis and Osiris
  • Yin and Yang
  • Shiva and Shakti
  • Krishna and Radha
  • Pan and Selene

But right now – The Father and Mother are estranged. The exalted Man sits up in the sky upon the throne. While the Woman is locked away in the tower.  As such, they can never be friends.

The Mother is nature and all of the physical elements – but that’s become everything we are supposed to deny in order to be “holy”.  Most religions go about separating the very things that is the purpose of religion to bring together – body and spirit, man and woman, sexuality and holiness, humanity and divinity.

I think people are scared of natural because it doesn’t seem as “self-sacrificing” — like the Catholic priest who feels his life of sexual restriction is “more holy” than a family-life.  Or a Buddhist who would run away to “find himself” on a mountain top, leaving anything “worldly” behind.  Or the monogamist who would insist that a polygamist ought to “deny their natural man” and get with one-on-one monogamy instead of a natural state of polygamous families.

But “natural” and “supernatural” need not be considered as separate things.  Let us bring back together the things that shouldn’t ever have been separated in the first-place – or perhaps it would be to realize that they were never separate in the first-place.  Just that a hardened mind, conceived in sin, perceives this-and-that, good-and-evil, heaven-and-earth, mental-and-physical, spirit-and-flesh, gods-and-humans, etc. as these separate and exclusive things – and our minds just need to be soften, or broken.

Next Article by Justin: The Concept of Race, in the Gospel

Previous Article by Justin:  Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin

[When Things Get Broken …]

This and That are Contrary One to the Other


The following was written after reading Galatians chapter 5

From the Tree of This-and-That:

The left-brain-mind is the part of our brain that is designed to experience the world as this thing that is apart from or something other than the rest of creation [that stuff].  This part of the brain is a tool, designed to focus in on individual bits of definable, measurable matter [the Greek meter, to measure].

As such, when looking with the left-brain-mind only – we cannot see the fractal nature of reality.  We cannot see that what the left-brain-mind experiences as separate things are all actually arabesques in a single pattern or happening.  From its point-of-view, life is reduced to the sum of its parts – losing all sense of connectivity and spark.

Every interaction and every connection will be experienced as though it is foreign – we say things like, “You need to face facts,” or “…confront reality,” as though we are these skin-encapsulated Persons who have to lug around this sack of tissue and go about conquering and to conquer.

This is just a good actor:

Adam and Eve have partaken of a fruit of distinctions – a bitter fruit in a garden of uncontrasted sweetness.  It grows on the Tree of knowledge of this and that [good and evil, day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, sickness and health, life and death, God and humans, etc.].  Adam and Eve have left the primitive [or child-like] experience of nakedness – of just being without dressing up in this Persona or that Self – and they have now become this and that.

The left-brain, Self-consciousness reigns – having replaced the right-brain, God-consciousness that had previously been humanity’s state of mind.  Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed.  There never was a problem with the nakedness, but once the Self-consciousness gained dominion – shame entered in, Adam and Eve got busy trying to cover their shame with clothing and labor – until they eventually lose consciousness [or die].

The next step for God’s creation [according to the plan that was counseled on in the beginning] was to enter the Sabbath rest.  However Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of this and that at the direction of Satan, not God.  Instead of being still and knowing that He is God – they desired a distraction from this rest.  The diversion is how this can ignore its nakedness – so God provided physical coverings and manual labor for Adam and Eve according to their desire.  Now this doesn’t have to be conscious of its nakedness because it is busy doing that.

To cut through the coverings acquired by your left-brain-mind, you must rest.  But rest doesn’t mean to stop.  Stopping just shifts the idolatry from being busy to being idle.  When working from your left-brain-mind, you’ll always just make yourself a better and better actor [hypocrite].  The left-brain-mind will always try to work at doing things that would just happen spontaneously [be part of our nature] if we would just soften the right-brain-heart in repentance.

To yield, to submit, to rest, to sit down, to cease your frantic effort to be this or that.

Your flesh was crucified on the cross too:

But to be busy doing that – because you still identify your-Self as this – is being entangled with a yoke of bondage.  However, in Jesus Christ, neither business nor idleness avails you any thing.  Instead, you have been called to liberty – not to use that freedom for an occasion to serve the flesh – but to serve each other in love.

