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Being Loved by Jesus

Love is encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires – mine or yours. A righteous desire is a desire that is not motivated by fear. – Scott Stover

https://scottstover.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/talkin-bout-love/

 

I wrote recently about “Loving Jesus”.  This morning I realized, “Duh!  Relationships must go two ways!”  So, how about “Being Loved by Jesus”?

How does Jesus love us – today?  Yes, I know – the scriptures describe the ways in which He has loved us in the past (although time is appointed only unto man), but how does He love us today?  Right now.  He showed how He loved all mankind through His creation, His earthly ministry, the passion, His attaining to the resurrection, teaching through prophets and through personal revelation, and myriad other ways..  But how does he love you and me…right now?

I think the key is in the above quote.  I think Christ, today, loves us by encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires, which are desires that are not motivated by fear.

Please forgive me for quoting myself.  I know it might come across as presumptuous or even pompous, but that’s not the case, nor is it the point.  What’s happening is that, as I learn things, they keep getting reinforced.  This idea about encouraging righteous desires came to me through my personal pondering, and I wrote it down, but it keeps getting reinforced.  The ideas I’ve mentioned in previous posts, about living in comparison, the 4 C’s (comparison, competition, contention, and control) – those principles also keep getting reinforced, too, and the understanding keeps growing more and more complete as it all falls into place.  I’m trying to portray this process as it develops – and I can’t do that without referencing these past writings.

So – Christ loves us today by encouraging, even enabling, the fulfillment of our righteous desires.

Now, Christ is a powerful dude!  He exists independent of time and space.  He has the ability to control the elements.  He has knowledge of all things from the beginning.  And He can bring all that power to bear in loving us!  But the best way, the only way, really, in which He can love us is by encouraging, even enabling, our righteous desires.

Now, the second part of the opening statement.

Love is encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires – mine or yours. A righteous desire is a desire that is not motivated by fear.

Righteous desires are desires that are not born of fear.  That means, they are desires that are born of love, because love is indeed the opposite of fear.  Fear breeds guilt, and judgment, and jealousy, and a whole bunch of other undesirable things – things that are commonly associated with “THE FALL”.  (Cue dramatic, ominous, scary music).

In another recent post, Conversations with God #8, I shared how I had learned that God’s nature, and our nature, is defined by His, and our, desires.  So, if Christ is loving us by encouraging our righteous desires, He is encouraging us to become our most righteous, most loving, most redeemed (as in from the fall – from fear, guilt, judgment, jealousy) selves.

To encourage the fulfillment of any other desires – desires resulting from an existence defined by comparison – would not be loving us.

When we focus on a gospel of sin, of judgment, of punishment…of fear – that is not love.  That is not of Christ.  Christ cannot desire these things, or He would be these things.  And we cannot be one with Him unless we jettison these things.

And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto the ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for you are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I Am, not with the carnal, neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. T&C 56:3

This passage has, over the years, become a cornerstone of my understanding of the truth of the gospel, and the nature of Christ.  It keeps coming back – as a cornerstone.  The Lord told us these things through Joseph Smith.  He said, in effect, “If you would be with me, if you would know me, then stop living by comparison; stop living in a seething cauldron of guilt, and fear, and judgment, and jealousy.  If you can do this, you will be able to know me, to see me with your spirit – which is the only way you can really know me anyway.  If you cannot do this, we can never be one, and we will always be separated from each other.  Oh, and by the way – this is a promise.  This is truth.  This is an eternal principle.  I will love you by encouraging and enabling you in this pursuit.”

The scriptures teach us so much.  But they must necessarily be a means to an end.  The scriptures do not love.  The scriptures do not create.  The scriptures point the way, and they point the way to Christ – not to our hazy, fallen image of Him but of His true nature.  The more I learn of Christ, the more I’m convinced that we interpret the scriptures through a lens clouded by the fall – by comparison, and guilt, and judgment, and jealousy, and fear.  The truth – the truth that they ultimately teach is the ultimate beauty – the ultimate love.

