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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Best Friend You Never Knew Part 10: Why You Need to Dialogue with Yeshua Daily


The Bible is full of passage after passage that instructs us to seek wisdom. For example,

Passages like:

"To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:2-7)

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:5-6)

But what exactly is wisdom?
  • Is it intellect? Having a high IQ?
  • Is it basic, everyday knowledge? Common sense?
  • Is it a collection of facts and data?
  • Is it a college degree? Is the PhD wiser than one with an Associates Degree?
It seems to me that what the world calls wisdom is vastly different than what God considers wisdom. Divine wisdom, which comes directly from God, is different than intellectual knowledge:
  • Man's intellect can physically save a life, but not a soul.
  • Man's intellect can reach the moon and other planets, but not heaven.
  • Man's intellect can help bring forth a child, but not an immortal spirit.
  • Man's intellect can unveil new scientific discoveries, but not all things supernatural.
You see, there is a limit to human intellect and worldly wisdom. After all, look at current events. Even with the collected human wisdom of our world, we are still a mess.

In fact, today, those who consider themselves the most enlightened among us espouse policies which replace law enforcement with...well, they're not quite certain. 


I think the case can be credibly made that we mortals not only get a failing grade, but also barely get any grade at all, in terms of the quality of our wisdom. Perhaps that's why Yeshua said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)

In other words, the only way for us to have true wisdom –- the kind of wisdom that truly transcends the best of human understanding-- can only come from God.

One of the saddest things I see is when members not only believe, but also tell others, that they never can have a personal experience with Yeshua. They may have high IQs, have tremendous common sense, be able to spit out fact after fact and even have notable church callings, yet never know what it means to be One with Yeshua, even as He is one with Father (as He requested).

"be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"


Because we have been baptized and confirmed members, many believe that the influence of the Holy Ghost is automatic. But nothing further could be the truth. The statement, "Receive the Holy Ghost" pronounced upon you at confirmation wasn't a blessing, but a command.

Unfortunately, many among us fail that command.

I see members who promote and follow false prophets and prophetesses, whose supposed prophecies, dreams, visions and insights (which may be sprinkled with truths) have been proven false time and time again. 

I see members who believe that it's OK to be commanded in all things by trusting in the arm of flesh to warn them when times are about to be tough. 

I see members who judge others as unrighteous because the others don't wear masks and they do...and feel their judgmentalism is endorsed of God.

I recently heard first-hand how this overconfidence in possessing divine wisdom has crept into the online, worldwide forums where church members regularly meet.

Within the last year, a number of Ugandan men who either are or pretend to be members have contacted several members online. Over time, they have been subscribed to various online forums and groups. There, they establish relationships of trust so thoroughly, that if you ask them what their favorite scripture is, they'll send you back a multi-paragraph analysis that makes total sense. Gradually, they infuse statements about how they are desperate for funds in constructing an orphanage or some other worthy endeavor. 

Yet they aren't building orphanages or anything of the sort. They are scammers -- or, to be more exact, "Affinity Frauds":

"Affinity fraud is a type of investment fraud in which a con artist targets members of an identifiable group based on things such as race, age, religion, etc. The fraudster either is or pretends to be, a member of the group. Often the fraudster promotes a Ponzi or pyramid scheme." (Source)

These pleadings have been unbelievably successful. According to the mission president over Uganda, dozens of members have fallen for these scammers. One member sent the scammers a thousand dollars. Others sent hundreds of dollars they really didn't have the luxury of parting with. Another pledged money every month to a scammer.

One of those who was initially taken by a scammer (for $500) had many opportunities to send money to other scammers, being told that his money would help in some worthy endeavor. But every time, doubts would prevent him sending more money. He didn't, and began comparing notes with others and checking facts, until he learned that he -- and others -- had been scammed. It wasn't his wisdom, his knowledge, nor even the facts that gave him a moment of pause, but rather, the quiet whisperings of the Lord...that "receive the Holy Ghost" command in full force.

If you ever run across "Ebong Daniel," "Harbart Bua," "King Sagacious," "Paul Oola" or "Joseph Oola" and possibly a few others supposedly hailing from Uganda, I would highly recommend blocking their profiles. That's because today, they are likely enjoying wealth obtained by defrauding good LDS members. But one fact remains certain: Ultimately, they will sow what they reaped. What goes around comes around. Justice will someday catch up with them.

