The daughters of Zion shall rule over the people of the Lord


Mormon Heretic wrote in a comment on another blog:

Paul told us that we should “covet to prophesy” (1 Cor 14:39)

Numbers 11:29, And Moses said unto him,

Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

Why can’t the people be prophets and receive revelation? Paul and Moses weren’t opposed to the idea.

Yes, why can’t they, indeed?  So, in that spirit, I will share a few observations and you can determine whether this is given by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

Isaiah 3

Isaiah chapters 2-14 were quoted by Nephi because these prophecies would be fulfilled again in the last days. How do we know this?

But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.

Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them. (2 Nephi 25:7–8)

Now, with this understanding, what do we find in Isaiah 3, which was quoted by Nephi?

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. (Isa. 3:12)

Isaiah then goes on to describe these daughters of Zion that rule over the people. Nephi later launches his own prophecy of the same events, but in much plainer language. I notice some similarities between Nephi’s prophecy of the apostate churches of God in 2 Nephi 28 and Isaiah’s prophecy of the wicked daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3.

Isaiah says,

“The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

“What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.”  (Isa. 3:14-15)

Nephi says,

They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.”  (2 Ne. 28:13)

Isaiah says,

“Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:”  (Isa. 3:16)

Nephi says,

“They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.”  (2 Ne. 28:14)

Isaiah prophesies at length about the jewelry, ornaments and fine clothing of the wicked daughters of Zion who rule the Lord’s people. (See Isa. 3:18-23.)  Nephi also mentions “fine clothing.”

So, I wonder if women at some point will receive the same priesthood that is given to the men, becoming “rulers,” and then beautify the church buildings and themselves from the coffers of the poor?

1 Samuel 8

There is a principle under which this can be accomplished, found in 1 Samuel 8.  That chapter’s heading gives a good summary of its content.

The Israelites seek for a king to rule over them—Samuel rehearses the nature and evils of kingly rule—The Lord consents to give them a king.

There are currently some Mormons using the Internet to call for the ordination of women to the priesthood.  Should their voices become more vocal and widely publicized, there is the possibility that the First Presidency may respond, perhaps by issuing a statement, perhaps by inquiring of the Lord.

If the Lord says, “No,” there is the possibility that these voices will not accept the Lord’s answer in humility and submit to His will and pleasure, but instead will keep petitioning for change until the Lord finally consents, just like Joseph Smith did with Martin Harris and the 116 manuscript pages, or like the children of Israel did in 1 Samuel 8 when the Lord finally consented and gave them a king.

Another possibility (and I think the more likely) is that this change will happen after the breakup of the church, when the churches descend into all manner of iniquity.  I’m just beginning to make prophetic sense of this and cannot, as yet, see it clearly enough to make that precise determination, but at the very least, it appears to me that the seeds for the fulfillment of the ruling daughters of Zion prophecy have already been sown and are starting to grow.  Take that however you will.

Because of this prophetic spirit, in which I sense where this is heading, I am inclined to view the current calls to ordain women to the male priesthood orders as not inspired of God.  Regardless of their egalitarian nature and sincerity, these voices do not strike me as desirous to know the will of God and to do it, but to bend the will of God to their own wills.  Others are simply caught up in the conversation with no dog in the fight one way or another, just with a desire to do the will of God, whatever that may be.

Ultimately, all this recent online talk may come to nothing (except maybe more dissensions, discord and division) because of the prophetic cycle—where the spirit of prophecy descends, makes a prediction based on current conditions, the conditions then change, the prophecy remains unfulfilled, then the conditions change again and it is fulfilled every whit—but because of this very cycle, I thought to leave these thoughts here on this blog.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Garment, with additions


The following represents a follow-up on my “The Garment” post, which was originally written as essentially an open-ended question on the subject.  In that post, I wrote the kinds of things was I told about priesthood garments prior to attending the temple, things like:

  • Garments should be kept completely white in color.  No stains, etc.
  • Garments should not be left on the floor before or after doing laundry.
  • Garments should be laundered separate from other clothing.
  • Garments should not show under the other clothing you wear.
  • Garments should only be removed for absolutely necessary reasons, e.g. showering and having sexual relations with spouse, and should be put back on as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Garments must be touching your skin, i.e. no panties or bras under the Garments for women [my wife was told by a temple matron that during menstruation, the pad should be applied directly to the Garments instead of using panties].
  • Garments offer physical protection from injuries such as burns.

And then, I wrote out what I was told in the post-2005 ceremony, which was:

  • The officiator was under proper authority
  • The garment was now authorized
  • The garment is to be worn throughout life.
  • The garment represents what was given to Adam/Eve when found naked in the garden.
  • The garment is called the garment of the holy priesthood.
  • Inasmuch as the garment is not defiled — meaning the wearer is true and faithful to the covenants — it will be a shield and a protection against the power of the destroyer until the earthly probation is finished.

I then wrote about some of the things I saw as divergent between what members are told about their priesthood garment and what we are actually instructed as the standard with respect to our priesthood garments — leaving the matter at that.

Well, between the comments I got on that post, as well as the subject of garments coming up at the-exponent and Wheat & Tares blogs and my comments at those sites — I’ve formulated this post [which is currently still included in the Gospel-based, Egalitarian, Multihusband-Multiwife Tribal Anarchy Model book project].

Typical View:  Garments ≠ clothing:

LDS will typically divide their closets and drawers into two categories:  garments and clothing.

A “modest” human being is expected to wear clothing at all conceivable times — whether they have been to the temple or not.  And then, once, as an LDS, you go to the temple, you will then begin wearing garments in addition to your clothing.

Garments are considered [in the typical view] to be nothing but a newer and more sacred form of underwear.  Your outside appearance as an LDS who has just started wearing your garments will not change — unless you were in the habit of wearing non-modest clothing before-hand — then, that would need to change so that the garments you are going to start wearing under your clothing won’t be seen.

Actual View:  Garments = clothing and clothing = garments:

There is a dividing line [of sorts] between clothing in your closet, but it is not a division between clothing and garments.  All garments are in fact clothing and all clothing are in fact nothing but garments.  What there is in actuality is two types of clothing [or two types of garments].  There are:

  • Normal, everyday clothing — as worn by all non-LDS
  • Priesthood clothing — as all temple-attending LDS have been authorized to wear

The words “clothing” and “garment” are synonymous.  They both signify that which is used to cover your nakedness.

clothing |ˈklōði ng |
noun
1. items worn to cover the body

and

garment |ˈgärmənt|
noun
1. an item of clothing.

So, that which are called “garments” [in the typical view] are actually [in the actual view] a special type of garments [or clothing] that endowed LDS have the authorization to wear and that are marked to show that they are in fact priesthood clothing [rather than normal, everyday clothing].  Your outside appearance as an LDS who has just started wearing your priesthood clothing would, of necessity, be different than before-hand — unless you get in the habit of wearing non-priesthood clothing on top of them — so as to appear just like everybody else on the outside.

Covering the coverings:

Insofar as the priesthood garment is given to represent the coats of skins given to Adam and Eve when they were found naked in the garden of Eden — it should be a practical piece of clothing.  However, I’ve found that most find it to be quite the opposite:  an irritation and a generally unpractical thing to have to wear under your everyday clothing.

This is all such a problem because LDS are taught through oral tradition to worry about covering their coverings?  And since the subject of the priesthood garment is linked closely to the subject of body modesty, women are uniquely impacted in this regard.  Among my family members, in my congregation, and online, I have found that most women must fret constantly about whether or not their clothing covers their garments or whether they ought to wear panties/bras under or over the garment, etc.  Shopping is difficult for them.  They experience poor fit, have difficulty finding working sizes, and complain about how garments get in the way of everything — especially when its hot.  If it is the intention of the priesthood garment to be our covering — then why care so much about covering the covering?

The intention of the priesthood garment is to cover the nakedness of men and women while they work out their mortal probation.  Given that purpose, it is obviously the intention that the priesthood garment [being the covering] be seen rather than what is below the covering [the nakedness].

Let all thy garments be plain […] of the work of thine own hands:

And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.

The issue with this verse is that most who read it have been raised according to the typical view of garments vs. clothing [rather than priesthood clothing vs. normal, everyday clothing] — as such, they will come to the text with the assumption that since this usage of “garment” came before the endowment proper was formulated and the garment of the holy priesthood administered to members — that the word obviously just means our normal, everyday clothing [which, funny enough, we don’t comply with anyway.  We all shop at stores don’t we?]

Prior to initiation, our garments [or clothing] are identical to those worn by other non-LDS.  In the temple endowment, LDS are authorized, put under covenant, and instructed in wearing priesthood garments [or clothing].  At the veil, we are taught what converts a normal garment into a priesthood garment — i.e. the marks.

What they misunderstand is that what the Lord is saying here is that any-and-all garments [or clothing] ought to be made by our own hand.  Meaning — the verse applies equally to normal, everyday garments and to priesthood garments.  Whether you wear one or the other — they are to be plain and their work and beauty should be done by your own hand.

Now people will typically comply with the temple’s instruction to wear the priesthood garment both night and day by wearing two sets of clothing — normal, everyday garments on top of priesthood garments.

However, one is equally free to wear only the priesthood garment that is the work of their own hands, in accordance with D&C 42:40-41, by either making clothing from scratch or by converting their normal, everyday clothing into priesthood clothing by cutting and sewing in the marks — as they have been authorized and instructed in doing.

After reading that scripture and doing some more research — I also found that this practice is more in line with what was done by early LDS.  The minutes from an October 1870 meeting in Salt Lake reveal that:

Some enquiry was made as to how many have their shirts marked — A few rose with them marked — President Young said he took scissors & soon made the marks.  Even if the shirt is colored, mark it — If there is flannel or buckskin between the shirt & garment, that also should be marked.  An overshirt worn as a vest should not be marked.

Thus, in accordance with the scriptural instruction and a historical precedent, any normal, everyday clothing that one would typically wear as a single layer may be made into priesthood clothing [garments] by cutting the marks of the holy priesthood into them and then stitching them up so they don’t fray.  Jackets and other second layer-type clothing need not receive any marks.

Keep your covenants:

The 2011 General Church Handbook of Instruction [CHI] states that:

Church members who have been clothed with the garment in a temple have taken upon themselves a covenant obligation to wear it according to the instructions given in the endowment.

This point of general instruction is based on the temple recommend interview question, which asks:

Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

Though ecclesiastical leaders will read extra material to you after the temple recommend interview and though the CHI goes on to expound on a paragraph’s worth of extra instructions — neither of these are contained in the temple endowment  — and therefore can be ignored when any LDS is addressing their personal compliance with temple covenants.

What is important to remember is that an initiated LDS has covenanted to wear priesthood clothing for the remainder of their mortal life.  And, in the gospel, we must honor and keep all agency-based vows we have freely entered.  However, no one has covenanted to wear the priesthood clothing that is sold by Distribution Services — nor has any one covenanted to hide the priesthood garment from the eyes of others by wearing normal, everyday clothing on top of them.

This is not to say that if making two sets of clothing [normal on top of priesthood] works for you and the ones sold by the Distribution Centers fit you comfortably — that you are not free to continue to wear your priesthood garments in that manner or free utilize that resource to buy them because that still technically fulfills the vow to wear priesthood clothing throughout your life [albeit a strange way to do it].

However, for many, the sizes and fabrics do not fit well and do not conform to the local environment or culture.  If the latter is the case, then please do not go on subjecting yourself to poor fitting clothing and the uncomfortableness of trying to wear two sets of clothing at once.  And certainly do not cease from wearing priesthood clothing altogether.

Rather, you should strip away all the cultural conditioning and social pressures away from the covenant you have made with the Lord — and perhaps see if wearing priesthood clothing in accordance with D&C 42:40-41.

Next Article by Justin: It maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no [one]‘s person

Previous Article by Justin: To serve Him is to follow Him; that where He is, the servant may be found

You can check this out too — it’s unrelated but I really enjoy the author’s work [she’s a collaborator on the GEMTAM book as well]:  I Am You

Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe


My text for this post are the following scriptural passages, written by the apostles Peter and Paul:

Peter: Wives, be in subjection to obedient and disobedient husbands

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives; while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear.  Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old times the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do will, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3: 1-6 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3: 18 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, your husband is your head, submit and subject yourselves to him

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11: 3 Inspired Version)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5: 22-24 Inspired Version)

Androcracy

Androcracy is “rulership by the men.”  (From Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

Although there is little doubt that biblical patriarchy existed, what Peter and Paul taught under the gospel framework in the above scriptural passages was theological androcracy, not biblical patriarchy.  Patriarchy is androcracy with the added dimension of father-right.  Here are the definitions of patriarchy and patriarch, as well as matriarchy, from the same dictionary.

