Random thoughts...

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Thinker
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Random thoughts...

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What if each person means well?
A voice in my head is questioning me, “No, the adversary is real. Not everyone means well. Don’t be so naive.”

In dealing with a difficult person who has hurt me a lot, I have thought and prayed and realized that for my sanity, I need to forgive (“give” to go “for”ward). And to forgive, I need to try to understand where they’re coming from. Much of it is guessing since I haven’t experienced all they have, but I came to consider that maybe it’s like this... They show the tip of an iceberg as fine - good persona/facade to most. But to those who see beneath it and confront them on anything, they reveal evil. But each layer is based on fear that makes them blind to their own evil - so they may think they’re doing good but really, they’re hurting people. They have done so much evil and pushed negative feelings (their conscience) away so many times that even if they didn’t struggle with emotion, they’d still be overwhelmed. Unfortunately many never - in their entire lives - dig deeper to discover that beneath all of that, they are indeed a child of God with inherent worth and are greatly loved unconditionally.

Maybe...each of us are doing our best to strive for what we believe is best, based on our unique perspectives. That’s not to suggest anything goes. We need to stand up for what we think is right - but ideally, we each give each other the trust that we’re doing the best we can at this time - in our fumbling human ways.

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Re: Random thoughts...

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Is prayer “confirmation bias”?
In discussions with Atheists, I’ve often heard similar to what I just read:
  • “People in desperate or unfortunate situations are driven to attempt to do anything they believe could help alleviate their suffering/situation, and thus find hope in prayer, which likewise, now they find 'hope' in their life. Faith as psychological trickery.”
This thought is not for the faint of heart - which is why I’m posting it here. How much can your faith be tested and not be crushed? How firm is your foundation - really? Do you care more what others think than what God thinks? Who is God - you really don’t know - nobody does. So, how can you have a firm faith in what you don’t know?

It’s true that we turn to that which helps reduce our suffering. When we’re tired, we sleep... when hungry, we eat. Yes, those are more tangible problems and solutions, than psychological or spiritual problems & solutions. But it’s also true that to some degree, the others can be “all in your head” - based on beliefs, too. Some eat when they’re not hungry or starve themselves when they are. Belief is powerful.

You could say that prayer is “psychological trickery” but given our subjectively limited perspectives - we cannot help but trick ourselves psychologically. The question is whether we are aiming our “biased” beliefs in dysfunctional or healthy ways. Some have argued they would never believe something that wasn’t true - but that is false. Often emotional overreactions are belief in what is not entirely true.

So, what about God? Defining God is never-ending. Ideally, you’re always open to learning more about God - truth and love. But also ideally, you always trust in what you’ve learned so far about God - and build on that foundation. Dogmatic definitions are generally imaginations of god made by mob mentality and - when tested - fail. To have a firmer foundation, it must be personal and experiential.

When my faith has been tested and is weak, even to believing in God, I remember overwhelming evidence of intelligent design. When I’m feeling more faith, I’m more connected to the kingdom of God within, God’s unconditional love for me - and my capacity to share that love. I realize this is a subjective belief - but that’s the nature of God and love. And the fruit (or result) of this belief is GOoD.

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I have spent some time pondering about whether anyone is actually "truly" evil, or just hurt and separated from their heart and God. I still haven't come to any conclusion. If you truly believed there was no hope for you and felt no joy, love, faith, goodness of any sort, wouldn't you or I do whatever it took to feel something, anything good? Even if that good was a satiation of lust, relief of pain, release of awful feelings, or some kind of escape?

Some people are such good deceivers, liars, con artists, I have known a few who I couldn't believe had any good left in them as their intentions all seemed malicious, terrifyingly evil. Maybe they were seeking to gratify some part of them that felt good in a way, seeking to please a master?

But then I think that I could never do those things no matter how hurt, deceived, blinded I was. I don't know, because I've never had it so bad. I have wanted to hurt others. I have hurt others intentionally, chasing revenge, attention, spite. But nothing so terrible. I couldn't live with myself. But these kind of people don't want to be alive, right? But they can't bring themselves to search out death, either.

Some provocative thoughts you bring up.

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The Airbender wrote: April 1st, 2019, 11:31 pm I have spent some time pondering about whether anyone is actually "truly" evil, or just hurt and separated from their heart and God. I still haven't come to any conclusion. If you truly believed there was no hope for you and felt no joy, love, faith, goodness of any sort, wouldn't you or I do whatever it took to feel something, anything good? Even if that good was a satiation of lust, relief of pain, release of awful feelings, or some kind of escape?

