Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I Actually Believed This

Going back to my mission momentarily, when I became a District Leader it was my responsibility to instill quality spiritual guidance into the missionaries directly under me. I was studying the meats of the gospel like a mofo, and felt like I had most the answers. Naturally, I wanted to share this information with everyone in my District. Here for your reading pleasure or displeasure, is a sample of my discourse.

District meeting presentation by Elder Fishburn

The Origin of Man And his Destiny

Most people in this life come across the age-old questions: where do we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here? Within the gospel of Jesus Christ, there are answers to these simple, yet eternal questions.
In this discourse I have attempted to dive past the milk of the gospel, and to reach an understanding through the meat. The speculations made here are my own, through the studies of the words of prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I wish to declare from the start that this in not all official declared doctrine of the church, but I do hope that what I write will give you something to think about. Let's begin.

"When was there a beginning? There never was one; if there was, there will be an end; but there never was a beginning, and hence there will never be an end; that looks like eternity. When we talk about the beginning of eternity, it is rather simple conversation, and goes far beyond the capacity of man."(Brigham young, DBY pg. 47) So, where do we start, well, we will here place a start (for our
understanding) before we became spirits, in a time where all we were, was a mere naked intelligence. So, let us begin with intelligence and unorganised matter.

2 Nephi 2:14 informs us that this universe and all creations were created by two fundamental building blocks: "things to act and things to be acted upon." Let us start with unorganised matter. President young stated: " There is an eternity of matter. Astronomers estimate that there is between us and the nearest fixed star matter enough from which to organise millions of earth's like this. There is an eternity of matter, and it is all acted upon and filled with a portion of divinity. Matter is to exist; it cannot be annihilated. Eternity is without bounds, and is filled with matter; and there is no such place as empty space. And matter is capacitated to receive intelligence. Worlds are made of crude element which floats, without bounds in the eternities-in the immensity of space; an eternity of matter, no limits to it, in its natural crude state, and the power of the Almighty has this influence and wisdom-when he speaks he is obeyed, and matter comes together and is organised"(JD 7:2, 13:248) What is to be acted upon? That is the primal matter. What is it to be acted upon with? Why, that's intelligence. So, what is this intelligence spoken of in D&C 93:29? Joseph Smith said, "the mind or the intelligence which man possesses is CO-equal [CO-eternal] with God himseff"(TPJS 353) "The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end." Yes, God himself was once a mere naked intelligence as we were. Now, what exactly is the intelligence? Well, it is YOU. Your own unique and personal identity is your intelligence. And everyone is different, each intelligence is different, and that's what makes up your distinct personality.

During this period of time in which we were just intelligences floating around with primal matter, we acted for ourselves. In fact, when God began his creation with us, he gazed out into eternity, and gathered together a vast host of intelligences, and gave us laws, and we were tested and tried. We had our free agency to obey or disobey, for we were free to act for ourselves. D&C 93:30.

These hosts of intelligences were graded according to their obedience and capabilities, and were then assigned to their individual sphere of creation where it would be most comfortable and progress the most. What spheres could these intelligences be assigned to? Some to the animal kingdom, some to the plant kingdom, others to the vegetable kingdom, some to the human kingdom, etc.

How were they created? By combining their intelligence with primal matter. Brigham Young remarks: "If we could understand true philosophy as to understand our own creation, and what it is for-what design and intent the Supreme Ruler had in organising matter and bringing it forth in the capacity that I behold you here today, we could comprehend that... matter can be organised and brought forth into intelligence; and could learn those principles that organised matter into animals, vegetables, and into intelligent beings; and could discern the Divinity acting, operating, and diffusing principles into matter to produce intelligent beings and to exalt them." (JD 7:2-3)

Therefore, those intelligences that were valiant in Gods laws were added upon and entered into their first estate as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. How were we created? The same way we were here, we were begotten of heavenly parents. Brigham young says that "the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and lived with him." (OBY pg. 50.) There in what we call the pre-existence, we were again tried and tested. It was there, that according to our level of obedience, we were for-ordained to this second estate. Did we have our agency there? Of course we did. Could we sin there? Of course we could. The apostles of old had this concept in mind when they asked the Saviour "who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" In fact one third of the spirit children sinned beyond forgiveness, and they were banished from the presence of God with Lucifer. The remaining spirits were again graded and added upon, and entered into their second estate. I quote from Orson Pratt: "All the spirits when they come here are innocent, that is, if they have ever committed sins, they have repented and obtained forgiveness through faith in the future sacrifice of the Lamb. So far as innocence is concerned, they enter this world alike; but so far as circumstances are concerned they are not alike. One class of spirits are permitted to come into the world in an age when the priesthood and kingdom of God are on the earth, and they hear and receive the gospel; others enter the world in an age of darkness, and are educated in foolish and erroneous doctrines. Some are born among the people of God and are brought up in the right way; others are born among the heathen, and taught to worship idols. Some spirits take bodies in the lineage of the chosen seed, through whom the priesthood is transferred. Others receive bodies among the African Negroes or in the lineage of Canaan whose descendants were cursed, pertaining to the priesthood." (The Seer pg. 56 #47.)
It is the same principle for the after life, which is, that those who were less valiant in this life will still live on, but will live in a lesser glory. It is no different, just the one before this life, and the other after this life. We are judged and for­ ordained to a specific destination in a specific time according to our obedience in the first estate. In this estate we are currently living, being tried and tested once again. This time is the hardest of them all, for this is where God will separate those that are called, from those that are chosen. "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honours of men." It is only those that are chosen which will fulfil their destiny. Now, what is their destiny? To become Gods and Goddesses.

