Who’s on the Lord’s Side, who? Good Question…

Recently, if we are to believe LDS Church (TM of the corporation sole) Official Voice, Dallin Oaks and Richard Turley had a free weekend, and road-tripped up to Boise (Why Not? I mean, Boise? Yeah!) to answer a few potential questions, which come up from time to time.  So they called a “fireside,” which my son is still confused about the meaning of.  Why is it called a “fireside,” for example?  What happens at a Fireside?  Who’s side is in the Fire, or is on, at maybe at the fire’s side?

In said spontaneous combustion of fire at someone’s side, Oaks and Turley explained how they interpret various texts said to speak on “apostasy.”  The recording of their words can be found in various places on the Interweb.

Not surprisingly, we learn from the Boise Rescue that it is the Other Guy who is “in apostasy,” or is “an apostate.”  They don’t name names, of course, but we know who they mean: that guy!  In fact, these terms only have meaning when pointing at the Other Guys, from our state of Being Correct.  Perhaps Oaks and Turley would be surprised to learn that every passage of text or scripture they quoted has been used to point at them and their non-church church as “being in apostasy,” and as them as being “apostate”?

What use is a term that has no definition, except in usage, and by using, cuts up the world so that those we don’t understand or cannot agree with are now, not merely wrong or confusing, but instead Opposed To God?  Well, it’s pretty obvious what the use is.  That’s why I don’t use it.

Now, after an hour of spontaneous reading of scripture by Oaks and Turley, and plenty of interpretation, the congregation was assigned to sing, “Who’s On The Lord’s Side?”

It may surprise those singers, that apostle, and church historian, that the song’s most repeated line is a question (so ends the National Anthem, as well: with a question).

Who’s on the Lord’s side, who?

I give you the lyrics, from the Official Hummbook:

1. Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to show.

We ask it fearlessly: Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

We wage no common war, Cope with no common foe.

The enemy’s awake; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

(Chorus)

Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to show.

We ask it fearlessly: Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

And now, rather than seek out an honest answer, the singers merely assert, They really know, and have known all along: We Are!  Of course, only those on the Lord’s Side could actually sing this song!  The Lord would stop up the mouths of those Not On His Side, for sure, for it is impossible to sing a lie in the presence of the Lord’s Servants.  Who are his servants?  Whosoever we can sing in the presence of, of course! 

2. We serve the living God, And want his foes to know

That, if but few, we’re great; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

We’re going on to win; No fear must blanch the brow.

The Lord of Hosts is ours; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Apparently, the answer is: Anyone who can say, “We Are!”  Notice how a question, a pretty good question, I’d say, about sides, has suddenly been replaced by a metaphor that comes from two sides, one winning, and the other losing.

3. The stone cut without hands To fill the earth must grow.

Who’ll help to roll it on? Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Our ensign to the world Is floating proudly now.

No coward bears our flag; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

So, they who sing, and who wave flags, too, are on the Lord’s Side.  He is leading a pep rally, it seems.  Yet listen to the spoils taken by the victors of this “We’ve Got Spirit Yes We Do” Battle:

4. The pow’rs of earth and hell In rage direct the blow

That’s aimed to crush the work; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Truth, life, and liberty, Freedom from death and woe,

Are stakes we’re fighting for; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Now, if those are the stakes, and maybe they are, are they won in a fight over who can wave and sing most vigorously, or by finding an answer?  Have we turned it into a fight, because we have received “the blow that’s aimed to crush the work”?  Suddenly a question has become a fight, won in a pep rally.  Who’s on the Lord’s Side, really?  Probably not those guys.

Oaks and Turley cannot answer the question in any manner, other than “We Are!  We Really Are.  Really!”  And that means they are NOT. 

Wouldn’t you expect an actual prophet to prophesy, and to reveal, say, things which are not known, and which may be known?  Consider Nephi or other prophets from the Book of Mormon.  Would they hold a fireside, and rant and rage (sighingly), and then sing their way to the Lord’s Side?  Or would they prophecy, know the minds of their enemies, point their accusers to hidden events, and show by their works (prophecy, for example) that they are prophets, on the Lord’s Side? 

OaksTurley

Scribes and Pharisees, they speak as.  What better evidence does anyone need who understands the word “prophet” than that Boise Fireside, that Oaks is no prophet?  And by his own admission, no more a “special witness” of Jesus than anyone else who has heard that word and believes something about what it means?  

Perhaps we have forgotten what prophecy is, because we accept its counterfeit so often, being desperate to hear that some magic remains from the Old World?  Or worse, we use these words as titles for one’s place in a hierarchy of our invention?  Well, should we be surprised that such men as use these titles in that corrupted manner, in the fashion of men who get a little authority as they suppose, would also be willing to spend a free weekend using another word that has no meaning other than, “We are Right, He is wrong”?  There is no fire on this side.

