Is The LDS Church the Only True Church? Understanding Religion and Truth.

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I hope in this article to try to share some things that have helped me figure out how my religion fits with all the other religions in the world (pluralism); thoughts which have helped to break down barriers that inhibited my abilities to accept, love and learn from aspects of humanity not sharing my faith. Ideas that made me afraid of learning and seeking for truth. In a way I am trying to stand between believers and unbelievers and help them see eye to eye. As an active member of the LDS Church, I hope that by reading and thinking about this article, other active members will also be able to break down barriers that might inhibiting their love of others, as well as gaining a different perspective which may better allow you to learn about conflicting ideas or worldviews and still keep your ‘testimony’ and fellowship. For those who have left the church and are unable to find the language to explain your differing views to orthodox Mormons, I hope this article might give you some ideas on how to approach the difficult topics you may have wrestled with. I hope it serves as an authentic apology for our pride and often unchristlike behaviors. I hope that if you are a truth seeker the ideas I perhaps poorly try to explain will help you as they’ve helped me.

Personal Introduction

As a preamble I’d like to share an experience that changed my perceptions on truth. On my LDS mission I met a christian man who was strangely inquisitive, kind, polite and had love for me in his eyes with everything he said. After talking to him for only a short time it was obvious by his questions and love that he ‘knew Christ’ better than me, even though he wasn’t interested in converting to my religion. That stood as a stark contrast to most of the religious and unreligious people I talked to. As an ignorant 19 year old, I could still tell by the poor way most people treated me that they obviously cared more about themselves than me or my truth. Most weren’t very interested in knowing me or in listening to what I had to say. Many of them believed they already had the “truth”, and that what I had was false. In that missionary environment of trying to convince others of my truth, it didn’t take me too long to begin to search myself for hypocrisy. Was I more like that loving inquisitive man or like most others who did not want to talk to me, caring more about their truth than knowing about my truth? What really was truth? How could I know that what I had was better than what they had if I did not really understand what they had? From that time I resolved to be like that kind man and seek and accept truth regardless of its source or my preconceived biases. This was a surprisingly scary endeavor and required more bravery and honesty than I’d have guessed—because at that time I still saw religious truth in black and white terms, I thought it meant that if I found out that my church “wasn’t true” I would have to leave my mission and likely be ostracized to some degree when I came home to Utah. Really confronting that possibility was difficult, but I really wanted to show myself that I was willing to do what I was asking many others to do. What I think few cultural Mormons or mainstream religious “believers” would do—which is search out and give up our own pride for “truth”.

From that early point in my mission I began to hungrily eat up all the information on religion I could find. I quickly read ALL the LDS scriptures (including the entire Old Testament in less than a month). I read any anti-Mormon information I could get my hands on (which wasn’t hard to find in the evangelically populated areas of southern California). I read a great deal of classic Mormon scriptural commentary and apologetic material. As a young teen I had a very profound metaphysical experience when I first read the Book of Mormon (which I finished in less than a week). My “testimony” had always been based on that extraordinary classic “burning heart” experience which I had several times while I read it; however I met numerous people on my mission who had very similar spiritual experiences which formed the basis on their belief in their differing religions. That knowledge always unsettled me a bit. But I pressed on learning, determined to find truth regardless of its source or packaging.

Continuing my search for truth after my mission, over the last 15 years I’ve read or delved deeply into many of the world’s most popular religious works; such as the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, The Avesta, The Vedas, The Apocrypha, Baha’i Scripture, The Zohar, The Kolbrin, and a wealth of new age and channeled material such as Oahspe, Emanuel Swedenborg, J.S. Ward, The Urantia Bible, The Theosophical movement, The Gospel of the Holy Twelve, the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Seth Material and The Law of One. And perhaps most interestingly, I’ve read through hundreds and hundreds of Near Death Experiences. Through all of this I would have to say my “testimony” of the LDS Gospel has been seriously challenged. In fact I could honestly say it has repeatedly been shattered–but in a good way which forced me to rebuild it with increased understanding, faith and love (For my own LDS Faith and all others). I’ve learned over this period that in my youth, my circle of Mormon culture taught me a very limited and childish understanding of both testimony and truth. We hear these words repeated and passed around so much in Mormonism that I think few ever even stop to think what they mean. We say things like “I have a testimony that the Church is true”; but what does that even mean? Imagine someone saying “I have a testimony that my school is the true school or their country is the true country”. Wouldn’t your response be something like “what do you mean?”… “that really doesn’t make any sense, and seems a bit prideful.” Or if they said “I have a testimony that Thomas Jefferson was a true president”, wouldn’t you think it was kind of a confused thing to say? And yet through repetition we LDS members teach our children these couplets and get them to recite them in church even though they kind of distort the meaning of the word or concept of truth.

What is truth?

The idea of whether a church, an individual or an organization is “true” is a convoluted one. Truth as an absolute, is essentially a complete knowledge of things as they really ARE from all possible perspectives. Its not the purpose of this article to go into too much detail on philosophical definitions on truth, (called epistemology) but hopefully all readers can agree that the above secular definition agrees with the LDS definition of truth given in D&C 93:24, and that given this definition it is impossible for any mortal or organization to really be “true” in the full sense of the word because every human has only their own unique limited and biased perspective. When most religions try and claim to be the “true one”, they are actually saying “our views on eternity and our interpretation of ancient scripture is the only one that is right“. But at best, each religion in this world obviously teaches but shadows of the greater unseen spiritual realities of the heavens. I would ask Mormons, what do we mean by our truth claims anyway? Really ask yourself that and you will see how arrogant and misleading these types of statements actually are. Perhaps we should more rightly say that we believe that the church is true in the sense that it is legitimately authorized. And that “only God is true” or knows all truth or knows the real truth of a matter since we suppose he is the only being who can be conscious of all things from every possible perspective, fully understanding all the details and contradictions. To most non-Mormons and youth, calling oneself “the only true church” is actually paramount to making that church and its hierarchy into a God. As Mormons we believe that Joseph Smith had many amazing supernatural experiences and that through him, “God” restored a great amount of truth which had been lost to mainstream Christianity. We also believe He gave our Church a great restorative work to do and that He restored certain priesthoods and authorities to aid in that work. But interpreting D&C 1:30 to suggest that we are the “only true church” suggests many things to the world and our youth which actually go against our goal of proving to the world that the heavens are still open and that Higher Beings speak truth individually to mankind through his Spirit as well as collectively through 19th century farm boys and assorted modern prophets.

I believe the cultural idea and practice of claiming to be the “only true church” has created an environment where our members are actually more closed to truths (which instead of coming through accepted cultural Mormon channels, might come through science or other religious leaders) than the average person in the world in general. In a religion founded on the principles of religious pluralism and continuing revelation this should not be. In the following pages I will attempt to show through LDS scripture the sources and error of this doctrine. And make a case for the idea that if one really wants to know truth, one needs to gain as many perspectives on a thing as possible. Which requires loving and empathizing with others enough to see things the way they do. And that as we go through this process of loving others and adding their perspective to our own we get closer to the ever illusive real all-truth which is only known by God (more on the definition of “god” later).

The Key to Truth: The Proverbs of the Elephant & Mountain

There is a sage Hindu proverb about six blind men and an elephant who each feel different parts of the same animal but each have completely different ideas about what they are experiencing because of their limited perspectives. One thinks it’s a rope, another a pillar, the other a fan, etc, but all are wrong because they can’t see the whole picture. The Gospel of the Holy Twelve shares a similar parable which Jesus supposedly gave to Thomas and his Twelve Apostles in order to illustrate this concept about truth. I think it’s one of the most profound Christian discourses on truth I have read….

2. And as they were speaking Jesus appeared in their midst and said, Truth, one and absolute, is in God alone, for no man, neither any body of men, knoweth that which God alone knoweth, who is the All in All. To men is Truth revealed, according to their capacity to understand and receive.
3. The One Truth hath many sides, and one seeth one side only, another seeth another, and some see more than others, according as it is given to them.
4. Behold this crystal: how the one light is manifest in twelve faces, yea four times twelve, and each face reflecteth one ray of light, and one regardeth one face, and another another, but it is the one crystal and the one light that shineth in all.
5. Behold again, When one climbeth a mountain and attaining one height, he saith, This is the top of the mountain, let us reach it, and when they have reached that height, lo, they see another beyond it until they come to that height from which no other height is to be seen, if so be they can attain it.
6. So it is with Truth. I am the Truth and the Way and the Life, and have given to you the Truth I have received from above. And that which is seen and received by one, is not seen and received by another. That which appeareth true to some, seemeth not true to others. They who are in the valley see not as they who are on the hill top.
7. But to each, it is the Truth as the one mind seeth it, and for that time, till a higher Truth shall be revealed unto the same: and to the soul which receiveth higher light, shall be given more light. Wherefore condemn not others, that ye be not condemned.
8. As ye keep the holy Law of Love, which I have given unto you, so shall the Truth be revealed more and more unto you, and the Spirit of Truth which cometh from above shall guide you, albeit through many wanderings, into all Truth, even as the fiery cloud guided the children of Israel through the wilderness.
9. Be faithful to the light ye have, till a higher light is given to you. Seek more light, and ye shall have abundantly; rest not, till ye find.
10. God giveth you all Truth, as a ladder with many steps, for the salvation and perfection of the soul, and the truth which seemeth today, ye will abandon for the higher truth of the morrow. Press ye unto Perfection.

Full truth is a view of the whole mountain from every angle, which can only be seen looking down from the highest peak (which is infinite and impossible for mortals to reach). It is to see all of eternal creation as it really is. Thus for man truth is a process as much as a destination, and the only way to head toward it is love. Because love is the unifying principle, and truth is a journey to perfect unity of perspective or at-one-ness with all sentient life in the universe. The same is true for perfection and righteousness, they are journeys heading toward unity and wholeness, which is accomplished through harmony and balance.

I believe we must traverse the lower foothills in order to progress toward higher perspectives. The lower foothills are full of moral and ideological absolutism because they are not yet aware other paths exist, nor are they really even aware of their own real goal. But the higher we climb, the more we see the higher peaks, and that we are only on a foothill, and that there are other foothills, and that there are other people on those foothills headed toward the same goal.

The pride of imperfect men and organizations are always trying to turn complex concepts into black and white, true or false dogmas. I think in Mormonism we too often get stuck into that narrow mindset instead of following a more pluralistic approach such as exemplified in this quote from Joseph Smith,

 “I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” (The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184)

Full Truth is a composite of all knowledge. Religion is a “schoolmaster” designed to help us gain the mind of god.

Another Story

When I was younger, I put Joseph Smith way up on a pedestal and interpreted scripture and history through what I felt was the true worldview which he restored. I saw only one narrow interpretation of his experience which was that the Most-High God of the infinite universe appeared to Joseph in person, because of his worthiness/forordination, and started His One and Only True Church on earth through him. That this Most High God picked Earth of all the gazillions of planets in the infinite universe to bare His ONLY True Son in the flesh, and this royal heir to the throne started His ONLY true church with the keys to eternal exaltation. That essentially every thought, action and aspect of human existence was ruled by the devil except for the things the Bible, Joseph or my Church leaders sanctioned. I was taught to attribute every personal spiritual experience or powerful emotional reaction to truth, as proof that this worldview was the true one.

But the older I get and the more I look outside myself, experiencing God, studying history, scripture and human experience — the more the rigid aspects of this definitive worldview break down. Why earth? Why Israel? Why Joseph? Why a church hierarchy? What about China? Who’s this Buddha guy? Why was Joseph so good and Warren Jeffs Bad? Why was Moses & Joshua true but Mohammed false? Why is the Bible/Book of Mormon the true word of God but the Bhagavad Gita, Rigveda or Oahspe not? Just like the Book of Mormon I have strong spiritual feelings when I read them. But I also have strong spiritual feelings when I hold my children or kiss my wife–does this mean they are the only truth? Just like Joseph I am a thinker and have continually asked God for wisdom; but much like Buddha or Mohammed my visions from God have been uniquely different than Joseph’s (although with many commonalities as well).

To further illustrate the point of pluralism, I recently talked to an LDS youth who had an experience seeing a “being of light” (as he described it). He told me about how in an altered state of consciousness induced by fasting, this being had appeared to him and told him to start his own church. I have talked to others who have seen visions and light beings as well. I have had my own wild metaphysical experiences. I have read the experiences of scores of others. Some resonated with me (ie. I felt the Spirit) and some did not. But the more I explore these the more I see that whether or not I “feel the Spirit” in someone elses experience has more to do with my own worldview and biases than anything else.

I think that this is a really important point and a major key to pluralistic understanding, empathy and love. The world of truth is not black and white. We are all running about this huge mountain trying to figure out what it is. Trying to decide what our own as well as others’ experiences and perspectives mean.When one runs into a differing perspective, the question is not whether it is true or false but what are you going to do with it? Will you use it to unify or divide? To help people climb up the mountain or to hold them down? My goal in this article is to unify, and to show LDS people ways which some of our prideful traditions or scriptural interpretations might be polarizing people into division and unbelief. How some of our reactions to other perspectives might force people further and further out of the Church. As an example, I offer this pretty typical reaction of an (LDS?) mother’s reacting to her son when he tells her he’s decided to be an atheist. (warning: profanity alert!)

Now there’s probably more to this particular family issue than shown in the video, but in general why is it that there is so often negative emotional reactions to others who have different religious viewpoints? Why the anger? I believe it usually boils down to power struggles and the concept that most people would rather be right than learn truth; and not understanding that truth is seeing how everyone’s perspective fits into the big picture. Going back to our mountain analogy, if you’ve put a lot of energy hiking up a mountain and someone comes and tells you about their different awesome mountain, it might make you fear that maybe you’ve been hiking the wrong mountain which might piss you off if it threatens your feelings of life-purpose and value. But if you understand that life & truth is a process of exploring every mountain (and finding how they’re connected) and not just a race to reach the top then you can instead listen to the differing perception and see its beauty, instead of being threatened because you were so sure your little hillock was the highest peak and that you had “arrived” at truth. Giving up our pride allows us to love everyone, and see how everyone’s religious or personal viewpoints fit into one big beautiful picture. It is important to realize that “Christ” came to His people, to be rejected of them in order to teach us this very lesson. The fact that Christ is and would be rejected by the mainstream of every religion that thinks they already have the truth is very important to our journey of growing in truth.

You have to lose your testimony to truly gain it

At some point in the maturing process everyone has to stop relying on the “testimony” of their parents and find their own light. There is often a similar process wherein we transcend the testimony of our church leaders and find God & truth for ourselves. I believe a major key in this process is remembering the parable of the mountain; we approach the ultimate truth by seeing EVERYONE’S perspective (including those in heavenly realms) and finding how it fits into the big picture. So there is no need to fear information because even “false” information is a part of the truth. The key is releasing our desire to be “right”, to define your truth as the only truth. By assuming your truth is the highest truth you assure that you would have been one who rejected Christ, because he came for the express purpose of testing whether we loved others enough to learn truth even if it conflicted with our deeply held beliefs. By assuming your truth is the highest truth you assure that your truth is falsity because it is fated to remain so partial. It’s like a man who never makes it past the mountain’s first foothill because he’s deluded himself into thinking he’s reached the top. This is taught beautifully in the Book of Mormon in these verses..

7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?

Once we learn everyone’s perspective then our religion becomes a matter of choice instead of a matter of force (force and manipulation ruin religion’s power to save anyway). When we realize no earthly church, but only the heavenly church, is “true” or “perfect”, but that a church is a vehicle to aid us in our progression then we CHOOSE our religion as we choose our spouse based upon what gives us the best opportunities for growth and service. If we choose Mormonism we do it because we want to be part of the work its been given to do… not because its the only vehicle to salvation. And this frees us to truly learn truth because we are no longer trapped in the constant fear that if we learn our church isn’t “true”, it might disrupt our comfy world-view and lifestyle. Thus you have to lose your testimony or desire to be “right” in order to gain a true testimony or free yourself to explore all truth. I’m not advocating leaving Mormonism or any church… in fact quite the opposite. I believe God puts us in churches based on certain pre-incarnate lessons we want and need–but that doesn’t mean our wants and needs won’t change. This is really the same concept taught by Christ when he says you have to lose you life in order to gain it. I believe he is teaching the principle of losing our ego, pride or desire to be the center of the world in order to be free from the fear which keeps us from going out and loving people and finding “life”. This is why Christ was excommunicated and found few believers from the orthodox pharisee sect. This is why “new” dispensational  & religions and revelations like Mormonism, that make people question their culturally ingrained truths and traditions, have so much of God’s Spirit. This is also why I say cultural “Mormons” need to lose their testimony to gain it. (More on priesthood and prophets later) Have you ever thought that “Gods” purpose in religion and politics is not so much to see if you can chose between mans perspectives of true or false, right or wrong but instead to gain His perspective which is to see through eyes of perfect unconditional love how all things fit into the big picture” (That all truth can be circumscribed into one whole–as the LDS temple teaches us ). The point is to enlarge your perspective, and that is what will get you God’s spirit. That despite all people and religions being selfish, egocentric and kind of messed up they are all true and all beautiful when seen in the big picture. The truest religion is the one with the most all-encompassing perspective, and open to the most revelation. A picture of a sunset may have a lot of darkness in it, but when you step back and see how it contrasts with all the hues of light you see that it is all amazingly beautiful and harmonious.

I believe LDS scripture, priesthood and doctrine were all initially revealed as a “schoolmaster” to enlarge humanity’s view of truth, not to restrict it.

Dealing with Troubling Aspects of Religion

Now one of my biggest motivators in writing this is my belief that as a Church, LDS members often set ourselves and others up to truly “lose” our/their testimonies (in the negative sense) by basing them on such polarized and egocentric concepts of truth (often perpetuated by our leaders). On the other hand, the worldview I’ve outlined lays the framework for dealing with troubling aspects of Mormon history or anti-material of any type. If you have a proper understanding of truth (that its not black & white), and love others more than you love yourself; and your testimony or love of the church is not founded on distorted “idyllic” principles— anti-material or the “messed up” aspects of the church will not affect you much. Because of your Christ-like love, you will neither idolize nor demonize the church. Just like with people, you’ll love them regardless of whether they are perfect or imperfect, truthful or self-deceived. If you read some literature that offers a different negative spin on some cherished Mormon belief or history and you find it challenging your testimony, then you can guess perhaps your testimony is built on a distorted “sandy” foundation. That perhaps it is based on an egocentric desire to be right or perfect instead of a Christ-centric desire to learn truth by loving and empathizing with others; built on selfishness instead of unselfishness. I believe a lot of negative traditions have come into the Church which are increasingly dividing cultural Mormons. We idolize our past and present prophets in very egocentric ways. We idolize our religion, pharisaically suggesting we are god’s elite “chosen” people and the only true church in a sea of falsity. Like most orthodox religions we are often full of ourselves in a way that causes division in ourselves, our families and our communities. Our pride and desire to be “right” and “righteous” divides us in a way that you must either “have a testimony that the church is true” or not. It’s either entirely led and directed by “God” or it’s not. You must be one of us, or a gentile apostate. Joseph Smith must have been a great hero and a prophet, or a polyandrous adulterer and false prophet. Brigham Young was either a prophet commanded by God to take 55 wives and lead the people in righteousness, or a ‘bad man’ who was racist, misogynistic, egotistical, philandering and power hungry. Church policies on issues such as polygamy, the priesthood ban on those of African decent, homosexuality, etc are either divine edicts straight from the Most High God Himself or the church isn’t true. It’s my strong opinion that we should seek to stop promoting this attitude in social material, firesides and occasional general conference talks. - Instead of spreading God’s love and good news, it comes across prideful, manipulative, contrary to our own scripture (D&C 121:41–42), and pushes a lot of good people out of the church. Instead we should realize that the whole spectrum of good and bad exists within each of us as well as every organization. We should try to focus on and promote the good without idolizing or demonizing (polarizing) the extremes of the spectrum.

