Monday, December 15, 2008

Protestant / Catholic Preface to the Bible

In my many discussions with Protestants (and having been raised one) I have come to understand their official declaration relative to the Bible and its interpretation. The following represents it as it has been explained/taught to me (some don't share point 3 and/or point 19). This is the preface that the Protestants seem to feel belongs at the front of the Bible, but somehow was forgotten. (Most of these things are also agreed to by Catholicism).

While these 66 books are totally correct and don't require revelation to interpret, we must make the following clarifications. And while you can't add to or subtract from Scripture we do have to make the following additions to compensate for misunderstandings that do arise.

1. All the talk of God having body parts is not to be taken literally.
2. All talk of people seeing God and God claiming to have been seen is referring to an angel or cloud only.
3. All talk of Christ being separate from Heavenly Father isn't to be taken literally either.
4. Most talk of "Gods" in the Hebrew script has been altered to the word "God" in English for your convenience.
5. In spite of the enormous size of this collection of books God really doesn't want, nor expect, us to understand him at all, as he's not understandable.
6. It must be understood that all attempts God makes to explain himself are purely for his entertainment only.
7. Any comments God makes about having emotions are just to make some meaningless attempt to appease us, and we should know he doesn't mean it.
8. All talk of God being in one place in any way are just God's confusing way of speaking.
9. All statements referring to Heavenly Father as the father of spirits, change to say that he whipped up our spirits out of thin air.
10. Where it speaks of God creating things in the beginning, change that to "magically whipped up from nothing."
11. All reference to and quotes in the Bible from books no longer present are from books that have been removed for your safety.
12. Though Moses says not to add to his books (the first 5 books of the Old Testament)(Deut 4:2) all the other 61 books, that finally made it into the volume we have today, are fully authorised, but no more than 61 extra are allowed.
13. All talk of Jesus being resurrected with, eating with, being seen having and coming back for his 2nd coming with a body are to be ignored, as he doesn't have one, but just whips it up for appearance sake.
14. All talk of us being in "the image and likeness of God" are to be altered to say "we have some vague similarity to God."
15. Every place where it says that Jesus cried, was surprised or grew in knowledge or any other such statement demonstrating lack of previous knowledge or demonstrating emotion, must be ignored, as he doesn't have emotions and was omniscient (knew everything already).
16. All statements of prophets after Christ in the New Testament books must be disregarded, as no prophets existed after Christ.
17. All mention of priesthood and authority from God being necessary after Christ must be forgotten.
18. All doctrinal discussion Christ made is purely for entertainment only, and isn't really important.
19. God now accepts homosexuality, lesbianism, women ministers and all other modern trends, in spite of his ways being unchangeable.
20. In spite of 4 thousand years of him doing so being recorded in the Bible, and God stating that his ways don't change, God changed his ways some time not long after Christ's death, and is not going to appear to anyone or speak to anyone again.
21. Though God is omniscient (all knowing) he wasn't aware that Adam and Eve would eat the fruit in the garden of Eden or that he would have to flood the world at the time of Noah, when he made the world.

Any other additions to, subtractions from, alterations of words from or explanations of the Bible must be done by majority consent of Protestantism or the Pope (for Catholics), to be classified as 'authorised'."

Neither I nor God endorse this preface.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pedophilia (Paedophilia) - Why does it Happen? Part 2 (Final)

For those who haven't read Part 1 I'd strongly suggest doing so before reading this.

The Problem of Close Relatives
Owing to the pressure within society, as outlined in my last post, and desiring to be accepted as a woman, girl can tend to try out her sex appeal to see how she rates. She will tend to try this out on the male she feels safest with. This will often be a father or stepfather, uncle or close family friend _ or all, if not receiving a response. This can lead to serious problems if the male involved feels dissatisfied in his relationship, regards that the young person seems to know her own mind (and therefore he accepts her as a woman) and lust has a place in his life. The latter is the basis of what can happen from there. Yes, his wife will obviously have some problems too, but his lust problem is what will cause his actions.

False Allegations
A serious problem in our society today is the incredible ease with which an innocent person can be gaoled for rape, or sexual acts relative to children. Lots of noise is occurring about people (centred at men) not being found out. While all should be appalled if this be the case, this has created a mass hysteria about sex crime allegations. While someone accused of murder needs to be proven guilty, a man accused of sex crimes (particularly those involving children) must prove his innocence _ an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Twisted interpretations of phone conversations and innuendo become "evidence" in courtrooms that juries (also people in the same society) accept. Those convicted (particularly where bad "evidence" isn't exposed) feel that the government funded defence lawyers they were given were either amazingly inept or supporting the states case to convict, in spite of being there to defend _ some making the other side look good (I have witnessed one such case myself).

It is a blight on our society that a cheesed-off ex-wife can send an innocent man to gaol for 15 years, at public expense, and (just to add insult to injury) be compensated with tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Some argue (relative to child claims) that, "children don't lie, particularly about these things." Having had 7 children myself I can assure you that children can be convinced of anything very easily. My oldest son went through a time at one stage (for about 6 months, after a particular trauma), when about 6-years-old where he would lie about anything and be quite convinced it was true. It was so bad that he would lie saying that something plainly in his hand wasn't there. Children certainly DO lie. And in divorce situations Mommy can convince the children eventually that Daddy is a bad person. What's worse is that children can easily be made to believe that something occurred which didn't. They only need to be told often enough, particularly if tired _ they start to visualise it in their head and it becomes real. This is particularly easy when it is loosely based on an actual (harmless) event.

I remember sitting down with my children (the oldest was about 12 years old at the time) and in about 10 minutes I convinced them that we definitely NEEDED a yacht, and that all our problems would be solved if we had one. The purpose of this was to demonstrate that we can convince ourselves that we need anything, but we should be sensible and realise that we don't need it at all. But the point is that it only took 10 minutes to convince them of such a ridiculous claim.
We are on the one hand saying that they are children, and therefore not capable of making an informed decision about sex. Yet on the other hand saying that they are all-knowing when giving testimony against the proposed offender. This is a contradiction.

No one would sensibly propose that allegations aren't looked into. But it must be treated as any other allegation; where good evidence must be presented to convict. Those lawyers there to defend must do so with genuine earnestness. If a case doesn't have such evidence it's time to accept that most probably it's because the person actually didn't do it, and the proposed crime didn't occur at all. If you think that the law is that bad that all those accused who aren't convicted are guilty, then by the same logic you would have to conclude that all convicted are innocent. By focusing your thoughts on only one side (ie. he did it and got away with it) thinking becomes twisted and true justice lost.

Who's Responsable?
While some civilisations and peoples get married at younger ages, people in our society are thinking in child mode through early teens, and not given serious, adult responsibility. The whole society presents this, even at school. Thus people in early teens act according to what they are told they are _ on their way to being adults, but it's a long way off yet. They don't think like an adult. Even at 18 the idea of marriage is a fantasy. They aren't prepared for the reality, or seriousness of marriage and life's' problems (generally speaking): Many haven't even learnt to cook meals for a family, or use a washing machine. As mentioned before, however, they are bombarded with sex, and the concept that they have to fit in with this "ALL IMPORTANT" thing. So in spite of not being of legal marriageable age, the temptation is to see what this thing is all about, and what's true and what isn't. Questions arise in the young mind and doubts, as to how well they will fit in with this.

A young person may then demonstrate sexual interest to an adult. Things then transpire, leaving the youth very confused in the end of it all, and sometimes the older person equally so. It sometimes happens that the youth takes to it like a duck to water. The youth may also conduct sexual relationships with other youth _ no better (in fact it could be argued that two youths are then being sexually abused rather than just one).

So how much is the youth/victim responsible in sex related cases? The only person who truly knows the full extent of the physical and emotional agreement and desire for the act to have occurred is the victim. The only person who knows just how much the person made an informed decision is also the victim.

This raises the obvious question as to whom, but God, KNOWS everything? The usual thinking of people is that 100% of the blame must be shared between the two involved and to place it all on the older person.

However the first flaw (of many) in this is that it is doubtful that either the perpetrator or the victim are really that well informed, or the crime wouldn't have taken place. So can we accept the concept of a partly ignorant, totally evil perpetrator? Common sense and fairness say that you can’t - That is the very point being made about children.

Also society itself must take part of the blame for accepting sex as so important, and for allowing and promoting sexual misconduct. Wasn't the perpetrator brought up in the society? I often hear people talk about how dishonest politicians are, but if people in society were all honest so would the politicians be, as they come from the society. Sex offenders are being created by the society.

On the other side of the point, we must remember that we are free to make our own decisions, and only we are responsible for what we do. That may seem a contradiction, but it isn't. A crime (such as a bank robbery) may be committed by several people, but each person is 100% responsible individually for their actions relative to their understanding. Crimes aren't one thing where we must delegate 100% of the blame to the contributors in some distribution. To explain that better if we had 3 people rob a bank we can't say that each is 33.3% responsible. Yet because 3 are involved, each isn't 100% to blame (morally) for all that may go on. And then there are motives and ignorance to consider. Equally a person committing a sex crime is only 100% responsible for his/her actions relative to his/her understanding.

