24 September 2023

"Know ye that ye must..." - Mormon's Final Words

The prophet and war captain Mormon of the Nephite nation was the national archivist, divinely-inspired compiler and commentator of what we have now as the Book of Mormon. He specifically saw our day and gave his advice to us through the lens of his people's historic and religious records. It is not just a story of the Nephites and Lamanites, their bitter brethren - it is more a guidebook to our times and how God deals with people and their behaviors.

Chapter Seven of his personal record is the "final words" that this historian gives, mostly to his surviving people, but also to we "Gentiles" which will be brought to God's set-aside land of the Americas.

Mormon speaks to all the descendants of Lehi, of which he was also one. Everything he promises for his own people is also promised to all of us as we make covenants with the Lord.

Mormon 7:10

And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant; and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.

This is yet another statement of the importance of having an authoritative baptism. It really has to do with the authority of the person who does your baptism - it can't be just anyone. It has to be someone that Christ accepts as a priest, so you must figure that out.  I am confident in myself that a priest in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is authorized by Christ, but you need to determine that yourself.

The last recorded thought of Mormon is on "judgement" and how we will fare during it.  I can't think of the last time anyone framed their afterlife in terms of doing well in the coming judgement rather than how wonderful Jesus is, as if that fact will just eliminate judgement entirely.  

I think we all need to be concerned with "following the example of our Savior" - our actions in relation to God, our families, and others.  "...that which he hath commanded us..." will be the things by which we will be judged for our ultimate reward.  If we concern ourselves with following Christ and keeping his commandments, "it shall be well with you in the day of judgment."  Easy enough for me to understand!

11 September 2023

You were Not Sent to Earth to Test How Much God Loves You

"Jesus loves us all unconditionally..."

From the way so many people behave (beyond spoken rationalizations), they think that they are doing Jesus some great favor in letting him be around them.  "Can I bring you your slippers?"  "Would you like a softer pillow?"  To these questions from the Christ-ish figure which most people demand, a spitting in the face is what those same people give as a first answer, and then say:  "You are not offering me enough to be acceptable as my Savior.  My Jesus would do everything so I don't have to do, well, anything!"

From all the talk, you would think that one of our purposes in life is to judge whether this Jesus character fulfils our grandest desires at zero cost to us. In holy writ, it reads the other way around: The Lord is judging us to see if we are fit to be one of his people - if we offer him our "broken hearts" and our "contrite spirits".

Overly-self-compassionate Jesus-demanders have named their term of acceptance "unconditional love" and the concept has absolutely caught fire among lazy "Jesus' love saves us no matter what we do" devotees. "Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us." (2 Nephi 28:7)  Today, captured societies demand that no one should be punished for anything, justify every behavior, and rationalize this with a new extra-scriptural and non-commanding Jesus-love that doesn't what to offend folks.

The Lord just doesn't work that way. God's love is established and well explained in scripture, which should be read far more often. Here are some examples:

  • Commandments Lead to Exaltation (D&C 14:7)
  • Blessings Come Through Specific Obedience to Specific Commandments (D&C 130:20-21)
  • God does nothing unconditionally. Read your scriptures and see. (D&C 82:10)
  • Everything God has ever Established in relation to your exaltation has always worked in the past, always works now, and will always work in the future.  There is no "new" or "better" way to suggest and God is not entertaining alternative interpretations - The Way is set, well-documented, and it is not changing in the least fashion. (1 Nephi 10:18)

We don't get to alter the conditions that God has established. Demanding that the gospel must "change with the times" demonstrates mistrust in God and his established Agenda

God has established the parameters of his "love" as well, mostly through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and his demands for repentance. If you desire or "demand" that God takes more responsibility for your concept of the "love" relationship and don't contribute what the Lord has prescribed through obedience, you will be ultimately disappointed with the result. Nothing is more clear than what God provides and demands - read the parables of Christ yet again for hard clarification on the nature of "the kingdom of heaven".

If you really want unconditional love, you might rudely turn to your mother or father, who you might sucker into being your emotional slave. Just know that the Lord will exact retribution for every torture you inflict upon parents (or anyone else) with your "unconditional" demands. The Lord will have vengeance on you (D&C 29:17) for such behavior and you will plead that your just punishment will not be "unconditional".

You and I want God to treat us differently when we behave differently, especially for the better. The Lord has promised to bless and reward us relative to the "conditions" of our obedience. "Conditional" allows for change and improvement, which is exactly what God offers through his Agenda.

You likely really want a conditional God and so do I.