Some people are such good deceivers, liars, con artists, I have known a few who I couldn't believe had any good left in them as their intentions all seemed malicious, terrifyingly evil. Maybe they were seeking to gratify some part of them that felt good in a way, seeking to please a master?

But then I think that I could never do those things no matter how hurt, deceived, blinded I was. I don't know, because I've never had it so bad. I have wanted to hurt others. I have hurt others intentionally, chasing revenge, attention, spite. But nothing so terrible. I couldn't live with myself. But these kind of people don't want to be alive, right? But they can't bring themselves to search out death, either.

Some provocative thoughts you bring up.
I know what you mean. Some things some people have done - I don’t understand how they could do such things. But I do understand that abused children who haven’t healed and learned better tend to grow up and repeat the abuse. This is why self-awareness (psych-ology “study of the soul”) is imperative in many ways.

Somewhere I read how everyone’s selfish and does things for selfish reasons. Everyone - even the most saintly person would not do good if it didn’t give them some sense of satisfaction. There’s smart selfishness (which considers the interdependence we have with others) and stupid selfish (which is more short sighted).

Another factor is awareness. One of my kids is kind of absent minded. He throws dirty clothes with clean clothes - not to annoy me - but because he’s just not thinking. Hopefully as he grows up, he’ll learn to be more conscientious. I have also been less conscientious than ideal - I used to often fail to think ahead. We all don’t consider everything. Some seem to have moral blind spots - seemingly because they never learned better as children and as adults haven’t made the effort to correct bad habits. The more they push away their responsibility and hurt others, the more evil they spread. Yet, they “know not what they do” - if they really knew and FELT the damage they were causing, they wouldn’t do it.

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It's true. When you say they know not what they do, I've long believe that the "Final Judgement" will consist of everyone you ever hurt appearing before you and causing you to feel exactly how you made them feel. Then, we will appear before everyone that ever hurt us and cause them to know how they made us feel. At that point it will just be begging for forgiveness from either side.

The Savior will then say, "I will forgive you if you will forgive them". Something like that has been my idea of the final judgement.

I once wrote an article about how the Atonement was a selfish act because if it didn't benefit the Savior, he wouldn't have done it. He gets a reward- us. Without us, apparently, heaven wouldn't be as good as it is, right? If something doesn't benefit us in some way, we would never do it. I don't think that is a bad thing. I think it makes sense in this life and eternally. What would be the point of sitting in the closet and stabbing yourself with needles in the dark, for example? It doesn't make you or anyone else feel good. Now, sitting in the closet and stabbing yourself with needles to forget about emotional pain, or to make someone feel bad because they know what you are doing and it makes them want to help you, sure.

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Re: Random thoughts...

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TheAirbender,
That’s probably true - after this life, we’ll likely understand more fully the consequences of our actions - both good and bad. I’ve been reading about NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and someone was made aware of how the same phenomenon may be taken very differently. They explained that after death, whatever evil or “dark/shadow” aspects left with us are taken from us. Those who struggled and tried their best, for years, to overcome and heal, felt as if angels were taking a huge weight off their shoulders. Those who hadn’t tried to overcome and were even in denial that they had problems - felt as if demons were ripping at them. Same phenomenon - very different experiences of it.

Last Sunday, in church, someone quoted what I believe to be an anti-Christ teaching in suggesting people NOT explore their psych-ology (study of their soul) but rather only look to scriptures. While I love many scriptures, essentially they are like psychology or philosophy - written by fallible human beings. Nephi begins with this disclaimer. I look for and try to incorporate & apply truth - WHEREVER it’s found.

My favorite scriptures are Christ’s teachings in the NT. When I consider deeper meaning of his parables, I see how crucial it is to explore our thoughts and emotions - to get a handle on them, rather than be ruled by them. I also see the tendency back then & now, for religious leaders to misguide away from the experience of God within. They want the glory - they want people depended and looking to them, rather than to God. Not always - but too often.

