Word 0002 ~ I, Nephi

Lehi and his people arrive in the promised land - Arnold Friberg
Lehi and his people arrive in the promised land – Arnold Friberg

I have been talking with Mormon missionaries and visiting a local LDS church. They encouraged me to read from the Book of Mormon which they count as guiding authority for their own spiritual path. I fear no new ideas and I am open to all exploration in the world of the Spirit. I have finished reading First Nephi. It focuses on a family whose Patriarch is Lehi and married to Sariah with four sons; Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi, in the order of age. Laman and Lemuel were the constantly reprimanded sons whose faith was often subject to evaporation under pressure. Sam was faithful and supportive of his father and his youngest brother who were both gifted visionaries inspired by prophetic capacity. They were a Jewish family of the tribe of Joseph, with the Egyptian language and Hebrew belief system. Lehi received warning from God that Jerusalem was coming under judgment and facing the coming of the Babylonian captivity. Lehi sought to warn his neighbors in an attempt to alter that fate or extend escape to those who would listen. He came under assault and after prayer, left his riches and residence behind and took his family into the wilderness for refuge. They recovered sacred and administratively important words recorded on brass plates at the direction of God, probably in preparation for their long term departure. Lehi and Nephi have visions of the Tree of Life. They are directed to migrate to a “Land of Promise” that is not Israel. It is the American continent. Nephi received directions to build a ship and off they go. They arrive in the new Promised Land around 590 BC. That is the historical gist of the book as I understand it.

I took an Integrated Arts course in college and we discussed the willing suspension of disbelief in order to enjoy a movie or a story. It is basically necessary to ignite the imagination and explore the creation of other minds. I did the same thing as I began reading in the Book of Mormon. These were the internal critics I had to silence in order to eat the popcorn and watch the story unfold:

  1. The Primary Prophet of the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, lived from 1805 to 1844 in the United States and was the writer of these words. He is rewriting history as prophecy. He synthesizes new testament ideas into an old testament environment. (Missionary Response was that he has faced some doubts himself in younger years but they are no different than problems with the Bible that has come under intellectual criticism. Ultimately it is the reality of what it produces in his own life and how empowering it is for him to face daily living. Good answer, I thought. Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible removing some of the “fantastical portions” and Thomas Paine wrote critically of the Scriptures in his book “The Age of Reason.” There are many writings confronting the internal consistency of the Bible. See wikipedia link here.There is also a site called the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible that confronts contradictions in the Bible, the Koran, and in the Book of Mormon. See link here. I will write separately on my own beliefs concerning these problems in a later post.)   ———-
  2. In my social science studies I know of no anthropological studies that support the idea of records being kept on metal plates. (Missionary Response was that there are Mormon authorities who have gathered anthropological information that support the prospect of recording information in such a durable fashion. He said he would find a link for me, but I found one myself. I found it interesting and I could see the benefits of a people given to migration to develop such a system. See link here.)   ——–
  3. The 3 and 8 witnesses that verify the supernatural intervention of the writing of the Book of Mormon had human problems such as vested interests, family ties, susceptibility to magical thinking, and ultimately that all eleven ended up leaving the LDS church. (Missionary preemptive apologetic mention of this problem caused me to check it out. I found a link that confronted this issue. The missionary believed that it was telling that even though these witnesses suffered human problems they never recanted their testimony. Good enough to move on. See link here.)

There are terms in the book I was not familiar with such as “ministry of my people” in Chapter 9. The missionary explained this to be a keeping and promoting of the word of their God. In Chapter 10 I ran into another phrase, “days of probation,” which refers to the fallen state of humanity.

In chapter 11 verse 13 the Holy Spirit appears to Nephi in the form of a human, talking in human speak. When the Holy Spirit says “Look!” the Spirit has disappeared and Nephi’s vision is directed from Jerusalem to Nazareth and sees a Virgin. Now for me, this shows the Holy Spirit appearing in one of It’s many forms but reveals Itself to be the Mother God. The Mormon missionary gave me a bit of a sideways look when I suggested such. So moving on.

The Mormon concept of hell seems to be equipped with a few more chances to evade eternal separation from God including a time in the spirit realm to be taught prior to a final decision. Chapter 14 seemed to touch on the 3 hells of the New Testament, but the missionaries said there is one hell that is hard to get to and you have to really want such a fate. The concept of the Church of the Devil is mentioned but it appears to be something nebulous and not associated with a particular group, unless it is the “everyone else” concept of being a Gentile.

Overall, I gained more from the personologies (see About page) of the young missionaries than the First Book of Nephi.

 

Spirit 0004 ~ God as a Dove

Matthew 3:13-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan [River], to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him [vigorously protesting], saying, “It is I who need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus replied to him, “Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John permitted [it and baptized] Him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he (John) saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus), 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased and delighted!”

