By A Thread

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I have published my second book. Because of the nature of its contents and approval from the Lord, it is for sale at cost; no royalties are made. Although writing this was a very daunting task, it was a labor of love and is my gift to the world. It is primarily written for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but also for all disciples of Jesus Christ from all Christian religions or paths, particularly in the United States. To order a copy, please click the link:

By A Thread

This is a brief excerpt from one of the chapters titled, “Why Zion?”:

First we must ask what is Zion? Zion is the antithesis—the direct opposite—of Babylon, which is this fallen world we all currently occupy, ruled by Satan and all who love the material and vain things of this world, and also who seek to rule and control others and to be ruled and controlled by others. It’s more than any fictional Utopian society. It is where people live in perfect harmony with one another and who have the love of God in them and His law written in their hearts. Where Babylon is darkness, Zion is light. But most importantly, Zion is where all people know the Lord intimately and walk with Him as Enoch and his people walked with Him (Genesis 5:22-24). They are called Zion because they possess three characteristics or qualities devoid of those people who love Babylon and serve Mammon. As mentioned in the previous chapter, those three qualities are:

1. They are of one heart and one mind.
2. They dwell in righteousness (they deal justly with one another).
3. There are no poor among them.

“What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.” (Isaiah 14:32, emphasis added.)

Zion is also mentioned throughout the Bible by many prophets as a sanctuary. The Hebrew word for Zion means refuge. Zion, which many people today anticipate with the second coming of Jesus Christ, will also be a place of refuge for those who seek shelter from an increasingly wicked world and from those corrupt despots and dictators who seek absolute control of it. So Zion is both a place and a people.

“Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” (Isaiah 66:8.)…

…It is imperative that all believers in Jesus Christ, whatever religion we profess, learn to gather and purify ourselves of all ungodliness and to forsake all worldliness, covetousness, and to abandon all our lusts for material wealth. We must learn to seek to elevate the poor and make ourselves all equal in earthly things that there might be no more poor, so that the Lord might make us all equal in heavenly things (D&C 78:3-7) if we are of but one heart and one mind, dealing justly with one another.

“Let every one labor to prepare himself for the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken-hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to reinvite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and the obedient shall be blessed. Souls are as precious in the sight of God as they ever were; and the Elders were never called to drive any down to hell, but to persuade and invite all men everywhere to repent, that they may become the heirs of salvation.” (Joseph Smith, Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1, No. 8, pp. 137-8.)

To all Elders of Israel: we must stop our vain and worldly pursuits and stop procrastinating the day of our repentance, and rise up now to save the Constitution of the United States and preserve our liberty. We must heed God’s admonitions and warnings and educate ourselves and teach one another that we might all be edified, and in the Lord’s strength, prepare for the work necessary to redeem Zion and to welcome the Great and Dreadful Day of His Second Coming.

“For the Lord will have a place whence His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. Let me say unto you, seek to purify yourselves, and also all the inhabitants of Zion, lest the Lord’s anger be kindled to fierceness. Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion; and strange as it may appear, yet it is true, mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed, and their character past being redeemed, and that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind, I say to you (and what I say to you I say to all), hear the warning voice of God lest Zion fall, and the Lord sware in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 1, p. 316, emphasis added.)

The Man of God and the Old Prophet

Be very careful about following anyone, including those in high positions. Why did the man of God in the following passage, who was sent by God and empowered by God, ultimately lose his life? What should he have done?

(Hint: verse 21.)

1 Kings 13:1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.

And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el.

11 ¶ Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,

14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.

15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

17 For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. (JST…drink water, that I may prove him; and he lied not unto him.)

19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

20 ¶ And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back:

21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee,

22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

23 ¶ And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.

25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him.

27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him.

28 And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass.

29 And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him.

30 And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!

31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:

32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Beth-el, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

Meekness

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Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

The meek shall inherit the Earth. Why? What does meek mean? The Greek word praus was used to describe a horse trained for battle. Wild stallions retained their fierce spirit, courage, but were disciplined to respond to the slightest nudge from the rider. They were not frightened by arrows, spears, or torches. Then they were said to be “meeked,” or in other words, completely loyal to, and dependent upon their master. It is the restraint of bridled power.

Think of Jesus who spoke a word and raised Lazarus from the dead, or who spoke a word and cursed the fig tree so that it withered, or who calmed the wind with a word when the disciples were scared of perishing, or who walked on water, or multiplied the fishes and loaves. Imagine any of us with that kind of power by speaking a word. What kind of evil would we do with it? Meekness is having the potential to be a monster, but having it under control. Jesus could have called down twelve legions of angels to fight, but instead He used his power to die for us so that He could save us. He did nothing except His Father’s will. Meekness is not being weak. It is being powerful yet subdued. It is to have control of yourself when you have the potential to wreak havoc. The meek shall inherit the earth not because they are harmless, but because they do not use their power to harm or injure others. Instead, they bless others.

Joseph Smith, Winter Solstice

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On this day, in 1805, Joseph Smith was born. In the year 1805, Winter Solstice occurred on December 22, the longest night of the year. The next day, the 23rd when Joseph was born, marked the time on our calendar when the days grew longer, triumphing over night, and light prevailed over darkness.

http://www.neoprogrammics.com/sun/Northern_Winter_Dates_and_Times.html

I Can Do All Things…

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Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I’ve seen many Christians cite this passage as a powerful affirmation. It has become a meme. And indeed you have it in you to climb that mountain. You are capable of enduring and overcoming anything if you set your mind to it. You are willing to suffer to become the master of your own destiny. But are you willing to suffer the same things for the benefit of a family member? What about a neighbor? A stranger? A homeless beggar? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to go for someone who can do nothing for you? What’s in it for you anyway? And if you have the strength alone to help someone in need, how much strength would you need from God to go the extra mile for someone else? How willing are you to become equal to an inordinately burdensome and punishing task for any of the previously mentioned people? There is a reason why there are no traffic jams along the extra mile. People usually don’t enjoy suffering let alone suffering for someone else. Longsuffering is not a part of most people’s vocabulary. But you really are stronger than you might think, and if you are willing to suffer for Christ’s sake, you will find strength that you never thought was possible.