Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Original Faith of Jesus Christ

Hidden in Plain Sight
The Original Faith of Jesus Christ

Abstract: The Sermon on the Mount constitutes the original faith of Jesus Christ.  The primary significance of the Book of Mormon is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that every human being must come to Him by really doing what He says to do in the Sermon.  The purpose of the Sermon is to resolve all interpersonal conflict.

The Original Faith

The things in the New Testament which Jesus taught by his own mouth may be roughly divided into the following categories:
  1. declarations of His identity and authority,
  2. exhortations to believe on Him,
  3. the Sermon on the Mount,
  4. parables,
  5. and responses to various statements, questions, or challenges.
This way of dividing up the things Jesus taught by his own mouth in the New Testament does not include everything Jesus said, but it covers enough to give an answer to the following question: "What was Jesus telling people to do?"  What was the faith His followers were to practice?  When the question is put that way, one of these things is not like the others.  The Sermon on the Mount is the doctrine He taught. This is the original faith which Jesus Christ commanded His apostles to teach to all nations.

The Significance of the Book of Mormon

Re-establishing the original faith of Jesus Christ is the purpose of the Book of Mormon.  From its title page, we read that the Book of Mormon is written "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations[.]"  And in 1 Nephi 13, where we read about the Gentiles and things having been taken out of the record of the twelve apostles of the Lamb before it went out to all nations, we find this.

And the angel spake unto me, saying: 
  1. These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, 
  2. and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; 
  3. and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; 
  4. and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.  
  5. And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; 
  6. and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; 
  7. wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

The words established by the mouth of the Lamb, and made known in the records of Nephi's seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, is the Sermon.  The primary significance of the Book of Mormon therefore is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that every human being must come unto Him by really doing what He says to do in the Sermon.  This brings us to the purpose of the Sermon.

The Purpose of the Sermon

The ways humanity tries to bring about justice, peace, and unity do not and cannot work. History and current events are proof that competing against, controlling, or manipulating others always results in disunity, conflict, injustice, and inequality. Yet competition, force, and manipulation are how humanity has chosen to govern itself.  Jesus offers us the sole alternative to humanity’s self-destructive ways: love.

The law of God is this: every last thing you wish others would do to you, do those exact same things to them. This law defines the behavior of perfect love, which is called “charity.” God’s law is the true moral and ethical standard of all humankind, being written into every conscience, and it is the definition of “good.” Behavior that falls short of this law is not good and produces both guilt and conflict with others. 

The purpose of the law of God is to end conflict between people. Those who willingly keep His law may joyfully and peacefully live together as equals, both here and now, and forever in the eternal world. The commandments that Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount are how we are to obey the law of God through our works and end our conflicts with others.

Love, the feeling which makes us want to do what the law of God commands, is given to us by God. Charity is Jesus’s nature, meaning He feels perfect love towards everyone. Charity is the nature of all those who inherit God’s kingdom with Jesus. Jesus’s commandments in the Sermon on the Mount are the actions which those who have charity do by nature.

“Sin” is intent or action which falls short of the law of God, such as giving in to lust and doing to others what we do not wish others would do to us. “Repent” means to change one’s mind, to reconsider, or to relent, all of which implies a willing change in one’s behavior.

Any who will believe Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount as literally as small children believe their parents’ words, and repent of all their sins, and be baptized by one of His sent servants, shall be visited by God with fire and with the Holy Ghost and shall receive a remission of their sins.

The visitation of the Holy Ghost changes our feelings so that we understand Jesus’s love and want to only do good. Then we are to do what Jesus commands until the end of our lives.  We trust in Jesus to guide and comfort us in our trials and afflictions as we learn who and what He is by the things we suffer in obedience to His teachings. Just as one does not learn a new skill without practice, nobody can understand nor master the discipline of perfect love without doing its works. Doing the works Jesus commanded until we fully understand Him and freely agree to become what He is and to receive His nature from Him permanently as a gift by His grace so that we love everyone perfectly just like He does is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

If you keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, you are His church, you are His disciple, you are His friend, and you are His family.

The Lukan Sermon

Luke 6:20-49, KJV
20 ¶ And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 ¶ But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46 ¶ And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

The kingdom of heaven has come close to you.