I pray that we can learn to love Christ for who He is, and that we can learn to recognize the way in which He loves us.  I pray that we can love Him by encouraging and enabling Him to fulfill His righteous desires; by being partners in bringing about His purpose – His work and His glory – which we can only do by loving Him and our neighbor.  I pray, furthermore, that we can learn to first identify, and then seek the fulfillment of, our own righteous desires; desires that are free of fear; and ask Him fervently to bring all His power to bear in enabling us to fulfill those desires.  In this way, we in turn further enable Him to fulfill His greatest desire, which is love us!  In this way, we heal the separation of the fall, bring about the redemption of all, and become one with Him and with each other.  It is in this way that we will usher in Zion, even the Kingdom of God, for what is the Kingdom of God if not a kingdom free from fear, and filled with love for all creation.

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Loving Jesus

 “Love is trust, complete, thoughtless, instinctive, self-defining trust.  Love is the biblical “charity” – the pure love of Christ.  Love is light.” – Scott Stover

https://scottstover.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/talkin-bout-love/

I discovered this morning that, when I pray, I am using Christ.  I go to Him for comfort – to tell me that I’m ok. I go to Him seeking judgment.  Why?  Because I’m unsure of myself.  Am I measuring up?  Am I worthy?  Am I on the road to salvation – which only He can give?

I asked myself, “Is this really the basis of my relationship with Christ – Him as the judge?  Furthermore, is this what my relationship with Him should be?  If I love Him, truly love Him, is it only because of what He has done for me?  Or is it only because of what He has promised to do for me?”

I saw a little selfie video this morning of my wife and daughter with bears’ ears and noses painted on their faces, and their voices were artificially high pitched.  I guess it’s called “Shapchat”, and it was just…cute.  I realized (again) at that time that I love my wife solely for who she is.  Guileless, forgiving, trusting and trustworthy, smart, funny, and so innocent and child-like that, even at 67 years old, she can still joyously make silly videos with her daughter and post them on facebook.  I don’t love her just for what she has done, or for what she can do, for me.  I love her because I recognize the perfect beauty in who she is.

Yet, when I profess to love Jesus, the Christ, do I love Him for who He IS, or do I love Him for the power He supposedly holds over me?  Do I love Him because He is infinitely knowledgeable, guileless, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, empathetic, kind, funny, honest, and trustworthy ( in other words, loving), or do I love Him because of what I think He can do for me, for what I think He must do for me if I am to avoid eternal damnation?  Is my love for Him conditional or unconditional?

When I pray to Him, do I approach Him with an “I’m not worthy, less than the dust of the earth, please redeem me” type attitude, or do I approach Him because of who He is, and because I just want to know Him, without any expectation of reward?  What would He prefer?

Comparison (the source of all “I’m not worthy” thoughts) against some standard, whether that standard be Christ, or other people, or a standard of behavior (commandments) always perpetuates separation.  If we compare ourselves to the western, Grego-Roman, “Christian” image of Christ, we conclude that we are unequal.  If we compare ourselves to other people, all such comparisons yield inequality – we are either better or worse than they are.  If we compare ourselves to some standard, we either exceed or fall short, but this also implies comparison to others, or if the standard is Christ, then it implies comparison to Him.  This is NOT love.  As long as we live and think, even love, based on comparison, we can never be one with Christ or with each other.

I want to learn to approach Christ without all this baggage.  I want to learn to believe Him.  I want to learn to know Him, and to love Him for who He is, not for what He can or must do for me.  I don’t want to carry guilt with me as I approach Him every day.  I don’t think I need to.  He knows me.  He knows my desires, my thoughts, my actions, my fears.  Why do I need to bring that imperfection into my relationship with Him?  Do I think He holds those things over my head?  Honestly, I don’t think He does.  I think He loves me for who I am, as well as for who I desire to become (which is, of course, part of who I am).  I truly believe that learning to love like this, not only in our relationship with Christ, but with all creation, is somehow the key to eternal life; to divinity; to salvation, redemption, sanctification – to all these words that we seem to perceive that we are perpetually striving for and falling short of.  I truly believe these things are all within us.  The denial of these things is a tool of the ego – the natural man – to keep us from truly knowing and loving Christ and each other; from becoming one with Him and each other, because once we truly love Christ, and are one with Him, the ego no longer controls us.  The natural man becomes an enemy with no power.  Once we truly love Christ, and are one with Him, without all the baggage that results from living in a world of comparison, with its guilt, sorrow, fear – a world of our own making – then we can know the joy of existence that is our true inheritance – our immediate inheritance.