Patriarch

A patriarch is “the father and ruler of a family or tribe; one ruling his family or descendants by paternal right; –usually applied to heads of families in ancient history, esp. in Biblical and Jewish history to those who lived before Moses.”  The word comes from patri-, meaning father + arch, meaning a leader, chief.

Patriarchy

A state or stage of social development characterized by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family in both domestic and religious functions, the legal dependence of wife, or wives, and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line.  Patriarchy is distinguished from androcracy, or the physical and social supremacy of men in primitive society, patriarchy being held to involve, besides such supremacy, father right (adaptation of the Ger. Vaterrecht), or descent and inheritance in the male line.

Matriarchy

A state or stage of social evolution in which descent is reckoned only in the female line, all children belonging to the mother’s clan.  Such a system increases the mother’s social and political importance, making her the head of the family and the guardian of religious rites and traditions.  Hence, with many writers matriarchy means not only descent reckoned through the female line (called uterine descent, or cognation), but also rulership by woman.  Others, however, discriminate the rights and customs characteristic of uterine descent, as mother-right (adaptation of G. Mutterrecht), from the political or domestic supremacy of woman, known as gynecocracy, or gynocracy, “rulership by women,” or metrocracy, “rulership by mothers.”  Matriarchy in the narrow sense (that is, as “mother-right”) is found among many primitive peoples; whether it ever existed in the broader sense is disputed.

The priesthood is patterned after the egalitarian tribe

We modern LDS tend to view the the gospel in terms of only patriarchy and androcracy, but this view is only held because we are not numbered in functioning tribes.  The gospel, when lived tribally, encompasses patriarchy, matriarchy, androcracy, gynocracy, father-right and mother-right.  When taken out of the tribal context, some aspects of it manifest or dominate more, while others are suppressed, depending on the non-tribal culture we find ourselves in.  The gospel can be adapted to the cultures and societies of the world, but it is designed to be lived in egalitarian tribes.

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

Tribal bishops

A man married to a woman acts in the office of a bishop.  The office of a bishop “is in administering all temporal things” (D&C 107: 68) and in being a common judge.  This is the duty of a husband, to provide the temporal (material) necessities of life for his wife and children, and to sit as a judge in his family.

His wife, as his helpmeet, may act as his counselor in matters of temporal administration or in judgment of family affairs, or may simply defer all judgment to him, allowing him to sit as a literal descendant of Aaron, without counselors.

The tribal bishop (with the single counselor) is superior to the church bishop because there is a covenantal bond between bishop and counselor.

Tribal bishoprics

When a man is married to two wives, the arrangement corresponds to a bishopric with two counselors.  The two wives are not equal to the man, just as a bishopric’s counselors are not equal to the bishop: he is the wives’ bishop (with responsibility to provide temporal salvation) and they are the husband’s counselors.  Because of the covenantal bonds between the man and his wives, this marriage bishopric is superior to a church bishopric.

Common judge

A husband in a tribe sits as a common judge of the wife with whom he lives and their children.

Higher judges the lower; lower judges the higher

The gospel principle set forth in the Book of Mormon of a system of higher and lower judges, the lower one judging the higher and the higher judging the lower, is based upon ancient tribunals (tribe-unals), or tribal judgment systems.

Higher and lower judges

When a man has more than one wife, his wives form a quorum or council of lower judges. Because common consent must reign supreme, the combined decision of his wives upon his head is the end of controversy concerning him. If a husband, a common judge, acts up the lower judges (the wives) can convene to decide the issue.

When a woman has more than one husband, her husbands form a quorum or council of higher judges. If she acts up, the matter can be taken before a council of her husbands, for judgment.

These are the true “courts of love,” for all these people are married to each other and are under covenant to love one another. They are superior to church higher, lower and common judges, as well as church higher and lower courts of love. The church courts are mere imitations of the tribal courts.

A jury of peers

In an egalitarian tribal system, the jury of peers consists of the husbands of your wife, or the wives of your husband. The modern jury of peers is inferior to the tribal peers, because there is no mechanism to link the peers together. In the tribal system, they all have a vested interest that justice and mercy be done, for they are all linked together through a web of marriage covenants.

Priesthood councils, presidencies and quorums

Every conceivable priesthood council, presidency and quorum is found within the tribal quorums and councils of husbands. Three husbands of one wife form a presidency. Twelve husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a quorum of apostles (sent ones). Seven husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a presidency of seventy. Seventy husbands who are free to travel form a quorum of seventy. 12, 24, 48, or 96 husbands form quorums of deacons, teachers, priests and elders.

The United Order

A woman who has multiple husbands essentially is married to multiple bishops, meaning she is married to men who are responsible for her temporal welfare. Her husbands form a bishopric quorum, or quorum of bishops, in which they share what they have with each other and with their wives and children, so that all have everything common. They are bound to the all the wives by covenant to care for them and thus are bound (or linked through her) to each other, also. In other words, this is the what the United Order is patterned after. The United Order binds men together by covenant to care for the poor and the needy and to dispose of their material possessions in their behalf.

Androcracy and patriarchy are found in egalitarian tribes

The egalitarian tribe is what Zion is based upon, nevertheless, an egalitarian tribe may or may not use the gospel as its tribal law. Just as a husband is free to “obey not the word” of God, so an entire egalitarian tribe is free to adopt or reject the gospel. But regardless of whether a husband obeys the word of God or rejects it, the gospel, being patterned after the egalitarian tribe, requires that wives submit or subject themselves to their husbands. This is a manifestation of androcracy. The husband is the common judge, the bishop. When there are multiple husbands, they constitute the high council, or higher judges.

When one husband lives with the wife and the other husbands live with other wives, the children of the one wife that lives with the one husband may be counted as posterity of the one husband, even though any of the husbands may have fathered the children and despite all husbands treating them as their own flesh and blood. But on the tribal records, all children may be written down as being fathered by the one husband living with the wife. This is a manifestation of patriarchy.

Gynocracy and matriarchy are also found in egalitarian tribes

When acting as a quorum or council, as a court, as a jury of peers, or when giving or withholding consent, the wives manifest gynocracy. All the children born to a woman are posterity of that woman and her lineage is recorded on tribal records. This is a manifestation of matriarchy or mother-right (uterine descent). If the woman lives with multiple husbands and not just one of her husbands, then uterine descent is the preferred method of recording lineage.

When a woman marries a man from another clan or tribe, she remains with her clan and her husband leaves his own clan to join with her clan, not vice versa. The gospel imitates this tribal function by instructing the man to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

Gospel checks and balances

The gospel provides checks and balances to abuses that may result in relationships between men and women.  Although women are instructed to obey their husbands, even if the husbands are not themselves obeying the gospel, the law of common consent still applies.  Also, men are instructed to love their wives and to use only persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, unfeigned love, kindness and pure knowledge to influence their wives.  If any husband attempts to maintain his power or influence over his wives by virtue of his title of husband, or if he attempts to exercise control or unrighteous dominion over his wives, his authority as a husband is null and void and his wife is justified in withdrawing her consent from him.  But as long as that husband follows the gospel-prescribed way of influencing people, even if the man himself is an unbeliever, or was a believer in the gospel but has since departed from it, or even if the man believes in the gospel but his views of the gospel have become markedly different than the wife’s, she is still bound by the gospel to obey him.

Proper protocol: go through covenant lines of authority

Sometimes a woman is tempted to by-pass her husband and his divinely appointed leadership and go to an ecclesiastical (church) authority for direction.  She may feel justified to talk to her bishop, or perhaps even to her stake president, about her husband, because she feels that his beliefs about, and actions concerning, the gospel are incorrect.  She may feel that he is breaking his gospel covenants in some way, shape or form (even though he himself may not see them as broken).  Or, perhaps he no longer believes in the gospel.  Because of this, she may see him as a sinner and as a man no longer worthy of following, submitting and subjecting herself to.

If she goes to see the bishop or stake president for guidance and direction, by-passing her husband and tattle-telling on him, she will be guilty of committing sin.  Men and women are free to believe what they will and act however they want.  They are free to accept the gospel, modify the gospel or reject it outright.  As long as a husband is following the proper manner of influencing a wife, in other words, as long as there is no unrighteous dominion, the wife is to obey the husband.  That is the gospel law.  He can start drinking and smoking and swearing, he can start growing a beard and stop wearing ties, he can do all sorts of things that his wife may think are incompatible with the gospel, but as long as he is not exercising unrighteous dominion, she is bound by the gospel law to submit to his authority.

The reason why there is no gospel justification in holding a bishop or stake president’s authority above a husband’s is because the Lord considers the authority of a husband as carrying more weight than the authority of a bishop or stake president.  The bishop or stake president is under no covenant relationship with the man’s wife.  They have no vested interest in her.  They have not become one with her.  The husband, though, has become one with her and has a vested interest in her, and she in him.  Even without the priesthood, the husband still acts in the tribal office of bishop and common judge.  The Lord looks upon him as if he were an un-ordained priest, as if he possessed priesthood.  And the Lord fully recognizes the tribal authority of that man.

When a wife goes to a priesthood holder who has no covenantal relationship to her, for leadership and guidance, she shows by her actions that she has no respect for her husband’s tribal office, nor for the gospel law or their marriage covenant.  She disrespects both her husband and the Lord.

Proper priesthood protocol is to go through the lines of authority.  The first line of authority that a wife has access to is her husband with whom she is living.  This line is created by her covenantal relationship to him.  Her next lines of authority are all her other husbands, who do not live with her, but who also have covenantal relationships with her.  The next line of authority would be the wives of her husband, what some call the “sister wives.”  These wives are linked to her through covenants they have with her husband.  An ecclesiastical leader, who has no covenantal ties to her, is the very last line of authority she should resort to, and only after all tribal lines have been exhausted.

Not submitting is iniquity

Again, if a woman in such a situation, whose husband is not engaging in unrighteous dominion, does not submit to her husband, she commits the sin of rebellion and treason by ratting out his beliefs and actions which she believes are incompatible with the gospel to an ecclesiastical authority who has no covenantal relationship to her.  It is disloyalty and betrayal on her part, akin to cheating, by revealing family matters essentially to strangers and is unbecoming of a saint.  It also will create even greater problems in her family as now the ecclesiastical leader will often go on a witch-hunt and interfere in their covenantal connection.

If there are beliefs or actions that the wife doesn’t like, she and the husband need to work it out among themselves, and not drag persons who are not in a covenantal relationship with either one of them into the matter.  If there is genuine iniquity, it needs to be confessed to the offending party (the wife or the husband) and then forgiveness and reconciliation between the two needs to occur.  Ecclesiastical authorities are only to be called in for cases of unrepentant sins in which the offending party refuses to confess to a sin witnessed by two or more persons.  But in most cases a spouse should never testify against another spouse.  That would be an act of betrayal.

Speaking in terms of plasma theology, this would be like two planets linked to each other through a plasma column (the marital covenant) and one of them moves toward, or attracts, a third planet that has no plasma column linking it to the first two planets.  The resulting plasma interactions will cause disruption of the plasma column found between the first two planets.

Paul’s words

In a gospel-centered marriage, the man and woman have covenanted with each other, making them equals.  They have also covenanted with Christ, which binds both of them individually to Him.  This makes a triangle, with the husband, wife and Christ each taking a corner.

Paul’s words, though, about God being the head of Christ, Christ being the head of man, and man being the head of woman, creates a straight line of authority (a plasma column) : creating a patriarchy or androcracy.  What needs to be kept in mind when reading Paul is that this is only one frame of the picture.  If the full, tribal picture is not seen, if only the one frame is observed, it is understandable that the gospel may be understood as containing only patriarchy.  With only the single frame to see, patriarchy or androcracy dominates the view.

Paul’s words, then, must be viewed in light of the complete, tribal picture, that also contains matriarchy and gynocracy.  This makes it plain that the gospel is egalitarian in nature.  We cannot clearly see it now because we are not currently living in egalitarian tribes.