In scripture, God often compares Himself to a groom and the church to his bride. This is because the relationship between a church and their god is the same as the relationship between a married couple. The symbolism runs deep in order to teach us important concepts (especially in the LDS temple ceremony). Until true unity is achieved, God is hidden behind a (bridal) veil. As we come to know God we learn of him/her through the veil. We enter a covenant relationship with him/her in hopes to come to intimately “know” him well enough to really “see” him. Idolatry (adultery) is a sign that we don’t really know god, and eternal life is to know Him and become symbolically one with him (John 17). And just like failed marriages most people leave the church because they had a inappropriate expectations concerning their relationship with the Church. (Often perpetuated from the top down as well as from the bottom up.) In a relationship it is common for people to become disillusioned and fall out of love. This is caused when our partner doesn’t measure up to our idyllic preconceived notions of what we think a spouse or lover should be. So in the courting process we essentially create a mold or idol of what our “perfect” partner should be, and then we often hold them to idea that they must conform with our ideal— and the problems come because that perfect image or ideal is usually a projection of our own selfish desires.

Similarly, the majority of people in the organized religions of this world actually inappropriately worship an idol or a personal perception of a god/church who is a projection of their own ego. And when something happens and they discover that the reality of God or the church doesn’t match their ideal/idol of God or the church, they are disillusioned, fall out of love and end the relationship. (Or on the flip side they self-righteously force some poor brother or sister out of the church because they don’t measure up to orthodox ideals.) Often this has to do with a belief that God or the church or church members should be “better” (according to our perceptions) than it/they are. It all boils down to relationships based on or laced with unwise or distorted expectations. Expectations which are created and fostered by distorted traditions and concepts such as “my church is the only true church”, or “my spouse is my one and only destined partner”. Or “Our prophet is God’s only mouthpiece and every significant decision they make straight from the Most High”. These concepts are flattering because they feed our egos, but they miss the important point that we are all equals and should enter relationships for opportunities to grow and serve, not just to feel comfortable, feel “right” or be served.

All earthly religions are imperfect and frankly a bit messed up, but we should all realize that we enter both marriage and religion for the purpose of progressing toward unity which is the gateway to truth and the true God. If our goal is to serve another, would we leave our spouse or children when we learn they are lazy? If our goal is to learn tolerance would we leave an organization when we find it is intolerant? If our goal is to learn forgiveness would we leave our spouse or church when they wrong us? If our goal is to gain another perspective and enlarge our understanding of truth would we leave an organization when we find that there are far different ways of looking at things than what the majority of the group believes? Or on the flip side, is it right to excommunicate, divorce or belittle those who have widely different views or behaviors? We enter relationships in this life to learn from, and enter into those relationships believing what we choose to believe about our lovers. I think in this life we far too often end relationships when they become painful, not realizing that the only reason they are painful is because of our preconceived egocentric perspectives about other’s behaviors. All people and organizations are composed of positive and negative attributes — good and bad — and the happiest people in this life I believe have learned to love the whole spectrum of attributes between these extremes. Similarly, the most beloved leaders and lasting organizations are careful to be honest about themselves and not make themselves out to be more than they are. They treat others as equals and don’t hide behind propaganda or a forged persona.

Every religion fluctuates on a spectrum of "Good and Bad" depending on how beneficial it is to humanity at the time.

Every religion fluctuates on a spectrum of “Good and Bad” depending on how beneficial it is to humanity at the time.

The only true church?

Many churches through history have taught or believed on some level that they are the only “true” church. It is an idea highly appealing to the ego; in the same way, many people in relationships want to believe they are their partners predestined one and only. I think emphasis of this truism is a distortion of Joseph Smith’s revelations. Leaders have focused on D&C 1:30, patting themselves on the back as it says “to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”. But I believe they misplace the emphasis and misinterpret what and who this statement is referring to. We overlook that verses 17-18 refer to both Joseph Smith “and others”. We don’t understand that the “true and living church” is a symbolic title/catchphrase much like the “fullness of the Gospel”, not a literal declaration of elitism. We suppose that the ” living Church” is the organization Joseph started and that the “others” are Joseph’s friends and converts, but D&C 10:52–55 makes it pretty clear that God as Joseph Smith revealed Him defined HIS church as one that transcends organizational lines. D&C 10:67–69 says “This is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.” Moroni 7:16–19 combined with 1 Ne 14:10–17 add yet more clarification of how God considers all those do Good, seek his counsel, accept his prophets and believe in love or the archetypal Christ are His Church; and those that fight and hate on others are the devil’s church. Christ’s spiritual Church (The Kingdom of Heaven) was in “obscurity and darkness” because the organizational churches of the era were full of elitist pride and contention (doing more harm than good, JS-H 1:19). I think we look beyond the mark when we do the same and think this revelation gives us right to consider the LDS Church God’s only true and living Church or the only aspect of the “Kingdom of God on earth”. Given other scriptures I do not think the emphasis in the verse is on there being only one true organizational or denominational Church, but Like 1 Ne 14:10, it is saying the attributes in the previous verses can make the LDS movement & priesthood part of the restorational spiritual Church of Christ or Heavenly Church which is the “only true and living church.., with which I, the Lord, am well pleased“.

(See my article Re-examining what LDS scriptures say about the ‘Only True Church’ doctrine for a scriptural exposition on this concept

I believe High beings direct lower beings to create religion to point the way to eternal progression; which is love through unity.  Man alters true religion to fit his perceptions, cultural & religious biases and ego.  We should not shun or demonize organized religion, but we should see it and use it for what it is– a “schoolmaster” pointing to “Christ” or the archetype of selfless service and love.

We also seem to dismiss the fact that within a decade of this revelation, the Lord was no longer well pleased with the LDS organizational Church. D&C 84:54–57 which states that by 1832 the church was “under condemnation” for unbelief, and that by 1842 the Lord was threatening to withhold the “fulness of the priesthood”, in much the same manner which He did to the children of Israel in Moses’ day (D&C 124:28–48). It should be obvious that the world is God’s so all churches are managed by Him according to their agency. Each is free to choose what degree they are influenced by the agents of harmony and unity, or the agents of disharmony and separation. I believe these scriptures make it clear that God considers Churches “living” and “His” for as long as they follow and lead people to unity in Him (by accepting personal & group inspiration and helping to bring love and unity to humanity). But as soon as they become lifted up in pride, believing they are God’s chosen elite with God’s only authority; but cause more separation and disunity than good through their self-righteousness and narrow-minded creeds, then God effectually disowns them & invalidates their priesthood or authority (ie. withdrawing the mandate of Heaven, as with the Jews at Christ’s time). LDS scripture surely seems to suggest that if the LDS church and other restorational Churches continue leading people into love and unity, doing more good than harm—then they will eventually merge into one “Kingdom of God on earth”, which will occur as they unify with “the Kingdom of Heaven” or spiritual church and everyone but those who willing chose division and separation will be saved in a kingdom of glory when Christ “gathers ALL THINGS together in one”, and presents the kingdom of the brotherhood of man to the Father of all mankind (D&C 27:13, Eph 1:9–10, D&C 128:18, 1 Cor 15:24, 3 Ne 11). It is pride and arrogance that derails organizations from this unifying work and the “orthodox” of organized religions should continually ask themselves whether they would disbelieve or even excommunicate their prophet founders were they to come in disguise a hundred years down the road to their own religions. It is likely that Joseph Smith with is 30+ secret wives and unsanctioned revelations would be excommunicated from modern Mormonism in the same way he was rejected by his contemporary religions. It is less obvious but no less likely that Christ with his unorthodox teachings would also be excommunicated from most modern Christian religions as he was by the Judaic priesthood of his day. Nearly all true prophets are rejected by the mainstream, because most people are more concerned with being right than loving and learning truth.

Now before anyone starts squabbling over the issues of priesthood lets cover a few more points and then come back to it. What exactly are we saying when LDS people say we are the only true church or that the church is true? Are we saying we have all the truth? Our own scriptures make it clear that is not the case. Are we saying we are free from error? This is also obviously not the case either. Are we saying we are more true than other churches…? Are we really so petty that we need to be like kids at recess saying “my dad loves me more than your dad, and I understand god better than you, and your priesthood authority comes from the devil”. (see here, here and here for a better understanding on how religious and political priesthood or authority works in a broader sense. See this article for a better understanding of the difference between priesthood and prophets.) Hopefully we all see the silliness of such statements and aren’t insinuating them when we talk about the “truthfulness” of the church. This is illustrated well in a story from The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ. In it the young Jesus comments on a self-righteous statement made by one of the chief rabbis about Israel being a “chosen” people.

13 Now, in the evening [the young] Jesus and his mother sat alone, and Jesus said,
14 The rabbi seems to think that God is partial in his treatment of the sons of men; that Jews are favored and are blest above all other men.
15 I do not see how God can have his favorites and be just.
16 Are not Samaritans and Greeks and Romans just as much the children of the Holy One as are the Jews?
17 I think the Jews have built a wall about themselves, and they see nothing on the other side of it.
18 They do not know that flowers are blooming over there; that sowing times and reaping times belong to anybody but the Jews.
19 It surely would be well if we could break these barriers down so that the Jews might see that God has other children that are just as greatly blest.
(see also Romans 3:9–23, JS-H 1:19, for reiterations of the same point)

Priesthoods & Zoramiteism

When LDS people and apostles use their priesthood as “reasoning” for why they are God’s elect, they disobey the God they/we are trying to serve. In D&C 121:45–47 Joseph Smith is told

“no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood [!]”

It seems like common sense that we should not attempt to influence people, or legitimize our position by using arguments of priesthood. Instead any power or influence we seek to verbally or physically exercise over others should be gained and maintained solely by christ-like principles such as

“by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile

It’s a bit unwise to teach our children or investigators that they should “follow the prophet” just because he is in our eyes “The Lord’s anointed”. Or that they should be a Mormon because we are God’s chosen people and the only true Church; because the pride inherent in these statements often backfires, and sours or angers people. I think this is why Joseph Smith received this revelation in Liberty Jail after asking “why all the persecution” and “when will you avenge our wrongs?”  Within His consoling response the Lord basically reproves both the persecutors and the saints. The Zoramites of the Book of Mormon are a classic example of a people who went to the opposite extreme of this counsel. The Zoramites as a consequence invented a religious tradition which shares many common characteristics with some Mormon traditions and many other sectarian religions. In their “testimony meetings” they stood upon a pulpit and mechanically repeated the same prayer…

16 Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children…
17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down… which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
18 And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.
19 Now it came to pass that… every man did go forth and offer up these same prayers.
21 Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is the holy stand.

When LDS people and/or leaders assume we are the only ones with God’s prophets, truth or priesthood… well we all know what happens when we assume. This is likely one of the major reasons the Jewish priesthood leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah, because not being a Levite he did not hold their priesthood, and thus they believed he had no right to the office of High Priest (Hebrews 7 addresses these issues). The same was likely true for many of the Old Testament prophets who were not from the tribe of Levi, and for this and other reasons were seen as not having right to speak in the name of the Lord by the orthodox mainstream. In the Book of Mormon Jesus made it clear that he was commanded NOT to tell his apostles in Jerusalem concerning the specifics of his “other sheep” unless they specifically asked about it. (3 Ne 15:14–18, 16:4-5). The record also suggest than non-Abrahamic branches such as the Jaredites and Israelite offshoots such as the Nephites were somehow given a priesthood even though according to Jewish tradition, they had no right to it because they were not Levites. Mormon’s cannot assume that Buddha or Mohammed or other non-biblical holy men were false prophets or “lesser” holy men on grounds that we think they did not hold priesthoods. We cannot assume that Hindu or Chinese religious founders were not given a priesthood, just as the Brother of Jared must have.

The truth is we just dont know. A thorough reading of scripture shows that as much as LDS people know about religious & political priesthood or governing authority (like the Jews & the Catholics) there is also an awful lot we don’t understand. So likewise we cannot assume that God did not restore additional priesthood to some other unknown eastern Lama or Yogi or other major modern religious players such as the Bab (a contemporary of Joseph Smith who founded the Baha’i Faith). Our own scripture teaches that the immortal John was “ministering” among the 10 tribes of Israel in the Latter-days (D&C 77:14–15). And that at a future point “their prophets” (unknown to Mormons) “shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves” and will come and make themselves known to the children of Ephraim (D&C 133:23–36). Both the Bible and D&C strongly suggest that in addition to restorational work occurring with the “Lost Tribes”, a “parallel restoration” will occur among the Jews of the Holy Land and that a strictly Jewish Priesthood will restore the Jewish Temple which will begin the Jewish restoration and gathering (D&C 133:12–13, D&C 45:24–31, D&C 98:17, JS-M 1:12–32, Revelation of John Ben Kathryn). Scriptures like D&C 107:64–67 and 132:7 do not preclude the idea of parallel restorationism, given that other LDS scripture clearly shows it occurred over and over in the past (Alma in the Book of Mormon being a good example). In fact D&C 49:8 seems to directly infer it. We also do not fully understand the manner in which aspects of priesthood “continue… in [one’s] seed throughout all their generations” regardless of whether it is “reconfirmed” for ceremonial purposes (D&C 84:17–18,48). This is why priesthood is often “confirmed” on holders and not “given”, because priesthood is a right passed hereditarily  and genetically (D&C 107:67–76, see my article The Scattering and Gathering of Israel for more detail on the genetic aspects of priesthood). I believe that pride perpetuated through well meaning LDS leadership has spread a Pharisaical spirit of elitism which not only causes many to leave the church, but also keeps many more from joining our faith (see this general conference address). I am personally grateful for caring friends and family who have kindly pointed out my arrogance and the ways in which I exercise “unrighteous dominion” or unwise influence; and I believe LDS people would do great service to our leaders by meekly advising them of the same. A greater spirit of meekness will aid in the quest of LDS people to aid God in his aim to “gather together in ONE all things” (D&C 27:13). To put down contention instead of causing it (3 Ne 11:28–30). Rearranging our worldview on this issue will also help LDS people to apply 2 Ne 29:11–14 to themselves to prevent rejection of ancient and modern prophets and revelation which don’t originate from our priesthood leaders. (See this article for a better understanding of the difference between priesthood and prophets).

All the major players in the Human Drama have had the choice whether to unite or divide humanity. I believe in this final age, God will favor and sustain only those who unite. All other groups will become extinct. See the article The Scattering and Gathering of Israel for details on gods evolutionary plan for populating, diversifying, civilizing and unifying the planet.

Saving Ordinances

Associated with this concept of priesthood pride, is the worldview that some LDS people hold which causes them to believe that only LDS people who have received LDS saving ordinances (performed personally or vicariously) occupy the highest echelons of heaven. Once again I believe it is misunderstanding of our own scripture which causes some to believe this.  At times LDS teachings seem similar to those of Medieval Christianity, which caused popular belief in the doctrine that an individual who was not baptised by a Catholic Priest with Catholic Priesthood goes to purgatory; giving rise to seemingly irrational practices (to reformational Christian standards) such as death-bed rites and infant baptism. I can remember being on my mission and wondering if the people who slammed the doors in my face were relegating themselves to a millennial abode in “Spirit Prison” after death.  The truth is that answers to these difficult questions surrounding post mortem salvation can come only from detailed analysis of all available life after death experiences in conjunction with the revelations of both LDS and non-LDS mystics (revelators).  Even a cursory investigation of the evidence points to the idea that the generally held LDS cultural interpretation of D&C 76 and other scripture concerning life after death has been distorted by medieval christian beliefs of converts and leaders since the time of Joseph Smith. In fact, the principles held in common by so many life after death experiences and religious works are actually vindicated in the revelations of Joseph Smith in teaching that the condition of souls after death has less to do with their religious membership or loyalties and more to do with unity with others as exercised in loving and harmonious communions.

Since explaining the divisions and stratifications of the afterworld are as complex as seeking to delineate the mental and sociological stratifications of our temporal earth this article will not seek to address in detail the specifics of how saving ordinances might relate to one’s afterlife. (For a very detailed article which corrects LDS misunderstandings concerning the afterlife by comparing it to the greater body of available revealed information see my article,  Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection: A Comparative Cosmology.) But the important point to get across is that the principles governing the importance of ordinances are relevant only within the authoritative sphere they are placed. If the United States Government decides you have to hold up your right hand and swear an oath to become a United States citizen in order to enjoy the privileges of our national organization that is their authoritative (priesthood) right. It does not mean that the Mexican government needs to institute the same ordinance for its citizens. And some might argue that the United States of America is the “Highest” or most exalted nation on earth, but that is a matter of opinion.  Many convincing witnesses suggest this is also how heaven operates.  In heaven men inherit the state of mind they built for themselves and their associates on earth. The highest and most exalted realms and states of the afterlife belong to those who gained the most exalted states of mind, love and association here on earth. Ordinances are a means to that end—not an end of themselves. God helped Joseph Smith design LDS ordinances to do a great job of leading people to the Father and manifesting “the power of godliness”.   But if we ever use them pridefully as a reason why “we’re right and you’re wrong” and “Joseph Smith was God’s only prophet” and thus “you must become one of us to get to heaven or paradise”, we miss the mark and distort the good these practices seek to accomplish.

See Clearing up Misunderstandings in the LDS View of the Afterlife for a detailed scriptural exegesis of this topic

Telestial: The realm of sectarianism (some of Christ, Some of Moses, Some of Brigham. D&C 76:99–101).
Terrestrial: Unified with one of the Son(s) of light, but not the Father of all mankind yet. (D&C 76:77)
Celestial: Equal and One with the Father in ALL things. They are made Perfect or Whole redeemed from all division. (D&C 76:94–95)
See  Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection: A Comparative Cosmology.

No mortal’s understanding of God is completely true

No One understands the true nature of God and no mortal’s understanding of God is exactly true. We know only our limited perspectives gained from the limited information we have on the limited ways He/She/It has revealed Him/Her/Itself to us. Or more properly, we know God through those who mystics or channel the divine. We don’t even really know each other and yet each religion thinks they “know” or have the correct understanding of God? God calls prophets and has them organize religions to teach people about the nature of eternal beings, universal consciousness and reality; and to teach them about themselves. But how do you teach someone who you are with mere words or even repeated short visits? Being married dozens of years, one still doesn’t really exactly “know” who their spouse or family members are. A person can’t explain themselves in words, pictures or even face-to-face conversation. Even living with someone 24/7 we can spend our whole lives really getting to know them; but because most people are so complex you can never properly depict them on canvas, or paper or stone. The problem with religions is that they are like a young infatuated lover who has just got a girlfriend and thinks he “knows” her and is in love with her. Well it doesn’t take long before the magic wears off and the person can see in retrospect that the person isn’t quite what they thought they were. Hopefully they realize that the person is better than they thought, but typically since “infatuation” is really love of self, they find that they were projecting their own hopes and “desires of self” onto their lover. There is good reason why God and Christ compare themselves to a husband and the Church or us to their young bride. God is trying to teach us something about our own psychology.

