I was thinking about all my misconceptions and misperceptions that I have and I realized that some might have similar ones as they come across this blog. One might think, “oh this guy is another wack job out there trying to do who-knows-what.” “He probably wants to start up his own church for blah blah blah reasons.”
I have no desire to start up another church. Of course what they probably mean is a religious institution, but I’ll get to that later in this post. From what I have seen, every time a religious organization has been started up, it turns into a institutional structure that is in opposition to the principles it was founded on. The gospel, church and religion systems, are different things.
When we understand the difference between the gospel and the Church and the appropriate function of each in our daily lives, we are much more likely to do the right things for the right reasons.
Institutional discipline is replaced by self discipline.
Supervision is replaced by righteous initiative and a sense of divine accountability.
The Church aids us in our effort to use our free agency creatively, not to invent our own values and principles, but to discover and adopt the eternal truths of the gospel.
Gospel living is a process of continuous individual renewal and improvement until the person is prepared and qualified to enter comfortably and with confidence into the presence of God. Ronald Poelman (the original)
I love this talk. If you want to read it, then follow this link. Anyone who reads that talk and learns the history of it, will open up a gate and go down a path that will change their relationship with God forever.
I want to go and live the gospel as brother and sisters and friends. Not where we have meetings but where we meet. That’s a huge difference. Do you attend your sunday meetings? Or do you “meet together oft” with your fellow believers? Big difference. I don’t go to a Christmas Eve meeting, I meet with friends for Christmas Eve. Just like the huge difference between a bride and a whore. If you are just casual about it, then both examples aren’t that different. A bride and a whore are women, they are going to have intercourse very soon and they are in a relationship with a man of sorts. The same with meetings and meeting. A meeting is something that you go to because is part of a business or organization or because you have to, while meeting is what happens as a result of your relationship with others. Just like the difference between whore and bride is about the relationship. At its most basic and fundamental pilar, the essential knowledge in this life is our relationship with God. Everything we do should be a consequence of that knowledge. To me, the movie The Passion was great in its portrayal of Lucifer. When Jesus is suffering in the garden, Lucifer asks Him, “Who is your father?” Satan’s whole plan is brought to light in that question. That is what his goal is for all of us. Put into doubt that relationship. If we are casual in our relationship with God, that will carry over into everything else. Casual is the root of the word casualty. In the war with Satan, he doesn’t take prisoners, he kills them.
Another point tying Satan’s plan and this topic, pulling from Justin at the ldsanarchy blog:
So, you want religion, do you?
Religion is what Satan has been offering as a substitute for tribal relationships with our Heavenly Parents, Jesus Christ, and our fellowman since the beginning. It is religion and the associated creeds that have prevented humans from coming to Jesus and the Father individually – instead forcing people to jump thru hoops, observances, rituals, classes, advancements, programs, etc.
There is a large history of Mormon churches and all the splinter groups. Here’s a list…with 119 different Mormon churches. I don’t think that is the solution. Lehi and his family left the church and the people in Jerusalem. They didn’t want to start a new church. They just wanted to escape destruction, follow the command of the Lord and go to the land of their inheritance. It is the first story in the Book of Mormon (similarly in the Book of Jared and its first story). The first thing in the book and do we realize its importance or significance? I didn’t until a few months ago. I have read the book many times and somehow never took to heart or mind that lesson. So I sympathize with those who have not realized the implications of that example.
Also, among the many different splinter groups there are differences in doctrines and teachings. The key to unity, which is an integral part of Zion, is focusing and uniting on the gospel which is Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost. All the other things are just that: other things. Levi and his family didn’t leave because they were in disagreement with certain points of doctrine. They left because the people had become so wicked, Israel “the Church” had left the gospel and was going to reap the consequences. There are many doctrines and covenants that are important to understand. There will be disagreement. If people aren’t all over each other’s butts on it and let everyone figure it out, then we’ll be able to overcome our differences and live with those differences until we are one heart & one mind.
I’m not against organization. I think that there can be a unifying system but that it isn’t what most think it is. That’s not that way it is in much of the scriptures. Like Poelman’s talk, the point of the LDS Church is to help people who don’t live the gospel to provide ways for them to do so. In the New Testament, Jesus never said, give all you have unto the church then come follow me. Give your cloak unto the church then they’ll give it unto him that asked it of thee. You and I are supposed to do it because it is our desire. We seek after these things, we don’t cut a check for 10% and call it good. That is so sterile and unattached to what we are supposed to be learning in this life. It’s closer to paying taxes than it is to healing the sick and caring for the widows. The church is there to get people in the habit of doing something similar to Christs’ example until they can do it on their own. Joseph Smith was trying to lay the foundation and build Zion. In so doing, the Law of Consecration and the United Order were involved. The United Order was a way to get people into living the Law of Consecration because they weren’t doing it on their own. We need to get beyond relying on an institution and become a church.
As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered. Poelman
Zion isn’t a place I’m ready for yet. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing wrong and what I can be doing. I want to go on Sundays and help the homeless kids in Seattle. My game plan as I see it is this: my family and another can team up, the wives and kids make lunch sack meals then another man and myself go find a kid each Sunday. Those that aren’t interested in our help, will probably enjoy some food. For safety reasons, I think it should go this way until we figure out a good system. I’m not sure how people will react nor how well I will be at helping these youth. Anyways, go and find one kid and find out if they want to go to college, trade school or get a job or what they want to do. Then we can help them get set up by enrolling them or getting them a job, getting a place to live and whatever else they need. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Also, I want to start visiting the senior center. I used to in college and really enjoyed it. It’s just one of those things that for some reason takes a little push to start. I’ll let you know how it turns out.