Sunday, March 17, 2024

I, I am the Lord's

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a friend (the one that I pretty much broke their heart when they found out we weren't going to church regularly). They talked to me about the LDS church being the ONLY true church on the earth. My heart was so sad about this because, in this journey, I have listened to many Christian speakers and some who specifically brought me into greater intimacy with Jesus to levels that make an LDS sacrament meeting look like a funeral for someone you detested.

I shared with them that I felt that there were many Christians on the earth who were righteous but they were not Mormon. They disagreed. They love good literature so I pointed out C.S. Lewis as one who spoke and wrote things that were beyond the scope of anything we've seen in a hundred years within the leadership of the church. Their answer - was that C.S. Lewis was "good" but he's going to need a real LDS baptism and to accept the gospel before he can be truly saved.


"What about Mother Theresa!?," I asked. Answer: she's not going to make it either. She needs an LDS baptism and she needs to accept it - then she'll be saved.

I get so depressed about stuff like this. I was so sad I felt paralyzed. I just sat on my the couch and stared out the window. Stupor. Deep sorrow. Anger. Repeat. I hate false doctrine that has no scriptural foundation. The arrogance of any who believe that "only they" can offer you true salvation. 

Let's explore. Does your church or group say this?
3 ...Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches... (2 Nephi 28)

If so, just a few verses later it says: 
5 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
Being "thrust down to hell" is strong verbage and I had to ponder on why saying "I, I am the Lord's" induced such strong language. I believe that saying, "I...I am the Lord's" is akin to breaking the third commandment and is taking the name of the Lord, God in vain.

Elder Bednar has said:
"It cracks me up when people say we are not Christians. We are the only ones who by proper authority can lay claim to the title.”
I have listened to different Christian denominations the last 5 years. The amount of wholesome and wonderful Jesus lovers out there was, for me, totally unexpected. Being in the LDS bubble and being told we are "the only true church" always made me feel sorry for the other souls out there that weren't going to be saved - like us! I had no idea how salvation worked.

Because I have expanded my Christian experience outside of the LDS or LDS offshoot circles I have come to know that there will not be "one special group" that I can join that will be "one in heart and mind" (Moses 7:18) and be invited to build Zion.

Zion has been likened to a wedding. We are the bride awaiting her Bridegroom.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:1-2)
Once He comes for us - there will be a great wedding feast but only certain people will be invited. Many will think they are invited and felt they had a close relationship with the Lord but...
Matthew 7: 21 Not every one 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.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Revelation 19: 6-9

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me,

"Write this: 

Blessed are those who are invited 
to the marriage supper 
of the Lamb.” 

And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

The setting for this wedding will be a great party, the wedding feast of the Lamb. 

When imagining this wedding feast we've got to get images of LDS receptions entirely out of our minds — members milling around in the church gym, holding Styrofoam cups of punch, wondering what to do with themselves. 

You've got to picture an Italian wedding or, better, a Jewish wedding. 

They roll up the rugs and push back the furniture. There is dancing: "Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well" (Jer. 31:13). There is feasting: "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples" (Isa. 25:6). (Can you imagine what kind of cook God must be?) 

And there is drinking — the feast God says he is preparing includes "a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines." (Isaiah 25:6)

In fact, at His Last Supper our Bridegroom said he will not drink of "the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:18). Then He'll pop a cork.

Want an invite to the feast? You need a covenant. That's the code word for "invite to the feast". 

Here's how to get one:
Hebrews 8:

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Okay, that scripture is kind of vague...we'll need a specific prophet to teach us though - ya? Someone who can speak with God and obtain promises/an invitation from God for you, right?

Hebrews 1:

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

But we need a specific/special group of people striving to bring about Zion. Right?


2 Nephi 30:

2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.
To summarize: 

The Covenant is: A people that repent. 

What does it mean to repent?

It is to, " the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matt. 22:37)

That is what it means to be under Covenant with the Lord.

There is no special group or good ship Zion that will lead you to the Lord or save you from destruction. There is only you and the Lord. You work out your salvation with fear and trembling directly - with Him (2 Philipians 2:11-12).

