Saturday, August 19, 2017

Honoring God

What does it mean to "honor God"?

When I asked God, he told me that we honor him by loving each other, by not accusing each other.

What does "honoring God" mean to you? It might be something worth pondering. And, please, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what this means to you.

Monday, September 1, 2014



Preparatory Gospel

In my studies and with much fasting and prayer for a better understanding of the gospel I have been brought to an understanding of the difference between the  preparatory gospel and the actual fulness of the gospel. Although they are the same they are different portions of it.There is a very distinct difference in the two different portions of Christ’s gospel, the first portion is to teach, and the second portion is actually being received into God’s rest.

The purpose of the preparatory gospel is to prepare God’s children to return unto His presence. The current definition of preparatory is “pertaining to training that prepares for more advanced education”, and the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary defines preparatory as “previously necessary; useful or qualifying; preparing the way for any thing by previous measures of adaptation”.

These two definitions tell us that the preparatory gospel is to train us for more advanced education, and that it is necessary to qualify us for the fullness. There are certain commandments and  ordinances that we must first learn, accept, and apply to our lives through the preparatory gospel before we can advance to anything of greater purpose. Although we receive these ordinances outside the temple the teachings within the temple through symbolism give us a more thorough understanding of them.

We then come to the reception of the law of the gospel, the preparatory gospel of “repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments” (D&C 84:27). We first put our robes on the left shoulder. This is symbolic of the physical baptism by water – and though this does cause a change, it is not the change necessary to entering the Terrestrial law.

Remember that we are not saved by the law. By the water we keep the commandments but it is by the spirit that we are justified. Here we take our shoes off; that’s what we do when we are baptized by water. Notice later though, when we change our robes to the right shoulder we leave our shoes on. Baptism by fire doesn’t happen in a font. It might happen at work, in the car, on the couch, on a mountain, etc. The point is, your shoes might be on.

After putting the robes on the left shoulder (being baptized by water), and receiving the second token, a process is started called “justification”. We are now being washed by the spirit. At this stage in our lives we feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, and it truly is a gift. However, we have not yet experienced “the mighty change” that will cause the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion. This process of justification has started. (The Journey-Receiving Our Endowment, Jeremy Oakes 2013)

The temple ordinances are meant to teach us the true path to the fullness, we are supposed to take those teachings and make them an actual living ordinance in which we receive from Christ.

The preparatory gospel as well as the lesser priesthood are what God has given to His children to prepare us for the greater blessing of receiving the fullness of His gospel. The lesser priesthood which is just a portion of the priesthood (TPJS pg.180) is given us that we may perform and receive the ordinances that prepare us for our journey to the fullness. The preparatory gospel is full of rites and rituals that are designed to teach us that which is necessary for us to understand what is required to receive a fullness of Christ’s gospel. The temples of ancient Israel and those that currently operate today provide the rites and rituals that help us grow, they are not the end but rather the beginning of the journey.

The preparatory gospel has an exact order which we must follow in order for us to be able to return back to the presence of the  Father. We first must have knowledge of the existence of God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, for without this knowledge it is impossible to receive light and truth.

We then must develop in ourselves faith in Christ, because it is through faith that all things are made possible (Lectures On Faith Chapter First). After gaining knowledge in the existence of a deity and faith in Christ we offer unto Him a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we then accept Christ’s teachings and start the repentance process for the remission of our sins, this remission comes not because of our worthiness but by and through the blood of Christ’s atoning sacrifice,  it is at this point in which we qualify to receive baptism by immersion, the Spirit has started our cleansing and justification in order for us to receive the baptism of fire (receive the Holy Ghost) which is the first comforter.

This process can take a very short time to complete or a very long time depending on the person. It is uncommon for anyone to receive all the knowledge and ordinances that are required to complete the process of the preparatory gospel very quickly for most it will take a long time. Joseph Smith however although he still had to grow grace by grace completed the process fairly quickly.

Fullness of the Gospel

The fullness of Christ’s gospel is to actually return into His presence and for Him (Christ) to present you unto the Father, this ordinance is received during mortality (D&C 93-1, 76:116-118).

After receiving the baptism of fire, the Lord will test you and qualify you for the greater blessings and ordinances of His gospel. During the testing and qualifying you continue to grow in knowledge, and light and truth by the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Once you have proven to the Lord that you will follow Him without fail, and regardless of the persecutions and trials you will face, and you will defend truth to the taking of your own life Christ will bless you by making your calling and election sure. “Calling and election is the pre-existent conditional promise of eternal life. Making it sure is securing a promise from God in mortality that one will be exalted (A White Stone, D. Michael Bingham, 1992)”.