God wanted Israel to come up to the mount with Moses and personally worship the “true” God (D&C 84:23–27); but they couldn’t comprehend Him, so they had Aaron build them an idol that they could worship. (They needed something beautiful, concrete, visible and agreeing with their notions of god!) Since it was obvious that’s all Israel couldn’t understand that “God” (just like everyone) is to be experienced with your heart not seen with your eyes, as a punishment/reward God appointed Aaron and His posterity as priest to teach people the nature of God. The problem is that Aaron didn’t know God either, so God helped Israel form a religion that was actually predominately a projection of their own ego. That was all they were capable of receiving at that point in their progression. At this point the “God of Abraham” also allowed the management of Israel to be maintained by a group of lower ruling heavenly beings (the lower or Aaronic priesthood- D&C 84:18–21,23–27). The free system of only two great affirmative commandments was replaced with the negative ten commandments, which the priests turned into hundreds of laws and eventually thousands. The priests were appointed to stand between Israel and God, and in a way, give them the idol that they wanted just like Aaron did (Ps. 81:10–12, Acts 7:38–48). They got a rigid religious system based on Egypt’s, a hierarchal priesthood with an elite priestly class based on the Midianites and they got the understanding of God they were ready for (a watered down gospel) which also essentially became egocentric. Those who, like Moses, knew there was more than “what was being taught” and sought for true messengers to teach him a gospel that couldn’t be etched in stone, wasn’t constrained to a temple hewn by man (Acts 17:24–25), and can only be transmitted and understood in the fleshy tablets of the heart got truth as they asked for it. But it was only relatively few, like Elijah, who ever graduated from the lower Aaronic system into the Melchizedekian system of statutory freedom and personal experience with the invisible God (Colossians 1:15–20). The rest press on under the schoolmasters (Gal 3:19,24–29), who are men led by men, led by exalted man-gods.

The biases and egocentric ideals of each culture become projected onto their ideas of God

Who Is The Father?

Now I’m not saying the LDS doctrinal view of God is all wrong, in fact just the opposite. We often boast that our concept of a God with a body is more true than other religion’s concept of a God without a body. But I believe Joseph Smith introduced an amazingly pluralistic concept that actually reconciles monotheism and polytheism as well as the incorporeality and anthropomorphism of God; that earth’s God is just an exalted earth-man operating within a chain of higher eternal beings extending and existing infinitely. This concept is supported and explained in more detail in other restorationist movement texts such as Oahspe (see Chap 7 Book of Jehovah). But few LDS members really think about the implications of this when it comes to understanding God or arguing with other religion’s concepts of God. Joseph Smiths revelations (Facsimile 2D&C 132:17–20) and King Follet discourse suggests that “Christ” who is taking on rule of this planet is following in the footsteps of a “Father” who followed the same pattern and ruled before him. And that this “Father” also had a Father and so on, and so on. But the questions remain, “exactly which God or Gods relate to us”, “who was the first Father” and who is the “Most High God” or the “Eternal God of all other gods” as D&C 121:28–32 puts it? Here we run into the philosophical paradox of first cause and the realization that because of the principle of Divine Investiture of Authority, all “gods” take upon themselves the authority of the Most High God, but it is unknown whether anyone has physically “met” Him. Understanding the micro/macrocosm nature of the universe (see this article) or the “pattern in all things” spoken of in D&C 52:14, and following the succession of God taught by Joseph Smith to its logical conclusion, it seems evident that the “Most High God” must in a way be eternally distant and yet also omnipresent spirit, finitely embodied in all of us (especially his mediator gods), but in fulness comprising ALL THAT IS.  These biblical verses make this clear; Jer. 23:23–24 | 1 Kings 8:27, Acts 17:24–28, John 4:24 | 1 Tim. 1:17 | 1 Tim. 6:16. LDS Scriptures such as D&C 88:6–13 also support this in saying “He is in all things and through all things” including being “in the sun [moon, & stars], and the light of the sun [moon & stars], and the power thereof by which [they were] made”. Thus both Catholic, Christian and eastern views of God are all true in Josephs cosmogony, but use different words to label the different echelons of beings (those who Hindus or who Joseph Smith label as gods in D&C 132, would be labeled archangels by most Christians). So in light of this worldview the question we should be asking when comparing the gods mentioned in scripture is which “Father” was seen in the “visions” of Enoch, Moses or Joseph Smith and relates to us as earthlings, and what language does he speak? (ie. what kind of distortion of the message is occurring because of difficulties of framing Gods image & words into the language, culture and biases of the prophet).  In these transcendental experiences is it the God/Father/Ruler of the House of Israel (ie. Abraham)? Is it the Father of just this Earth (ie. Adam)? Is it the God of Kolob or our small section of the Galaxy? Or of our entire Milky Way galaxy? (see the cosmology of Oahspe and the law of one for more info on this.) Of our supercluster? Our supercluster complex… ad infinitum?

Contemplating infinity, omniscience and omnipresence, the answer I think should be obvious. We just don’t know; but given the differences in global prophetic experiences it seems almost certain that each prophet uses his own language, culture and worldview to interpret what they envision of God. It seems quite likely that these appearances are more often subjective visions, where “God” is working from within the minds of the prophets themselves. And because of this it really shouldn’t matter so much exactly who was envisioned by Joseph Smith, Moses or ourselves anyway because we all relate to the level of beings in heaven of which we are best able to comprehend. And at the highest levels we are all connected and are all part of the ONE God (the idea of the trinity/godhead is trying to esoterically teach us this concept, the three are ONE). Man’s ideas of God are just like the mountain allegory. Each religion’s or person’s view of God is a partial distorted idea based on their limited perspective and are like the individual foothills in Jesus’ allegory on truth.  An understanding of the Most High God includes an understanding of all limited perspectives fit into one great whole. This is part of what I believe was Christ’s first teaching to the Nephites in 3 Ne 11:27–32. He essentially says to his multi-denominational audience, “stop bickering over religious doctrine and gods”. “Don’t you see that my goal is to lead you to unification in the Father, and my doctrine is that you stop fighting and get along?!” Let’s switch back to the illustration of the mountain again and compare it with our understanding of and relationship to God. It is so silly for us all to be sitting on our own peaks in the foothills of eternity arguing over whose hill is the top of the mountain. None of them are. The top of the mountain is eternal, and so even though we are all on different lower extremities of the same mountain none of us fully understands the whole picture because the mountain is never ending. Christ’s teachings of unconditional love and acceptance of all people and all creation are of course the beginning to truly understanding the Most High God. That type of love is the Christ-principle that no man can come to the Father without.  Christ tried to teach everyone the keys to love and unity in the principle that like numberless biological cells in a single body, we are all connected and thus part of God with statements like John 15:1–12 and John 17:11,21

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us

Christ also tries to teach that by overcoming his selfish ego, and being fully conscious of his unity with ALL THAT IS, he is indeed a microcosmic division (son) of God the Father.

8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me (John 14:8–11).

Yet at the same time he tries to teach that the father is much bigger than us all with statements like “If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).  Paul makes the same distinction when he says,

“who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.” (NIV 1 Tim. 6:16, see all translations)

Hidden in these types of scriptures are deeply esoteric teachings & understandings concerning the relationship between human unity, group consciousness and the faces/images of God as revealed by His messengers (those who are able to reach into the realm of spirit and put a face to the deepest spiritual needs, faith and yearnings of mankind & creation).

cooexist

The purpose and end game of all divine religious teaching is unity and peaceful coexistence. Differences of opinion on the path to best get there are the cause of religious strife and conflict.

All Earthly Churches are both true and false.

So back to the question, is the church true? As mentioned before, thats a lot like asking whether a person or your nation or government is true; especially since today’s religions are essentially the nations of tomorrow (and of the next life). The children of Israel were given a system of worship that they could understand and relate to. It was what they needed and was “true” for them, because it was created by them in conjunction with a group of both positive and negative higher beings through a process watched over by yet higher beings and so on eternally. It was true, living and often utterly messed up just like them (full of “god ordained” genocide, misogyny, stoning, animal slaughter, idolatry/temple worship, imperialism, xenophobia, bigotry, etc). And so it is with every major culture-changing church in every dispensation. They are all created in a very round-about way by the Most High God through many, many mediators. They almost all claim the mandate of heaven, and perhaps their very success and existence shows they’re getting it.  But we can’t imagine that means there is one universal church run the same way for all forms of life in the infinite number (trillions upon trillions) of inhabited planets in the infinite universe. As explained in more detail in my Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection article. (And not taking into account how progenitors work within this system to rule progeny from beyond the grave). Every religion is led through inspiration by both “good & bad” influences. Religious and political leaders such as those who directed the canonization of the Bible always want to paint the actions of their religious icons as coming ONLY from the Most High God of Goodness, when in fact all mortals (from Moses to Nephi to Joseph Smith) often mistake the direction of their own egos as well as negative higher beings for God. Understanding how both the positive and negative paths and groups work together as ONE harmonic Father is another important aspect of understanding the truth behind the paradoxes of religion such as the monotheistic and polytheistic traditions taught in and symbolized by the Christian Godhead/Trinity; or the God of mercy & love vs the God of justice & violence of the Bible.

Many iconic Israeli, Christian, and LDS church leaders were good intentioned, but hypocritical, well meaning but a bit self righteous, bigoted and sexually indulgent (cough- polygamy) or even flat out murderous to our standards. David & most biblical kings were imperialists with slaves and scores of concubines which the bible says were sanctioned by God (2 Sam 3-5). Judah slept with his daughter-in-law, thinking she was a prostitute (Gen 38) and yet still was chosen as the priesthood line through whom Christ would be born. Moses chose his elite by seeing who would follow his command to kill their “wicked” family members (Exo 32:25–29). Joshua & Aaron just like Muhammad carried out genocidal campaigns which seem criminal to Christian war standards (Joshua 6-11). Many of the nation’s beloved founding fathers also had nontraditional moralities. But it would seem apparent they were led by higher powers to help create idealistic organizations with amazing roles to play in human history. It could be truthfully said that both the LDS Church and United States of America are organizations called of god and led by god to the extent they desire. They both have amazing parts to play in the drama of earth’s History. I truly believe the Mormon Church will eventually become the predominate religion in the Western Hemisphere and follow a history very similar to both Israel and the Catholic Church in Eurasia (see my article on similarities here). They all have parts of their history, people and leadership which are domineering and hypocritical but if we demonize them it only shows our own littleness. If we give them too much control over us the resulting fanaticism will not end well either. Yet if we divorce them it is equally self-destructive. After all, we helped create them in the same way we helped create the earth and bring about its fall. It is far better to focus on all the good and amazing things they have and seek to maintain a loving harmony and balance of power in all things.

I think the pressing problems in the world, the church and our families will be reconciled as we come to realize that we all have to be unified in order to ascend to the higher heavens. LDS Scripture and other texts such as Oashpe make it clear that we can not be exalted in our fallen and divided state. Only large cultural units which have learned to reconcile or atone all their differences ascend (as a group in a circle of harmony). No one gets a free ride, we must ALL loose our pride and reconcile our differences to achieve the unity requisite of the celestial glory (D&C 105:4). A revisit of the movie Megamind might help one to understand how it is most often the self-righteousness and controlling natures of the “righteous” who create the wicked (and vice-versa). Every viable division must be atoned before Christ can present the kingdom spotless before the father. All things must be gathered together in One (Eph 1:10, D&C 27:13). It seems that if we all just realized that we must address each-other’s concerns and reconcile all differences in order to progress along the positive path of selflessness, we would more quickly resolve the issues of organized religion in the same way a couple or family learns to get along when they realize they must in order to be happy.

LDS Theology, like many religious traditions, teach about two fundamental “plans” for Eternal Progression. Historically, organizations always seem to follow a “mixed path” where they seek to use force, manipulation or even violence to achieve peace, unity and harmony.

My Testimony

My testimony of the church is the same as my testimony of my wife. That I have chosen her. That I believe a higher aspect of my consciousness led me to her and urges me to stay bound to her. That we have children with each other that are teaching us unselfishness. That she makes me a better person, and that by better knowing and loving her, I come to better know and love myself. And that by continuing in this course, despite all the imperfections, we will grow and develop faster and better than we would apart.

I also have a testimony that the LDS Church and Christianity in general has a divine origin and purpose foreshadowed by the story of Joseph in the Bible. Its a story of favoritism, jealousy, self-righteousness, separation, enslavement, humility and finally redemption and atonement.

I believe the LDS Church is true in the same sense that I believe all churches are true if they expand people’s views of reality and lead people to the unity of Christ (and other cultural translations of the same living symbol; al-Mahdi/Maitreya/Krishna) & our Father in Heaven. I believe the church is divine and that the deeply conflicting doctrines of the Church create an environment of rapid progression for the sincere seeker who works diligently to reconcile them (ie. loving acceptance vs. discrimination, monotheism vs. polytheism, religious legalism vs. grace, justice vs. mercy, freedom vs. restraint & constraint, God of Old Testament vs. God of the New). I also believe that sadly because of unbelief, there are currently more gifts of the spirit being manifested outside the LDS church than in it (such as the gift of prophesy and revelation; and here’s just a few example’s of their works). I believe that both Moses and Joseph Smith “would that all the Lord’s people were prophets” (Num 11:29) and that “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord” (D&C 1:20), but as in many mainstream religions, I believe that a good deal of the Church’s best adepts, healers, theologians, clairvoyants, clairaudients, or “seers” are excommunicated or driven out. I believe the lower and higher priesthood’s of the Church symbolize a lower and higher aspect of the Church as it exists in heaven; One being a strict and legalistic schoolmaster which leads us to a higher more free & true system. (More true because its view is more all encompassing.) Despite any negativity, I love the church and always want to try and focus on all the good in it. I have faith it will grow up and learn greater levels of humility & humanity. I believe it does far more good than bad. I believe it is young and its future is very bright.

Lastly, I believe in the principle taught in masonic and LDS temple ceremonies, as well as many other religious and popular works such as The Wizard of Oz or The Matrix; that the religions and politics of this world are part of a grand plan of sorts that is purposely concealed behind a curtain or mystery; almost like a layer of clouds hiding the top half of a mountain. I’ve worked hard to get glimpses behind that veil, and what I saw was really beautiful and seemed to reconcile all the divisions and conflict in the world and in my heart, making all the diversity of opinion in this life make sense.

See also: Needed reformation in the LDS Church

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Death… How to deal with it.

death-homer

I read a facebook post that made me think a bit about death today. Its a topic I’v ruminated on many times over the past decade or so. A facebook post of a friend’s sister who lost their teenage daughter unexpectedly made the pain of death real again for me.

The Pain
Its not rare that I get a bit frustrated with this world and wonder what the heck I’m doing here. Sixteen years ago my dad was killed. For sixteen years I’v searched for answers. For sixteen years I’v studied the scriptures, I’v studied life after death experiences, I’v studied history, New Age, the mystics, the occult. I’v consulted the oracles and communed with the spirits. “Every answer found, begs another question… The further you go, the less you know. The less I know.”

Graduation. Less than a year from departure.

So at any rate, I thought I’d give my current perspective on this old question of Hosea’s. Death… where is thy sting? Well, from the conscious perspective of my eighteen year old mind… it’s still here. I know Christ was supposed to have swallowed up the sting of death in his resurrection, but if that’s the case why does death hurt like Hell? I’v been stung by a bee, and by a wasp. I was not a cautious teen and Iv been badly hurt more times than i can count. Broken bones, knee surgery, and whats worse I’v been tortured into eating asparagus on multiple occasions and I can certainly say that the unexpected death of a loved one before their time was infinitely more painful. In the years after my dad died (just after my graduation from high school) The pain was persistent, chronic and systemic. For at least one year I could not think about my Dad without either uncontrollably bawling or having to muster all my energy to lock in the flood of emotions and seal them in. And each time they would flow, how could you describe it other than pain? Like someone was taking a dagger, stabbing it into your heart and twisting for as long as the wave lasted. Perhaps that is a bit graphically over dramatic but for those who have experience it, how else do you describe it? I

The Why
– I have a lot of ideas on what it is that makes death “painful”. I think much of it is fear. Fear of the unknown.

-I think much of it pain born from the group consciousness. Because so many deaths throughout history have been painful and even gruesome, the group consciousness has developed a repulsion for it. We are tied to the group mind which corresponds to our level of consciousness, and thus are greatly influenced by it’s learned reactions. The “group mind” or psycho-spiritual connection between humans is worthy of an article of itself.

-I think much of it IS a break in that psycho-spiritual connection. Science hasn’t come to fully understand this concept yet, but humans are mentally connected in many subtle ways. Loosing someone close can be akin to having part of our brains removed, because our brains and other aspects of our biology come to depend on our social networks in a very real biological manner. There are subtle electromagnetic transponders and receivers in the human biology. Scientist are just recently coming to find definite evidence of these biological mechanisms in animals (salmon for example). We come to rely on eachother in psychological ways that are rooted in our biology, and when part of our emotional support system is removed, it can truly be like loosing a biological member of our body. We must learn to psychologically function without them in a manner very similar to one having to learn to walk with just one leg after loosing the other.

-the rest of it is the purely obvious. It just sucks not to be able to hang out with someone you’re used to hanging with. But those who have experienced multiple death experiences understand how minimally this can account for the pain. When my grandparents died I thought, “man it sucks i’m not going to be hanging out with her or talk to her on the phone for 60-80 years”. But there was no huge emotional reaction. It was like they were going on a long wonderful trip, which sucked a bit but I was happy for them and the whole process was natural and not very painful. Compare that to when my dad died, who I also did not interact with a whole lot or consciously lean on for emotional support. It was 1000 times more painful… why? I believe only the psycho-spiritual connection can explain the difference.

The Solutions
Solution 1: However, one can overcome the pain associated with these phenomenon. We chose who we make our psychosomatic connections with. If our primary connections are with mortals, we will be pained when they leave us. This is a huge topic and difficult to explain. It requires an understanding of the subtle realms. If you have no belief in or connection to the subtle realms the only way to avoid the pain of death is to shut off your subtle senses to all human connection. “harden your heart” as a religionist would say. If you love no-one, and let no one in, perhaps you can avoid the pain when you loose them.

Solution 2: A far better way however is to learn to connect and derive your energy from the subtle realms. “live by the spirit” as scripture would say. The greater your ability at connecting with the subtle (spiritual) realms, the less death will affect these connections and the less you will suffer. There are so many ways to explain what happens to people when they die. You can envision them going to a “Spirit World” (which millions of near death experiences would show that this is how it appears from their perspective- see nderf). You can envision the personality aspect of their consciousness reabsorbing into the earth’s electro-magnetic field (this is how it would appear from our perspective has we technological instrumentation with the ability to read and follow the subtle fields). Eventually I believe the whole phenomenon will be most understandably described by multidimensionality in the universe and the holographic nature of reality.