Teaching us this; showing us this; is the purpose of Jesus in becoming the Christ.  Will we believe Him?  This is the bitter cup that He drank from.  This was (is – the job is not yet finished) the will of the Father.  It’s all there in the scriptures, but it’s all in metaphor.  Christ overcame death because He overcame the ego – the natural man, the fallen man.  He overcame the separation that resulted from the fall.  And He showed us that it can be done.  In this way, he is “the way”.  In this way, He is the light and the life of the world.  I want to know Him, but I don’t want to “use” Him.  I want to love Him unconditionally, just as He loves me unconditionally.  And I want to learn to love all men unconditionally, just as He does.  He invites us all to do this.

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Conversations with God #8 – Of Eternal Life

“Lord, I promised I would seek to know you.  I’ve tried really hard to keep that promise.  I’ve learned that I can’t really know you if that knowledge is filtered through the vision or knowledge of others, so I am seeking to come directly to you.  So, Lord, please tell me…who are you…REALLY??!!”

The response was immediate and clear:

“I am all goodness.  I am love.  I am life.  I am light.  I am knowledge.  I am creation.  I am eternal because these things are eternal.   And I am these things because I desire to be these things.  I came to know the difference between life and death, between eternity and time, and I desired life and love.  I became these things because I desired them.”

“This is creation – to become your desires.  Creation of the eternal is to become the desire for things that are eternal.  As you know, something is eternal only if, when you give it away, you still have it.  Its abundance is not diminished, but multiplied; thus creation.  These things are eternal.  These things are life.  All else eventually has an end.  All else is death.  The Father created His desires.  The “Word” is the desire of the Father.  Creation is the manifestation of those desires.  He is a manifestation of His desires just as we all, ultimately, become a manifestation of our desires.  If we desire life…that which is eternal…we will become that.  We will have eternal life.  If we desire death, we will become death.  Our eternal journey is that we might learn, as I did, to distinguish between the things of life and the things of death, and to desire life; then to become a manifestation of our desires.”

“You are learning to desire life.  You are learning to distinguish between life and death, and you are choosing life.  Thus, you will one day become as I am.  You will one day become as the Father is…a manifestation of your desires…the desire for life.  Your journey is to become that manifestation of your desires.  This is divinity, that you understand the difference between life and death; that you desire life; and that you become a manifestation of those desires.  This is to become one.  Your path is set.  You are mine, as I am the Father’s; and we are one in our desire for life.”

“Lord”, I thought, “what about Diana”?

“Oh, my son.  What joy fills my heart!  I have just told you that your path to eternal life is assured, and your first thought is of your wife.  Yes, she is on the same path.  Now – can you have the same love for all your other brothers and sisters?  If you desire this, it will be.”

“Thank you, Lord.  You know this is my desire.  I am indeed selfish in so many ways.  I have much to overcome, I know, but I see clearly now that I must continue to refine and cling to my understanding of the difference between the things of life and the things of death, and that I must continue to nurture my desire for life.  I believe you, Lord, and I readily take these things into my heart.  I eagerly repent of my desires for things that have an end; that I may more fully seek to become a manifestation of those things that are eternal.  I trust that these things you have taught me are true.”

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Talkin’ ’bout Love

 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Lord, nothing that is in me, or of me, is hidden from you. I promised long ago that I would seek to know you. I now realize that the true goal is to become one with you, which is the ultimate manifestation of knowing you. I have a consuming desire to know you. If I am to truly know you, and be one with you, then should anything be hidden from me?

My son, you already know me. There is nothing in me that is hidden from you. The attributes that you seek after, that you yearn for, that you recognize as me…you could not recognize them at all if they were not part of you; if they were not already in you. So, the process of knowing me is simply a process of awakening; and it is the process of knowing yourself.

*************************************

I (we) talk a lot about love. Love is the force of creation. Love is charity. Paul and Mormon defined charity (love) in similar words. I don’t know about you, but the pure love of Christ has always seemed kind of out of reach. I’ve pondered and prayed, and self-corrected (repented) constantly, but it always seems beyond my reach. Plus, as much as I “preach” about love, you’d think that I should at least understand what it is that I’m preaching about. Well, below is the result of my pondering, and praying, and studying, and pondering, and praying, and repenting…at least so far.