The victim is in exactly the same position, and to deny them a right to correct their lives (if they were actively involved in it's occurrence to any degree) is a crime in itself. A concerned victim should prayerfully examine the situation, and with God's (for He knows the heart and judges correctly) help sort out what happened and why. This can be a difficult and drawn out process that requires LOTS of prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit. It also requires LOTS of honest self-examination. But without this process the doubts, anger and uncertainty just go on.

Those involved with the victim such as family, friends, some counsellors etc are referred to as "secondary victims". These will have good intensions, but often give bad advice in ignorance. The first thing they are eager to do is remove any thought of examining personal involvement, by assuring the person they had nothing to do with it. This can actually serve to create a victim feeling that may not have otherwise existed, or deepen the feeling.

The leader of a victims of crime organisation once told me that the greatest hurdle to victims getting over their problem is secondary victims.

For example a 14-year-old girl who has had a sexual relationship with an older guy may only feel confused by the experience. By the time the well meaning mother, siblings, counsellors, teachers, friends and particularly police have finished, she could feel she was greatly abused and is depressed. They have created a victim. What is worse is that they keep her there by constant reminders.

I have actually seen a woman of 20 become almost suicidal by such "help." Two years before, when the problem came out, she was just prepared to move on, and quite content. Her teacher noted that she had been "happy and generally pleasant." But after about 6 months of family, counsellors etc "helping" her, he noted that she had changed her mood and was now "unhappy."

So those really wanting to help these people must first learn positive moving forward, not negative looking backward. Even though some initial looking back can help to some degree, the session should end with positive thoughts in regard to it (eg. "it is good that steps can be taken to ensure it doesn't happen again" - I'll explain this soon). Other than initial unwinding, the main purpose for looking backward should only be for self-evaluation by the victim.

If a victim feels that they were partly to blame (no matter how small) it requires a repentance process. Again, listening to the Holy Spirit to assist in this and lots of prayer, Scripture reading and service to others (eg. visiting the sick) all help in creating a new person that you can feel proud of. Asking Heavenly Father to forgive you is also important in this process. Doing these things will also help you see it all in a much clearer light, as God is closer to you and the Holy Ghost inspires with truth.

Giving Power Back to Victims
Don't become a problem to a victim moving on if you are a secondary victim. It is so easy to go into gripe sessions about the perpetrator. That is the LAST thing the victim needs: Dwelling on the crime is just re-living it.

A total victim (someone who has had no input to the crime) and those who had little input, feels violated. They feel self-doubt and fear of it happening again. What they need most is to feel that they can control whether it happens to them again. Therefore it is important to give them reasons why it happened that they can do something about. Saying it was all the other person's fault and they had no input, leaves them helpless to stop it happening again - this is the worst thing to do (whether you, personally, want to believe it to be true or not isn't the point).

To empower the victim requires an examination of the things God has said in this regard. In Gen 3:16-19 God outlines the relationship between sin and consequences. Also God told Israel (including the Nephites) that if they did what he said they would have protection by their living. He told them that if they did wrong things, that enemies would come upon them, famine would occur etc. We all put out feelings, whether we notice it or not. We also receive the feelings of the society around us. I used to notice that when I went to a local beach resort that I could feel the relaxed atmosphere while still miles/kilometres away. On the way back it became the opposite on returning to the city.

So we can change people's reactions to us by changing ourselves inside. You may feel that the victim was a nice person. Just being a relatively nice person won't save them from the bad consequences of the evil within the society. You have to become exceptional. This should be the challenge given to the victim.

This, then, gives them hope and something to do in regard to it. They NEED this.

For those concerned that they have a problem in this area I would suggest making a list of High Risk Situations that you'd be best to avoid, if possible. If you can't avoid them (and even if you can), also create a list of responses that you will do if you start to consider doing something that's not right.

Some things to avoid include drugs, alcohol, being tired, brooding, getting angry, making quick decisions, blocking yourself off from people or hurting people.

Some things to look at doing include thinking about your thinking, fasting and praying for God's help (but remember the actions come from you), talking to someone about your problems (a bishop / minister would be strongly advisable), express your feelings and work out a plan for your life etc. I know you feel embarrassed about going to someone to talk about it, but it is vital that you do. You must end the secrecy problem.

A person who has had trouble in regard to sex with children would need to make some out-of-bounds areas and some things to avoid. The following are some ideas: -

Don't be in the presence of children alone: Have another adult with you (preferably one who is aware of the problem).
Don't use cameras (including video cameras).
Avoid living near or going to parks, schools, play areas or any other place where children gather.
When at church, avoid the areas where the children will be (as best as possible).
Try to avoid friendships with people who have children: This would need to include possible marriage partners (if you are unmarried).

This list may present things that are impractical; particularly if you are married and have children or a school teacher etc. It is a guide only, and to give you an idea as to the sorts of things to have. You need to look at the areas that you feel pose a risk for you. But this is in no way a substitute for the real answer: And that is to change yourself inside.

The best idea is to have a mental block against it. You need to visualise yourself not doing it _ remember that your mind and your hands are yours. Keep that focus _ DON'T LET GO OF IT.

Consider the justifications you've used before and after the wrong. Think about these justifications and pray to God about them, and listen to the spirit. Create a good set of answers to these justifications to prove them wrong _ which with Gods' help, and trust in Him you will be able to do.

It is important to go through what you have done and what you should have done instead. The best idea is to write down what you did in blue or black pen, and then writing what you should have done in another colour (perhaps red). Then keep the list with you.

If you are desirous to make change this is a wonderful thing. I would recommend an entire change of your perspective of the whole situation. This will completely resolve your problem and improve your life in marvellous ways. I'd suggest studying the following links Lust Problems and Masturbation Problems

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pedophilia (Paedophilia) - Why does it Happen? Part 1

I have recently had some conversations with people on another site, where the question of pedophilia was raised. Being reminded of the enormous ignorance that exists in the community regarding it, I have finally come to post on this subject; which I have planned on writing on for some time. This post ISN'T about recrimination.

Having had years of experience in dealing with people on BOTH sides of this problem in counselling (including in jails) and come into real life situations etc, I feel it necessary to clear up misunderstandings that aren't helping resolve the situation. I have read many one-sided articles on the subject of victims, but this will look more at that which isn't normally discussed. I will pull no punches and give the unsweetened facts, which will shock some people (particularly Utah members - that's a warning, not an insult - you live in more of a haven than I think you often realise). It isn't my desire to offend, but to inform. I would advise all to read this post as it is VERY important.

In using the word "pedophilia" I am referring to a sexual act done with a person not legally of age for such to occur, by a person over a particular age (whether the younger had expressed agreement or not). For example in some states a person 18 or over can't have sex with a person under 16.

While the vast majority of pedophiles (particularly those offending in the up to 8-years-old bracket) have homosexual tendencies, I'm mainly sticking to the concept of where an older male was involved with a younger female, as we don't agree with homosexuality anyway, so it doesn't require further special investigation. Also, while I'm trying to generalise, I'm not raising the situations where an older female is involved with a younger male, because people don't want to hear about that: It is an EXTREMELY sexist issue, where men generally get at least ten times the penalty of a woman, on the few occasions that women actually get charged at all.

Social Pedophilic Conditioning
Sexual abuse is on a serious increase within society. Why? Certainly increased amounts of pornographic material and greater ease of obtaining it don't help at all. But there is far more to it than that. People accept to be mindwashed that lust is a good, healthy, safe and normal thing. Advertisements jump up in front of us on television, showing us partly dressed people with (what's regarded as) perfect bodies.

What do children think when they see this? They will eventually wonder how their body rates in this concept that presents itself as being so important. Many girls will start to wonder whether their figure is trim enough and worry about their breast size. Boys will start to wonder about their muscle size and how their penis rates, in a world so absorbed in appearance and performance. Both are informed by friends, periodicals, television and even articles in the newspapers, that experience at sex is important. Even some "experts" claim that masturbation is essential to balanced living.

So in looking at this subject it must be constantly kept in mind that there is a lot of sexual pressure within our society. This is equally placed upon children growing up. What makes it even more dangerous for them is that they often think they know more about it than their parents _ particularly once getting into puberty age and beyond. However, in many cases the truth is that they are a bit like a young person getting into a car and feeling that they wouldn't die, and driving as if they can't. Such a person can be killed; and there's the point of what their reckless driving could do to others also. These young people are in a similar danger in regard sex and the results to themselves and others involved with them.

This leads us to the point that it is really a double-sided, not single-sided, problem. In saying this I'm not proposing that there are no true victims, by any means. But the problem itself can have both perpetrator and victim involved at times (regardless of debates on who knows what). Therefore both sides must be examined if we are to resolve the issue (which should be our objective, as best we can).