-the bottom line is taught in nearly every religion and symbolized by the creation drama of Christianity. At the most subtle level and the most primordial time, all is and was one. At some point “God” divided or separated this oneness into many-ness. The heavens from the earth, the waters from the land, the light from the dark, male and female from androgynous man. The process of “creation” is in fact a process of division or separating from the eternal unity that is and was the “most-high god”. When one understands that the “most-high god” is a composite of all that is (see D&C 88:7–13, Acts 17:28), it maintains the understanding that we too are God’s members, one with God as a hand is one with a body (1 Corinthians 12:12, John 15:1–7, John 17:21–23 ). At some point in the dividing process mankind itself was separated from God, loosing the connection in consciousness which unifies all things. Kicked from the Garden and veiled by flesh and ego from unity man lost the ability to “see” and communicate with the rest of creation in all its dimensions. This psychic separation from each-other or “fall” in consciousness gave death its sting. And to be “redeemed” is to remember we are one and regain conscious awareness of the rest of creation. To replace mere physical connections with more subtle spiritual connections. Connections to and awareness of the rest of earth, connected awareness of the earth’s subtle realms, and awareness of the cosmos. This connected awareness is accessed in the opposite manner as mentioned above; it requires opening our “hearts” or biological receivers to others and all of creation. As we begin to psychologically dissolve the perceived differences between ourselves and others/otherness we will begin to regain unity. We must put away our ego which suggests we are different and separate (better or worse) than others. The ego which suggests the world of holographic illusion perceived by our physical senses is actually the highest “reality”.

If we “see” by the light of the moon, we see the world but dimly. If we see by the light of the sun we see only a little bit better because we are still perceiving only a small spectrum of reality through the biological mechanism which interprets visible light for us. We must use our more subtle “extra sensory” biological mechanisms to “perceive” the more subtle wavelengths of the electromagnetic field which make up true reality.

Those who go through painful experiences of death and separation are at a real advantage here. These individuals are confronted with a reality that most chose to ignore; the reality of the painful unknown. Although there are some who chose solution one, most who those who go through this experience ask why? They ask where? They persistently look for answers and in years of deep searching they are led to solution two. If you look into the backgrounds of those who truly have meaningful things to contribute to humanities view of reality, you will find loss and painful experiences. You will find trails or catalysts which motivated individuals to search and progress. And you will find individuals who in hindsight would not trade those experiences for the world.

But How?
How do we stop the pain? The first step is to stop fighting it, and just accept it. The next is to objectively analyze it and find the beauty and information embedded in it. If when the pain comes, you focus on the separation and what you have lost you will reinforce the separation and loss. Search closely through the pain and find the love embedded in it. Rip off all the aspects of selfishness and ego clouding the emotional waves and you will find at their root pure unselfish love. Likely a stronger love than you have ever experienced. Once you see the love let it flow through you, and send it back to your loved one.

If you find yourself unable to consider life after death perhaps you need to start by acknowledging the existence of the unknown. This takes putting away your pride/ego and is the hallmark of a true scientist or truth seeker. Acknowledge that everything you know is almost certainly an incomplete understanding of just a portion of a greater reality. Become a child with a sense of wonder at the immensity of things out there still to be discovered. Stop trying to see only with your eyes, hear with only your ears and understand with your intellect. Realize that it is the mind that processes these signals into a “reality”, and that same mind has access to other biological mechanisms that perceive input as “feelings” and thoughts which are more subjective, but no less “real” than the signals received by conventional senses. Realize you do not have to “see” or talk to a loved one, in order to connect and communicate with them. Find a still place and enjoy the connection without words or images, simply turn your consciousness to them and feel the interactive connection. Realize that when you feel pain associated with loss, it is almost always a reaction of ego and pride. It is ego which maintains the illusion of separation. Read as many life after death experiences as possible and you’ll see that everyone has a different reality. Understand that among the living, your perception of reality can be quite different from other’s perception of reality and this becomes more apparent after death because the planes/dimensions above this one are more fluid. As we raise, or outer reality becomes more a reflection of our inner reality. On earth a person could outwardly perceive a rich man as happy and a poor man as miserable, yet by really getting to know those individuals we could learn that the rich man is miserable and the poor man is happy. From life after death experiences it would appear that we inherit a world where our outer reality is a projection of our inner reality. The same is true on earth, but the delay time is far greater. A bad attitude WILL manifest in a perceived bad experience but in some cases in may take a while;

The Lower & Higher Priesthoods

This article is convoluted. Rewrite.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction... (James 1:27)”

 

Introduction

Organized earthly religion is a schoolmaster or preparatory gospel that tries to bring us up to a higher form or truer, heavenly religion; which is essentially a harmonic, balanced life which is at-one or unified with all of creation. The truths of this principle are hidden in the scriptures and symbols of all earthly religion–but more especially in the LDS Church and temple ceremony.  Most LDS members are well aware of the offices, functions, duties and responsibilities of the two main divisions of the priesthood–the Aaronic and Melchizedek. However, many may not realize the important principles that the liturgy concerning these priesthoods is trying to convey.  Were these concepts better understood, many of the problems inherent in organized religion could be resolved. In fact, all of the issues surrounding the apostasy of medieval Christianity and needed reformation and restorationism movements are dealt with in this symbolism.

Organized religion’s goal is to create a people who do not need organized religion. To create a people who can live in zionistic harmonious communities led directly by personal revelation from the creator with no need for intermediate kings, priests, popes, rituals, principalities, rigid laws, armies, prisons or presidents.  A people who are in all ways one with eachother and one with God. This is the blessed state of those in the highest heavens who we call god and the destiny which all the worlds religions (and especially mormonism) teaches in their creation dramas, priesthood organizations, scriptural stories and a myriad of other ways.

The Lower & Higher Priesthoods

The LDS Doctrine and Covenants describes things well in D&C 84 when describing the differences and symbolism behind these priesthoods. In v. we see that the “higher” priesthood holds the keys to the mysteries of the knowledge of God and seeks to help man “see the face of God”.  Through learning the principles of these mysteries Moses was able to regain God’s presence and talk with him face to face—and he sought to help the Children of Israel do so as well. But because Israel was unbelieving, hard-hearted, and simply not ready God gave them a “lower or preparatory priesthood” and religion to help them along their spiritual journey. And so it is with all earthly organized religion.  It is a lower or preparatory system devised to help people learn to re-enter God’s garden; a schoolmaster as Hebrews puts it, to bring us up to Christ.

The higher priesthood essentially has one goal; to re-unite us with God. By descending into flesh mankind has forgotten who God is and what he stands for. Passing through the veil we forget that our source is God and our destiny is God.  We were a part of God and we will be a part of Him again once we raise our consciousness and ‘overcome’ the psychological obstacles which keep us from Unity with the divine.  Religion is not God, nor is it expressly his organization. The

 

A few of the most prominent religious symbols showing the dualism of a higher and lower law, power or energy.  Volumes could be written on the meanings behind the dualities.

A few of the most prominent religious symbols showing the dualism of a higher and lower law, power or energy. Volumes could be written on the meanings behind the dualities.

 

 

Differences between the Lower and Higher Priesthoods in mormonism.
Lower PriesthoodHigher Priesthood
-Called the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood<br> -Deals with Temporal (earthly) things <br>-Administers the “outward ordinances” of the Church-Called the Melchizedek Priesthood or Holy Order after the Son of God <br>-Deals with “spiritual” (heavenly) matters<br> -Administers the inward faith or things of a personal spiritual nature

Outline.

In the Mosaic Law

-aaron built an idol, so god made him a priest of the lower priesthood to give israel the idol they desired.

In the Temple Drama

-the garden drama symbolizes this also, lucifer offered adam and eve ‘the law’ which is the knowledge of good and evil. This kabalistic tree of knowledge, stands in opposition to the tree of life. To be fully redeamed is to be ‘one’ with god, or in his presence. When we obtain knowlege from a mediator, we become blinded by him and he becomes our god. We are blinded because mediators take us away from the higher god (kicked out of the garden and god’s presence). In the LDS creation drama & temple depiction Satan becomes very angry when he is ‘cursed’ for giving knowledge of the law (good and evil) to adam and eve. Why do you think he is so mad, when he is simply excersizing his ‘priestly right’, doing what is done ‘in other worlds’? Because he thought he was being righteous and doing the will of the Father! Much like Aaron & his posterity, when many in religion find they are cursed for spending so much time and energy ‘giving religion’ to the posterity of Adam and Eve (doing what they thought was God’s will) they to may get angry and rebel.

In Paul’s Teachings

-Paul was all about teaching this lesson.  Law worketh death, spirit breatheth life.

In Joseph Smith’s Teachings

Joseph Smith compared the gospel program to building a temple (find quote, sprit of elias, spirit of elijah is cap stone). Essentially we are building an idol or a making a sacrifice and in the end we are going to have learned a lot about ourselves and eachother, and then we will set it on fire and watch it burn. Just like any of our earthly posesions and creations, those who can’t let go will arrrest thier own progress and quite possibly turn into bitter enemies of god. We must learn that God can not be housed in buildings built by human hands, but only in our hearts. His law cant be held by tablets of stone, but by tablets of our hearts. We will etrnally rise, but our church organizations will fall. (song, we’re going to let it burn, burn, burn)..

 

-true religion is this, to feed the hungary, visit the fatherless…

-start by talking about the symbolizm of the two priesthoods

[make chart comparing two priesthoods, showinging temple spires symbols, etc..] -there is a lower and higher priesthood. these are symbolized by the LDS aaronic and melchezidek. the aaronic is over the “outward ordinances” of the law, the melchezidek is over spiritual things. “outward ordinances” are things meant to point people toward the inward or true meaning of the law or ‘spirit’ of the law. It is a schoolmaster.

-this relationship is symbolized by the ‘temporal’ (earthly) and ‘spiritual’ (heavenly) aspects of these priesthoods (ref). Thus earthly religion and most especially all physical ordinances and ritualistic aspects of religion are part of the lower law or priesthood.

-these two priesthoods also symbolize the terrestrial and celestial. The earthly religions are ruled by terrestrial beings, and since the terrestrial glory has mixed polarity, it is administered by both positive and negative beings. God and Lucifer.
-the higher law has two counsels, love god and love your neighbor. The lower has a mutitude of ‘shalls and shall nots’

-once you chizel a law in stone, it looses much of its redemptive power.

 

-organized religion, is not true religion. The tao tries to teach this… the tao that can be named, is not the true toa, etc… (quote this)

 

-one of christ’s temptations was to make himself a political king, the other was to make himself a religious leader.

-D&C 121 shows this paradox ‘no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood’. Well to fully live that there can be no ‘visible’ priesthood. If you have a structured governmental prieshtood organized which regulates through laws and strictures then you have a priesthood which is maintaining power or influence by virtue of priesthood organization.
TAKE AWAY POINT.
As soon as you stand between god and man, you block man’s view of god–unless you are invisible or exactly like god. This is the symbolism that the trinity is trying to teach (that christ is in the express image of the father), but the truth is that all mediators distort the light. like a prism dividing the light into 7 or 12 colors. they try to ‘bring us up to’ the father, but in reality they distort the light (oahspe quote on religion).
-Start with the mystic cosmology? (from Aquarian gospel?) In the beginning there was only unity, this unified singularity was God. From the one came two, and the two bore a son who was the third. From these three came the seven and from the seven all that is. It was only after the seven (symbolized by the seven Elohim and seven creation periods) that good and evil was born. Before the Fall of Man there was no good or evil… all was of God and all was good.

 

INTEGRATE AND DELETE THESE ARTICLES.

https://mormonuniversalism.com/57/the-lower-priesthood-of-aaron/

 

 

-These two polarities of good and evil can be pictured on a continuum… t In their most primal sense, good is that which tends to unity and harmony. Evil is that which tends toward disharmony, entropy and chaos. Let’s define “progression” as the paths that tend toward unity.

-On the path of progression to the destination of unity, there are two roads; service to self (selfishness) and service to others (selflessness). These are the left and right hand paths.

-these are symbolized by the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods; the universal governance structures.

-they can be visualized as side by side or as one leading to the other.

-Each form of government exists on a continuum epitomized by these paths at the extremes. These two paths are explained well in the “Law of One” material, but proven in human history. They are symbolized by the Lion and the Lamb of scripture. (The Lion of Judah and Lamb of Joseph, the Lamb of Christ and Lion of the pseudo-Christ).

On one side is service-to-others governments. This is a government where freedom and agency are respective above all. It is rule of law by love and freedom. It is consensus driven system where all energy, resources and power are equally shared. This is the law Christ brought and in its purest form requires that all participants be at least 51% selfless, or willing to put another’s will above their own in any confrontation of wills. Even one selfish person can destroy this government (because all the selfless will submit their wills for his/her desire for power and resources). This does not exist on telestial earth but is the government of the upper heavens and the goal of all true Christians. Democracy on earth tries to emulate this government as much as possible according to the grade of selfishness/selflessness of the people. In this government people are so selfless that they are all equal and unified in all things. It has no need for a king or leader (like Israel during the reign of the judges), and if one is appointed he stays equal in power, authority and wealth with the people. In fact no one would allow themselves to be made a king or master for fear of what this would do the balance of power and self-determination of others. It is a hard concept for those on telestial earth to grasp because it is not possible in the telestial glory. In this realm the governments and religions have to have aspects of top-down governance in both our political and religious systems in order to regulate the selfish populace.

On the other extreme is service-to-self governments. These are top down governance systems which put force over agency. Since in it’s purest form everyone puts themselves above all others this government is epitomized by the law of the jungle. The government structure which naturally forms among brutish beasts who have no concept of selfless giving. A hierarchy naturally forms where the strong rule over the week, the many over the few. The lions (elite) rule from a position of power and all the nations wealth/resources flow to them. They are dictatorships and monarchies. The head is tyrant and usually an egomaniac of which people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao are good examples. They believe themselves to be Gods and wish to be worshiped as such. When they die they often become false-gods ruling in the lower heavens. They deny the existence of any beings higher than them, calling themselves the “most high god”, when in fact they are at heart atheists. They rule by force with armies and in heaven become Lords of Hosts.

-the true God of this world (who in fact is more of a quorum or ruling body) always acknowledges the existence of the Father. The Father is a symbol of the infinite nature of conscious beings in the universe on top of being an actual representative from the star system currently nurturing us.

-the current true God of this world (who works on a scheduled rotation as Oahspe and the D&C teaches, allows people to chose which Gods they will follow, as he allowed the children of Israel to chose at the Mount of Sinai.

-the lower priesthood is a governmental structure ruled by lower more selfish gods, all of which follow the father in their own egotistical distorted ways.

-it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished, and similarly it is by the wicked that the wicked are ruled.

-when the children of Israel rejected the higher rule of the Melchizedek priesthood, they were given over to the lower Aaronic priesthood. Which is administered by much harsher Gods, who although regulated by earth’s “most high” God. Are themselves a bit tyrannical, but that’s what they wanted so that’s what god gave them.

-the God of the old testament is not a very nice guy. people who haven’t come to terms with that either haven’t actually read the old testament (or an understandable translation of it), are deluded (put me in this category) or they didn’t give any thought to what they were reading. The God of the old testament constantly threatens to kill off all of Israel. He institute laws where not only are perpetrators executed, they are brutally executed by their piers with stones. He wages an ethnic cleansing campaign against the inhabitants of the Holy Land. We justify that they were wicked, but really, so was Israel. (it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished). Curious where the principle of jihad comes from? Read the conquest of Joshua. The God of the old testament uses every governance principle used by the earth’s most nefarious dictators. From genocide, to infanticide. From a personality cult to a religious and political caste system. Their laws were often brutal and their freedoms few… all because this is what they wanted. It is all Israel was ready for.

-Aaron gave the people what they wanted… they wanted a god that could be seen, an idol like the Egyptians had.. so he gave it to them. He became their idolatrous priest, so God gave/cursed his posterity with the job of being idolatrous priests. The wanted the blood of scape-goats to cleanse them from sin, so God gave them the idolatrous law of sacrifice.

-the mosaic law was a lower law led by lower gods and lower priests, but it was a schoolmaster to lead them to the higher law.

-two towers of temple are symbols of two priesthoods (also symbolized by upper and lower chakras.)

Other articles on the priesthood

see The Difference Between the Priesthood & Prophets https://mormonuniversalism.com/326/the-difference-between-the-priesthood-prophets/

Also this artilce I found written by an anonymous individual in

Also an article on the lower, temporal, Aaronic priesthood https://mormonuniversalism.com/57/the-lower-priesthood-of-aaron/

Galactic Wave Interference Patterns and Their effect on Global Conciousness

Oaspe gives a very unique and informative cosmology. One of the most intriguing aspects of this cosmology is the concept of Dan Times. These are periods of time (averaging 3000 years), in which the solar system in it’s galactic orbit makes a complete cycle from a place of high spiritual energy and enlightenment through a space of spiritual darkness or entropy, and back.

1. First, the earth plieth in a circuit around the sun, which circuit is divided into four arcs called spring, summer, autumn and winter.
2. Second, the sun, with his family, plieth in a large circuit [around a governing creation], which is divided into one thousand five hundred arcs [dan-has], the distance of which for each arc is about three thousand years or one [harvest] cycle.
3. During a cycle, the earth and her heavens fall in the spiritual (etherean) regions of hundreds of spiritual (etherean) worlds, where dwell Jehovah’s high-raised angels, whose Chiefs have to do with the management of worlds.
4. During the time of a cycle, the earth is therefore under the control and management of such of Jehovah’s angels for the resurrection of man of the earth.

I have wondered over the years what cosmic phenomena this was describing and whether it had a basis in modern astro-physics. In my research lately I have found that it does and is very interesting.

-Cevorkum, roadway of solar phalanx. a, a, a, lines of different currents; b, b, b, transverse currents. The crossing denote the localities of the highest etherean light. The numbers with their signatures, show the densities through which the great serpent passes each cycle. The lines across the cevorkum denote a cycle of three thousand years, but overdrawn one thousand times in order to be apparent to the eye, i.e., one to 4,700,000

Plate 49 in Oahspe (above image) shows the “Arcs” of Dan as they radiate out through the universe. This pattern is a depiction of a wave interference pattern created on a equatorial plane of a torus. See this link to see these same patterns in the wave convergence lines of the galactic electromagnetic field. (see heading ‘cross section of a torus’)

When viewing a double spiral, what we’re looking at is actually the 2-dimensional pattern of the 3-dimensional (and 4D with time as flow process) field of a torus. It is the cross-section of the whole field which itself is double-spiraling around and throughout the torus, as well as along its central axis.

Thus the ‘light of dan’ or periods of dan, actually equate to electric field densities within the galactic plane. This whole philosophy taught in oashpe, that the position of the earth & solar system as it travels through the galactic plane, essentially dictates “righteousness” or “enlightnment” on earth or ignorance and dark ages goes well with what the D&C teaches in section 88. That essentially the power or ‘spirit’ of God is actually the same or at least embedded in electromagnetic energy.

7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
8 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
9 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

These verses are teaching the same principle that the Law of One (link) goes into such depth explaining. It is a difficult concept to grasp, and even harder to teach but the general idea is that intelligent life in the universe are all connected through the galactic electromagnetic field. Furthermore, all planetary consciousness is unified, and connected to the planet itself through the planets electromagnetic field. And there is a symbiotic relationship between the human group consciousness and the planetary “consciousness” which responds to the laws of physics sent out to it from the galactic core. And that human consciousness is connected to, and is influenced by solar, and especially galactic field density. Basically the galactic core sends out energy through its electromagnetic field, and embedded in this energy is data or intelligence. Thus the density or field strength affects how much ‘spirit’ or more specifically how much energy, light and intelligence humans have. So evolution is quickened by higher field densities and conversely entropy and retrogression is increased by lower field densities. Thus we are “connected” to God or the galactic core through the galactic electro-magnetic field.