Second Post In the Blog Post Series

Now, if again I said, “I’m writing another blog post on __________” it would probably not generate the sort of playful comments the first did.  It would get old, fast.  And die.  That is strange, to me.

And yet, if I wrote another blog post on Whatever, it would somehow generate laughter, consternation, frustration (“What is he saying?”), insight, and so on.

What is the text for, then, in today’s blogified-commenty world?  Are we so desperate for conversation?  Can we even bound off the noise, and create space for silence?

How far can we reduce the text (to a blank line?) and still generate metatext?  It would seem like whatever people call “The Church” is indeed currently engaged in this sort of experiment: reducing text down to minimal phrases to be posted on “Social media” and then allowing others to generate metatext in these and other spaces.  But we don’t get silence from this.

What emerges, other than conflict, smug satisfaction, and all the evil that characterizes so much of our mean, lowly blog conversation?  Light?

How far can someone reduce the phrases?  Down to nouns: The Prophet(s), The Apostles, Obedience, Faith… They aren’t saying anything, no matter how sincerely breathed out. They are creating darkness, where there is not the Light. In these cases, they aren’t using language, but a corrupted facsimile of language.  Their minds are darkened, and I have not the means to bring to it any Light.

Those whose minds are darkened have done something to turn away from the Light.  A conscious choice to unbelieve, perhaps, which could be just as reasonably believed.  Or doubting their own senses, and relying on the voices of the (dubiously) Powerful.

Yet, they are able to generate endless metatext (most of it not Language), despite seldom creating text consisting of Language.  Strange, how a blank line can generate language, and then hierarchies, good-and-bad guys, misunderstanding, further explanation, forgiveness, and so on.  See the comments from the last post, if you doubt.

I really don’t have anything else to say, I suppose, for now.

I don’t have answers to questions about the Book of Mormon or The Corporation, at least that I’ve not already published.  I hear questions whose answers are already and readily available.  I’m not interested in guessing why such-and-such is the case, or shaming or honoring so-and-so.  Generally I would say: Keep reading.  Or enter deeper into another’s darkness.

It is just here, at this point in my life.  And blogs are not conducive to sharing that “it is here.”  So I’m taking a break, until I have something to say to someone reading this blog, something other a prayer for unborrowed light.  In the heart of the Living is a fire of pure Light, and bounds are set to this light, lest it destroy as a flood all that is not Light.  Through the fire, through the flame, you won’t even say your name.  You say I am that I am.  In our remaining Darkness we might shape the images of things, and set about worshipping these images, as though they might illuminate our darkness, or give us eternal life.   But the Darkness is more than an absence of the Light where we might be free of its truth.  It is an Unlight, a perversion of the Light which nonetheless (and because of its nature) will receive Light, and will give it back to us as an image, or an Idol.  These Idols bound up the Light, as in a stone with a secret name, or flesh that survives on borrowed light, say, from a strawberry.    I can’t write it, in other words. It is just here.

Broken News! Machines Un-Sea-Lion The Book of Nephi! Re-Reform Egypt Word To See!

I give to you the Machine Translation of the First Chapter of the Book of Nephi.  Newly restored to its Arabic-Hebrew Origins!  Original Chiasmus Revealed, as is the true story of Lehi, in what appears to be a briefly jotted diary of Nevers, aka, Oasis.

The number of Nevers
Office & administration.
Lehi and Sariah‘s wife and children 4 and …
Name: (beginning with the oldest) Samuel, Sam, page, wings.
Lord warns Lehi in Jerusalem, Israel. G-d the people concerned, ONAM.
They want to ruin his life. The trip takes three days.
Into the desert with his family. Man in Nivelles.
Weritornith to Israel after log in.
Jews. Account suffering. They take girls.
Ishmael to wife. They take their families and go.
Talking. Suffering. And in the desert.
During their travel. They come to the water.
Neve brothers rebel against him. He konvondith, and
With the ship. They call the name of the place bountiful. They
Crossing the great water to the promised land, and so on. This
Calculation of OASIS; In other words, me, Neve, writing this record.
OASIS 1 1
Chapter 1
1 OASIS, was born to parents fun! Even I, Learning about learning, my father… And after seeing Many lesion in my day, however, there already a favorite to God all my life; Yes, he has Good knowledge of the mystery of God.  This is why I’m making my record of proceedings in my days.

2 In my father’s language, it: These include the study of Jews and language Egypt.

3 and I know that I give is correct and not to do it. With his hand, as far as I know it.

and 13 early in the freshman year. The reign of zedekiah King of Judah, (my father, Lehi, In Jerusalem at the same time), and in the same year. Prophets ‘ expectations many people have. Repentance, or the great city of Jerusalem must be destroyed!

