Being One

Obedience and or Love?

Noah, aka the Arkwelder, said it great (in fact I use a lot of good things he has said) when he said that Christ didn’t want us to just help the poor, He wanted us to become One with the poor (I’d redefine it as the rejected of society).

Don’t do it because you feel obligated or guilty. I’ve done that enough in my life. They turned out to be good experiences, but I still say no. Religions teach obedience, while Christ taught that love was the great commandment. Pray for God to change your heart, to change your desires. He will! I promise you that if you ask Him consistently it will happen. It took me about 3 or 4 months to have a major effect. But why not do it out of obligation or because you want to feel good? Because you probably won’t break free of it and you’ll stay there your whole life. It is a comfortable spot that Satan has set up for us. Just like those comfy cheap ass recliner chairs at Fred Meyer. You’ll rationalize that you are doing good but it won’t be what Jesus wanted for us. Obedience in the form of saying, “Well, my bishop told me and I’m going to be humble and follow his counsel,” is actually a cop-out. It takes away our responsibility to make the harder decisions or convince ourselves that we aren’t responsible for anything other than doing what we are told. That’s not how you become a god. We have to follow the Godhead, our own intelligence and connection as part of the universe. For example, I always enjoyed window shopping and going into stores or online for sales to buy stuff, clothes, electronics, dvds, outdoor gear, etc. But then within a short short period, I didn’t even realize it was happening, until one day I examined myself and that past week. I no longer had any desire whatsoever for the goods of Babylon. The absence of old desires is just a complete lack of having those feelings. It’s as if I never had them. The new desires are like when you are hungry or tired and it consumes your whole being, your whole being is affected by those desires.

Making changes and acting on those decisions will definitely be questioned and doubted by others. I was speaking with a friend last night and she brought up the question about being blessed for my decisions and changes I’ve made. I didn’t really compare my old decisions blessings to my new ones. Every law has a blessing attached when lived. So that is a way to figure out if you are on the right path. I have read on some blogs, people saying things like, “are you sure it is the Holy Ghost guiding you and not Satan?” It’s kinda of a quick reaction by people when they hear someone reject their lifestyle and do things differently.

Pray for your desires to change, then you’ll do what’s right because you’ll be moved to do it. That is the only way Zion will be established. That is the way to the Celestial Kingdom. No one is going to be there because they “did what they were supposed to do.” They will be there because they lived a Celestial life in both their actions and desires that mirrored those of the Carpenter’s Son. That is why the New Jerusalem will be different. People get hanged up on how it will work, what the system will be like. Comprised of individuals with changed hearts, everyone will care for everyone. We will treat others as our own spouses and children. We will be one. That is why God will accept it, it will be His people walking in His ways because they will become like Him by following the Spirit, their own minds and hearts with many because they spoke and heard His voice.

Babylon or Zion?

Many of you I’m sure, will give your coat to your wife when she is cold. The same for your kids or your aged parents. Unless of course they refuse to take coats then you bring their coat for them anyways (my solution and it works, hehe). Great, you are ready for Zion. You just have to rewrite what is written on your belief window. You must see everyone as your child, as your parents, as your brother and sisters. My mission president told us that, “Until you realize that God cares as much about that homeless man as he does about any one else, you won’t understand anything.” Or something similar to that. You already have it in your heart. You just need to have a paradigm shift in regards to how you view everyone else.

“You look at your brother man, you gotta see yourself”

“Gotta see the God within him”

Retrospect for Life by Common

This is the beginning of the establishment of Zion.

Can you tell which group you want to be a part of?

It is the fashion in the world to embrace men in their faith, or a fine meeting house, or a genteel congregation, thinking, “O, what perfect order, and how pretty they look; how straight they walk to meeting, and how long their faces are during the services; how pretty that deacon looks under the pulpit; the people are so pretty, the meeting house is so nice, that we want to join such pretty people.” Such feelings will take a people to hell. Embrace a doctrine that will purge sin and iniquity from your hearts, and sanctify you before God, and you are right, no matter how others act. (Brigham Young; JD 4:78)

Do we really want to be a part of Zion or Babylon. I’d say Babylon. That’s what I choose on a daily basis. I have been a very selfish and horrible person. I have been greedy and ungrateful. I have turned my back on my friends. I have had the attitude that Saturdays are MY day off. I take advantage and pretty consistently take my boys outdoors, hiking, the beach, snowboarding, swimming, climbing trees, whatever. There is nothing wrong with those things. They are great things. But I have been complaining about how no one is living a Christ like life and how Sundays suck and are so boring at Church and how I’d rather be helping the homeless, visiting the old folks homes and the orphans, widows and sick. Why the heck haven’t I been doing that on Saturdays? I want to raise my boys in Zion, yet I don’t raise them in a Zionistic way now? Wow. I have been very hypocritical. But no one else is getting off the hook either, we’ve all been pathetic and denied our own heritage as Gods in progress.

So Thursday last week, my wife and I didn’t turn the TV on or watch something on Hulu, we talked with each other. I bugged her and got her to let me read her the recent post on Finding Mormonism. Then we spoke about how we’ve treated the poor and needy. We made plans to go and be with the homeless of Seattle on Saturday. We planned on making some sandwiches, bringing fruit and water bottles, buying some blankets or rain gear. Then we tried to work out the logistics of what we’ll do after hanging out with them and how to go forward if they want to get a job and a place to live. We thought about where to cleaned up and get a shave/haircut and shower and some new clothes, how to get a phone to contact them about jobs. What jobs they can or want to do. We didn’t talk about it, but I thought about living conditions. Until they can afford it, why should I spend my money on things, when it could be used to help shelter my friends? Except I couldn’t even afford to live in the downtown myself. Hmm? Move to the suburbs? Well, it got to the point of we can’t figure all of it out, we’ll just have to follow the Spirit and figure out as we go along.