Because the galactic core creates an oscillating magnetic filed, as our sun which is essentially a charged particle travels through it, a current is induced within it (see here for physics refreshers). Thus the current within our sun is also greatly affected by our position within the galactic field, and it’s 11 year magnetic field cycle is actually dictated by its position in galactic field. The “lay lines” or magnetic field lines illustrated in the figures above affect the suns intensity and thus the earth. More importantly, because the sun’s magnetic field creates interference waves, the stronger its field strength the less we can interact with the galactic field. This is why solar max, or the period in which the Sun’s field collapses during reversal is so critical to spiritual evolution and galactic space travel. (see Oahspe’s reference’s to 11 yr and 33 yr cycles). It is during the collapse of the earth & sun’s force fields (magnetic fields) that ships can travel to earth, and consciousness can interact with galactic sources. This is the ‘Times of Harvest’ spoken of in Oahspe and the Quarantine spoken of in the Law of One.

So the Arcs or Times of Dan in Oahspe are not stationary lights or planets, they are galactic interference patterns which create nodes that act as convergence points for trans-dimensional communication and travel. This is the “wave” headed toward earth that some new-ager’s talk about (actually earth is heading toward it, as much as it heading toward us). I’m not sure why our convergence with these waves causes a day of light (such as at Christ’s birth), but it likely has something to do with the induction of current in our ionosphere. Perhaps it essentially creates a global aurora because of the intensity of energized particles in the wave convergence.

Talk about how the fractal works? With torus’s created on field lines, embedded in bigger field lines?

04/7.2. || And Jehovah caused the earth, and the family of the sun to travel in an orbit, the circuit of which requires of them four million seven hundred thousand years. And He placed in the line of the orbit, at distances of [aprox] three thousand years, etherean lights, at which places, as the earth passes through, angels from the second heaven come into its corporeal presence. As ambassadors they come, in companies of hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands, and these are called the etherean hosts of the Most High.
04/7.3. They come not as single individuals; nor do they come for a single individual mortal.

That humans could be seen as the ‘brain’ of the earth. On a higher plane, all planetary intelligence is connected through the electromagnetic field. That what religions refer to as “The Spirit World”, or what Oahspe refers to as “The Atmospherean Heavens” is a unifying plane of consciousness existing within the earth’s magnetic field. To those in our 3rd dimension we see it as a simply an energy field, barely perceptible in comparison to our ‘solid matter’ reality. However, on a quantum level once you understand that ‘solid matter’ is really only reinforcing wave interference patterns, you can see how by simply shifting one’s resonance, you can jump up a dimension what we perceive/measure as etheric electromagnetic fields from the perspective of our current dimension are actually ‘solid’, ‘material’ worlds in another dimension.

And that

The Holographic Nature of DNA, the Brain & the Universe

neuronsReBlogged from lightworkers.org

THE GENETIC ODE

The secret of life! How long mankind has yearned to know its essence and how to extend lifespan and improve health. The discovery of the DNA helix in 1953, by Watson and Crick revealed the shape of this magic molecule. The following 50 years of research has directly led to our ability to read the human genome. We can now decipher its creative meaning and imitate its creative evolution. Genetic engineering is no longer a chimera or scifi dream, but a stark reality.

In terms of genetics, we are moving from the machine age to the gene age; a flood of new genetic information is transforming science and medicine. A linear string of nucleotides makes up DNA. It specifies ‘codons’, which in turn specify the amino acids that make up all of the different proteins that combine together to make a body. Five decades of tedious work made it possible to identify the 3.3 billion nucleotides that encode the sequence of the human genome.

Where are we now? It remains to be seen what sort of balance we strike between using the genome for good or ill, or even if we retain our “humanity” and genetic integrity. Humankind has never attempted such a crucial project before. It has often been said that “The map is not the territory,” and the same holds true for the “map” of the human genome. Looking at the map doesn’t reveal the natural consequences of real life experimentation. In complex systems, small changes can quickly pump up into dramatic consequences, often unforeseen and potentially catastrophic.

For the time being, the twisted staircase of DNA is explored in the realms of molecular biology and biochemistry. Based on opening this world of biological organization, we can conjecture what mysteries an even deeper look at the functional basis of living matter might reveal. This is the domain of biophysics, realm of both particle and wave interactions — fields. It has been demonstrated that DNA is electrically conductive; much like copper wire it can carry a charge. It is believed this live-wire vital capacity may have been the charge transfer that gave life a jump-start. DNA’s ability to transport charge helps minimize genetic damage from oxidation (Lawton, 2003).

The same fundamental physical laws that govern matter and the Universe also govern living organisms. Even a sound biochemical theory can be replaced by an even better, more fundamental, biophysical theory. It is still important to study properties at their own levels, not just as consequences of more fundamental scientific disciplines.

Where are we going? Who knows how future generations of man may be engineered from the 3.3 billion “letters” of the human genome? We have been looking to the genetic code for the secret of life. Perhaps we should be listening to the “genetic ode”, the EM song of life that reverberates throughout our being; the audible life stream.

THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE

We are more fundamentally electromagnetic, rather than chemical beings. DNA is not the driver of evolution but even more fundamental quantum mechanical symmetry-breaking forces (King, 2003).

If we drop down another whole domain of observation from the juicy “wetware” described by chemistry and atomic structure, we enter the subatomic realm of quantum physics. At this level the behavior of matter, both organic and inorganic, is governed not by classical notions of cause and effect or even complex dynamics, but by those of quantum probability.

“Something” appears to emerge from virtually “nothing” which physicists have come to describe as a sea of infinite potential. They call it quantum foam, vacuum potential, or zero-point energy, we can call it the vacuum substructure. Subatomic particles wink in and out of existence on a continuous basis, like some subatomic froth. This “something” appears paradoxically in wave/particle form. This world is not transcendent to matter, but underlies it as a coherent unity, much like ecology underlies biology.

Within this context, some physicists (Miller, 1975; Bohm, 1980) have strongly suggested that the nature of reality is fundamentally analogous to that of a holographic projection. The optical process called holography uses interference patterns. Holography describes transformations of light and optical information mathematically in wave mechanical terms. The superposition of a split beam of laser light led to the laboratory development of holograms, or recordable holographic images demonstrated by Dennis Gabor beginning in 1949. In 1971, Karl Pribram applied this metaphor to neuropsychology, suggesting it was more than analogy, that the brain actually encodes information as holograms. The pattern holds the form.

Holograms contain all the information needed to reconstruct a whole image. Holograms contain many dimensions of information in far less space, like a compressed file. They hold that information in a subtle network of interacting frequencies. Thus, shining a coherent light (reference beam) or laser through the fuzzy-looking overlapping waves of a 2-dimensional hologram can create a virtual image of a 3-dimensional figure.

The gist of the holographic paradigm is that there is a more fundamental reality. There is an invisible flux not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness. The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information. All potential information about the universe is holographically encoded in the spectrum of frequency patterns constantly bombarding us.

In this dynamic model there are no “things”, just energetic events. This “holoflux” includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and all possible forms. All the objects of our world are three-dimensional images formed of standing and moving waves by electromagnetic and nuclear processes. This is the guiding matrix for self-assembly, and manipulating and organizing physical reality.

Criss-crossing patterns occur when two or more waves ripple through each other. In the transactional interpretation of quantum physics, waves of probability originate in the past, present, and future. Events manifest when waves from past and future interfere with each other in the present. That pattern creates matter and energy. The universe emerges from the rippling effects of immense numbers of criss-crossing interference waves. The geometry of the fields is more fundamental than the fields or emergent particles themselves.

Our brains mathematically construct ‘concrete’ reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension. This information realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality transcends time and space. Thus, the brain is an embedded hologram, interpreting a holographic universe. All existence consists of embedded holograms within holograms and their interrelatedness somehow gives rise to our existence and sensory images.

Interference patterns of waves can be visualized interacting like ripples on a pond. At the quantum level they create matter and energy as we perceive them life-like three dimensional effects. Consciousness and matter share the same essence, differing by degrees of subtlety or density. There is a strong correlation between modulations of the brain’s EM field and consciousness (Persinger,1987; McFadden, 2002). The universe is a continuously evolving, interactively dynamic hologram.

This “Holographic Concept of Reality” was first suggested by Miller, Webb, and Dickson in 1973, and later touted by David Bohm (1980), Ken Wilber (1982), Karl Pribram (1991), Michael Talbot (1991), and others. In this holistic theory, the Universe is considered as one dynamic holomovement; a grand Unity.

The part is not only contained within the whole, the whole is contained in every part, only in lower resolution. So, following the axiom of “As Above; So Below” we can expect biology to be based on the same physical foundation of creation. Miller and Webb hypothesized precisely this in “Embryonic Holography,” also in 1973. At the time, of course, such notions were untestable. But, with continuing revolutions in technology, now we are closer to modeling and demonstrating this creative process.

Each unit of the fractal has

Each unit of the fractal contains the pattern of the whole

 

DNA AS HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTOR

In a hologram, wave fields interfere with one another to lay the foundations for the reconstruction of the image of an object. But how are the wave fields produced? The term holography comes from the Greek roots meaning “entire” and “to write”. In holography, the image is projected by a coherent light source split into both an object wave and the reference wave background. [DEFINE OBJECT WAVE AND REFERENCE WAVE] See this great article for a simple description of the Fractal Holographic nature of the universe.

This dichotomous nature is reflected in the particle/wave nature of the DNA molecule, which can be “read out” with biophotons from chromosomes to set up a holographically produced wave field. This superposition of wave fields (object wave and reference wave) creates a wave guide for the formation of biological structure. The image is constructed according to the reference information contained in the genes. The reconstructed object wave is identical with the object wave field. The reconstructed wave fields reproduce exactly the recorded ones (the DNA with genetic code).

Russian research in genetics led scientists to begin looking experimentally at the helical structure of DNA as a possible holographic “projector” of the DNA code. Thus, the existential blueprint described by the spiral staircase of DNA is translated into a complex EM field that guides the molecular growth of the organism. Miller, et al, suggested as much three decades ago, and outlined possible mechanisms of this quantum biohologram at both the cellular and whole organism level.

This process emerges from a domain more fundamental than the standard genetic code triplet model. Biophysics can now describe how our form emerges directly from the void, the vacuum substructure. In essence, we emerge from the cosmic void — pre-geometrically structured nothingness. DNA is the projector of that field which sets up the stress gradients in the vacuum substructure to initiate dynamic unfolding. Genes function as holographic memories of the existential blueprint.

At the moment of ovulation there is a definite shift in the electrical fields of the body of a woman. The membrane in the follicle bursts and the egg passes down the fallopian tube. The sperm is negative with respect to the egg. When the sperm and egg unite, the membrane around the egg becomes hyperpolarized, shutting out other sperm.

It is at this moment that the electromagnetic entity is formed. The fertilized egg cell contains all the holistic information necessary to create a complete operational human being. The biohologram begins to function at conception and ceases only at death. Our contention is that the DNA at the center of each cell creates the multi-cellular creature hologram by expressing and projecting the DNA in the center of the cells.

The biohologram projected by the embryonic nervous system forms a three-dimensional pattern of resonant structures. These structures behave as acoustic waves, acting as field guides for flowing matter and energy. The holograms are “read” by electromagnetic or acoustic fields that carry the gene-wave information beyond the limits of the chromosome structure. In this new understanding, DNA and the chromosome apparatus is the recording, storing, transducing, and transmitting system for genetic information at both material and physical field levels

A Discussion on Sexual Media and Pornography

What to do about Porn.
The advent and spread of internet pornography is a radical, polarizing social experiment whose impacts are just now beginning to be widely pondered, studied, discussed and learned from. What are we to make of it? There are literally tens of millions of people out there dealing with the effects of this issue and many are screaming what are we going to do about this?! My experience with porn comes from an environment of strong religious biases, so you’ll see that my remarks are targeted toward helping those in similar circumstances. In my experience it is those who are “deeply religious” who have the biggest psychological issues with pornography and its my hope these ideas will help give some balance to those who find themselves on edge. My purpose in this article is not to justify or demonize sexual media, but to help people (especially religious people) understand that one’s polarized black & white emotional response to this issue (one’s belief of whether its good or bad) is a huge aspect of why pornography is so alluring and addictive to so many.

What’s the big deal about porn anyway?
The issues surrounding porn really are the same issues surrounding sex in its most general sense. They are really issues revolving around human sexuality, and these issues affect different people in different ways. In fact they affect the same people far differently depending on what stage of life they are in. It’s interesting to note how my views on sex (and pornography) have changed through time. Perhaps differently from other young men, when I was an adolescent sex was not a big deal at all. I rarely thought about it, and never engaged in it. It never brought me any pain or pleasure. It was a side-note I heard about from society, but had no personal experience with. I never really had access to pornography, so my experience with it was as limited as my experience with sex. Today after 10 years of marriage I can again say that sex and pornography are just not that huge of a deal, even though I’ve now had a good amount of experience with both. The older I get the less interesting porn is because it is so shallow compared to true healthy sex. But its crazy to remember back just a few years when I was 25 to 30 and think about how huge of an issue it was in my life. At that point, sex & pornography were the single biggest issues on my mind. My life was in turmoil. My parents got divorced at 18, my dad died the same year. I started dating and kissing for the first time at 21 and got married at 24. As soon as sex entered my life, all the issues buried within became manifest in sex and pornography. And I believe this is why some people “make” such a big deal out of it, because those people (or those close to them) are hugely unbalanced and that unbalance is manifesting in the sexual aspects of their lives. I made a HUGE deal out of both sex and porn when my life was hugely unbalanced, and I blamed it on those things because they were so closely intertwined. But in retrospect I see that porn or sex or marriage or fights or even death aren’t the root causes of pain in our lives, they are simply the catalysts which manifests & exacerbates the true issues which lie in our hearts (our emotional psychology). In fact, in my life I came to realize that I was using porn as an excuse to dealing with my real issues. The real source of emotional pain is the imbalance between our desires, belief systems/values & actions (see my article on Moral Purity); and the traumatic events in our lives act as catalyst to show us those imbalances. Similarly I see how the desire or inclinations for things like sex, relationships, anger, power, drugs, money or pornography are outward manifestations of an inner need to feel whole and balanced. We do best to recognize this early and address the roots of the problem, rather than glorify or demonize the symptoms or outward manifestations.

The function of a catalyst
The function of a catalyst is to increase in the rate of a chemical reaction. Heat can be a catalyst, as can many other substances. Just like a fight or argument often explosively brings many issues out in the open which may have been silently simmering in the minds of the participants, so do all catalysts or “trials” bring to the surface hidden issues & weaknesses. But also just like a fight or argument, sex or pornography can create more and larger issues if the conscious choice is not made to use this catalyst to bring about constructive communication, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance. Next to death and its grieving response, sexual responses are perhaps one of the strongest catalyst we face in our lives; and catalyst/trials are many people’s most powerful means of personal growth and self discovery. (It may seem strange to compare the pleasure of sex to the pain of the death of a loved one, but in my experience both of these extremes can surface the same strong emotions—emotions which catalyze us equally to action and self discovery.)

Demonizing/Shaming porn keeps problems it manifests from getting better.
By “demonizing” something, I mean that you shame it or give it a label or stigma such as “it is evil”, or “its forbidden and thus you are bad for doing it”. I think it is very unfortunate that religion is usually the worst at creating harmful stigmas, although society does it too especially though legal systems (prohibition and illegal drugs are a good example). This is actually one of the harmful effects of sexualized depictions in media; that by showing an image of a ‘beautiful’ person, those who do not fit this mold can be made to feel demonized or shamed because they don’t ‘measure up’. This has the tendency of holding them into a mold of inadequacy and leads to all manner of unbalanced behaviors. But exactly the same is true when religions say something is ‘evil’. By calling porn or pre-marital sex or whatever behavior ‘sinful’ or unlawful, they consequently cause perpetrators to self-label themselves as ‘sinners’ and ‘bad’; having the same effect of isolating them in a mold which divides them from the group and traps them into psychological behaviors. …… This paradoxical tendency of written law or moral code to divide and negatively subjugate units of society has been long understood by philosophers and religious leaders. It is built into the Bible’s garden drama or the ‘tree of good and evil’ and was extensively lectured on by Paul in the New Testament. He often repeats the idea that “the letter [of the law] killeth” (when it is carved in stone such as the ten commandments), “but the spirit giveth life” (2 Cor 3:6); A couplet pointing to the idea that the best way to help people to grow and progress is not to give them dogmas, commandments and codes, but to lead them by the hand and lovingly help them in their particular circumstances to understand how to achieve harmony, balance and unity. (René Girard and Martin Buber explain these concepts well). In Mormonism this concept is taught in many symbolic ways from the temple ceremony to the D&C to the writings of Joseph Smith (TPJS P. 256). It is interesting to note that what seem to me as Joseph Smith’s finest words on the matter of living by the spirit instead of culturally accepted religious law, came in a letter to Nancy Rigdon, attempting to explain to her and the Puritan minds of the era why Polygamy and other non-traditional consensual sexual arrangements where not prohibited by God if saints would just seek his permission that things might be done harmoniously & judiciously (sidenote: I’m not saying that to justify or demonize polygamy or pornography).

The bigger deal you make out of something, the bigger deal it becomes.
It’s like the saying goes, “don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill”. And yet we do it all the time. Issues are only as big as the energy and power we give them. By blowing things out of proportion, or attaching them to unrelated deeper issues we can create a condition of psychological hypochondria. I’ve noticed that despite biological programming I can drastically condition the way my children respond when they get hurt by the way I react. My reaction to their accidents drastically affect how they end up reacting. I believe the same is true in society or religious culture, conditioning people how to react to situations like divorce, infidelity or similar issues regarding sexual media addiction. The stigma which religion attaches to morality can be like the over-dramatic parent; it can encourage a howling psychological reaction which distracts those injured from learning the true cause and effect relationship inherent in the hurtful moral action. Most discussions on pornography and moral issues in general (especially religious discussions) forget this lesson.

In my personal experience and those I’ve read about, most painful “issues” with porn are manifestations of deeper pre-existing issues in the person’s relationships (just like most sexual issues). Porn abuse can make these issues larger or more unbalanced, but the original issue had nothing to do with the porn. Yet because some religions and societies have shamed, demonized and made sexual media into such a big deal a new issue is created, complicating an issue that would have been easier to work out before the interference. Now instead of a couple or family confronted with a growing porn issue saying “man, could this be an indication that there is a developing problem in our family relationships that we should explore?”. Instead we have a condition that grows in secrecy because of the shame that has been attached to it, and one day it’s exposed causing them to say “oh my God, my partner/child has betrayed me like an adulterer. This insidious evil makes him/her or me wicked and unclean! How could this happen to me? How could they cheat on me?! I’m not good enough, they’re not good enough! He/she or we are no longer ‘perfect’ and what must we do ‘overcome’ this sinful act and regain our perfect little family!” (I’m pouring on the over-dramatization here, but hopefully you get the point, and realize the silliness of any aspect of this response.) Now we have two issues to deal with; the likely personal relationship issues that caused the individual to seek a relationship with porn, AND the new and more difficult to solve pride/self-righteousness issues which create the shame cycles fueling an addiction and destroying self-worth. It is the stigma that encourages the secrecy and the over-reaction and shame cycle which fuels the blame, addiction & imbalance.

