15 March 2023

969, or How the New World Order Faced Lucretia and Failed - The First Episode: Meet the Guru

It's okay if you fail to click on presented links on this page to donate or buy many things - it is through your own inattention to opportunities that your life lies dismal and empty as you slide thoughtlessly into the abyss of mindlessness.  A donation or purchase will likely throw you something of a lifeline in such
desperate circumstances.  Save yourself while you still can.

It was a grey hallway with a few doors strewn on either side. Beside each door on the wall was a bit of a metal plate that held something like a name or a paper flower or a business card, except for one.

The man stomped down the hall in a tentative sort of way. He was flopping his feet down harder than was standard and it was an ineffective effort because he chose to wear loafers in opposition to regulation leather-soled shoes that would have made a far more satisfying noise in this situation. It would have also helped if the man was moving purposefully toward his intended destination rather than looking distractedly at the metal plates and their contents as if he wasn't sure where he was going. Obviously, a few years in management had not improved his confidence.

While studying one nameplate which contained a rainbow colored card that said "ZOOM" on it, the man readjusted his red bow-tie. Alongside the loafers, the bow-tie, paisley slacks, and robin-egg-colored short-sleeved shirt, he dressed himself as if he wanted to somehow stand out at the office while completely failing to exude the sort of respectability that could have helped others think he wasn't a doofus. This failure was further complicated by the fact that, as he turned away from the one doorway that he didn't want toward another doorway that he also didn't want, his right foot stumbled over his left and he swung around like a person who was wearing unfamiliar shoes, nearly losing his balance.

He was looking at the next nameplate, which had a non-descript white card with the name "Amy Smith" typed on it with what looked to be an old typewriter with a over-used fabric ribbon. Shuffling foot-scoots down the hall impelled the man to act engrossed in looking at the card so as to avoid eye-contact with the newcomer. He noted that the typed name had a somewhat purple tint, more like it could have been produced from a old mimeograph machine.

The invading feet move quickly passed the man and, only noted out of the corner of the eye of the man trying to give the impression that he was reading uninteresting name-cards, the vague figure set down a paper bag by the door that our bow-tied man was gradually approaching, quickly rapped at the door, and nearly sprinted back down the hall and disappeared.

The man turned first toward the retreating figure with a twisted brow and then back to the largish restaurant paper bag and its associated door that opened just enough to let a bangled hand snatch it up. "Miss Vordonis!" The bag and hand were replaced by a head dominated by blocky glasses and an unkempt mop of hair. Its face was more indifferent than anything else but pulled into a frown at the sight of the ridiculous man in the hall. The head disappeared and the door slammed shut.

All pretense dropped, the bow-tied man marched with mustered purpose toward the recently-shut door. He knocked with what was left of his melting resolve. "Miss Vordonis, we need to talk." There was plenty of time to see that the nameplate beside this door was empty as there was no answer. Loafers shuffled impatiently and the bow-tie was again re-adjusted. "You haven't been to work in days. I can't keep covering for you."

From the other side of the door, it was obvious that the woman had resumed what she had been doing before the delivery interruption. Seated at a rickety card table, the bespectacled woman was intently studying a supermarket checkout astrology guide. In spite of more insistent knocking at the apartment door and more impatient protests, her only response was to lightly tap a pencil's eraser on her thin lower lip and decide to draw a circle around the word "tempestuous" in the guide.

Also currently ignored, an orange tabby cat came into view around one of the only other pieces of furniture in the small room: a dented galvanized trash can with its lid dangling from an attached chain. The cat rubbed itself on the lid, rattling it against its can, which seemed to be the signal that the cat was hungry. In response, the woman took another bite of the chinese take-out that the delivery man, who had once styled himself as the woman's boyfriend, always left at the door about this time on a Thursday. The cat's appetite was triggered by the sight of food, but the woman was not inclined to share at the can's rattle.

The phrase 'You will discover a new friend' was thought over and carefully underlined in the guide.