Monday, May 7, 2018

This Is All Very Simple

1. I am a covenant participant and have standing in the matter of the adoption of the G&S.

2. I have made a choice to permanently and perpetually dispute the adoption of any other proposed document as the G&S other than the document that I, myself, submitted, which document is entitled The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles.

3. Because I have made this choice, only one document proposed for adoption as the G&S can possibly lead to the fulfillment of the Lord's requirement that the G&S be adopted by mutual agreement - for the simple reason that I disagree with the adoption of any other document as the G&S.

4. Because I will not yield on the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ, and also because I will not yield on disputing the adoption of each and every other document, the choice facing every other covenant participant has been reduced to a perfect dichotomy: either accept and do as the Lord has required, in which case The Rock of Jesus Christ shall inevitably be adopted as the G&S because no other document can possibly be agreed to, or else defraud the Lord by placing a disputed document in the / their scriptures as the G&S.

5. I make no revelatory claims.

6. I make no appeals to the priesthood.

7. I cannot compel the agreement of even a single soul in this matter.

8. I do not receive the Woodard Revelation.

9. I disputed the content of the Lottery document when it was announced in an email sent October 28, 2017 to both Karen Strong and Lynne McKinney, thus fulfilling the law of witnesses.

10. The Lottery group therefore never had unity with the body at any point, falsifying a key claim in the Woodard Revelation.

11. Explanations for the wisdom of choosing The Rock of Jesus Christ are available on my blog in posts dating to Friday, October 13, 2017.

12. There is no further discussion to be had on this subject.

13. The only thing being hashed out right now by each individual covenant participant is whether they shall individually defraud the Lord in the matter of the G&S.

14. If the body chooses to defraud the Lord by placing a disputed document in the scriptures as a G&S, then the body shall be unable to accomplish other works that the Lord shall require of it.

15. Not accomplishing other works the Lord shall require logically entails the destruction of the body, because the salvation of the body requires that the body do all things whatsoever the Lord shall command of it.

16. Those who are faithful to the covenant - those that choose not to defraud the Lord but instead do all that they agreed to do - shall be spared, because God is just (A&C p. 7).

17. The faithless have no such promise.

18. It is prophesied that this people, the remnant of the Gentiles, shall treat spitefully the servants of God, and slay them, and in their turn they shall be slain and their city be burned when the Lord shall send his armies against them (RE Matthew 10:17).

19. The armies spoken of are most likely the remnant of Jacob (3 Nephi 16:15).

20. It will be a remnant of the Lord's people, not a majority, who builds the temple which has not yet been commanded (A&C p. 11).

21. I would prefer my people not be destroyed.

22. It was for disobedience to the things contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ that the LDS Church was condemned.

23. There is less excuse for this people in this thing (Question 2, Question 4, G&S assignment).

24. Y'all are agents unto yourselves, and there is no further need for conversation.

25. My choices in the matter of the G&S assignment are not subject to your review.

26. Your choices in the matter of the G&S assignment are not subject to my review.

27. You have been fully warned.

Jared Livesey

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Word to the Declarants

  1. The Lord does not receive that which he has not appointed.
  2. The Lord has appointed us to adopt a guide and standard by mutual agreement.
  3. The Lord has not appointed us to adopt a guide and standard by any means other than mutual agreement.
  4. "Mutual agreement" is not esoteric religious jargon of ambiguous, vague, unclear, or uncertain meaning, but a well-defined, commonly-used, modern English phrase.
  5. "Mutual agreement" means all parties to a matter agree together concerning it.
  6. "As between one another you choose not to dispute" means if anyone who has standing in the matter disputes the adoption of a particular proposal that proposal is not mutually agreed to by all concerned parties.
  7. Placing a disputed proposal in the scriptures does not fulfill the Lord's requirement.
  8. The Lord will not receive the placing of a disputed proposal in the scriptures.
  9. Placing a disputed proposal in the scriptures and offering it up to the Lord in place of his required agreed statement of principles defrauds the Lord.
  10. Defrauding the Lord is bad.
  11. You will not like the consequences of defrauding the Lord.
  12. Expressing disagreement with a person, position, or proposal, is to dispute.
  13. The declaration expresses disagreement with the scripture committee and is therefore a disputation.
  14. Even if the phrase "mutually agreeable" meant "choosing not to dispute," which is not what it means, the stated disagreement with the scripture committee constitutes an open self-contradiction on the part of those who signed the declaration.
  15. The declaration is more properly characterized as an implicit threat against the scripture committee if they do not publish the Lottery document.
  16. Zion cannot be built up by intimidation nor threats.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Still Defrauding the Lord