Sexual Media has different effects on everyone, exploring those consequences together is the only way to come to understand its place in each persons life and society as a whole.
Every person on earth is unique, and every activity yields unique results in their lives. I think most people realize this, but it doesn’t help legislators or religious leaders who must generalize in order to draft up social laws and codes to govern society. (Thus the continuing paradox in that system of governance.) Some people can drink alcohol and live happy, loving, balanced lives. Some can’t have a drop without becoming raging alcoholics. The same is true for just about every drug. The same goes for sex both inside and outside of marriage; to one couple sex stabilizes and grows the relationship, to another it continually destabilizes and eventually destroys it.  Everyone is unique and at different levels of their own progression and when our generalizations become too broad, it hurts the ones we might be trying to help. We must be careful in our sweeping generalizations of sexual media or ‘porn’. In my experience, I heard “pornography is evil”, and “sex is bad outside of marriage” all growing up and it ended up equating to “sex is evil” and “you are evil because you are drawn to it”. This caused an intense polarized reaction when I finally got married and was thrown into the gambit of sexual desire. I was unable to deal with so much change so fast. Unable to separate healthy from unhealthy, the illusion of what I was told (both from church leaders and from internet videos) compared to the reality of what I was experiencing. Unable to balance the generalizations that my church told me through its leaders (sex = bad) with what God was telling me in my heart (sex = good) . After growing up a little I’ve come to see the pettiness of the generalizations about sexual media and sex in general. In my own life I see so clearly what helped me or hurt me (hind sight’s 20/20). What brought joy or pain to me. What things I needed to pass through in order to grow; even though friends, or society or religion demonized them. For the most part I see these people had good points despite the inevitable misunderstanding of their council, or at least I see where they were coming from. But at the same time, as I raise my kids and try to guide them I see how ridiculous it is to try and rule people on a personal level solely with strict laws and moral codes instead of walking beside them with love and wisdom suited for each unique days situation.

The danger of sexual media
It’s not the purpose of this article to go into too much detail concerning the dangers and negative aspects of pornogrphy or sexual media. It is the purpose of this article to get past the stigmas associated with pornography and help people see it from a detached neutral standpoint, (as a scientist or one who seeks knowledge) and thus get past psychological barriers that might be holding you in a shame cycle.  Just as with overeating/morbid obesity, chain smoking or alcoholism, detaching the emotional baggage which is often associated with these over-indulgences is often an important part of bringing balance and healthy choices in one’s life.

Simply put, sex releases chemicals in the brain. There are many websites detailing the biological reactions inherent in human sexuality. These same pleasure center chemicals are manipulated in various illicit drugs, and for this reason many call sex or pornography a “drug”.  The difference between consensual sex and pornography is that sex has certain built in checks and controls controlling the release of the pleasure causing chemicals. Pornography, like many illicit drugs circumvent these natural controls (by taking relationships & a willing partner out of the equation).  Aside from pure biology I believe there are also subtle psychological effects to pornography both to the purveyor and to those closely attached to them. In my experience I found that desires pass subtly through the group subconsciousness and affect all members of a groups psychological support system in psychic ways that are currently ignored by science. I’ve found that subtle energy and information transfer occurs during sexual climax in ways that seem very poorly understood by mainstream society.  I believe, like many religions seek to teach in archaic terms, that heightened connections exist not only between the living, but between the living and dead which are manipulated and controlled by intent thought and emotion during sexual arousal and activity. I believe that inappropriate manipulation of these channels can bring about varied psychological and neurological disorders, not to mention the negative effects these actions can pose on relationships.  But I believe most damaging of all, is the polarity of strong emotion (whether you think its good or evil) associated with the opening of these channels. If you think you are “evil”, or think strongly negative thoughts during sexual activity, this negative emotion will transfer from the body’s neurological system to its chemical system causing both psychological and biological imbalance and illness. In other words guilt and negative emotion during sexual activity can really screw you up in ways most can’t imagine. Shame often causes anger, depression and other emotional issues to pervade one’s life.

But sexual media is not/should not be all bad
It’s been said that all good people have to do to lose their fight against ‘bad’ in society is to shut up. The lesson being taught here is that if people of a particular persuasion want to perpetuate their philosophy in this world then they had better open their mouths (or video cameras) and teach it. The implications of this in regards to sexual philosophy are in dire need of addressing. It seems to me, that in a single generation, a small subset of American society has managed to teach a huge portion of the technological world the manner in which they should have sex. It seems to me that somewhere over the centuries of the dark ages western Christianity adopted a puritanical tradition wherein it became frowned upon to talk about or share intimate information about sex (except to pass judgement on its right or wrongness). Now I can understand where this mindset came from because most of us consider our sex lives very personal and don’t want to prematurely excite or unjustly taint the innocents’ future experience, any more than we want to divulge the intimate aspects of our own relationships. But just look at the apparent result of this cultural dearth of healthy sexual experience sharing? In a world where up to 97% of boys and 80% of girls (according to a University of East London survey) said they had viewed porn by age 20, Hugh Heppner and his colleagues have been the only voice effectively teaching an entire generation how to best behave in bed. Countless studies have verified the effectiveness of this teaching (article links) and believe me, a video is worth a thousand words when it comes to teaching sexual experience.

So then what should people do who don’t agree with the sexual philosophy of the American Porn Kings? The approach from the conservative and religious so far has been to tell kids “don’t look at porn, it’s evil”. — And we have seen how well that’s worked; especially as we see porn-use and search statistics for highly “conservative” areas like Utah or Islamic countries like Pakistan without national filters. Religion says “porn is bad!” and a boys heart when seeing it says “something about this is good!” and now a heart is thrown into turmoil. I believe that for the most part a free internet is here to stay and that mankind’s future will increasingly involve the open disclosure of all information & events of the world—including sexual events. That the advent of the internet is mirroring larger works afoot, and that the way to bring the world into harmony and truth is not to censure or censor, but to show the right way. So how do we show our kids the right way? I guess that is up to parents, but as it stands the world of internet sexual media is overwhelmingly distorted toward skewed aspects of sexuality. The odds are that your child’s first sexual encounter will be watching a misogynistic sex-act where two people with no love for eachother dominate and seek to possess the other while yelling out obscenities. (Not to demonize this behavior, but to point out that it is not the fulfilling sex most lasting relationships enjoy on a continual basis.)

On the other hand, in many more serious and dramatic movies made over the last decade there are countless depictions of two people in a committed relationship having loving sex with each other as a symbol of their unity and selflessness. And yet what do the conservative or religious do with these types of movies? They puritanically shun them, often causing their children or spouses to gain sexual education through the top porn search results on Google. Is it just me or is there a problem here? I certainly believe there is value in teaching sexual media abstinence through abstinence up to a certain point, but I think on a social level this has been a massive failure and will continue to be. Teaching abstinence to all sexual media is like a culture teaching lifelong sexual abstinence with no promise of eventual marriage and sexual experience. Such a culture would be doomed to failure, and so are the ideas promoting complete sexual abstinence in media. Such a world cannot exist where there is total freedom of information. And I increasingly believe freedom of information is not “the work of the devil”, it is the future of mankind and a vital step in our progression into global unity.

What I believe will be most helpful in this fight against deception and illusion then, is to have the balanced and love-filled depictions of sex choke out the bad. This is how a good gardener manages a garden (with an appropriate amount of weeding) and I think it’s the needed future of media nudity, sex and the internet. No teen will become addicted to real images of mother’s breast feeding babies, nor will they get imbalanced from stories of their parents having sex to conceive them (just perhaps a little grossed out). Imbalance and addiction requires illusion. Sex is not bad, it is natural and beautiful; religious people I know say they believe that, but that’s not what they teach youth by the way they treat even healthy depictions of it in media. The human body is mysterious and more intoxicating than a sunset, but there was a time when I demonized it because I felt my religious culture required that of me. I realize that this perception comes from a place of not wanting youth to be prematurely aroused to sexual activity; but by making nudity so taboo they allow the ideal body to be defined by those who push illusion as reality and make a healthy view of nudity more difficult when the ‘restrictions’ are finally dropped. There is a balance that must be maintained between keeping children from stumbling upon sexual depictions before they are old enough to healthily integrate and balance what they are seeing and demonizing something beautiful in our attempts to control its possible negative consequences.

Pornography is a lot like sex.
Whether it be parents, legislators or religionists, people make a big deal out of pornography for the same reasons they make a big deal out of sex. Sexual media leads some people into real sex, and drives others from it. Some people may use it to enhance their real sexual experiences (link). For others it distorts and detracts from their real sexual experiences. Either way, just like sex it is a major form of physiological and behavioral polarization. (By polarizing I mean a source of internal conflict or psychological division and opposition, such as self desire & disgust, pleasure & pain, turmoil & serenity, etc.. an event which like a mirror divides one against themselves in order to teach them about themselves.) Physically, sexual media tends to release the same hormones and chemicals into the body which lead to feelings of arousal and often can often lead to orgasm. Psychologically and spiritually sexual media tends to have the same effect of manifesting the cumulative balances/imbalances in our lives. Whether it be body-image issues, sexual fears, uncontrollable sexual desire, etc… sexual media turns on the same physiological systems and creates similar psychological and emotional responses. Pornography, just like sex in general brings all those emotions and issues to center stage and forces people to deal with them just as the stages of sexual relations do. The unfortunate and potentially damaging difference, is that instead of having a partner with which to work through these issues pornography voyeurs tend to have to work out these issues alone, often in shame, and within an environment of strong sexual illusions.

Its really a lot like sex… but its NOT sex, and NOT adultery.
This is another important point when trying to get a healthy view of sexual media and porn. Perhaps a majority of people in relationships who find out about their partners secret pornography usage, feel like their partner has “cheated on them”. What is it about this discovery that causes most partners to feel such strong emotions of infidelity or betrayal? Viewing pornography is not extramarital sex. I suggest that analysis of the root of these emotions reveals that it is the secrecy and betrayal of trust which creates the feelings of betrayal in the partner NOT any concept of adultery or extra-marital sex. Does anyone in their right mind freak out about their partner being a murderer because he habitually plays Halo, or watches people get slashed and stabbed in Lord of the Rings? Masturbating to Porn is a lot like having sex (both spiritually and physically), but it is NOT having sex any more than simulated warfare is murder. Remember, that’s one of the reasons it can often be so harmful & imbalancing; because it can create and perpetuate sexual illusions which are not based in reality.

I know that for many religious Christians, this belief is reinforced by Christ’s words about how “looking on a woman to lust after her” is already “committing adultery in their heart” (Matt. 5:27–28). But remember he also makes the point that those who “are angry with their brother”, are guilty just as those who kill (Matt. 5:21–22). Do we freak out and mentally label each other murderers when we habitually get mad at each other? This distorts the entire meaning of what Christ’s sermon on the mount is all about and misses a big part of the point he was making which I am trying to reiterate here. That laws & moral codes which are “set in stone” (like the 10 commandments) are very poor at teaching people how to be good, and have a tendency to make hypocrites. Sexual media, just like sex, anger, killing and about every other major human propensity, has both good and bad applications. We need to look at the “Spirit of the Laws” which govern morality; which means considering intent and consequences above perceived violations of some ancient or modern moral code (That’s why Christ’s sermon on the mount started each of these statements with the words, “it is written by them of old that…. BUT I SAY…”). We need more wise people who sit down with young adults and can just talk openly about the reasons certain council or laws exist WITHOUT PRECONCEIVED JUDGEMENT. If someone feels judged, they will not open up, and no learning or growth will occur. Parents, therapists and religious councilors need to realize how important it is to let some people continue unhealthy behavior in a directed environment so they can learn the lessons their desires are trying to lead them to learn. This new idea of “acceptance therapy” is proving revolutionary in helping people break addictions; which in reality are just psychological blockages where something is inhibiting an individual from learning a “required” lesson or find an appropriate outlet of a suppressed desire.

It would likely be a benefit to go into more detail about how desires are passed both behaviorally and genetically down through family lines. And how many individuals who battle imbalance and addiction are working to balance deeply ingrained mental configurations which tend to swing from one extreme to the other through the generations of their families. This act of balancing takes time, effort and trial and error to work out. Individuals are best aided when they can work out these issues in an environment of love, wisdom and non-judgement. A truly “Christ-like” environment, instead of a Pharisaical environment.

Overcoming” Doesn’t Work
There are many psychologist (and philosophers including Sir Isaac Newton) who have spoken extensively on the futility of trying to “overcome” addictions or unbalanced behaviors by simple willpower. To paraphrase one religious source,

“willful overcoming is an unbalanced action which creates greater difficulty in achieving personal balance and harmony. The act of overcoming through mental focus ends up creating an environment which holds on to that which we’re attempting to overcome. This is because mental focus & attention is the guide to our actions. Thus the more we focus and give attention and energy to something (that we’re trying NOT to do), the more mental power and attention it receives subconsciously leading us further into it. All things are acceptable in the proper time for each individual; and in experiencing, in understanding, in accepting, in then sharing with others, activities which no longer serve us will simply fall away.”

This is hard medicine for those who are still slaves to religious law & dogma in their personal progression, but it is the very lesson Christ came to teach. His sacrifice served to liberate the captives of both distorted religion and sin, because by redeeming people from the dead laws we or our religions have created for us, it allows us to gain needed experiences free from the shame-cycle of guilt. In that free environment we can learn our “required” lessons in an environment of mercy, find balance and harmony through natural physical consequences (trail and error), and as long as our goal is selflessness and unity all behaviors not conducive to that goal with eventually “fall away” or go away on their own.

So What Do We Do About Porn?
So the question remains, what do we do about porn? I can only offer my opinion based on my experience, which is that first and foremost codified laws almost never directly help individuals; they are “dead”, and simply needed to maintain social order and justice, not so much to promote personal evolution, progress or enlightenment. Positive council can do this, negative prohibitions rarely do. Telling a young child not to play in the street is necessary, but does not teach them about the joys & dangers of cars. Every person is different and has different needs, so the answer of what each individual should do concerning pornography or sexual content in media is different, just like it is for all sexual experience. Religious leaders and particularly politicians have a job to maintain social order and justice, so they will need to codify laws and define sins to deal with this issue. But for parents and friends of those who struggle with pornography there is a better way to help others. If you want to do something about porn find people who are looking at it and enter into meaningful, relationship building discussions with them. If they are balanced, delightful people, with strong relationships maybe you can learn something about what types of sexual media can be appropriate and in what circumstances. If they are addicted and unbalanced, maybe you can help liberate them from the shame cycle which is holding them in addiction. Maybe you can help them build better relationships. If you are a wife/girlfriend of a man whose pornography usage causes him to degrade or objectify you, call him on it and don’t stand for it. Help him understand how you want and deserve to be treated. Tell him how his behavior makes you feel. These types of discussions will give you true knowledge which will help guide behavior based on experience instead of dogma. If you know someone who has been a performer in the adult entertainment industry maybe you can learn more about what injustices are occurring and have suggestions on how to prevent the injustices. Maybe you can offer understanding and healing. All too often, in the discussion of what to do about porn, all I hear is whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, black or white? I believe this type of discussion is for juveniles too young or immature to understand or confront the positive and negative complexities of the human sexual response. I believe that what we deeply need is that understanding and not just more laws, dogmas or platitudes.

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Is Pornography or Nudity Bad?

Additional Issues to Think About
-people are always seeking balance, for some assorted types of sexual media help them get there, for most if causes greater imbalance. At any rate, people need to be allowed freedom to make their mistakes without being ostracized or demonized. People need to time to learn the lessons mistakes have to teach.
-the bigger deal you make out of it, the more imbalance it causes and harm it causes. its actually easy to make a fairly harmless thing harmful. It’s easy to make what would be a short-lived distraction into a long addiction.
-many types of sexual media (porn) are not harmless. they perpetuate strong and harmful illusions. they program the innocent with illusions which harm real relationships. They often keep people from forming real relationships. Many individuals who were raised in dysfunctional families already have many of these same harmful illusions programed into their psyches. Really the only effective way to work through dysfunctional sexual relationship concepts is trail and error in real relationships. Positive help from therapists or family may speed up the learning. The best cure for porn addiction is open & honest, real relationships.
-I believe it is very common for porn addictions to be caused by repressed sexual desire in the parents. Also from unrestrained sexual desire in parents or siblings. (these are complicated psychological effects of group consciousness and psychic connectivity that few understand).
-talk about the negatives of demonizing. shame is required for addiction (self imposed bondage)
-talk about the negatives & dangers of pornography (secular & spiritual. unrealistic expectations, creates and perpetuates illusions, sex opens the psychic gateway & connects people, sometimes creates spiritual connections to unwanted thought-forms, sex energizes or potentiates thoughts, etc).
-sex opens the psychic gateway. this is nearly impossible to understand given our current lack of understanding concerning this aspect of human biology. humans have biological mechanisms which allow for telepathic ability and energy exchange both between living mortals and between mortals and those in the higher dimensions. sex opens these gateways in a manner meant to harmonize the thoughts and emotional vibrations of the participants.  An actual chemical and corresponding spiritual energy transfer occur during orgasm. Self induced gilt-ridden orgasm through materbation with pornography not only can cause problems with the bodies electrical delivery system, it encourages a spiritual phenomenon known as engrafting.  The emotional connection between couples prevents most engrafting during sex.  One’s desires & focus during orgasm has many spiritual consequences which are difficult to explain.
-talk about the positives. can be used to change hormone levels, match libidos, fulfill desires that might otherwise be fulfilled with cheating/divorce. But the type of sexual media must be appropriate for the couple. Sex has many benefits, some may be trying to obtain these through sexual media when sex is not a viable option. Subconsiously may be trying to be used to build the energetic systems of the body (see biology of kundalini, or unblocking baffled energy pathways. This usually isn’t the best way to do this, but that’s a lesson people must learn for themselves.

-sex in all its forms can be made to bring people together or drive them apart. All should be measured by its effects on unity and selfishness/unselfishness of the parties involved.

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Human Relationships & The Microcosmic Connection To Atomic Bonding

Left: Fractal pattern of a tree (tree of life), through its trunk, branches and twigs. At right: The Mandelbrot set is a popular example of a computer generated fractal.

I like to think that relationships or the bonding of people follow the same rules of physics as the relationships or bonding between atoms and cosmic bodies. That cosmic bodies, humans, and atoms all share a “fractal” (ie. microcosmic) relationship and thus share inherent similarities and adhere to similar physical laws.

Atomic and cosmic bonding, are of course governed and categorized by differences in energy potential. In humans we call this same potential energy attractive desire. We all have different polarities which dictate this attractive desire, and our level of polarization varies throughout our lives. Our relationships or human interactions become structured on the give and takes associated with our values/desires. It doesn’t take reading too many self help books to realize that its hard to categorize exactly what will make a good marriage or bonded relationship—because just like with atomic bonding, different people bond in radically different ways. As with cosmic bonds, there are a myriad of varieties of orbital types and likewise there are a handful of unique nuclear bonding strategies. There are likewise certain mixtures of these same type of fundamental attributes which can cause a lot of difficulties in relationships, and understanding our roles as well as the rules of physics and polarities which govern both atomic and human relationships can help individuals work through the difficulties of life.

Fractals. To really believe how science and the physics of the universe can apply to other aspects of human existence it helps to understand the principle of fractal cosmology. That is that our reality is holographic and is thus composed of remarkably similar units of differing scale. This idea of microcosm vs macrocosm is embedded into all religion and culture in types, symbols, shadows, natural allegory and comparisons with the natural world.

Charge or polarity. In reality all charge/polarity is relative. An atom becomes polarized in relation to itself when it has a different number of electrons than protons, or better put, when the charge of its energy field is different from the charge of its heart/core. This is called an ion. Another type of polarity is when neutral/stable atom is charged/polarized in relation to another atom. It is this polarity that forms the basis for inter-atom relationships, but more on that in a minute.