A thought I had regarding love being tested is something I still struggle with. I want to think I love without conditions, but I do have conditions - sometimes trivial ones. Since I was little, I’ve sympathized with underdogs - especially the poor. The 1st time I visited a very poor foreign area, I was so humbled by their lack that I gave almost everything I had with me - my clothes, soap etc. I felt so much love and compassion... until ;) ... a lady in this poor area incorrectly criticized me. She was telling me that I should always place my baby on their stomach to sleep. I explained how a baby in my extended family died of SIDS & risks of that include them laying on their stomach. She still insisted. And I found my feelings of compassion and love failing such a simple test.

Richard Bach said that the main question God will ask us is how well did we love - what was the quality of our love? I suppose we only know by it being tested.

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Re: Random thoughts...

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Are Christ’s suffering, death & resurrection meant to be “likened to us”?
All scriptures are, right?
When I deeply thought about it, I realized taking it literally was actually anti-Christ. God requiring human sacrifice? When God is LOVE & commanded “thou shalt not kill”? And scapegoating? We all screw up regularly but it allows us to humbly learn... real evil is shifting blame to make another pay.

So... if not literal, what does it all mean? This is “meat” - deeper things many miss - to their detriment. God’s plan & life are about progress. We’re happiest when we’re moving forward & upward. This never ends. Nobody becomes perfect and without need of progress - no matter age 5 or 95. Scripture calls this being born again, and again... doing away with old wine bottles for new. Letting go of old lesser ways - for better. Jordan Peterson said,
  • “The death & ressurection of Jesus Christ symbolizes the necessity of the psyche to undergo a sequence of deaths & rebirths in the attainment of the ideal.”
Still, this good news doesn’t necessarily require doing away with so much that has been built around the literal interpretations - like Sacrament. But I do think it takes practice in looking for deeper meaning, being open to more. Bread symbolizes the essence of life - and could inspire appreciation of the miraculous bodies with which God’s blessed us. Water is significant not just physically (making up most of our bodies & world) but it also represents the subconscious... or as Christ may have symbolically referred to in telling Peter to cast his net to the water on the right side of the boat - for abundance... the right side of the brain - the more abstract, spiritual side.

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Thinker wrote: April 13th, 2019, 7:33 am Are Christ’s suffering, death & resurrection meant to be “likened to us”?
All scriptures are, right?
When I deeply thought about it, I realized taking it literally was actually anti-Christ. God requiring human sacrifice? When God is LOVE & commanded “thou shalt not kill”? And scapegoating? We all screw up regularly but it allows us to humbly learn... real evil is shifting blame to make another pay.
What price would YOU pay for someone else's happiness and fulfillment? Have you ever loved, cherished and esteemed someone else more than yourself? In this life, the innate instinct is for "self preservation." This is the basis of the majority of our efforts, right? It is one thing to share an ice cream cone with someone else if you have one, as well - but to give them the only one that you have . . . that requires something a little more of us; self-sacrifice. What is the personal benefit derived from self-sacrifice? Does one have to be a masochist to do so? Certainly we recognize that true "EVIL" means to L.I.V.E. backwards, (yes, go ahead and turn the word around and read it from back to front - E.V.I.L.) True evil is sadistic . . . deriving pleasure, happiness, joy and "fulfillment" of that "personal benefit" of causing another harm and being satisfied because of it. Herein lies the "blood lust" of beholding the pain, misery and suffering of another and relishing being the author of it. It is for this reason that God has to get off the "tracks" as it were and allow the evil to destroy the evil in a continual "train wreck" of violence, compulsion and control.

The Journey of Christ IS our journey as well. His suffering ought to be our suffering - the Just for the unjust; the Good for the bad; the Innocent for the profane. In the contemplation of His life and example, we gain a little "humanity" in realizing - (One can only comprehend what one is or has been,) the tragedy of human suffering of the innocent and undeserving. That moment afforded us before the linen covered emblems of His physicality - the "Bread" and the "Water;" Body and Blood - we partake of His "essence." It is more than a brief "snack" provided for the curious, but a REAL ingestion of His nature by taking Him within ourselves; REMEMBERING the journey and being "BORN;" adopted and renewed in empathy, compassion and love. Do you have empathy, compassion and love for Christ? Do you wish in your contemplation, that you could run and raise the sufferer up? Do you wish that you could take His place so that He didn't have to suffer? Does His treatment by wicked, evil men, cause you to become ill as you witness it within your mind? Is it inhumane? Do you realize that you have added to His suffering? Do you hear His words for YOUR ears, "Forgive ________, for he/she knows not what they do?" It is only in exploring, contemplating and "digesting" these things that one can take upon themselves an understanding of a Godly nature. The bread, proceeded by the water - is a miniature "baptism" that takes place within us that can spring forth into a further renewal of the Spirit. HIS Spirit . . . not the "Testator" Spirit . . . is the one that becomes another endowment. The First Comforter is the Holy Ghost, the Second Comforter is the Spirit of Christ that comes by being, thusly, reborn of Him. He is received through "His" "ingestion" and contemplation (of Him.) It is He who is able to transform and change human behavior. He is able to fill a "hole" with a "whole."