Those who have denied their Self so they could be identified with Christ have nailed their flesh to the cross with Him, and have had this crucified.  So we may just walk in the Spirit, identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ [doing His works, saying His words, having His same mind in us, etc.].  Because only by so doing can we cease to be subject to the flesh and to the power of the devil.  So long as we are playing the game of this vs. that – flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh – pitting things against each other, as being contrary one to the other – we cannot do the things that we desire.

The gospel is not a battle between the forces of this and that – darkness vs. light, good vs. evil, virtue vs. vice, men vs. women, flesh vs. Spirit, etc.  Evil is not really any thing at all – it’s no-thing [nothing].  Evil is the shell of what remains after meaning has departed from something.  It has no power or purpose on its own anymore, only the meaning we choose to give it.

The works of the flesh are manifest:

  • Adultery
  • Fornication
  • Impurity
  • Lasciviousness
  • Idolatry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Hostility
  • Quarreling
  • Jealousies
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Selfish ambition
  • Divisions
  • Heresies
  • Envyings
  • Murders
  • Drunkenness
  • Revelling parties

But the fruit of the Spirit is:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Faith
  • Longsuffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Kindness
  • Meekness
  • Temperance

Next Article by Justin: Making an Image out of God

Previous Article by Justin: The Doctrine of Identity

I’m also reading Joana Smith’s blog regularly — if anyone else wants to check it out.

The Tree of This and That


The left-brain-mind experiences existence as being some-one or some-thing that is apart from or other than the rest of creation.  This part of the brain is a tool, designed only to look upon the mark – thus it cannot see the fractal nature of the big picture.  From its point-of-view, life is reduced to the sum of its parts – losing all sense of connectivity and spark.  A living body has the same number of particles as a dead one.

Thus, life becomes a task or chore – something that must be done.  You get out of bed in the morning so you can go do life.  Every interaction, every connection, whether with another human, a book, or a sandwich is experienced as though it is foreign.  Life becomes that which implies that you are this.  However this is alone.  It has no role to play and no sense of identity.  This is naked – and always searches for a wardrobe.

There’s nothing wrong with being naked.  You were born naked, and you’ll die naked.  The nude self is the true self.  As the nude self, we are, respectively, Adam and Eve.  Naked, we are dressed for the universal drama – wherein Adams and Eves re-enter the garden from whence they’ve been removed and reenact the ordinance of creation.

Nudity is the experience of pure life – it is just being [as opposed to being this nor that].

God describes Himself as nude.  When Moses asked God:

Who should I say has sent me?

God replied:

I am.

Simply am.  The naked, which surpasses the distinctions of this and that.

Adam and Eve have partaken of a fruit of distinctions.  It grows on the tree of this and that – good and evil, day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, sickness and health, life and death, God and humans.  They leave the basic experience of “I am” and become this and that.  At this event, self-consciousness is born – replacing the God-consciousness that previously reigned.  Once Adam and Eve are this – this becomes aware of its nakedness.  There never was a problem with the nakedness, but when the self-consciousness gained reign – knowledge of the nudity brings with it shame and sin, which will reign until you lose consciousness [die].

The focus on clothing [and other outward appearances] is but the visual manifestation of the left-brain-mind’s obsession with acquiring a wardrobe – frantically trying to cover the nakedness with distinctions, labels, and boundaries.

The next thing Adam’s left-brain-mind reached for was busyness — labor.  The next step for God’s creation [according to the plan that was counseled on in the beginning] was to enter the Sabbath rest.  However Adams and Eves create a distraction from this rest.  The diversion enables this to ignore the nakedness – God providing associated physical coverings according to their desire.  Now this doesn’t have to be conscious of its nakedness because it is busy doing that.

The left-brain-mind expects life and everyone in it to provide its clothing – because it must be that’s fault that this is naked.  Adam and Eve will pluck from the tree fig leaves of labels for a covering.

The left-brain-mind gains dominion over others by assigning that – this way it can have a self-conscious purpose.  Naming that husband, then makes this become wife.  Now a desire has been formed – but not for the connection made between Adam and Eve – rather for the credentials received from the connectionThe fear of not having such a connection is just replaced with the fear of losing it.  When governed by the left-brain-mind, Adam and Eve are ready to freeze that – to box it up and own it – however, the left-brain-mind is ignorant of the fact that the connection is alive [everything is parts, no life].

Labeling it is a form of slavery, and the left-brain-mind is willing to shove a living, breathing human into a conceptual box and deny her/him the right to freely express their will – all in the name of pretending to be something it is not – clothed.