Let us now turn to a look at the resurrection, to see how we will attain to Godhood.

How will our bodies rise in the resurrection? "Even as we now are at this time." Joseph F. Smith remarks on this topic: "The spirit and the body will be reunited. We shall se each other in the flesh, in the same tabernacles that we have here while in mortality....We will meet the same identical being that we associated with here in the flesh-not some other soul, some other being, or the same being in some other form, but the same identity and the same form and likeness, the same person we knew and were associated with in our mortal existence, even to the wounds in the flesh. Not that a person will always be marred by scars, wounds, deformities, defects or infirmities, for these will be removed in their course, in their proper time, according to the merciful providence of God. Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall attain to the perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the begi nni ng." (Teachings of the presidents of the church, Joseph F. Smith pg. 91-92.)

In the beginning of our resurrected life, not much will have changed, for we will be known even as we are now, even down to our unique marks. It is only through the course of the resurrection where we will start to see changes. Now, the question arises, what of the national distinctions? Will there still be Africans, Asians, Indians, etc.? This is an area in which there was much pondering and thought. Then, it hit me, and this is where I draw my conclusion. At first there will be distinction, but during the course of time, there will not be. Now, let me explain.

President David 0. Mckay said, in reference to racial distinctions, "there were no national distinctions among those [pre-mortal] spirits such as Americans, Europeans, Asiatics, Australians, etc." (Home memories of President David 0. Mckay, compiled by Llewelyn R. Mckay, pg. 228) President Mckay further stated that those earthly distinctions came about only after these spirits entered their earthly existence. Michael J. Preece, former president of the ELSM, comments on this remark: "Similarly, the children in a family who resembles each other or a parent closely do so because of the natural, biological laws of genetics rather than by virtue of some pre-mortal relationship, choice, or covenant. It must be emphasised that every person's spirit was created literally in the image of God and that form and likeness of that spirit is due to divine parentage and spiritual genetics ." (Zone conference notes on the pre-existence, September 10-14 2001)

Do you really think that your spirit looks the same as your mortal body? Of course it doesn't. That was caused by earthly genetics. Now, if there were no distinctions among us in the first estate, then how, if we are to "attain to the perfection of our spirits", can there be any distinction among us in the next life? There can be no such thing. Yes, the African will eventually lose the colour of his skin. We ourselves, if we are to "attain to the perfection of our spirits", will eventually lose our unique MORTAL attributes and will look, just as our spirits did before this life, like GOD, for that's who's image we were created in, and that's who we are to become like. "We bear the image of our earthly parents in their fallen state, but by obedience to the Gospel of salvation, and the renovating influences of the Holy Ghost, and the holy resurrection, we shall put on the image of the heavenly, in beauty, glory, power and goodness." (Brigham Young, JD 11:123)

Now, here is one more thing to ponder about. In what kingdom will we continue to progress? That is in the Celestial Kingdom, the only place where we can continue to progress to Godhood. So, it may be that in this kingdom will our differences be done away with. It may very well be that in the lesser degrees, there will still be distinctions among them, for they do not progress as those who are partakers of exaltation. Unity is a requirement of the Celestial Kingdom, D&C 105:4, and wherein is there a better way to be united than for all of Gods children who are partakers of this glory, to become just like the Father, or just like the Mother?

Though our appearances may be similar, we will still have our own unique identity, which is through that spirit portion of us which has never changed, which is eternal, which is our intelligence. That's how our identity will be preserved.