02 September 2023

The Great Houses of the Celestial Realm

In previous posts, I presented my personal thoughts (not official statements of doctrine promulgated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) on the afterlife and its conditions. I had hopefully vivid descriptions of the "spirit world" (squaring up), judgement (full disclosure), the telestial reward (no consequences), and the terrestrial reward (no responsibilities). I feel I did a rather pathetic job on giving some analogy for the celestial reward (no limits), but after watching episodes of the "Downton Abbey" television series, I feel a bit more prepared to talk about my conception of the highest glory and what it will be like there.

There will be three basic divisions of the celestial glory, although only the highest is mentioned much in holy writ. The celestial reward is the state which God and his angels enjoy and the description that we have, of mansions and kingdoms, are a good description of the whole of it. The three divisions have more to do with what individual people will be doing on these expansive "Downton Abbey" manors - if you live upstairs, you work downstairs, or if you live and labor in the adjoining crofts or village.

It would be easiest to begin at the top and work our way down. Every great house has "the family", which consists of the Lord and Lady of the manor and their children who may also become heirs of the manor.  These people are either actively administering the manor or learning how to lead it someday.

Downstairs, the staff attends to all the support services needed by "the family" and the house. Obviously, the attention of family members are better spent on higher matters than housekeeping, food preparation and serving, physical maintenance and repair of grounds and equipment, and other service functions required of a great house. These are the servants to the manor.

Beyond the great house are lands and peoples that are under the stewardship of the Lord and Lady of the manor. Some have individual grants of land for cultivation or husbandry, others work in attached villages, all owing some fealty or rents to the Lord and Lady of the larger manorial estate. Although each individual villager has their own lives and feelings, each has an obligation to the Lord's summons.

Don't like the idea?  A little too patriarchal? Think socialism or democracy is more fair?  You can always choose a "lesser reward", I suppose.  Living a celestial life might not be a matter of just qualifying for it, but desiring the reality of or service to God's life and circumstances.  We may not become a God ourselves but if we choose, through desire and deeds, to qualify for a celestial reward, we will be a part of the eternal work.

Want to be a part of a ruling house? It seems that it really will be up to each one of us if we desire such.

969, or How the New World Order Faced Lucretia and Failed - The Fifth Episode: Ol' Coot

First Venitia

The woman Venitia doesn't enter into the narrative yet, but so much that affects her going forward can be better understood from what's happening here and now.

We look upon a farm, a big corporate one. The people living in the ramshackle house on the farm are certainly not the owners, but the use of the house is part of their compensation for farming this land in the way the corporation wants it done. The equipment belongs to the corporation, even so far as the truck the family uses like a personal vehicle is owned by the corporation. In the end, beyond some personal belongings that can be easily moved and their clothes, all this particular “farm family” really has is each other and we will see how tenuous that is as well.

Acres and acres of green beans, stretching
out to the horizon, the sight only broken by a solitary red bug-shaped monster tractor.

The father of the farm family is riding in the air-conditioned cab of the tractor, not even paying attention to steering wheel or other controls as computers, tied to GPS satellites, determine the direction and speed of the massive wheeled behemoth which sprayed a cocktail of fertilizer, herbicide, and insecticide that the man mixed together in the wee hours of the morning. He is listening to some country pop music station coming into the cab via satellite, the Nashville origins of the music probably being the only tie to his father and grandfather who originally farmed their own spreads and eventually couldn't make payments and had their lives auctioned to some suit from Chicago. The music is unrecognizable to the previous generation, as is the gargantuan automated tractor, the lack of any real ownership in land or time, and the growing irrelevance of his proudly heritaged “farming skills”. The man blocks out any thought that he bears a striking resemblance to some factory worker in the far East, utterly expendable. His formal training at the nearby country school in mostly basketball did little more than distract him from his inevitable serfdom.

His ignorant smile and humming to the music was clouded by a boiling of dust coming off two black SUVs that were moving on the dirt road toward the farm house. He grabbed for his trusty shotgun that years of hunting had molded perfectly to his hand, kicked open the cab door, lept the nearly ten feet to the ground, and raced through row upon row of green beans between himself and his family. His track and field years done in the basketball “off-season” was doing him a good service.

The tractor moved and sprayed on its programmed course, not bothered in the least by the man's absence.

In the mile run to farm house, the man was thinking several things. He slung his shotgun over his back to make things less cumbersome. He thought about his wife watching some soap opera on the satellite TV, his ten-year-old daughter watching who-knows-what on her rhinestoned smartphone and texting foolishness to her vacationing schoolfriends in spite of his recent tirade on her “screen time”, and the six-year-old “man of the house” who he always said he left behind to watch over Mom and Sis. His wife hadn't let him take the boy hunting yet and the boy's BB rifle, locked in the gun safe at feminine insistence, couldn't even give the appearance of helping the boy “watch over” anything. The guardian boy was likely stirring up ant hills and wrestling playfully with the farm dog they inherited with the house.