Knocking became near hammering, the voice outside the door was becoming shrill, the can and its lid continued to rattle against each other with added rubbing, and the woman finally chose to look up from her astrological study. In response to all this racket, the woman picked up the tabby cat, crossed the room to the only window, opened it, and threw the cat outside.

This is Lucretia, a woman who lives in a fourth-floor apartment.

Adding to the beating on the door and the shouting from the hall, the screeching of a cat falling over nearly thirty meters only brought a return to the wobbly car table, another mouthful of chinese food, and the renewed tapping of an eraser-end. Lucretia squinted as she contemplated the meaning of another phrase in her guide and, brows rising, circled the word 'valor'.

"You are so fired!" All pretense that the bow-tied man was going to work his way to the point of his visit was finally gone. It took nearly fifteen minutes at the woman's door to finally get him to come out and say it, but he had finally done something vague managerial. In response, Lucretia recrossed her legs, putting left over right, and moved her newly lifted foot so that the pink bunny slipper softly tapped against her heel.

'Unexpected' was dutifully circled and the sound of rattling from the dented trashcan and lid resumed. Lucretia looked up to observe that the tabby had returned.

The sound of fist on door failed to relent. "I don't want to have to do this!" It was now more of a plaintive cry and the response was to yet again scoop up the cat, throw it out the window, and more stridently close the window against further screeching. 'You will receive an unexpected visitor' was then underlined and the word 'recieve' was enclosed in a box. The stars seemed to be trying to say something to the woman, who pursed her lips in full ponder.

From the vantage of the hall, the door finally opened and a fuming man marched into the apartment, slamming the door behind him. 

Ten minutes later, totally disheveled and missing both bow-tie and one loafer, the man burst from the apartment, crashed into the far wall of the hall, rolled along it until a doorknob jerked him straight to face the hallway's exit, which he bolted toward a full speed. The door was still slightly ajar for a few minutes and then an orange cat was thrown through the opening, crashing and hissing against the same far wall, and the door slammed shut.

Without further distraction, the chinese food was gone, the take-out box lay beside several others in the dented can, and the word 'promotion' was satisfactorily circled.  

10 March 2023

I Don't Know You or You Don't Know Me from Sicily

At the end of the day, we need to have an acceptable way to approach Deity.  My thought is that we should treat God with the kind of deference someone would give to a powerful mafia boss.

Modern times have become very "flip" and everyone has an expectation that 'respectful' talk is very casual.  In my study of the Judeo-Christian God, one should not kid around with him or treat him like some very accommodating fellow or a buddy.

For instance, my wife is God's daughter and that worries me. I try (and often fail) to treat her very well because I dread my future meeting with her father if I haven't taken appropriate care of his little girl. This simplifies my life quite handily and my wife tends to get what she wants as well.  The family credo 'keep Mom happy' is a service to God and a statement of self-preservation.

Remember some things about our relationship with God.  Although we call him "father", we should never treat the Lord with the casual disrespect that is typically shown to our mortal parents. 

  • He owns everything.
  • You are accountable to him for your use of his gifts, which is all you have.
  • He demands your loyalty and obedience.  
  • He rewards good and profitable stewards lavishly.
  • He punishes bad or selfish stewards by taking gifts away and giving them to others instead.
Judgement is more about facing the boss and making an accounting of your conduct with his things than it is like a court and someone defending you.

It is made all the more poignant by what God has given you:

  • a body.
  • a world that provides air and all other useful resources that we not only need, but desire.
  • plants and animals that feed us, clothe us, and give us ideas (birds to planes, for instance). 

Loyalty is greater than blood.  You may be a child of God, but your loyalty keeps you in the family and blessed. 

I watched the movie "The Freshman" recently.  It was funny yet again but made poignant by the recent thoughts that God may very well be similar to the Marlon Brando character that parodies Don Corleone of "The Godfather" fame.  As many times as I have been "tricked" by inspiration from God to be somewhere and do something that was necessary, I saw the same activity as the premise of this film.  Brando never raised his voice but the college kid played by Matthew Broderick was justifiably intimidated and therefore easily shepherded into the scam being pulled.  There were rewards of money, vehicles, a fiancee, and even fraternal attention lavished for the college kid's simple yet successful performance of interesting tasks.  For those that do his business, we see several analogous rewards from God.

