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Mark Beesley

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Everything posted by Mark Beesley

  1. That is a wonderful, inspiring and confirming experience. And you are right, it seems to be happening more and more. The heavens truly are open to those willing to listen. I would be interested if there are any other Latter-day Saints on the Board who believes this is a correct statement. It seems to me to go counter to everything the Prophet stood for.
  2. In answer to your question, I would refer you to the scriptures which tell us how to judge.
  3. Are you certain this is a doctrinally sound statement? (See D&C 121 generally.) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the only entity receiving revelation. And the Prophet is not the only member of the Church receiving revelation. There are undoubtedly true doctrines which have been revealed to others, but they are laid under a strict command not to impart . . . etc. (See Alma 12:9.) But perhaps we are speaking past one another in how we understand the word doctrine. Anyway, I know the Lord has revealed truths to me which are not generally taught in the Church. I accept such revelation as doctrine, but perhaps I shouldn’t.
  4. It is important to keep good relations with everyone, but most importantly with family. It is helpful to share truth with others. But everything we do with non-member family and friends should be calculated to get them to pick up the Book of Mormon and start to earnestly read it. Arguments about the Trinity and the truly incomprehensible nature of God are contentious and should be avoided. Avoid sharing General Conference talks as an initial conversion tool, for just the reason you identified. What may inspire one may be off-putting to another. My opinion as to what constitutes a true Christian is the same as God’s, i.e., whomever He judges to be a true Christian, I agree. (I suspect there are many who we identify as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. But since God looks at the heart . . .)
  5. Of course, the challenge is discerning what is doctrine and what is policy. What is immutable and what is subject to change? Things we may have believed were immutable change. Ask BRM. Most critical is keeping open communications between ourselves and the He who reveals all truth, and be teachable.
  6. I don’t argue. I state as plainly as possible what God has revealed to me, insofar as is permissible. To the extent my opinions may color what I eventually share, that is where reliance on the Spirit may be helpful for you and others.
  7. I would be careful about imposing limits on God. Many scriptures are vague enough to allow for multiple meanings, depending on the needs of the Lord and His people. Imposing rigid, one meaning, strictures on anything the Lord reveals shuts us off from new truths the Lord wants to reveal. The key is simple—rely on the Lord to reveal what He meant by that verse for me, personally.
  8. This verse is intriguing, Jesus wept. From the context, it is not clear what precipitated the Savior’s tears, nor whether they were tears of happiness, sadness, or pain. I shed lots of tears, most are joyful, some are remorse. How we interpret His tears is a personal matter between us and the Holy Spirit.
  9. Sometimes, when we concentrate on the trees, we miss the forest. If one were to look at my opening post as a whole without feeling a need to dissect every line, the appropriate response to my OP would have been short, accurate, and compelling. Ishmael, even though he was the seed of both Ham and Cain, was blessed by the Lord when he and his mother were abandoned. In short, any curse that would otherwise have followed him was lifted. (For clarification purposes, the premises of the OP are based on common folklore beliefs in the Mormon Church in the 60s and 70s. I was not suggesting any of them represent the doctrine of the 21st Century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sorry for any confusion.)
  10. I don’t think the Lord is speaking to just the Church. I think He is talking to the world. I also don’t think any type of post-mortal judgment is intended by the reference to a curse. Curses are generally mortality based and can be lifted at the Lord’s pleasure. No? I suppose a curse could be extended into post-mortal existence, but then I think it is called judgment.
  11. The Lord cursed Cain, reportedly with black skin. The Lord cursed Ham with regard to the Priesthood. Ham’s wife was Egyptus. Egyptus was seed of Cain. Egyptians descend from Ham and Eqyptus. Hagar was Egyptian. Ishmael was Hagar’s son. Ishmael is the father of the Arab race. The Arab race would also be descended from Ham, and Cain. The priesthood ban was never applied to Arabs, was it? Why is this not a clear indication that the “curse of Cain” had nothing to do with the ban? Just curious.
  12. I have always viewed sin as anything which tends to increase my separation from God. I use the commandments as a starting point. As to how God will then judge me, I believe God will judge my heart and the desires of my heart. It is entirely personal between me and God. The critical factor is being in tune with the Spirit. If you are not in tune, you cannot tell if you are moving toward or away from God. Let me give you an example. For most of my life I was blessed with a weakness that made me very susceptible to a particular behavior. For most of my life, try as I might, I could not overcome that weakness. I would fast. I would pray. I would confess. I tried everything. I thought. But a desire for this behavior persisted. I could not shake it. Then something happened. One evening as I was pondering these things, I had an epiphany, I.e. the Holy Ghost spoke to me. I did not have to overcome this weakness. My Savior had already overcome it for me. I just had to trust my Lord. From that moment on, things changed. My objectionable behaviors did not cease immediately, but the desires of my heart did, and my post-behavior state of mind changed. I quit beating myself up. I concentrated on trusting Christ. Within a relatively short time (considering my years of struggle) I found the hold of the weakness lessening, and my spiritual strength magnified. For the first time in half a century, I was free. In my opinion, the Lord would judge my pre-epiphany objectionable behavior differently than my post-epiphany objectionable behavior because God is not judging the behavior, He is judging the heart. Glory be to the Lord though, because the atonement of Christ eliminates the judgment for all objectionable behavior. Repentance is the result of a changed heart. So, on the question of how God will judge, in the end it is presumptuous for us to impose any type of parameters on the Almighty. Everyone’s circumstance is unique. Trust God, and check the desires of your heart regularly. If God has not changed the heart, the person has some work to do.
  13. It would only serve me if my purpose was to convince closed-minded people of the truth of a principle. The principle is that love is superior to money as a motivator for those striving to follow Jesus, and they are less concerned with the political means of achieving Zion, whether authoritarian or democratic, so long as love is the motivator. (The Kingdom of Heaven might provide some clue as to whether the politics in Heaven are democratic or authoritarian.) Those who cannot get past their polemic characterizations of words are not within the scope of my persuasive abilities.
  14. I have given this question a fair amount of attention. Could God have chosen a different path to exalt His children? The answer to this question lies in a firm understanding of the atonement. It also relies on the assumption that God is God because of His mastery of, and obedience to, all laws which are as eternal as He. The atonement is the underlying mechanism by which God’s children escape the consequences of sin. Sin is understood to be any act which separates us from God. The atoning sacrifice had to be wholly voluntary on the part of both the Father and the Son. We can probably not even begin to fathom the depth of sacrifice made by the Gods in order to bring salvation to us. Imagine, if you can, the council of gods assembled, and the discussion of an atoning sacrifice, and the Father and Son rising in unison, heavy with the burden of knowledge that this was the end to which the Son had been raised. Had there been a different path available which would have spared the Father and the Son the terrible anguish of the atonement, most certainly they would have elected to take that path. We are following the only path that leads to exaltation with the gods. Any other path will lead to an unknown, and perhaps unknowable, outcome.
  15. My comment was economical, not political. The word socialism does not send chills down my spine.
  16. Thanks for your comments in the Ten Tribes thread. The modifier “Christian” dispenses with your objections to socialism, so far as I am concerned. I am also certain that the economy of Heaven will more closely resemble socialism than capitalism. God would never diminish us to the status of Human Resources. If your objection to socialism is based on compulsion, let me ask you, when was the last time you received a temple recommend without the compulsion of obedience. If you want the blessings of the temple, you comply with entry requirements. This life is a preparatory state for celestial glory. The City of Enoch set the bar for us. Do you think the people of the City of Enoch reached their translated state without the compulsion of societal pressure over the course of the decades or centuries it took for the City to be taken up? We will move closer to that hallowed state as we become less committed to capitalism as an economic engine, and embrace love as the motivation for our actions.  Until we move in that direction, America will remain cursed. Look at Alma very carefully, and his motivation for abandoning his secular power. Inequality of wealth, i.e. selfishness, was and remains the bane of nations.

    Take care.

    Mark

  17. We ponder it and wait for the Lord to give us further light and knowledge. And when He does, it just seems so obvious. It is well to remember that the Lord will blind us to truths we are not yet ready for.
  18. The blessing of the City of Enoch was not simply being translated. The greatest blessing was being removed from the Earth with its selfishness and violence. A separation of the ten tribes to enjoy that as well, whether translated or not, would be a tremendous blessing to a wicked nation. I have a very difficult time conceptualizing why the Lord would treat these ten tribes in a way that kept them cohesive and faithful while the rest of us are left to deal with mortality in a normal way. And as I have come to understand the eternal nature of the principle of adoption (how else do we all claim sireship from a single Father in Heaven?) it becomes less important to see them as a cohesive body.
  19. The people of the City of Enoch were translated and removed from Earth due to their exceeding righteousness. (They were Christian socialists.) The lost tribes of Israel were defeated and scattered by the Assyrians because of their exceeding wickedness. In what realm of thought do these wicked tribes enjoy anything approaching the blessings of Enoch? This is an area of mystery that is ripe for speculation and short on common sense.
  20. It’s a frigging song dude. It ain’t scripture.
  21. When Peter asked Christ if 7 was the number of times he had to forgive his brother’s trespass against him, Christ relied, not 7 times but 70 times 7. The number is illustrative, not an absolute. That is most certainly the case in Isaiah. Indeed, if one wants to reject the interpretation I described above, and adopt a literal reading of the verse, it makes no sense, unless of course one believes that there will be one man who will have seven women proposing marriage. If one such singular event were worthy of prophetic mention, surely the succeeding verses would be in some way expansive of the theme, but instead verses 2 and 3, indeed the entire chapter, make more sense as expansive of the churches theme introduced above. The verses may have a dual meaning that does relate to polygamous marriages, but I don’t have any additional insight as to that particular theme. Seek charity.
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