The head is the chief, which is the servant

In the gospel, the chief ones are to be the servants, by entrance into the priesthood.  So, when Paul says that the man is the head of the woman, it is because he is meant to be the servant of the woman.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

Here is the same scripture, re-worded a little different:

But Jesus called them, and said to them,

You [Twelve] know that they who are appointed to be -archs(a) over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But among you [Twelve] there shall be anarchy(b); whoever desires to become great among you [Twelve], shall be minister of you [Twelve].  And whoever of you [Twelve] desires to become the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of Man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

(a) “-arch” and “arch” defined: -arch Function: noun combining form. Etymology: Middle English -arche, from Anglo-French & Late Latin & Latin; Anglo-French -arche, from Late Latin -archa, from Latin -arches, -archus, from Greek -arches, -archos, from archein, to begin, rule. : ruler : leader  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)  -arch [Gr. archos chief, commander, archein to rule. See ARCH, a.]  A suffix meaning a ruler, as in monarch (a sole ruler). arch, a. 1. Chief; eminent; greatest; principal.  (Taken from Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

(b) anarchy Etymology: Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler.  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)

So, whoever wanted to be great, was not be be great (they were to be the least) and whoever wanted to be first (chief, principal), was to be last (servant of all).  The priesthood, then, is not an archy, but an anarchy.  The order is reversed: whoever wants to be first must be last.  There are to be no rulers, only servants.

Follow the Brethren

Although many LDS find this annoying saying (“follow the brethren”) to be counter-productive to a gospel-enlightened life, it actually does have some basis in truth.  In a tribal setting, in which a wife is married to multiple husbands, her husbands form a tribal quorum of “brethren.”  If these men hold the Holy Priesthood, they also form a priesthood quorum.  It is this quorum of husbands, or council of husbands, that the wife must follow.  When meeting together to decide issues pertaining to this woman and her children, they form a council of husbands.

In the church, the saying “follow the brethren” applies to quorums, or men who hold priesthood together as a quorum, and specifically to the highest two quorums in the church: the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a tribe, the highest quorum that has anything to do with a wife, being bound to her by covenant, is the quorum of her husbands.  If she is in a monogamous relationship, then she is to follow her “brother” (singular husband) until such time as she gets another husband.  So, the only “brother” or “brethren” that the gospel requires to be followed (by women) is the council of husbands.  For the men, we are to “follow the sisters”, meaning that quorum or council of our wives that decides issues in tribal settings.

Conclusion

A tribal view of the gospel helps us to see it for what it really is.  There is no aspect of the gospel that we need be ashamed of.  It is completely egalitarian in nature and divine.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Connecting with Pixels


By way of full disclosure, I volunteered to write this post because I have personal experience with the topic.  I’ve viewed online pornographic movies both before and since I joined the church.  I felt no guilt associated with viewing it before joining the church (which was also before I was married), but when I began to view it after joining (which was also after I had been married), I desired to repent and have since studied the topic to better understand it.

Pornography:

When I use “pornography” in this post, I will be referring to video or photographs of adults engaging in sexual relations.  Currently, there are more than 300 million pages of pornographic material on the internet, an increase of 1800% over the last five years.  More than 70% of American men, ages 18 – 34, visit a pornographic website in a typical month.  Further, in 2006, the pornography industry netted just short of $100 billion – more revenue than that of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, and Netflix combined.  The state that contributes the most to those profits – Utah.

The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Porneia is rendered “fornication” all 26 times it is used in the New Testament.  It is from the word used to designate the temple prostitutes the Gentiles used for fertility worship.

Dehumanizing:

The popularity of pornography relies on dehumanizing the subject, which is typically a woman.  The characters in pornography are not depicted as children of God with intellects and personalities – but as a collection of anatomical features that can be used to induce a physiological response.  Ask a man who watches pornography if he would want his wife or daughter to be in videos like the ones he watches – and 68.2689492137% will say, “No.”  (Note:  this figure was edited from 100% per comments below)  They want somebody else’s wife or daughter.  They prefer to do unto others’ daughters what they would not want done to their own.

The sexual climax is intended to be the sequel of the unification of two real persons.  The fact that the pleasure associated with the discharge can be produced in solitude demonstrates that the feelings are designed to conclude the sexual act – and are not a part of the unifying aspect of sex.  This is what I find most troubling about pornography use.  The release that ends sexual unification is designed to bind a person to the other person he or she is having relations with.  What are pornography users binding themselves to – a computer screen, pixels?  Humans are meant to make real connections with real people.

Hiding:

Recent discussion indicates that Satan introduced the concept of shame for nudity.  It is the same with sexuality.  Satan either covers up sexuality, teaching that it is too private to discuss openly, or he teaches only the physical biology of it, leaving out the spiritual connection that takes place.  He motivates sinners to hide from God and from others.  On the other hand, God sees all things, and thus He motivates sinners to be open, in full-fellowship and intimacy with Him and with others.

Sites like FightTheNewDrug promote addressing pornography by letting it into the light to be seen for what it really is – much like the “Truth” ads did for changing the discussion on cigarette smoking.  Having progressed, we can now look back on old cigarette ads as a deceptive venture to make an unhealthy practice popular for the sake of making money.  FightTheNewDrug focuses on addressing pornography by reducing demand – not supply.  When something is banned – rather by states, religions, etc. – without addressing the underlying motivations, the behavior is just pushed underground, becoming darker in the process.  When people learn that, for example, the reason for pornography actors shave their pubic hair is to make them look more like large children – people can choose to turn away from such perversions.  Instead of demonizing sexual expression or victimizing “porn addicts”, the rhetoric should focus on re-humanizing the people involved with pornography and re-emphasizing the sexiness of humans connecting with humans.

Intimacy is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden.  Before he found them, they were naked and were not ashamed.  Adam was fully exposed to Eve – and Eve to Adam.  This is the light that pornography should be seen in.  Humans are not meant to experience sexuality in front of computer screens, alone, feeling cycles of shame and guilt.

Confessing:

Boyd Packer told members during the most recent General Conference that:

The priesthood holds consummate power. It can protect you from the plague of pornography—and it is a plague—if you are succumbing to its influence. If one is obedient, the priesthood can show how to break a habit and even erase an addiction. Holders of the priesthood have that authority and should employ it to combat evil influences.

I think the evidence on this site should make it clear that you do not have to do anything with your bishop if you have viewed pornography.  A person that has viewed pornography has most likely committed adultery in his heart – if he were married, then confession to a spouse would be warranted.  But whether or not a person chooses to talk to his or her bishop is a personal decision – and it should be made in light of what will be the most helpful to the person.  When confession to a bishop is not expedient – as it would be in cases of unrepentant sin brought to the authorities by witnesses – then confession should be treated only as a tool to help the person.  One should weigh the risk of opening up grounds for a witch-hunt from an unprepared or unrighteous priesthood leader with the comfort that being completely open with a trusted and capable bishop can bring.  For example, I spoke with my bishop in the past when I had fell into a habit of viewing pornography – because I knew him to be a man of integrity and Godly love.  I received no formal or informal disciplines.  It was hard to speak openly about it with my wife, and I used my time with him to get many things off my chest.  I, unlike Packer, would not recommend confession to a bishop to everyone.  Many bishops are unprepared for dealing with such a nuanced situation and have been conditioned to use extreme measures with pornography because of inflated rhetoric about the subject.  So tread carefully.

Moving on:

I don’t mean to say porn can’t be a problem for some people.  However, it is more often the symptom of a different problem – e.g. poor socialization by parents on sexuality, unaddressed childhood abuse, an addictive personality, or feelings of insecurity.  The visual depiction of a man and women engaging in sexual relations is not, in and of itself, sinful – not any more than shopping is, or spending too much time on the computer.  The current state of pornography is a complicated issue and calling it evil or a plague doesn’t help anybody.  All you do is demonize something that, unless you have some dependence on it, isn’t bad for you.  Proclaiming some moral absolute on a mental health issue is just harmful to those involved.

We should take comfort in the fact that, for our generation, pornography is largely a problem of technology.  Just 30 years ago, to obtain pornography, a man would don a trench coat and sunglasses and go to the back of a dimly lit store to secretly purchase a VHS tape, hoping no one would see him walking back to his car – then he’d have to keep the tapes hidden at home, hoping kids or spouse didn’t find them.  However, today, I can type in a URL in the privacy of my home or office, instantly steam hours of free videos, and then delete my browsing history.  That’s it.  The reason this is a good thing for anyone who finds themselves habitually viewing pornography – if technology is the reason it is so available to you, then use technology to make it less available.  Effective webfilters are as readily available as free porn sites.  Humans should choose to connect with people — not pixels.

Next Article by Justin:  The Garment

Previous Article by Justin:  Tribal Relationships

Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

Between a man and a woman

To start with, let’s make it clear that the words “marry” and “marriage” in this verse referred only to marriage between a man and a woman. This revelation was given in March/May 1831 and there was no concept of same-sex marriage back then, only marriage between the sexes.

Who forbids to marry?

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

Parents – Sometimes parents forbid to marry. If a young man or woman is underage, permission from the parents is needed in order for them to marry (with a valid state marriage license). In the high school I attended, there was a very pretty 16 year old girl in one of my classes who was legally married. She received permission from her parents and loved showing people her wedding ring. All the boys in the class (including myself) were kind of bummed that she was now off-limits. It was a strange situation because we all thought that parents normally would not give permission to one so young. She never had a teen pregnancy or anything. She just fell in love and wanted to get married and her folks said, “Okay.” But that doesn’t always happen.

The State – The State is the major perpetrator of forbidding to marry, with all the marriage laws and prohibitions on the books. For example, the State forbids a man from taking a second wife while his first wife is still alive. It also forbids a woman from doing the same thing. It introduces a monetary price on marriage, so that everyone must pay for the permission to get married. It places age restrictions on marriage, as well as health restrictions. Those who don’t meet the qualifications, can’t get married. In other words, they can’t get a marriage license. Additionally, it has cohabitation laws on many of the books so that anyone who tries to marry without a valid state marriage license and then live together can still be prosecuted and thrown into jail, effectively discouraging anyone who wishes to skirt around the State monopoly on marriage authorization.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Church is another major perpetrator of forbidding to marry. Although it has no power to stop anyone from getting married, by preaching a valid state marriage license requirement to its congregation, it supports the State’s restrictions and monopoly on marriage. Also, by excommunicating those who marry more than one living spouse (with or without a valid state marriage license, but most often without a license), it sets up its own restrictions with attendant judgments placed upon those who marry.

These three institutions, then, are not ordained of God when they forbid to marry.

But I must add one more:

A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.

Everything that is in the world is valid in the eyes of God…for a limited time

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132: 7, 13.)

What this means is that God recognizes “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” that are made among men “both as well for time and for all eternity,” regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them, “whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be,” as perfectly valid and binding only until “men are dead,” at which point such “contracts…have an end.” This applies only to contracts, oaths, etc., that are not made by the Lord or by His word.

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is accompanied by a covenant between a man and a woman (the marriage vows), therefore, it comes under the above conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. There are three types of marriage covenants covered by the conditions of this law.

Marriage covenant #1: “not by me nor by my word,” for time only

Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132: 15.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’till death do they part.” The marriage is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #2: “not by me or by my word,” for time and all eternity

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132: 18.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’for time and all eternity.” The covenant is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132: 44; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. (Moro. 8: 17.)

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Body modesty is not a principle of the gospel


This blog is going to have its 3rd birthday next month, October 7th, and since its inception one subject that I have intentionally avoided is the topic of body modesty. From what I’ve read on other Mormon blogs, I’ve always come to the conclusion that Mormons are, essentially, prudes. How, then, could I speak of my understanding of body modesty without offending the sensibilities of my audience? Hence the silence.

Recently, though, I was searching for information on the Maitreya and I came across a different Maitreya whose organization was seeking to change the laws of the land to put the sexes on a more equal standing. I found the legal arguments fascinating and began to write a blog post on just that topic alone. But then I stopped again, realizing that I was mentioning body modesty without going into any depth, as I probably should. It would inevitably come up in the comment section, but without a proper treatment in the post.

So, as is usual for me, after giving it sufficient re-consideration, I made a split-second decision and with a verbal, “oh, what the hell,” I’m now diving head first into this topic.

