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.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Our 3 parts - Body, Spirit and Intelligence - a Deeper Examination of Ourselves.

When Eve and Jesus were tempted 3 perspectives were used to tempt them (Gen 3:6) (Matt 4:2-10).

1. The desire of the flesh
Pleasing to the taste, you're hungry turn the stone to bread to eat.
2. What the eye could see
Pleasing to the eye, all these kingdoms you see I will give you.
3. Pride
Desired to make one wise, throw yourself down if you are the Son of God and prove it.

The apostle John stated, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 Jn 2:16.

Question arises as to why there are 3 things to be wary of relative to temptation? Why hasn't Satan or some prophet or apostle come up with a 4th or 5th aspect?

Everyone is aware that we have a physical body. Every person with even a minuscule amount of feeling should be aware that we have feelings from inside our torso area. Yet most people have little understanding of our make-up beyond that.

People sometimes fall deeply in love with someone. They feel all these butterfly feelings etc. Their heart is really alive in this feeling. But what is this heart that is so alive? And why do people fall in love?

Some people have a flesh romance. The other person's body appeals to them, and the relationship is mostly built on that focus. Others feel that looking at the person's face and eyes appeals to them, and the body being a reasonable shape is sufficient. It is a pleasing to the eye experience. But then there are those who's relationship doesn't focus on either of these aspects. They feel a mental oneness with the person, and couldn't care less what they look like. Many would have some degree of each of these aspects in their relationship, but I'm referring to focus.

In all this again we see these same 3 aspects reflected in our relationships. We have had 3 aspects to our existence. We are now experiencing our flesh time. Before that we had a spirit time, after being born children of our heavenly parents - Heavenly Father and our mother in heaven. From that point on we have a body (spirit body) to begin seeing things, rather than just perceiving by feelings. Before getting that spirit body we were defined as an "intelligence" only (D&C 93:29), and had existed forever.

So the attacks by evil, and the ways we have to perceive our relationships are - feelings of the flesh, feelings from our spirit by seeing, and appealing to the deeper feelings of our eternal intelligence.

Many wonder why people can be so in love when getting married, and yet end up getting divorced? I can easily answer this question. I have had females tell me that they are in love with me, and I have felt all these powerful loving feelings from them. Yet the deep respect that should come from the mental type of love doesn't exist, or is very minor in them. In these cases as soon as they have to live with the person, and the reality that this is a lifetime commitment (at least), dawns on them, then the "in love" aspect dies, as it has no firm foundation: It was all just illusionary - pleasing to the eye. The only true security lies in the deeper spiritual love, which those "in love" by sight think they already have as a side effect of their feelings. (I should mention that there is nothing wrong with being "in love" of itself). A sure test of the strength of that deeper love existing is demonstrated when a person comes to accept your beliefs when theirs are opposite. And a person laughing at your beliefs, as a first response, can't love you enough that way, at that time.

The interesting thing is that these 3 parts of our being have created ideas of their own, in a sense. Because we have forgotten our pre-existence we have created a new set of ideas built upon the experiences of this earth time. Yet in spite of this, inside, the other 2 exist and have some understanding of eternal things. And this does create some conflict between the desires of our mind and the knowledge from our pre-existence. Not only that but we can have conflict with that which our spirit recognises as wrong by analysing it next to eternal truth (conscience). Getting in touch with our heart (spirit) and our deeper self, from the intelligence only time, will help us understand ourselves better and avoid self-conflict. I have had wonderfully spiritual and meaningful experiences by seeking to become one with myself. I listen to my spirit inside. That way these 3 existences can become one.

It would seem from my experiences in this that there was a vague forgetting, for a time, of our former time as an intelligence when we took on a spirit body. While it has some advantages for various reasons, I believe that our present forgetting of our pre-existence is because of our transition to our physical body. I have had several memories come through from my pre-existence, from time to time in my life. And some before I had even heard the concept of pre-existing and had been taught that I was invented at conception.

It seems interesting that while we don't believe in the Catholic concept of a triune God, we are, in fact, a trinity nevertheless (being made of 3 parts). The even stranger irony is that Heavenly Father is also a trinity of himself (being made up of these same 3 parts). And Jesus Christ is also a trinity of himself. But the Holy Ghost is only a duity, as he has no physical body (D&C 130:22). Just to qualify that, least I be misunderstood, while we don't believe in the Catholic trinity concept of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as one God, we do believe in 3 parts to Heavenly Father himself (body, spirit body and intelligence).

This understanding of ourselves and our 3 parts gives us a greater ability to work out what we are doing and why. It allows us to become one, and make better direction in our lives. And it gives us the opportunity to end the conflict within ourselves, by listening to our other part's opinions. This also makes it far easier to live those principles that Christ taught, as we develop perfect contact with our conscience.