The Father speaks, the Son submits, and the Spirit appears as a dove, the feminine aspect of God. El Shaddai.

Spirit 0003 ~ Her Mysterious Ways

Isaiah 55: 8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

The ways of the Spirit on the Earth are filled with fertility, destruction, and a wild embrace. Whatever has been written or thought about women, is infinitely true of the most pure essentially feminine Spirit of God. The El Shaddai.

Inspired by this reality, William Cowper wrote in a popular English Hymn that “God moves in a mysterious way.” Likewise, I think the Irishman Bono of the group U2 wrote about Her in the song “Mysterious Ways.”

I extracted these words from the website http://www.songfacts.com and this is the link to the specific URL.

From Into The Heart by Niall Stokes: “It’s a song about a man living on little or no romance,” Bono says. “It’s a song about women – or a woman – but it’s addressed to him.” Bono talks a bit about theology and about El Shadi – the third and least used name for God in the Bible, which translates as “the breasted one.” “I’ve always believed that the spirit is a feminine thing,” he says. “Mysterious Ways” is not about a particular woman. It is about women in general, and the way they entrance, and often dominate men. Says Bono, “At times I do tend to idealize women. It’s easy to fall into the trap of separating them into angels and devils for the sake of the drama. But there’s no way that there’s ever anything anti-women involved. Our songs are not politically correct. They are written from a man’s point of view. He’s wrestling with different things, there’s a flash of anger and hurt here and there. But I don’t think women come out badly.”

Proverbs 8, 1-2: “Does not Wisdom call, and Understanding lift up Her voice?
On the top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, wisdom takes Her stand.”

I believe that God is a balance of masculine and feminine energy, but when you talk about that “Still quiet voice” that guides you, I believe that to be the Infinite Feminine. Of course, our limited and confused views of what is man and woman is going to make it difficult to grasp the strength of this dichotomy. Nevertheless, I find it very useful in my own spiritual journey.

Spirit 0002 ~ “Wherever this Gospel is Preached …” Woman

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I love this Spirit of Truth that the Christ promised would arrive after He departed us.  I have decided to call this female aspect of the Infinite God, Spirit-Lover.  It seems to be the most accurate name I can find.  The others are too distant.  That is, they contain connotations that interfere with the very intimate and real relationship that She has developed in my own personal experience.  When I feel Her with me, everything is all right.  I am comforted and see clear paths through the labyrinth of my anguished soul.  She cares and nurtures but is not an enabler of weakness.  She inspires me.  She co-creates with me.

What is so good about the Good News, the Gospel?  Could it be that it is the eternal union promised with the Holy Spirit, the female aspect of God? It seems that the primary mission of the Christ was to connect us with the Spirit-Lover.  I believe Mary played a role that symbolized the anointing of the Holy Spirit when she anointed His head with oil.

 

MATTHEW 26

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

 

MATTHEW 3

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (feminine symbol) and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

MARK 14

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

JOHN 12

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you,  but you will not always have me.”

I feel Joy Williams has done the best I have seen in portraying the female aspect of God, the Holy Spirit, El Shaddai, the Shekhina Presence, in her song, Woman (Oh Mama).

 

Christ 0001~ It is Better for You that I Go

My paraphrase of the Gospel of John, Chapter 16, verses 1 through 16:

[June 3, 2013 at 1:26 am]
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John 16

Verse 1

I told you these things so that you would not get blindsided when they come to pass.  I do not want the events that are coming to pass to undermine the faith that we have built together.

Verse 2

This is what is going to happen.  They will expel you from their established, mainstream religious organizations.  As time goes on, shunning you into religious exile will not be enough.  The deceptiveness of centralized religion will cause them to believe that killing you is an act of service to God.

Verse 3

In those times, you have to understand that your ability to directly communicate with the Infinite Father, and your continuation of my teachings that are so strange to them, will make them afraid.  They know religion.  They do not know the Father or me.

Verse 4

I have told you about these things before they actually occur, so that you would not see them as some failure in your connection with God.  I did not talk to you about this in the beginning, because I was right here with you to provide reassurance and guidance.

Verse 5

But the time has come for me to go to the One who sent me.  As you have become aware of this approaching reality, you are not seeking to learn more from me by asking me the obvious question, where am I going?

Verse 6

Instead, your minds are consumed with the sorrow of loss, because I am talking openly with you about my departure.  You see only death and not what is beyond.

Verse 7

However, I am being absolutely truthful with you when I tell you that is to your benefit that I go away, not your loss.  If I stay, then I will be in no place to open a portal between you and the great female aspect of God; She who is the great Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Helper, the Mother Goddess, the Great Womb of the Universe.  When I go away, I will bring you in close relationship to Her.