God doesn't tell us everything, which should shock no one.  It might be unpleasant to many if God metaphorically cracks nuts with his bare hands in interviews, has a quiet spiritual voice of authority, and mentions loyalty all the time.  When I ponder it, the personification of our Heavenly Father could fit this mold quite readily and makes far more sense given what we know of him and his ways than typical sallow-faced or kindly depictions.

Matthew 25

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 

"I don't know you" - God and Christ will wipe you from their minds (at the very least) if you don't obey them loyally.  Sounds like something that a Godfather figure would say and do.

You promised to follow him (Christ) and accept what he offers you by a covenant (stronger than just a pinky promise).  Now, you wander around blindly with only the goal of NOT following him, denying God and his Christ, and ignoring your committment.

But, wait!  The Joseph Smith translation of the Bible switches things around, as expanded upon by Elder Bednar:

JST Matt. 25:11 … Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.

It is like the Lord is saying that people don't understand God and Christ and how they work.  Just as the world of "The Godfather" may be alien to us, so is the understanding of many toward the heavenly realm. 

In support of the idea that we might profit from treating Heavenly Father something like a Godfather and Jesus Christ like his very loyal "capo", I bring in the parable of the wedding feast:

Matthew 22

11 ¶ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like this according to Jesus and verse 13 sounds like something along the lines of wearing a pair of "cement shoes" and being dumped in a river.  The improperly clothed man was not supposed to be there and I can see the Don ordering such as execution. This isn't just some tommygun riddling you with holes and sending one to Saint Peter - it is 'outer darkness' with eternal pain.

For my part, firm loyalty will get you much further in God's eyes than any current manifestation of love.  Don Corleone honors loyalty with great rewards, wouldn't be manipulated by love, and I think our God is of a similar vein.

21 December 2022

...the terror of the Lord,...

Here is the scene.

The family is in the small front room of the house. The mess of opening the Christmas presents is still evident and the kids have already settled down contentedly to various electronic gifts and their parents are on the couch, watching some holiday programming on the television.  In every way, this is a typical Christmas evening aftermath in many working-class American homes.

Suddenly, the front door bursts off its hinges with a forceful kick and a black-garbed man steps over the threshold, pulling a shotgun into the front room with a motion that pumps the weapon for use.

Everything becomes a blur and it is as if time slows down. There is swift movement regardless, a bit of a scuffle at the wreck of where the door once stood, and bodies slam into a wall with a cracking sound that might be breaking drywall.  There is a blast from the shotgun.

Time snaps back into place and everyone's ears are ringing and there is the distinct smell of gunpowder.  One man is crumpled across the threshold, half in the room and half out on the front stoop. There are wisps of smoke from some buckshot that smolders from the carpet nearby, everything being clean otherwise.

The weapon is still in the grip of the hand that fired it, though it didn't do the bearer himself much good, never aimed at any potential victim.  The black shirt of the man splayed in and out of the house has been blown up to reveal the pale belly that doesn't rise or fall.

The man of the house, dressed in little more than flannel pajamas and loafers, stands over the body of the fallen, his face still scowling with anger and his frame still shaking at the intruder whose neck he just broke and the nearly threw out of his family home like a ragdoll.  His children are wide-eyed and his wife is slack-jawed - This man had never hurt anything and now he had taken a life and no one knew what they felt at that moment somewhere between gratitude and horror.

- - -

I have endeavored for quite a while to give what I see as a more honest and true depiction of the Lord Jesus Christ, based on scriptures drawn from the Book of Mormon and the Old and New Testaments. It seems that many people have a feminized and "huggy-kissy" teddy-bear view of Jesus, but my reading has provided me with an often different portrait and expectation from the Jehovah of the children of Israel and the man who took on himself the punishment for all repented sins.