The man needs some better help and his cell phone practically lept into his hand as he dialed up “Ol' Coot”, the man who owned and worked the next farm over. All that needed to be said was that strangers were on their way to the farmhouse and his neighbor replied “Be right there.” As more thoughts entered his mind of what might happen, he absently dropped the phone in the field as he ran a bit faster.

The scene is set. It is just as much a tragedy laid out before us as any Greek could contrive. Several tattooed and multi-racial men had already exited their vehicles. With nothing ceremonious, the father had never gotten the chance to discharge his weapon before the obstensive leader of the newcomers dispatched him with a single shot from a largish revolver. The screams from the other family members had already died out as the men ranged out to work their pre-determined plan.

A few tattooed thugs had already seized the daughter and were hauling her back to the nearest SUV. There was some argument between the leader and a few hungry-looking black men who wanted the mother taken as well, perhaps for no more than a quick gang-rape and then slitting her throat. The disoriented mother was protectively trying to get between the invading gang members and the crying son that clung to her leg, as if she could do anything in light of her husband's murder and her daughter's soon-to-be abduction.

Venitia enters this story as her husband was the leader of the band of gang members. Although charged with completing this kidnapping as “a sign of loyalty”, he was not informed that his band was stealing cute pre-teen girls “fresh from the farm” for future grooming into the lucrative sex slave market. Venitia's husband just wanted to get this job done so that he could bring home the promised money and food needed to support his own family. The farm father that he had shot was not a part of his personal plan for the day, but there would be hell to pay from the gang leadership if he made excuses for his lack of success. Should he let his “soldiers” have their way with the mother as well and perhaps win some favor as a leader? He was trying to think about the ramifications of his decision and the band's reaction as a beat-up antique truck came speeding up the road and watched his men suddenly dropping around him to the sound of rifle report.

While other men from the arriving truck continued to pick off anything sporting tattoo ink with the precision of a short-range deer hunt, Ol' Coot himself lept out of the still-moving truck with his tight-spread shotgun, leaving his even tighter-faced wife to grab the wheel. The single invader left holding the girl like some human shield didn't have any time to compose anything interesting to say as Ol' Coot brought up his weapon and blasted the man's head clean-off right below the ear. The girl crumpled on the ground in stunned silence, tangled a bit with her former captor's still-twitching arms and legs.

It was at this moment, with gang members dead all around him and a handful of rifle-toting farmhands leaping out of the back of the finally-stopped truck and racing toward him, that Venitia's bewildered husband let his pistol drop to the ground and lifted his empty hands. He had failed. He only imagined the retaliation that the gang would exact on him for this. He didn't consider what came next.

Ol' Coot came nose-to-nose with the last remaining gang member. His breath reeked of the sickening sweet smell of tobacco snuf that bulged his bottom lip and he contemptuously spat the juice to one side. The old man didn't say anything for a moment, just drilled into the other man's darting eyes that took in the several rifles pointed toward him. Ol' Coot didn't appear concerned at all of being close to the lines of fire.

The old man signed and looked toward the mother who still sheltered her son. “C'mere, boy.” He motioned the six-year-old to come closer. “If you are gonna protect your ma, you better learn how.”

There was a groan and sob from the mother and the Ol' Coot's wife was about to say something before he shushed her. The old man pushed Venitia's husband down to his knees. “Pick up that pistol,” was the next words to come and the young boy obeyed. “Bring it here, boy.”

The two women on the scene were next to each other now and the boy's mother hissed out “He's only six…”

“He just saw his daddy killed. He ain't a child anymore.” Ol' Coot guided the boy's hands to grip the pistol properly, helping him hold it steady. “You ever fired one of these?” The boy shook his head hard.

Venitia's husbands' eyes were blinking rapidly. He might have thought they would let him go back and get killed by the gang, but it seemed that the old man had other lessons to teach. He stayed very still and prayed to some forgotten God that he could live and maybe see his own family again. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the cooling body of the farm father that he had unthinkingly killed. Why should God or anyone here be particularly merciful?

“This man killed your daddy so he could hurt your mama and your sister. Your daddy would have shot him to keep it from happenin'.” The old man laid a finger over the boy's that stretched to feel the trigger. “You're gonna finish what your daddy was runnin' back to do.”

The boy's mother wailed and the woman beside her redoubled her hard expression as she pulled the mother close. “Hard day to become a man. We'll take you home with us.” the older women whispered as the shot was fired and the gang member slumped dead to the ground.

