Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why Procrastinate the Day of Your Release?

To follow up an important implicit point in the post on the relationship between grace and works: the point at which we break God's commandments as we know them - whether given in the Sermon on the Mount or directly to us - is the point at which we have yielded to, or agreed with, another power.  You believed that power over God, you wanted what it offered over what God is offering, so that power persuaded you to choose to turn aside from the path of Godliness.

God cannot save you from what you want and have chosen; that violates your agency, thus you cannot be saved in your sins.  You knowingly chose to yield to that power over God, thus it takes possession of you and you obey it.  As it is written, whatever spirit possesses you when you exit this life shall have power to possess you in the next world - whether that spirit is the spirit of the devil, or the holy spirit.

God can, however, save you when, or if, you change your mind and decide to yield to him instead, and strive in your might to obey him in the thing you have sinned in, rebelling against the evil spirit you have yielded to and allowed to possess you.  Thus God can save you from your sins when you strive against the evil spirit with all your might and do cast your sins away from you and ask God to forgive you and rescue you from them.

Therefore, why not do it now?  Why not repent of all your sins now, and call upon God in your might that he might forgive you and rescue you from the evil you have yielded to, while you walk with all diligence according to God's commandments in the Sermon on the Mount?  Why procrastinate the day of your release?

The Relationship Between Grace and Works

The works commanded in the Sermon on the Mount are merely training exercises, helping us to recognize, agree to, and realize the principles of love.  Doing them teaches us what manner of being we are, and what manner of being God is.  Knowing what manner of being God is is important because salvation consists of being assimilated into his likeness and being.  In plain terms, salvation consists of becoming God.  That's the point of being one in him, having the same spirit, the same mind, the same heart, mutually indwelling, knowing all things.

If you are saved, you cease to be you as you have always known you and you become him.  You will know all that he knows, and you will feel as he feels, and you will freely do what he would freely do.  Therefore you have to be persuaded, fully, competently, that to be what God is is better, or more desirable, than to be what you are, otherwise you will not freely choose to be what he is; you do not want it, and thus he cannot make you what he is without denying your agency - erasing against your will those things which separate you from him, those things you aren't persuaded he is right about, those things you have yielded to another power.

So what he is looking for are people who will always freely do that which is good, of their own free will and choice, for there is no external government among the Gods.  You either govern yourself wholly according to the good or you aren't a God - you aren't ready, not yet being persuaded, not yet agreeing.  You remain you, because you don't want to be what God is.  You do not wish to love as he loves.

And we show that this is what we want - we show that we agree to his terms and conditions - when we lay down our all - everything we have and are - in sacrifice in the exercise of keeping all his commandments as contained in the Sermon and delivered to us directly, thus showing that we are, in fact, fully persuaded that he is trustworthy, and that to be him is better than to be us.  Then is his grace - ability to give a good gift - sufficient for us, for we have shown before all that we agree to be saved, even unto ourselves; we know by our own experience through keeping his commandments what it is we are asking for, and are therefore competent, or able, to receive it.

Otherwise, we aren't worthy of the gift he would give, which gift is his own being, all that he is and has, including his love.

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One of the interesting things about the name-title יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (Yehovah Elohim; KJV: LORD God) is that it can be translated "He who causes the Gods to be," or, more succinctly, "The Godmaker."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

So What Is the Higher Law?

"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets."

The Golden Rule is the highest law; it is the definition of the behavior of Love.  The rest of the Sermon on the Mount are pedagogical examples of how to apply this law because by our fallen and carnal nature we do not possess Love.  The Sermon is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to do good and to love all, and by the nature of this law it cannot be made exhaustive.

How do you refuse the higher law?

You do not believe it when it is set before you and you do not do it of your own free will and choice because you do not believe in Christ nor love him, but you do believe in and love the power of money, the power of debts, the power of ostracization and threats thereto, the power of spin or judicious deception, the power of the myriad ways to be unpleasant to someone to get them to bend to your will.

Or maybe you simply think it's too extreme to be true.  Surely God doesn't intend for us to do things that simply don't work, one may think.  But that's just another way of saying what was said in the preceding paragraph.

So God may offer something else so that those who will be saved may be.  A teacher, a schoolmaster to bring those few who actually do believe unto Christ.

The law of the Church in the D&C, given to a people who had the Sermon before them, looks an awful lot like the 10 commandments, doesn't it?

There's a reason for that.

On the other hand, King Benjamin's sermon, given to those who were under the Law of Moses, bears a strong resemblance to the Sermon on the Mount.

There's a reason for that, too.

Of the two groups, the Church and the people of King Benjamin, which one was on the way up?  And which one was on the way down?

Which one do you wish to emulate?

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Nightmare

I had a horrible nightmare.  I dreamed I was teaching the Sermon on the Mount to a group that was corporately symbolized by a particular poster of some repute on the "LDS Remnant (Awakening)" Facebook forum who, with utter disbelief in the Lord's commands and promises, informed me that the Sermon is crazy, that the Sermon doesn't work, that we can't support idlers and freeloaders, especially those who are walking according to the Sermon, and don't I understand that everyone must work at a job for their daily bread and that there is no other virtuous and workable system for everyone's needs and desires to be fulfilled?  I tried to explain that this is not true, that God gives to his faithful servants what they need, that he can turn stones into bread, and that when there is a community of faithful servants, they work together to till the land for their needs, but I was mocked by scornful laughter as he / they turned his / their back and spoke of other matters.

As I awoke, I understood that mockery will be the reaction to the Sermon; that they will not do it, but some few might hear.

(Matthew 13:1-23)