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Re: two "churches" only? "become as a child"? "only true church"?

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  • Sterling D. Allan
    Hi Jeanette, REGARDING BECOME AS A CHILD Here is an excerpt from Mosiah 3:19 and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11 9:40 AM
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      Hi Jeanette,

      REGARDING "BECOME AS A CHILD"

      Here is an excerpt from Mosiah 3:19

      "and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love,
      willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon
      him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

      And here is a break-out, word by word:

      - submissive,

      Rarely. Most of the time they require at least a little coaxing. It seems
      that adults, who have been "broken" in some way (e.g. military, public
      school) are more submissive than children.

      - meek,

      When the're asleep or sick -- sometimes. Otherwise they are quite
      headstrong, at least the one's I've encountered. I would instead use words
      such as "selfish", "the world centers around me", "my needs, now, or I'll
      throw a tantrum". I would say that adults and kids generally have this
      attribute in equal measure (not very much).

      - humble,

      Hmm. I don't think so. Sometimes, but certainly not most of the time.
      Maybe a little more than adults in general.

      - patient,

      Very, very rarely. Most of the time it's the opposite. They are far worse
      than adults in this measure.

      - full of love,

      This is one attribute that I would agree is typical of children, much more
      than adults.

      - willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon
      him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

      Not even close. Adults are much more compliant (in good ways) than
      children.


      As for the attributes you listed, such as "innocence," that is not mentioned
      in this verse.

      Your wording "I don't think the Lord meant" implies that there is no
      question in your mind that any wording anywhere in the Book of Mormon,
      including this verse, might not have come directly from the Lord in very
      pure form.

      I don't buy that premise. So for me, I am willing to look at a scripture
      such as this one and identify it as not-so-enlightened as worded.

      I think that an unquestioning posture toward scriptures is spiritually
      healthy, just as I don't think the "just follow the prophet" mentality is
      spiritaully responsible. We need to take full responsibility for our
      beliefs, and not get locked into a mindset of belief based on unchallenged
      faith.

      The leaning on another's witness is an interim step -- like training wheels
      on a bike -- but at some point, the training wheels need to come off.
      Nearly the entire Mormon culture is one based on training wheels. That is
      my biggest gripe with it.


      REGARDING TWO CHURCHES ONLY

      I don't see any level on which the "there are two churches only" sentiment
      is enlightened.

      Reality is that there is a very gradual gradient from one extreme (purity)
      to the opposite extreme (filth). Just as there are "many mansions" in
      heaven, and Mormonism broadens the "degrees of glory," so also are there
      many gradations of religious faith. Furthermore, churches are more
      comparable to people -- a wide variety, a wonderful diversity, colorful
      differences that enrich our life experiences.

      Just as no two people are alike, and all have strenghts and weaknesses and
      talents and missions in life; so also do churches have strengths and
      weaknesses and talents and missions at which they excell.

      There are some wonderful teachings in Budhism that Mormons don't benefit
      from because of having a mentality that Mormonism has it all -- which as
      assinine. Likewise, even within a particular sect (e.g. Mormonism), there
      is a wide diversity from one congregation to the next. Each has its own
      personality, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

      Furthermore, just as a person has ups and downs in life, phases and chapters
      through a lifetime, moments of greatness, and moments of darkness; so also
      is it with any religious sect. Mormon history has its high points and low
      points.

      Speaking of which, I don't think the early church history is necessarily a
      high point in all regards. They were extremely obnoxious in their sentiment
      of entitlement and superiority. I don't blame the neighbors for feeling
      threatened. If a bunch of Muslims moved in next door and said the town was
      destined to become Mecca under their leadership, how would you take that?


      ONLY TRUE CHURCH

      I don't buy that scripture that you site in which the Lord allegedly tells
      Joseph that his is "the only true and living church with which I am well
      pleased." That was coming from from Joseph, not from God. Nearly all
      religious denominations have similar statements.

      I've see this phenomenon in my endeavors in the field of energy technology.
      Inventors often think their invention is the best -- and only-- solution.
      It's the "my baby is the most beutiful baby" syndrome. It's cute, but it's
      not true, except to the person who thinks it. The fact is, the more firmly
      they hold this sentiment (the inventor), the less workable they are to
      actually bringing their technology into the market. Their ego creates a
      huge impediment to progress. They think they are the one and only true
      proponent of the technology, and they don't realize that other talents are
      needed to bring their technology the distance. Finances are required, and
      those who bring money need to get a reasonable share of the control.
      Business expertise is required. Legal expertise is required. Marketing
      expertise is required. Directorship expertise is required. All of these
      are talents that never all reside in just one person. A team is required,
      yet the inventor wants to stay in full control and ownership of the process
      because of his "I'm the one and only" ego. And the inventors aren't the
      only ones who can impede this teamwork. Each of the constituents (the
      businessman, the marketer, the legal, the finance) tends to over-value
      his/her contribution, wanting more of the pie than is fair.

