Monday, August 2, 2010

2 Nephi 28: 20

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good."
One of the most effective ways to end thought or discussion is to get angry. Lawyers use anger as a tool to turn witnesses into thoughtless and emotional pawns. People make very bad decisions when they are angry. I've mentioned before my father's saying that he never spoke a word in anger than he did not later regret.
This is a time of great anger. Anger about religious ideas flows from insecurity and feeling threatened by the idea. It is not possible to have a discussion when people are insecure, angry and unwilling to be thoughtful about ideas.

This is the work of the devil. He succeeds when people close their minds and fill with anger at teachings which introduce ideas that challenge assumptions.
This is why the Jews wanted Christ killed.  This is why they wanted to kill Lehi when he spoke of Christ. The teachings ran contrary to the presumptions, and as a result the response was emotional, angry and closed down thought and discussion.
Using fear to shut down people's ability to consider, ponder and pray is a technique used with amazing success. When you hear the argument that something will put you in peril, jeopardize your salvation, and to be afraid of the idea or discussion, you ought to ask yourself whether the notion that shutting down discussion seems right or not. Is it merely using fear to cause rage and anger? Can it be a tool to cause you to turn "against that which is good?"
All kinds of ideas need to be considered to bring you to the Lord. Closing down because of fear will hinder the process, as the devil knows. (D&C 38: 30.)
The tool of anger is the other side of fear.
The object of this is always to cheat your soul, close your mind, keep you from learning the truth.
Now is the great day of anger. Have you noticed how much of the discourse in public life is based upon fear and anger? Those larger social dynamics invade the community of Saints, as well. We are as vulnerable to this technique as the rest of society.
Be slow to anger, quick to forgive; open and prayerful. The great plan to cheat your soul will not succeed with you if you remain humble and open.


  1. Fear produces anger, anger produces fear. Perfect Love casteth out fear. Perfect fear casteth out Love.God is Love, to be like Him we too must be Love.
    Moroni 7:47,48 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. 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.
    Love or Charity is a gift we must pray for and seek. Becoming like Him is a gift we must pray for and seek. So in my mind casting out fear by obtaining the spirit of God is a key to becoming pure in heart, for the pure in heart shall see God.

  2. Denver,
    I grew up in an environment ruled much by fear, shame, and anger from my mother. I vowed to change the course and not continue this "family tradition" that had been passed down through a few generations. I was able to do so I believe. For years I have worked through many issues related to this calling upon the Lord for help, and have made much progress. Through ideas I have received from your books I have began to pray for those who abused me and my siblings, and also for those siblings who have left the gospel because of the false examples they were shown. However, I am realizing that although my actions and how I handle situations is totally opposite of what I witnessed in my childhood, I am faced with the honest truth that within me is great anger and fear. Those who would counsel through the Social Work avenue tell me that anger is a natural emotion and it is what we do with that anger that is the problem.

    I am striving with all I can each day to be more like the Savior. I wish to be in His presence, I wish to see my Father again too as I miss them both so much. Please help me understand anger better. How does one overcome generations of raging? Also, I feel I have forgiven the offenders long ago, as I have only love and concern for them--and yet the pain, and fear within me is still present. Does that mean I have not forgiven? Any thoughts you have on this subject would mean a great deal to me. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous,
    May I respond to your question of why you still have pain when you have forgiven the offenders?

    I believe that unless the offender has repented & made things right, as in your mother, she is still abusing you by her lack of love. The abuse is still going on, even if you don't see or talk to her. You still have a natural & deep desire to want your mother's love & acceptance.

    Just because we are righteous & have God's love in our hearts doesn't mean we don't still feel the pain of other's abuse & neglect & indifference. This will always be something that will hurt until she repents & makes things up to you.

    Heavenly Father can help us endure others abuse until he can help them repent, which usually only happens in the next life.

    Also, rage is a learned response. It is used to get what we want & not have to suffer for others. The more we try to put others happiness, needs & desires before our own & give them what they want & not try to get what we want, the more love grows in our hearts for them & the rage disappears.

    With our spouse we can completely put them 1st in every instance. Just give them whatever they want & desire & love them no matter what they do, with no expectations. If you do, then there is never any reason for you to argue or get angry because you did not get things your way. Your joy will be in seeing their happiness & hopefully your spouse will catch on & do the same for you.

    But if not, the feelings of great love for your spouse that will develop in you will give you the 'high' that gets you through the times when you do not get your needs & desires met. Someday they will learn to do the same for you & make any neglect all up to you, usually in the next life though.

  4. If it's politics they call you a racist. If it's religion, they call you an apostate. It's all meant to shut down discussion.

    On another point, this quote of following the majority of the Brethren and the records... I guess it's a good thing we have 15 apostles and not 12. And what "records" does this refer to? The granite vault records?

    I've often had this image come to mind where there are 7 apostles on one side and 7 on the other and the Church waiting on pins and needles for the last apostle to make a stand... (yes, I'm aware how light-minded I am.)

  5. It is my view that the "follow the majority of the brethren" doctrine is the same as any doctrine which causes us to put our trust in man. There will be a curse on any who live by this principle.

    If we are led by Christ it won't matter if the whole world goes the wrong way. There is no other guidepost given.

    That's my two cents.

  6. Dang Chienvoxx! Why does the responsibility always have to come back to me? but you're right - thanks.

  7. Chienvoxx,

    I've been told those exact words by my well-intentioned bishop. If you think about the logic behind "follow the majority," it is very flawed. We shouldn't follow a single man (except the prophet, I guess), but it's okay to follow a committee of brethren, because the chances are that the majority won't stray?? I would think that if you get more than one "man" then you multiply your chances of erring.