Once we have reached perfection, total perfection and have become just as God, we will then be given the keys to organise worlds without end. President Young states: "If men are faithful, the time will come when they will possess the power and knowledge to obtain, organise, bring into existence, and own. I expect, if I am faithful, with yourselves, that I shall see the time, with yourselves, that we shall know how to prepare to organise an earth like this-know how to people that earth, how to redeem it, how to sanctify it, and how to glorify it, with those who live upon it who hearken to our council"(JD 2:304, 6:274-5)

Remember 2 Peter 1:3-5, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." What is this "divine nature" we are to obtain? It's Godhood!!! The fulfilment of these promises is determined during this life. This can be our destiny. "Mankind are organised endure to all be enthroned in glory, to be made angels, Gods-beings who will hold control over the elements, and have power by their word to command the creation and redemption of worlds, or to extinguish suns by their breath, and disorganise worlds, hurling them back into their chaotic state. This is what you and I are created for."(Pres. Young, JD 3:356)

I pray that we may all fulfil our measure of creation by becoming Gods and Goddesses, which has been made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I know he is our saviour, and that he yearns for our return home to him.

Let's do it!

All this information came from mormon sources, and is not at all heretical to current Mormon beliefs. I was hooked, and couldn't even see how silly it all really sounded. You won't hear these things taught during church services now days though, for the Mormon church is trying to be more mainstream in it's proclaimed beliefs, and these things are far from mainstream.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

All Religion is Bologna

Source: Wikipedia
The year was 1997, and I was sitting in the living room with my parents watching the news.  The breaking news of the day was that of the Heaven's Gate cult committing mass suicide in California.  Heaven's Gate was a religious group founded by Marshall Applewhite, and it was their sincere belief that an Alien ship was tailing behind the Hale-Bopp comet and was there to receive those true believers and bring them to their next stage in human evolution.  In classic cult fashion, 39 Heaven's Gate members, including Applewhite, took their leave from this world by consuming phenobarbital with apple sauce, washed down with vodka.  They all wore the same outfits, and placed bags over their heads to ensure their "transition".

My Mom jumped at the news; not because of the story itself, but because her brother was a member of this cult, and she had no clue if he was among the dead.  She was a mess of emotions, as she hadn't spoken to her brother Chuck in years since he had been a part of this faction.  The only communication she had from him was from letters he had written years ago explaining the group he had found and their beliefs.  Chuck had alienated himself from his loved ones, and fully embraced his new life as a member of Heaven's Gate.

My Mom soon learned that my uncle Chuck was not a part of the 39 that killed themselves.  He called the house and spoke to my Mother shortly after this incident and explained how he missed his moment.  A couple months later, he would try and kill himself alongside another Heaven's Gate member who was also absent the day of the mass suicide.  That guy was successful, but my Uncle was not.  It would be another few months, if I remember correctly, that my uncle would finally succeed at killing himself.  Obviously, by this time, the Hale-Bopp comet was long gone, so I can't fathom why he would do this, except for some emotional remorse for feeling like a failure by not being there with the rest of his cult family.

Pretty much anyone can look at the Heaven's Gate group and see what nut jobs they are.  My Mom certainly knew it.  It's easy to see really.  Their ideology was literally out of this world.  Looking back on it now, I see the humor in my Mom calling uncle Chuck's "religious" beliefs a sham.  Here's my Mom, a devout Mormon who believes one day she will help produce billions of spirit children for my Dad the God, saying Heaven's Gate is silly.

Isn't this really the same with all religions though?  Growing up I found everybody else's religious beliefs to be silly, but mine was not.  It's even easier to cry bullshit, when the religion promotes mass suicide.  I feel like this is the ironic state of religious world.  But is what Heaven's Gate asked of its members really all that different than the other religions?

Nephi slaying Prince Laban
In Mormonism, the members are still waiting for the day their prophet commands them to drop everything and travel to Missouri to set up "Zion".  I've asked my parents if they would obey this command should it ever happen, and they would.  It causes me pause, because what would they not do, if commanded by their prophet?  In the Book of Mormon, Nephi was commanded by an angel to behead a Jewish prince called Laban, so that Nephi could steal a set of brass plates containing the Old Testament to date.  The angel's rationale was that it were better for one man to die, than a nation to dwindle in unbelief.  This is the best way an all powerful God can provide this record for Nephi?

Please, it's all just silly when you take a look in from the outside.  This sets up this precedence among Mormons that they will "go and do the things which the Lord commands", like Nephi.  This mantra is repeated over and over and over again to Mormons, so it's no surprise they would follow their prophet without hesitation.

It wasn't until I was able to step out of the proverbial box and look back at Mormonism with a skeptical eye, that I saw it for what it really is, a sham.  There are many examples of people committing atrocities in the name of their God.  The Old Testament is plagued with these "honor killings", yet Christians don't bat an eye.  Jephthah's daughter anyone?  When Parents kill their kids nowadays because God told them to, we see it as mental illness.  What has changed?

At the end of the day it is all bullshit.  Every religion is bullshit, including Heaven's Gate.  In fact, if Christianity hadn't changed and evolved over time, and was the same as it were in the dark ages, it wouldn't be highly believed anymore either.  The only difference between me now, and my Mother, is I believe one more religion is bat shit crazy than she does.