What I teach my children

I knew that eventually, as my children attended church, they would be taught by their Sunday school teachers and advisers that body modesty is a part of the law of chastity, so I have been especially careful that they are instructed on that law so as to be able to discern truth from error. (I have covered the law of chastity previously on this blog, so I won’t go back into that topic, but I’ll just say here and now that it doesn’t mention how one is supposed to dress.) They understand that body modesty is a man-made societal norm that changes over time to suit the conditions among men, their customs, cultures, climate, biases, preconceived notions and so on and so forth. It has no basis in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Wikipedia has an excellent entry on modesty and I don’t want to extensively quote from it, so please click here to read it and learn about how the standards of body modesty have varied and changed over time.

From here on out I will just use the term “modesty” with the understanding that I am referring only to “body modesty,” meaning that modesty which deals with the covering up of the body with clothing. Okay, back to what my kids are taught.

Heavenly Father’s rule of modesty

I teach my children to hold up the pattern of modesty given by their Father in heaven as the ideal standard. Usually, when my kids ask me a question, I’ll answer them with another question and have them figure out the answer themselves. In this case, I’ll do the same to explain the heavenly pattern:

Question: How does heavenly Father clothe us when He sends us here to Earth?

Answer: He sends us here naked, or clothed in flesh.

 

Question: Is any part of our physical bodies clothed or covered when we get here?

Answer: Yes, the male penis is covered by a foreskin and the female clitoris is covered by a hood.

 

Question: As the body matures into adulthood, does anything become covered?

Answer: Yes, the genitals and armpits of both sexes becomes covered in hair. The face of males also becomes covered in hair.

This is the standard of modesty I give my children. As long as you still have your pubic hair and clitoral hood and penile foreskin coverings, there is no need for shame, for you are dressed modestly.

Everything above and beyond that standard is man-made.

Moroni the naked angel

Said Joseph of the angel Moroni:

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. (Joseph Smith-History 1: 31)

So, Joseph could see that Moroni was totally naked, except for the open robe he was wearing. Why in the world would God allow Moroni to show Joseph his nakedness? Didn’t he know that robes need to be tied closed, so that no one can see the chest and genital area? Why wasn’t Moroni ashamed to show his nakedness to Joseph?

Isaiah, the naked prophet

In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; at the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (Isaiah 20: 1-4)

Shouldn’t Isaiah have felt ashamed to show his nakedness for three straight years?

Our first parents naked

Adam and Even “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

“And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked?”  (Moses 4: 17)

Let’s answer the question. Who told them that they were naked? Who taught them to be ashamed of their nakedness? Who originated body modesty?

LUCIFER: See–you are naked. Take some fig leaves and make you aprons. Father will see your nakedness. Quick! Hide!  (Source: The Garden.)

Satan did.

Why Satan told our first parents to clothe themselves

I think Bette Davis said it best:

“I often think that a slightly exposed shoulder emerging from a long satin nightgown packed more sex than two naked bodies in bed.”

She is right, of course. And Satan knew this from the beginning. It is his intention to have everyone break the law of chastity. If everyone were naked, the law of chastity would be broken less, not more. He needed to first cover our parents up and create the illusion of shame, so that the enticement of sin could allure people into uncovering “the sinful parts,” followed by the guilt of acting shameful.

Satan works by using secrets. Occult knowledge is secret knowledge. Secret combinations can only work in the dark. Devilish logic follows that genital parts must become “secret parts.” Thus, we have the (apparently) strange command of the devil to our first parents to abide by the principle of modesty!

Notice, though, that now the devil has made even the breast a “secret part.” Adam and Eve originally covered up only their genitals with fig leaves. Now, society will have us believe the exposure of the female (not male) breast is immodest.

The Lord looks upon the heart

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

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  (Hebrews 4: 13)

Such truth, though, is not very useful to the devil. So, clothing is used to entice, to create the illusion of sexiness, to flaunt power and prestige and money, to say I am better than you, more beautiful than you. It is used to create situations of judgment, so that mankind judges each other based upon what they are, or are not, wearing. It is used to despise the poor who cannot afford the better garments, or any garments, at all. Etc.

The Lord, though, uses clothing for other, righteous purposes. Clothing can protect from the elements, hence we find the Lord making coats of skins for Adam and Eve so that when they enter the fallen world they can survive. It can convey spiritual symbolism, hence the priesthood garment. And there are other righteous purposes, as well, that do not necessarily equate to “hiding one’s nakedness”, which was Satan’s deceptive intention for clothing. (Remember, the angel Moroni wore a robe that did not hide his nakedness from Joseph. What, then, was the purpose of the robe?)

Not all Mormons are prudes

For example:

LDS Skinny Dippers Forum

These are LDS who are “interested in chaste, wholesome, recreational nudity.” They have no problem with privately or publicly going completely nude. They are, however, most likely a very small minority.

The rest of the LDS are prudes, pure and simple, who quibble over the length of a sleeve or pant leg or skirt. Who are shocked when there is an exposed shoulder. Who cannot even conceive of a painting of a bare chest, stripling warrior whose nipple hasn’t been airbrushed out.

The audience of all modesty talks

The target of virtually all modesty talks is the female population. She is told how and how not to dress. She is taught this by her mother, by her Sunday school teachers and advisers, and by her priesthood leadership. All of this repression, if ever let out, leads to rampant breaking of the law of chastity (Satan’s plan). And if it isn’t let out, it leads to depression (again, Satan’s plan, the misery of all).

Guys, for the most part, hardly get a mention in modesty talks. I don’t recall ever being told I had to cover up my chest or nipples, or had to wear shorts below a certain length, or keep my shoulders and back covered, etc. Modesty oppression is mainly a girl thing.

Of course, the males get oppressed in other ways, such as the insistence on wearing white shirts, flaxen cords about their necks (ties), being clean-shaven and having short hair.

Legal public nudity is coming soon to a city near you

Now this brings me to that web site I spoke of above, about equalizing the sexes. If you click the below link, be forewarned that you will see pictures of top free men and women.

GoTopless.org

Here are some quotes from the web site:

Welcome to GoTopless.org! – We are a US organization, claiming that women have the same constitutional right to be bare chested in public places as men.

Maitreya, Rael, spiritual leader and founder of GoTopless.org states: “As long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest.”

Why a National GoTopless Protest day? Gotopless.org claims constitutional equality between men and women on being topless in public. Currently, women who dare to be topless in public in the US are repeatedly being arrested, fined, humiliated, criminalized. On SUNDAY AUGUST 22nd, 2010, topless women will rally in great numbers across the USA to protest this gross inequality in the law and will demand that their fundamental right to be topless be acknowledged where men already enjoy that right according to the 14th amendment of the Constitution (please see our exact legal argument on the right to be topfree for women under “14th amendment” in news section.)

Why in August? On August 26, 1920, following a 72-year struggle, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. And in 1970, as an ongoing reminder of women’s equality, Congress declared August 26 “Women’s Equality Day.” But even in the 21st century, women need to stand up and demand that equality in fact – not just in words. Note that in 2010, GoTopless will have a large rally nationwide in honor of the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day.

Why having GoTopless actions in cities where top-less freedom for women is already legal? Those programmed with puritanical values find it difficult to change. This “mentality hurdle” applies to both women and men.

How are we helping women? GoTopless is committed to helping women perceive their breasts as noble, natural parts of their anatomy (whether they are nursing or not). Breasts shouldn’t have to be “modestly” or shamefully hidden from public view any more than arms, legs or feet.

How are we helping men? GoTopless is also committed to helping men differentiate between nudity and sexuality. If the presence of a topless woman in public triggers a sexual impulse, it can easily be controlled in the same way men control themselves when they see a woman wearing a mini skirt or revealing ample cleavage. Men manage to appreciate these things while still showing respect! Choosing consciousness above hormones leads to a peaceful, respectful society providing additional freedom and beauty.

Why do you talk about femininity rather than feminism? In the past, women often had to act like men when fighting for their rights, so they repressed their femininity. Today, GoTopless women see their femininity as a powerful asset as they struggle for equal rights in a masculine-dominated world.

What happens on National GoTopless day? Across America, topless women and men peacefully rally in the streets, parks, on the beaches of their towns and cities. Topfree performances are given by various artists to honor women’s right to be top free, body painting is be available. Chalk street artists also paint Art works from Old Masters (or new ones) without any nipple censure. The aim is to convey that the sight of a top free women in public is as natural as the sight of top free men. Please write to us if you are an artist (performance or visual) who would like to participate in one of future events.

Participating cities for Go Topless Day 2010 are : Please see our news section to learn the details about the events in each city.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

AUSTIN, TEXAS

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

OAHU, HAWAII

DENVER, COLORADO

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

14th Amendment to the US Constitution The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under law and properly interpreted it guarantees women the right to be top-free where men are allowed to be topfree. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions do not recognize that right, and there is a less stringent test in the courts (called intermediate scrutiny) for gender based differential treatment than for e.g., racial classifications (which are analyzed under what’s called strict scrutiny).

Our rights under the 14th Amendment guarantee and include the one to be top free where men are allowed to – We seek to see legislation (or court decisions where arrests are made for being top free) in all jurisdictions to make explicit what should already be understood as implicit within the meaning of equal rights.

Please see the above web site for information about the states and cities where being top free (or even totally nude, such as Portland, Oregon) in public is legal.

What will the LDS ever do?

In the changing legal environment, I wonder what the LDS will do if suddenly they find themselves living in a city where anyone can legally walk around stark naked or bare-chested. Our arguments about skirt length seem kind of silly faced with legal public nudity, as in the right to be nude. Will we be champions of people’s rights, or shame them all as sinners?

And what I really wonder is this: if this changing legal environment is setting the stage for the appearance of naked prophets and angels, are we going to be among those who reject them because of their immodest appearance?

Eyelids, necks and feet to the rescue

Don’t like what you see? Don’t like how that person is dressed? Don’t like it that a woman is going around topfree? Don’t like that that man or woman is walking around in the nude? Well, have no fear. God gave us eyelids with which to close our eyes, and necks with which to turn our head, and feet with which to walk away. This is the proper response.

Don’t make laws to force people to conform to your standards. Don’t make laws to remove people’s rights. Don’t do the devil’s work for him.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Holy Ghost is a Woman


The following is an excerpt taken from the NCCG.ORG web site. It is from the article, Yah’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and His Place in the Godhead.  I have lifted it verbatim, trying to keep it in its original font size and color, but have hyperlinked all the scriptures. 

The Personality of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

To understand how the Son was created by the Father we must now turn to the third member of the Godhead, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). That the Spirit is a PERSON and not just an INVISIBLE FORCE is proven by many passages, though it is equally true that the ACTIVITY of the Spirit is often present in neutral, sexless terms. 

To lie to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is to lie to God [Eloah] (Ac.5:3-4). And the way that the Third Member of the Godhead is linked to both the Father and the Son in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 would be a blasphemy if the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) were not God [Eloah]. The Ruach (Spirit) shows personality – thus She “understands” (Rom.8:27, Aram.), She “wills” (Ac.13:2; 1 Cor.12:11, Aram.), She may be “grieved” (Eph.4:30, Aram.). Such terms would be meaningless if applied solely to an impersonal power or influence. 

The Feminine Gender of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

According to both classical Trinitarian and Binitarian models, the Third Member of the Godhead is MALE. The problem here is that in the Hebrew OLD TESTAMENT the Spirit is always FEMALE and in the GREEK New Testament either MALE or NEUTER, thus creating a CONTRADICTION. No Person can have three genders! 