      Just as technologies benefit from a teamwork of people, so would religion
      benefit if the various denominations worked together, rather than alone.
      Each needs to see the value and benefit of the other.

      Sterling

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Jeanette Skeem" <hiddenoasis@...>
      To: <sterlingda@...>
      Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 9:22 AM
      Subject: Re: two "churches" only?


      Sterling,
      You are right that children are generally self-centered, head strong,
      selfish, demanding, rebellious. And I have often wondered how we should be
      like a little child. But, notice that the Savior was listing the positive
      aspects of children, not the negative. The negative is the natural man in
      them. Some never really get out of that natural man state, even though they
      are no longer children.
      Very young children not only have those negative qualities, they also
      exhibit the ones the Savior was referring to, in a greater degree than later
      in life when man becomes hardened by life unless he retains those positive
      childlike qualities. As people grow up,unless they have had needs met and
      have been taught correctly, they stay in the natural man mode, instead of
      advancing to and acquring the positive qualities that young children started
      out with in a more innocent state.

      I don't think the Lord was referring to the negative qualities of children.
      Children are very spontaneious, enjoy the moment, see wonder in everything,
      love freely, are totally honest (until they learn that honesty sometimes
      brings pain).
      Young children are very forgiving--forgetting slights quickly, do not hold
      grudges, and if they have been taught right and have had their natural
      their needs met they are very obedient, and do submit to adults, without
      question. They come to us with their own natural negative tendencies, to be
      sure. That is what parents are for, to teach them to overcome those things,
      if possible.
      Generally, the being as a child--referring to the positive qualities of
      young chidlren-- applies only if the child has not been abused, had their
      selfish whims indulged in to the point of them turning rotten from the
      start,and their nurturing and training, and loving and valuing them has not
      been neglected.

      I presume you have not read what I sent, or you would see that "two churches
      only" does not refer to "I, I belong to the only true church on the face of
      the earth, therefore you belong to the church of the devil."
      You're right, such understanding, as taking this verse at such a simple, but
      wrong level of understanding, does cause polarization. I've always abhored
      the statement-- "I know the church is true and is the only true church on
      the face of the earth." This does cause arrogance and pride in thinking we
      are so favored and all other churches are bad because people don't have the
      "truth."That is very wrong, and oversimplified. Besides which the church is
      no longer true to Christ, so it cannot be a true statement.

      Besides which, they take the words out of context that the Lord is
      reported to have said to Joseph Smith: "This is the only true and living
      church upon the face of the earth WITH WHICH I AM WELL PLEASED." The
      qualifiying statement leads us to understand that the LDS church, at the
      time that statement was uttered was not the only true gathering of saints
      which was true. At JS's time, which was what, only a few years that it had
      even existed, it was the only body of believers with which Christ was well
      pleased. For a very few short years until it started sliding into apostasy
      and until JS started taking power to himself. So that statement most likely
      could no longer be true as Him being well-pleased with the LDS church
      collectively, not necessarily individually.