Whenever there is a procedural proposal offered, we need not consider the motives of those who offer it. All we need consider is the following test:

"If this procedure is followed exactly can a G&S be published in the scriptures even if the G&S is not mutually agreed to by all covenant participants?"

If the answer to that question is "yes," then the procedural proposal defrauds the Lord of his requirement that we adopt a G&S by mutual agreement and add it - to the scriptures in place of LDS D&C 20, in context.

Notes on vocabulary:
The phrase "mutually agreeable" does not occur in the A&C.
The phrase "mutually agreeable" means "able to be accepted by everyone."
The phrase "mutually agreeable" does not mean "choosing not to dispute with each other."
The phrase "mutual agreement" means "agreeing together," "universal agreement," or "unanimity."
If one or more of us choose to dispute something, then we do not mutually agree to it.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Nothing Has Changed

Let us review the Lord's assignment to the people in the A&C pertaining to the G&S.

1. You [the covenant participants] are not excused from writing [without specifying any method] a [single] statement of principles [rules of behavior that you do not ever break] that I have required [commanded] at your hands.

2. I forbade my servant David [Denver Snuffer] from participating, and again forbid him.

3. But I require a [single] statement of principles to be adopted [accepted] by the mutual agreement [universal agreement] of my people, for if you cannot do so you will be unable to accomplish other works that I will require at your hands.

4. When [at such time as] you have an agreed statement of principles [a single statement of principles which none of the covenant participants choose to dispute] I require it [the single statement of principles no covenant participant chooses to dispute] to also be added [as a replacement for LDS D&C 20] as a guide [that which directs behavior] and standard [that by which behavior is judged] for my people to follow [to conform their behavior to].

5. Remember there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless [bring the Holy Ghost to], benefit [do good to] and inform [teach what is required to receive the Holy Ghost to] them—so I command you to be wise in word and kind in deed as you write what I require of you.

At Phoenix, it was demonstrated publicly that the adoption of the majority-preferred statement of principles was disputed. The Lord's requirement is not fulfilled by adding a disputed statement of principles as a replacement for LDS D&C 20. The Lord's requirement is rejected and left undone instead.

Therefore, the true state of affairs of this people pertaining to the Lord's requirement that a statement of principles be adopted by the mutual agreement of this people is this:

1. There is nothing in the A&C restricting me from selecting my own G&S.
2. There is nothing in the A&C restricting me from disputing the adoption of any other G&S proposals.
3. There is nothing in the law and commandments of God restricting me from selecting the law and commandments of God as my G&S.
4. There is nothing in the law and commandments of God restricting me from disputing the adoption of any other G&S proposals.
5. I have made a choice of G&S proposals that I will agree to for this assignment and it is The Rock of Jesus Christ.
6. I have made a choice to dispute the adoption of every single other G&S document past, present, and future.
7. Therefore, if the body actually and truly does want to be the Lord's people indeed, they will each individually accept and do as the Lord has required of them and adopt The Rock of Jesus Christ.
8. Failure to accept and do as the Lord has required occurs when any other proposed G&S is placed in the scriptures.

The task has been simplified down to where in order to succeed at this assignment all the body has to do is place The Rock of Jesus Christ in the scriptures after any who dispute its adoption shall have ceased their disputations. Any other action taken by the body is failure.

Failing to verbally dispute a proposal does not necessarily mean that one is not disputing that proposal. One may dispute a proposed G&S by adding a disputed G&S to their scriptures. The placement of disputed documents in the scriptures, feigning to have accepted and done as the Lord requires while in reality rejecting his requirement and leaving it undone, must also cease.