But what of the scammed? I know a few of them, and they are good-hearted saints. They are definitely "harmless as doves." But it's also apparent that they need to work on that "wise as serpents" characteristic. Have they learned their lesson? Good question.

Why the Saints (including you and your family) won't be spared from the upcoming tribulations


Our sacrament prayers promise that those who [1] are "willing to take upon them the name of thy Son," [2] "always remember him, and" [3] "keep his commandments which he has given them" = "may always have his Spirit to be with them." (D&C 20:77)

Yet every day, as I am online, I'm floored by the apathy, ignorance, denial, naivete among a people who should be walking, talking examples of the Savior and should have His spirit -- and therefore His wisdom -- with them.

If these members don't develop this wisdom now,
what will become of them when times are tougher?

And times WILL get tougher. But will these members personally have the God-given, divinely-directed wisdom to make it through what's coming?

Point #1: Many Saints believe they can somehow eat, drink and be merry until the church president says it's time to head for the hills. 


Many believe that church leadership will announce a general "Call Out" to all members, or perhaps a special subset of them (like temple recommend holders who have a year's supply of food), immediately before the worst of the tribulations are upon us. The church may even provide trucks to haul food storage to an area of refuge. 

Maybe it'll happen. Maybe it won't. However:

Such an action will not be kept secret. You can count on two things happening: 
  • Many (if not most) members will not keep the destination of these "Call Out" locations secret. They will, understandably, want their sons and daughters, mothers and fathers to come to safety as well, and will act accordingly.
  • If hundreds or (more likely) thousands of church members are suddenly headed for the hills, local media will be reporting on how many left and to where. You just can't expect the media to turn its heads while thousands of members are suddenly rushing to the wilderness.
There's not a stellar track record of leader-announced call-outs. Look at the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon (which we are told to liken unto ourselves): 
  • The Lord didn't tell the people in Noah's time that an ark was being built for them.
  • Did prophets tell the Israelites of 600 BC that it's time to head to the desert? Not that we read. Instead, the Lord sent prophets out to the people and had them cry repentance, so the people would be able to spiritually discern needed directives straight from the Lord.
  • Church leadership didn't warn Lehi and his family to head to the desert. It was a spiritual call-out, pure and simple.
  • Did Samuel the Lamanite tell people that it's time to head for the hills? No. Again, he went among the people and cried repentance to them.
  • The Ten Virgins were never told exactly when the Bridegroom was coming. They knew they were supposed to prepare ahead of time, then wait. And when the Bridegroom tarried (for good reasons), those who didn't have enough oil were caught off-guard.
  • The Lord and church leadership did not tell members when to leave Jerusalem when the Romans invaded the city; they were given signs of what to look for so they could initiate their own actions (George A Horton, Jr., "Be Ye Also Ready," Ensign, June, 1989).
  • Church leadership did not direct members in Europe or Japan to depart prior to World War I or II.
  • Church leadership did not warn people to move away prior to damns bursting (for example, the Teton Dam disaster), hurricanes, tornadoes or tsunamis, killing thousands.
  • Church leadership did not warn people not to go to work in New York City or fly in planes on 9/11.
  • Church leadership didn't tell members to take precautions for a pandemic prior to the flu pandemic of 1889-1890 (killed 1 million), the American polio epidemic of 1916 (6,000 deaths), the Spanish Flu (1918, at least 50 million dead), the Asian Flu (1957-1958, 1 million dead), H1N1 (2009-2010, between 151,700 and 575,400 dead), Ebola (2014-2016, 11,325 dead) and COVID-19 (2019-Present, 600,000+ dead) (source).
Even President Kimball said "With no warning, no last-minute preparation is possible." 


Look at it this way: If you're someday in the wilderness, and need immediate instructions on how to avoid mobs or avoid being shot (see below), you're not going to have the luxury of turning to the church president for counsel. The bottom line: Be able to hear the Lord's voice, or you'll die (see here for scriptures).

Point #2: Many Saints believe they are somehow immune or exempt from the pre-millennial tribulations.