We were gonna head to downtown Seattle last Saturday but we didn’t make it, and this whole week my boys have been begging to go and give manzanas and sandwiches to the callejeros. I was never raised like that, my family would scold my grandma for giving money to homeless people who would ask us for it. So yesterday we headed downtown with a couple backpacks full of sandwiches my boys and I made, some fruit and H2O. It was great. It wasn’t even hard to do. Like most new things, I got a little tingle in my stomach of nervousness. But it was great and the most fulfilling and productive Saturday morning for our tribe in a long time.

I love Jack Johnson. Look into him. He donates al the money from his concerts to local sustainable businesses. He enjoys his life with his family and the incredible nature of Hawaii. Ya he’s successful in music and surfing but I still feel that he would have been completely happy living the same life he lives now without the public success.  His music is full of scripture as given to us through him.


Look at all those fancy clothes,
But these could keep us warm just like those.
And what about your soul? Is it cold?
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?
And cars and phones and diamond rings,
Bling, bling, those are only removable things.
And what about your mind? Does it shine?
Are there things that concern you, more than your time?
The change will happen…go for it.

2 thoughts on “Being One

  1. First of all, I just want to say it’s awesome that you got out there with your boys and did some good.

    I’m paraphrasing, but I really like your statement: Religion teaches obedience, but Christ taught love. That says it all. Anyone who has ever had a sublime spiritual experience knows that the most important thing in life is not to blindly, unquestioningly ‘be good’; it is to love one another. Someday, as a species, we’re going to laugh at all this fuss we made about religion. It doesn’t matter if you are Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or Jew–spiritual experiences happen to all of us, and just because a Jew has a profound mystical experience does not mean he converts to Christianity and vice versa.

    I may be crazy, but I don’t even think Mormonism should be a religion. If I went out there as missionary, I would have one objective: To be salt. I would go out there to make Muslims better Muslims, Jews better Jews, and Hindus better Hindus…because religion only matters insofar as it is the vehicle with which you draw nearer to God. EVERYBODY’s religion is dead to them until it is magnified by the presence of God in their life. When you render service to a fellow human being, you have become Christ in that moment; that is the pure religion. It has nothing to do with creeds or dogmas or moral prescriptions. Mormonism isn’t about dogmas or even beliefs; it’s about exploration.

    I like how you said that to be a Zion-people, “you must see everyone as your child, as your parents, as your brother and sisters.” I truly believe people ask the wrong question about Mormonism. I was listening to Bill Maher talk absolute crap about Mormonism today. And I realized we all look at Mormonism (and Christianity) in completely the wrong way. We’ve got two major camps. We’ve got the camp that says “it’s true, and I know it,” and the much bigger, “It’s absurd, and I know it.” And yet, Christ taught us ‘by their fruits shall ye know them’. Why not judge the religion strictly upon its own merits? What is Mormonism trying to accomplish? What was Joseph Smith trying to accomplish?

    Two things come to mind. First, “The Glory of God is Intelligence.” We spend so much time ruminating over the meaning of life, when in fact, the meaning of life is to do precisely what we’ve been doing all along: The meaning of life is to grow–in all directions–like a tree, and remember: It takes a village to raise a child. Aren’t we all children in the eyes God?

    The second one cannot be summed up in a single verse. The idea, however, is that we don’t go it alone. We are not truly saved until the people we care about are saved–we save each other by following Christ’s teachings and example. Enoch didn’t ascend to heaven by himself; a whole city followed after him. D&C 130 reads “This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal…and this earth will be Christ’s.” I cut out what many people think is the meat of that verse, but I wanted to draw attention to the lovely bookends. WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE! WE DO NOT DIE AND RETURN TO LIVE WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER! This Earth is our kingdom, eternally. The only way we are going to be saved is if we make this Earth a better place to live.

    Those are two things, albeit undervalued, that make Mormonism a beautiful religion. Despite the factory-approach, despite the pressure to fit the mold, Mormonism used to be about boundless human potential, self-actualization, eternal progression, etc. We erroneously think we attain this through strict obedience. No, it really isn’t as complicated as keeping track of a gazillion commandments that are a perpetual source of guilt and shame in our lives. The greatest commandment is really the greatest “non-commandment”. Has it ever occurred to us that nobody can be commanded to ‘love one another’? Why does that not occur to us? Nobody can make you love anybody, nor can they make you hate anybody. It’s this HUGE paradox that the majority of us remain unaware of.

    Obedience (to whom/what?) is merely one step in our progression. You cannot be saved by obedience because love is not an act of obedience. It is a state of being that all of the lesser commandments (the “thou shalt not”s) point to. All those other commandments do is clear a path, and really, they can be summed up with “Don’t f#@k with people”. They clear a path that makes genuine love possible,

    I don’t know if Jesus was the Son of God. I don’t know if he really pulled off all those miracles. Yet, I am his loyal disciple–because he STILL has so much to teach us. We are only scratching the surface. We are infants. We don’t see the implications of Christ message–that it will bring about a Celestial Kingdom upon this Earth. When we are together, not in heaven, but on this Earth, WE WILL BE GOD. That’s how it works.

    The gospel means “good news”. Mormon, Joseph told us, means “More good”. There must be something special about the word ‘good’, no? Mormonism needs only be judged by one criterion. Is it good? What is good about it? What is not good about it?

    ‘True’ has nothing to do with it.

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