I find a pattern in scripture of God repeatedly trying to provoke us into thinking for ourselves. Now, mind you, this actually flies in the face of a lot of assertions from a lot of people who keep parroting the mantra that 'we follow the current prophet'. But you already know how I feel about that. In brief, a) no they don't, and b) prophets and scriptures all agree. If you think otherwise, you're not paying close enough, or honest enough attention to what they all say. And if you doubt that, just review the words of the prophets over the past few conferences. They repeatedly and forcefully reassert the importance and supremacy of scripture. They may mention in ways that make it almost seem like an afterthought, but it's definitely there.|
So, back to my point. God wants us to think for ourselves. Indeed, many things Christ said make this plain. Like in 3rd Nephi when he pointed out to the Nephites just how stupendously obvious it was that his church should be named after him. (Read it for yourselves. You can plainly feel the tension in the moment. He's displeased that he's had to explain this to them. And he wants them to learn from this to use their heads in the future, and not bother him with petty things.) (And this reminds me of the words of another prophet who pointed out that 'it's no light matter to go before the Lord.') And this isn't the only time he did something like this. You can read that for yourselves, too, in the New Testament. There were several times when his apostles tried to keep their debates from his ears. Why? They must have had some reason. What could that reason have been? They're caught in a sort of cross-fire. On the one hand, Christ has pressed them to think for themselves. But, on the other hand, he has gotten pretty rough with them when they got it wrong. Just look at how Christ scolds Peter who thinks he's actually defending Christ: "Get thee behind me, Satan!"
Ok, so we have to think for ourselves, but we have to get it right. So we have to make the most of the reference works at our disposal: The Scriptures. AND THE SPIRIT!
As Christ told Peter, his church is literally founded on the principle of direct, PERSONAL revelation.
When did we forget that?
We can learn things for ourselves. But we have to be prepared to take the heat. On the one hand, that heat will come, as I said, from God, who will make his displeasure known. But, of course, as with most things, he does this through his servants, the authorized ministers. On the other hand, Christ wasn't killed by the Syrians, the Samaritans, the Canaanites, or the Moabites. Nor was Abinadi murdered by the Lamanites. 'Authorized ministers' committed these atrocities. But authorized by whom? Did anyone besides them receive any personal revelation on this? Or did they just all raise their hands for fear of getting in trouble for confessing that they'd had no such witness?
And that's the message of scripture. The most correct of all books.
So you'd better be right. You'd better study those scriptures forward and backward. You'd better make them your sole form of entertainment, your hobby, your passion. Because, running afoul of an 'authority' isn't the biggest hazard you face. Being one of them is.
And God help you then.
So you'd better be right.
And you can be certain that I have that very thought foremost in my mind as I tell you this.
That said, there's yet another pattern I've noticed in scripture: There are 3 levels to many of the stories. And those levels are the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial.
For example, when Christ is called the Word. The telestial understanding of this is, I think, simply Christ's authority. His word is law. He *IS* the law, and, hence, *THE* word.
Then there's the terrestrial understanding. And that runs, I think, along the lines of Christ being the physical manifestation of the father in the same sense that a 'word' is the physical manifestation of a thought.
But then comes the celestial parallel. And this is where it's going to get weird for a lot of you. This is going to require some out-of-the-box thinking for some of you. This is going to require an understanding that God and heaven are not imaginary, hypothetical, 'living in the hearts of men', 'spiritual', or any other such nonsense.
Speaking of words, English is a powerful, culturally diverse language, descended largely from German, which itself descends from Gothic, Latin, and even Hebrew, but also the result of infusions of Greek, and an even more direct shot of Latin, French (via William the Conqueror in 1066) (who was himself a Viking living in France). As a result of this, we have multiple words for many things, often with shades and nuances of meaning that make one more appropriate in a given context than another. Thus, whenever speaking of God's kingdom NOT on this earth, we call it, Heaven. But, when speaking of the place where the planets fly, we call this, Space. And, when referring to anything over all human endeavor, we call this, sky. And when speaking of that immediately over our heads in the human realm, we speak of, Ceilings.