"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Revelation 13:7)
 
"And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies." (D&C 87:4-7)

"That same God who gave the revelations to his servant Joseph Smith in regard to these matters, will fulfil every jot and every tittle that has been spoken, concerning that nation. What then will be the condition of that people, when this great and terrible war shall come? It will be very different from the war between the North and the South. Do you wish me to describe it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time, among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture, there will be too much bloodshed--too much mobocracy--too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety. What will become of millions of the farmers upon that land? They will leave their farms and they will remain uncultivated, and they will flee before the ravaging armies from place to place; and thus will they go forth burning and pillaging the whole country; and that great and powerful nation, now consisting of some forty millions of people, will be wasted away, unless they repent." (Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 20:151)

"I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of man has said that the mother shall be against the daughters, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; but with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No; I will lift up my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good crops, and the famine be kept off, I do not know; when the fig tree leaves, know then that the summer is nigh at hand." (TPJS, 161; Emphasis mine)

Point #3: Many Saints believe it is foolish, it's a waste of money, to prepare for future calamities.


Famines...plagues...earthquakes...slaves rising up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war...

Sounds like today's headlines. 

Yet it's amazing how many members don't want to think about these things, or believe that pre-millennial tribulations are so far off in the future, that they are irrelevant to them. Yet they may not be that far off after all:

"The time would come wen the government would stop the Saints from holding meetings. When this was done, the Lord would pour out His judgments." (Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 453).

Such an assumption is foolishness at best and dangerous at worst, because when the stuff really does begin to the hit the fan, those who think God's judgments are still years or decades off will know what it's like to be an unwise virgin.

The Time to Develop a Dialogue with Yeshua is Now 


If you want true wisdom, then there's one and only one way to get it: Have an active, everyday, dialoguing relationship with Yeshua.

It's that simple and that plain.

Well, I say it's high time to take Yeshua up on His offer to always have His spirit to be with you, because without possessing a genuine relationship with Him, you are missing out on being able to be a truly wise person.

The world and the Devil have done an excellent job in convincing us human beings that wisdom is only putting together a collection of statuses and/or facts, being able to argue your point in a convincing manner and being able to speak eloquently.

Too many good people are falling for that lie.

Stop being one of them. 

Want a good suggestion on what to do next?


Meet Brother Lawrence


Around 350 years ago, there was a man known as Brother Lawrence

He was a common man, with no degrees, no riches nor a prestigious family. He just fell in love with God, with the Word and with others.

Brother Lawrence wasn’t able to become a minister; he wasn’t qualified at that time. So, he worked in a monastery taking care of the monks. Most of the time he worked in the kitchen, in the garden and around the place cleaning it up. But all day long, Bro. Lawrence talked with Yeshua and allowed Yeshua to change him.

After a while, a rather strange thing happened. The people who normally came to talk with one of the monks or priests started approaching him. They wanted to know what he thought about this or that. 

By the time Brother Lawrence was an old man, the monastery was better known as the place where one could hear the wisdom of Brother Lawrence and read the writings of Brother Lawrence than it was the place that one went to talk to a learned priest or monk.

Today, you, too, can become a vessel of supernatural, God-given wisdom. All it takes is your willingness and ability to be open to Yeshua, to open your ears, your eyes and your heart to Him. To listen for Yeshua’s voice, to be ready to obey at a moment’s notice and to give your will and your way over to He who is my best friend.

In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul thanks God that He has given the Corinthians wisdom, insight and discernment. He tells them that God has enriched them in everything, in every form of speech and in every form of knowledge (1 Corinthians 1:5).

The result: The Corinthians possessed all the spiritual gifts that they needed and were therefore able to receive all of God’s wonderful gifts.

Were they perfect? Of course not. But when they allowed Yeshua to refill them, when they allowed Yeshua to lead them and when they allowed themselves to be open to Yeshua’s wisdom, their lives went up another level.

So, too, will yours.

You can start by waking up each day and asking Yeshua to reveal more of Him to you, to be infilled with more of His spirit and to be given more of His wisdom, insight, discernment and knowledge.

If you do that, then you will begin to notice a change not only in yourself, but also in those around you. You will find yourself going up a step in your thinking, in your walking, in your conversations and in your spirit. You will find yourself developing the mind of Christ. You will find yourself enjoying life more and enjoying being in God’s holy presence. You will find yourself being more at peace, more kind, more gentle and more loving.

And, you will be ready for the one thing you've always wanted to do:

To walk and talk with God.

Want to learn what Brother Lawrence did so he could walk and talk with God...straight from Brother Lawrence himself?

Stay tuned for our next post in this series.

3 comments:

  1. Which edition of The Practice of The Presence of God do you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! I'm researching that now. I just want what he wrote -- no commentary. I'll link to what I find in my next post. Thanks for asking, Marti!

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  2. We have learned that none will come to God except through Jesus Christ. Use His name

    ReplyDelete