    2 NE 28:31-32
    31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    I think most people use that last line to justify following the 12, because, hey.... they're apostles aren't they? They must have the Holy Ghost. But as Denver has pointed out, the term "power of the Holy Ghost" when it has to do with true messengers of God has a specific meaning and qualifier (way that we can know). Interesting that this verse says cursed are those who make "flesh his arm."

    The following verse makes it clear that this is the problem of our (the Gentiles) time! And that we should seek Him. (notice how the Lord's arm is lengthened).

    32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.


  8. I've wondered if when Wilford Woodruff said that the prophet can never lead you astray, if it was said with the understanding that you would be seeking counsel from the Lord always. Therefore no man, prophet or not, can lead you astray.

  9. CS,

    Ooh- that's good!!

    But unfortunately I disagree. I believe he had to drive home the 180 on polygamy was now the way the Lord wanted to take things. It was a hard pill to swallow after going through that hell to basically be told it really wasn't necessary after all. People didn't want to believe that. Especially the women, imo.

  10. No woman in her right mind wants to live polygamy. Righteous women only did it because they were (falsely) told they would not receive Exaltation if they didn't get sealed to a man in this life. Had they known the truth, that they could wait to marry in the millenium, then polygamy would have hardly ever been lived in the 1800's. Women silently rejoiced when it was ended.

  11. Anonymous,
    So if the words were used to help the saints accept the "new rules" concerning polygamy, then are we laboring under a false tradition when we give them so much meaning. It certainly provides an easy excuse to lean on...saying that the prophet will never lead us astray. It really takes the responibility for our own salvation out of our own hands. Which is the way most people like things to be.

  12. I think the adversary is very clever. We don't seem to get it over and over again. When we turn our focus and attention to the Church and what they're doing, we take our eyes off the Savior. When we get so caught up looking at others and what they are saying and doing, we lose sight of the one true way. The devil tries to distract. He'll have us look at good things in order to get us to stop looking at the "way, the truth, and the life."

    I see how I've been distracted, focusing on things other than my Savior. This is the main reason why we are commanded to treasure the Book of Mormon, because on every page, the Savior can be found. As we learn of Him and become like Him, we'll see clearly and be able to better avoid distractions. If we aren't focused on Him, there are distractions and deceit a plenty.

    I felt prompted the other day to read parable 9 from Denver's book "Ten Parables." This was exactly what I needed at that time. I had never read it before. There are always tests and trials, but in the end, how we are in relation to Jesus Christ is all that matters. The rest is gravy. Surely, true messengers don't always come clothed in suit and ties.

  13. To the two Anonymous comments above: Robert Alter's book called "The Art of Biblical Narrative" (a Jewish author not even mentioning the New Testament, only the Old) details how events in Israel's history that had significance became "type-scenes" which saw multiple fulfillments in the lives of every-day Jews. Because Isaac's wife was found at the meeting at a well, and Jacob and Rebekah also, all Israelites felt it special if their love story had similar matching elements. It was very culturally significant and became a sign of divine blessing for a union. A few of the elements were usually present: meeting at the well, the offer of marriage, the woman going back to her kinsfolk and announcing the proposal, and the kinsfolk holding feasts and accepting the bridegroom. We hear a lot about the ancient wedding rituals, but not much about the cultural engagement expectations, and this one was particularly Jewish (if not official, it was well favored unofficially).

    Now the turn to the New Testament that Robert Alter either missed or refused to acknowledge, the woman at the well story in Samaria becomes highly scandalous. The written account makes pains to mention all the elements for a traditional proposal were there. Go and re-read it for yourself. The proposal itself could be a different interpretation of a long abused phrase by our Lord: "For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly." Meaning Jesus was already hers (a romantic notion), but not her husband (yet). After she presses to find out if this really is a proposal, she learns not only that He is the Messiah, but also her anointed one in sacred proposal. She runs to tell her family and he feasts with them until the marriage. When the Jews questioned Jesus, "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan?" Their venom came because they knew of this marriage and detested him for it, and saw it as further proof of their reasoning for rejecting Him.

    With Denver's beautiful exposition on Jesus being the groom at the marriage at Cana in his book, "Come Let Us Adore Him", this would make the Samaritan woman a plural wife.

    When a king wants to extend the privileges of His kingdom to a neighboring nation, He often intermarries to allow the rites of rule to benefit them. This explains another of His phrases in that interchange.

    It is likely that Jesus married a Gentile, but in private, to allow for the benefits to extend to them as well even more legitimately. Notice the Gentile woman whom he praised for her exceeding faith who said she would eat of the crumbs that fall from the children's table. Perhaps there is a case to be made for her as another wife.

    I have heard that Josephus the Jewish historian makes no qualms about mentioning Jesus' many wives and children, who followed him around as He preached, Josephus calling it His train, yet I haven't seen the reference myself.

    All this does not mean we should practice plural marriage right now, and there could be other interpretations, but it is all there in plain type, and editing can't take away the cultural clues that scream the obvious. Only we can refuse to consider the possibilities with our celibate Gentile version of monogamy. Those who cry whoredoms are whores themselves, although I agree, many forms of polygamy are dreadfully abusive to women. I think I will make a distinction - I don't believe in polygamy, but plural marriage as taught by the Lord alone I do. And I repeat, we shall not live it now, but no one can force negative views upon a section we still have recent in our D&C, all interpretations aside. We have never been required to think negatively on it.

  14. John the Beloved would've been given more than Jesus' mother to care for, and it would've made sense for this special lineage of Jesus' to be watched over by a translated being until Jesus' return. Would not the Son of God do such for His own responsibilities as well as watch over them Himself?


What Say You?