What is love?

  • Love is trust, complete, thoughtless, instinctive, self-defining trust.

  • Love is the biblical “charity” – the pure love of Christ.

  • Love is light.

    • Light, physically, or at least as I understand it, is vibration – wave lengths of vibration – tiny particles of matter moving in chaos cleverly disguised as harmony. Light is life, because life is vibration, movement. It is energy absorbing as well as energy emitting vibration. Without light, there would be no creation. Light sustains and light defines creation. Love is light, so love is all these things, too.

    • Darkness is not so much the absence of light as it is the rejection of light. In darkness, there is no vibration, no light, no life. Darkness grows when light is rejected. Darkness is the ultimate selfishness. It absorbs light (life) rather than reflecting, or perpetuating it. Darkness does so out of fear – fear that it won’t have enough life. Matter, without vibration, without light, stops vibrating. It dies. Darkness is death.

    • How ironic that life is sustained by giving it away, and life begins to die as soon as it is hoarded.

  • Love is truth. Thus, love is knowledge, but it is also understanding. Truth without understanding is meaningless. Truth, with understanding, and then applied, is wisdom. Love is wisdom.

  • Love draws out faith and trust. Again, Love is life. It is that which sustains, and without it, death rules. Love is reaching out, craving goodness and righteousness, craving life. Life is glorious and eternal, and love craves all that is glorious and joyful, and because love is life, love is eternal. Love knows not death.

  • Love is that which, when given, the giver still retains it. Love is not lessened when given, but it is multiplied. If, in giving something, I no longer have it, that thing had no eternal value anyway. It was not love.

  • Love is God. God is Love. This is not just a platitude or proverb of some sort. This is reality. This is the nature of God, and as we continue through the discussion below, we are actually defining the nature of God.

    • This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Love is not…

  • Love is not control or possession. Such things actually inhibit vibration / light / creation. This, in turn, is death.

  • Love is not judgment or ridicule or criticism. No, love is NOT judgment or ridicule or criticism. Not ever.

  • Love is not comparison. There is no oneness in comparison, only separation.

  • Love is not “ingratitude”.

  • Love is not jealousy. Jealousy comes from a combination of comparison, judgment, and ingratitude.

  • Love is not blame, or finger pointing (read “judgment”), or deflection. These, too, lead to separation.

  • Love is not punishment, or vindictiveness, or revenge, no matter how justified one might think it is. Love never seeks to hurt another.

  • Love is not sacrifice. Sacrifice implies that I surrendered or destroyed something that I loved. Love cannot be destroyed or given up.

  • Love is not force – of any kind. Not physical, not emotional, not intellectual, not financial.

  • Love is not having “Shake my head” moments.

  • Love is not separation. Separation is the result of all these things that love is not.

  • Love is NOT fear. Love is indeed the opposite of fear. Fear is the rejection of light, of love. Fear is darkness, just as love is light. Fear stops vibration. Since vibration is life, fear, then, is death. Fear is the root cause for all of these other things that love is not.

  • Since there is no death in love, love is eternal life.

How is love manifest?

  • Love encourages. Love, when manifest, lifts. It encourages everyone to reach their best. It seeks to dispel fear, and promote trust, comfort, kindness, peace. Love creates an environment, through relationships, where people are encouraged and feel free to discover their higher selves. Love is like the sunlight, under whose rays each flower, even the lily of the field, is invited, enticed to open from its slumber to reveal its own glory.

  • Love is encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires – mine or yours. A righteous desire is a desire that is not motivated by fear.

    • Carnal desires that are not motivated by fear are righteous desires.

  • Love seeks oneness. What is oneness, you might ask? How is this “oneness” manifest? If I interact with a focus on encouraging others to 1) identify their righteous desires and 2) fulfill them, including my own, then we have a oneness that preserves uniqueness and individuality without separation.