      Anyhow, just some thoughts.
      Jeanette




      >From: "Sterling D. Allan" <sterlingda@...>
      >To: "Jeanette Skeem" <hiddenoasis@...>
      >CC: "David's Outcasts" <davids_outcasts@yahoogroups.com>
      >Subject: Re: two "churches" only?
      >Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 18:40:23 -0600
      >
      >Hi Jeanette,
      >
      >I see that scripture in the Book of Mormon (which is an awesome book, but
      >not perfect) as being unnecessarily polarizing.
      >
      >It creates an "us v. them" mentality, versus a "we're all in this together"
      >mentality.
      >
      >To say there are just two churches unduly polarizes people and engenders
      >bigotry.
      >
      >Another one I've recently thought "hey, that's ridiculous" that I used to
      >hold as a pillar is that one where it talks about becoming "as a child,
      >meek, humble, willing to submit..."
      >
      >I don't know any children that fit that description. Mine certainly don't.
      >If our task is to become as children, then here is how the world looks:
      >- if it feels good, do it
      >- temper tantrums
      >- "NO!"
      >- impatient in the extreme (I want it NOW!)
      >- etc.
      >
      >That's not an invitation to a higher way of being.
      >
      >"Childish" is not a compliment.
      >
      >Sterling
      >
      >----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeanette Skeem"
      ><hiddenoasis@...>
      >To: <sterlingda@...>
      >Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 2:30 PM
      >Subject: two "churches" only?
      >
      >
      >Sterling,
      >I read a post at your David's Outcasts that has me wondering.
      >It appears that you doubt the truth of the Book of Mormon, from these words
      >you said
      >here, in part:
      >
      >>"There are two churches only. The one is the Church of the Lamb of
      >>God, the other is the church of the Devil" (Book of Mormon). I used
      >>to live by that scripture. Now I find it ridiculous in the extreme.
      >>
      >I don't see anything ridiculous about this verse, other than man's
      >ridiculous interpretation that
      >[there are only two churches on the earth. At the time of the ancients,
      >there were no denominations as we have today. There were God's established
      >words and people who followed those words, and then there were those who
      >perverted His words and created their own gatherings--either to the
      >political, religious, or economic arena. The same as today.
      >Perhaps the following word study I did on the word "churches" may shed
      >some
      >light for you, if you haven't already considered this, and if you aren't
      >kicking against the pricks.
      >I see the Book of Mormon as being right on. You, a great patriot surely can
      >see the types of where we are at in America today.
      >It is man who has drifted away from the truth or perverts God's words to
      >their own gain.
      >Jeanette
      >----------------------
      >
      >In 1 Nephi 22:23 we are told that " the time speedily shall come that
      >all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are
      >built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to
      >become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts
      >of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of
      >iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the
      >devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those
      >who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be
      >consumed as stubble; and this is accord to the words of the
      >prophet."[i.e. the one mentioned in verse 21, the Holy One of Israel.]
      >
      >We have, in this verse several things listed about churches, which I
      >interpret to
      >be existing in the last days, or perhaps even having existed in the Nephite
      >times, as
      >well as in Biblical days in the Old World.
      >1. churches will be money-making organizations
      >2.churches will use their authority to oppress
      >3. churches will be prideful and seek to impress others
      >4.churches will appeal to man's baser side, i.e. "lusts of the flesh",
      >be matereialistic, seeking for riches.
      >5.churches will "do all manner of iniquity."
      >6. the "churches" who have these characterisitcs are of the kingdom of the
      >devil.
      >
      >
      >
      >Today, we have people believing that the word "churches" refers to various
      >ecclesiastical
      >denominations that are built up to get gain and power over the flesh,
      >as equating with those who belong to the kingdom of the devil.
      >
      >In 1 Nephi 14:10, the angel of the Lord tells Nephi: " Behold there
      >are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God,
      >and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth
      >not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church,
      >which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the
      >earth."
      >
      >Many members of the church believe, and even preach, that this verse
      >refers to the fact that there is only the church of Jesus Christ of
      >Latter-day Saints,which is true, and that other church which is what
      >they say is the Catholic church, which is false. Members of the Church
      >smugly
      >assure themselves that they are saved and can do no wrong since they belong
      >to the good church.
      >
      >I contend that the word "church", as used in the Book of Mormon is not
      >referring to an yexclusive corporate organization, or denomination,
      >particularly. The
      >Catholic church did not even exist at the time of the Nephites to
      >write about. He said there ARE two churches only, back then.
      >There has always been two "churches" only.
      >The one being in opposition to the other.
      >But the word "churches" refers to something much broader than religious
      >denominations alone.
      >
      >>From my studies throughout the scriptures, it appears that the word
      >"churches" refer to bodies of true believers in Christ, who are
      >found in all walks of life -in any organization--political, religious, or
      >economic, who are for freedom and free agency-- on the one hand,or those in
      >the same
      >walks of life who
      >follow the agenda of the devil, which is slavery and totalitarian dominion.
      >The two "churches" referred to in the Book of Mormon times, and which has
      >existed since
      >the beginning of this earth with Adam and Eve are anyone who works to
      >further satan's agenda, or who works to further the
      >work of God. "Church" being a word to denote any group of believers
      >which furthers either of these two ideologies.
      >The word "church" in the Book of Mormon reference cited does not refer to a
      >religious
      >denomination.
      >