But the problem is eliminated when we turn to the original HEBREW and ARAMAIC texts of the New Testament from which the GREEK texts were translated. As one scholar notes: 

    “One problem that presents itself in translating the New Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic into English is that of the gender of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). English is very different from Hebrew and Aramaic. To begin with, English has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter (i.e. he, she and it). Hebrew and Aramaic have no neuter gender. In Hebrew and Aramaic everything is either a “he” or a “she” and nothing is an “it”. Also gender plays a much more important rôle in Hebrew and in Aramaic than in English. In English gender is usually only an issue when dealing with pronouns. But in Hebrew and Aramaic nouns and verbs are also masculine or feminine. And while there are no true adjectives in Hebrew (nouns are also used as adjectives), noun modifiers must agree in gender with the noun. Now the Hebrew word RUACH (Aramaic RUCHA) is grammatically feminine as is the phrase Ruach haKodesh. This is matched by the rôle of the Ruach haKodesh as “comforter” (Jn.14-16) and the identifier of the “comforter” with YHWH acting as a “mother” (Is.66:13).
    “Now in English the Ruach is often referred to as “he” or “it” as also in the Greek New Testament. However this seems very odd indeed to the Semitic mind.
    “Now it is very clear that the gender of the RUACH has been revised in many passages of the Aramaic to agree with the Hellenistic concept of the Holy Spirit as being either a “he” or an “it”. Thus the pronouns used for the Ruach haKodesh in Jn.14-16 in the Peshitta are all masculine. However, the hand of revision is very clear. For example while both the Peshitta and Old Syriac have “he” in Jn.16:8 the Old Syriac has “she” just a few verses further down in 16:13 while the Peshitta has “he”.
    “And She the Ruach gives testimony …” 
    (James S. Trimm, Hebraic-Roots Version “New Testament”, 2001, SANJ, Hurst, Texas, pp.xxxiii-xxxiv)

The Book of Proverbs and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

Because of this confusion of genders both scholars and scriptorians often mistakenly believe that the “Wisdom” of God in the Book of Proverbs is an allusion to the Second Member of the Godhead, Yah’shua (Jesus). Thus William F. Dankenbring writes:  

    “A clear allusion to this fact of divine unity of plurality is found in the book of Proverbs. Here the second member of the Godhead is revealed, as the “Wisdom” of God. Notice this remarkable Scripture witness!:
     “The LORD possessed me in the BEGINNING of his way, before His works of old. I was set up [established] FROM EVERLASTING, from the BEGINNING, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I WAS BROUGHT FORTH [CREATED, BORN]; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I BROUGHT FORTH [CREATED, BORN] … When He prepared the heavens, I WAS THERE … when He appointed the foundations of the earth: THEN I WAS BY HIM, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:22-31, KJV).

 The Old Testament “Wisdom” is a Female Personage 

However, as Karen Vaughan points out: 

    Sophia, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Hochmah is the feminine personification of Wisdom in the Pentateuch. She is neither a goddess nor a new age creation of feminist theologians. She was a real biblical person with more material on her in the Old Testament (with Apocrypha) than anyone in the scriptures, except God, Job, Moses and David …
    “One reason we little consider Sophia, even in readings of the Old Testament, is that English translations usually translate the feminine Sophia into the abstract “Wisdom”. Although the Greek and Hebrew words were fully feminine, the English is not. The fullest development of her is in the so-called “Wisdom Books” of the apocrypha in the Greek Pentateuch (sic. – should be Tanakh or Old Testament – ed.) that were canonised into Christian Scripture and are still used by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Sophia dominates the first nine chapters of Proverbs and is found in both the Old and New Testaments.
    “In the Hebrew tradition, Sophia was considered to have been with God from the beginning of Creation. In Proverbs 8:27-51, Sophia says:
    “When God [Yahweh] set the heavens in place, I was present,
    When God drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
    When God fixed the clouds above,
    When God fixed fast the wells of the deep,
    when God assigned the sea its limits-
    and the waters will not invade the land,
    when God established the foundations of the earth,
    I was by God’s side, a master craftswoman,
    delighting God day after day,
    ever at play by God’s side,
    at play everywhere in God’s domain,
    delighting to be with the children of humanity.”
    Sophia, in the biblical creation was not ‘a god’, but was a divine being. It is not clear that She was uncreated like Jesus [Yah’shua]: the word used to refer to Her creation also means “acquired” by God. Proverbs 8:22 – “God created me [acquired me] (Sophia) when God’s purpose first unfolded.” Ecclesiasticus 1:14 – “before all things, Sophia was created.” She serves at the heart of the creative process, as Wisdom and as Teacher who was sent by God to save humanity. The book of Wisdom speaks to Her divinity (7:25-26):
    She is the breath of God’s power & a stream of pure glory of the Almighty.
    This is why nothing polluted enters Her.
    For She mirrors God’s energy completely, and She images God’s goodness.”
    (Review of the book Sophia in the Biblical Tradition (Harper and Row; 1986) by Susan Cady, Marian Ronan and Hal Taussig)

From this we are able to come to two stunning conclusions: 

  • 1. Hochma/Sophia/Wisdom was CREATED;
  • 2. She is GOD in a subordinate sense.
  • In other words, She was created at some “beginning” JUST AS YAH’SHUA (JESUS) was. In Hebrew tradition, Hochma / Sophia / Wisdom is known also as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (Prov.8:22-31) and the HEAVENLY MOTHER — a created being, and was “by God’s [Eloah’s] side. 

    Implications

    If the above is accurate about Hebrew, surely this opens up a new can of worms.  For example, would this not change our view of the nature of the Godhead (Father, Son and Mother)?  Of priesthood?  Of priests and priestesses or prophets and prophetesses (listen to verse 3: not Mrs. Priest and Mrs Prophet but female priests and female prophets)?  Of the gifts of the Spirit?  Of the miraculous birth of Jesus?  Of speaking or working by the power of the Holy Ghost?  Of our worship of the Father (in the name of the Son, by the power of the Mother)???

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

    The Priesthood


    Background on this post

    I wish to thank Jahnihah for his essay on priesthood, which made me realize that I had always just accepted the standard definition of priesthood without actually verifying it with the scriptures.  I was then inspired to search the Standard Works with priesthood as my research topic, which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never done before.  This post contains the findings of that research.

    As a general outline for this topic, I used (loosely) Chapter 13 of the new Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society Manual, Gospel Principles.  Click the link to compare versions.

    What Is the Priesthood?

    The priesthood is a language that only God speaks. It is as eternal as God Himself is.

    Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17)

    Priesthood rights “are inseparably connected [to] the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36), and thus priesthood is all powerful when spoken.  Priesthood possesses the authority (keys) of God, which is recognized by the entire universe as valid in locking (sealing) and unlocking (loosing) all things.

    For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.  (D&C 68: 17)

    Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.

    For behold, by the power of his word [priesthood] man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word [priesthood]. Wherefore, if God being able to speak [priesthood] and the world was, and to speak [priesthood] and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?  (Jacob 4: 9)

    I am the same which spake [priesthood], and the world was made, and all things came by me.  (D&C 38: 3)

    By the power (agency) and authority (keys) of the priesthood, the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this God-language, God accomplishes His work and glory, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

    And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words [priesthood].  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 38-39)

    Priesthood is a combination of the spoken (audible) word and a gesture (silent) language.  There are three other components to priesthood (to be explained later), which, when present, make it validly “spoken.”

    Although the priesthood is a language that only God speaks, He may, and often does, allow worthy sons of His to obtain the right to speak it.  Because the priesthood is a language specific to God alone, when men who hold this right speak it with all 5 components, it is as if God himself is the speaker and the very powers of heaven attend to the pronouncement.

    What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1: 38)

    And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. (Moses 1: 25)

    And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (Ex. 4: 16)

    And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  (Ex. 7: 1)

    All priesthood is centered in, comes from, and points to Christ.  Christ is known as the Word (the Priesthood), even the Priesthood made flesh.

    For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father, And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.  (JST John 1: 16)

    Christ is the physical embodiment of the priesthood, therefore, as Christ saves all things, the priesthood likewise has as its purpose the salvation of all things.  When God confers the rights of the priesthood upon men, it enables them to act in Christ’s name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it, they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and teach the members of God’s kingdom on earth, so that they govern themselves.

    Again, Christ is the Priesthood, therefore, to receive the priesthood is synonymous with receiving Christ.

    And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;  (D&C 84: 35)

    Those who receive the priesthood become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh.

    For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  (D&C 86: 9)

    And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  (Abr. 2: 9-11; in other words, whoever receives the Priesthood, becoming priesthood made flesh, becomes the seed of Abraham, who was also priesthood made flesh; see also D&C 84: 34)

    As Christ is Savior, through the reception of the priesthood, men also become a savior.

    Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.  (D&C 86: 11)

    Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

    We must have priesthood authority (keys) to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs (see Matthew 7: 21-23; Articles of Faith 1: 5).  These important ordinances must be performed on the earth by men who have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

    Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to direct the work of the church in all parts of the world.  When Christ lived on the earth, He chose His apostles and ordained them so that they could lead His church.  He gave them the power and authority of the priesthood to act in His name.  (See Mark 3: 13-15; John 15: 16.)

    Another reason the priesthood is needed on the earth is to teach the plan of salvation so that we can understand the will of the Lord.

    And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 13: 1)

    Priesthood is also needed to carry out the purposes of God.  For example, it is the purpose of God that every husband and father in Israel receive the priesthood, thus becoming like Christ.  This benefits the husband/father (as he receives exaltation), as well as his wife and children (as they obtain within their very home a type of Christ, pointing the way to Christ.)

    And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. (Alma 13: 2)

    It also benefits the world in general, for they, like the wives and children, learn how to be saved.

    Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13: 16)

    Also, with the husbands/fathers of Israel as priesthood made flesh (Christ types), God can show forth His arm of power, His wonders, in the eyes of all the nations, as priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36).

    Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

    Although this question is not explicitly answered in the scriptures, one implicit reason is that the priesthood is meant to point mankind to Christ.  By design, then, one who receives the priesthood not only behaves like Christ, but also looks like Christ. All men, when they grow their hair long and allow their beards to grow full and bushy, bear the image of Christ.  The deep voice and manly physique also contribute to the perception that each man is in the similitude of the Son of God.  This similitude, coupled with the reception of the priesthood, works upon the hearts and minds of men, women and children and turns their attention to Christ.

    How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

    Obtaining the rights of the priesthood is not the same as receiving the priesthood.  Let’s talk first about how the rights of the priesthood are obtained.

    The Lord has prepared an orderly way for the rights of His priesthood to be conferred upon His sons on the earth.  A worthy male obtains the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1: 5).  Usually, it is only a worthy male member of the church who can obtain the priesthood, but sometimes the priesthood is conferred upon worthy male non-members.  Only those who have had the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys (authority) for that ordination.

    The first part to receiving the priesthood is obtaining the rights to officiate.

    High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.  An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.  The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.  (D&C 107: 10-12)

    This happens by the laying on of hands and requires only that the man being ordained is righteous (worthy), meaning that he is justified (guiltless) before the Lord, being right according to the law of God, having received a remission of his sins.

    Using the rights of the priesthood requires more than justification (righteousness).

    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. (D&C 121: 36)

    It also requires purification and sanctification.

    Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God (justification), they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified (sanctification), and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb (purification).  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (sanctification), having their garments made white (purification), being pure and spotless before God (purification), could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence (purification); and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure (purification) and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.  (Alma 13: 10-12)

    When the rights of the priesthood are exercised by a justified (righteous), purified and sanctified (holy) man, the powers of heaven manifest themselves.  This is according to the promise of God.

    For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.  And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Gen. 14: 30-32)

    A man who has obtained the rights of the priesthood through justification may receive the priesthood itself by purifying and sanctifying himself, through the operation of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, because of his exceeding faith, hope and charity.  (See Moroni 7.)  In this manner, the man becomes like Christ (see Moroni 7: 48) and qualifies himself for receiving the priesthood and being “ordained by the Lord God” Himself, “by the calling of His own voice, according to His own will.”

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

    And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.  (Alma 13: 1)

    Thus, the last part to receiving the priesthood, the bestowal of priesthood power, is solely performed by the Lord and depends upon whether the priest magnifies his calling through sanctification by the Spirit unto the renewing of his body (priesthood made flesh).

    For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.  (D&C 84: 33)

    Men who receive the priesthood have it confirmed upon them by the Lord’s own voice out of the heavens.

    And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.  (D&C 84: 42)

    In this way, the Lord reserves to Himself the final ordination necessary for priesthood reception, just as He alone is the one who baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.

    And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.  (3 Ne. 12: 1)

    All men, then, are “on the same standing” (Alma 13: 5).  Those who wish to qualify themselves for reception of the priesthood “on account of their exceeding faith and repentance” (Alma 13: 10) will receive it, while those who “would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds” (Alma 13: 4) will not receive it, though they may have the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them.

    We have been told that there are many called to the priesthood, who have obtained the rights to the priesthood, but few among them are chosen to receive it.

    Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

    •  •  •

    Hence many are called, but few are chosen.  (D&C 121: 34, 40)

    Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.  In the New Testament we read of a man named Simon who lived when Christ’s apostles presided over (served) the church.  Simon became converted and was baptized into the church.  Because he was a skillful magician, the people believed he had the power of God.  But Simon did not have the priesthood, and he knew it.

    Simon knew that the apostles and the other priesthood leaders of the church had received the priesthood, for the powers of heaven were manifest among them.

    Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8: 13)

    He saw them use their priesthood to do the Lord’s work, and he wanted this power for himself.  He offered to buy the priesthood.  (See Acts 8: 9-19.)  But Peter, the chief apostle, said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8: 20).

    Ecclesiastical Abuse: How the Priesthood Is Misused and What to Do About It

    The priesthood is to be used to serve our Heavenly Father’s children here on earth, converting the priest into a servant or minister of all.  Priesthood holders should serve in love and kindness, not rule like Gentile kings.

    But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (Mark 10: 42)

    Any attempt to convert the minister-servant role of priest into the pomp and prestige of a Gentile ruler by undertaking “to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” (D&C 121: 37) results in immediate condemnation by the Lord, even if the ecclesiastical abuse is not known or corrected by the church.  Ecclesiastical abuse in any form or degree brings immediate damnation upon the priesthood officer and, even before the abuser is aware, he is left alone without the Spirit and subject to the spirit of the devil, to persecute the saints within his congregation, who have been placed within his care and ministry.  He then becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fighting against God.  (In the view of the abuser, it is the saints who are the wolves and he is doing “God’s work.”)

    Those who engage in ecclesiastical abuse will use the high-sounding title of their priesthood office (bishop, stake president, etc.) to engage in power-plays and submission tests to try to force or compel the members of the congregation to submit to their authority and do what they want them to do.  They will gratify their pride and label all those saints who resist such tyranny as apostates and accuse them of the sin of rebellion.  Ecclesiastical abuse takes many forms, but the following are listed in scripture:

    1) undertaking to cover our sins

    2) undertaking to gratify our pride

    3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

    4) undertaking to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men

    The saints of God within any ward or branch of the church, being sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God, naturally resist tyranny in all of its forms.  Like captain Moroni, they “seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60: 36).  They do not follow the precepts of men except when those precepts are given by the Holy Ghost.  This puts them directly at odds with any ecclesiastical abuser who is a priesthood leader that presides over them.  The rank and file (unsanctified) member is accustomed to following the brethren, not the Spirit, and will blindly follow the precepts of men given by an ecclesiastical abuser regardless of whether it is inspired or not.  These rank and file members will put the priesthood tyrant on a pedestal, gratifying his pride and vain ambition, covering his sins, and will, like the tyrant, look upon the saints resisting compulsion as disobedient apostates and trouble-makers.

    These conditions are to be expected among the church for as long as it remains unsanctified and under condemnation, for “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: 39).

    Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—  (D&C 84: 55-57)

    This means that almost all men who hold the rights of the priesthood, including those who hold leadership positions and high offices, are by nature predisposed to act like tyrants.  There are but few (see D&C 121: 40) of the vast ensemble that do not engage in ecclesiastical abuse.  It is these few who pattern their lives after Christ, aspiring to be like Him and setting their hearts upon Him.  The rest (“almost all men”), which are the many, set their hearts “upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121: 35).  So the church, by and large, is led by ecclesiastical abusers, even tyrants, with the occasional man of Christ appearing among them, yet all these men have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

    Because of the nature and disposition of men to be tyrants and the condition of the unsanctified and condemned (damned) church, the saints of God are to follow the admonition of Alma, which is to “trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments” (Mosiah 23: 14) and the warning of Nephi:

    Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (2 Ne. 28: 31)

    The Lord has left two means of dealing with ecclesiastical abuse: the law of common consent and the church courts.  If there are two or three witnesses to abuse, the procedure described in D&C 42: 78-93 may be used.  If there are no witnesses (or no willing witnesses), or if the church court system becomes entirely corrupt because the priesthood leadership will not allow a court to be convened or otherwise impedes the process (undertaking to cover up the sins of their fellow ecclesiastical abuser), the law of common consent can be used to de-fang tyrants.  If, however, the law of common consent fails due to rubber-stamping by the general membership, saints of God must resort solely to Alma and Nephi’s counsel, leaving the matter in the Lord’s hands.

    Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

    A hierarchy is defined as “a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks, each subordinate to the one above it.”  It is true that the priesthood is organized into orders and ranks, but instead of rulers, it consists of servants.  The Lord’s “rulers” (Abr. 3: 23) are not rulers in the typical sense.  They are ministers and servants.

    He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. (D&C 50: 26)

    In a typical rich household, the servants do not get the chief seats, do not get the first meal, are not the ones put up on a pedestal.

    Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men’s shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers.  And all their works they do to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, (which is master.) But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, which is Christ; and all ye are brethren.  (JST Matt. 23: 1-5)

    The priesthood is designed to be an inverted pyramd, or inverted hierarchy, with the greatest servants, meaning the meekest, most charitable servants, at the very bottom.  These are the least of all the kingdom of God, being servants of all.  Thus, the First Presidency is really the Last Presidency, or Bottom Presidency, being below all other presidencies, nevertheless, all priesthood offices and callings are placed by the Lord below, not above, the body of the church (the saints).

    And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2: 20)

    Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

    By the Lord’s design, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121: 41), therefore, for instance, when any president or counselor of the First Presidency enters a room full of people or speaks before an audience, he is to be treated as a title-less servant, not as royalty.  His words and actions alone are to be taken into consideration, without considering, at all, his priesthood rank.  If his words and/or actions are persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, kind and given with genuine love and in pure knowledge, we are to allow them to influence us or to have power over us, otherwise, we are to ignore them. This does him a great service, as people who are treated like royalty eventually begin acting as royalty.  This principle applies to every priesthood calling in the church: branch president, bishop, quorum president, high priest group leader, stake president, mission president, area authority, seventy, apostle, First Presidency counselor or prophet.  They are all to be treated as if they had no title or office, whatsoever.

    The next priesthood body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is not below the First Presidency, but above them, in the inverted hierarchy.  Yet, the Twelve are still just servants of the church body and are to be treated as such, just like the First Presidency.  The difference, though, lies in how the Twelve and First Presidency interact with each other, for the First Presidency is to serve the Twelve and not the other way around.

    This pattern of the greater serving those who are lesser is to apply to all quorums of the priesthood, for even as “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10: 45), so are holders of the priesthood not to be ministered unto, but to minister, in their respective jurisdictions.

    How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

    The word “minister” comes from the Latin minister, which means “servant.”  Our word “servant” comes from the Old French servir, which comes from the Latin servire, which means “to be a slave” or “to be a servant,” which comes from the Latin servus, which means “slave” or “servant.”  The only difference between a slave and a servant is that the servant is engaged in voluntary servitude while the slave is engaged in involuntary servitude.  With this in mind, we can think of a servant as a “voluntary slave.”  To properly use the priesthood, then, one must consider himself a servant, or voluntary slave, of all and act accordingly.  Even when called to preside, the use of the word “president” means, in the vernacular of the Lord, servant (or voluntary slave).

    Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;  (D&C 124: 134)

    This is why the Lord uses the word “yoke.”

    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matt. 11: 28-30)

    We are yoked (as servants) with priesthood.  We are voluntarily enslaved.

    Entering the priesthood with the proper mindset requires that one consider himself as nothing (see Mosiah 4: 11), even less than “the dust of the earth” (see Mosiah 2: 25-26).  This prepares a man to “enter the priesthood” and not merely “get the priesthood.”  Often we speak of the priesthood as something you get, receive, hold, as if it were a thing you could stick in your pocket.  It is true that the priesthood is “the gift of God” (see Acts 8: 20), but it is also true that it is an order that is entered into by ordination.  “Entering the priesthood” is meant to be a life-changing event, for it is through the priesthood that men can become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh. In that vein, entering the priesthood is synonymous with entering a life of selfless service, in which you use the rights of the priesthood, and the powers of heaven that are inseparably connected to them, to bless and minister to all the living creatures around you, and even to those who have died, through the work for the dead.

    Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

    When priesthood functions as it was intended to function, as a corps of humble servants who are unable to maintain any power or influence by virtue of their priesthood office and calling, because all look upon them as title-less servants and listen to their counsel and follow their examples only to the degree that their counsel and examples square up with the scriptures, priesthood becomes an antidote to the natural disposition that men have to exercise unrighteous dominion upon others.  Only when priesthood offices and callings are lifted up in the eyes of the LDS people to the point where they give their leaders special treatment, like royalty, and they heed and “follow the brethren,” their leaders, because they have such high and holy callings, in other words, when the LDS people begin to give more weight to what a General Authority says because he is a General Authority, or more weight to what a stake president or bishop or branch president or any other president says, because of their titular callings, at that point the priesthood ceases to be the antidote and becomes, instead, the poison.  When the honors of men are found within the priesthood ranks and men begin to list the high priesthood offices they’ve held as merit badges and honorable ribbons, or as a job resume, it ceases to function as the true priesthood of God and becomes, instead, but a form of godliness, and not the real thing.

    At that point, the powers of heaven will have withdrawn from these men and the work of miracles would have ceased.  No more angels, no more open visions, no more prophecies and revelations, no more miraculous power manifested.

    I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”  (JS-H 1: 19)

    False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

    The transformation of the minister-servant status of priesthood into royalty status can be seen by examining how the priesthood operated during the time of Christ and how it has morphed over generations into the Catholic priesthood today.  The pope, cardinals and bishops dress, act and are treated as royalty.  Mormon priesthood appears to be following the same evolution.  Although Mormons don’t, yet, kiss their bishop’s rings (like Catholics do), Mormon priesthood leadership has many of the trappings of royalty, including getting the chief seats, partaking of the sacrament first, having people stand when a GA enters a room, etc.

    How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

    Both Mormon and Catholic priests claim a priesthood line of ordination that leads directly to Peter.  In the case of the Catholics, they claim an unbroken line of ordination to mortal Peter, while the Mormons claim an unbroken line of ordination to the angel Peter.  Each asserts that they have the keys (authority) of the priesthood, while the others do not.  The assertion, then, is that the priesthood of the other church is false because they have no keys.  So, by definition, a false priest, even though proper ordination has occurred, is one that asserts to have keys, but in reality has no keys.

    A priest’s keys (authority) is immediately lost or taken away when a priest undertakes “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men” (D&C 121: 37) by virtue of the priesthood.  When authority is asserted because of an office of the priesthood, the Lord says, “Amen to…the authority (keys) of that man” (D&C 121: 37).

    A man who has obtained the rights and keys of the priesthood, who acts in this manner, loses his keys (or has his keys taken away), becoming a false priest. For example, although the Catholic priests trace their priesthood back to Peter, they are false priests, for they assert their authority by virtue of their priesthood ordination and thus have no keys. They may have had the keys at one time, but due to wholesale, unrepentant, generational corruption, they have since lost them entirely, for you can not pass on what you no longer have.

    Mormon priesthood keys can also be just as easily lost.  It matters not that one was ordained by someone with real priesthood authority who correctly conferred the rights and keys of the priesthood.  Regardless of how correct was the ordination, if priesthood is used contrary to the order of heaven, both the keys and powers of priesthood are instantly lost.  With repentence, they can be obtained again, but while a man persists in influencing others by virtue of the priesthood, that man has no valid authority and is a fraud, even a false priest.  When that happens, priesthood, in the hands of a false priest, instead of being a great blessing, becomes a curse to the people and church of God.

    False priests “teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28: 4), which makes them “false teachers.”  It is “because of false (priest) teachers” that “churches have become corrupted” (2 Ne. 28: 12).  It is important, then, to be able to discern a false from a true priest/teacher.  In this area, Jesus gave us some counsel:

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.  (3 Ne. 14: 15-20)

    This advice equally applies to false priests.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “ye shall know them by their improper priesthood ordination.”  How they are ordained is not the most important thing in detecting ravening wolves.  How they use the priesthood shows them as being true or false priests.

    The Priesthood and Women

    It is through priesthood that men become exalted, for when they receive it, they receive Christ and the Father and all that the Father has.  This is according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The doctrine of exaltation requires the union of man and woman in eternal marriage, but men must also receive the priesthood.  Women, however, obtain their exaltation by their union with their priest-husband.  A priest-husband who has received the priesthood, meaning he has become priesthood made flesh, in similitude of the Son of God, when he “cleaves to his wife,” becomes one flesh with her.  In this way, the wife shares in all of the exalting benefits of the priesthood and enters into her exaltation, just as does the husband.  This is according to the principle of charity.

    The prize is the same for both of them: all that the Father has is given to her husband and to her, for she is one flesh with her husband and he is priesthood made flesh. As he has received the priesthood, and she has become one flesh with him, she has also received the priesthood.