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BruceRGilbert wrote: April 14th, 2019, 2:32 pm
Thinker wrote: April 13th, 2019, 7:33 am Are Christ’s suffering, death & resurrection meant to be “likened to us”?
All scriptures are, right?
When I deeply thought about it, I realized taking it literally was actually anti-Christ. God requiring human sacrifice? When God is LOVE & commanded “thou shalt not kill”? And scapegoating? We all screw up regularly but it allows us to humbly learn... real evil is shifting blame to make another pay.
What price would YOU pay for someone else's happiness and fulfillment? Have you ever loved, cherished and esteemed someone else more than yourself? In this life, the innate instinct is for "self preservation." This is the basis of the majority of our efforts, right? It is one thing to share an ice cream cone with someone else if you have one, as well - but to give them the only one that you have . . . that requires something a little more of us; self-sacrifice. What is the personal benefit derived from self-sacrifice? Does one have to be a masochist to do so? Certainly we recognize that true "EVIL" means to L.I.V.E. backwards, (yes, go ahead and turn the word around and read it from back to front - E.V.I.L.) True evil is sadistic . . . deriving pleasure, happiness, joy and "fulfillment" of that "personal benefit" of causing another harm and being satisfied because of it. Herein lies the "blood lust" of beholding the pain, misery and suffering of another and relishing being the author of it. It is for this reason that God has to get off the "tracks" as it were and allow the evil to destroy the evil in a continual "train wreck" of violence, compulsion and control.

The Journey of Christ IS our journey as well. His suffering ought to be our suffering - the Just for the unjust; the Good for the bad; the Innocent for the profane. In the contemplation of His life and example, we gain a little "humanity" in realizing - (One can only comprehend what one is or has been,) the tragedy of human suffering of the innocent and undeserving. That moment afforded us before the linen covered emblems of His physicality - the "Bread" and the "Water;" Body and Blood - we partake of His "essence." It is more than a brief "snack" provided for the curious, but a REAL ingestion of His nature by taking Him within ourselves; REMEMBERING the journey and being "BORN;" adopted and renewed in empathy, compassion and love. Do you have empathy, compassion and love for Christ? Do you wish in your contemplation, that you could run and raise the sufferer up? Do you wish that you could take His place so that He didn't have to suffer? Does His treatment by wicked, evil men, cause you to become ill as you witness it within your mind? Is it inhumane? Do you realize that you have added to His suffering? Do you hear His words for YOUR ears, "Forgive ________, for he/she knows not what they do?" It is only in exploring, contemplating and "digesting" these things that one can take upon themselves an understanding of a Godly nature. The bread, proceeded by the water - is a miniature "baptism" that takes place within us that can spring forth into a further renewal of the Spirit. HIS Spirit . . . not the "Testator" Spirit . . . is the one that becomes another endowment. The First Comforter is the Holy Ghost, the Second Comforter is the Spirit of Christ that comes by being, thusly, reborn of Him. He is received through "His" "ingestion" and contemplation (of Him.) It is He who is able to transform and change human behavior. He is able to fill a "hole" with a "whole."
His Spirit is received as another endowment in the realization that His wounds are "ours," as well. (Double entendre)

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Re: Random thoughts...

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Thinker wrote: March 30th, 2019, 5:27 pm What if each person means well?
A voice in my head,
but,

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BruceRGilbert wrote: April 14th, 2019, 2:32 pmDo you realize that you have added to His suffering?
Bruce, I appreciate and agree with most of what you beautifully wrote, except the above, which may be a significant leg of the table. How can I hurt someone who lived 2,000 years ago? I can understand how people in the past have contributed -in various degrees- to some culmination of suffering - and joy. But time moves forward not backward. And I just don’t believe any one person can or ought to be a scapegoat. I used to believe in the Atonement, but I simply don’t see it as moral or reasonable - and not of God, despite it being a popular belief.

