Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Temple Preparation class

It is interesting how little sense we have about things. I have one daughter, that I have felt impressed needs to be endowed. My wife felt impressed that this daughter needs to be endowed. Another daughter who is on a mission wrote back to us saying that she felt impressed that her sister needs to be endowed. But the wall of bureaucracy, has, in a measure, stood fast so far. So we have waited months until she was 18 ½, as she is planning to serve a mission. But one of the objections which has been raised now is that she needs to go through a 14 week temple prep class. Fourteen weeks is a long time. And one has to wait until the class is offered.

Consequently, I found myself looking through the temple preparation manual to find out what this critical material was that she needed to learn. I already know it is of no particular value. 

The lessons in the manual are an interesting example of our modern teaching. It lacks truth. It is technically correct, but lacks the spirit which gives life. It reads like some committee was given the task of writing seven lessons on the temple and, not understanding the temple in the least, diligently faked their way through it.

It is dreadfully boring, because it lacks the spirit which gives life.

This is something we do not understand, that a sentence which may be technically more or less correct can be lifeless. We should read D&C 50 more. The Lord objected to the teaching of some of the Elders. They were reading the scriptures when they taught, but not reading them and teaching them by the power of the Holy Ghost. Consequently, they were reproved. Even the scriptures are lifeless if not read by the power of the Holy Ghost. And a man who cannot read the scripture by the power of the Holy Ghost cannot be trusted to write a sentence by the power of the Holy Ghost either.

The temple preparation manual tries to cover its back by quoting authorities frequently. But it is obvious that the people who wrote the manual cannot taste truth for themselves. It is like having aliens snatching random bits from a radio broadcast from earth arriving at their planet. The manual authors simply grab quotes about the temple at random without distinguishing which statements are profound, and which are not.

The manual tries to impress upon us that it is offering gospel teaching by the authority of those people it quotes, rather than by writing by the light of inspiration.

This is wrong.

Those things go together, incidentally. The manual authors cannot write a sentence about the temple by the light of truth themselves, and they also cannot tell the difference between a statement about the temple that is profound, and one which is not. Having not the light to write a statement of truth by the spirit themselves, they also cannot discern which statements carry that same light most powerfully. Thus they are left to simply choose quotations of other men by the elegance of the wording, and by the calling of the speaker.

Our classes are tediously large portions of feasts prepared by chefs who can neither taste nor smell.

Thanks to other men, the manual authors had learned about Brigham Young’s statement on the endowment, which makes it into the lesson. But then they choose at random, or maybe by the elegance of the wording, for the rest of the fair that they have to offer. They seem to have picked out some scriptures from the topical guide, and thrown those in as well.

And there is nothing in what they compiled that is preparation for the temple, except insofar as they warn people that there are covenants that will be made and that worthiness is required. 

But what is there is certainly not “temple preparation” in any sense. It is not epic. They may as well have been writing a manual about the Revelation of St John for all the insight they have to offer. It may as well have been a “Revelation of St John Prep” class for all that it has to offer concerning the temple. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


If a child is grounded for a week, but they violate their grounding, then that child must both be punished for their disobedience, as well as prove that they will obey being grounded for an entire week. If this persists, then they may have to prove that they will obey being grounded for more than a week, just to prove that they have truly learned to submit to their punishment.

When the people of Limhi were captive to the Lamanites, they had to learn to submit to all sorts of abuse that Heavenly Father does not normally require of his church members. They initially fought for their freedom, but God would not free them until they learned to submit to his punishment.

Now this is all related to something that Joseph Smith taught. Joseph Smith taught:

"Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be."

I have tried to explain to my children that while we know very little about anything beyond that Telestial law we are striving to learn to live, Telestial law, Terrestrial law, and Celestial are genuinely quite different from each other.

To illustrate this point to them in a meaningful way, I tell them to imagine that they grew up in a home during the law of Moses, but they grew up only obeying parts of the law of Moses. Then I tell them to imagine that they decide they want to live more rightly, and they begin to live the different parts of the law of Moses in earnest.