I hope the scene above is a bit jarring - does the common ideal of Christ bear any resemblance to the father of the home?  If your Jesus could never do the act depicted, you may need to reconsider your expectation of God.

The end times are coming on us and many scriptures tell of the destruction of the wicked, a destruction that Jesus Christ himself will order and carry out. Far too many people think that they are not among the "wicked" or that Jesus will simply let most wrongdoing and commandment-breaking go unpunished because he is so loving.  Christ gave even the most basic laws - the Ten Commandments - to Moses and too many people ignore those basic laws with a variety of excuses.  We must never forget that the Lord loves and prospers the obedient and those who "repent" and turn to obedience, but the state of the wicked who don't obey will be very terrible indeed as mentioned in many scriptures, often conveniently left unread.

It has been a mission of mine to warn others of the oft-discounted prophecies of the vengeful God that is coming to make things right.  Here is yet another example from revelation from the Lord himself given to Joseph Smith:

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 45 

74 For when the Lord shall appear he shall be terrible unto them, that fear may seize upon them, and they shall stand afar off and tremble.

75 And all nations shall be afraid because of the terror of the Lord, and the power of his might. Even so. Amen.

If, with all the years allotted to us, we choose not to learn the commandments (you probably know them just fine, even with so many efforts to tear them up and out of courthouses and such) and work to be obedient to them, we should expect promised punishment and have the terror, fear, trembling, and more fear and terror at the coming of the Lord and his power.  I don't know many stronger words to say how the disobedient and unrepentant will feel when Jesus comes.  

Everyone wants a Jesus that never punishes anyone and is loving to a fault, but that is not the Lord Jesus Christ from the scriptures. Prophets say that he will come and, like the man of the house in my little scene, he will not flinch at executing the justice that a lifetime of unrepented sinning justifies.  Far better to repent and turn to obedience and avoid the terror that awaits the wicked and enjoy the love and peace of the Lord!

20 December 2022

Miracles Shining Through Adversity

As I read in the Book of Mormon, I see many prophetic parallels to our day, just as many as can be found in the Old and New Testaments. I know many people, even professed Christians, summarily reject the Book of Mormon in spite of fulfilled prophecies unfolding right in front of us, which I see addressed in these verses:

 4 Nephi 1

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

Pride is always the gateway to evil that you never thought could happen.  Righteous things that have been before are cast away in favor of things that are more selfish than Christ-like.

26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

Here is the institution of what I call "affinity churches". These are congregations brought together around friendship, status, and particular scriptures or concepts that are attractive (and profitable) to the group.  Even if such groups contain many of the attributes of the true church, these congregations deny other parts that "offend" them or disagree with prideful sensibilities. 

27 And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.

28 And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts.

In ten years of the Book of Mormon record, the environment had come from a unity in Christ, so much that they shared all they had with each other, and had moved to a new model of several denominations, each focused on one pet "gospel" or another and the denying of parts of the true gospel.  Accepting "all manner of wickedness", and the giving sacred things to those to whom such was forbidden by the Savior, are specific examples of the doings of these break-away congregations.  In the past ten years of my life, it is absolutely stunning to see what different groups have preached and done, praising behavior that God condemns.  Stunning and identified as Satan's work among people who mistakenly profess Jesus but reject many elements of righteousness through policy and practice.

29 And again, there was another church which denied the Christ; and they did persecute the true church of Christ, because of their humility and their belief in Christ; and they did despise them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them.

This is the next step, the rise of "churches" that outright deny Jesus and have a mission to make followers of Christ miserable in their belief.

30 Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them.

31 Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word.

32 And they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm.

33 And they also cast them into dens of wild beasts, and they did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm.

Yet, even in the face of all these miracles which would obviously show the approval and blessing of God on those striving to follow the true gospel of Christ, this "anti-Christ" church didn't cease their persecution.

34 Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity. And they did smite upon the people of Jesus; but the people of Jesus did not smite again. And thus they did dwindle in unbelief and wickedness, from year to year, even until two hundred and thirty years had passed away.