So we set up stakes and put up conceptual boundaries that suppress the intelligence of another – holding them hostage in order to play dress up in our minds.

The gospel is not a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – it is the unification of these things.  Putting the left-brain in unity with the right-brain – the Adam in unity with the Eve.

To cut thru the coverings acquired by your left-brain-mind, you must rest.  But rest doesn’t mean to stop.  Stopping just shifts the idolatry from being busy to being lazy.  The left-brain-mind proceeds to beat you calm— forcing you to relax, which is, of course, impossible.  No real rest is the passive yin principle, it is to be still and know that Jesus is God.

To yield, to submit, to rest, to sit down, to cease your frantic effort to be this or that.

Next Article by Justin:  The conditions of this law

Previous Article by Justin:  The Healing Gifts

Tribal Rituals


The performance of rituals is an integral part of all religions.  A ritual is some repetitive act that takes place at a set time and location.  Rituals also involve the use of symbolic objects, clothing, words, and hand gestures.

Everyone Participates in Rituals:

For example, going to church on Sunday is a common religious ritual for Christians.  As a ritual, it entails the donning of a different set of clothing, as well as interacting with others in a specified manner [hand-shakes, hugs, calling them brother/sister so-and-so, etc.] while gathered to a set-apart location.  Once gathered for this experience, members ritualistically participate in reenacting the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ.

However, even for non-religious persons — Sunday may still be a day of ritualistic behavior.  Millions will don a different set of clothing that marks their favorite sports team, interact with others thru high-fives and various team cheers, all while gathered to a set-apart location [the stadium or the TV room].

Rituals reinforce the basic tenets of a group and facilitates bonding between the members.  When the Catholics, for example, participate in the mass — it is [for the members] a ritualistic participation in the body and blood of Jesus and, by extension, a communal affirmation of the acceptance of the administrators of the mass [the Catholic priesthood].

Rituals are often charged with high emotions.  The rush of brain chemicals and “good” feelings that people receive during rituals are what provide the positive reinforcement for continuing them.  This is the same mechanism that binds two humans together during sexual relations [which are themselves rituals].  All rituals that a person participates in makes him or her “feel good”, and thereby reinforces the belief that their group is “true” and reinforces the morals associated with that group.

The state also has rituals to bind the mind of the citizenry to the “national identity”.  For example,  within the United States — the pledge of allegiance to the American flag will often begin a government-school day or a public meeting.

Archetypal Rituals:

While many cultures do vary in the prevalence and forms of the more minor rituals — there are five main rituals [archetype rituals] that mark the progress of a member of the group thru the main stages of life.  Though they may vary slightly from group-to-group in terms of form and symbolism — any group, religion, tribe, etc. will have:

  • Birth Rituals
  • Puberty Rituals
  • Marriage Rituals
  • Funerals Rituals
  • Communal Meals

Within an LDS Context:

When a baby in born to LDS parents [some time within the first few months] the congregation will allow time for the father and other male family and friends to use the Melchizedek priesthood to place the child’s name on the records of the Church™ and to give a blessing by the influence of the Spirit.

When an LDS boy reaches age 12, he will be receive the Aaronic priesthood, in the office of deacon.  This marks his exodus from the female-dominated environment of primary classes and his entrance into the male-dominated environment of the Young Men™ program.

When an LDS couple decide to marry, they must participate in a large set of rituals.  First, there must be a temple recommend interview by both a bishop and a stake president.  Then, they will participate in a preparation class for the Temple™ that will be taught by a fellow member of their congregation.  There may also be more informal preparation of family/friends telling them what to expect, what kind of Garments™ to buy, etc.  Finally, there is the rituals associated with the Initiatory™, Endowment™, and Sealing™ ordinances.  In conjunction with this, LDS couples must also go thru the ritual of obtaining permission from the state to marry [as other non-LDS couples do].

Upon death, an LDS member’s family will typically organize a funeral service.  If this service is held in a Church™ building, then the bishop presides at the meeting and will conduct it.  If it is held in a home, at a funeral-home, or at the graveside, then the family presides.  Typically, families choose to have funeral rituals conducted by the bishop in a Church™ building.  As such, it is a Church™-governed ritual and the bishop is charged by the Oral Law to ensure that the funeral is simple and dignified, contains music and brief addresses and sermons centered on the gospel, and includes the comfort afforded by the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  An LDS funeral is an opportunity to teach the Gospel™ and testify of the Plan of Salvation™ — though they may also provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased.  Such tributes will not dominate a funeral service.  Having large numbers of people share tributes or memories can make a funeral too long and may be inappropriate for a Church™ service.  Further, the Church™ will authorize the dedication of the member’s grave by a family member who holds the Melchizedek priesthood.