When the corporate man came to investigate the signals from the tractor that it had run out of chemicals and had stalled beyond the programically acceptable timing, there was nothing to see. No one was at the farm house or the barns and the tractor was powered down in the middle of the bean field. Corporate heads in Chicago shrugged as many families just up and left the fields without giving any notice. There was always another farm family, starved for the work they thought they understood, to take over the place.

13 August 2023

"...how can ye stand before the power of God,"

The prophet and warrior Mormon, of Book of Mormon fame, says that Gentiles (non-native Americans in this case) should turn away from their wickedness through repentance or they will face the "bad" sort of God's justice that people want to avoid.

Mormon 5:

22 And then, O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?

23 Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?

24 Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out in justice against you—lest a remnant of the seed of Jacob shall go forth among you as a lion, and tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver.

There might be more to say about this, but I will add such things later. 

28 July 2023

"the Lord hath reserved their blessings,..."

God promises us blessings for our obedience. Sadly, we often forego our blessings in favor of something else we want. Sometimes, those blessings are of a physical nature - like a house or a piece of land. If we choose to be wicked, such things will be given to others who are more willing to be obedient.

In the Book of Mormon, Mormon the prophet witnessed how evil his formerly righteous people had become and shared what could have been done to retain the land of prosperity that they had once enjoyed.

Mormon 5:
19 And behold, the Lord hath reserved their blessings, which they might have received in the land, for the Gentiles who shall possess the land. 
20 But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and after they have been driven and scattered by the Gentiles, behold, then will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel. 
21 And also the Lord will remember the prayers of the righteous, which have been put up unto him for them. 
22 And then, O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?
We know that this was a true prophecy - the white man came to America and "scattered" the "Indians" that lived in the land.  If they had chosen to obey the Lord and repent, America would still be enjoyed by the people we call "native Americans".

The same is true for us - if we become wicked, and many people in the West are choosing wicked ways today, the things that we enjoy now will be taken away from us and given to other people more obedient than we are. Many people we look down upon from the middle and far East traditionally live more moral lives than Westerners now do, so it would not be surprising if God helped them to dominate us, just as God helped our ancestors dominate the American tribes.

What should we learn from this?

As a people, we need to return to God's morality. Our lives of freedom and our enjoyment of the lands of America depend on it. "Repent and turn from your evil ways" as Mormon suggests.

16 July 2023

The Demanding Christ

Christ loves us enough to make some demands of us leading toward a life like his with the Father. They are not heavy demands, no matter what Laman and Lemuel from the early part of the Book of Mormon say..

1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they [Laman and Lemuel] said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

2 And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.

God will turn from us if we don't make good on the demands of righteousness.  The blessings we might have received will be given to others.

16 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers; and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff before the wind.

17 They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea, they were led even by God the Father.

18 But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.

19 And behold, the Lord hath reserved their blessings, which they might have received in the land, for the Gentiles who shall possess the land.

 I happened to find this webpage that gives some wonderful insights to the demands that Jesus makes on us and the reasons why people reject this and court "Divine Alienation":  https://blog.truthforlife.org/divine-alienation-when-and-why-god-turns-his-face-away

14 July 2023

969, or How the New World Order Faced Lucretia and Failed - The Fourth Episode: Flight

In all of her years of work, she had never found herself so flustered. She had used up all the time that could be stolen from her duties in the crew rest compartments. She sighed deeply and slapped another nicotine patch over her collarbone but so much wanted a long drag from a cigarette a few thousand miles away. She heaved herself up and slogged her way back to her assigned station.

She hated being called a flight attendant. Once upon a time, she was a stewardess with a miniskirt on smoke-filled planes full of businessmen, choosing her next boytoy from among them, secure in the fact that her looks and charm claimed every eye and opened every wallet. She has seen rooms and laid in beds in every airport hotel on two continents. It went without saying that every woman on every plane either loathed her or wanted to be her. Those were happy times.

She still stays fit with aerobics and no one suspects with her east asian perfection that she is now something over 40 years old. She would have never felt the need to break this cardinal rule in the past but something ruins her sultry composure today and she has spitefully checked the itinerary of the female passenger in 32B. The journey this passenger is taking simply makes no sense and that makes the flight attendant hate her all the more.

Everyone near row 32 let out yet another collective groan as the sound of heaving and the splatter of vomit hitting the bottom of yet another air-sickness bag. A previously sallow-faced young man is now white as a sheet except for a green sheen about the eyes and mouth. If there was ever a way to escape the dreaded window seat and distance himself from the woman to his side, he would have paid any price. From the look on everyones’ faces, no one is willing to accept the offer.