    • If someone else’s righteous desires are equal to mine, then we are one. And, if my righteous desire is to seek the fulfillment of everyone’s righteous desires, including my own, then our righteous desires are the same. Again, righteous desires are desires that are motivated not by fear, thus they are motivated by love – love being the antithesis of fear. A desire to make music is a righteous desire. A desire to make music that pokes fun, or mocks, or expresses anger may not be so righteous. Yet I cannot dictate to others what is a righteous desire. I can only encourage them to seek that out for themselves – to learn to distinguish between righteous desires, and desires that are motivated by fear or which interfere with the righteous desires of others.

  • Love rejects jealousy. There is no place for jealousy in a loving heart. None. Zero. Zip. Got jealousy? Then something is seriously wrong.
  • Love does not dislike others, because it recognizes the complexity and the ultimate divine potential in each individual, in each shining (giving off light), living point of God’s creation.
  • Love is patient. This is not just the opposite of impatient, but it is patience driven by perspective.
  • Love forgives. Better yet, love chooses not to be offended in the first place, because love is patient and love has perspective and because…
  • Love looks for the Christ in everyone.
  • Love never, ever, seeks to elevate oneself at the expense of others.
  • Love is word. Word is not only spoken, but done, so word is also deed. Love not done means nothing. All the knowledge, understanding, or wisdom, even that of God, means nothing if it is not shared – even if it is not used to promote the fulfillment of all righteous desires.
  • Love is joy! Love manifests itself as joy. When joy becomes a habit, or a state of existence, we have “become love”.

Love is the nature of Christ. Christ’s nature is love. There is no darkness in Him. I trust Him. When I commune with Him, which I do daily, with varying degrees of intimacy and interaction, I recognize in Him the virtues and attributes that inspire complete faith and trust. He would never manipulate me, or seek to control me, or deceive me, or judge, ridicule, or become impatient. It’s just not in His nature. To repeat from above, if I didn’t have these same virtues and attributes within myself, I could never recognize them in Him. All of the “Love is not” points above…my indulgence in, or failure to fully reject these things, is the reason that all of these Christ-like virtues, which the definition of love, are not fully, perfectly manifest in me, or in my interactions with others. Remember, only through our interactions does any virtue or attribute become real, or manifest. My failure to fully implement this is the reason I have not yet “become love”.

Largely, I think, Christ’s virtues and attributes are manifest through us, as we receive His light, or eternal life, and pass it on, through our word (spoken and acted), because few are those who seek them directly from the source. At some point, when someone is ready, we, in an act of love, must point to the source of the light. At some further point, though, once we have rejected all darkness and are one with Him, we will begin to share our own light. This is the fullest way in which we can glorify Him. This is the ultimate in creation.

Finally, the lyrics from a song I wrote, called “Prayer”. In its way, it is a lyrical summary of all the above:

Shine on Me

Shine on Me

Love is life, and it binds us all together.

Won’t you shine on me

 

Swing me like a child

Swing me like a child

Round and Round, til we’re dizzy in our joyfulness

Won’t you swing me like a child

 

Sing your song

Sing your song

Shout for joy, and release the light within you

Won’t you sing your song

 

Shine on me

Shine on me

Love is life, and it binds us all together

Won’t you shine on me

Won’t you shine on me

Won’t you shine…Lord, won’t you shine

On me

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The Gospel of Jesus Christ

I try often to write of my understanding of the gospel, of truth, in different words than those found in the canon of scripture.  This is typically a means of improving my own understanding, like if I can reword what the scriptures say, I somehow “prove” it.  It is also a means of integrating truths found outside the canon with those in the canon into a consistent, whole truth.  I do not believe that this resulting body of truth contradicts the canon of scripture, but it often contradicts the traditional interpretation of the scripture.  This sometimes makes people uncomfortable.  If that discomfort causes them to reject whatever truths might be revealed or emphasized – that may be a bad thing.  The other alternative is that the discomfort may trigger them to re-examine, or even confirm, their own understanding – not necessarily so they agree with mine, but so their understanding, like mine, might be more whole, more complete, in their mind.

In keeping with this spirit, I share the following description of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I present it in the first person, in the words of Christ, because that is how it came to me.  I pray that it will enhance understanding, perhaps even offering yet another witness of the truths that govern our existence.  Please accept these words in the spirit in which they are intended – the spirit of love.

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. When you seek to protect yourself from the illusion of separation, death, hate, and fear, you take on burdens that are grievous to be born. The truth, which I have shared with you, will free you from these burdens.