      >To illustrate this point, here are some reference from the Bible and
      >the Book of Mormon. I will post the references from the Book of Mormon
      >in part II, with the Bible, first, here. If you are serious about this word
      >study this may
      >interest you. If not, you can skip to the end:
      >
      >Acts 14: 23
      >And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had
      >prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they
      >believed.
      >
      >[Here, if you read this verse in context you can see this as an example of
      >"church" being groups of believers in
      >different geographical areas.]
      >
      >Acts 15: 41
      >And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
      >[Again, a reference to "churches" being reference to groups of
      >believers in Christ in different locations.]
      >
      >Acts 16: 5
      >And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in
      >number daily.
      >[churches being several groups of the Lord's people.]
      >
      >Rom. 16: 4
      >Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I
      >give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
      >[If "churches" refers to "groups", then churches of the Gentiles would
      >be groups of believers in Christ among the non-Jewish peoples.]
      >
      >Rom. 16: 16
      >Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
      >1 Cor. 4: 17
      >For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved
      >son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of
      >my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
      >
      >[Again, "in every church" does not refer to different denominations, but
      >groups of
      >believers, as those who are established as followers of Christ.]
      >
      >1 Cor. 7: 17
      >But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called
      >every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
      >
      >
      >1 Cor. 11: 16
      >But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom,
      >neither the churches of God.
      >
      >1 Cor. 14: 23
      >If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and
      >all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or
      >unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
      >[here, and in many other
      >places throughout the NT, " church" is referring to the collective
      >body of the saints, and "churches" refers to the scattered body of
      >believers, as you can see here.
      >
      >
      >1 Cor. 14: 33
      >For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in
      >all churches of the saints.
      >
      >1 Cor. 14: 34
      >Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
      >permitted unto them to speak but they are commanded to be
      >under obedience, as also saith the law.
      >
      >In the following verses it is clearly shown that the word "churches"
      >is not referring to the world's so-called corprorate church organizations,
      >but to the groups
      >of believers in Jesus Christ whom the apostles had gathered into
      >groups. Sorry to snow you with all these references--but I had to show
      >that the evidence is overwhelming that the word,"churches", in the
      >scriptures
      >does not refer to denominations-- other than the Lord's true believers.
      >
      >1 Cor. 16: 1
      >
      >Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order
      >to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
      >
      >1 Cor. 16: 19
      >The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you
      >much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
      >
      >..."2 Cor. 1: 1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of
      >God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at
      >Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
      >
      >
      >2 Cor. 8: 1
      >MOREOVER, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on
      >the churches of Macedonia;
      >
      >2 Cor. 8: 18
      >And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel
      >throughout all the churches;
      >
      >2 Cor. 8: 19
      >And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel
      >with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of
      >the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
      >
      >
      >2 Cor. 8: 23
      >Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper
      >concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the
      >messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
      >
      >2 Cor. 8: 24
      >Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your
      >love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
      >
      >
      >2 Cor. 11: 8
      >I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
      >
      >
      >2 Cor. 11: 28
      >Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me
      >daily, the care of all the churches.
      >[Here, we see he is burdened with getting around to all the groups of
      >believers scattered across the land.]
      >
      >2 Cor. 12: 13
      >For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it
      >be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
      >[He is trying to make this group of believers not feel badly, probably
      >because they were poorer because of having to help care for Paul.]
      >
      >
      >Gal. 1: 2
      >2 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
      >
      >1 Thes. 2: 14
      >For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in
      >Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of
      >your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
      >
      >2 Thes. 1: 1
      >PAUL, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the
      >Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
      >This verse shows that the word "church" as used by the NT apostles is
      >used to denote groups of believers in each area--such as the "church
      >of the Thessalonians".
      >
      >Can you see that the word "churches" is the same as our word Mormon's use
      >for "wards", or even Stakes.
      >Wards are bodies of believers in various areas, who are all of the
      >body of the larger body of believers. And Stakes are just comprise of many
      >wards in different
      >geographical area.
      >I see this much like Mose's day when they divided by tens, 50s, 100s and so
      >on, so that
      >God's word could be administered at the smallest level and on up. A bottom
      >up sort of
      >organization, not like the ones we have today, generally, which are top
      >down.
      >
      >2 Thes. 1: 4
      >So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your
      >patience. and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye
      >endure:
      >
      >Philem. 1: 2