What brings about Zion? A group of people or a church who unite together and work really hard to get along and build temples? 


Zion comes when there are men and women who:

1. Do the Lords will (v. 21 "keep all my commandments")
2. Embrace the truth (v.22)
3. Keep the first commandment & look to God (repentant Matt. 22:37)

Genesis 9 (JST)

21 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch, that, *when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch, which I have caught up unto myself.

22 And this is mine everlasting covenant: that when thy posterity shall *embrace the truth and *look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy;

23 And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch.


The people will be of One Heart. 

How will this be done? 

By working really hard to agree on things and get along, right?


God will give it to them when He is their sole focus and when His will is all they seek after. 

Jeremiah 32:

38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

But Zion is made up of a group and the group will need a prophet to form them into a group so that Zion can come. Right?


Zion will come when you have a people who personally know the Lord. 
Matthew 7:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

That narrow path only admits one. Salvation is an individual experience. Zion is made up of one righteous saint at a time. No collective group can manufacture Zion. Only the holy and saved individual will make up the body of Christ and then Zion will come. 

Ezekiel 16:

60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant....And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD


Then how the heck will Zion happen!? 

God will do His work. All He needs are righteous individuals and then he will make up His jewels (Malachi 3:17).

Isaiah 61: 8-11

...I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them...that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed...For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

2 Nephi 6: 12-14

And blessed are the Gentiles...if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children;...For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah...wherefore, he will manifest himself unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies, when that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none will he destroy that believe in him...for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them that contendeth with thee
But I need to meet with fellowships or my church in order to help practice being of one heart and one mind so Zion can come about. Right? I need to make and keep sacred covenants via a one who has authority.

D&C 101

37 Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.

38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.

39 When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men

Here's what Jesus did with groups: 

Matthew 22

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (D&C 121: 40)

Now to the point...: How to bring again Zion.

How many people are there who have disorder in their own home (raising my own hand here) yet they go off to another gathering or engage in more callings while their children are neglected, left untaught, or taught the bear minimum (been there, done that)? How many people have you seen with marriages that are devoid of service and adoration but they go to another fellowship meeting and "seek to bring again Zion within that little group" while Zion in their own home goes unachieved? How many have sibling relationships that are strained or a distant relationship with their parents but that is tossed aside to in favor of gathering with strangers. How many in these groups will fast for people they've only known a short while but ignore fasting for their loves ones that, "know not God" (Alma 6:6)

Zion will come and it will be comprised of the pure in heart (Matt. 5:8). As a wise person taught me - Zion will come from families who worship together and look out for one another. Some larger multi-generational and some small families of one or two people. We can look to the Book of Mormon for examples of this type - Lehi and his family being the first example. The prophet and servant of this group was their father. This will most often be the case for those who gather to Zion. Zion will be individuals and families who place the Lord's will ahead of themselves. It will come from some within the church and from some who have no formal religious convictions. It will be comprised of people who love the Lord, seek His will and do His will. The Lord will establish Zion. It will not come via a group that attempts to manufacture it. Remember the wedding feast in the verses above. Servants (aka. Angels) go and gather those invited to the wedding feast. 

This video perfectly demonstrates the family unit. The Hawk is the adversary. The animals are your family, whether single or married. They represent being of one heart and one mind - the Body of Christ!

Moses' brother, Aaron, was the first high priest. In Leviticus 16 we see the record of Aaron performing the Day of Atonement for the ancient Israelites. What is interesting was that, in verse 6, we see that Aaron offered his bullock of the sin offering first - "...for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house."

First we must cleanse and perfect our own house. We need to learn how to be attuned to the spirit in our own home. To learn how to receive personal revelation. To learn to have discernment before we set to manufacture a Zionistic group ascension. To attempt to gather and seek Zion before you achieve it in your own home would be akin to a diet of junk food and then working out three hours every day. Your progress will be minimal, if at all. First perfect your diet and then the effort will not be in vain. 

God will gather His people. For He has said, 

"I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work." (2 Nephi 27:21)

I have set before you life and death...Now choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)