The flight attendant squeezed her mascaraed eyes shut and took in a slow breath as she took another small stack of sickness bags to row 32. She was the vision of graciousness by the time she leaned over the bulky bear of a man that occupied the aisle seat and exchanged the empties for newly-filled bags. The bear had been talking non-stop since San Francisco in a none-too-quiet voice and surely there were a close passenger or two who could quote several statistics from the humanprogress.org database as he was on his way to Pitcairn to expand its deficient data entry. She deserved a finely-sculpted Adonis but the full-bearded and thickly pony-tailed beast steadfastly ignored her in favor of the hated woman in 32B, far too engrossed in a book to be listening to her seatmate. The former stewardess only snarled slightly and threw a packet of peanuts into the transiting woman’s lap and moved off.

“In spite of all the press from child abuse cases, there have also been reports of an expanded access to the internet,” the bear offered to the interest of no one in particular. “They even enticed a man to move in and set up shop.” His voice never modulated past a slight Scandinavian accent. “Our data needs to better reflect current conditions, so I need to do a survey from the ground as it were.”

Lucretia responded by turning a page in her book. She will be connecting at Papeete to a puddle-jumper to Noumea in New Caledonia, allowing both the men in her row to move on with their lives. A further ticket is held there going to Auckland then Kuala Lumpur. There was a direct flight between San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur, but the woman (or rather Antonio) must like hanging out in seedy backwater transit lounges, because she won’t be seeing much else on this bizarrely elongated voyage. One book to read is probably insufficient.

This is irrational, the stewardess tells herself. This bag-woman who looked incapable of buying a ticket to Tahiti should have been easily overlooked by the smoothly automated labor of serving drinks and showing off safety features. Yet, there was no denying the prickly hatred, as if this creature was some sort of competition to her man-hunting.

“The boat ride will be nearly two weeks and I haven’t done a boat for a while. I hope I don’t have much sea-sickness,” the big man said under his breath. As if to punctuate the sentiment, the man on the far side of Lucretia heaves again. To the joy of all, the stomach of the man in the window seat is finally empty and dry-heaves are heard instead.

Our flight attendant shuts her eyes again with spasms of anger and spins about on her stylish heels, racing back to the drinks station. She nearly throws aside a woman coming out of the lavatory, locks it fast behind her and tears out a packet lodged under her bra. Swearing quietly, she shakily lights up a hidden cigarette with her secreted lighter and thanks the gods of flight that the sound of the misaligned auto-flush mechanism’s near-constant and useless triggering was covering the noise of her hyper-ventilations and some considerate passenger had already dismantled the toilet smoke alarm.

01 July 2023

Obituary for Don Lancaster

I spent many of my young adult years reading Don Lancaster in several technology magazines, I bought and devoured his TTL Cookbook as a teenager, and kept up with his website over the years.  He was a constant source of inspiration in electronics. He passed away today.


18 June 2023

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth..."

I have heard some lately that say a Christian walk brings peace in our lives, which I have experienced at times. I don't want to appear contrary (but you know that I get a bit of a kick out of being contrary anyway), but Christ himself said that peace wasn't going to be his particular purpose.

Matthew 10:
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

I see a lot of folks that put their love of spouse or children or parents above devotion to God.  I just watched a video yesterday of a woman who was excommunicated from the church and tongue-lashed the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for not bowing to political pressure to ordain women to the priesthood.  She said that she was buoyed up by her own immediate family distancing themselves from the Church in support of her campaign.  What an example of family members putting each other ahead of God!  Personal hubris tears many from the path that Christ has shown us.

Some of my own children have chosen divergent paths, rejecting their upbringing and even God himself. I made it clear that I follow God and that I won't go down strange roads of deviance with them. They don't talk to me lately and hurtfully say that I don't love them because I won't accept some new lifestyle they have manufactured for themselves. Again, I follow God and his Agenda more than I seek the acceptance and love of my children.

I didn't set out to have "foes shall be they of his own household", it just happened.  I pray for my children, even the ones that have strayed from their Savior. I will continue to strive to be "worthy of me (Jesus)" though it pains me that some of my family members are not interested in the same way at this time.

I will continue to not be diverted from my course to please the sensibilities of others, even family members.  Christ will reward those who choose him over divergent devotion.

23 May 2023

God brought Us to a Land of Liberty

When Lehi, who lead his family away from a decadent Jerusalem across the ocean to the Americas, left his final blessings on his children, he made a prophecy about this new land that his children would inherit: 

Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

This certainly happened in relation to the descendents of Lehi, who lived in liberty in the western hemisphere for nearly a thousand years, but were destroyed or enslaved in short order as they turned iniquitous.