Most languages do not offer this diversity of expressions, ... and delusions. All these words actually hail from the same, common origin. They just come to us through different routes where they changed according to standard, repeatable rules. And, in so doing, they have allowed us to confuse ourselves into believing that they are different.
The place over our heads, the place where God lives, and the place where Saturn's "course is one eternal round", are all one and the same. There is no difference. And we need to constantly remind ourselves of this.
Yes, this touches on my repeated assertions that God truly is the God of/over nature (NOT just in the minds of the 'kings of the islands'), but, important for today's missive, it carries the added assertion that God *IS* that very nature, that very universe.
And if that thought provokes a knee-jerk reaction from you, then you need to reread D&C 88, especially around verses 47 and 50.
How's that knee now?
So, remembering this, and remembering the amazement of the ancients that such a God would, or even could, ever take upon himself human form, and even walk among us, as one of us (almost), on top of the sheer shocking revelation from Joseph Smith that we, too, are much like him, descending from the same eternal realms, one must now reflect upon that couplet, first uttered by John Taylor, although certainly made clear in other scripture, that, as man is God once was; and as God is, man *may* become (although this is by no means an absolute).
So, if God was *ONCE* like man (but is no longer), and man *MAY* become like him, him whom the ancients scarcely dared believe could even take human form, ... What is God now?
When, as a man, walking on this earth, he spoke, we heard words.
But not all of us.
When the soldiers came to arrest Christ in the garden, he spoke words, ... and more. And whatever else it was he 'said', it pretty severely impacted those soldiers. They fell back. Twice. His words were clearly no mere words. There was something more going on there. But all that those soldiers, and others, could report was the telestial understanding of what they witnessed.
There was more than a man speaking. And his word was then conveyed, just as now, through the spirit, not just through the air.
But what does that mean?
Now let's scale all this up to what God is now. Which is *NOT* man, but Man. See 3rd Nephi 11:8, the only place in the Book of Mormon where the word is capitalized. Clearly there is something going on there that we're meant to understand.
So, if Christ spoke in the garden, and more than sound waves were being transmitted, and received, what would this look like today when he is no longer 'like man'?
What is a word to God?
A word, in the terrestrial sense, is a brief collection of frequencies agitating the air.
In the celestial sense, a word is a brief sequence of frequencies agitating the spirit.
But now, in order to understand that, we need to discuss the spirit.
Joseph said (D&C 131) "6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. 7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; 8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.", which, according to the rule of symmetry (if A=B then B=A) also means that all matter is spirit.
So how does that help our understanding? Simple. If 'spirit' is 'matter' but 'more fine', then all we have to do is find out what is finer than matter. Right? And right now you're thinking that what I'm talking about is atoms, or perhaps even sub-atomic particles. Right?
The Greeks knew this, too, as they did with so many things Christ and Joseph and other prophets have told us. They referred to the five elements. They weren't really the elements as we think of them. They were referring to what we today think of as the 5 states of matter. Yes, scientists have managed to concoct more than 4 states of matter, but, read closely: They're splitting hairs, and, well, really stretching, in my opinion. There are really just 4 states of matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas, and Plasma. And the Greeks referred to these as Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire.
But now you're thinking that you've caught me in an error. No. I know that I said there are 5 states of matter, and then contradict the physicists who assert that there are something like 26 (sub)states of matter. I know what I wrote. The Greeks truly did speak of 5 'elements'/states of matter. In fact, all the ancients did. And they all had very similar and very curious names for the fifth, almost as if they had no way to describe it, and certainly no tangible (aka empirical) experience with it. For example, notice in that linked article that the Japanese, too, had a 5th element: Void or Sky/Heaven. Heaven?! Well, now, isn't THAT interesting! But the Greeks called it 'quintessence', which is to say '5th'. 5th?! Why? Because they didn't know what else to call it. So they called it 'Aether'. The Buddhists and Hindus both referred to the same thing as 'that which is beyond the material world'.
You see? Our religion really has far more in common with these other 'cosmically-based' religions than you ever suspected.