35 And now it came to pass in this year, yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people.

This is a warning to people like me: make sure you don't lead people away from the Savior. If you have ever felt to work over Latter-Day Saints or other followers of Christ, you should probably consider your ways and be especially wary of "priests and false prophets" that encourage such persecutions. Would Jesus behave this way? 

After just twenty-one years, the conditions had gotten so bad that there was a "division" - the good people split away from those who oppressed them and became a different nation and likely moved off to a different place, so they could live without persecution for their beliefs.  Does this sound like the sort of division some people call the future "rapture" - a big separation of good and evil?

36 And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believers in Christ; and among them there were those who were called by the Lamanites—Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites;

37 Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites.

38 And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle.

39 And it was because of the wickedness and abomination of their fathers, even as it was in the beginning. And they were taught to hate the children of God, even as the Lamanites were taught to hate the children of Nephi from the beginning.

There are a lot of people who were never really taught about Christ and can be forgiven their ignorance to some degree, but there is another far worse group that know about Jesus and "wilfully rebel" against him and his gospel and, worse yet, train up children to hate Christ and to commit all sorts of sins.  I can only guess at the punishments coming to those who corrupt the minds and hearts of children to do things against the "good news" of the Savior.

My advice?  Learn more of Jesus and obey his commandments and enjoy the blessings of his love to his followers, in spite of whatever persecution comes.   What you can expect from your righteous pains are miracles all around you!

02 December 2022

Church as an Agenda beyond the Community

Churches are something of a community.  Many are communities of affinity, a gathering of people who see the world and devotion in a similar way.  They can also be very fluid communities, adding and removing members when such religious/cultural affinity or proximity shifts, either individually or collectively. This is likely an undercurrent of the current ecumenism among many Christians.

There is an interesting formation of this on the outskirts of my own "faith tradition":  The Community of Christ.  This is a group of disaffected followers of Joseph Smith that collected in the decades after his death and ultimately morphed into a feel-good, easy-going faith community centered around peace. Its "community" moniker has become central to its existence and is a good example of putting the concept of community before almost anything else.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) also built communities, especially in its Pioneer era, that are still very evident in several Western United States, western Canada, and Northern Mexico.  Over time,  most of the elements of "Mormon" stores and sports and theater have been swept away as such localities no longer need mirrored infrastructures of Mormonism vs. everyone else for survival. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is all about the Agenda of God at its heart.  A community can certainly contribute to the goals of the Agenda but such communitarianism is just as likely to be a collection of distractions to its founding purpose, ala the Community of Christ.

The Agenda of God is exaltation and those seeking exaltation might have some common peculiarities. However, the isolation of those peculiar people from others in an enclave (ala Jewish shtetls) isn't compatible with a missionary methodology that the Lord charges to members of the LDS Church. You want to be PART of the larger community, not in some corner forming separate places and institutions with "Mormon" stickers everywhere. There is a difference between congregating to survive and making separation and exclusivity into a cultural communitarian standard.

So, a Christ working the Agenda of God may use elements of a community at times to move disciples along the path toward Exaltation while not making the Community the central and defining theme.


In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the local subdivision is called a ward, hearkening to the voting wards of cities.  A ward is a geographical thing with defined boundaries and all families and individuals within that boundary attend their assigned LDS ward.  This takes away a certain level of congregational affinity, as one cannot simply choose to attend a ward that they prefer without the effort of physically relocating.

However, one must recall again that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is more concerned with one's adherence to the "Agenda of God" than community.

This doesn't stop people in the Church from enjoying a community feeling or Church leadership from encouraging more communitarian elements in wards. Some refer to it as a "ward family", though I am personally discouraged of such a concept as it may seek to replace the natural family to which children should especially feel more allegiance and concern.  If anything takes precedence over one's father and mother and siblings, it should be God and his Christ and devotion to following Christ's example in the "Agenda of God", not aspects of congregationalism.

it is easy to be sidetracked from the agenda of God through a feel-good sense of community that may attend a church, denomination, or congregation. Exaltation is bound up in families and a commitment to following Christ beyond allegiance to affinity or group. Don't be distracted from the true goal.