While we have a code of living that requires marriage before sex, we are all aware that the world doesn't share this value. So we don't have the problems involved. Yet in this subject the first hurdle we face in considering pedophilia is that there is no consistency of opinion on what age a person must be for sex to be legal with them. Some states go as high as 18. Austria says 14 and the Vatican City (under the Pope) says 12. Amazingly (and you may be horrified to learn that) Pygmies get married at the age of 8 today. Unfortunately there is no evidence to prove anything to resolve the problem. All are convinced that the "common sense" they have been brought up with is the right "common sense" in regard this subject of age.

Therefore in order to make this useful for ALL (and I write this for those who may be in the problem as well as those who aren't and those who could end up being so or involved with those who are) I would like to segregate somewhere. I would like to propose that there are 3 sections to this. Firstly there are those under the age of accountability (8) that are offended against.

The Scriptures set forth that people under 8 are totally offended against and CAN'T have any moral input whatsoever (D&C 68:27). Thus those offending against such have only one interest, and that has been their own.

However I was quite shocked when my children informed me that there were students of 8 having sex at their school. This wasn't typical for 8-year-olds at their school, fortunately. But it has to be accepted in the examination of the problem and its SOLUTION. To ignore this won't help in having an ability to understand and resolve the problems.

So the second segregation I would like to propose are those between 8 and 11 (I choose 11 as it isn't a debated argument, as females don't begin to physically and emotionally alter again until around 12). And thirdly there are those 12 to whatever (????).

So at the age of accountability mistakes can, and on rare occasions do, happen. The older the person becomes the less rare that becomes. Now I'm not going to add leaven to what God has said by creating my own extended doctrine beyond what he has laid down: Eight is the age of accountability. Yet we can all realise that while our spirits can recognise the difference between good and evil at this point, knowledge of what is going on in regard sex is basically pathetic from 8-11 in the majority of cases (particularly in Western societies). So we have to consider not only that going on inside a person but that in their heads (or lack thereof).

Some may be concerned at this consideration of people's input to the problem at this age. Yet how could anyone think that with such constant bombardment from the press that all not vigilant wouldn't be affected? Of course children are affected. Considering it otherwise is suggesting that children are wiser than their parents, and I would therefore ask to see their evidence for such an opinion. I think we all know that that's not true. And so if someone turns their back on this problem they are only supporting it's continuance, and males are leaving themselves wide open to sin. The main thing men need to do is just be aware of the problem and to ignore any such advances made by any under-aged female. I would, naturally, also advise any woman to be aware of any advances by an under-aged male, equally. This problem is so prevalent that I can’t emphasise it enough. This is not pleasing discussion; but needs to be addressed. The facts are plain whether we like them or not. Those hiding from it become no earthly use to anyone in the problem. In fact they give bad advice. So if you are offended or having trouble believing it, PLEASE read on, as you need to read this more than those who aren't.

Real Life
Due to those things mentioned above and a female's desire to be appreciated some girls will show up their skirts etc to get a response from a man. They will give a solid stare that can give men the definite conclusion that she knows what she's doing (I have had girls give me this stare and watched them do it with others). She may even think she does.

The man then sees female parts that fit with his sexual fantasies (where such exist), and his thinking is perverted by lust. Don't consider yourself to be above or beyond sins' grasp. No person is, except he that has made himself free from these things (lust). And only by maintaining himself there will he continue to be confident in being free from these things. Play with fire and you will eventually be burned through and through. Sin always burns, its just sometimes we don't see it, or associate the problem with the action.

Much and all as it may seem amazing there have been those offending against someone only between 8 and 11 (on some few occasions) that have been confused to some degree by actions or statements expressed by the young person: Lust isn't the promoter of great intelligence.

Those involved in some sexual activity with someone of 12 or over OFTEN feel they have had an accepted loving relationship with the other person, whom they genuinely believed to have been old enough - this becomes a problem area in that nothing can really be proven conclusively about age and knowledge.

These things can happen so easily. Most people (dealing with someone 8 and above) to whom they happen don't set out for them to occur: They don't set out to have a relationship with someone under age deliberately.

The girl puts in a lot of effort to convince the guy that she's mature enough to make the decision and is sure of what she is doing. Virtually everyone likes to feel that someone is THAT taken by them (whether it is spiritually, physically or intellectually). The guy likes the attention and wants to accept her as if she were an adult, particularly if she is showing body parts. Lust takes over and does the rest. - I should further explain that this process of being convincing can take place over quite some time and a lot of effort and consistency by the female.

This appearance of knowing is fake. Those who fall into this trap eventually discover that the girl really didn't feel all that affection toward him, as she drops out of it fairly soon, in the vast majority of cases.

Socially Promoted Ignorance
A problem also associated with all this is that parents can tend to feel that their children know more about things than they do, so don't bother teaching them. Some parents tend to feel that their children know more about computers, drugs and sex. The reality is that if people of any age KNOW about drugs they won't use them. Some young people may be more aware of what's available; that's all. In regard to computers you'll find that most youth only have a very basic working knowledge of one or few programs. And while that may be more than some parents, in real terms that's not worth mentioning as if it's major knowledge of computers. Youth may know what sex is etc., but they haven't been given much responsibility for things in life, and it reflects into this area also (particularly under 12 and in societies that promote such ignorance). Also they have a greater percentage of disinformation relative to correct information than do their parents (though I do wonder sometimes). They haven't had as much time to see beyond the limelight of what's presented. They don't know unless taught the truth. They are partly afraid of what they don't understand, and this can lead to them putting on a front (even to themselves) that they do. If they can convince peers that they know what they're talking about, they feel that maybe this will help convince themselves that they do. This leads to more disinformation.

Part 2 will cover such things as empowering victims, assistance for paedophiles and false allegations.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Understanding Politics - Right Wing, Left Wing and all that stuff

Many people will be keen to say how opposed to Communism or Nazism etc they are, yet are unable to actually explain these ideas in detail. Many just have insufficient understanding of what each party in politics is really about anyway. Hopefully this will help in unravelling the mystery.

The biggest problem in recognising right wing policy from left wing policy is that parties aren't usually extreme. If the people like a particular policy the party will often adopt it even if it is opposite to their ideals. So we end up with left wing parties presenting some right wing policies and some right wing parties presenting some left wing policies. But they will attempt to introduce the ideas they want eventually.

The left wing extreme is Communism. But on the left we also find Socialism. Nazism was National Socialism (for example). There are many democratic Socialist countries in the world these days.

Right wing is Capitalism and Imperialism (kings etc). Many of these are democratic (the people get to have a fair vote) also.

Most countries are a collection of both of these ideas. In fact Socialism tries to present itself as a middle option between right and left.

Communism means (as the name suggests) a communal sharing of all products and services. Thus there are no rich and poor (in theory). All things are public. So it is about having public transport, public medical, public dental, public schools, public university, controlled shopping by vouchers, government selected employment, public housing, pensions, unemployment benefits equal to wages, etc. All people are equal and therefore are given equal rights.

This equality may sound great in theory. However in practice is where the problems arise.

It isn't a voluntary equality, is the first problem. Thus it has to be enforced by a government that then becomes powerful by its ability to control all things in people's lives.

Secondly it puts certain people in charge of these individual goods and services for their distribution. Thus if you are in such a position you can play favourites (corruption). Then you end up with the same system of rich and poor, but just given a different name.

The next problem is that the state becomes the family. The concept of equality of people is taken to the extreme that parents lose the right to discipline their children. State ideas are indoctrinated into the children, who must all attend state run schools.

Individual thought and ideas are suppressed for the good of the community(?). Religion is controlled by the state or disposed of.

One final problem that bears mentioning is that new technology is rare, as there is no monetary incentive for anyone to create anything.

Socialism is in the same direction as Communism. The difference is that the state only runs or controls large businesses. Socialism is more subtle as a state can control a business without even needing to remove its owner. It can be done by raising business taxes and putting many monetary demands and restrictions on them. This makes the profits communal.

The problems in Socialism are about the same as Communism. Yet less power is given to the government as it isn't so all-encompassing. Most Socialists are really Communists who either know they are and pretend they aren't or don't even realise that they are.

Capitalism, in its fulness, allows a total monetary freedom to businesses and is completely opposite to Communism. There is NO restriction whatsoever (the US isn't entirely Capitalist). The government provides no social services at all. So there are no public schools, transport etc. All things are obtained according to the money you have. There are no public roads. All roads are built by businesses who have a purpose for building the road there or local communities according to their financial ability.

The down sides of Capitalism are people dying of starvation, poorer overall education, class distinction, slavery, homelessness, etc.

The upsides are freedom of religion, freedom of the family, more acceptance of individual opinion (theoretically), choice of occupation, choice of where to live, Choice of schools, etc.

Imperialism in its fullness has a king that has supreme power. He has knights who own areas of land and have complete autonomy within the rules of the king for knights. Each knight works out his rules for the people in his area. Mostly they appear to have run a Capitalist type system.