Verse 8

And whenever She manifests Herself through you or others, She will work to teach all humanity about the sickness of sin caused by the human death intoxication; the empowerment of being true to yourself, that is your righteousness, the key to your immortality; and about judgment, the ability to vanquish illusion and distinguish the eternal.

Verse 9

It will be necessary for Her to focus in on sin sickness, because the religious kingdoms do not trust my teachings and will screw them up in order to insure their priestly thrones keep a place of dominance in society.

Verse 10

She will also teach about righteousness, because I have overcome death and take up residence outside this world of illusion.  I am the first example of the transformative power of my teachings, and she will show individuals how to do the same.  She will lead you into all truth in my absence.

Verse 11

She will teach mankind to embrace judgment by demonstrating the illusion of this current existence, because the spirit-ruler She used to maintain this holographic universe has completed his mission, and the usefulness of the power structure of tyranny has come to an end.

Verse 12

I have so many things I still need to teach you, but you simply are not ready to hear me now.  The lessons I have given you are still incomplete, because of your untransformed nature.

Verse 13

But when She, the Spirit of Truth comes, She will carefully guide you into the necessary all-Truth transformation.  What She has to give is not a new doctrine, but a training to hear the voice of the Infinite Father for yourselves.  She will show you how this is to unfold within you and what She reveals will be specific to you.

Verse 14

She will honor and glorify Me helping you to truly see My manifested form, because She will transfer what I have achieved and put it into you, so that it will no longer be a mystery, as it is now.

Verse 15

Let me see if I can help you understand the significance of what I am telling you.  All the infinite existence that is within the Father is within Me.  She will persistently work to duplicate this manifested eternal infinity that I have achieved and put it into you.

Verse 16

In a little while you will no longer see me as mortal flesh, for I am about to take a form that is beyond this life, and then you will truly see Me.  Maybe all of what I am telling you will make more sense then.

Elect 0002 – EVANGELICAL TEST – To Know What Spirit You are as the Elect

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Luke 9

50 And Jesus said to him, Do not ye forbid, for he that is not against us, is for us. 

51 And it was done, when the days of his taking up were fulfilled, he set fast his face, to go to Jerusalem, 

52 and sent messengers before his sight. And they went, and entered into a city of Samaritans, to make ready to him. 

53 And they received not him, for the face of him was going into Jerusalem

54 And when James and John, his disciples, saw, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we say [wilt thou that we ask], that fire come down from heaven, and waste them, [as Elias did]? 

55 And he turned, and blamed them, and said, Ye know not, whose spirits ye be;

56 for man’s Son came not to destroy men’s souls [to lose men’s souls], but to save [them]. And they went into another castle.

~ Wycliffe Bible

The disciples, James and John, wanted to consume a village in the fire of God.  They had scriptural precedent of Elijah doing the same thing.  It seemed an appropriate response to the rejection of a King, particularly since this was a village of Samaritans, who were the seed of Jew and Gentile inbreeding.  It was how things were handled in the day of unbridled masculine energy.

So, what Spirit did Jesus want them to know was their source.  Wasn’t the Female aspect of God, with a focus of saving and fulfilling individual souls?  The masculine has its place, but the Christ was introducing feminine deity energy.

 

Acts 21 

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”

12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

 

Paul was given a prophesy that changed nothing for him.  He ignored what could have been interpreted as a warning.  He was tested by the Word of the Spirit.  Is a test designed to reveal to God what is in one’s heart?  No.  It is designed to demonstrate to the heart’s owner what is truly lodged deep within.  The beautiful epistle of Philippians was written as an end result of Paul’s disregard for this prophecy.

 

Matthew 15

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

The Christ ignored the woman.  But she would not leave.  When her persistence finally forced an audience with Jesus, he insults this desperate mother with ethnic slurs.  She wore the insult and approached him as a begging dog.  She corrected the Christ that even dogs get scraps from the Master’s table.  Her desperation, her disregard for the insulting assertions of Christ, her willingness to lay herself bare and offer her mother’s love as supreme to religious propriety gained her public acclaim for her faith and the supernatural intervention of God for her daughter.

We can conclude that Christ was testing her to show to herself and his own followers what was in her heart, the value and power of it.  We can also conclude that the correct answer was not, “yes, Lord, your will be done.”

In light of this tendency of God to test in this manner, could it be that the Mother God tests us to see if we are at peace with being Children of Thunder, unaware what Spirit we are of, giving our blessing to the unending damnation and torment of most of humanity in a Lake of Fire.

I, for one, believe that he truly did come to embrace and empower individuals, to save the world.  I believe that he will be successful through the work of the feminine aspect of God and our devotion to this, the Holy Spirit.

Word 0001 ~ Walking on Water

 

This is one of my favorite stories in the New Testament of the Bible. It is taken from the Gospel according to Matthew in Chapter 14. It is magical and full of significance. I’ll tell it in my own words and then tell you why I find it particularly important.