      >And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus. our fellowsoldier, and
      >to the church in thy house:
      >[Again, we see here, that "church" is a small group, small enough to fit
      >in a house.]
      >
      >Rev. 1: 4
      >JOHN to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and
      >peace, from him which bis, and which was, and which is to come; and
      >from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
      >
      >Here we have the seven churches--or areas which I would call
      >"stakes" of believers. These seven "churches" are metaphors for types
      >of conditions
      >found in the latter-day church, or the Lord's body of believers--both in
      >the
      >restored LDS church as well as the conditions existing in all Christian
      >church
      >organizations..
      >The words of the scriptures always refer to the covenant people of the
      >Lord when they speak of "church" or "churches". The heathen
      >unbelievers or other denominations did not exist as types for
      >latter-day prophecies until modern times when they broke off the Roman
      >Catholic organization.
      >----------
      >
      >The word "church" is used in Book of Mormon times as a designation of
      >either organized groups of believers in Christ, or organizations of
      >of satan.
      >This abominable church, I believe is in all walks of society, in all
      >organizations which are working for satan. Just as there were various
      >"churches" or bodies of believers in Christ, in Paul's day, there are
      >various "churches" or organizations of satan in our society
      >today--whether they be political, economic, or religious--they are
      >all working for the same cause of satanic control over mankind.
      >
      >The church Nephi is speaking of, below, as having taken away the
      >plain and precious parts of the gospel, could be the Roman Catholic
      >church. Which organization, surprisingly is actually, over all types
      >of other organizations thoughout the earth. The Roman rule of law
      >was wicked. I believe it was the beast which was dead, mentioned by
      >John in the bk of Revelation, which comes alive again in our day, when
      >church and state once again combine to become a ruling power over
      >people's lives. I believe this evil "church" is more than just
      >the Catholic organization. It is something that runs throughout all
      >organizations which seek to gain power over man.
      >The religious organizations are ultimately used by the secular organization
      >to
      >enforce wicked agendas. It was so in Jesus' day, Paul's day, Nephite times,
      >and is very apparent in our day.
      >
      >1 Ne. 13: 5
      >And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a
      >church [organization] which is most abominable above all other
      >churches,[organizations] which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and
      >tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of
      >iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.\
      >[This has both religious and political applications, for the Roman Cahtolic
      >church
      >was a very wicked organization which did the things listed in this verse,
      >as well as political organizaitons today which also do the things listed
      >here.
      >
      >1 Ne. 13: 6
      >And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church;
      >and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.
      >
      >[In a sense, this church of the devil cannot be the Catholic church,
      >per se, because the Catholic church actually came about because of
      >Christ's teachings, originally. It was not the devil who was the
      >founder of it. Iit was originally based on the teachings of Christ
      >The perverted organization is, however, founded upon the devil, hiding
      >behind a
      >cloak of religion. I.E.: 'Many shall come in my name, saying I [Jesus, not
      >they themselves}
      >Christ, and shall deceive many."
      >
      >1 Ne. 13: 8
      >And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver,
      >and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the
      >precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and
      >abominable church.
      >[This shows this organization's lust for riches, their appearance of
      >beauty--while being evil-- and seeking the favor of man, and the
      >making of Christ's groups of believers harlots, by offering them
      >favors of protection by the government, in exchange for their freedom
      >to preach God's word in full, not just the parts that do not offend man.]
      >
      >1 Ne. 14: 9
      >And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great
      >and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose
      >founder is the devil."
      >
      >[It is a known fact that there is a worldwide concentrated effort to
      >take the freedoms of all peoples on the earth, by a gaddiaton, secret
      >combination. If "church" means a group, either for satan or for
      >Christ, then this "group" would be comprised of all types of organized
      >smaller groups working for the same ends--be they religious,
      >economic, or political: the concentration of all powers is in one head,
      >the antichrist or antichrist people who are the embodiment of satan.]
      >
      >
      >1 Ne. 14: 10
      >And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the
      >one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of
      >the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb
      >of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of
      >abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth."
      >
      >
      >[Now, I have a hard time believing that all the good believers in
      >Christ throughout all the many denominations in America and elsewhere,
      >are of the church of the devil, if they don't belong to the LDS church.
      >Therefore, I have to believe that the
      >believers in Christ, who are born again, and who exhibit Godly virtues
      >in their lives in whatever walk of life they are in, are of the "church" of
      >the Lamb.
      >And those who
      >work for any organization which seeks to enslave mankind is of the
      >"church" of the devil. "Church" being a term which denotes an
      >organization, or group of fellow believers--either for the cause of
      >truth and right and liberty, or for the cause of wickedness, slavery and
      >falsehood.]
      >
      >1 Ne. 14: 12
      >And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and
      >its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of
      >the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the
      >church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all
      >the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth
      >were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw."