What would they experience? With each new thing they begin to obey, they will find themselves more at peace, they will find greater blessings from God, they will find that they are more sensitive to the truth, and that they can gain needed inspiration more clearly. They start sacrificing a bird whenever the law of Moses requires it, and they feel greater joy and peace in their lives. They start wearing blue fringe on their clothing as the law of Moses requires, and they start feeling a little better. They respect God's requirements regarding touching things that are declared unclean, and they begin to feel a greater sense of rightness with God in their lives.

And I explain to my children, that when this Israelite imagines to themselves what a higher gospel law must be like, they naturally assume that it must be like having far more of the law of Moses. With each new piece of the law of Moses they obeyed, they feel greater goodness in their life. They worked to obey each new part, and that work was rewarded with greater inspiration and goodness in their life. Consequently, they assume that a higher law consists of far more things like the law of Moses that they will add to those things that they have already learned to do, which will bring them yet greater enjoyments and light.

But then the law of Moses is fulfilled, and what is the new covenant like? Instead of just being like far more of the law of Moses, many of those things that they learned to do, and for which they enjoyed spiritual blessings and greater closeness to God, are not even part of it. There are no longer sanctuary cities for those who kill someone on accident, and it is no longer allowed for the nearest relative to kill that person if he finds them outside of a sanctuary city. The biggest religious celebration, the year of Jubilee, is no longer part of God's covenant with his people.

The peak spiritual experience each year, the Passover, is also gone. No more painting sheep's blood around the door frame each year. No more eating the entire lamb with their shoes on and their staff in their hand.

Instead of being just more of the law of Moses, this Israelite finds that the new covenant, the higher law, is a completely different law!

And just as Joseph Smith said, blessings offered, and rejected, are no longer blessings, but become cursings. Thus if this Israelite says to himself "I have learned to be a faithful follower of the law of Moses, and I'm not going to stop obeying the law of Moses" then this offered new covenant is no blessing to this Israelite, but becomes a cursing to them.

And it is worth understanding that the same is true of Telestial law (which is what we are learning to obey now) and Terrestrial law, and Celestial law. They are genuinely different. They are at least as different from each other as the old covenant given through Moses and the new covenant given when Christ fulfilled the law of Moses. After all, those are both manifestations of the very beginning laws of the Kingdom of God.

This is the real meaning of Joseph Smith's teaching:

"Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be."

The point is that when you are one of the people of Limhi, who God has declared will be driven as a dumb ass, then you will have to submit to being driven as a dumb ass. You will be required to let the Lamanites smite you, and take your food, and be forced by God to submit to the priests of Noah bringing great difficulties upon you as a sharp and stinging reproof for hearkening to the false love that they preached.

But just as with a child who is grounded, when you prove that you will submit, not only will you cease to be punished for violating being grounded, but you may additionally find after you have proven that you will truly submit, that you are no longer grounded at all.

This is the sort of thing Joseph Smith is talking about when he says our Father is more liberal in his views, yet more terrible to the workers of iniquity than we suppose.

Lehi can fall down at the tree and partake of the joy that is available to him at the tree of life. Yet Adam and Eve were cut off from the tree of life, and for them to partake of that joy would be to stand in violation of their punishment, and would have brought destruction. The point of Joseph Smith's  teaching I referred to is that Lehi can partake of the same fruit that Adam and Eve were cut off from, and which would have brought them destruction had they eaten it immediately after their fall.

It is no different than that grounded child. When they prove themselves faithful, not only do they cease to be punished when they violate their grounding, but eventually, they may find that they are no longer grounded at all. They find themselves living under a new law, different than what they had when they were grounded.

And we will discover that there are entire layers of that I think, as we learn to eventually come up to a Terrestrial law, and even to a Celestial law.

If we won't receive the greater law, because we cling to the lesser one, then the offer of a greater law becomes a cursing instead of a blessing.

Taken altogether, this is actually the point Joseph Smith is making in his instruction that begins "Happiness is the object and design of our existence". The rest of this post is quoted from Joseph Smith.


Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.

God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted--by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. If we seek first the kingdom of God, all good things will be added. So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.