It can also be seen that as long as most of the people who came to America were devoted to God and keeping his commandments, this was a land of liberty. The American Revolution is a good study of how a nation shouldn't have survived in the face of so many obstacles, overcome through divine intervention.  It was a point of some strange pride that "God Bless America" could be relied upon to save and prosper the Union.  People traditionally went to church and prayed in gratitude for the gift of liberty and prosperity, which they received.

Now, we are beating a fast retreat from God as a people. More Americans identify as atheists; They seek to prop up government as their protector and guarantor of peace and liberty, which is increasingly elusive and even undesirable to a growing number of urbanites. Many believe that God isn't interested in us, even if God exists at all, so they flout his commandments openly and with a pride in their ability to do so.

Lehi makes it clear that "if iniquity shall abound" (and it surely does), "cursed shall be the land..." The American nation has been so trusting that good things will always come, as they always have. However, the blessings we have always enjoyed will turn into a cursing, to which we have little experience.  I expect the kind of horrors that we have never known in our country.

To counter this cursing, we need to be righteous and encourge our neighbors to do the same.  We all need to study our Bibles again, re-learn what God wants us to do, re-enshrine his commandments to us, and them reclaim the blessings for ourselves that our larger society has rejected.   "...but unto the righteous it (this land) shall be blessed forever."

30 April 2023

'... judged of your works,'

Mormon, the man who abridged and complied what we have today as the Book of Mormon, had a pretty tough time of it. His times (4th century CE) were very hard with his nation in decadent decline and enemies working to wipe them completely from the earth. Mormon knew that their salvation from a fate of destruction was turning back to God, both individually and collectively, but all of his efforts were ineffective.

The Lord told Mormon that he didn't have to preach to his people anymore as they had rebelled.

Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.

Although we don't remember it, we actually agreed to come to mortality and to the earth and said we would accept the Lord's offer to make it happen.  This fact is what gives Jesus the right to be vindictive about our ingratitude at what he has and does provide.  It also makes Christ the judge of your behavior (too late, you already agreed to it and you have been mooching off the Lord's generosity for years so you owe him) as below:  

Mormon 3:20
And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;

Obviously, Christ judges us based on the commandments he gave us and our obedience to him.  It seems that "teddy-bear-Jesus" isn't making much of an appearance as the time for forgiveness will have passed.  Our opportunity to access Jesus' redemption ends and his judgement comes.

As always, a message to take away is to work out your ultimate reward during life.  Since you don't know how long your life will be, you should get busy doing what is needed to get the reward you desire.  You may be able to make some changes after death and improve your fate, but don't depend on it.  Do it now.

07 April 2023

969, or How the New World Order Faced Lucretia and Failed - The Second Episode: Antonio's Arrangement

The offices of the Mundane Insurance Company were nondescript in an almost painful way. Some sort of tan hessian weave covered most of the walls, though not to the floor or ceiling, but in the perfect placement to tear the skin if a hapless employee decided to rub against it while flopping over from exhaustion due to overwork or, more likely, catatonic boredom. The floors were covered with grey industrial carpeting so thin that it often revealed seams and exposed metal sub-floor where it wasn't held together by spilled coffee stains and liquid white-out streaks.

Above the thirteenth floor was a standard dropped ceiling with panels that have browned along the seams. In keeping with corporate custom, every fifth panel was substituted for a buzzing translucent panel that blinked on-and-off with light at a cadence which could have been carefully designed to zombify the floors occupants if company executives could gin or vodka up the interest in being the least bit careful. More fortunate souls worked under panels that had gradually burned out and failed to be replaced by what appeared to be a non-existent maintenance staff.

The labyrinth of lavender cubicles was punctuated by attempts to add color and personality to the endeavor. Not too far from the elevator doors was a bunch of three silvered Mylar balloons tied with ribbons that were stuck to well-chewed gum at the corner of a space assigned to Harriet Cornish, according to the nameplate. The balloons variously read 'Happy Birthday George' and 'Chinese New Year 2005' along with faded stars and fireworks. These were hard to read as the helium seemed mostly depleted and each rolled back and forth along the cubicle wall as the inadequate ventilation system blew around them. The balloons added a bit of color and movement that an abandoned pair of crumbling banana antennae headgear and walls festooned with sarcastic Dilbert cartoon strips failed to provide.