      >
      >["Saints" of God = the church. The whore who sat upon many waters
      >links with the whore riding the beast, in Revelation. When we take the
      >qualities listed of the whore, we find that they fit exactly with what
      >the United States has become--which is fastly becoming another Roman
      >empire, which combines religious power with secular power--the beast that
      >"was" at the time John wrote his revelation, and the beast who was not
      >sometime after him, and the same beast which comes to life again in the
      >last
      >days.
      >This combining of religious and secular power may not be apparent, since
      >the
      >masses
      >have been numbed by the rhetoric of "separation of church and state", not
      >realizing
      >that those who tout this phrase constantly are they who are using the IRS
      >government
      >controls over corporate religious organizations to eliminate Christianity,
      >while regulating
      >what leaders of said organizations can do and say.
      >
      >. But I'm not certain the whore is
      >comprised only of the United States, or if it means the Roman Catholic
      >organization==the woman-- which I beileve will be an amalgamation of all
      >Christian religions which unite into one, that rides the beast.
      >Even now there have been strides to make all
      >religions in America equal, even as the pastors of Chrisitan corporate
      >churches must sign the agreement that they view all religions as equal, as
      >they take upon them tax exempt corporate status. We have all heard
      >"tolerance for all". I believe this will be a false amalgamtion of
      >Christian
      >religions which will turn to our shame in the end under
      >the UN powers of the United States, with
      >church state working together . I believe the
      >Woman, mystery babylon, the Harlot are all the same thing. Whether
      >she is a conglomerate of all those who are working for the setting up
      >of the NWO, from all peoples worldwide, I don't know. "Woman" always
      >denotes religious organizatons or groups, and the United States was
      >set apart to be a nation of religious liberty, but which has sold
      >herself to the beast system/planners.
      >
      >1 Ne. 14: 14
      >And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of
      >God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and
      >upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the
      >face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the
      >power of God in great glory."
      >
      >
      >[It's interesting to note that here we have Nephi listing two groups
      >of God--the saints of the church of the Lamb of God, AND the covenant
      >people of the Lord. I believe the saints of the Lamb of God are the
      >honest in heart believers in Christ in all denominations scattered
      >over the earth. The Covenant people of the Lord are those of the
      >restored LDS church, or of the covenant people Ephraim.
      >
      >1 Ne. 14: 17
      >And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the
      >mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the
      >earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the
      >Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his
      >covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of
      >Israel."
      >
      >[This is definitely a last days' prophecy, which will be fulfilled
      >after the wrath of God is poured out on the mother of harlots. We
      >haven't seen this happen yet. If this wrath of God is what is
      >described in the bk of Revelation for the second half of the 7 years
      >tribulation, this prophecy is yet future.
      >
      >1 Ne. 22: 13
      >And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the
      >whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they
      >shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall
      >fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.
      >
      >[This shows that this abominable "church" is not a church in the sense
      >we think of a church, but is an organization of military might.
      >
      >1 Ne. 22: 14
      >And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel,
      >shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit
      >which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that
      >fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath
      >perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable
      >church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it."
      >
      >[This links with the scriptures which speak of the fall of Babylon.
      >Babylon the great = the whore of all the earth = great and abominable
      >"church". Church, in this instance, being an organization headed by
      >the devil.
      >
      >1 Ne. 22: 23
      >For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built
      >up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the
      >flesh, and those who are built up to become popular
      >in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh
      >and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in
      >fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who
      >need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought
      >low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and
      >this is according to the words of the prophet."
      >
      >--[Again "churches" equates with any orgainzation which is seeking
      >after money and to get power over others and to be prestigious--as all
      >those who belong to or work for the organized plan of the devil.
      >This is what is so scarey-- to see these qualities even arising in
      >religious denominations today.]
      >
      >2 Ne. 26: 20
      >And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have
      >stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that
      >they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the
      >power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own
      >wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon
      >the face of the poor."
      >
      >[This description of the Gentiles equates with non-Jews, and is
      >descriptive of those who have the words of the Book of Mormon. They
      >have built up many churches. Not taking the word churches to mean
      >denominations, but groups of their own believers, as the word is
      >defined by linking with other of the same word, "churches", as I have
      >already shown from the various scriptures listed.
      >
      >The Gentiles' stumbling block equates to their having many "churches"
      >or groups of believers. Thus they are lifted up in pride because of
      >their numbers of believers? And by their very numbers they get more
      >money coming in? And it is the poor who are the most willing to give