A parent may whip a child, and justly, too, because he stole an apple; whereas if the child had asked for the apple, and the parent had given it, the child would have eaten it with a better appetite; there would have been no stripes; all the pleasure of the apple would have been secured, all the misery of stealing lost.

This principle will justly apply to all of God's dealings with His children. Everything that God gives us is lawful and right; and it is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursings and vexations in the end, and we should have to lie down in sorrow and wailings of everlasting regret. But in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness--and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has--He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. Blessings offered, but rejected, are no longer blessings, but become like the talent hid in the earth by the wicked and slothful servant; the proffered good returns to the giver; the blessing is bestowed on those who will receive and occupy; for unto him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundantly, but unto him that hath not or will not receive, shall be taken away that which he hath, or might have had.

Be wise today; 'tis madness to defer;

Next day the fatal precedent may plead.

Thus on till wisdom is pushed out of time

Into eternity.

Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be. He will be inquired of by His children. He says, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find;" but, if you will take that which is not your own, or which I have not given you, you shall be rewarded according to your deeds; but no good thing will I withhold from them who walk uprightly before me, and do my will in all things--who will listen to my voice and to the voice of my servant whom I have sent; for I delight in those who seek diligently to know my precepts, and abide by the law of my kingdom; for all things shall be made known unto them in mine own due time, and in the end they shall have joy. (Aug. 27, 1842.) DHC 5:134-136.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sin offends God, that is what makes it sin

One of the doctrines that is destroying us is the idea that moral sin is not offensive to God. We have the sense not to say those words, but that idea is plainly contained in some of our popular teachings, and taught by men whose writings are particularly popular among us, even if they avoid saying those exact words.

For example, on more than one occasion my wife has seen members of the church describe someone they know as a good man who is addicted to pornography. Now the member describing that man doesn't really believe that looking at pornography is offensive to God. They don't think this "good man" is actually offending God as he consumes large amounts of pornography, or else they would have the sense not to say such men were good. They have the idea that sin is just a list of things that are not allowed.

But that isn't what sin is at all.

Sin is that which offends God. If something doesn't offend God, it is not a sin. Sin is not a checklist of technicalities that can keep us out of heaven. Sin keeps us out of heaven precisely because it is offensive to God.

The mercy of God is that through the atonement of Christ God is willing to forgive things that are deeply offensive to him on condition of repentance. That is very merciful. That is genuine mercy. Where there is no real offense given, forgiveness is not really merciful.

And there is no mercy for the unrepentant, for they remain as if no atonement had been made, according to the scriptures. No man is forgiven of their sins independent of the atonement of Christ. Thus those who do not repent remain in a state in which they have offended God. His mercy is offered only on condition of repentance. And God, himself, declared:

D&C 19:1 But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I.

What is being taught among us instead denies the mercy of God, for it teaches that our sins are not really offensive to him because he loves us so much. That supplants the mercy of God with the idea that sin does not offend him because of his love for us. If that was really the case, we would be welcome in heaven in our sins, for our sins would not offend him because of his love for us. In this day of extreme wickedness, we have almost entirely determined that moral sin doesn't actually offend God per se, rather, he simply doesn't allow it.

We are missing the point altogether.

Sin is not allowed in heaven because it genuinely offends God. It is no mere technicality. It is who he is.

Mormon 9:5 For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.

Do we think what Mormon describes here is make believe? If our sins were not genuinely offensive to God, do we not realize that we could stand in God's presence in perfect comfort?

In this wicked day we have particularly rationalized moral sin. Violation of chastity offends God particularly, and it was God himself who said that looking on a woman to lust after her is a form of adultery. When we commit moral sin, we offend God deeply. We need to wake up and realize that is precisely what makes it serious sin. The fact that it offends God is why it is called a sin, and serious sin, such as moral sin, is sin which offends him deeply.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Overthrowing Israel using the doctrine of Balaam

Christ stated by revelation:

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

These days we have those who are trying to destroy the church from within. Those who are burned in their lusts are trying to do it openly. Certainly, with many trying to do it openly, there are also those who have combined together to do it in secret as well. When Satan inspires wicked men and women in such a cause, certainly he will inspire them with the same ideas he inspired many with in the past. They will combine together in secret combinations to accomplish his work.