Inward/outward charge (ie protons/electrons) occurs when our outward life does not match our inward life or what’s in our hearts. This can occur at many different levels. For ALL those living in veiled earth, a polarity exists between our unveiled/higher-self (god/spirit) and our lower veiled conscious mind (ego/flesh). Further divisions can occur between our outward life (the parts of us we share with the world, or how people perceive us), and our inward life (what we really believe or how we see ourselves). Among troubled individuals even greater divisions can be created bringing about bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia where even our inward life has been divided into non-conjoining realities. The importance of this information is in the realization that these divisions exist in order to do WORK. The potential energy formed by polarization is how human progression or evolution occurs. Division creates a potential which is the source of all DESIRE, and desire is the motivating force behind all behavior. These potentials are what guide and control ALL our relationships.

In the same way that all molecules (relationships of two or more bonded atoms) are created & maintained by electric potentials in atoms, so too are our human relationships created and maintained by the desires or potentials created by divisions between our own inward and outward selves; essentially the differences between the desires of our hearts (intuition), the thoughts of our heads (beliefs) and the substance of our actions.

Bonding in atoms occurs primarily because of the octet rule. Atoms want to fill up their outer octet of electrons to obtain a stable ‘noble gas’ configuration. Thus just like people, atoms without this ‘complete’ energy configuration seek to bond in order to find wholeness. The atom/person feels something is missing and feels a desire to bond subconsciously. The ‘desire’ or likely-hood of an atom to bond has a lot to do with how close or far to the octet rule they are. This same polarization of valence electrons also largely dictates what types of bonds atoms can create or relationships atoms can have with other atoms. The same is true of people, for the same reasons. It is the relationship between our outer polarities or ‘desires’ which dictates who we are attracted to, and in what ways. There are various personality tests which attempt to aid us in understanding who we really are at any point, and to help us know who we may or may not currently be compatible with. (or what we need to change to become compatible) However, I believe all of these fall short in accurately categorizing the variability and uniqueness of all humans, and I believe that because of the holographic or fractal nature of our reality, categories based more closely on the microcosm of the periodic chart and nuclear bonding would far more accurately capture the full variability spectrum of human nature.

Periodic Table of the Elements

Before getting into the different types of chemical bonding, it may be helpful for the reader to reacquaint themselves with the periodic chart and how it is structured. Recall that apart from the metallics, atoms are placed in one of eight groups which correspond with the number of valence electrons. This is essentially the polarity of an atom relative to a noble gas. (The number eight is metaphysically important here, as our observable reality is structured like a diamond in a double tetrahedron configuration which tends to fractally divide into repeating sequences of seven.) So because of the octet rule, group ones like to bond with group sevens, group twos with group sixes and so on. There are literally millions of comparisons that could be made between the bonding characteristics of these different elements and those of people. Some elements bond easily, some only with difficulty. The nobles are ‘inert’ and completely balanced both within and without, it is these atoms which are used to buffer reactions. Like people some atoms have relative polarization’s of positive and others of negativity. We don’t call these atoms ‘good’ or ‘evil’, we simply observe their behavior and tendencies, and try to combine them in meaningful and useful ways. This is also how the noble therapist, historian or even holy-man judges; without cultural or religious labels, but instead with neutral or unpolarized wisdom.

Ionic Bonding relationships: occurs when the bond or relationship between atoms causes both atoms to polarize or become charged ions. In essence, in an ionic bonding situation, one atom is in dire ‘need’ of an electron and thus ‘steals’ the excess charge/electrons from another making both itself and its partner ionic or oppositely unbalanced/polarized. In these relationships one partner polarizes the other toward selfishness/unselfishness, and this potential difference creates the attraction which holds the relationship together. An example could be physical attraction. The beauty of one individual causes desire or charge in another. The desire/charge is created when one begins to believe they are not whole, complete and beautiful enough in and of themselves. This division of the divine “whole” unstabalizes the individual and creates a ‘need’ desire where they cannot feel whole and complete unless they possess the beauty of the other. When the beautiful one allows themselves to be ‘possessed’ by the one full of desire; a codependence is created and the beautiful one often gets to the point where they do not feel whole or complete unless they are desired or continually giving of themselves. This same situation plays out in any relationship where one side becomes ‘needy’ or negative/service-to-self and continually takes the excess charge of their partner; their partner continually allowing or enables them to do so because of excess positive polarization (not realizing their own actions are often the cause of the other’s neediness in the first place) Thus the ionic bond/relationship in codependence is created and sustained.

Covalent Bonding Relationships on the other hand, do not create ions or exist between ions. They exist between uncharged (non-ion) atoms with complementary charge/electron valence shells. In relationship terms both individuals are balanced and do not “need” the other. They are both internally balanced, however in relation to each-other or an inert gas atom they are polarized. The electrons or charge/desire in a covalent bond is shared in order to attain a balanced noble gas-like configuration. You might say this is a second stage relationship where individuals have learned to internally balance themselves without the aid of another to a point where bonding does not unbalance (ionize) them. Where polarization within the relationship is mutually shared and outward directed. And relationship which seeks to be outwardly serviceable must attain to this (metallic bond). However they are still not as balanced as a master (completely un-polarizable individual).

Inert Atoms/Noble Gases. A noble gas is the most stable and un-polarized on all the atoms on the periodic chart. They generally do not react with other atoms or molecules, and have a whole/complete outer valence shell. They are internally balanced (same number of protons & electrons) and externally balanced (full outer valence shell). They are often used as buffers to other reactions/relationships because they do not react (get pulled into the drama). Thus they can coexist with other molecules in substances, but do not bond to those molecules or substances. They are neither selfish nor selfless and yet they are both; neither masculine or feminine and yet both. They have both the ying and the yang in perfect balance, and thus can be all things to all people to aid in buffering the reactions of the more volatile individuals in life. However, as a disadvantage they can be loners, because they have no desire for relationship or drama. It takes great discipline for these individuals to become anything and in many cases they will not grow/progress unless they polarize and are thus motivated to become organic (forming an integral element of a whole; having systematic coordination of parts) which is the beginning and end of progression.

Ionic Bonding Relationships only form between ions of opposite internal polarity. That is, one must be polarized negative, the other positive, and through the give and take the net charge becomes neutral. The human relationship analog should be obvious. The defining attractive attributes of this relationship will be selfishness/selflessness in one attracting the opposite in the other. Because the give-and-take cancels out, the couple does not focus much on serving others either selflessly or selfishly. The net charge is zero. One need not suppose that in these types of relationships one is always the selfish one and vise-versa, although that may be generally the case, often the roles continually reverse given different situations; but it defines the general attractive principle. If the circumstances change, attraction ends and often so does the relationship.

Covalent bonds usually occur between atoms of near equal electronegativity or internal polarity. In relationship-terms this translates to a relationship between individuals of equal service orientation (service to self/selfish & service to others/selfless) who join together for a common cause
Electrons or charge in a covalent bond is often shared unequally, resulting in a molecule which is polarized. That is, unlike with ionic bonds, the molecule/relationship has a net charge of positivity or negativity. This means relationships with this type of bond, are often motivated with a desire to serve others or themselves as a team. These relationships give/take not only from/to each-other, but to/from others. That is, they are extroverts and give selfish or selfless service outwardly.

Finish this later. Talk a little more about the adept with quotes talking about the balancing process. The need for polarization to transition past step/density three, The role which unconditional love plays in the reversal of polarization and beginning of balancing… ect…

Reblogged Excerpt  (from www.selfgrowth.com)
We need to look at human behavior and why we do the things that we do. All of us are made up of atoms. Atoms behave in a certain way and their behavior is a good model to use to understand human behavior.
There are 3 atomic bonds: Ionic bonds, Covalent bonds and Metallic bonds.
The Ionic bond is a ‘give and take’ relationship between two atoms. Electrons are transferred from one atom to the other.
The Covalent bond is a ‘sharing’ relationship. Instead of one atom losing an electron and the other gaining an electron, these atoms share one or more electrons. Sometimes the sharing is equal and other times the sharing is unequal.
The Metallic bond has the characteristics of both Ionic and Covalent bonds. It ‘shares’ and ‘gives and takes’.
An example of the Ionic bond can be found in the bonding of sodium and chloride. Sodium has an extra electron, and chloride only has 7 electrons in the outer orbit. When the extra electron of sodium is given to chloride, chloride then becomes stable and sodium gets rid of the extra electron.
The sodium after it gives up its electron, becomes positive because it now has more protons than electrons. Chloride now becomes negative because it has more electrons than protons. The sodium and chloride ions are now stable and the compound they create is called Salt.
This Ionic bond I am going to call ‘The Give-Take Relationship’. Each of these atoms has found another atom that can give it what it wants and needs. By giving, they also receive.
With a Covalent bonding, atoms are co-dependent. An example of this is with the hydrogen atom. A hydrogen atom only has 1 electron, and so is unable to give up an electron. When 2 hydrogen atoms unite, they share the 2 electrons and this makes them both stable.
This is the same as when two people who need the same thing come together. They rely upon each other to remain stable. This type of relationship is not strong because neither person can be stable without the other. These relationships have what you could call a ‘low boiling’ point and break easily. I am going to call this bond ‘The Sharing Relationship’.
In a Metallic bond there is both a sharing and a give and take of electrons. This is a very strong type of bond, and metals have a very high boiling point, so hence the name Metallic bond.
The outer electrons of metal are not bound closely. When 2 metal atoms come together the electrons can move freely amongst the nuclei within the crystal. They slip over each other, but stay bonded to each other by the attractive forces that exist. Within in this bond there is a sharing of the electrons and also giving and taking. This bond has a flexibility not found in any other bond.
An example of this bond is a ‘stable marriage’, where both people have the ability to not only share with each other, but they also give and take from the other person. They are both independent in this relationship, through the give and take process, and yet also create a dependence upon each other by sharing what each has.
The bond becomes stronger as time goes on because they have the flexibility to move about freely within the relationship, trusting each other not to bond (cheat) with anyone else. Neither person in this relationship wants to break the bond because not only are they filling the other persons void, but their voids are being fulfilled also.
I am going to call this metallic bond ‘The Fulfilling Relationship’.
Behavior becomes erratic or unstable when all of our voids are not met. When 2 atoms come together and aren’t able to fill each others voids, the created compound is known as a ‘Radical’. Just as with human relationships, we become radical or rebellious to others and ourselves when our needs aren’t met.
Why do some people eat food that isn’t healthy? Or smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, do drugs or anything else that is unhealthy? It is simply that for many it is better to fill a void with something, than with nothing at all.
I think that we suffer in relationships because we are confused about what type of relationship we are in. You need to determine what your relationship is and then ask yourself a few questions. What do you give and what do you take from this relationship? What type of relationship does the other person think you have? If there is a problem with the relationship, can it be corrected? Or maybe you need to be separated from the relationship? This is true not just for a lover’s relationship, but it also holds true for relationships you have with friends, family, your children, co-workers, etc.

Mormon Doctrine and New-Age Principles

I’ll have to finish this article some time when I really have some time, but as I’v been reading a lot of spiritual texts lately I’m amazed at how similar a lot of the channeled new age material is to Mormon Doctrines and Scripture. I’m also a bit amazed by the animosity I’ve encountered in some articles written by Mormons against new age religion and philosophy. This article is my attempt to begin to translate some of the principle of New Age Religion into Mormon terminology and vise-versa.  My hope is that it will help people see the way that these two religious traditions use vastly different words and concepts to teach the same true principles.

OBEDIENCE

Obedience teaches us self mastery, it is as simple as that. Without self mastery we can never switch from slave/victim mentality to a god or creator who rules their own fate. Obedience to a priest prepares us for the real goal which is obedience to the SPIRIT which is God or our higher self or whatever you want to call it because at the highest levels of consciousness all is ONE and there is no distinction between God and Self. Therefore obedience is the first law of heaven. Obedience to the Spirit is aligning ourselves with the ONE Universal Will. It is the fruit of selflessness… to be obedient to the Universal Will is to forsake self and our disharmonious will, and obey the VOICE which teaches us the universal will. Most mankind gives obedience to their own will, the will of demons, the will of false-gods, idols or the egocentric god of their own creation or lower gods and heavenly administrators. But the latter of these is better than the former and ends up schooling us along- just as the Mosaic law was the lower law, instituted and administered by lower gods but led Israel to the higher law and higher God.

FAITH

Faith is co-creation. Faith is the principle of Power, Will and Force which creates reality. Our faith must be according to the universal or divine will, or we create imbalance and disharmony. By faith in Jesus Christ we mean faith in the saving power of the Christ consciousness as a sublimated principle. Faith in the man Jesus or any other earthly ‘individual’ can have a tendency to lead to idolatry (as manifest in much of Catholic tradition). Faith in a man or prophet or demi-God can bring good results as long as it tends to lead the mind to the FATHER or Universal God. Most mankind cannot relate with the FATHER so they have been given the SON or principles of form to which they may direct their wills, which is good as long as it elevates them in grade and intelligence. Jesus Christ is the archetype saving Love. Universal love is the defining attribute of the coming age, and all must learn this principle if they are to advance with the earth. All that Jesus taught was to bring Israel from Obedience into Love.

REPENTANCE.

Repentance means to change course. Karma is defined in many ways but the best I have read is the Law of One’s definition of karma being the metaphysical equivalent of inertia. Thus repentance means to change karma or the inertia of our present course. Repentance is a karma changer. Repentance clears karma and baptism, communion and blessings are the equivalent of energy work to clear karma.

BAPTISM

Baptism, washing or Immersion in water is a symbol of initiation and communion. A sign that our faith in LOVE is leading to unity. We wash our bodies of SELF and enter a brotherhood which is the terrestrial resurrection. As the Aquarian gospel says “John washed your bodies in the stream, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul, in preparation for the coming of the king” the King is LOVE, and man can not know love until he is clean or ‘balanced’. At birth we are baptized in blood, a symbol of the earth and its flesh. Christ’s blood is meant to bring us to the higher baptism in water, which in turn leads us to baptism by holy breath.

THE GIFT TO THE HOLY GHOST

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the awakening. It is enlightenment. It is the anointing or christening, the Christ energy. It is DNA activation. It is unification. It is energy work or an infusion of energy from the higher realms which transmutes our spirit to a higher vibration and eventually our body. It comes as fire to transmute us energetically to a higher wavelength to be able to withstand higher glory. Its highest level is transfiguration where the body is transformed from carbon based to crystalline based and as …

ATONEMENT

Atonement is unification and is the key to resurrection and exaltation or ‘raising’ ones body and consciousness higher through the densities. It is manifest in personal and social harmony- a united order or comunal order.

SIN

Wha

Mormonism and visitors from outer space

I have been thinking I should write an article on this lately, but figure its a bit fool hearty and futile. It’s such a complex and polarizing subject that to treat it properly to a wide audience would be practically impossible. I have been woken up many times in the early mornings over the last few years by an inner voice teaching me some pretty amazing things. I am then usually serendipitously led by the Spirit to more enlightening material to read during the day which sheds light on the foggy morning discussions. At times I have pretty distinctly felt a presence next to my bed talking to me… it’s a bit of a crazy experience, but overall its been really enlightening.

Perhaps I’ll try and write a little outline of what I’v learned so far. I’m really grateful for the being/beings(?) who have led me step by step over the last 15 years to my current understanding. Starting with Mormon orthodox beliefs and then blending into gnostism, neoplatonic and eastern philosophy until arriving at the encyclopedia of insanity which is Oahspe, then on to the almost unintelligible jumble of information from the ‘Law of One’, mixed with a good bit of Theosophy and New Age mumbo jumbo. All sources have their biases and distortions. But just as we come to know the Father by coming to know/love as many of his children as possible, so too we come to know truth by pulling the gems from His many revelations. Truth comes by overcoming the biases and harmonizing the distortions.

But in order for truth to be communicated, we have to speak a common language with others. This is what science is really all about, building a common language and system of communication with which we can describe the reality around us. When it comes to the presently unseen reality of the higher dimensions, I think that the new age movement will become the predominate language of choice for describing what more and more people on earth are becoming aware of.

Here’s an outline of my thoughts

-matter is divided into quantized dimensions. I like the base 7 system for describing them. Mormonism likes to use a base 3 which is fine too, since the three that are most pertinent to us in this octave are 3rd, 4th, and 5th corresponding to the Telestial, Terrestrial and Celestial Kingdoms of Mormonism. (Mormonism simply combine the bottom 3 or 1st, 2nd & 3rd into one, the top 3 or 5th, 6th 7th into one, and leave the center level alone.)
-Reality propagates as a fractal/hologram. That is, each level or quanta contains a relative relationship to the others. In other words, they are microcosms of each other. Because of this, the most powerful languages we can use to describe reality will be full of parallel meanings which allows words and ideas to represent different levels of the fractal. I really need a diagram to describe this properly, but in essence we could say that the earth or Spirit world have a telestial/terrestrial/celestial (4rth/5th/6th) level within it which is a shadow or type or parallel of the higher ‘true’ levels of dimension which we would call resurrections into kingdoms of glory.
-Earth is a 3rd density or Telestial planet which is close to transitioning to 4th density or Terrestrial level. It makes these transitions as our solar system moves along its orbit around the galactic core into different sectors of the galaxy.
-Terrestrial beings/angels rely on technology. They fly in space craft, they have differing levels of advancement, but they have achieved a social intelligence status which allows them to speak telepathically, communicate and travel throughout the galaxy, and altogether behave as illustrated in star wars or star trek. They are the resurrected angels or guardians of the scriptures, as explained in Oahspe they interact regularly with our Spirit World and the spiritual hierarchy/priesthood which rules our planet. Also illustrated in these inspired shows is the polarized nature of the 4th dimension/terrestrial universe. There is still good and evil there, but it is more separated than present (wheat and tares have been separated).
-There are a lot of complexities involved in the differences between spirit/disincarnate beings existing in time/space (the spirit world) and flesh/incarnated beings existing in space/time (the temporal world). All these words are horrible descriptors because they befuddle the true meanings so badly. This is a whole essay in and of itself involving the purpose of the veil in separating consciousness. In higher dimensions (5th, 6th, 7th) all things are one with no true division, but as consciousness ‘falls’ to the lower dimensions it is further polarized, individuated and divided. At higher levels we are all ‘one’ in the Father. You could call your own creative unified principle in the higher dimensions your ‘Father in Heaven’ or your ‘Higher Self’, the truth is that at those high levels there is no distinction between ‘you’ and ‘Him/Her’, those distinctions are only made by individuated consciousness in the lower dimensions so all differentiation becomes a matter of semantics.
-Beginning in the 5th dimension the polarities begin to come back together. By the time one reaches the top (3rd degree of the celestial glory/kingdom) there ceases to be polarity and “good” and “evil” (Service to self and service to others of new age movement) unify into unity consciousness. These are the true “Gods” of most western scripture. These are the Orion chiefs of Oahspe. Upper 5th dimensional beings (and 6th dimensional beings) no longer need to use technology. They can travel the universe through thought. They can through unified conscious thought create individuated thought forms (or craft) wherever they wish in the universe and project into the thought-form their consciousness. These beings are unified “social memory complexes” (as Law of One calls them) which have become “One with the Father” as Christ put it. Most the Gods of the old testament, as well as Mormon scripture (D&C 132) are 4th dimensional terrestrial beings. Christ is the archetype of the 4th dimension/terrestrial kingdom, and the Father is the archetype of the 5th dimension/celestial kingdom.
-The true “Most High God” or “Eternal God above all other Gods” (D&C 121:32) is almost a principle BEING more than a personal being of form. The Father who introduces Christ to Joseph Smith or the Nephites was a 4rd dimensional thought-form/light being channeling a 5/6th dimensional group consciousness in charge of this sector of our galaxy. But because of the law of relative relationships, beings of this level speak through or channel by divine investiture of authority from even higher consciousness theoretically, eternally up the chain of command to the All-God principle which is total unity consciousness (the most high God).
-The planetary civilizations so often channeled in the New Age Movement (Sirians, Pleiadians, Arcturians, Yahonian, Shihaeleians, Cassiopeians/Laquinons) undoubtedly correspond to the “governing ones” revealed to Abraham through the Urim and Thummim in Abraham 3:3, and depicted in the hypocephalus (Facsimile #2). These are primary 4th and early 5th dimensional planetary civilizations which have watched over us and guided us in the present and past planetary harvest cycles.
-The LDS church and more importantly its celestial governing body seeks to provide a conduit of harvest directly to the 5th dimension or celestial kingdom. The majority of its members, like most of the people of earth will gain a resurrection on the positively polarized (service to others) terrestrial earth during the millennium. Most sources teach that the negatively polarized (service to self) harvest will be taken to a different planet during the next cycle (in the same way the terrestrial ‘perople of Enoch’ were taken off planet before it descended wholly into 3rd density), although it would seem that Mormon doctrine teaches that these individuals will come back to earth for resurrection/incarnation at the end of the millennium at a point where the earth will again enter a region of vibration which supports them. Only those who can harmonize the two polarities (STS & STO) will then have the opportunity to move into celestial glory. Remember an upper 5th dimensional being (celestial being) gives no preference in polarity, they see only unity of the whole. STO, STS, pain, pleasure, joy, sorrow all play their parts in the divine plan and when perfectly harmonized (zen), the ying and yang hold all existence in a state of nirvanic beauty.