Harriet Cornish, or the woman who was sitting in Harriet's apparent cube, looked quietly furious. She would sit up very straight every few moments to glare at her bow-tied manager, who was cowering a few cubicles away while still remaining visible over the four-foot-high cubicle walls. The cubicle he was sitting in was labelled with 'Lucretia Vordonis', giving us the impression that nameplates rarely matched people in this organization. To further reinforce this thought, the woman who we will tentatively name Harriet, once she gets her manager's attention, clamps her teeth down hard and thumbs at one of the offices that line the wall on either side of the floor's elevator. It is one of those offices with a glass wall that allows us to see its occupant. The nameplate on the wall seems to be the managers name, which I won't bother to disclose as he is as inconsequential as the beginning of the story made clear. As 'Harriet' and the manager can clearly see through a glass wall, Lucretia Vordonis is sitting at the mock-impressive desk in the office with the manager's name on it. The cubicle woman glares back menacingly at the manager who readjusts a new bow-tie and hides behind Lucretia's former computer, feverishly speeding through the process of converting Lucretia from an hourly worker to a salaried professional and justifying her new office space by a change in title and grade. Unfortunately, both he and several dozen people are interrupted by a jangling ring from Lucretia's phone, all the heads pop up from their work like a prairie-dog convention, as the manager sitting in Lucretia's cubicle dutifully answers.

The call comes from the finely-appointed and properly-maintained executive offices and reception area of the Mundane Insurance Company one floor down: An important customer wants some technical information on their account and the executives want the best analyst to help him. After the manager breaks into a cold sweat and whispers some phone conversation, the call ends. Harriet sneers at her boss and he simply hunkers back to the task of elevating Lucretia. There is a sour feeling in his stomach but that is nothing compared to the experience of being alone with that strange woman. Anything is worth avoiding that.

Shortly, the doors of the elevator slide open and a smartly dressed man of unspecific ethnicity steps out, squinting at the visual assault of the cubicle farm at its perpetual haze of angst and sweat hovering to some unseen horizon. Mylar balloons rattle about in an artificial breeze nearby as he approaches the nearest supposed human and inquires regarding a Lucretia Vordonis.

A red-faced woman begins to hyperventilate and can barely manage to motion a shaking finger toward an office a few doors away from the elevator. The man pivots with his fine leather shoes and glancing back to notice the name on the cubicle's plate, he says "Thank you, Harriet" in an off-handed yet pleasant way.

The office door has a man's name but he sees a woman within sitting at an uncluttered desk. Shrugging, he opens the office door just enough to put his head inside. "Lucretia Vordonis?" The woman at the desk looks up from reading a book, which he takes as an acknowledgement. The chair across the desk from Lucretia is of a style and manufacture that you will find in many run-down public institutions, yet this doesn't seem to bother the man, who smoothly loosens the button of his fine suit coat. "I am happy to see you today," as he offers his hand.

The woman across the desk simply looks at him, ignoring both the offered handshake and the crash of some equipment beyond the still ajar office door. The smartly-dressed man flinches slightly at the noise, but the practiced smile never leaves his face as he gracefully slides into the available chair. "I am Antonio Midinar and I have come to consult with you about a property I own in Kuala Lumpur..." His voice was smooth and the accent used was exotic yet very intelligible. He began to talk of the intricacies of Malaysian zoning policy, producing a manila folder about three centimeters thick that he set before the woman.

He noticed the disheveled sense about Ms. Vordonis, however his studied manner in adjusting to perceived cultural standards in any situation allowed him to continue smiling and speaking in a carefully prepared way. The woman's light brown business suit with an antiquated ruffle about the collar and cuff clashed strongly in his mind with the rose-colored poet's blouse, sequined and buttoned up to her throat. He could hear some heated yet indistinct talk from the cubicle farm but he didn't allow it to disrupt his description of the skyscraper in the Malaysian capital that he and a conglomerate of international businessmen jointly owned

His eyes narrowed as it appeared he was losing the woman's concentration on his speech. Her look was almost placid as she seemed to stare at something over his left shoulder. Not missing a syllable in his on-going talk, he casually sneaked a look what Lucretia might be focusing her attention rather than him, but it appeared to be only another section of complete blank grey wall. There was another crash from the cubicles that he strained to ignore but the square-spectacled woman failed to register at all.

"As you can see, I am most concerned about terrorist attacks on my building in the wake of the twin towers..." The man was trying to place Ms. Vordonis' perfume but could only manage to think of mold. He was finding it harder to keep up his blather, which he erroneously attributed to the visual assault of her matted rat's-nest of hair. Incongruously, he felt the familiar sensation of excitement that accompanied the proximity of a sensationally gorgeous and alluring woman, but there was only this one seemly-disinterested and frumpy woman across the desk and the flash of a rather plump and scarlet Harriet assaulting a man with a stapler while shouting about some lost promotion. Yet, the arousal persisted.