The truth is that I love you. I love you because I have learned that we are one, with each other, and with God, who is my father and yours. Love is our created state of existence. It is who we are.

It is also true that we are eternal beings. Death itself, which causes so much fear, is an illusion. When life is defined by fear of death, you cannot fully love. You must remain separated from the source of life. I have shown you, with my life, that death does not need to be feared. The only death to be feared is the death of the spirit, and this death is, ironically, the result of fear, or a failure to love.

Love is life, and it binds us all together. It binds us because when we love with divine love, we become one. This divine love is the healing of separation. Fear is death, and it keeps us separated, and any existence that relies on separation is temporary, is an illusion, and will end in the death of that existence. Yet, even that death is an illusion, because each of us will eventually learn the truth, which is that we are God because we are part of God; we are in Him and He is in us…each and every one of us.

There is much focus in this mortal existence on laws and justice (commandments and judgment). Laws are fine. Obey them if you wish. But laws, of course, mean nothing if they are not enforced, and that enforcement requires… “force”. Force is not love. It never was, and it cannot ever be. Therefore, obedience to such laws cannot lead to life, only to death. God’s laws, the laws that govern the universe, need no enforcement. They are inviolable. They simply “are”. Another problem with laws that need to be enforced in order to validate them is that someone has to enforce them, and there are very few who are pure enough, innocent enough, to enforce them on someone else without being hypocritical. And those who are pure enough…well ,they understand the truth, which is that these laws are ultimately unnecessary and meaningless. Their very existence is an illusion, and enforcement of these laws is an act of violence, and ultimately death. Furthermore, obedience to such laws is out of fear, and we’ve already established where fear leads. Love is the only law that is necessary, for it is love that governs the universe, and to obey the law of love is eternal life, and to deny the law of love is death.

It has been said, “The wages of sin is death”. This is truth. But sin is nothing more than acting in violation of God’s law. And what is God’s law? God’s law is love. So sin is acting in violation of love, and its “wages” come about naturally, because love is life, and a lack of love is death. Again, God’s laws need no “enforcement”, and to seek to “enforce” God’s law is not love, and is therefore sin.

My natural state of existence is joy. YOUR natural state of existence is joy. If you do not live in a state of joy, you are living in denial of yourself and, by extension, me, and our Father. This is contrary to His will, but your freedom to choose that denial is part of your growth, which IS His will. So even when you are in denial of us, your are still part of us, and we will never reject you; your denial is a temporary illusion,, and will eventually be overcome as you accept the truth.

My natural state of existence is peace. YOUR natural state of existence is peace. The universe, of which you are an integral part, is created in perfect harmony. You are part of that harmony. Even when you perceive conflict, that perception is an illusion. All things are ultimately according to God’s will. An understanding of this truth will help recognize that you exist in peace…in the peace of God – the peace that passeth all understanding.

You are so powerful! The universe was created as the result of the faith, hope, and love of the mind of God. YOU were created as a result of the faith, hope, and love of the mind of God. You are an extension of the mind of God, and therefore you have inherited the power of God, which is the power of love, for God is love, therefore you are love. Love is the power of creation. To know yourself is to know me, and it is to know God. This is life…eternal life. Therefore, to know God is to know me and to know yourself. I have taught you, and this is my gospel, to know yourself in all your joy, in all your peace, in all your glory, which is, in truth, the glory of God. I have encouraged you – I do encourage you – to have faith in my words, in these truths that I have taught (faith and belief in me). I encourage you to reject the illusion of separation, of jealousy and fear and death (repentance). In doing so, you enable yourself to truly know yourself, and thus to know me and our Father; and thus you enable yourself to have eternal life (endure to the end). If you will believe these things that I have taught you, and learn to recognize their truth, that truth will set you free to experience yourself, your life, in its fullness of peace and joy. You will be enabled to cast off these burdens of separation and protection that you have gathered round yourself, but that weigh you down and bind you to a lesser existence than that which is truth.

This is my gospel. There is no fear in (divine) love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment (not peace or joy) He that feareth is not made perfect in love (does not have eternal life). Believe in me, in my words; repent of fear and separation; and you shall have eternal life (a fullness of joy). And I will never not love you.