See my article on Eternal Progression and the Degrees of Glory for some more background and great illustrations on this subject.

I think the below discussion is worth re-posting, but also like everything in this world, has its distortions.
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I thought I would re-post an article I found on Mormonism and extra-terrestrial life.
Re-posted from http://latterdaycommentary.com/tag/city-of-enoch/

I was looking for a quote today that goes something like this: “The only beings to visit our planet are those who were once inhabitants here” (Update: Jeremy at the Seerstone provided the scripture as D&C 130:5). My search landed me on an article in the New Era from 1971 by Kent Nielsen. Like Truman Madsen who just passed away, Dr. Nielsen is an emeritus professor of philosophy from BYU. The article is entitled, “People on other worlds,” and is still fascinating although it was written almost forty years ago.

After a brief review of the basic cosmological configuration of our planetary neighbors, we are introduced to the simple math calculations used to deduce that we are not alone in our universe. There are uncountable billions and billions of stars and galaxies throughout space. If only one star in a million should have inhabitable planets, that would give us over 100,000 systems in our galaxy alone. Galaxies like ours exist in the billions. We are not the only life in this universe.

People on other worlds

Even with the advances of science in discovering planets around other suns that conceivably could harbor conditions favorable to human life, we simply have no way of knowing that there are any people out there besides us. Or do we? Latter-day Saints have known for over 170 years about the existence of people on other worlds. In fact, we also know that people from other worlds visit the earth and have been doing so for many years to deliver important messages.

Can you imagine the impact it would have upon civilization if our scientists announced that they have detected an approaching spacecraft from outer space? How would we be prepared for the visit of extra-terrestrial beings? I suspect that Latter-day Saints would take it all in stride. After all, we claim to have been the recipients of such visits for a long time. No, the visitors did not require the use of a spacecraft to reach our planet. Their method of travel is currently beyond us.

Prophets taught of other worlds

Brigham Young said, “…there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity.” The Apostle Paul knew that God had created other worlds. He wrote, “God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…by whom also he made the worlds.” Moses and Enoch revealed more in the Pearl of Great Price:

The Lord said to Moses, “The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works.” Enoch said, “And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations…” Joseph Smith’s witness is similar.

God created countless worlds

“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” What an amazing testimony! But wait, there’s more.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. … he was once a man like us … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth. …If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and … God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. … And where was there ever a father without first being a son? … If Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also?” Now that is deep doctrine!

Purpose of all these worlds

We don’t seem to talk much about this doctrine any more – that God was once a man as we are now. We tend to focus more on the idea that man can become like God. We are not alone in this teaching as it gives hope and motivation to many people besides Latter-day Saints who believe it. But the idea that God was once like us and passed through a period of mortality and testing is a bit much for some people to accept. President Hinckley even downplayed it in a news interview.

Nevertheless, as far as I know, it remains a basic fundamental doctrine of our church that helps to explain the purpose of life and all the potential inhabitable worlds that have been created. The worlds were created specifically to provide a home on which the posterity of the Gods could be tested and proven. Yes, we believe in multiple Gods, but limit our worship to our own Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ his son. We just do not teach about other Gods in our curriculum today.

Believed but not taught

I have often wondered about this unique way we have of doing things in our church. There are many things which we believe and are written about in historical sermons of former priesthood leaders. And yet, we do not include them in what we teach to investigators, new members, or even long-time members for that matter. However, just like the idea of a mother in heaven we do occasionally sing about our distinctive beliefs. A favorite hymn contains these words:

“If you could hie to Kolob
In the twinkling of an eye,
And then continue onward
With that same speed to fly,
D’ye think that you could ever,
Through all eternity,
Find out the generation
Where Gods began to be?”

We are Gods in embryo

We are of the race of Gods. We are of his species. God looks likes us. We look like him. He has two arms, two legs and a head with two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth. As Jesus said, “If ye have seen me, ye have seen the Father.” We are his sons and daughters and he loves us. The people who populate the other worlds out there are also his sons and daughters and look just like you and me. There are no green, bug-eyed monsters. They are also of the race of Gods.

The people who are out there are in different stages of their existence. Like us, some are passing through a temporal period. Others are living in worlds that have been celestialized and yet others inhabit a lower kingdom of glory. This process of living and dying and being resurrected has been going on forever. I can’t fathom that with my limited mortal brain but I know it is true. You and I are a part of that process of seeking to be like God and to inherit a glorious exaltation.

Space travel to the earth

Could a person from outer space ever come to visit the earth? Any Latter-day Saint knows the answer. Of course, visitors from outer space can come to earth! They’ve been doing it for many thousands of years. God and angels visited Adam. They visited prophets in the Old Testament and Apostles in the New Testament. The Book of Mormon has numerous accounts of angelic visitations and of the visit of Jesus Christ to the ancient American people. It is quite common!

In the spring of 1820, God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ visited the boy prophet Joseph Smith in upstate New York. Angels came to deliver keys of the priesthoodto Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland temple in 1836. In our temporal existence we may not be able to travel to worlds beyond out own solar system but other beings in advanced phases of existence are not so limited. When Moroni appeared to Joseph, he saw “a conduit open right up into heaven.” Awesome!

Communication from space

Scientists have been listening for communication from space for years but they have yet to hear anything to indicate intelligent life. On the other hand, Latter-day Saints are very familiar with the process of receiving messages from outer space, transmitted by means that transcend beyond the normal method of communication. This is more than a future possibility. It is a present fact! Beings from outer space have been making great efforts to communicate with us every day.

They have been sending messages that are filled with wisdom and great intelligence. These are messages that come from superior beings, who have evolved way beyond our limited mortal capacities to think and to understand. They live in dimensions that we cannot begin to fathom. But they are willing to share with us knowledge that will transform our lives if we will just listen and apply what they say. Their intelligence is far beyond ours and yet is beneficent and kind.

They are coming to visit us

What’s even more astounding to realize is that these same intelligent beings will be visiting us very soon. The millennium is simply a period of time when earthly civilization will be brought under the government of superior beings from another world who will visit earth frequently to direct our affairs. “Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand year period. They will not probably dwell upon the earth but will visit it when they please…”

But these beings who come from outer space, or another world, will not be aliens. They will be our brethren, who have lived upon this earth in mortality. What’s more, we expect a return of portions of this earth that have been broken off in times past when cataclysmic events sheared off that portion of the earth on which they resided. First the Ten Tribes, then the City of Enoch and last the portion that contains the Garden of Eden. Don’t believe it? Look it up in our history!

Summary and conclusion

The earth has received many visitors from outer space over the years. They do not come in spaceships and they do not wear spacesuits. They come from a plane of existence that we can only dream about and not yet comprehend. These are intelligent and magnificent beings that are glorified and exalted in their appearance and in their character. They love us. We are their children and their brethren. They have come to bring us messages of great joy if we but listen.

Visions of angels and Gods from other worlds are not something that I have experienced but I know such things have occurred. The influence of these beneficent beings fills the immensity of space and dwells here among us. These Gods have given us gifts that help us communicate with them. One of these gifts is the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is real and is the means by which God reveals truth to the mind and heart of man. Of this I and millions of others are unique witnesses.

Women and the Priesthood

——–under construction————-   finish later

I think it is appropriate to compare the issue of Women and the Priesthood to Blacks and the Priesthood. I think there is a lot in the church that is essentially “traditions of men” carried over from Gentile Christianity. I think that Joseph Smith was incredibly progressive in trying to break some of these long held traditions with revealing principles such as a “heavenly mother”, and the role of “prophetesses” among the church. I think most the church and its leaders are largely ignorant of the precedences set by Joseph Smith in essentially giving both Blacks and Women the priesthood in his day… a progressive move that the religious world was simply not ready for at that time. But what is so sad is that those things never caught on in his day because the world wasn’t ready for it—but now the world has passed the church in its views of equality and righteousness! Modern prophets have always been about revealing progressive ideas of equality and righteousness to a world entrenched in outdated cultural and religious dogma. But what has happened to our prophets? They show very little difference from the religious leaders Joseph & god started Mormonism to escape.

I for one have often wondered how my wife and I can be set apart to be “priests and priestesses” in the temple without us both holding the priesthood. I’v really felt that it wasn’t “my priesthood” anyway, but “our” priesthood. I believe this is why positions above bishop call for a man to be married. Because an unmarried man does not hold the entirety of the higher priesthood… because the highest expression of the priesthood can only be expressed in one who is celestially married. (So I say shame of bishops who don’t include their wives in the decision making processes. They are cheating the ward of blessings.) For the last few years I’v often felt like it would be entirely appropriate for my wife to join me in giving blessings to my children.

The priestess is not only an important aspect of the LDS temple ceremony, but also of many ancient religions predating the apostasy.

The priestess is not only an important aspect of the LDS temple ceremony, but also of many ancient religions predating the apostasy.

I see the symbolism involved in the “hidden” aspect of God which a woman or our mother-God or the feminine aspect of God seems to represent. (the Holy Ghost/Spirit is feminine in most ancient traditions, and all mystic traditions Iv encountered.) But at the same time I’v thought we’re a bit cheated in the church by not having the equality of women more visibly represented. I’v often wondered if women hold the positions of preeminence in the Spirit World (God knows they probably greatly out number the men in the higher regions of paradise).

I think that as the Times of the Gentiles draws to a close in the coming few decades, and the new age begins, we will see the abolishment of many of the “traditions of men” that have been adopted by the church from the Gentile Church. I think we’ll see a greater equalizing of the relationship between church leaders and lay people of the church (I don’t think the church hierarchy or apostles ever wanted to have the “god-like” status and control that many members give them or that utah’s social perceptions have given them). Hopefully we’ll see the Stake presidency and high council given the equal perception of authority and power that D&C 107:24–37 say they should have.

I think we’ll see a greater utilization and acceptance of the gifts of the spirit such as the gift of prophesy (for ANY individual, regardless of age or gender… that would mean far more prophetesses). And who knows… maybe we’ll see women formally given the priesthood, so they can visibly stand in their temple ordained positions of priestesses. I surely would welcome that… because in my mind its already a hidden reality… Perhaps I’ll never be a bishop because of it, but I would sure tell my ward that the bishopbric was a calling shared between me and my wife and I would involve her in all decisions (unless she didn’t want to be involved). And every ward should know that, as Julene has reminded me, that its the relief society president who really keeps a ward functioning anyway.

I would hope that the only reason men stand visibly as the leaders in the church, and not women, is to protect women from the bad-talking and condemnation that inevitably goes with visible leadership… but if a woman wants to be the visible leader… is a man really justified to hold her down even if its in the name of protection?

Issues to Doctrinally Address.

-Blessings of health and comfort are not priesthood ordinance. The laying on of hands to administer to the sick is not a priesthood ordinance.  It is a gift of the spirit. To forbid women to do it is wrong.

-Prophesy is not solely a function of the priesthood. To make women feel bad about doing it is wrong.

-dig up the articles and links to show evidence of joseph giving priesthood to blacks and women.

-men have always feared the physical and spiritual power women have over them and over men in general. they seek to subjugate that power. This is not to be in the new age… men are to empower women and gender equality is to be based on principles of freely given self sacrifice, not manipulation or subjugation.

Women are culturally programmed to see their primary role as being breeders in the home. Those who do not embrace this role are made to feel inferior in various ways.
Strong family and gender roles are obviously important for a balanced and healthy society. But when we manipulate people into a certain lifestyle at young ages using threats of “not making it to the celestial kingdom” we do more harm than good. Using manipulation instead of appealing to an individuals sense of wisdom, selflessness or humanity often backfires. D&C 131:1–4 is taken out of context and used in manipulating people who may be unready for marriage or family to jump in because of social/religious pressure. Women have been made to feel like having more children or children sooner makes them more “righteous” even if it is not the path of wisdom. Once again, instead of pointing out the advantages and disadvantages or wisdom in certain paths, women are manipulated with truisms, homilies and threats of eternal consequence and relegation.
Women are culturally programmed to feel they play a religiously subservient role to males or the male priesthood.
Both women and men in Mormonism are taught to respect and “honor the Priesthood” in an attitude of humility and submission. Respect for authority and power structures is also an important part of a healthy society and national organization. But throughout most of history women have been excluded from those power structures in both religious and political organizations? Why? Because their “place is in the home”? The subtle difference in the idealized active and passive characteristics of men and women should certainly be taken into account when making cultural decisions on gender roles; but it is my belief that historically POWER has always ruled (law of the jungle) and this is the main reason for why women have FAR less frequently held positions of government and religious authority. Maybe they don’t have the stomach for it, or maybe its because of gender domination, be what it may, my point is that inequality brings sickness and gender balance IS the path of wisdom and greatest self actualization. We as a society and as a church do not understand what we are missing by not empowering our women to be equals in intelligence and authority. I suggest that as with the blacks and the priesthood the disunity caused by this subtle inequality a large part of the reason why the Church was and is still being chastened and must wait to “be redeemed” (D&C 105:4–9).

 

 

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A good thought on Mormonism and Women and the Priesthood….

You may have heard about the big to-do over a group of women that organized a “wear pants to church day” movement which was held this weekend. The goals of this movement are assumed by many, but few people it seems, took the time to really understand what it was all about. This was evidenced by the many comments that were made on the Facebook page which was set up to help organize the movement. After only a few days the creators decided to take the page down, because of the many vulgar, demeaning and even life-threatening comments made on the page (see http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/12/16/women-who-want-to-wear-pants-to-church-outrage-mormon-traditionalists/ for more information).

It’s really quite sad that people, likely Mormon people, would stoop to this type of intimidation to stop something that they do not understand or agree with. In addition to these outrageous examples though, there are others that were kind but said they didn’t agree with the premise or how it was being conducted. I respect these people’s decisions. Though upon talking to many people that I know, I found that few understood even the basics of what was happing. Once I explained a bit of it, they often agreed with what was being done. It is for this reason that I want to address a few of the misconceptions on this whole matter, and the Mormon feminist movement in general.

First off, I want everyone to know that I am an active, fairly conservative male member of the Church. I hold a current temple recommend, I served a mission, and I do my home teaching fairly well. I do however, feel it important that when faced with an intellectual issue, that I don’t just repost what someone else said on Facebook, that I don’t go to the opposition to find my facts or that I don’t make assumptions based only on what I have heard from others. I think it is important that each of us “prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), that we seek after those things that are “honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous” wherever they come from (Articles of Faith 1:13).

The most common problem people have with the wear pants to church movement that I have heard is that church, specifically sacrament meeting is not a place to protest, it is a place to worship our Savior. I and the organizers of the movement 100% agree with this. In 1971 the First Presidency of the Church said it had no position what people wear to church. In an official statement made by the Church spokesman Eric Hawkin this was further explained that people should wear nice clothes as a sign of respect, but that the Church would not dictate what that was (see http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-mormon-women-pants-facebook-20121214,0,3860687.story).

This is further emphasized by the fact the people wear whatever they can all over the world. Many investigators I worked with on my mission in a very affluent area of the United State wore things that might be considered inappropriate simply because they did not know any better. In many countries people wear rags to Church, but they are the best rags they own. Would those same people receive demeaning and even life-threatening comments? Everyone that wore pants was encouraged to wear their nicest, most respectful pants they owned. One prominent blog even said: “not jeans, or sweats, or yoga pants, but dress pants. Tailored suits and flowing shalwars and holiday-appropriate black velvet. Pants that are modest, elegant, and feminine, and not at all out of place in a church house” (see http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/11915).

What were they trying to accomplish by wearing pants to church? (And as a side note wearing purple for men or women that did not want to wear pants). The goal was a sign of solidarity. It is sign that many faithful members of the Church are comfortable with the changing in women’s roles in the Church. Perhaps that needs some explaining on its own.

For years (all the way back to Brigham Young in fact) members of the leadership of the Church prayed that men of African descent could hold the priesthood, and that all worthy members of the Church could receive all the blessing of the temple. The civil rights movement of the 60’s came and went, but still God did not grant that revelation. While it has never been said specifically why these blessings were withheld for so long, there is a growing number of people in Church academic circles that felt this was not reveled until the late 1970’s perhaps because the members of the Church were not ready to receive it (this falls in line with many other revelatory experiences found in the scripture, the Law of Moses for example). As it was, there were many that had a difficult time accepting it even after years of integration.

This idea, that things can be changing, often things that buck the cultural norms of the day, but that have nothing to do the revealed doctrine of the Church, is much the same as the “wicked traditions of the fathers” or the “traditions of men, mingled with scriptures” that have hampered so many people throughout the scriptures. Just because something is of “ancient date” does not make it God’s revealed will. Most of the things that the organizers hoped to bring to the public’s attention have nothing to do with doctrine or priesthood (granted there are a few extremists that do take it that far, but the majority do not).

A few things that I personally feel passionate about are these: Why cannot women pray in General Conference? Why do young men’s programs get nearly double the funding of young women’s programs? Why cannot women serve in many of the callings that do not require priesthood leadership? Why women as aren’t encouraged to serve missions (this seems to be changing though)? Why the priesthood is usually compared to motherhood as opposed to fatherhood? Why, with the many changes to the temple covenants over the years, do some still place emphasis on men’s position over women?

I want to end by saying that I believe that “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). I believe that unless God says otherwise, the priesthood is men’s call to serve God’s children. I do believe that it was correct that Emma Smith, Eliza Snow and many others blessed their families in the name of Jesus Christ in the early days of the church, that women served as prophetess in the scriptures, and that women continue to this day to bless and serve in the temple in some kind of joint administration of the priesthood with their husbands and the male members of Church. I believe that our Church is lead by a prophet of God that receives revelation.

I also believe that traditions and cultural norms that blind us will need to be broken away before we can have a restitution of all things and see ourselves as God sees us.