    This does not mean that she must perform the ordinances of the priesthood.  Each office of the priesthood has duties that vary from another office of the priesthood.  A deacon does not do what an elder does.  In like manner, a woman, wife and mother has duties different than any of the offices of the priesthood.  She is not ordained to these duties like a priest, for her calling begins at her birth.  She is given from the start the natural abilities and gifts needed to bear and nurture the souls of men and has no need for priesthood rights to be conferred upon her to magnify her calling.  She only needs the saving ordinances of the gospel, including the temple rites, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, to magnify her calling.  Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation lies with the priesthood, and for this matter she must enter into eternal marriage with a man who has received the priesthood and become one flesh with him to obtain her exaltation.

    The Lord is merciful to all His daughters, as well to all His sons, and will not allow a disobedient husband who refuses to receive the priesthood to stop a wife worthy of exaltation from receiving it.  Nor will He allow a rebellious wife to prohibit her worthy-of-exaltation husband from receiving it.  Each man who justifies, purifies and sanctifies himself before God and obeys His commandments, will enter into his exaltation regardless of what his spouse does.  The same applies to women.

    What Priests Really Hold

    Although we “confer the priesthood,” in reality we are not conferring priesthood, but are conferring the rights to the priesthood.  The rights to the priesthood are the rights to administer the priesthood, or the rights to officiate in an office of the priesthood, meaning the rights to use the priesthood, or to speak this language of God. (See Abr. 1: 2-3, 27, 31; Abr. 2: 11; D&C 121: 36-37; D&C 107: 10-12.)  This pattern also applies to the ordinance of confirmation, in which it is said, “Receive the Holy Ghost!”  Are we really bestowing the Third Member of the Godhead upon the newly baptized member?  Of course, not.  We are merely giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit.

    The Key-words of the Priesthood

    Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham has the following explanations of figures #3 and #7:

    3. “representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood”

    7. “revealing through the heaven the grand Key-words of the Priesthood”

    The Key-words of the priesthood are not some secret, magic words that, once known and spoken, grant the man speaking them unlimited access to the heavens and the powers thereof.  They are not secret words known only to the living prophet or Twelve apostles, or to other secret initiates.  No, the Key-words of the priesthood is the priesthood itself.

    The priesthood is a language that is specific to, and spoken only by, God Himself.  It is the original tongue, the mother and father tongue, the words that brought everything into existence, including other languages (the languages of men).  The priesthood is the key-words that lock or unlock all things, or seal and unloose all things.  These are the words of power (agency), the words of authority (keys).  It is through the Key-words (the Priesthood) that every other word of God has come forth.  For example, the scriptures found in our Standard Works contain the Word of God revealed through the Key-words (Priesthood) of God.

    Joseph added “of the Holy Priesthood” and “of the Priesthood” to his explanation of Key-words, because Key-words is a common term and could refer to many things.  So, he added that to indicate or clarify that he was talking of the Priesthood Key-words.  The term Key-words itself is used to indicate that the Priesthood is a language which holds authority (keys) in the universe.  Joseph says that “all to whom the Priesthood was revealed” have “the Key-words of the Holy Priesthood” revealed (see Fig. 3).  So, if you have had the Priesthood revealed to you, then you have also had the Key-words of the Priesthood revealed to you, for they are one and the same.

    What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

    Answer: Faith, the presence of God, knowledge of God and exaltation.

    Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost 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: 45-46)

    The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. (D&C 107: 30-31)

    Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!  (D&C 128: 19)

    And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  (D&C 84: 35-39)

    Notice, also, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, receiving the priesthood actually causes the Holy Ghost to be one’s constant companion.  The meaning of this is that we become one (united) with God, meaning that we enter into the Godhead.  This is according to the Lord’s intercessory prayer.  (See John 17.)

    Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

    The priesthood given by God to the Gentile Mormons today is temporary in nature.  The first priesthood given, the Priesthood of Aaron, is a modified form of the original Priesthood of Aaron.  It has been tailored to fit the conditions (see D&C 46: 15) among the Gentile Mormons and will only remain with them until the Levites begin again to perform the Levitical Priesthood rites.

    Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.  (D&C 13: 1)

    The second priesthood given, which is the Melchizedek Priesthood, will remain with the Gentile Mormons only until the restoration of all things, at which point it will be transferred to the tribes of Israel.

    Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.  (D&C 86: 10)

    So, at some point in the future, the Melchizedek Priesthood will be restored to the tribes of Israel and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood will be restored to the Levites and the priesthoods among the Gentiles will be phased out so that Gentiles will no longer be able to obtain priesthood unless they renounce their Gentile status and become numbered with the house (tribes and Levites) of Israel.

    Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne. 30: 2)

    Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

    Previous Priesthood article: Let the Aaronic Priesthood Do Home Teaching and Let the Elders Administer the Sacrament

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

    Spicing up your church experience


    Combating Cultural Mormonism with a Little Anarchy

    In my estimation, there seems to be a growing number of LDS that are starting to recognize the difference between doctrinal Mormonism and cultural Mormonism, with a discontent concerning the latter.

    I, personally, worry that cultural Mormonism is killing too many of these good people with boredom.  So, if there are any out in Cyberspace who are tired of the Utah culture being exported to every part of the globe, here are some suggestions from your friendly, neighborhood LDS Anarchist to spice up your church experience and bring a little leavening to the doughy masses.

    Feel free to run with any of them and to encourage your LDS and, depending on the suggestion, non-LDS friends to do the same.  With enough people doing the following small things, the church will quickly be de-culturalized, leaving only doctrinal Mormonism left.  But even if only a very few people do these things, it will still cause a tremendous shift of attitude among the saints and bring about significant cultural change.  Lastly, if it is only you working, and you are not having any effect, at all, upon the Cult of Conformity, at least you will have de-culturalized yourself and removed much of the boredom you might have been going through.

    Bring back the visual cues of manhood

    • Men and boys, grow your beards out.

    This is a very easy thing to do, as there is nothing that needs to be done.  It is a passive act.  You simply allow the facial hair to grow out.  This will save you time, energy, electricity (for electric shavers), damage to the skin (no more nicks and cuts) and money (no more shaving equipment needed.)

    Many men desire to grow a beard but use the excuse that it grows out in patches and ends up looking horrible, so they cut it.  The truth of the matter is that if you just let the hair grow, even the patches start to sprout hair and eventually everything looks even and full, but sometimes it may take six months for a very patchy man to have a full beard.  A little patience is all it takes.

    Teenage boys of 15 and 16, when they start to notice that their peach fuzz is turning into terminal hairs, will immediately start shaving it off.  This is a mistake, as the facial hair is a visual cue that manhood is now upon them.

    Young men, aren’t you tired of people treating you like a child?  Grow your facial hair out and watch how quickly people begin treating you as a more mature individual.  Watch the reaction of your parents, male peers, school teachers and the young women of your age.  A beard is a very strong visual cue of manhood and everyone will start to treat you as an adult, especially when your voice deepens.  Remember, things should match.  A deep voice goes with a full beard.  A high pitched voice goes with a clean-shaven (boyish) face.  These visual and audible cues were given to us by God on purpose.

    Men, unless you are in a profession that requires you to be clean-shaven, let the hair grow out into a full, bushy beard.  Ditch the fads and trends of trimming into this or that beard style.  You don’t need a goatee, you need a full beard.  You were created in the image of God.  He’s got a full beard.  You’re supposed to have one, too.  Be like God in heart and look like God in image. Don’t trim his image.  If the mustache gives you trouble when you eat, or if you find that the beard becomes a “flavor saver” (because food gets stuck in it), just exercise the patience of the saints and let it grow until it is long enough to no longer get in the way.

    Now, I say grow a full, bushy, untrimmed beard because that is the most manly of beards. Short beards, even when full, indicate young men, whose beards have not yet attained the length of a fully grown man.

    Women, compliment your husbands and sons on the fine beards they are growing.  You are hard-wired to find beards attractive.  Why?  Because beards are manly, and women love manliness.  So, dump all the (beardless) Roman and (beardless) homosexual propaganda that has filled your head and embrace the real image of Christ. You don’t want a beardless Roman, now do you?  Remember, the beardless Romans killed the bearded Christ.  You want a Christ-like man, right?  So, encourage the growing of the beard, ladies.  Besides, you know that women constantly complain of how grown, adult men act like immature 12-year olds, right?  Well, have you ever considered that they act like 12-year olds because they still look like 12-year olds?  Can you really expect your men to grow up and be adults if they just look like bigger versions of beardless kids?

    Men, women and children should consider the functions of the full beard and respect them.  Here are some examples:

    • Beards come in quite handy during intimacy.  (I ain’t gonna elaborate on this one.)
    • Beards help to develop the manual dexterity of infants and toddlers, who, as they are held by their fathers, grasp the beard, which fully develops the hand and fingers of the child.
    • Beards help to distinguish the father from the mother in the eyes of the child, causing them to view the sexes as very, very different.  (“Viva la difference!” as the French say.)  This causes young girls to develop into very feminine women and young boys to develop into very masculine men.
    • Bearded men (full, bushy beards, mind you, not the sissy trimmed beards) elicit an involuntary reaction upon all who see them.  Beards emit power and virility and evoke instant respect.  Big, clean-shaven men with tattoos all over the place, piercings, etc., who look for confrontations, involuntarily avoid bearded men because they don’t feel manly in the presence of bearded men.  In point of fact, bearded men look upon beardless men as less manly.
    • When two bearded men enter an area and spot each other, they are naturally drawn to each other, involuntarily complimenting the other for their fine facial hair.  (This is significant, as men normally do not give compliments of appearance to one another.)  A bearded man talking to another bearded man feels like he is talking to a man. A bearded man talking to a beardless man feels like he is talking to a boy. All beardless men know this, or feel this inferiority of manliness when in the presence of fully bearded men.  There is no worse feeling to a man than to feel less than manly.
    • Conversely, there is no greater feeling to a woman than to feel feminine, but femininity must be contrasted with masculinity to get its greatest effect.  A fully bearded man gives the highest contrast of manliness to a woman, which is why women who have experienced fully bearded men don’t want them to ever cut the beard off.  They feel supremely feminine in the presence of such a manly man.  (Of course, cultural conditioning can take away this natural affinity that women have towards manly beards.)
    • Fully bearded men have an air of authority around them that children and women (and beardless men) respond to.  There is something in our psyche that still remembers Heavenly Father and that responds to His bearded image.
    • There may be many other reasons to grow a beard, but I’ll end with this one: if the Lord ever wants to send you out among the people to prophesy like one of His prophets of old, shouldn’t you look the part?

    Worldly trends to eliminate beards Can you imagine a homosexual male with a full beard?  Kind of hard to picture, isn’t it?  Ever wonder why adult, homosexual males are almost always clean shaven, or have a minimum of facial hair?  Every wonder why the “playboy” image, started by Hugh Hefner, is clean-shaven (kind of like the homosexuals?)  Homosexual males don’t have children because they don’t get into long-term, committed relationships with females (otherwise known as “marriage.”)  “Playboys” (or nowadays the term is “players”) don’t get into long term, committed relationships with females, either.  (No marriage.)  You think the parallels between homosexual males and players is mere coincidence?

    How about the sex performers and industry?  The only hair on their bodies (male or female) is found on their heads (and sometimes not even that for the men.)  Ever wonder why all this shaving of armpit hair, pubic hair and facial hair?  All of the visual cues of adulthood (for men and women) are snipped off by this industry, by the homosexuals and often by the playboys.  But think about it, if you take away this hair, what does an adult look like?  Answer: A large child.

    None of this is coincidence.  Just as the hair that develops during puberty is designed by God to be a visual cue that the body is becoming an adult and getting ready for its sexual function between ADULTS, the world would remove all this hair so that it looks like CHILDREN are performing these sacred acts.  Thoughts to consider.

    (After writing the above, which is based upon my own, personal observations, I did some Internet surfing and came across the following web site that confirmed what I had perceived about beards.)

    All About Beards (beards.org)

    Pay your tithing in silver

    Stop writing checks or paying in cash.  Take whatever cash amount you would spend on tithing and convert it into silver coins, specifically, this silver.  Package and mail the coins off to your bishop, along with a tithing slip inside.  Make sure the slip is filled out so that you are anonymous.