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Whosoever Believeth in me…

Peace, kindness, mercy, joy, faith, trust, empathy, understanding, patience, encouragement…love…these are life. These are things that bind us together. They are characteristics of Christ – they are components of His nature, as much as we have words to describe it – and they are life – even everlasting life.
 
Fear, guilt, uncertainty, jealousy, pride, unworthiness, judgment…these are death. They separate us from each other, and they separate us from Christ. Our indulgence in these things is because we don’t truly BELIEVE in Christ, because we don’t truly have FAITH in Him – because we are satisfied to remain fallen, in which fallen state we shall surely die.
 
Forgiveness, of others and ESPECIALLY of ourselves, is the bridge between the two – between life and death. Forgiveness implies that we were offended or that we feared or felt guilt (from fear) – that we indulged in these characteristics of separation and death. Forgiveness is repenting of this indulgence, of casting away the things that are anti-Christ, that are death. As long as we indulge ourselves in this darkness, we cannot be with Christ. Forgiveness opens the door for us to return to Him. Forgiveness is the rejection of death.
 
The great lie is that death, as described above, is part of the human condition. We have actually been taught that these things are good. But what did Christ say? He said,in John 11:26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” He made numerous other references that were similar.
 
So, if we live (see definition of life above) and believe in Him (see the definition of His nature above – they are one and the same), we shall never die.
 
I want to shout from the rooftops! Christ’s words are true. Let us reject fear and guilt, and let us indulge instead in joy, that we may have everlasting life? Sound crazy? Not according to Christ! Did the inhabitants of Enoch’s Zion die? What is the mystery of Zion? Why is it so elusive? Is it because we continue to believe the lie, while failing to truly believe the Christ, who said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE. No man cometh unto the Father (read – eternal life) but by me (read the definition of HIM above).
 
This rejection of death is not easy. These components of death seem to be part of our fallen nature. But let us partake of the fruit of the tree of LIFE, and root these seeds of death out of our hearts and our minds. Let us dedicate ourselves to first recognize their pernicious self-perpetuating existence, and then reject them when they rise up in us during our day-to-day interactions.
 
I hope at least one other person will recognize this miraculous, healing truth that I have been accumulating over the past while. It has been coming to me in bits and pieces. Today, it gelled. Today I have shared it with you.
 
And I feel confident in saying that I do so in the Name of Jesus Christ.
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A Voice of Contention, or a Voice of Faith?

It appears that I have often been a voice of contention recently. I have tried hard to never condemn or accuse people, only ideas. I don’t think I have ever accused anyone of being evil or hypocritical, but I have criticized things that have been written. I have, however, been accused – both overtly and passive-aggressively. I’m not just being contentious or disagreeable. I think about the things I write a lot. I think there is an important message for us all in them. But, I find myself increasingly on the outside looking in. So, why do I find myself in this position?

I believe we are clinging to doctrines that were meant for another people, in another time; doctrines that did not, and can not, prepare us for Zion. I think we need to ascend and reach higher than many have in the past. I think this is a new age – an age of love, not an age of hierarchy, and power, and fear, and judgment. New Age philosophies call these two ages Piscean and Aquarian. This is coincidence. This belief that I have is NOT the result of these new age philosophies. I am learning these things, only to later find that they match these other ideas that have been put forth by others. In other words, I am simply recognizing our condition.

I am learning, based upon my experiences with the spirit of Christ – the Holy Spirit – that He is not, and never was, a God of fear and judgment and wrath and condemnation. At times, He was perceived as such, and, being a God of agency, He allowed that, but He was never such. So, if that is true, how does this reconcile with scriptural stories, especially in the Book of Mormon?