God is love - and created us as imperfect works in progress. Why would God then require human sacrifice to be appeased for his creation? And for us to shift the blame to a human sacrifice seems contrary to Christ’s teachings of response-ability.

Maybe what the problem is in part, is inability to handle the paradox that we are BOTH inherently imperfect and able to improve. “What imperfection hates the most is imperfection.” It requires constant - relentless - balance of humbly accepting what we cannot change, while having courage to change what we can (from the Serenity prayer). As hard as we try, we always fall short of our ideals - and that can feel very painful and unresolved - so maybe the idea of a Savior to save us from ourselves - helps us feel ok despite imperfection.

I can also understand the need to feel a sense of justice when you’ve been badly hurt. Also, there are needs for comfort when feeling overwhelming regret. And of course, a physical man, Jesus, is more relatable than an abstract God.

As with much spiritual truth, there are layers of understanding. I can see benefit in believing in the literal idea of Christ as human sacrifice, but I believe that is only a layer to believe until one can handle more. And the more is as you implied - really following Christ - his journey is our journey.

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Thinker wrote: April 15th, 2019, 1:18 pm
BruceRGilbert wrote: April 14th, 2019, 2:32 pmDo you realize that you have added to His suffering?
Bruce, I appreciate and agree with most of what you beautifully wrote, except the above, which may be a significant leg of the table. How can I hurt someone who lived 2,000 years ago? I can understand how people in the past have contributed -in various degrees- to some culmination of suffering - and joy. But time moves forward not backward. And I just don’t believe any one person can or ought to be a scapegoat. I used to believe in the Atonement, but I simply don’t see it as moral or reasonable - and not of God, despite it being a popular belief.

God is love - and created us as imperfect works in progress. Why would God then require human sacrifice to be appeased for his creation? And for us to shift the blame to a human sacrifice seems contrary to Christ’s teachings of response-ability.

Maybe what the problem is in part, is inability to handle the paradox that we are BOTH inherently imperfect and able to improve. “What imperfection hates the most is imperfection.” It requires constant - relentless - balance of humbly accepting what we cannot change, while having courage to change what we can (from the Serenity prayer). As hard as we try, we always fall short of our ideals - and that can feel very painful and unresolved - so maybe the idea of a Savior to save us from ourselves - helps us feel ok despite imperfection.

I can also understand the need to feel a sense of justice when you’ve been badly hurt. Also, there are needs for comfort when feeling overwhelming regret. And of course, a physical man, Jesus, is more relatable than an abstract God.

As with much spiritual truth, there are layers of understanding. I can see benefit in believing in the literal idea of Christ as human sacrifice, but I believe that is only a layer to believe until one can handle more. And the more is as you implied - really following Christ - his journey is our journey.
Some people think the atonement will continue until the second coming.

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A very key, compelling presentation of evidence regarding the "supernatural" nature of Jeshua's mission resides in the research done on the linen burial cloths: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo. With today's technology, we are, yet, to be able to produce such an image having holographic, x-ray, negative photographic information combined, as the Shroud of Turin . . . not to mention the vast forensic evidence of pollen and blood stains consistent with the narrative. It, further, testifies of "ultraviolet" radiation originating within the body that was, therein, wrapped. It witnesses of the resurrection and the wavelength is consistent of that which would be created by oscillating DNA strands. Jeshua, Jesus, was no ordinary man.

I would invite you to do some research with respect to these artifacts and determine their veracity for yourself.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/v ... saoffblock

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Thinker, I have neglected to address a key component, as well. It wasn't God that required the sacrifice of the Son to make appeasement, but Satan. He inflicted his wrath upon the Savior, trying to break Him . . . He could not, and, hereby, the Savior was able to take the keys of death and hell away from their author.

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harakim wrote: April 18th, 2019, 9:49 am Some people think the atonement will continue until the second coming.
The atonement is infinite . . . having no bounds either in time or space.

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Thanks for the comments and kindness.

I’m thinking maybe I need a Heretical Heretic sub-sub forum.
Sorry, but I simply don’t believe in human sacrifice nor scapegoating.
I believe in Christ and his good teachings, but human sacrifice and scapegoating don’t seem of God to me. The Catholic church probably added that, as they added and warped other teachings of Christ.