And how shall they do it, but by the doctrine of Balaam?

The story of Balaam is well known. The king of the Moab wanted the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites, but Balaam spoke only those things which the Lord put into his mouth, and instead blessed the Israelites.

However, later on, Balaam concocted a plan by which the Lord himself would be willing to curse the Israelites. Balaam realized that if he could get the Israelites to be unfaithful, and especially if he could get them to be immoral, then the Lord would turn against them.

And the Israelites fell into his snare. The Lord slew 24,000 Israelites with a plague, and and commanded Moses to take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the Lord against the sun to turn away his wrath. Moses commanded the judges of Israel to slay every Israelite that joined themselves to that iniquity.

The doctrine of Balaam is to teach people that they can commit moral sin without offending God. It is also that we can worship false Gods without offending God. This is the doctrine which can overthrow Israel. And certainly we have its advocates today. The book "Believing Christ" by Stephen Robinson and Brad Wilcox's teachings stand at the forefront teaching Balaam's doctrine. They present moral sin as being wrong in a technical sense which is all straightened out by the atonement with a minimum of repentive fuss. The truth is, they teach that moral sin is not offensive to God.

And now we are moving beyond those into darker territory, embracing perversion.

Charity / Becoming an accuser of the brethren

So what is charity? What is it that would make prophesying concerning all things, and a knowledge of all mysteries, and faith to move mountains, all count as nothing?

The only thing that I am aware of that acts anything like that is to become an accuser of the brethren. That was sufficient for Lucifer, who was an angel in authority before God, to fall from heaven. For the scriptures say that he accused the brethren to God both day and night.

I think that the charity that we talk about has nothing at all to do with the charity of the scriptures.

Moroni 7:43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail -
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen

Take a man like Oliver Cowdery who was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood by John the Baptist, and who saw Elijah and Moses and Christ in person in the Kirtland temple and received instruction from them. What sort of offense would it take for all that to be as nothing before God?

A number of charges were made against Oliver Cowdery when he was excommunicated. Among those charges that were sustained and were the basis for his excommunication, was this: "For seeking to destroy the character of President Joseph Smith, Jun., by falsely insinuating that he was guilty of adultery."

A number of charges were made against David Whitmer who was excommunicated the same day. All the charges made against him were sustained. Among them was the charge of "writing letters to the dissenters of Kirtland unfavorable to the cause, and to the character of Joseph Smith, Jun."

Monday, March 5, 2018

Principles of heaven - do not shame the brethren

When teaching mathematics, there are certain prequisites that are required to move on. For example, one cannot reasonably teach modern calculus to a student who has no notion of variables.

And I don't think I can sensibly explain what I wanted to write about. There is a great deal that I would have to explain. It would just all mean the wrong thing to you. You would come away nodding your head thinking I was writing to you about something you knew your whole life, and you would completely miss the bus. It simply wouldn't mean the same thing to you.

I want to write to you about one of the principles of heaven. It is this: the Lord will bring those who shame the brethren to shame.

See, now, there you are, already. You agree that this is a principle of heaven. You already knew that.

But no. No you don't. Not the way it really is. You have the wrong idea in your head.

I wrote once that if we knew anything about terrestrial law from the scriptures, it is that the one great law there is this: "whatever the Lord tells you by his own voice, or by the ministering of angels, or by his own presence, that thou shalt do". The emphasis that must be placed on that last phrase "that thou shalt do" cannot possibly be overstated. But we see it illustrated for us in the scriptures. I have pointed out examples. Jonah disobeyed the word of the Lord himself, and the Lord was not satisfied to have Jonah thrown out of his ship into the storm, but made Jonah suffer in the belly of a great fish for three days.

We have a hard time imagining what that sort of suffering must have been like.

Is that what happens to us when we disobey the Lord?

No. What happens to us is mostly nothing much when we disobey.

We have great clemency, because we have so little light. Things are so uncertain for us. We see through a glass darkly. We have to struggle substantially, sometimes for many years, to really understand a bit of the scriptures sometimes. This is not a place with much of the light of heaven, or much of the joy of heaven, and thus it is also a place of great clemency, for we are so uncertain in our disobedience that the consequences of our disobedience are very light indeed.