Earlier Jesus got the news that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded. John’s disciples had buried their teacher and then told Jesus. The “one crying in the wilderness” had prepared the way for the arrival of the Messiah and now his mission was complete.

The killing of the messenger meant that it would not be long before religious authorities set their sight on the living Message Himself. Jesus gazed at His own disciples and the crowd. Will they be ready for that time? Is it possible that these men He has chosen will understand and believe? Will their embryonic faith sprout  into the transformation of humanity as a new immortal creation? Will their eyes be opened soon enough for Him to escape the cross? He needed space and time to Himself, and so he got into a boat and left the disciples to tend to the crowds. He had a secluded area in mind, a place to be truly alone and separate Himself. There He would pray and seek inspiration from the ministering of the Spirit of God.

But as He approached the shore, He saw that word of mouth had pulled a crowd from surrounding cities and Jesus’ only time alone had been on the crossing in the Sea of Galilee. Yet He saw the desperation in their faces for the manifestation of true spiritual power. So He carried on His practice of healing the sick among them. His compassion for them drove Him into the evening, and the disciples worried that the compulsion of Christ to reach out to the crowd had blinded Him to the very pragmatic concern of such a large crowd so far from their homes. It was quite possible that many would succumb to the deprivation of food and water in such an isolated place.

The disciples caught His attention and implored Jesus to send the crowd home.

Jesus looked at them all, knowing that these miracles demonstrated the reality of a power greater than any mortal possessed. It was not enough, because they could not envision this command of spiritual energy coming from their own connection with God. There was still so much fear of being left alone.

Jesus decided to change strategies. “There is no need for them to go away. You feed them.”

They looked at Him dumbly. Shocked. They had been put on the spot, so they took charge and took some food offered by a nearby young boy. Five loaves and two fish for thousands of people. The mortal mind knew this was inadequate.

“Give them to Me.” Then He had the crowd sit on the grass, teaching them to calm their fears. He looked up toward the Infinity of space, connecting to His source, to God.

I imagine His hungry and silent plea was something along the lines of “Please watch and understand, My disciples.”

He took the food and handed it to them and these disciples handed out meals without losing substance. After all was said and done, those thousands of people were filled and the disciples recovered 12 baskets full, one for each of them.

How did these twelve men reconcile this impossible occurrence? They chalked it up to mean that Jesus was a very special Jew with an amazing connection with God, possibly even the Anointed One who is to come. Their hearts were hardened to the reality that this miracle was performed through them and not specifically by Christ. He wanted them to see the impossible flowing from their own hands. They did not.

So He immediately sent them to cross the Sea of Galilee and He would catch up with them later. He was really in need of that solitary place by now. The crowds gone. The disciples set to task. He went up into the mountain to embrace the Alone God. He gazed out over the waters and watched the struggling disciples working against some strong winds. The Christ continued in His connection with the ministering Spirit of God, His heart heavy with the vision of a coming storm and struggling followers. “How can I reveal to them the power of their own connection to You, Father?” A quiet voice whispers, “Go to them. Be with them now.”

Jesus rose from His repose empowered by this small voice He trusted deeply. It was sometime after three in the morning as he came to the shore and stepped out on the water. The energy of His spirit overrode the vulnerability of His flesh. He moved onto the water guided by his love for these twelve men.

It was dark out and the disciples were tense and tired of fighting the winds. Then they saw a figure walking across the water toward them, and they panicked and struggled harder to escape this phantom spirit approaching them.  They feared something from the sea might rise to swallow them up, so alone, so scared. They screamed “It is a ghost!”

“Take courage, don’t be afraid. It is I! Do not be afraid!”

Then something happened that caused Jesus to pause. “Could it be . . .?”

Peter had called out to Him and shouted, “Lord, if it is really You, command me to come to You on the water.”

“Could it be that he will believe. . .?” Jesus eagerly responds, “Come!”

Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water. He began walking toward a smiling Jesus. “Yes, he is changing, he is . . . ”

But Peter’s fear took him as the wind blew and he began to sink. The descent caused the panic to explode into a scream, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter, and said in utter disappointment, “Oh you of little faith, why did you allow yourself to be pulled into two directions.” Peter was rescued and Jesus entered the boat. The wind stopped and the disciplines exclaimed, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Jesus looked at the wet man still glowing before His eyes and whispered, “Almost there. So close.”

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The significance of this story for me personally relates back to something I experienced as a very young man several decades ago. The experience I believe was from the Alone God, the ministering Spirit of the Separated. It planted a message in my heart that I would see the spiritual maturing of an entire generation of youth transformed into water-walkers. May you rise, little eaglets. I long to see the day of your flight.