      >who are still required by the "church" to give even though they do not
      >have much.
      >
      >2 Ne. 28: 12
      >Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false
      >doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are
      >lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up."
      >
      >[This verse links to Isaiah's prophecies about false teachers and
      >false prophets in the last days.
      >We can see in this verse, as we understand "churches" to mean
      >believers in Christ, that it is not referring to "them" out there in
      >other denominational churches, but is referring the corrupting of
      >Christ's true Gentile/non-Jewish organization of believers.]
      >---------
      >
      >Mosiah 21: 30
      >"And also that king Noah and his priests had caused the people to
      >commit so many sins and iniquities against God; and they also did
      >mourn for the death of Abinadi; and also for the departure of Alma
      >and the people that went with him, who had formed a church of God
      >through the strength and power of God, and faith on the words which
      >had been spoken by Abinadi."
      >
      >Notice the wording says "a" church of God was formed, not "the"
      >church of God.
      >
      >Mosiah 25: 19
      >And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might
      >establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him
      >power to ordain priests and teachers over every church."
      >
      >[Here is a good example of "churches"-- which were separate bodies of
      >believers which consituted "a" church. Or what we would probably call
      >a ward or stake.]
      >
      >Mosiah 25: 21
      >Therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies,
      >being called churches; every church having their priests and their
      >teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was
      >delivered to him by the mouth of Alma."
      >
      >--[This is the clearest example of the word "church" and what that word
      >means. They assembled themselves in different bodies, "being called
      >churches." How plain can it get, that "churches" in the Book of
      >Mormon, constituted bodies of believers in Christ in various
      >geographical locations, just as "churches", at the time of Paul were
      >also bodies of believers in Christ?]
      >
      >Mosiah 25: 22
      >And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one
      >church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached
      >in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God."
      >
      >[Can you see it now? "notwithstanding there being many churches they
      >were all one church." There were many groups of believers, which all
      >constituted the same body of believers. Christ's followers are suppose to
      >be
      >one in following Him. Not one in group think in following whatever leaders
      >happen to tell them to do.]
      >
      >
      >Mosiah 25: 23
      >And now there were seven churches in the land of Zarahemla. And it
      >came to pass that whosoever were desirous to take upon them the name
      >of Christ, or of God, they did join the churches of God;"
      >
      >
      >[This is the best example yet. These "seven churches" or groups of
      >believers in Christ, correlate with the seven churches in Paul's time
      >which were seven bodies of believers, not seven different denominations.]
      >
      >Mosiah 26: 22
      >For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be
      >baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in
      >my name; and him will I freely forgive.
      >
      >[all it takes to be of the body of Christ, to be of His church, is to
      >be baptized unto repentance. They take upon them Christ's name and
      >become of His religious body.]
      >
      >Mosiah 27: 3
      >And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there
      >should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality
      >among all men;
      >
      >Alma 23: 4
      >And now it came to pass that when the king had sent forth this
      >proclamation, that Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to
      >city, and from one house of worship to another, establishing churches,
      >and consecrating priests and teachers throughout the land among the
      >Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them; and thus
      >they began to have great success.
      >
      >[Here it is seen that "churches" are established which each had
      >priests and teachers in each. Churches, again, being bodies of
      >believers, not denominations.]
      >
      >Alma 45: 23
      >And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had
      >appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a
      >dissension. among them, and they would not give heed to the words of
      >Helaman and his brethren;
      >
      >[Thus an example of aspotasy beginning in the various "churches" or
      >groups of belivers.]
      >
      >
      >4 Ne. 1: 26
      >And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up
      >churches [wards/stakes] unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the
      >true
      >church of Christ.
      >[Apostatsy starts to rage, with each group of believers, or "church",
      >taking power to themselves in order to take advantage of the members.]
      >
      >4 Ne. 1: 27
      >And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed
      >away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many
      >churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the
      >more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of
      >wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom
      >it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.
      >
      >[Apostasy in advanced stage. There were many organized groups of
      >Christ's believers but they weren't living what they were originally
      >taught, and were accepting more and more wickedness. Can you see some
      >similiarities to our day, here?]
      >
      >4 Ne. 1: 28
      >And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and
      >because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts."
      >
      >[In these two verses we have first the declaring that there many
      >churches in the land who professed to know the Christ, yet they denied
      >the more parts of the gospel, and then in the next verse they equate
      >"churches" with church. Thusly we can see that "churches" are more
      >than one of the same church.
      >
      >4 Ne. 1: 34
      >Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by
      >many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do
      >all manner of iniquity. And they did smite upon the people of Jesus;
      >but the people of Jesus did not smite again. And thus they did dwindle
      >in unbelief and wickedness, from year to year, even until two hundred