Overall - Fortunately it doesn't happen that there is a country that is entirely one of these systems in most cases. The ability to vote for any party makes it that parties wanting to get in have to make a good balance. However I must point out that each party WILL attempt to implant its ideas and policies in the minds of the people. Their policies will also reflect their ideas IN APPLICATION. This has to be remembered whenever voting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Age and Wisdom

There is a general perception within society that we become wiser with experience and age. My observation has been that when people (generally speaking) reach about 18 to 20 they start to see themselves as grown-up and having passed the main learning stage (as far as living is concerned - just seeing refinement as required). Yet upon reaching around 30 they see themselves as THEN being much wiser, and so it goes though 40, 60 etc.

There are many things for us to learn in life. In looking at life and growth the real issue seems to come down to far more than what we have experienced. There is the aspect of what have we learnt from what we have experienced? And secondly how astute are we at discerning what is right without such experiences?

For example of the latter, how well do we understand not to murder? Most would argue that they would never murder. Yet many, so saying, have murdered when certain situations have arisen. King David is a classic case in murdering Uriah, the husband of Bath-sheba. Here also, David had committed adultery; which he would have also claimed he would not have done. Would he have been any wiser had he been ten or twenty years older? I don't think so. Having had the experience he learnt not to repeat it. But should we have to commit adultery and murder someone to learn not to do so?

What also stands out as obvious to me is that most bad experiences people have aren't learnt from. These things prove to me that it really comes down to spiritual wisdom: Not age - definately; nor experience - necessarily.

When I hear someone in their 40s (for example) tell me that someone of 14 is too ignorant to understand this or that, my mind immediately turns to Adam. I imagine him rolling on the floor with laughter (having lived 930 years) hearing such a claim. I think, "what arrogance:" Someone supposing themselves to be superior to another person purely by virtue of age.

1st Samuel chapter 3 tells the story of the "child Samuel" who received revelation because the prophet (Eli - who was old at this point) of the time was not listening in regard his sons. Then we have the situation of Mormon.

"And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus. And I did endeavor to preach unto this people.." Mormon 1:15-16

How would you feel about a 15-year-old preaching to you? Would you feel the "he is too young to know," type idea? "I'm more wise than he is?"

What is more, Mormon was appointed to be the leader of the entire Nephite armies at the age of fifteen (Morm 2:1-2). How would you feel knowing the defense of your nation was in the hands of a 15-year-old? Not enough experience? What would he know? He should be at school.

Some may use the old "ah, but that was back then," as if to suggest that people in the past had 3 arms and 3 legs, or were in some mysterious way different to us.

God gave knowledge of the gold plates to a 17-year-old. Wouldn't a 30+-year-old with more experinece have been a wiser choice? God didn't seem to think so. Joseph Smith hadn't got to the 18-20 year old syndrome of settling in to believe he had worked life out. God molded him with an open mind.

This would seem to demonstrate that we must remain as little children in our learning. Heavenly Father is the wise adult. We ALL are the ignorant children that need to learn. If we start to consider ourselves wiser by age then we close our minds that much more. The beginning of learning is to truly realise how little we actually know. And then to realise that we NEED to learn what we don't know, as soon as possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Day of Creation = 1,000 years

Much debate goes on as to just how we should view the Hebrew word "yom" translated as "day" in the Genesis version of the creation. Some pose it as 7 undefined periods, each being different in length. Others take the more obvious translation of assuming the same time period for each day but question arises as to how long each was.

The first problem is that the sun wasn't created until the 4th day according to Genesis. Therefore what was the light and darkness system that was set up relative to this earth's time?

Logic would suggest to take that written within Scripture (that answers these questions) as the truth. However there is one thing that has arisen that has caused many to doubt that written in Scripture. And that is the dogmas of a new religion - theory science.

Now you may be wondering why I refer to it as a "religion:" After all doesn't it work on proof rather than faith?

A person may state that Elijah saw God, and present Scripture showing it as evidence. But who believes that JUST because he and his instrument of belief (the Bible) said so? Only those with blind faith.

A theory scientist makes a claim that some item is 50 million years old and that his instrument says so. Who believes that JUST because he and his instrument said so? Almost Everyone.


A person may go to great length to discover whether what Scripture proposes is true. Do they just read what those in favour say? Logically you would look at what opposes the idea.

Yet how many look at that which opposes the claims of the theory scientist? But the dating methods are proven accurate, aren't they? Who told you that the dating methods are accurate? The priests of theory science! They claim that carbon breakdown is consistent, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. They tell you that their other dating methods are accurate as it suits them. But by what method have they proven their accuracy? They are confirmed by more priests of theory science - kind of like going to ask your bishop if you want to know if the church is true.

If I were to search for a world religion at this time, theory science would be it. Blind faith - definitely.

How did they PROVE that something supposedly 50 million years old is any more than 5 thousand years old? They obviously know that we can't go back 50 million years to see if their logic is as correct as they try to make it sound. Almost all scientific "facts," demonstrated without proof, are proven false in the first test (where such tests are possible). And the vast majority require many tests and failures before working correctly (where such has been finally achieved).

As they can't prove their "logic" to be accurate I can't regard it as scientific. My (atheistic) science teacher told me that the difference between religion and science was that science could demonstrate the truth of its claims. Therefore talking of knowing what happened millions of years ago is not science. Call it something else if you wish.

There are countless "PROVEN facts" of science which other scientists have come along and proven wrong. Good work people. But why should we believe what you now claim is true? Particularly at the expense of Scripture. Without this religion no one claiming belief in God would doubt what the Scriptures say. But I am open to sensible consideration of truth based on KNOWN FACTS. Yet when it comes to what happened beyond our recorded history we only have conjecture.

I would like to quote the following sentiment from Joseph Fielding Smith for your consideration:

"I am opposed to the present teachings in relation to the age of the earth which declare that the earth is millions of years old. Some modern scientists even claim that it is billions of years old. Naturally, since I believe in modern revelation, I cannot accept these so-called scientific teachings, for I believe them to be in conflict with the simple and direct word of the Lord that has come to us by divine revelation." Answers to Gospel Questions Volume V Chapter 30

So putting aside the philosophies of the theory science religion let's look at what the Scriptures actually say about when the earth was created. What does the "word of the Lord" actually say in regard what a day (yom) in creation actually was?

"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time [yom] that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning." Abr 5:13

So the yom in creation was according to Kolob's time. Then we should look to see whether this yom in Kolob time equals undefined periods or millions/billions of years.

"And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob." Abr 3:4

So this states that a day [yom] in creation equals a thousand years on this planet. This also dispels the theory that the periods of time may have been different from each other.

This point is also confirmed in the second facsimile (the round one) in the book of Abraham. If you look at the explanation of figure 1 (in the opposite page) you will note its mention of the day to God being a thousand years of this planet.

I would recommend to all those caught in this trap (obviously and deviously laid by Satan), that they come out of Babylon and the philosophies of men and actually BELIEVE in Christ. We do NOT have to amalgamate these two religions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Rapture - Part II

The whole concept of a rapture comes from an interpretation of a prophecy of Daniel's. Its in Daniel chapter 9 verses 24-27.

Note that a "septet" means "seven" (i.e. seven days - a week). The angel used the sevens concept deliberately for symbolic reasons rather than just giving numbers (e.g. seven "sevens" rather than just saying 49).

"Seventy septets are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the anointed one, the Prince, shall be seven septets, and sixty-two septets. It shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times. And after the sixty-two septets shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and the war shall last until the end of the desolations that are determined. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one septet: and in the midst of the septet he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. From an extreme edge shall come an abomination, one that makes desolate, even to the full end of that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate."

Seemingly endless interpretations of this prophecy exist. A serious problem is that historians can't definitely prove dates of when kings reigned. The same problem exists with Jewish history. Along with this there is question of just how we classify this command going forth to restore Jerusalem (as several commands went forth). This shouldn't have presented a problem to the people at the time, who would know the history first hand, rather than by interpretations of sometimes partially damaged tablets or conflicting written histories. Thus the interpretation of events referred to in this prophecy are subject to wide opinion now. It would be an enormous post all of its own to go through all the major opinions available.

Reading through the various opinions makes me think strongly on the advice in 2 Peter 1:20-21 about not making private interpretations of prophesies, but to use the Holy Ghost in such things instead. But I will share two of these interpretations. One that shows how the rapture concept has been connected with this prophecy, and one that opposes it. I'll begin with the latter as it is by far the more logical interpretation, because it doesn't make an unspecified interval, proposed by the former.

We have 69 (7 + 62) "sevens" prophesied before Christ(?) turns up. 69 X 7 = 483 days. It is presented that the Bible states that we should take a year for a day in prophecy (Ezek 4:6). Therefore we have 483 years. But it must be remembered that the Roman calendar didn't have a year 0. Thus we go from the year 1 BC to the year 1 AD.

It proposes that the beginning of the seventy septets occurred in 455 BC (the decree of Artaxerxes in his 20th year for Nehemiah). The 70th septet, therefore, begins in 29 AD when Christ began his ministry (according to the supporters of this interpretation). In 33 AD, 3.5 years (midway) into the 70th septet of years, the Messiah atoned for sins, thus causing the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, as prophesied.

However exponents of the rapture concept propose a different starting year and that the last septet of the 70 septets hasn't occurred yet. They refer to the statement, "And after the sixty-two septets shall the anointed one be cut off," proposing that this means EXACTLY at the end of the sixty-two septets (which come after the first 7 septets, thus equalling 69 septets) Christ would die, not during the 70th septet. This leaves us with a seven year period spare. They then propose that this 70th septet hasn't occurred yet.

They interpret events as such:
(the "sevens" are referred to as "weeks" in this translation)

A. Daniel 9:25 Jerusalem construction declared:
"Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem"
B. Daniel 9:25 Prophecy of the Messiah:
unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:
C. Daniel 9:25 Jerusalem Construction happening:
it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.
D. Daniel 9:26 Messiah dies:
And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing:
E. Daniel 9:26 Jerusalem Destroyed by Romans 70 AD:
and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
F. Daniel 9:27 Messiah has pre-rapture of righteous as 7 years of devastation begins:
"And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" - they relate this to the prophesied evil beasts referred to in the Book of Revelation that will come before Christ's coming, saying that they will destroy the temple that will soon be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
G. Daniel 9:27 Jerusalem Destroyed again before Christ's second (third, according to the theory) coming:
"and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that makes desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate."

However there are flaws in this latter interpretation. First, its whole basis for proposing a difference between the two mentions of Jerusalem being destroyed is that there are two mentions: Proposing they can't be the same destruction therefore: That we must read it as a continual story without repetition. Yet they are proposing a repetition of the things relative to the Messiah (Christ) and the sixty-two "sevens." Second, this text has Jerusalem destroyed completely the second time. Yet Zechariah tells us that an entire one-third of the population of Jerusalem will still be alive when Christ arrives for his coming (Zech 13:8). Third, it proposes an unstated interval of nearly 2,000 years - an amazing lot of supposition.

But what scripture texts stand as opposition to the idea?

"I don't pray that you should take them [his followers] out of the world, but that you would keep them for the evil one." John 17:15

This states that Christ isn't into removing his followers from the earth as an answer to coming problems.

"According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." 1 Thess 4:15

So those who are alive won't be raptured before the dead. Note that he states "we". Therefore he wasn't anticipating any early rapture where they would be taken before the resurrection of those already "fallen asleep" (dead).

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1 Thess 4:16-17

This not only states that the living won't precede the dead in being raptured, but that the dead will actually go first. Again note that he says "we". So this confirms that he didn't anticipated some early rapture.

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Matt 16:27

Here Christ is saying that it is at his coming that every man shall be rewarded, nothing about some being rewarded years before.

When giving the parable of the sower Christ says in regard the wicked and the righteous_

"Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather together the tares first, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." Matt 13:30

This presents that Christ will destroy the wicked BEFORE gathering the righteous. It also presents that both should grow TOGETHER (i.e. not be separated until the final harvest).

Matthew chapter 24 contains signs of Christ's second coming. It talks of all the wars, pestilences and earthquakes we should anticipate. It talks of the "abomination that makes desolate" (or "abomination of desolation"). It talks of great tribulation.

Yet before it gets to the tribulation and abomination of desolation to come, it states,

"But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved." (verse 13)

This suggests that the person is already a believer and needs to endure through the whole thing until the end - not to some pre-rapture.

While the idea of avoiding the worst of it sounds wonderful, the Scriptures don't support this concept. Not only isn't it supported, but they oppose it. It just comes out as another wishful thinking doctrine: A "wouldn't it be nice if."

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Rapture - is there a resurrection to occur some Years before Christ's Second Coming? Part I

Most believers in the second coming of Christ believe in some form of raising of the righteous at that time. Yet there are those who believe in a raising before that time also. The event of a raising itself is referred to as a "rapture". However some present the idea that there are to be 2 general raptures around the time Christ comes: That Christ will not only have a second coming but also a third coming around that time (before the millennium). This concept of a hidden middle coming of Christ and raising only certain people is referred to by them as "The Rapture".

Those teaching this doctrine (which is gaining in popularity) propose that there will be a seven year tribulation period (I will come to this) before his second (third) coming. Some say that he will come and take the righteous before the seven years and others after three and a half years.

Almost all the Scriptural support quoted for this idea rests in proving the resurrection itself (which isn't in dispute by those not supporting the idea). So this first part of the "evidence" for the pre-rapture concept is like trying to prove that 15-year-olds are too young to drive, by proving that roads exist. Yet a couple of things written in these texts do bear consideration, as there could be some confusion derived from those two statements. I will quote them as a block, and address them all collectively. (This collection were all the New Testament references quoted in the Wikipedia for support, under the subject of the Rapture).

"Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)

"For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever." (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17)

"He [Christ] will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be formed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself." (Philippians 3:21)

"In my Father's house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2–3)

"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left." (Luke 17:30-35)

"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark 13:26-27)

In regard these statements I think it important to set forth the events that are to soon transpire as recorded in Scripture. We have a thousand year period referred to as "the millennium (thousand)", that will commence at Christ's coming to set up a kingdom. At that coming he will destroy the wicked (who will be automatically consumed by his presence). He will take the righteous with him and they will reign in his kingdom. Yet in spite of simplistic comments of sheep and goats we still have people who go on living during the millennium (those who were neither righteous enough to go with him {sheep} nor wicked enough to be destroyed at his coming {goats})(Rev 20:3 & 7-8).

So as some will be left during the millennium and some will be raised at that time, talk of two women grinding etc and one being taken and one left, doesn't prove a pre-rapture. Nor do any of these other texts merely making mention of a resurrection.

Some confusion may exist in that Mark refers to gathering his elect from "the uttermost part of heaven" also. Yet the Scriptures clearly state that many righteous dead were resurrected at the time of Christ (for starters) (Matt 27:52). So, naturally, there are already righteous resurrected people in heaven. Therefore this can't be used to prove a pre-rapture around the time of his second coming, either.

I will quote one other New Testament Scripture that I have seen quoted tongue-in-cheek in support of this concept.

"After this I looked, and, see, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter." Rev 4:1

It is claimed that John here represents the church being taken up to heaven for the rapture. However if that were true then this should be written when it is talking just before the opening of the 7th seal (the millennium). Secondly and thirdly not only is there nothing to support such an interpretationn of this verse, but plainly John doesn't represent the church in the rest of the Book of Revelation; thus opposing such an interpretation.

So what does this theory all stem from?

I'll come to that in Part II

Monday, September 08, 2008

Blame for Sin/Crime - Are there true Victims?

There has been a large swing back to revenge mentality within society of recent decades. Where there had been a swing in the late 60's early 70's to forgiveness of those committing crimes, it has now gone to the opposite extreme. A shame man can't find the happy medium. But this has increased the mentality of what I would term "globalised blaming". This is where we take a crime and find someone to put all the blame on.

This makes life very black and white. It makes life into a straight line with wrong at one end and right at the other, where you have to be at either extreme end. The Pharasees used this same logic in accusing Christ and his disciples of offences against the law of Moses. The law of Moses made outward action the way to judge guilt. But the gospel of Christ makes the feelings of the heart the main issue. It also takes into account intent (ie thoughts of the mind). Suddenly we have 3 dimensional shades rather than a black and white line.

A person who has committed adultery that is a non-member can be baptised instantly, but a member having committed adultery, and ex-communicated, can't. Considering the crime is exactly the same, why a different judgement?

Because the act of opposing the feelings of your heart, with full knowledge, to such a degree, requires time for purging. Yet the physical act is exactly the same. So true judgement requires far more than an observation of physical activity. One of my favorite scriptures is Isa 11:3 where it says that Christ won't judge after the seeing of the eyes nor the hearing of the ears.

This heart judging and taking intent into account may sound impressive, but it makes true judgement awfully hard for us to do. Man has the tendency to hear of a terrible act done by someone and feel ill against the proposed perpetrator. Then there is also the problem that we assume a/some perfectly uninvolved victim/s.

From the time we are young we get the concept of the "baddies" VS the "goodies". Where a crime occurs we look for the "baddy": The one who is 100% to blame for all the ill - who is supposed to die in the end of the movie. And the other/s are the "goodies" who have no blame whatsoever, but are heroes deserving medals.

However life isn't like that either, in the vast majority of cases. Naturally a baby has no input into a crime committed against it. But some time while 7-years-old we begin to arrive at the point of recognising sin merely by being presented with it (thus we need baptism at 8). If we listen to our heart from that time forth we can know what is good and what isn't. From that time forth any act we do of an evil nature will produce some dark ukky feeling in our spirit, whether we note it in our minds or not.

Unfortunately some well intending people may wish to advise victims that they had no responsibility for the act, where they may have had some input. This may please the adviser and give them good feelings about themselves being a great help, but isn't productive for the victim. It leaves the victim unable to address their true feelings. Thus the ukky feeling remains and the person can't move on as successfully as they could if they got rid of it. Also these sins must be repented of to be cleansed by Christ. How can they be if people are telling them there was no sin on their part? Next, the sin, or some related sin, is very likely to re-occur, because the person hasn't changed their viewpoint.

Some may feel this is a bit of a slight on victims - to accuse them of some wrong. However blame is a huge thing that must be considered very carefully. For example the actions of the Nephites and those Israelites in Israel is stated to have contributed to their enemies attacking them. Thus blame doesn't even need to be as obvious as someone having done anything physically directed at the act to have some input. A person may say things that are sexually oriented, that may have contributed to putting the idea in someone else's head of committing a sexual act upon them (for example). A person may wear clothing that suggests they are that type. A person may be proud because of their wealth and talk of their riches, which promotes the idea to someone else of robbing them. A person may partly cause a crime purely by their attitude. Just looking at the crime and assuming the victim had no input is unwise. As would equally be assuming that they MUST have had some input.

In regard all this the problem that man can have is the tendency to decide there is a 100% of blame that must be shared among contributors. We then would have a system where each person's guilt would be relevant to how many others we could find to blame, and what percentage of the blame we pass on to each.

However this is false. Each person is 100% to blame for their input only. The input of others only bears relevance in regard how that affected what we would consider each person's crime to be. For example an act of taking someone else's TV home wouldn't be theft if the other person gave permission. Thus we have to look at the involvement of others to consider what each has done. Some psychologists/psychiatrists get a bit paranoid with such talk, and say it is "externalising". However the involvement of the proposed victim must be considered to know what occurred for righteous judgement. Externalising can only be the case where a person knowingly does the wrong thing under the circumstance, and makes it someone else's fault that they did so.

Much and all as we may not care to admit it, the reality is that almost any crime could be stated to have been committed by almost everyone in the society, to some degree. So often we hear such things as "who is the most important person in the world?" The assumption is "you." Do you always fervently challenge this thinking? And sexual promiscuity; how actively do you oppose it? Bad laws that give too much power to governments and Police; what about that? Do you laugh at lustful innuendo? Showing cleavage and short/tight skirts/clothing? The idea that it is good to have more than others? Offenders come from the society and are partially a product of its values.

Again I stress that it isn't a case of distributing the 100% blame. But recognising contributors to the crime/sin. When viewing these concepts we are left to consider how many 100% victims are there?

Yet at the same time this doesn't detract from the fact that the perpetrator is still 100% to blame for their actions, according to their heart and intent.

Well did Moroni say, "...see that ye judge not wrongfully; for with that same judgement ye judge ye shall be judged."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Respect to Other People's Religious Opinions????

First let me say the obvious, least I be misunderstood, that as LDS we should support the right of all people to have religious opinions contrary to our own. And we should support their rights to practice those beliefs where the practice doesn't infringe on the God given rights of others. We should also show respect to them, as individuals, in spite of their opinions. But how much respect should we show to those actual opinions?

Christ strongly opposed the false doctrines that had crept into the church. He talked to the Scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees; who actually belonged to the true church which he himself had established through Moses and Aaron. Yet is this respect he and John the Baptist showed to them? - "O generation of vipers" (Matt 3:7, Matt 12:34), "an evil and adulterous generation" (Matt 12:39), "child of hell" (Matt 23:15).

And what did Christ say of the Jews? - "Ye are of your father the devil" (Jn 8:44), "liar" (Jn 8:55), He said that it would be more tolerable for the Gentile cities in the day of judgement than for Jewish cities that had seen the miracles and yet rejected him (Matt 11:20-24).

And what did prophets preach to those they were sent to? How wicked they were, and they were doomed to hell if they don't change. Even the more moderate statements say things like, "ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity" (Hel 13:38).

And what did Christ say of other religions? "all their creeds are an abomination." Should I hide from the words of Christ? Perhaps be more diplomatic than my Savior?

I have many Protestant friends, but they all know exactly what I think of the god taught by Protestant churches. Following Christ's example, I don't hide this. They know that I love them as people, and reserve their right to those beliefs. Yet they know that out of that love I seek to help them see how unbiblical it is.

I know that some of my posts are very pointed send-ups of many false ideas embedded in society. I have done send-ups or had a go at theory science, feminism, psychiatry, philosophy, the legal system, political systems, Catholicism and Protestantism. And as long as lies persist, that won't change. I make no apologies for following my Savior's example and declaring falsehood to be such, in the strongest terms.

Nevertheless I would say to anyone who feels that I don't love them, that they are mistaken. My writings are out of concern for those involved. They are a wake-up call, not a desire to look down on those believing such things. These things bother me because I seek the true joy of all. And I know these things are contrary to that joy that I seek for others.

Feminists winging about men and distorting history and reality, aren't happy. Psychiatrists giving people false advice aren't helping anyone. Flaws in the legal system that create a loss of hope and/or condemn the innocent are also destructive to a people. People believing themselves to be advanced apes have lower self-esteem and more reason to commit suicide when problems arise. Protestants and Catholics believing in that horrid god can't appreciate the joy of a truly loving God. Those compromising truth to fit in with their invented philosophy are suffering the affects of their false perceptions.

The world is paying the price of falsehood. It is demonstrated in so many ways. The truth will only hurt for a while. If you reject the falsehoods and follow the truth it will bring you that happiness inside that you truly desire.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deep Doctrine - Can we just Wait and learn it "Later On"?

A point of some confusion, in the church, is just how important is it to learn uncommonly known doctrine while alive? Should we just put it off until we are resurrected and have God tell us then? Some will argue that it is confusing, and so it is best to just wait.

Some past GAs have mentioned that not everything can be learnt in this lifetime, and will require instruction afterward. But what are these things that won't be learnt in this lifetime? It seems obvious to me that the state of a resurrected body is likely to be one of these things referred to. After all, how can we understand the physical make-up of something we don't actually have? What is it like dwelling in everlasting burnings with a resurrected body? How much space is best left between solar systems, and why? How many inhabited planets should be governed by one Savior? There are so many questions and things to learn. So it certainly can't all be learnt in this lifetime.

On the one hand the idea is posed - leave learning unknown doctrine to later. Yet on the other hand we have - should we put off until tomorrow what we could do today? Or - procrastination; a tool of the Devil.

Then we have on the one hand - we could get it wrong. Yet on the other hand - "fear" a tool that Satan uses: A concept of spiritual ignorance is definately something he is pleased with.

But additionally questions arise, such as - How are we better off by learning mysteries? How does our learning affect others? How does our learning affect our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Is there a responsibility put upon us to learn for some reason? And what do the Scriptures say about this?

Alma 34:32 tells us that this lifetime is when we should prepare to meet God. And while Alma emphasises the repentance point, surely the same logic applies to everything.

John 8:32 states, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." In our missionary discussions it quoted this, and then went on to say, "knowing the truth frees us from the consequences of following false information." In other words ignorance (and Christ was referring more to spiritual truth) leaves us in a greater position to make wrong choices (do evil). Having the truth also allows us to help others stay free of such consequences.

Then we are also informed, "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more KNOWLEDGE and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the ADVANTAGE in the world to come." (D&C 130: 18-19).

That certainly doesn't propose waiting until afterward to learn things. In fact quite the opposite. It tells us that the more we learn in this life, that relates to spiritual things, the greater advantage we will have later.

"The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." (D&C 93: 36). Therefore the more truth we obtain, that we live by (D&C 93:39), the greater intelligence we have.

Amidst a collection of revelatory gems D&C 131:6 states, "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance."

But I would suppose the most conclusive to be, "If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things - that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal." (D&C 42:61).

This is saying that if you will ask you will learn the mysteries that bring eternal life. This is, naturally, proposing that if you don't ask you won't know sufficiently the things that will bring eternal life. That seals it all to me.

But while this message is clear, what is the benefit for me today: The person inside?

I can't begin to explain the feeling of joy that comes as truth comes flooding in. It is just like your being is gaining all this wonderful light. Your life is that much better from that time henceforth. Nothing else can even begin to compare with it, other than looking in the eyes of a woman beautiful with the light of truth that is in her. Or standing in the presence of Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ.

But this is one more area involved in this. Desiring to know the truth, sincerely, will bring you closer to God. You will begin to find you are talking with him, and he with you personally. This relationship will develop to where you begin to see him. You will love this relationship.

So there is no downside to learning the mysteries provided you follow the things he says.

Monday, July 28, 2008

We can do Superhuman Things With the Right Motivation and Belief

I find it interesting reading the Book of Mormon and its claim that a small force, correctly motivated, can beat a far superior force. Armies are aware of this and always present that their army is either unbeatable or doing the right thing, before sending them off to war. The story of the 2,000 stripling warriors (Alma chapter 56) is a classic case.

I have heard cases where a woman has picked up one side of a truck to get her child out, in extreme circumstances. I had a similar experience where a friend of mine lifted the front of a car and dragged another friend out from under it.

I can tell of two amazing personal experiences with this. I was working with some electricians in wiring a 13 story building that was in the process of being built. I was very keen on gaining an apprenticeship with them, so was eager to impress. We had 3 rolls of wire which were on wooden reels that were about 4 1/2 to 5 feet (1 1/2 metres) tall. 3 of us tried to guide them, to some degree, as they were rolled off the truck. We couldn't control the rolling speed, only some attempt at direction. The electrician I was working with that day told me to bring one over to where we were working. There were fragments of brick all over the place and a risen doorway to bring it across. I mentioned this, and that it would be impossible for me to roll it to where we were. I was thinking that with relief as I didn't feel I could roll it anyway with its weight. He said that I would have to pick it up and carry it. I said, how can I lift that?" He pointed to a steel pole and said put it between two of them and carry them over. His matter of fact way of saying it, and my strong desire to please, made me go and do it. Now this solid through steel pole was at least 1 1/4 inches (3 1/2 cm) thick.

By the time I had carried those two reels to him the pole was very bent. I have no idea how heavy that weight was, but I'm no muscle builder, and I had just turned 16-years-old. He also told me to strip a foot (1/3 metre) of wire, which with the wire we were using at the time was well beyond the impossible, yet I also did that for the same reasons.

So the 2 reasons why I could do these impossible actions was the right motivation and the belief that the electrician engendered in making me feel such abilities were typical and expected. Though I found out the next day that wasn't true.

That therefore leads to the question of just how much are we really capable of? It also starts to show the power of faith. The true ability we can rise to is to do that work which our Father in heaven does.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Does the Bible Teach Only Two Levels of Reward - Heaven or Hell?

As LDS we have D&C 76 explaining the varying rewards that await us after judgement. But for those who don't have this information there has been a very basic (and extremely unfair) concept of rewards.

The Bible and the other books within the Standard Works point to two general states in judgement. We have what we term a "Heaven" and a "Hell". That makes judgement sound very simple. But the Bible says quite a lot more on the subject that challenges this simple outlook.

Coupled with this we have a final judgement. Yet we also have talk of being ALREADY judged when we die. So what is the point of a final judgement, if we are already in heaven or hell?

When I was about 12-years-old (having been brought up a Protestant/Catholic) I was faced with the question of my standing before God. My best friend was a very dedicated Catholic. I questioned on whether I might end up not good enough or having not repented at the right time to go to heaven, and thus end up in hell. I then thought on my friend and questioned the justice if he made it in and I didn't. I then questioned the justice of it if it were the other way around. While my minister assured me of eternal life, as I came to Church and believed in Christ, my feelings weren't quite satisfied at leaving my eternal future to his opinion. Particularly as ministers (including him) couldn't speak on behalf of God to answer other obvious questions I had been asking at that point of my life. Nor did his answer comply with what the Bible said in regard this (I knew the Bible spoke of people not getting in due to lack of works - clothing the naked etc, and that not everyone saying, "Lord," would go to heaven, as he was proposing).

The thoughts that my mind went to was the justice of the whole 2 outcomes idea. How can every person on earth be either considered evil or righteous? And while some may argue that those who accept the atonement of Christ are going to heaven and those who don't are going to hell, the Scriptures don't support this simplistic idea as all there is to it. Nor does sense. Are we to believe that if Adolf Hitler accepted the atonement of Christ yet continued to murder that he would go to heaven, and someone who had lived a good life is going to hell because they were a muslim? And talk of repentance with change poses the question of how much change qualifies a person? Yet all this also poses the questions, is this the righteous judge that God presented himself to be to Abraham? Is this the loving father that Christ presented?

Having said only a small fragment of how unfair such judgement would be, I would like to turn to what the Scriptures say (with particular emphasis on the Bible) in regard the matter, as that is the point of the post.

In Luke chapter 16 Christ gives the parable of Lazareth and the rich man. Verses 22 and 23 explain that upon death Lazareth went to a nice state and that the rich man was in torment. So this demonstrates an immediate separation of states of reward upon death.

When the thief on the cross gave his testimony of who Christ was, Luke records the following response,

"And Jesus said to him, Surely I say to you, To day you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:24

Yet Christ states that eventually (by the end) all the dead will hear his voice and rise. Then he says,

"And will come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation." Jn 5:29

This suggests a change of circumstance from that previously had.

Also note John's statement in regard the end,

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to wheir works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Rev 20:12-14

So not only does death deliver up the dead, but hell also. This reaffirms that some have been in a hell state already. THEN those who have been in a hell state are judged along with those who have been in a paradise state. What difference could there possibly be in judgement? Weren't they already assigned to hell or heaven? And aren't we told that the wicked will be in hell without ceasing? So why has it ceased for a resurrection and judgement? We have a statement that the previous hell (along with death) is swallowed up by the second death. So they can't return to that hell anyway. It has ceased to exist.

Plainly the final judgement has a different criteria of judgement from the initial states we exist in upon death, else it would be a pointless judgement. Yet the unrepentant have suffered for their sins, while the truly repentant have been saved from that suffering by Christ's atonement, and been in a paradise state instead.

So what do we know about this first hell state where sins are paid for?

"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and didn't prepared himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that didn't know, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:47-48

So we find here that the amount of punishment given in this hell state is relevant to how much we knew it was wrong to do something evil. Now while this would also pertain to the second death, it would obviously pertain to the first hell state, where people are punished for their sins.

Christ came (among other things) to save us from our sins. But what does this being saved mean?

"And you he has quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ (by grace you are saved;)" Eph 2:1+5

So those who truly repent are quickened by the spirit already. They are saved from the state they were in NOW. This isn't speaking of some future event. It is speaking of something that frees us now and will continue to be the case ever after, because we have given up "trespasses and sins".

We see further evidence that our sins being forgiven gives people an immediate release from the hell state we would otherwise be in, in Luke. Jesus heals a man of the palsy.

"And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you....And immediately he rose up before them, and took up what he was laying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God." Luke 5:20+25

So Christ is presenting that, in this man's case, his sins being forgiven made him well there and then: He was freed from the hell state that had held him. Therefore Christ came to save us from a present state.

In regard being saved from this hell state Paul says,

"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, least any man should boast." Eph 2:8-9

No works this man healed of the palsy could do would clean his conscience of his past sins. It can only be by Christ suffering instead in the atonement that could free the conscience, as we open up in true repentance while looking to Christ in faith.

But does this being saved from our conscience's bad feelings put us up with Heavenly Father after the final judgement, while all others go to be with Satan?

Final Judgement

"For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete out, it shall be measured to you again." Matt 7:2

How does this fit with the idea above that it is only through faith in Christ?

This again points out this concept of people receiving different rewards from each other. "..with what judgement you judge..." No two people judge exactly the same. Therefore no two would receive exactly the same measure back. Our reward is totally relevant to each individual action, whether they be good or evil, in the type of person we are by that time. No comment of favourable judgement only by repentance or acceptance of Christ - though, of course, that is a necessary step in disposing of the old person and making continual growth and positive changes.

"Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in." Matt 25:34-35

Here works are clearly stated to be relevant to whether you get into the kingdom of heaven. How does this also relate to the statement that works have no relevance to salvation? Plainly, being saved from the hell state isn't the same as getting into the kingdom.

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."Matt 7:21

Again we have comment that personal righteousness (works) is required to get into the kingdom of heaven. Just calling Jesus "Lord" won't get you there. Nor will just be being saved from the hell state by grace.

Note what Matt 7 goes on to say in verses 22-23,

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."

So even those who have done many mighty miracles IN JESUS'S NAME still won't get into the kingdom of heaven if they are still sinning - regardless of their acceptance of Christ.

Let's look at the following quotes that can give the indication of only 2 rewards,

"And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, ... Then shall the King say unto them ... Come,... inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matt 25:33-34

"Then shall he say also unto them of the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Matt 25:41

While this sounds like only two rewards, it isn't. It is merely stating that there is a dividing of the totally wicked and the totally righteous. This is speaking of Christ's second coming. And in spite of this stating that the righteous will ALL go to the kingdom of heaven and the wicked ALL being cast off with the devil, some people go on living during the next 1,000 years. So, obviously, many present at that time won't fit into these 2 catagories.

In fact concerning how many will actually get into the kingdom of heaven Christ stated,

"Because thin is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it." Matt 7:14

This word "few" means "puny" in Greek (Strong's Concordance). If we are to believe that all professing Christ are to get into that kinddom then we would have "puny" billions. Puny would indicate to me very few indeed.

The Scriptures show further that knowledge makes a difference to reward,

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." 2 Pet 2:20-21

This demonstrates at least 3 states of people relative to rewards - those who never knew, those who knew and accepted and those who knew and rejected.

Also note,

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot. So then because you are luke-warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth." Rev 3:15-16

Are we to believe that the reward of those wrongdoers that God wouldn't "spue" out of his mouth is the same as those he would? Obviously it would be better, whatever we want to claim it to be.

Amidst all this the question arises as to where then everyone else goes that isn't totally righteous or totally wicked? And the Bible says almost nothing on this subject in the way of giving each a title. But as God is a righteous judge, we can be assured that judgement is fair. Also some of the Scriptures quoted have demonstrated that judgement will be totally fair.

"I knew a man in Christ above forteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannnot tell: God knows;) who was caught away, as such, to the third heaven." 2 Cor 12:2

Third Heaven? How does that fit with only 2 states?

And then we have the parable of the talents. Note how it goes.

Matt 25:14-15 "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability, and straight away took his journey."

The story unfolds that the one with 5 talents put them to work and ended up with 10 talents. The one with only 2 talents intially, ended up having 4. But the one having only 1 did nothing with what he had, and so only had 1 talent when the master arrived back and wanted a counting.

The one that had done nothing with his talent was cast out into outer darkness (verse 30).

Now both the one with 10 talents and the one with 4 talents are praised and promised much. Yet note what the master said to do with the talent that was taken from the man with only one,

"Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents. For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. Matt 25:28-29

So in spite of the equal promises given to both (the one with 10 and the one with 4) the one with 10 ends up with 11 talents and the other still only 4 talents. Christ has presented that the more you are faithful with, the more you will end up with.

In conclusion:-
1. Not all receive the same amount of punishment, but some are beaten with more punishment than others.
2. We have found that God isn't equally opposed to all those who don't follow Christ (the ignorant are more tollerated).
3. We have found that Christ's atonement, not our works, saves us from sins NOW.
4. Yet we have found that works are required to get into the kingdom of heaven, however.
5. We have found that there are 2 judgements that aren't the same.
6. We have found that the first hell state doesn't go without EVER ceasing, but just doesn't stop at the time we suffer for our sins (if we haven't accepted the atonement).
7. We have found that outer darkness (the second death) goes without ceasing.
8. We have found that judgement and rewards will be different for all.
9. We have found that there are 3 general states of heaven.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Book of Mormon and the Bible - the Relationship

I was brought up with the Bible, but had to adjust to the concept of additional scripture in the Book of Mormon. An obvious difference I noticed was the form of writing: The King James scholars write differently from Joseph Smith. But this difference is just superficial. Looking for what is the same and what is different in the people and their doctrine is the important thing, along with the value of its teachings to us.

The BoM (Book of Mormon) people prior to Christ had a doctrine somewhat closer to the gospel in many ways than those in the OT (Old Testament). Yet it should also be remembered that although the OT was generally written toward a more spiritually backward people, it still contained the gospel principles for those who searched with the Spirit. The things Christ taught he could back up from the OT and other scriptures they had. The Pharisees knew this and couldn't argue it.

The part where the Bible comes to the fore is in the NT (New Testament) where it contains more books written after Christ, and by more authors. This gives greater understanding of gospel thinking in application. Additionally it has more of the teachings of Christ, details of the atonement in the garden, his death on the cross and the resurrection.

Yet the BoM has many invaluable lessons not stated so well or at all in the OT and NT. Not only that but the BoM demonstrates a greater average closeness to the Spirit consistently. In the NT Matthew has a great closeness to the Spirit. James and Peter also have this. And John feels an enormous love. Yet the OT is mostly very flat from this perspective. Isaiah shines forth and perhaps Jeremiah.

The BoM also has an advantage in not having so many of Christ's teachings, in that it makes his main message more obvious, thus not confusing the issue of what the fullness of the gospel actually is.

In spite of the lesser Spirit within it, I feel the value of the OT is generally ignored. God gave all the laws within the Law of Moses for a reason. Coming to understand those reasons brings us closer to understanding God and his way of working. It also helps us understand the gospel more completely, how to live it and how to advise others on principles of life.

Although Christ touches upon it in the NT, the BoM goes into greater depth about problems with lawyers and the legal system generally. It also goes into greater depth in regard political corruption. In that line there is also the demonstration of Mafia type problems.

Yet the NT gives a greater demonstration of the problems associated with Law of Moses type judgements. We see this with the Pharisees condemnation of Christ's actions. And his condemnation of their inability to judge people where their situations fall outside of the situations that God knew would USUALLY be the case, when he made the rules (eg. "But if ye had known what this meaneth, 'I would have mercy, and not sacrifice,' ye would not have condemned the guiltless" Matt 12:7).

Without the history of the OT, the NT and BoM would be hard to follow in parts. Mormon allowed for the existence of this historical information when he compiled the BoM (Eth 1:3-4).

Monday, June 23, 2008

As Long as You Believe in Christ? Protestant Unity?

Protestant churches will attack the church and Joseph Smith etc, claiming us to be in conflict with their perception of what God is all about. But what exactly is this perception that we aren't in harmony with?

I should first point out that to be classified a "Christian" doesn't require belief in any creed or agreement, but belief in Jesus of Nazareth being the promised Messiah (Christ - anointed), whatever you perceive that to be. Nothing more. Either that or we classify a "Christian" to be someone who's life and principles are in exact agreement with how Christ lived and felt (I can't remember meeting anyone that Christ like).

The same applies to the term "Protestant". Protestantism CAN'T exclude anyone from being called a "Protestant" that fits with the meaning of the word (ie their existence stems from protesting against the doctrines of the Catholic Church). Which ours doesn't, as the restored church, but others they attack do. What I'm saying is that neither Christianity nor Protestantism are clubs that require the agreement of other members to join. In fact as each new Protestant sect arose it was persecuted by the others.

Today's Protestantism (in most cases) on the one hand poses unity of their various religions, by claiming that "as long as you believe in Christ" you are saved. They say that it doesn't matter that their various sects have different opinions on things, because they all claim to be following the anointed one (Christ), and therefore are going to heaven. Yet on the other hand they (overall) claim Latter-Day Saints aren't saved in spite of us believing in Christ. And any other Christian sect who challenges the unity idea too seriously is also attacked.

Yet in spite of Protestantism claiming unity now, and that all claiming a belief in Christ are saved, that isn't what they REALLY teach from the pulpit, when you look between the lines.

If you go to any sect claiming speaking in tongues they will quote 1 John 3:24 "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." To this they add that if the Holy Spirit is in you then you WILL be rolling around the floor speaking in tongues. And if you aren't doing this then the Spirit isn't in you, and you don't have God in you. This means you aren't really saved at all, unless you are speaking in tongues. And for that you should be among those doing so - at their church.

The "Uniting Church" sect poses that God wants all churches united into one - a uniting church - them. And therefore to be doing what God wants you must be supporting them. This means that if you are going elsewhere you aren't really right with God.

This is all subtle suggestion - Yes, you can go where you like, but you won't be right with God unless you ----. And we do that here; you won't get it in all/most of those other churches.

Baptist sects like to quote the bits about Christ being baptised by full immersion, and pointing out the necessity of baptism in God's program. They won't blatantly state that you won't be saved if you are baptised by sprinkling in some other church, but point out that baptism isn't baptism unless by immersion. This then leaves the person with the knowledge that their previous sprinkling wasn't in harmony with God's command and they must come to them to be baptised properly.

Some may be thinking, "well that is what LDS believe in regard baptism." Yes, it is. But we don't claim that it doesn't matter what church you go to or what you believe. They are claiming it doesn't matter, yet also claiming you won't be right with God unless you've had THEIR baptism.

Then there are churches that pose that we won't be right with God if we aren't worshipping on Saturday specifically. That kind of reminds me of that rule in the Geneva Convention that says that you can't stab a man with a rusty bayonet, because he might die of blood poisoning (yes, that is actually in there). The point of the sabbath commandment is to take one day out of seven to reflect on God and spiritual things. Making an issue of WHAT day that is, other than for uniformity, is truly the leaven of the Pharisees. They will say the famous, "as long as you believe in Christ it doesn't matter where you go," then liken worshipping on Sunday to sun worshippers. And then point out that Christ went to the synagogue on Saturday and so you must also. Otherwise you aren't following Christ and right with him.

The Salvation Army quote Christ stating that you won't get into heaven if you aren't feeding the poor among you etc (Matt 25:41-43). They point out that they are the only ones so dedicated to such. And therefore to be really right with God you need to be going there.

Then there are those who say that you aren't a follower of Christ if you go to war, because he said to love your enemies. Then there are those that say that there is no trinity, and believers in a trinity are following paganism. And so it goes on.

So it seems that the real problem that the LDS church has with Protestantism isn't really what we believe. But that we don't put in the famous line, about it not mattering where you go, before saying it.