    Leave boring sacrament meetings after partaking of the sacrament

    If you are tired of banal, boring, lame sacrament meeting talks and seriously consider going inactive, don’t.  Just go to church, partake of the sacrament, and as soon as the priests and deacons are dismissed to sit with their families, walk out and go home. You can return later to attend the Gospel Doctrine class, Relief Society or Priesthood Meetings, if you want or need to.  If Gospel Doctrine is lame, skip that, too. (However, to remain in good standing, priesthood holders must attend their priesthood meetings, even if they are boring.)

    Doing this will allow you to keep your sanity for a few more years.  Also, if enough people in your ward participate in collective ditching, the bishopric may get the message that boredom is not a generally accepted principle of the gospel and may make needed improvements to the sacrament meeting.  But don’t hold your breath on that one.

    Ditch the necktie and white shirt

    Last I checked, you can’t be ex’d for that, or even disfellowshipped.  But some anally retentive bishops may decide that you are no longer worthy to bless or pass the sacrament, give talks, teach classes or perform ordinances of church record, so, if you are looking for a breather from a heavy church load, conveniently make sure that every Sunday your white shirts and ties are too dirty to wear and dress in nice, comfortable, casual clothes, instead.  And if you are called to give a priesthood blessing to some sick person in the ward, don’t be anally retentive yourself and rush home to get dressed in a white shirt and tie.  Just go as you are and bless them.

    Grow your hair long

    Jesus did it.  Samson did it.  Who is more manly than those two?  Long hair and a full, bushy beard complement each other.  If you have the Roman hair (short cut) and the Israelite beard (full and bushy), it will almost look hypocritical, like having one foot in Babylon and one foot in Zion.  Put both feet in Zion and grow the hair out.  You’ll look a whole lot more handsome and manly if you do.  Plus, you’ll save on all the barber shop money you spend.  (Or, to appease a wife that is unaccustomed to long hair, tell her that you are going to the barber, but instead come back with chocolates and roses…and uncut hair.  She’ll soon look forward to your “barber shop” excursions and will end up being the one insisting you never cut your hair.)  If anyone asks you why you are not cutting the hair, say you are trying to be like Jesus, or that you have taken a Nazarene vow, or that you’ve noticed that your strength increases the longer your hair is, and you’ve decided to enter a strongman contest.

    Call everyone brother and sister so-and-so

    And I do mean everyone.  Bishops, presidents, missionaries, apostles, prophets and all General Authorities.  Everyone.  And make it part of every sentence, too, when you are called out on the practice.  So, for example: “Hello, Brother Brown.’  “Uh, I’m the bishop, Brother Green.”  “Yes, I know, Brother Brown.”  “Well, it is customary to call one’s bishop by the title bishop and not brother.”  “I was aware of that, Brother Brown.  But thanks for the information, anyway.”  You get my drift, right?  If anyone asks why you are doing this, just get all emotional and, if you are able to, shed a few tears while giving him (not her) a big hug and saying that you love him as your own brother.  Fairly quickly, no one will ask you again about it.

    Print out your own set of scriptures

    Include whatever canon you want.  Let it contain the four standard works (any version of the Bible you want, or multiple versions, or the red-letter version, etc.), the Apocrypha, the Inspired Version, etc.  Use a desk-top publishing program and a good printer and take it to a binding shop to get it professionally bound.  Remember, the saints set the canon.  You are a saint, so set your own canon.

    Reverse the order of prayer

    Instead of ending “in the name of Jesus Christ,” make it a habit of starting with “Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, …” and then end with a simple “Amen.”

    Reverse the order of priesthood blessings

    Instead of saying, “John Smith, by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, we lay our hands on you…etc.” and then ending with, “…and we leave this blessing with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen,” just begin with, “John Smith, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the authority of…” and end with, “amen.”  Sure, you”ll undoubtedly get elders telling you afterward that you screwed up the blessing and must do it again because the order was reversed, but stick to your guns and teach them a thing or two, namely, that stating the authority is what is required, not the order in which the authority is stated.

    Drop all the archaic expressions of prayer

    Don’t worry, you won’t tick God off by calling him “you” instead of “thee.”  Lol.  That is a Mormon cultural artifact, nothing more.  Use plain, modern English when talking to God and drop all the thees, thous, wilts, etc.  Do this in private and in public, after all, it’s going to take practice to get out of this habit.  But it’ll be well worth the effort both to witness the expressions of horror by the LDS around you after you’ve said your prayer, as well as seeing how more accepting Christians are of you when you’ve said a prayer without archaic, “holier-than-thou” expressions.

    De-McConkie-ize the church: stop ending talks with “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

    This practice was started by Bruce R. McConkie.  The early saints just said, “Amen.” to end a talk, or just ended it however they wanted to end it and then sat down.  Surely you don’t think your entire talk speaks for Jesus, now do you?  So, leave off speaking in His name except for ORDINANCES which require speaking in His name and for those times when you are filled with the Spirit and are prophesying in the name of God.  (Now how many times has that happened, huh?)

    Build an altar in your home

    Purchase bottles of vodka and leave them out to be seen

    Use the vodka to wash your bodies, as directed by the Word of Wisdom.  Make sure they are conspicuously displayed and then invite some church members over for dinner.  Have fun with the discussions that ensue.

    Other ideas

    Obviously, these are just ideas to get you started.  Cultural Mormons will probably call you a sinner for doing these things.  But then, they also see anarchy as evil, which it isn’t.  Just smile and do them anyway.  Eventually, the tide of Mormon cultural crap will turn.  If you have any other ideas to offer, or if you are already doing some of these or other things, feel free to leave a comment and inform us all of your experience.

    Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Anarchism

    Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: Let Us Unite Our Efforts to Establish Gift Societies Based Upon Tribal Anarchism

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

    The Law of Chastity: What It Is and What It Isn’t


    As part of an article that I have been preparing on the law of chastity, I thought it would be good to first define it.  However, as I began writing that portion of the article (the definition of the law of chastity), the article became quite long and I realized that this was a topic sufficient for its own post.  So, I am splitting the article into two, this being the first part.

    There have been two definitions given of the law of chastity in the temple of God.

    The temple definition of the law of chastityprior to April, 1990

    “The law of chastity…is that the daughters of Eve and the sons of Adam shall have no sexual intercourse except with their husbands or wives to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded.”  (Source: The Telestial World.)

    and

    “We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity. This I will explain.

    “To the sisters, it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your husband to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. To the brethren it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.”  (Source: The Terrestrial World.)

    The temple definition of the law of chastityApril, 1990 Revision

    The 1990 revision speaks of sexual “relations” rather than sexual “intercourse.”

    The 1990 revision does not have women and men covenant separately to keep the law of chastity. Instead, women and men simultaneously covenant to have no sexual relations except with their “husband or wife” to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded.  (Source: The Terrestrial World, Notes 1 and 2.)

    Paraphrased law of chastity with pre- and post-April, 1990 revision comparisons

    I will paraphrase the definition given previous to April, 1990, and state it as follows:

    The law of chastity is that no woman will have sexual intercourse except with her husband to whom she is legally and lawfully wedded and that no man will have sexual intercourse except with his wife to whom he is legally and lawfully wedded.

    And here is a paraphrase of the definition given in the April, 1990 revision:

    The law of chastity is that no woman will have sexual relations except with her husband to whom she is legally and lawfully wedded and that no man will have sexual relations except with his wife to whom he is legally and lawfully wedded.

    Would the real law of chastity please stand up?

    According to the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the term sexual intercourse has two shades of meaning:

    1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS

    2 : intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis

    (Definition taken from this page.)

    According to the same dictionary, the term sexual relations has the following, singular definition:

    : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

    (Definition taken from this page.)

    We see from these definitions that the terms sexual intercourse and sexual relations are synonymous.

    More on the second shade of meaning

    As stated above, the term sexual intercourse has two shades of meaning.

    So that there is no misunderstanding over the second shade of meaning, which is defined as intercourse, here is the definition of the word intercourse:

    3 : physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person <anal intercouse> <oral intercourse>; especially : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE 1 <heterosexual intercourse>

    (Definition taken from this page.)

    And for those who aren’t sure just what is considered human genitalia,

    “The Latin term genitalia, sometimes anglicized as genitals and genital area, is used to describe the externally visible sex organs, known as primary genitalia or external genitalia: in males the penis, in females the clitoris and vulva.”

    (Taken from the Sex organ entry of Wikipedia.)

    Church manuals give the same definition as the temple definition

    For example, in the book Gospel Principles, in chapter 39, entitled, The Law of Chastity, under the section called What Is the Law of Chastity?, chastity is stated this way:

    “We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse.”

    The Gospel Topics Gospel Library found on lds.org, an official web site of the Church, under the entry Chastity, states the following:

    “Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage.”

    Church manuals and leader’s teachings often go beyond the temple definition

    To give an example, I refer back to the Gospel Principles book, same chapter, same section, and directly under the definition quoted above.  Two paragraphs follow which state:

    We have been taught that the law of chastity encompasses more than sexual intercourse. Elder Spencer W. Kimball warned young people of other sexual sins:

    “Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, [unwed] pregnancy, and abortions—all ugly sins—but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils, and it is often difficult for youth to distinguish where one ends and another begins. They awaken lust and stir evil thoughts and sex desires. They are but parts of the whole family of related sins and indiscretions” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 65).

    This tendency to go beyond the temple definition and lump together anything and everything that can lead to breaking the law of chastity is fairly common in the church.  These “related sins and indiscretions” are often categorically labeled immorality.

    The sexual laws of the Bible

    What the Bible says about proper sexual activity is not quite the same as the temple definition of the law of chastity.  It is not my intention to address the biblical sexuality laws here.  It would take too much time and require more than one post.  Others, however, have addressed these issues, so I will refer the reader to one of them, the Controversial Truths section of the Righteous Warriors website, in which can be found biblical sexuality articles.

    For the purposes of this post, I will be sticking to the temple definition of the law of chastity and to nothing else.

    Where fornication and adultery fit in the law of chastity

    For the sins of fornication and adultery, only the first definition of sexual intercourse applies.  In other words, if a married woman has oral sex with some guy she’s not married to, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing the sin of adultery.  If she has a lesbian affair, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing adultery.  The sins of fornication and adultery require vaginal penetration by the penis.  But, don’t take my word on this. Go ask your bishop to see the church handbook for yourself.

    Now that we know what the law of chastity is, let’s talk about what it isn’t.

    Masturbation does not break the law of chastity

    To break the law of chastity, at least two people are required.  Therefore, masturbation, which is sexual self-stimulation, does not break the law of chastity.

    Kissing does not break the law of chastity

    Kissing, even passionate kissing, as long as the genitalia are not involved, does not break the law of chastity.

    Petting does not break the law of chastity

    Petting and even heavy petting, like kissing, does not break the law of chastity, as long as the genitalia are not involved.  Also, keep in mind that the breasts are not considered genitalia.

    Viewing pornography does not break the law of chastity

    For the reasons stated above, looking at pornography does not break the law of chastity.  It is impossible to physically have sexual intercourse with just the eyes.

    Committing adultery in one’s heart does not break the law of chastity

    Jesus said “that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  (See Matthew 5: 28.)  The Lord also said, “He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath denied the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repents not he shall be cast out.”  (See D&C 42: 23.)

    “Looking on a woman to lust after her” means that a man consciously wishes that he could cheat on his wife (if he is already married) and have sexual intercourse (1st shade of meaning of that term, which covers the sin of adultery) with another man’s wife.

    Obviously, this is a sin that can rapidly lead to breaking the law of chastity, but in and of itself, this sin does not break the law of chastity.

    Immodesty does not break the law of chastity

    How you dress can affect how you feel about yourself and how others treat you, but it is outside of the jurisdiction of the law of chastity, therefore, dressing immodestly does not break the law of chastity.

    (For a fuller treatment of modesty, see its Wikipedia entry.  For a brief review of modern LDS modesty standards, see the blog post, A Style of Our Own.)

    Why knowing the definition of chastity is helpful

    People often beat themselves up unnecessarily.  A person is, of course, free to add as many personal rules as they want to the laws of the gospel, including the law of chastity, as did the Pharisees, but when it comes right down to it, chastity is what the Lord, in His holy temple, has defined it as being.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    So, the next time you are sitting in a temple recommend interview with your bishop or stake president, and you are asked if you live the law of chastity, you may want to keep these things in mind.  Having the temple definition in your head may make answering the question a whole lot easier.

    Next Chastity article: “David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me”

    Previous Chastity article: Does legalized, same-sex “marriage” break the law of chastity?

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist