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All Is Not Well In Zion On The Internet...


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As I was renewing my temple recommend over the weekend, a question stood out to me that I never really focused on before but when it was asked I received enlightenment. The question I speak of is the following-


"Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" 


As I came home that day I pondered that question because it was seared to my mind as I realized there are many that violate this question among the saints. I began to read the scriptures and in my reading one of the scriptures that hit me that I came across was D&C 112:23-25 which reads-


23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.


 24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.


 25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;


These scriptures refer to the last days when the tribulations will come and the first people who will suffer will be those among the saints who do not align themselves with the teachings of the church.  


"President Ezra Taft Benson left little room for doubt that these warnings apply to us. He declared, 'All is not well in Zion. ... We must cleanse the inner vessel, beginning first with ourselves, then with our families, and finally with the Church.' (Ensign, May 1986, p. 4)


"There are two methods of cleansing the inner vessel. The first is repentance. But if we do not repent, the Lord will invoke the second method of cleansing-from without. One way or another, the vessel will be cleansed." (Larry Tippetts, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel: The Process of Repentance," Ensign, Oct. 1992, 21)


As I studied more about the horrors and the cleansing these saints will go through in reading additional writings of Latter-Day prophets that detail this event.  I realized more than ever before that there are so many saints in blogs such as this that question "Doctrine" or teachings of the church and focus on what they may call "Holes" in what the church teaches everywhere you look. 


The internet has become almost a breeding ground of disputation and anger on the doctrine of Christ simply because they refuse to use the tools the church has set forth such as lds.org, Institute Manuals, Ensign articles... to provide clarity for those who lack a certain degree of comprehension on any given subject so they will have a true understanding of the principle or "Doctrine" 


My sincere hope for all people especially among the saints is that we stop disputing and focus on following what the church teaches and exercise faith before the cleansing comes .  As saints I believe we can do a much better job at using blogs like these to build up Zion as oppose to questioning it's teachings.  The savior put it best- 3 Nephi 11-29-30


 

 29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

 

 30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away. 


My question to you is what can we (Saints) do better to create a Zion environment online?


 


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God will indeed pour out his wrath upon the Church first...if not he would have no moral standing to judge the world for their iniquities.

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My question to you is what can we (Saints) do better to create a Zion environment online?

 

 

I'm really not trying to be rude, especially since this is my first communication with you, but I have a hard time giving a serious answer to the question "what can we do better to create a Zion environment online" coming from someone's whose chosen screen name is Opinion Slayer. 

 

FWIW, I would recommend you start by listening and understanding those who complain rather than judging members who you believe are violating a TR question.  Moreover, if you really believe in what the church teachers, then you understand that very few members are given the responsibility of judging members of the church (bishops, stake presidents, etc.)  My guess is that you are not in such a position with respect to any of those who you judge to be in violation of a TR question.  So if you really want to follow church teachings, best to leave the judging to others. 

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I too had my TR interview on Sunday (step one, bishopric)... when that question was asked, I said that I had some difficulty in that while I do not condone specific actions in opposition to church teachings, I can have sympathy for individuals who are faced with these issues.  I can try and do my part to treat all individuals with dignity in their daily lifes in general, but stand firm in my faith.

I still have friends from my years in San Fran where a high percentage of employees where I worked were LGBT... we stay in touch a couple times a year.  I don't intend to stop.

My recommend was approved.

 

GG

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I too had my TR interview on Sunday (step one, bishopric)... when that question was asked, I said that I had some difficulty in that while I do not condone specific actions in opposition to church teachings, I can have sympathy for individuals who are faced with these issues.  I can try and do my part to treat all individuals with dignity in their daily lifes in general, but stand firm in my faith.

I still have friends from my years in San Fran where a high percentage of employees where I worked were LGBT... we stay in touch a couple times a year.  I don't intend to stop.

My recommend was approved.

 

GG

 

I bet it won't be too much longer before that question is tweeked or clarified.  As i understand it it was meant to deal directly with polygamy and polygamous groups, but now with SSM and OW-type groups being so prevalent, it really can be confusing trying to understand exactly what your answer is supposed to mean.

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I bet it won't be too much longer before that question is tweeked or clarified.  As i understand it it was meant to deal directly with polygamy and polygamous groups, but now with SSM and OW-type groups being so prevalent, it really can be confusing trying to understand exactly what your answer is supposed to mean.

 

I hope so.  I've spoken with several bishops who are confused on what the question means.  They're not getting much direction. 

 

If the question is taken literally, President Monson would not get a recommend.  He supports (pays money) and affiliates with (attends games) the Utah Jazz, whose practices of selling alcohol and playing sports on sundays conflict with church teachings. 

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I don't believe the average member of the Church is spending time on the internet dialoguing with other members about the teachings and doctrines of the Church. In fact, I'm the only member I know (and I know a great many members) who is devoting any at all time to websites like this one. There may be a significant amount of LDS social media interaction going on, but I doubt much doctrinal discussion is taking place.

Of course there are some opinionated Latter-day Saints who gravitate to discussion boards, but the problem is that there is so much criticism, negativity and outright anti-Mormonism present that even some of the opinionated types are going to get turned off rather quickly. After all, who in their right mind wants to deal with all the acrimony, distress and perplexity generated by participation on discussion boards when modern life has already stressed so many nearly beyond their capacity to endure.

So that leaves the rest of us "peculiar" LDS Church members who are perverse enough to actually enjoy verbal combat and actually relish intellectual challenges. Among the ranks of this category of highly-opinionated Church members, there is little hope that purely dispassionate intellectual inquiry and genuine civility will prevail in the online discussions. Most of the people who participate on boards like this one happen to have high opinions of their own intellectual prowess, so it's only natural that they highly would highly value their own opinions as well, honestly believing that their opinions are the right opinions posted on the various discussion threads.

So where does this lead? It almost inevitably leads to closed-mindedness and to an "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude, traits of fallen human nature that some try to disguise through attempts at diplomacy, suppression of visceral emotions and rhetorical moderation; but all too often the thin veneer of cordiality is too transparent to obscure the underlying hostility that often exists between many of the posters. So if you're looking for Zion on these boards, the only real actions you (and all of us) can take toward that end is to model the very Zion behavior the Lord has said should prevail among the saints. Hopefully, by setting sterling examples of brotherly love and godly restraint, we may persuade others to follow suit.

Sadly, I don't believe we've seen anything yet when it comes to the manifestations of ill-will and spiritual destructiveness that will ultimately proliferate on the internet vis-à-vis the LDS Church. In the end, as we get closer and closer to the Second Coming and to a world fully ripened in iniquity, it's highly likely the internet will "become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:2) When that day comes, only the most courageous, Spirit-filled and deeply knowledgeable will have the stomach to continue to fight the good fight for the truth via their computers and electronic devises. 

Edited by teddyaware
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I hope so.  I've spoken with several bishops who are confused on what the question means.  They're not getting much direction. 

If the question is taken literally, President Monson would not get a recommend.  He supports (pays money) and affiliates with (attends games) the Utah Jazz, whose practices of selling alcohol and playing sports on sundays conflict with church teachings.

lol

Edited by frank_jessop
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In the end, as we get closer and closer to the Second Coming and to a world fully ripened in iniquity, it's highly likely the internet will "become  . . . a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:2). 

 

It sounds as if John foresaw Twitter.

 

 

200px-Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svg.png

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Who would there be to contend with, after all, it only Nehor was around?

Not to worry!  He has other personalities! :D

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My answer Sunday to that TR question was, "Well... I shop at Wal-Mart."  He laughed, thinking I was joking. 

Wal-Mart (or any other store for that matter) does not participate in a Celestial level of economics -- Competitive Free Enterprise (Capitalism) is Terrestrial at best (but I'm betting Telestial).

 

My question to you is what can we (Saints) do better to create a Zion environment online?

 

 

My answer:  Create Stake Boards of Trade, which will facilitate a real Zion environment offline.

 

According to mainstream historical LDS books and journal articles I've read, both Brigham Young and John Taylor saw cooperative Free Enterprise as a steppingstone to the United Orders / Law of Consecration - a crucial element of a real-live Zion society.  Apparently Brigham thought that because the Saints were doing so well with cooperatives in the 1860s & 70s (ZCMI being the cornerstone of the Utah cooperative movement), he mistakenly assumed the Saints were ready for the United Orders.  Nearly all of them failed within two years.  I believe had he let a whole generation of Saints grow up practicing Cooperative Free Enterprise, the Saints may have handled the transition to the full Law of Consecration much easier.  (He should have let the old traditions die off with the old generations - like Moses and the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness).

When John Taylor saw how well the Brigham City Board of Trade was doing to create cooperatives and keep unemployment near zero, he rolled it out Church-wide (Why have you never heard of it?).  The Zions Central Board of Trade was a committee of successful Utah businessmen who were tasked with assessing the economic needs and resources of the territory and creating cooperative enterprises to organize those resources and employ the people.  Each Stake had a board of trade as well.  The central board did all the research which resulted in Utah's very successful sugar beat and steel industries, among others.  The stake boards of trade, among other things, were credited with contracting in behalf of Mormon workers with the railroad companies for building the various lines here in Utah. 

 

The Brethren have given us permission (I argue we didn't need it) to solve our own economic problems on a local level (See: "This is Your Phone Call" by Elder Edgley, and others).

Were we to implement John Taylor's Zion Board of Trade model, we could create a vast network of worker-owned cooperatives and keep employment near zero (like the Basques have in Northern Spain), all while preparing the people for a real Zion - offline.

 

I pitched this idea to my stake president who has talked a LOT about building Zion in our stake.  Not sure he realizes that building Zion is an economic effort as well as spiritual one.  Maybe we just need a good butt-kicking to humble us to the point where we HAVE TO work together cooperatively to survive.  Why wait?

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I'm really not trying to be rude, especially since this is my first communication with you, but I have a hard time giving a serious answer to the question "what can we do better to create a Zion environment online" coming from someone's whose chosen screen name is Opinion Slayer. 

 

FWIW, I would recommend you start by listening and understanding those who complain rather than judging members who you believe are violating a TR question.  Moreover, if you really believe in what the church teachers, then you understand that very few members are given the responsibility of judging members of the church (bishops, stake presidents, etc.)  My guess is that you are not in such a position with respect to any of those who you judge to be in violation of a TR question.  So if you really want to follow church teachings, best to leave the judging to others. 

 

I find the irony in your comments incredibly amusing. First you speak of of my observation as judgement (Which I will address) but you begin your opening statement by judging me based on my screen name?! Truly amusing and hypocritical to boot...

 

Now to the judging part looking at your statement it is clear to me that your understanding of judgement is extremely myopic so to help you have a much better understanding here is a talk by Elder Oaks on judgement that you can read so you don't have to sound ignorant on the subject in the future. 

 

"The Savior also commanded individuals to be judges, both of circumstances and of other people. Through the prophet Moses, the Lord commanded Israel, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour” (Lev. 19:15)."

 

//www.lds.org/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging?lang=eng 

 

As you read this brilliant talk by someone who not only has the wisdom and authority to do so but the experience in the subject far greater than most. You will recognize the difference between final judgement and intermediate judgement. My observation from my initial statement is strictly based on intermediate judgement not final judgement which belongs only to the Lord. So my recommendation to you is before you speak of judgement you should fully understand the principle which clearly you don't by what you wrote.

 

As for my screen name I came up with to be a reminder to those who actually believe that just because they have an opinion it does not supercedes truth/facts especially when it comes to doctrine. 

 

As for my calling, calling to repentance and preaching the doctrines of Christ falls under my stewardship.

 

Thanks for trying to answer the question anyways.

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I don't believe the average member of the Church is spending time on the internet dialoguing with other members about the teachings and doctrines of the Church. In fact, I'm the only member I know (and I know a great many members) who is devoting any at all time to websites like this one. There may be a significant amount of LDS social media interaction going on, but I doubt much doctrinal discussion is taking place.

Of course there are some opinionated Latter-day Saints who gravitate to discussion boards, but the problem is that there is so much criticism, negativity and outright anti-Mormonism present that even some of the opinionated types are going to get turned off rather quickly. After all, who in their right mind wants to deal with all the acrimony, distress and perplexity generated by participation on discussion boards when modern life has already stressed so many nearly beyond their capacity to endure.

So that leaves the rest of us "peculiar" LDS Church members who are perverse enough to actually enjoy verbal combat and actually relish intellectual challenges. Among the ranks of this category of highly-opinionated Church members, there is little hope that purely dispassionate intellectual inquiry and genuine civility will prevail in the online discussions. Most of the people who participate on boards like this one happen to have high opinions of their own intellectual prowess, so it's only natural that they highly would highly value their own opinions as well, honestly believing that their opinions are the right opinions posted on the various discussion threads.

So where does this lead? It almost inevitably leads to closed-mindedness and to an "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude, traits of fallen human nature that some try to disguise through attempts at diplomacy, suppression of visceral emotions and rhetorical moderation; but all too often the thin veneer of cordiality is too transparent to obscure the underlying hostility that often exists between many of the posters. So if you're looking for Zion on these boards, the only real actions you (and all of us) can take toward that end is to model the very Zion behavior the Lord has said should prevail among the saints. Hopefully, by setting sterling examples of brotherly love and godly restraint, we may persuade others to follow suit.

Sadly, I don't believe we've seen anything yet when it comes to the manifestations of ill-will and spiritual destructiveness that will ultimately proliferate on the internet vis-à-vis the LDS Church. In the end, as we get closer and closer to the Second Coming and to a world fully ripened in iniquity, it's highly likely the internet will "become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:2) When that day comes, only the most courageous, Spirit-filled and deeply knowledgeable will have the stomach to continue to fight the good fight for the truth via their computers and electronic devises. 

 

Sorry but I disagree (As far as the volume of activity online) the social media has tons of gospel discussions. You can find thousands on Facebook alone...

 

But I do agree with you that it will get worse online as we draw nearer to the tribulations! 

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I hope so.  I've spoken with several bishops who are confused on what the question means.  They're not getting much direction. 

 

If the question is taken literally, President Monson would not get a recommend.  He supports (pays money) and affiliates with (attends games) the Utah Jazz, whose practices of selling alcohol and playing sports on sundays conflict with church teachings. 

 

I really hope you are joking. To assume that the Lord would call someone who is not worthy to attend the temple as a prophet is just nonsense and by your foolish logic anybody who attends a restaurant that serves alcohol and is opened on Sundays would also be unworthy. LOL that's asinine!  

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I would say we can try very very hard not to contribute to the contention that so often exists online.  

 

As a good friend would say, too often we are so caught in being right, that we don't stop to consider if we are actually doing right.

 

Great comment, thanks for the wisdom!

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