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Thinker, allow me to do an examination for discovery, then. Do you believe that Yeshua Ben David, (Jesus of Nazareth,) was the Son of God? Do you believe that He was crucified and that He rose from the dead on the third day?
1 Corinthians 13:
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
There are aspects of your paradigm, Thinker, that I agree with. There was a time when I needed to be "covered" during my probation. The Savior did that for me, until I found my footing. The "mature" spirit wishes to be responsible and no longer under grace; does not take liberty to cause injury to another. I view that maturity within you.

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And so we go into review mode. There is a "continuum" of intelligences in existence; beginning with the naive and simple to the mature and complex. The following graphic is what I call "progression and digression" and shows the dichotomy between what "unifies" and what "separates" intelligences; the things that make the difference between order and chaos:

Image

Image

I have spoken of these things in other places on this website. I present them here, again, because it is imperative to realize that Heavenly Father is reaching out to "organize" this "fallen, chaotic" place into something redeemable. Because there is such a gamut of intelligences; spirits and we are aware of the means by which Father communicates:
2 Nephi 31:
3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
We can recognize that God will use whatever means He deems appropriate to communicate depending upon "where" an intelligence is in their progression. The repertoire is going to include "FEAR."
Doctrine and Covenants 43:
24 O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!

25 How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!
. . . and so . . . when I was a child, I needed to understand in my childish vernacular.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:
89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.

90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.

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BruceRGilbert
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Re: Random thoughts...

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Last edited by BruceRGilbert on April 23rd, 2019, 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Thinker
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Re: Random thoughts...

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Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate that you understand kind of where I’m coming from. And I agree that there are different degrees of understanding or maturity.

When feeling desperate for relief from crushing pain, I can see how coping methods like belief in a Savior helps. Even if it’s going along with the herd mentality of believing God requires human sacrifice & scapegoating - it’s a better means of coping than drugs & other addictions. However, it’s temporary. It’s postponing the at-one-ment or reconciliation that only you can do. Nobody can exercise for you & nobody can do the inner work for you. In this sense, the belief in human sacrifice/scapegoating is damning - holding people back spiritually.

Many would disagree with that ^. They’d accuse me of denying Christ and other dogmatic put-downs that are actually hypocritical in that they are denying their own God-given power to really follow Christ. “Feelings buried alive never die” - not even if you try to shift them to a scapegoat. So many lack self-awareness - & then blame others in their projections. I’m told I must take the higher road - but that’s not easy & I often fail miserably.

So much of this is old to me. I realized this years ago but I find myself distracted, debating with others (metaphorically) why planting seeds make sense - or even if there are seeds - rather than just planting them. Too often I’ve exerted energy in vain - misapplied- because it often backfires - but you know, “good to plant seeds.” I need to be like a pioneer again - chart new territory... that’s the gospel: perpetually discovering good news. But this new territory seems even less unknown by others. Before, I’d found some - even if relatively few.

I like what you wrote about order and chaos. You might like what Jordan Peterson said about that. You need both - chaos & order - like yin and yang & opposites. Chaos is needed to explore new and progress... & order is needed to make sense of it and keep God (or highest GOoD) front & center.

I suppose the goal is to achieve or acknowledge at-one-ment. Not just fix mistakes, but also realizing you’re never alone (too bad for introverts! ;) ). Literally, you always have other life forms with you - trillions of microbes and your body is like a world in itself of various groups (systems). Spiritually, I suppose, is a similar phenomenon. I believe (& it makes sense) that we have spiritual family that have deeper connections than physical family.

When I had my faith crisis, I told a friend (who had helped me see more) how I felt so alone. She said, “Think of that word... alone... all-one.” Sounds nice but feeling alone doesn’t always respond to niceties. There needs to be some reason mixed with faith.

I think maybe getting deeper into applying the at-one-ment is realizing how we’re all similar and connected. This sounds easy but often it isn’t. “In each of us is a bit of all of us.” There was this hypothetical story of a man after dying going to heaven or the spirit world only to be told he’d now be going as a different person & how he had been or would be every single person on this earth. When you consider how after death - each of us goes back to the God of our origin - you can see some truth in that story. Also, you can see truth of it when realizing we are often God’s hands in answering (or failing to answer) one another’s prayers.

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BruceRGilbert
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Re: Random thoughts...