He had come to elicit advice, but he felt like he was losing Lucretia's interest and potential insights. Between the unfamiliar sense of impending failure to achieve his purpose and the growing desire to find a more intimate way to understand feelings about this seemingly hideous woman, his prepared script was suddenly abandoned. "You must come to Kuala Lumpur yourself to inspect my building. Perhaps then you can better guide us in adjusting our insurance needs." In a totally unpredictable way, he found himself offering Ms. Vordonis first-class passage to Malaysia and a stay at his private estate. Alarms were sounding in his head, almost drowning out Harriet's shouting from the cubes, but he was powerless to stop the flow of offered enticements that he typically reserved only for international supermodels

Lucretia's attention seemed to wander back to Antonio's face. "Fine," she said flatly.

The man seemed relieved, pulled the handkerchief from his top coat pocket, and dabbed away uncharacteristic perspiration from his brow. "I will make all the arrangements." He rose less than gracefully, offered the woman his hand again, which she again blandly ignored. "Thank you for your help."

With a grateful waning of the peculiar swell of jumbled emotions, Antonio Midinar only vaguely noted his brushing against a wall in his escape and it was tearing a section from his coat sleeve. Going unnoticed in his private consternation, a bow-tied man and Harriet were locked in some physical struggle for dominance in the midst of cubicled and stunned prairie-dog on-lookers.

The slightly less sharp man marched resolutely to the elevator and nearly broke its down button with his fevered and repetitive mashing. 

The Previous Episode

02 April 2023

Love, Messiah Style

I continue the theme of Christ's love as expressed through his atonement and condescension through taking on himself our life travails and suffering as we do. Jesus understands us and our sorrows and tolerated injustices quietly and far beyond any that we might endure. He deserved far better treatment in life and got far worse than he deserved, yet his supreme acts were not to justify himself - he triumphed for our deliverance from sin and death.

1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah truly saw Christ and his doings.

It must be recalled, as pondered in the Godfather analogy, that Christ does our Father's will above all other things.  Jesus suffered and died because God the Father instructed him to do so. The Lord is the ultimate example of obedience to his Father and we are expected to obey as he did.

We are not asked to do the things that Christ did through his atonement. We are not required to take on us the sins of others (actually, we can't) and we don't have to die on a cross. However, we are to love others as he did, calling all to repentance or changing for the better, aligning ourselves with God's agenda for our exaltation and never-ending joy and also inviting all around us to the same alignment and path to Jesus.

Come, follow him!

24 March 2023

Coddling your Pathos is not God's Agenda

The "light of Christ" might be much like the "tribal" subconscious memory of your pre-earth commitments that niggle at you and help you recognize the truth when you see it.  I wouldn't be surprised if most depression and feeling wrong is a person's neglect or even fight against the commitments that were burned into your soul when you chose to follow Christ into mortality - the only way you get here on earth.  Such things can be the consequences of avoiding or fighting your promises to follow the Agenda of God.

Everything about life needs to be viewed through the lens of bringing ourselves, our spouses then children, and others to the altar of Christ: this is the manifestation of LOVE that matters.  If you truly love God, you will invest totally in his Agenda.  If you love your "neighbor", you say the truth of Christ to them, so they can "remember" (the light of Christ) their pre-earth commitments and can choose to act on them.  Any other definition of love is inferior.

For instance, to avoid marriage and family is to make yourself into an ineffective influencer during life and a poor servant of Christ, alongside breaking the commandment to "replenish the earth". We spend a lot of time coddling ineffectiveness.  You have greater influence on your spouse and children than anyone else.  Treating them well is a means to an end - to get them to exaltation, which is God's will. "Love" is God's tool to get his children to follow the Agenda, both tough (fierce, uncompromising, masculine) love and perhaps some soft (teddy bear, kissy-huggy, feminine) love.

We usually get the application and recognition of love backwards. 

We keep demanding further expressions of "love" when we hardly acknowledge the supernal gifts we have from Christ through his resurrection and atonement. Are not these expressions of love sufficient for us? Yet, we demand the release from responsibility and will reject the gifts of God if we are not carried carefree throughout life.

Our lives should be never-ending expressions of gratitude for what Christ has already done for us. He will do more but what has happened before should be much more than enough to earn our eternal thanks. None of us has any ground upon which to demand more of the Messiah, though more will be given. We thank him best by doing his will and aligning ourselves with his purposes in warning all around us to repent.  It is us who owe everything to him, rather than the other way around.

We made covenants to follow Christ who brought us our mortal lives and the opportunity to prove ourselves loyal to him and his Father. May we not forget or misconstrue that obligation to love him.

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.