It is not accurate to say that I am attempting to control the body. It is accurate to say I reject the rule and ministry of the unrighteous (A&C p. 8) and corrupt (A&C p. 3) majority, and I will not agree to curse, harm, and misinform those who as yet know nothing concerning the Lord's work now underway by failing to dispute their preferred G&S. I reject the rule of men for the rule of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mutual Agreement Re-Revisited

To make the issue of mutual agreement understandable, imagine the following scenario.

The Lord comes to Adam and Eve, a married couple, and tells them, "I require you two to choose a restaurant by mutual agreement and order dinner there. The restaurant should serve only healthful and nutritious food. If you fulfill these conditions, I will pay for your meals, and I will not pay otherwise. The dinner is for you to eat."

Adam ponders a bit. He thinks to himself that he and Eve don't often agree on much, and asks the Lord, "What do you mean by 'mutual agreement'?"

The Lord says, "As between one another you choose not to dispute."

Adam is still confused. He asks himself - isn't disputation always a sin? If so, isn't the Lord really saying no choice of restaurant should be disputed, and, if so, that the first one to select any restaurant picks for the both of them? But Adam doesn't ask the Lord to explain further.

Eve understands. Adam and Eve must be mutually agreed, which means unanimous, upon their choice of restaurant. If either she or Adam chooses to dispute going to a particular restaurant, then they both know they are not mutually agreed upon that restaurant and shouldn't go there. Eve also understands that there aren't very many restaurants that serve only healthful and nutritious food. There might be only one restaurant that fulfills the Lord's condition. Since Eve is the family cook, by long experience and study she knows what foods are healthful and nutritious.

Adam decides that what matters most to him is who has the control in his and Eve's relationship, and he decides that person will be him. Because of that decision, he further decides that what the Lord means is that he and Eve shouldn't dispute. Adam thinks that as long he chooses not to dispute with Eve, then he is mutually agreeing and the Lord will pay for the meal and any disagreement from Eve will have no effect. Adam figures if food tastes good, it must be healthy and nutritious, so he can pick any restaurant he wants. Adam picks his favorite restaurant, where they serve lots of deep-fried comfort foods.

Eve disputes Adam's choice of restaurants, and tries to reason with Adam, who grows angry with her. When Eve tells him his choice of restaurant serves unhealthful and non-nutritious foods, he does not believe her. When Eve tries to explain calories and vitamins and minerals and protein and fat and carbohydrates to Adam, he thinks she's trying to deceive him so she can take control.

Eve chooses a restaurant that she knows only serves healthful and nutritious foods, and asks Adam if he will accept her choice and enjoy the Lord's meal there. Adam chooses not to dispute Eve's choice in words, and instead utterly rejects her choice by his actions. Adam sharply chastises Eve for disputing, and then ignores her as he leaves to go to his favorite restaurant alone, where he orders all his favorite foods.

Question: Does the Lord pay for Adam's meal?

Question: Assuming Adam's attitude towards Eve doesn't change for the better, are Adam and Eve likely to succeed in future assignments from the Lord requiring mutual agreement?

Why Do You Call Me Lord and Do Not Do What I Say?

"Do you indeed desire to be my people? Then accept and do as I have required."

Let us consider another commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ: "Give to every man that asks you to, and do not ask for your stuff back from anyone who takes it" (Luke 6:30).

If you have been baptized, by that act you proclaimed to the world and to heaven that you are a servant of God. You demonstrated that you were willing - meaning wanting - to do what he commanded. You announced to everyone that you would give to every man that asks you to, and that you wouldn't ask for your stuff back from anyone who takes it.

To be a servant of God it is only necessary to accept and do as he commands. Likewise, to be the people of God, it is only necessary to accept and do as he requires.

And God is testing you to see if you indeed do desire to be his servant with every beggar on the street you come into contact with - do you give, or do you instead judge the beggar in his petition and withhold?

You can spend your time futilely trying to justify yourself in breaking God's commandment by judging the motives of the beggars on the street, or you can simply leave judgement up to God and give as he has commanded you. After all, when you judge the beggar and wihhold from him, it is not really the beggar you have judged, but God - you have judged his commandment evil.

So it is with this. If you will not accept and do as he has required, though you may justify yourself before men for defrauding the Lord by accusing me, it is not me you are accusing, but the Lord.

Adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ would be a light thing indeed for a people who wanted to do what it contains.

Jared Livesey