Communal Meals:

Finally, I want to discuss communal meals.  This archetypal ritual is particularly important because it occurs with more regularity than the “milestone” rituals.  A member of a group may participate in thousands or hundreds of thousands of these communal meals during the duration of his or her lifetime.

While the “milestone” rituals may provide the traveling guideposts on life’s journey [something to look forward to and something to always look back on], communal meals act as a constant boost and reinforcement for a person at more regular intervals.

Within an LDS Context:

The communal meal ritual is represented by the Sacrament™ during our Sunday meeting block.

Controlling the Communal Meal:

Because communal meals are more intimate [the sharing of food] and occur more frequently than other rituals — they carry with them great power to direct and connect the mind.  Thus, religions, states, and corporations seek control over them, to use them to concentrate power within their respective hierarchies.

A commenter on the Tribal Worship Services post noted that:

“Seems that you are looking for or seeking some form of “agape” feasting in which earlier Christians met for a common meal with each bringing some food; historical references do not clarify the earliest practice of such meals but there are lots of theories and ideas concerning it…

…By the way, the Council of Laodicea in 364 tried to outlaw the “agape” feastings for they were outside the “church control” – but they continued.”

Here is the excerpt from decision of the Catholic church in 364 AD:

CANON XXVII.

NEITHER they of the priesthood, nor clergymen, nor laymen, who are invited to a love [agape] feast, may take away their portions, for this is to cast reproach on the ecclesiastical order.

CANON XXVIII.

IT is not permitted to hold love [agape] feasts, as they are called, in the Lord’s Houses, or Churches, nor to eat and to spread couches in the house of God.

The Church™ likewise would not permit individual tribes within a congregation to utilize “the Lord’s House or Church” for their tribal worship services.  Church™ leaders hold full authority over the Church™ buildings [which power has been given them by the keys of the church] — and they use that power to provide a morsel of bread and a thimble of water to the congregations.  Further, they structure meetings according to the commandments of men [assigning talks, lessons, musical numbers, etc. in advance] so as to remove any chance of the Spirit manifesting herself spontaneously.  This is done to keep the members in a spiritually-starved state — so they must continue to come back and feed at the Church™.

The entrance of the television into family homes represents another attempt to usurp the power of communal meals to bind families together.  For a typical American child, the first meal of the day is eaten from a package and in front of a favorite television show.  This breakfast ritual ingrains the messages from the corporations in charge of the show’s content and the advertising commercials.

Next, this child will be dropped off at his/her government school.  Their next meal will come from the school’s cafeteria.  Corporations exercise their control over the food choices [most often thru vending machine choices, etc.] while the state has expressed recent interest in gaining more of that control.

Finally, the third meal the child will have again will likely come from a package and be eaten in front of the family’s favorite sit-com or sporting event — or maybe will be eaten in the child’s room alone.

Activating Tribal Meals:

In addition to tribal sacrament meetings [which is an important tribal ritual], tribes should also make a daily meal into a communal ritual.  Secular research has verified that the more often children eat a meal with the family:

  • The less likely they are to abuse drugs
  • The less likely they are to break the law of chastity
  • The less likely they are to commit suicide
  • The more emotionally fulfilled they are
  • The more healthier their eating habits are
  • The better they do in their chosen fields of study

A survey found that the 9-14 year-olds who eat dinner with their families at home are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and less likely to consume soda and fried foods.  Further, the average American spends more than 40% of the family’s food budget on meals outside of the home.  Plus, the average meal outside the home costs $8 per person — while in-home meals average $4.50 per person.  Also, the average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than a homemade meal.

Thus, even if your current tribe still consists of a monogamous, nuclear family — Tribal meals can still have a profound impact on strengthening your tribe from conspiring groups.  Remove your tribe from the influences of manufactured entertainment and manufactured food.  Imagine your family’s diner table is the alter upon which your tribe will offer daily thanks for the blessings God has granted you.  Offer this sacrifice daily, at an appointed time.  Approach it as a ritual, invoke the priesthood to ask God for all things, form a prayer circle, etc. — and it will activate the unifying power inherent in rituals to bring your tribe closer together.

Next Article by Justin: The Tribal Church

Previous Article by Justin:  Tribal Connections