5 and it came to pass that my father, Israel freedom fighters, also went. Pray to God, but from the heart, On behalf of the people.
6 weviai as he prayed to Hashem, by hook or by crook!  Pillar of fire sat on a rock in front of him, and he saw. I’ve heard a lot, and because of the things which we have seen and heard this:
Earthquake shaking so!
7, Vijay and he returned home. Jerusalem.  He flung himself on his bed to help with The spirit.  The things that he saw!
8 and so it is with the Holy Spirit, In the vision, although he saw heaven opened and he thought it was,
I saw the Lord sitting on a Chair, surrounded by several Netivot angels in the attitude of singing and praising About God.
9 weviai saw one descending In the midst of heaven, and he predicted that Brcko was over The Sun at noon.
10 and he also saw 12 others follow.  Their All the stars in the sky.
11, the name of the Earth! And I came, my father stood before him. Multiple integral, he needs to read.
12 and this time read. Vijay was full …The spirit of God.
13 and he said: Wu, Wu, to Jerusalem. Profanity only!. Yes, a lot of reading to my father. With regard to Jerusalem, it was supposed to be destroyed, and Him; have to die by the sword, and many Should be a prisoner to Babylo.
14 weviai when he called, my father! And see a lot of wonderful things, lots of things. The masters, that’s wonderful!  Your work, Sir, Blessed be!
And a high palate! And, And compassion, all the inhabitants of the Earth, Are you…art merciful, hatch, can’t stand it. Come to you because they will be lost!
15 and after this manner of language did my father. In praise of God, the soul is not happy!  And everything. In full, because the things I see, Yes, Jesus showed him.
16 and now I am, Neve, did not provide a full description.
My dad says that Jehovah God was many things. He saw in visions and dreams; My grandfather‘s House, and he also wrote, “There are a lot of things.” He predicted his children, from….I don’t do full account.
17 but I will make my account in my day. Here I am, my father’s record shortcut:

Dishes made with hands! Why?  After The default for record sums.

Life itself.
18. therefore, you should know that after I see a lot of wonderful things for my father, Lehi, With regard to the destruction of Jerusalem, and here he comes between people and declare them. Things we’ve seen and heard!

Taking the Tithing of the Poor

Although I’ve written on this matter a few years ago, I’ve not given the practice of tithing any thought for some time.  What’s the point, right?  You either think a church mall is super awesome awesomeness, or is not.

It’s not like I can convince you to change your mind.  So when I had this clear but brief dream the other night, I was a little surprised.  One clear message: There are few things as displeasing to Somebody as taking the tithing of the poor.

Tithes_22075320_std

From this phrase I understood two meanings:

First, taking the money donated from the poor and receiving it as tithingBad.

Second, taking the money tithed by others and not giving it to the poor.  Also bad.

My conclusion:

Tithing is to be given to the poor, to be used howsoever they see fit.  The poor are not to pay tithes.

So, what wasn’t clear was an answer to the question, “What makes someone, or, how does one determine if one is poor?”

I am stuck working from a monetary perspective on tithing here, but from my own thoughts, I might say: If there is sacrifice involved in payment of tithing, say, resulting in you not paying for X, Y, or Z, you are poor.  Crudely defined, but again, we are working with a tithing-as-money formula.  That’s what I suppose, for now.

Of course, what if we give tithes to the poor?  Aren’t they now rich?  Shouldn’t they now pay tithing?  It remains a strictly personal decision, on the tither’s side.  What about those who receive tithes?  Could be dangerous for them, right?  If they unknowingly receive tithes from the poor?

 

Now, here’s where the dream took an unexpected turn.  I dreamed of a website where one could submit tithes vicariously, for those who are taking the tithing of the poor, and it would be given to the poor in another person’s name.  In the dream, folks were tithing in the name of Henry B. Eyring, in order to perhaps undo his taking of tithes.

Whether such a charitable work would actually grant mercy to those who take the tithes of the poor, I cannot say.  But certainly one would be pleasing the Lord to give tithes in another person’s name, who cannot himself tithe; or who sins by taking the tithing of the poor.  Consider the man who cannot attend a child’s wedding in the LDS temple because he cannot pay tithes, without sacrificing something else.  Should you pay his tithing, you would lose your recommend, as a non-tithe payer.  But bless another.  A temple is for the rich man.  Make of this what you will.  To speak in a scriptural voice:

Will a man rob God?  In taking tithes and offering, have ye (priests) robbed Him.  Whatsoever thing ye do unto the least of these, ye do it unto God.

Umm, That was Satan.

 

I give you a talk from a person reading a text, a player-piano person said to be…whatever.  You know.

I’ve written about this misreading of the Book of Abraham before, and apparently this speaker didn’t quite understand what I explained in the fifth volume of the cultural history, that the “one like unto God” is Satan, not Jesus or Michael.