But consequently, we also miss out on the joy of heaven. We can never have the joy of heaven without the obedience of heaven. When God has confidence that he can bring us into greater light, and that we will obey everything he says, and that if we disobey as Jonah did, that we will endure the punishment without apostatizing as Jonah did, then perhaps we may find that we enjoy light more like the light of heaven, and joy more like the joy of heaven.

Now that long introduction was to really all get round to this one point. There is another law of the terrestrial kingdom, and also it appears of the celestial kingdom, which goes something like this: God will bring to shame those who shame his brethren. God will deliver those who shame his brethren over to the adversary to be their guide.

Again, the severity of this cannot be overstated. Imagine that the church is a moving train. Imagine that you are doing all sorts of good things. You have converted thousands of people. You have prophesied things to come. You have had faith to move mountains.

The point I am making is that this law is so much a part of heaven that even after all that if you become  an accuser of the brethren, God will pick you up himself personally and throw you bodily from that train.

It is that big of a deal. It is completely foreign to us what this principle really means.

It does NOT mean that we have to do all things the way the brethren do them, or even always obey them. In fact, God slays one of his prophets in the old testament for obeying another prophet instead of obeying the command he received from God. So it is different than what we expect it to be. We think that simple disagreement is accusing them. No.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

If we want the reward of Abraham, we should strive for Abraham's righteousness

I think it is interesting that we have this idea that we will get the same rewards as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, without doing the works of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

We should have the sense to know that if God really intended to give us everything that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received at the judgment bar, then there is no reason for him to wait. He could give us the same things in mortality that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received in mortality. 

Now I do think it is the case that we may, in the long, long run, obtain everything that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will receive. And I am certain that eye hath not seen nor has entered into the heart of man those things which God has prepared for them that love him.

But the idea that we will get the exact same reward as those great patriarchs at the judgment bar, whereas here in mortality we find ourselves enjoying very different rewards than they did, should kind of make us wonder why we are so silly about things.

If I have two sons and one is a great prodigy and works with great diligence at painting, and I have another son, who does have a passing interest in painting, and does in fact do painting from time to time, I think I would be a fool to promise to both of them that when they are grown up, they will be painters that are precisely as good as one another. Would it be right of me to promise them that there will be no difference between their abilities?

If every man is going to be judged according to his works, does it seem fair that those who will not do the works of Abraham should gain Abraham's reward? 

Or if that was the intention, to give them the same spiritual reward in eternity, would we not expect them to also be receiving the same spiritual rewards in mortality? Would not God speak to us in person as plainly as to Abraham if we were indeed heading to the same reward as Abraham?

We really ought to have a bit of sense about these things. If Melchizedek worked out his salvation with fear and  trembling before the Lord, then so can you and I. But we should realize that we ought to be striving for the righteousness of Melchizedek if we want the reward of Melchizedek. Sure, it is not meet than a man should run faster than he has strength. There is wisdom in that.

But our rationalization holds us captive, and keeps us from honestly pressing forward diligently with our might, and from searching the scriptures in truth with our hearts, both to say, as well as to do, according to that which is written.

Christ came to free us from our sins. Not to free us in them. He wants us to learn to perfect ourselves in everything he commands us to do. 

We like to excuse ourselves a lot, myself included. But it is just rationalization. Remember that Jehovah himself descended and ruled among mortal men as their God in the city of Zion. He dwelt with mortals! Not as a poor fellow mortal among them, but as their God and King descended down from heaven to reign among them. 

We think that is beyond what mortals are capable of. 

But that is just us rationalizing to ourselves.

Math and the Gospel

If you learned math as being a bunch of arbitrary rules for pushing around and combining symbols and numbers then of course you didn’t really learn math. Math which is not understood so that the person doing it comprehends and knows for himself precisely why it is true is not math. It is just going through the motions of math. It is dreadfully dull then, as it lacks any life in itself that way. Math must be learned independently by each person who approaches it.