18 November 2022

"...their prosperity in Christ."

This isn't the first or second or third blog post about prosperity here, but it comes up in the Book of Mormon on a regular basis, including instructions on how to obtain it.  In this blog post, we investigate some actions that can be taken to lose the prosperity that righteousness merits.

First, just a recap of what "prosperity in Christ" looks like: 

4 Nephi 1

23 And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.

There is something here that makes social scientists jump:  The entire idea that people multiplying happened at the same time as people getting rich.  It works the exact opposite way in our time - when people become rich, they have less children.  This is a rock-hard doctrine of our times, but apparently not a feature among the righteous followers of Jesus Christ.

What was the difference? We can see what happens when things take a turn for the worse.

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world. 

We live in a world awash in pride and the acquisition of the things that show we are prideful and that are worn like a badge of honor these days. After exactly 200 years, the non-prideful, prolific, and in-congruently rich people started wearing expensive clothes and jewelry and feeling pretty prideful doing it. This very quickly proved their undoing - no more peace.

In a world quick to blame the environment, social pressures, one ideology or another, solar flares, or biorhythms for the bad state of things, God and his prophets are quick to reveal the real culprit: personal pride.  If you want the prosperity in life that Christ offers, a prosperity so foreign to our times that you can enjoy a large posterity and lots of money at the same time, you humble yourself before the Lord. You stop considering your own path as superior to the agenda of God. You follow the teachings of prophets and apostles and you start receiving blessings that defy logic. It is amazing to see, especially in your own life.

The path to prosperity is through the Lord Jesus Christ.  When you put yourself between Jesus and your more obedient self through pride, how can the Lord prosper you?  As we follow God's agenda, miraculous blessings will come as surely as the sun rises.

13 November 2022

Compulsion Breeds Contention

I have gotten to a wondrous period in the Book of Mormon record in my slow reading. Christ had recently come to establish his gospel and his church and all the people have converted to discipleship to the Lord and the disciples he chose and ordained to lead his church are already about their assigned work. 

The condition that Mormon describes most during this blessed time is that there was "no contention" in the land. Christ had made the point often that there should be "no disputations" among the people on points of the Lord's doctrine and ordinances. The people seem to have taken this to heart and the conditions at the time was described as "continual peace".

Wouldn't all of us enjoy such a state?

Sadly, in our times, there are evil forces at work which breed many disputations and much contention, leaving no room for peace. If one word could describe this day, it would be "compulsion" to my eyes. This is easy enough to see in political arenas, as parties and factions tussle for dominance and winning the clout to push their chosen agendas forward.

No matter how noble an outcome seems, no goal is so pure and good that it justifies the use of compulsion to force its adoption. For instance, to force others to pay for fetal abortion is wrong. Also, to forcibly prevent protest through "taking a knee" or burning a revered flag is equally wrong. Dictating face-masks is as demonic as criminalizing drug use, each using force to compel compliance against a person's free will.

When people are compelled, even compelled to do good things, no one knows if that compulsed person is actually good at heart and in deed. Only when a person can act under their own power can we see their true selves. Public good can be forced through compulsion but private true good comes from individual liberty to act as each person chooses and one's personal choice to make good things happen.  Truth is even more apparent when the good things we do are in opposition to the standards of our day.  Forced public charity often produces the initially unintended yet politically useful results of resentment, division, entitlement, and hatred.  Private and un-compelled charity often breeds brotherhood and love.

Christ and his followers have always used persuasion to help people to change and reconcile themselves to God. The Holy Ghost, the very Spirit of God, is sent to make the words of truth persuasive to the hearts of all. 

Compulsion or the use of force is not a feature of the agenda of God. If we desire the condition of continual peace with the attending elements of no contention and no gospel disputations, we must know that there can be no compulsion to force these things. Continual peace comes from an internalized commitment to Christ and his gospel gained through persuasion and spiritual confirmation. God will force no one into heaven but he gives us what we need to move along the path toward exaltation and lasting peace.