His talk is about marriage or whatnot, but it’s built on a curious misreading of scripture, stitching an assemblage of quotes stripped from context and re-arranged to give a sense of God-speaking.

He said one Saturday [and I will interrupt to explain to him where he’s wrong in brackets, as a teacher to a student giving a presentation in class]:

Prophets have revealed that we first existed as intelligences and that we were given form, or spirit bodies, by God, thus becoming His spirit children—sons and daughters of heavenly parents.

[No.  We didn’t exist as “intelligences” but as spirits, which are not created nor made, and exist eternally.  This Mormon tradition is in direct contradiction to LDS Scripture.  Intelligences are what Abraham saw initially in a particular vision, i.e., among the stars.]

There came a time in this premortal existence of spirits when, in furtherance of His desire that we “could have a privilege to advance like himself,” our Heavenly Father prepared an enabling plan. In the scriptures it is given various names, including “the plan of salvation,” “the great plan of happiness,” and “the plan of redemption.” The two [two?] principal purposes of the plan were explained to Abraham in these words:

[Now, the question is, whose words are these?]

“And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these [spirits] may dwell;

“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

“And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; … and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.”

[I’ll tell you who is talking: Satan.  Yet, this speaker tells us that Satan is “our Heavenly Father”!  Now, I don’t won’t to say you can’t worship Satan as your father, certainly many signs do point toward that conclusion, but…in any case he did not make us “spirit beings.”  Maybe he claimed that achievement, but he’s a liar, and calling a liar your heavenly father makes you the seed of Cain.  They don’t have the priesthood, right?]

Thanks to our Heavenly Father, we had already become spirit beings. Now He was offering us a path to complete or perfect that being. The addition of the physical element is essential to the fulness of being and glory that God Himself enjoys. If, while with God in the premortal spirit world, we would agree to participate in His plan—or in other words “keep [our] first estate”—we would “be added upon” with a physical body as we came to dwell on the earth that He created for us.

———————————————–

Right.  So, I let everyman worship according to his conscience, satan, jesus, Thomas S. Monson, Gold, Money, whatever the idol be.  What are the fruits of worshipping Satan?

Power, wealth, respect, honors of men, mingling among secret combinations to plan in darkness, claiming that God has given his power over to man, that we shall hasten his work, that you must follow our rule or not be rewarded…If that is your desire, this plan must be carried out perfectly.  If you, Elder Christofferson, do not live up to every covenant you make with your Lord, your rebellion cannot be ignored. You will be cursed. So, do his works: Build another mall, grind another face of the poor, boast of your good works, plan in secret, sell access to your God, and sell his powers.

My God declared the spirits “Good.”  Even you and your father.

Add:  For more on why I think, and who I think God is, and so on, these THREE posts

Like Unto,

Evil

Like Unto God

might clarify somewhat

Or you could watch this YouTube Video on the Book of the Lamb

Reflections on General Conference

As with most Mormon blogs, this is the week for writing about General Conference!

Here’s a basic map of what you might expect to encounter in the landscape of bloggery:

1. It was good.  My batteries have been re-charged.  I am apparently a robot.

2. It was good, but they didn’t talk about [insert pet topic]__________.  I would’ve liked that, you know?  Why?  Because [insert pet topic] is something I believe in, and I am “nuanced.”  And isn’t that enough to have it spoken at General Conference by my leaders?  Apparently I am not in a representative democracy structured by egalitarian exchange of ideas, but a voluntary spiritual-klepto-public-gerontocracy?  Oh.

3. It sucked, and I know, because I watched it.  And I know what sucks.  That sucked.

4. I didn’t watch it, but will pretend I did, so I can talk about 1, 2, or 3.

And finally, 5.  I didn’t watch it, and won’t pretend I did.  That’s me.

So, what am I reflecting upon, if not my experience of watching, if not personal surveillance on my feelings generated by watching, as I imagine they relate to some other “sphere of discourse”?

Some questions: 

If a voice is reciting sounds tied to characters scrolled on a screen, is that talking?  Is that language?  Let’s say, we are dealing with a text-to-voice program.  Or a general authority

If a being can recite such things, without having any thoughts connected to these sounds, is that language?   Again, examples: a voice recorder isn’t thinking. A player piano. What about a person not thinking as they speak?  Or incapable of thought related to their words?  Does crying make me believe they are alive and interacting with their words?  Why not the words themselves?

If one cannot distinguish between the beings without thought and those with thought, when both are reciting sounds, and thus we lump all these sounds into a genre (General Conference Talk), can we really say the “conscious” beings are using language?  If not, what are they using?  Magic?  Or is it sound we, the audience, convert into words and language?

I am not going to reflect on player pianos being Mozart, and complain they aren’t.

Even if I believe those player pianos were playing Mozart.  And they aren’t.

That podium looks an awful lot like a player piano.

 

confmeme