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Thinker wrote: April 20th, 2019, 5:56 pm When feeling desperate for relief from crushing pain, I can see how coping methods like belief in a Savior helps. Even if it’s going along with the herd mentality of believing God requires human sacrifice & scapegoating - it’s a better means of coping than drugs & other addictions. However, it’s temporary. It’s postponing the at-one-ment or reconciliation that only you can do. Nobody can exercise for you & nobody can do the inner work for you. In this sense, the belief in human sacrifice/scapegoating is damning - holding people back spiritually.
Oh, Thinker, how I wish that you could discern "fully" the wisdom of God . . . I believe that you are approaching it and I pray that in some small way, I might be of assistance in helping your understanding grow . . . in this thing. There IS a Savior and He is Jeshua. I lament greatly that clarity isn't had with respect to the "process." I lament because of the weakness that is mine in expressing my understanding with clarity. I wish to try another approach . . . I believe that Heavenly Father is attempting to teach us about our hypocrisy. When we discover it, the realization has power to transform us.

I recall a treatise that was written by, I believe, Joel Skousen, on the meaning of the endowment. This person mentioned that in the beginning, God is mockingly giving us a "grip" on things that is "faulty" and that over the course of things, it becomes more sure. With that perspective in mind, I am going to proceed "line upon line" with the hope that it is going to make sense and "jell" as to why the Savior needed to come, here, to this place and do what He did.

Initially, (please follow the "procession of endowments,") we were given in the pre-mortal sphere where we weren't known by our present names, an "endowment" of the Light of Christ. Upon entering our mortality and assuming our "veiled" consciousness and waking identity, we recognize this "gift" as our conscience. By working with our conscience and learning line upon line and precept upon precept, we learn about what is good and what is bad . . . what works and provides "happiness" and "satisfaction," and what doesn't work and provides "sadness" and "disappointment." In due course, you and I, by following this "pre-mortal endowment," have "recognized" a "Perfect Example" in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who was a legitimate, historical person who, by substantiated testimony - physical and material - performed "supernatural" healings and "Telestial" resurrections - resurrecting Himself and ascending into . . . Heaven, as witnessed by 500 people. By virtue of this "Recognition," we consented to take upon ourselves, His name and were baptized of water in the display of our faith in Him. At this point, we became "justified by faith." We received the Second Endowment by ordinance of confirmation and laying on of hands - by obedience and sacrifice - even, The Holy Ghost; Testator and First Comforter. By virtue of "Association" with the Holy Ghost, we, further, sanctify ourselves by partaking of "sanctified" emblems of Jesus' physicality; by the ordinance of the sacrament - with the purpose of having His Spirit to be with us - this is the Third Endowment. "His Spirit" is not just the Holy Ghost, but literally, "His Spirit." This is the Second Comforter. "His Spirit" is had by "remembering Him." It is the "whenever two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be, also" confirmation that teaches us by "Association," the type of person that we need to be like. We become "Holy" through "setting ourselves apart" by our worthy partaking of these emblems and by remembering and we become "set apart spiritually" by the reception of "His Spirit." As we follow this "process," there will be the reception of the "Fourth Endowment," which will be when the veil is pierced and we behold His very presence. It will be the time when our behavior "Emulates" His. We will see Him in the flesh, when we become like Him; being of the same mind and heart; Pure.

We have to get beyond this notion that God did the sacrifice of His Son. That is not the case. God did not require it, circumstances did. God knew that they would and never at any time did He negate or interfere with the agency or choice of Jeshua. The Savior had an understanding from the beginning of what was to transpire. (Note that I said "understanding . . . for the reality of it was much more.)

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Comprehension is an "intelligence" thing having to do with the ability to "recognize;" Understanding is a "spiritual" thing having to do with the ability to "associate," and Realizing is a "physical / soul" thing having to do with "emulating" or "performing." Yeah, He was surprised by what was before Him and He supplicated that the bitter cup be removed.
Doctrine and Covenants 19:
15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
Before, I had made a distinction between the Bread or Flesh; immortality/resurrection and the Water; eternal life/purification aspects of the Sacrament. I attempted to illustrate that the former had to do with "willingness" to accept and the latter had to do with "actually" accepting. The Garden experience and the act of "purification by sprinkling" is reserved for those who are heirs of Celestial glory; those who "Emulate" and behave as He would have us . . . like Him . . . an act of agency.

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