Saturday, March 12, 2016

What Do *You* Mean by "Love Thy Neighbor?"

JST Luke 10:26-38
26 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
27 He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?
28 And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
29 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.
30 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbor?
31 And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his raiment and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
32 And by chance, there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side of the way.
33 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked upon him, and passed by on the other side of the way; for they desired in their hearts that it might not be known that they had seen him.
34 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.
35 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
36 And on the morrow, when he departed, he took money, and gave to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
37 Who now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him who fell among the thieves?
38 And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.
"And thy neighbor as thyself."

What does it mean to love thy neighbor as thyself?

Does it not mean to regard your neighbor as equal to yourself?

If you are hungry, do you not feed yourself freely?

If you are naked, do you not clothe yourself freely?

In fine, does it not mean to succor your neighbor in his needs and wants even as you would yourself?

Or, in other words: "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."

If that is not what it means to love your neighbor as yourself, then whatever could it possibly mean?

And does not "love thy neighbor as thyself" bespeak perfect temporal equality?  How can that be done without having all things common, such that no man calls anything his own?

Which brings me to another interesting thing to think on - in Zion, we will be of one heart and of one mind.  Which heart and which mind will that be?  To me, this has an obvious answer - the heart and mind of God, to feel the way he does, and to think the way he does; thus we will be agreed in all things as one.

So how does one get from tithing fellowships to the foundation of Zion?  I don't see a clear way.  Tithing fellowships are not founded upon the principle of Zion - which principle is "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."  Tithing fellowships are more or less social experiments in localized charitable giving.  It is to be understood that, for the most part, the giving is to the limit of the giver's personal feelings of security in his possessions, that which he considers his own.  That is, the giving is limited by covetousness, and fear - which is the power of the devil.  And that's why I see no clear path to Zion from tithing fellowships.  It doesn't touch the principle at issue, which is having all things common, thus truly loving our neighbor as ourselves.

What would be needed is a people who keep all the commandments of Christ, or, in sum, who keep the principle of Zion.  Who have no fear of the temporal consequences to themselves of keeping this principle, from which spring all the commandments.  Who will equalize themselves with their neighbors, truly loving their neighbors as themselves.  Who will not withhold from their neighbors, whom they regard even as themselves.
D&C 104:13-18
13 For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.
14 I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.
15 And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.
16 But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.
17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.
And, again, the law of the gospel is: "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."

Again, it's not confusion over what has been asked that's stopping Zion.