After receiving a revelation telling you that your calling and election have been made sure then you will receive the Second Comforter, this is having Christ appear to you,  and minister unto you while you are mortal.

“The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted.

When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve  Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th versus.
Note the 16, 17,18, 21, 23 verses:
“16. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
“17. Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
“18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
“21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
“23. If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Now what is this Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn (TPJS pg. 150-151)”.

After receiving the Second Comforter and being endowed on high with pure knowledge, having been washed clean through Christ’s blood, you become a member of the Church of the Firstborn, then  the Lord will present you unto the Father. This is the fullness of Christ’s gospel, is for all men and women to be able to enter into God’s presence while in mortality to receive the fullness of the priesthood and the powers of Heaven.

Rodney Aldrich

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seek the Face of Christ - Literally

The restoration through Joseph Smith was not to create a New Testament church. It was to prepare a people to see the face of Christ, no matter what religion they professed. It was not to bring people into a legal corporation, to follow a myriad of regulations or be cast out.

This is what the Lord was attempting to do:

1  VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:1)

19  And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

20  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22  For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

23  Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

24  But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

25  Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

26  And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
Doctrine and Covenants 84

63  Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

64  Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;

65  And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.

66  Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

67  And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

68  Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
Doctrine and Covenants 88
10  And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

11  For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

12  Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
Doctrine and Covenants 67

Know. Not merely believe. An actual knowledge. It is possible. We should be seeing angels (and for a whole lot more than genealogy). We should be seeing the Lord. We should be allowing Him to prepare us to see the Father, then seeing Him, also.

Where are our fruits? Where are our secret acts of kindness? We should not be patting ourselves on the backs, telling each other in our publications and meetings how wonderful we are. We should be helping those who need our help, those we have the means to help. All of us can give something, even if it is just a listening ear and fervent prayers in behalf of the suffering.

Let us seek after our Lord, not letting anything come between us and Him. There need be no obstacles. Someone once said that obstacles are what one sees when one takes one's eyes off the goal. Let us keep our eyes on the goal and move forward, firmly, not looking back. Let us count the cost and move forward with the faith that if God asks us to sacrifice all (see Lectures on Faith), it will be worth it.

Nothing is more important than fidelity to our Lord and seeking His face. Not money, fame, power, belongings, friends, relatives, nor any organization we may align ourselves with. Let us cast aside our fears and pride. Let us face the enemy of all righteousness courageously. We are already in the battle.Don't let them shoot you in the back. Go forward fearlessly, seeking only truth no matter how much it may contradict what we currently believe.

Then, we shall begin to see the fruits. Then we shall see the miracles and gifts of the Spirit that don't need acrobatic techniques to convince us and others that they are genuine, bona fide miracles and gifts.

This is a "reprint" of a post from LJn's Voice 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Emulate Christ

I found this as part of a post on a blog I frequent. It was so profound I could not share it.

"We look to Jesus as the standard we are seeking to emulate and then we put up no resistance, whatsoever to the influence of the Holy Spirit, so that we become a completely malleable lump of clay in the Lord’s hands, one that can be easily manipulated by Him and made to exactly conform to the standard we are looking to. A broken heart, then, is a heart that has completely submitted itself to the transforming power of the Holy Ghost, putting up no resistance to becoming like Christ.

The word emulate means “to strive to equal or excel (another); to imitate, with a view to equal or outdo; to vie with; to rival; as, to emulate the good and the great.” Jesus taught,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)

Thus, the gospel is that we “strive to equal or excel” Christ, doing even greater works than He did, which is one of the reasons why it is called the more excellent way of Christ. In other words, the doctrine of Christ really is a doctrine of emulation. Emulation, or the “ambition or endeavor to equal or excel; rivalry”, gives glory to God because through the atonement of His Son, God does the impossible, taking nothings (us) and making us somethings greater than even “the greatest of all” (D&C 19:18.) This miracle shows forth God’s matchless power and marvelous ways, causing all things to “shut their mouths” in dumbfounderment and give glory to Him. But the impossible can only be made possible through the right ways of the Lord. Otherwise, this transformation into a new creature remains an impossibility."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

God's Original Masterpiece

It would appear that blogger only uploads videos from YouTube or from one's own computer.

So, follow this link. It's an amazing skit.

This is what the site says about the video:

God’s Chisel Remastered

From The Skit Guys

When God chisels the dead weight out of our lives it can be quite painful. In this new high quality, remastered version of their most requested skit, Tommy and Eddie give a very creative look at a typical believer having to go through the process of discipline.

The writer of Ephesians says “For we are God’s workmanship” (Eph. 2:10). Elsewhere we’re described as a “poem.” God views us as being his original masterpiece.