      >and thirty years had passed away."
      >
      >[Here we see the ultimate degradation of the estabished churches, or groups
      >of believers in
      >Christ in the land. They became very numerous as groups, or
      >"churches", but they are in apostasy. The ultimate apostasy is when
      >the believers in Christ start to pervert the established doctrines,
      >and then start to persecute the true followers in their midst who try
      >to keep with what was originally established as doctrine.]
      >
      >4 Ne. 1: 41
      >And they did still continue to build up churches unto themselves, and
      >adorn them with all manner of precious things. And thus did two
      >hundred and fifty years pass away, and also two hundred and sixty years."
      >
      >[This is an illustration of Christ's believers using His name to get
      >gain.].
      >
      >Morm. 8: 28
      >Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied,
      >and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their
      >hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall
      >rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who
      >belong to their churches."
      >
      >[Here we are given a prophecy about apostasy in the Lord's latter-day
      >church, or organizations of believers. The power of God is denied--not in
      >the sense we usually think
      >as the people being unbelieving in it, but in the sense that God's
      >power is denied them because of their pride. God does not give His
      >power and sanction to those who are not humble, but who are instead lifted
      >up in pridefulness. It is people denying God the opportunity to bless
      >them with His power, when it speaks of His power being denied them. It is
      >God who denies the power to them to act in
      >His name in the fullness of the gospel.]
      >
      >Morm. 8: 32
      >Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up
      >that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven
      >of your sins."
      >
      >[The Lord's church becomes corrupted in the last days because they are
      >built up in the pride of their hearts, and to get gain from the
      >people who are in the various areas of the body of believers. Sin is winked
      >at,
      >in order to gain members to support the growth of the many "churches", i.e.
      >wards, stakes, and every type of organization which practices graft.
      >
      >
      >Morm. 8: 33
      >O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built
      >up churches [organizations] unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye
      >transfigured the
      >holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls?
      >Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time
      >cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled."
      >
      >"Mormon is speaking of a time in the future--our now--when the Lord's
      >house will be made a house of merchandise. When His house--the church
      >organization, and His house--
      >the United states, and His house--the Mideast, at a time when He speaks of
      >the Lord's holy words being changed changed. What happens to the nation of
      >the Lord's people is also mirrored in their religious groups. He tells
      >them-- us-- to look to
      >the Lord's words which are revelation--prophecy-- which show that all
      >these
      >things--even apostasy in the Lord's house--will come to pass.]
      >
      >
      >Morm. 8: 36
      >And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there
      >are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride
      >of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying,
      >and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of
      >iniquities; and your churches,[religious, political, economic
      >organizations]
      >yea, even every one, have become
      >polluted because of the pride of your hearts.'
      >
      >[He continues here, building upon what he has been stating--that the
      >latter-day Gentile church--or organizations which were founded upon God
      >will become perverted and corrupted
      >because of pride. He says all our "churches"--or wards, stakes,
      >branches, poltical and economic organizations which are groups of believers
      >belonging to the one body--"yea
      >every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts."
      >It is very clear.]
      >
      >
      >Morm. 8: 37
      >For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine
      >apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor
      >and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.'
      >
      >[He is saying that our building program, and all other programs which make
      >money are more iimportant than helping
      >the poor and needy, the sick and afflicted. That the latter-day
      >"churches" or bodies of believers who have his words to be reading in
      >the first place, have hearts which are upon their riches and their
      >things of the world. In other words they are guilty of idolatry. They have
      >placed other things
      >between them and their God. They have broken the first commandment, in
      >other
      >words.]
      >
      >
      >Morm. 8: 38
      >O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for
      >that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?
      >Why are ye aashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye
      >not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that
      >misery which never dies-because of the praise of the world?"
      >
      >[
      >This is a heartfelt condemnation from a prophet of the past. He lays
      >the condemnation at the feet of they who are the religious teachers,
      >calling
      >them hypocrites. A hypocrite is one who professes one thing, while
      >doing another. To profess to teach the gospel while having one's
      >heart on the things of the world and the praises of men, he says is
      >the cause of the pollution of "the holy Church of God." I leave it to
      >you to decide who is the "holy Church of God."
      >
      >
      >Maybe I've stretched things a bit here, but I think I'm pretty close to
      >what
      >God meant by
      >"two churches only."
      >As we see the world dividing into two camps--the one for liberty and
      >freedom
      >of choice, on the one hand, and the other camp of economic, political and
      >religious slavery, we can see this scripture in the Book of Mormon as being
      >more than "ridiculous in the extreme."
      >Can there be any doubt that the Book of Mormon prophets were not speaking
      >soley of
      >religous organizations, but of two camps of believers throughout all the
      >walks of life today?
      >
      >End of epistle on the word "churches"
      >Jeanette
      >
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