Awaken or Perish: LDS Intro Post 8

Intro - LDS

Now we will return to the subject of 4th Nephi and being of one heart. Faithfull Latter-day Saints live by eternal principles. The World’s winds may blow to and fro but we remain steadfast in this understanding. The most basic of these eternal principles and the one upon which our mortality is based (and evil seeks to destroy) is moral agency. We hold that each has the God-given right to order and proceed through life as each deems appropriate and sees fit as long as each does not trample upon another’s moral agency. The founders of the American nation based an entire governmental system upon that principle. They composed documents specifically designed to protect the citizens of that nation in their moral agency and limit the established federal government to 20 explicit powers. All other issues were in the hands of the states and individual citizens.

The beginning of awakening is to understand that the war that began in heaven with the forces of coercion against those of moral agency continues to be fought in mortality. The next step is to understand that America was formed as a nation based on moral agency. The third step provides an understanding that we have lost our nation, and indeed the world, to the side of coercion. That is a difficult pill to swallow. Whether we can ever win it back is debatable. The most pressing issue is personal worthiness. This must be a serious personal endeavor which includes much study, prayer, repentance, temple worship, regular selfless service, and an increasingly intensive personal course in the 121st Section of the D&C, 4th Nephi, and, of course the Book of Mormon as a whole.

To be of one heart in our day requires an understanding of these three steps. The availability of moral agency to Heavenly Father’s children in mortality provides the basis of choice. Satan works to replace our moral agency with coercion. Juxtaposing these two principles provides a solid platform on which to determine the correctness of any law or action. If a person is free to act by his own will save the action impedes another’s freedom to act, them the person can be said to enjoy liberty. By this standard, America has not been a land of liberty for more than a century. (For a more detailed treatment of his subject please read the excellent book, Latter-day Liberty by Connor Boyack.) In a true land of liberty would it be necessary to have hundreds of thousands of federal laws and countless state and local laws to govern the people? The Constitution consists of only a few pages and was deemed sufficient by all concerned. What happened? Who took over and caused this massive curtailment of our moral agency?

Is this an unusual situation in which the Latter-day Saints find themselves? Not at all. No nation ever built a Zion community. In each case where such a community was established, it was accomplished by individuals who were awake to their awful situation and were led by the Lord out of the World. They desired it more than gold, glory, or power. Their task was to band together against the forces of evil in the world and become partakers of the Heavenly Gift. They gave up all manner of contention. A blueprint can be found complete with all necessary details to build such a community. It begins in the 34th verse of the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants. The early brethren sometimes called these verses “The Constitution of the Priesthood” but it is much more than that. It might be more aptly labeled “The Constitution of Life.” Using this blueprint, we recognize that the World can never deliver us by its wars of conquest (although we conveniently label them wars on terror for public relations purposes), wars on poverty (which simply create more poverty and dependence), wars on drugs (which provides a convenient cover for the funding of off-the-books government black ops and the enslavement and insensibility of millions), or other various wars (education, medicine, contracts, entertainment, etc.) designed to betray our cherished beginnings and moral agency. Even a cursory examination of our social environment finds a complete lack of the principles detailed in the referenced verses.

For us, however, this is the place to start. Once we determine that the World has nothing for us, our eyes widen. Once we lay down the Traditions of our Fathers that are not based in the basic principles of life we can begin to joining others with one heart. My grandfather belonged to the Democratic Party. My father belonged to the Republican Party. My grandfather was significantly more conservative than was my father. Go figure. I belong to neither of their political parties. My wife’s family is Catholic and professes, “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” They see leaving the Catholic Church as a betrayal of their family tradition as much as a spiritual matter. Fortunately, my wife recognized the truth and, on her own, without my influence, joined the LDS Church and 37 years ago we were married in the Los Angeles temple. Her family found her action extremely difficult to accept. My father’s father graduated from college, my father did also. I, however, attended college to my senior year but could find no reason to finish. I have been a successful business owner for 20 years with a successful sales and marketing career before that. I taught my children that college was simply a tool to use as any other tool to further your life’s plans. If a college education will further those plans then by all means go. If not, don’t, but find out before you make the decision to invest the time and money. My son is a successful senior IT project manager (and father) and my daughter is a successful makeup artist and model (and mother). Neither graduated from college. And neither is saddled with debt from college loans. In their cases they were not saddled with a tradition based on pride.

All these traditions are based on pride. It is pride that we have to leave behind to be of one heart. Once we recognize that the World can’t save us, our political party can’t save us, our false and foolish traditions can’t save us, and most of all, our pride can’t save us, our eyes have opened a bit more. When we look with unfettered eyes, we can see that the anomalies appearing in official government explanations pose significant unanswered questions. When we notice the government refusing to even consider these questions but, in fact, ridiculing those who ask them, can we not see the Adversary at work? When we juxtapose an economic system governed by moral agency and liberty against what now exists and which causes massive economic difficulties caused by betrayal and the meddling of central control mechanisms, do we not question why the better system is not allowed to prevail? When we ask and the answer is not found in the prevailing political parties can we not see the Adversary at work in supporting both parties to the exclusion of any substantive difference? Once all this becomes clear and we understand the massive levels of deceit at work on a global basis do we not crave to be saved from it all? Do we not want to be free of these murderous secret combinations which have gotten above us and continually betray us for power and gain? How can we be of one heart in such a condition?

Who, then, can save us? Who has a design whereby we may work toward the goal of one heart? There is only one name under heaven. Certainly we believe in Him. But, do we truly, honestly, with all the intent and desire of our hearts believe Him? It is He who commands that we leave all these Worldly influences behind and become of one heart using the blueprint in the 121st Section of the D&C. Being of one heart means only one thing. The Savior made very clear what is our task. To obey Him and be proven by Him then to seek Him. To seek a visit from Him. Personally. One-on-one. Do we know in our heart of hearts that this is possible and even desired by Him? Do we believe the scriptures or Joseph Smith? (See John 14:18,21,23 and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three, page 150.) Or do we consider such visitations to be only of the past or only available to general authorities? Are we like those the Lord described to Joseph in the grove that “draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." Are our lives devoid of miracles? Do we fail to recognize and feel the angels who accompany us? To be of one heart we must clear away the disbelief, scientific rationalizations, and emotional scars that keep us from the Savior’s love. He stands ready to heal every bruise and inform every question. He needs us to lose our skepticism and open our hearts to Him so He can heal them and then lead us to have one heart, together.

This concludes the LDS Introduction. We will continue, in future posts in the LDS category, to discuss in more detail all the subjects introduced here along with others not yet introduced. In the meantime, love the Lord, obey Him and seek Him in prayer and frequent thought. And, as important, treat those around you with patience, longsuffering, and love unfeigned. At the same time, lose the love of things, the honors of men, and coercive power. Judge righteously all you see in the World against the yardstick of moral agency. You will not be sorry. Do all these things and my heart is your heart and our hearts are His.

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