That is the way the gospel is. If our doctrine is a list of things you learned in Sunday School class, then you have never learned the gospel at all. We must be brought up, individually, by revelation through the Holy Ghost, or else we are descending down.

If you believe everything you hear in general conference simply because it was said in general conference, then you do not know two cents about the gospel. You are going through the motions. You know what someone else said, but you don’t actually know anything for yourself at all, independently.

If we read the revelations of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon without searching them for ourselves, if we simply have a list of interpretations of each section and chapter that we learned in Sunday school or priesthood, and are afraid to read and interpret them for ourselves, quite independently, then we don’t know the first thing about the gospel. It is the Holy Ghost that God said would show us the truth of all things, not the lesson manual. The Holy Ghost must become our teacher, and the scriptures and our covenants must become our guide, or we are just going through the empty motions of living the gospel. We cannot take upon us the name of Christ without searching him out for ourselves independently across all of the scriptural texts together, rejecting no part of who he is. We must live so as to actually keep the great command “receive the Holy Ghost” in all earnestness for ourselves. We must search the scriptures as if we are trying to use them to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We must take action for ourselves as if we are trying to work out our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.

Inspiration vs revelation and our responsibilities to both

There is a huge difference between inspiration by the Holy Ghost in the sense we usually talk about, and revelations in the large sense. I am speaking of revelation such as visions, or the words of an angel, or the voice of the Lord speaking from heaven, or those revelations obtained through the Urim and Thummim.

When someone speaks by the light of inspiration, and you hear them, or read what they wrote, you are responsible to discern for yourself what is correct what is error. With most things that we call inspiration this is what must be done. We must determine what part is inspiration, and what portion are the errors, misconceptions, shortcomings of the person receiving the inspiration, for they will also shine through.

Revelation is quite different. When it comes to revelation, you don't discern what part is correct and what part is error. Instead you are required to define yourself by everything that is taught in the revelation.

Because the two come with such very different requirements, the Lord treats them very differently. Any man is welcome to get up and speak and teach freely by the light of inspiration. His hearers can discern for themselves what is truth and what is error, and respond accordingly.

By contrast, when it comes to revelation, the Lord has given us this law:

D&C 43:5 And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments;
6 And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.
7 For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.

Because we have such different obligations to revelation and to inspiration, the Lord sets very different standards for them. We may teach by the light of inspiration as we see fit, and others may then correct our errors as they see fit. But when it comes to revelation, we do not discern what was correct and what was personal misconception. When it comes to revelation, we are to define ourselves by it. Hence God restricts those who the church is allowed to accept revelations from to those who are ordained to do so.

Always remember him - but to do so in truth we will need the Holy Ghost

The sacrament prayers tell us to always remember Christ. Nevertheless, as all revelation, they require a bit of spiritual insight to understand.

If we just try and think about Christ all the time we will get it wrong, because we don't know who he is. We take upon us the name of Christ as we receive the Holy Ghost, because without the Holy Ghost we are just following our traditions of who Christ is. That is why keeping his commandments, always remembering him, taking his name upon us, and having his spirit to be with us go together in the sacrament.

These days when liberals in the church "always remember Christ" they remember a false Christ who embraces perversion. We will need the Holy Ghost to remember him properly, for we have never met him that we can recall in person. In reality, we principally remember him by searching his scriptures until they become our thoughts. For the Holy Ghost will bring all things to our remembrance, and those things written by the power of the Holy Ghost can bring to our mind who he really is, so that we remember him as he truly is, rather than just remembering our own made up wrong minded traditions of him which will only mislead us.

Search the scriptures and obey them and you will remember Christ in truth. You will know things that have happened in the past by the Holy Ghost which you should not be able to remember.

If instead you go around just trying to remember Christ, or keep Christ in your thoughts, whom you have never met, then you are just remembering a figment of your own imagination and it won't do you two cents of good.

It is impossible for a man to take the name of Christ upon him who isn't living worthy of the holy Ghost. He will just copy his own false traditions and misconceptions about who Christ is.

We know God by revelation, or not at all. So we take his name upon us by coming to know him through the Holy Ghost (made possible by being willing to keep his commandments) or we will not really know him at all.