The purchase of this video includes media slides and study guide.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Broken Vessels - Ian McCormack

A transcription, as best as I could do: (Done by my friend Antau L'jn)

Broken Vessels
Transcript of an interview of Ian McCormack
[Laughter and stuttering omitted.]

Ian: Well, the Holy Spirit, one of the fruits of the Spirit is love and peace and comfort. So it's the kind of glory that... The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. And so I've met many different spiritual entities in my pursuit for truth and gone down many different paths There's unclean spirits, lying, deceitful, adulterous. Um. You know, I mean all kinds of different spirits that would lead you into different forms of bondage, really. But Jesus said, “I'll set you free.”

And then the Spirit of God comes at a very personal and very tangible way, and he is the third person of the Trinity. And he can come as light. He can come like a dove. The Holy Spirit can come like oil. But such a tenderness, like a blanket that just closed you, covers you, but goes deep inside the heart of hearts.

Many of us are unwilling to open up that area and allow him to go into what I call the heart of hearts. But when you allow that to happen, that brings a tenderness and a security which protects you from the evil of this world, and the darkness that tries to undermine us and rob us.

Other person: So it's a real inward, it's letting God touch you at the most core of your being? Is that it?

Ian: Letting God control. One of the biggest issues I've seen is self control. But it's self control that can actually take on different manifestations. People can be so insecure and fearful that they want to control their environment, control individuals, control situations so that they feel secure. 'Cause when they're in control, they feel secure that no one can harm them.

One of the most incredible things that to be vulnerable enough to actually be open and transparent, to be potentially hurt. But you can also be healed. That's a... people go, "Self control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit," but I meet a lot of Christians who are actually self-righteous self-control.

Other person: What's the diff... Tell me about self-righteous self-control.

Ian: Okay. Well, it appears to be control, but it's not. The Holy Spirit gives Liberty to free you from being in control, but he becomes in control. You actually find your identity in him. Unless he falls to the ground and dies. In other words, you've got to, you find yourself and died to yourself at the cross.

Many people, they've got a lot of insecurity and, so, because of their insecurity and fears they try and hold their emotions. They try and hold their friendships. All in a certain order. They don't let people just be free to be themselves, so it's a form of self-control which affects their friendships and relationships. Everything must be in order. They control their children, their relationships. Every area is in control.
Now, what I find is that that emotional suppression can really blow them up. It can eat them from the inside out. It can cause mental problems. It can cause emotional anxiety and sleeplessness. And I think even forms of depression can come from that. I've watched people who are very, maybe live very good lives but never allow to be opened up.

Other person: And was it a process for you to go through that?

Ian: Well, I think what happens when you've been broken, and when you've lost confidence in yourself and you hit the self-destruct button, and I think you can't get much lower, I think you can only then be rebuilt.

The trouble is when someone thinks they're actually intact and quite whole. That's a much more difficult person, it's much easier for God to take the Humpty Dumpty that broke in pieces and make something good out of it. It's like he goes to the potter's field and finds all the broken shards of that vessel and puts them together again.
The hardest thing is when you think you are intact, you are the giver, to allow the Lord to crush you, to bring you down to nothing.

Other person: Sometimes, that can be like a process of years, or it can be uh...

Ian: Or it can be instantaneous. Something which happens that breaks you.

And I do think that many. The hardest things that Jesus found to reach were the people who thought they were okay. Much better to take a broken vessel, 'cause then you can make something good out of it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Iron Rod

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

It is my understanding that Christ is the word that was with God in the beginning.  Nephi in seeking to understand his father's vision received this revelation.

25 And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. (1 Nephi 11:25)

With that thought in mind go and read the vision of the tree of life that Lehi had and the interpretation Nephi received. (1 Nephi 8, 11-15)Whenever the iron rod is mentioned think of Christ as the rod. How does that affect your perception of the vision?

In all things we should rely on Christ. When we do so he can safely lead us to the fountain of living waters or to the tree of life. He will lead us back to our Heavenly Father.

The Iron Rod

1. To Nephi, seer of olden time,
A vision came from God,
Wherein the holy word sublime
Was shown an iron rod.

Hold to the rod, the iron rod;
'Tis strong, and bright, and true.
The iron rod is the word of God;
'Twill safely guide us through.

2. While on our journey here below,
Beneath temptation's pow'r,
Through mists of darkness we must go,
In peril ev'ry hour.

3. And when temptation's pow'r is nigh,
Our pathway clouded o'er,
Upon the rod we can rely,
And heaven's aid implore.

4. And, hand o'er hand, the rod along,
Through each succeeding day,
With earnest prayer and hopeful song,
We'll still pursue our way.

5. Afar we see the golden rest
To which the rod will guide,
Where, with the angels bright and blest,
Forever we'll abide.