Consider the stories in the Book of Mormon – stories of redemption that we have been instructed to liken unto ourselves.. Let’s begin with a favorite – King Benjamin’s people – a people much like us, who had been taught a traditional religion, but who had lost the power of the spirit. King Benjamin taught them in a way to bring them back, attacking their pride and teaching humility. Alma the Elder’s people were simply WICKED. Alma the Younger imself was wicked. The People of Nephi, the Anti-Lehi-Nephis, were brutal murderers. Those who found themselves surrounded by fires of redemption in the prison were in there brutally beating, slapping, ridiculing, even spitting on a naked, bound Nephi and Lehi. These were evil, carnal, base people. Their stories of redemption were miraculous in contrast. Such miracles were required to redeem such a wicked people. These people of whom the stories of the Book of Mormon were about were adulterers, murderers, liars, ,thieves, etc. Yet, we expect our experiences to compare to theirs. We expect our rebirth experiences to mirror theirs. I’m not aware of any among us who would even remotely compare. I think it’s totally understandable that my moment of rebirth would be less dramatic than theirs. How about yours? I’m not saying that such miraculous things don’t happen, only that we do ourselves a disservice if we think that we’re somehow not fulfilling the gospel if they don’t.

Another point. We don’t have Zion. Whatever we have done in the past, whatever anyone since Enoch and Melchizedek and the post-visit Nephites (for 200 years) has not resulted in Zion. A definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing expecting different results. I truly think that focusing on a doctrine that emphasizes that we are sinners, that we have to fear God, that we should be somehow motivated out of fear of a judgment day is NOT going to bring about Zion.

I think we need an ascendant doctrine. Not a new doctrine, just a new focus, a new, perhaps higher understanding of what the scriptures are teaching us. The two great commandments are simple – Love God, and Love your neighbor. The Sermon on the Mount is an instruction manual for how to do this. This is the doctrine that will bring about Zion, that will bring about redemption, that represents the fruit of the Tree of Life. These other doctrines are all designed to entice us to look up from our fallen state, having partaken for millenia of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Well, I think we need to look up.

I can’t picture people walking around in Zion, in the presence of Christ, consumed with fear of offending Him, or with fear of His judgment,, or a coming judgment day. I can’t imagine people thinking to themselves, “I’m not worthy to be here…I must somehow earn His love and the love of everyone else here”. But this is exactly the mindset that is perpetuated by our common interpretation of the scriptures. I absolutely hate it every time I hear my friend talk about how lowly he or she is, how they are not worthy, how they need to be redeemed, but that they are waiting patiently, faithfully, for that day of redemption to come. I invite these to look up. Look to Him and see the love in His eyes, and recognize that you are NOT unworthy. Recognize that you are His! Look up.

The Answer and Covenant, which I participated in, focused on loving each other. It invited us to look up. Jared Livesy’s Guide and Standard proposal, whether I agree with his method of presentation or not, is inviting us to look up. I was told to take the covenant, to be with this people, because I am to teach of His love. This is what I am trying to do. I am inviting us to look up – to look to Him, and recognize Him in ourselves.

David Johnson posted yesterday that the Lord told Him that Zion was in our hearts. David spoke truth. It MUST begin in our hearts. We MUST reject teachings that focus on fear and judgment and wrath. These doctrines that I reject may have been important in their day, for another people, in a different age, but they did not bring about Zion, and they never will. These are doctrines of separation, of fear. They may have been necessary then, and they may be necessary for some people today – a true manifestation of the preparatory Gospel.

But the preparatory Gospel will not bring about Zion.

Let us repent, and turn to Christ – the true Christ – a Christ whose power is the power of Love – who would never exercise any other power over this people. Do we need to repent of adultery and murder, as liars and thieves? No! We are not adulterers and murderers and liars and thieves. Instead, we need to repent of jealousies and FEARS. We need to repent of the need to control others – which we do through fear and manipulation. We need to repent of the doctrine of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – the doctrine of FEAR. Just as this age is an age of ascension – hopefully the age of Zion – so our repentance must be an ascended repentance.

Christ IS within us. The Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Christ showed us the way. Without Him we would never even be in this position – poised to ascend. We have been taught by our parents, by teachers, even prophets. Even those who lied to us still prepared us. Toward what end, then? That we could continue to focus on doctrines that fail to yield the greatest fruit – the fruit of the Tree of Life – the Love of God? No, we glorify Christ, and we validate those who prepared us, by looking up, by reaching higher, by leaving these doctrines of fear, and wrath, and judgment behind us, and focusing on oneness with Christ and with each other. He will NEVER force us to reach higher – this we must indeed do for ourselves. It is in this way that we love Him, glorify Him, demonstrate our belief and our faith in Him.

Please, let us look up, and ascend to the knowledge that will bring about Zion.

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