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.