The Egyptians (typically) more correctly referred to the soul as being the fifth element, and that soul was somehow trapped in the other, physical elements.
Modern science, too, still wrestles with these. The 'dark matter', 'dark energy', and 'string theory', that gets so much press today (because competing minds are trying not only to explain it all, but to finally make it all appear to make some real sense [which it does not yet do], so they can capitalize on it), is really just their misunderstanding of spirit.
Now, notice that I'm using the word, spirit, differently than the phrase, 'the spirit'. And that's because there is a difference, but we'll have to get to that later.
Now, as I said, the Egyptians were, once again, more correct than the others in that they rightly sensed (because they can't prove or even measure) that this fifth state of matter which I will from now on call spirit is trapped in physical matter, but it would be more correct still to say that the matter is MADE of spirit. And that seems to fit Joseph's description perfectly, too.
But how does it work?
Well, the first thing to understand about matter is that it actually, simply does not exist in the sense that we traditionally think of matter existing. That is to say that, unless we're talking about spirit, there isn't really anything there, where we think of an electron or proton being, at all.
"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration, and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." -- Max Planck
And this is the very reason CERN has been pouring billions of Euros into their Large Hadron Collider: They are desperately trying to prove the existence of a sub-atomic particle, Peter Higg's hypothetical 'boson', that lends mass to the atom. And this is because, after all the previous atom-cracking they've done, they've never found anything to have any mass. Mass simply must exist in order for anything to exist, and atoms appear to have mass, and yet the mass can't be found anywhere, so the atom cannot exist.
You see the problem.
But they don't.
Here's the problem.
They're looking inside the atom for something that's coming from outside the atom.
Mass comes from outside?!
Yes. And no.
It works like this. Have you ever heard of a rogue wave? This is something that was legend, even myth among sailors for centuries. A mountain of water would just suddenly stand up out of the ocean, overwhelm an entire vessel, and disappear like it was never there. To be sure, appearing and disappearing again seems to be the order of the day with waves on the open ocean, but never the size of a mountain. Then, some instances were recorded on video. Now, satellites pick them up on a regular basis. In fact, rogue (aka mountain) waves are not only very real, they are frighteningly common.
But what causes a rogue wave?
When two waves collide, they compound. That is, they add up to momentarily create a resultant wave that is as high as the two separate waves combined. Two 'troughs' can do the same thing. Given all the waves moving through the ocean, it should have been obvious to us that, eventually, at some point, enough of them would just happen to intersect at the same point and time that they would add up to a tremendously high 'mountain' wave. (or valley trough)
But waves are transient. Atoms are not. Right?
There are such things as standing waves. These can arise when there is motion, like a stream rushing past a rock, or a boat plowing through the water. But... they can also be caused by repetition. We do it all the time. It's called radio. We use one frequency, a much, much higher frequency, to create a wave form of a lower frequency. A similar technique is used on magnetic recording tapes. Where radio uses a carrier wave to 'carry' a signal wave, magnetic tapes use a 'bias frequency' to keep a magnetic signal from spreading out on the tape's coating, much as a drop of ink would spread out on a piece of toilet paper, making tissue next to impossible to do something like painting in water colors on.
Ok, now, given all that information, imagine that there is a substance, spirit, throughout all the universe. It's far too 'fine' for us to perceive with our human senses, and it has no mass, but it can carry a signal, a carrier wave, a bias signal. And that wave frequency is too high to be called anything other than light, the Light of Christ.
And this is where I lose everyone who's spent their lives deluding themselves that such terms refer to something to do with feeling happy, or with being smart, or with doing right.
Christ means what he says and he says that he is the light (and thus the life) of the world (and everything in it, and everything else everywhere else), and that this light comes through the medium of the Holy Ghost.
Now, how is that any different from what I wrote above?
And that's your problem.
That's the scientists' problem.
See: Inconstant Radioactive Decay?!
See: Turning Light Into Matter
You are all faced with one huge problem. One group is looking inside the box for something that can only be found outside it, and the other group is looking outside the box for something that can only be found inside it.
The 'faithful' keep looking for matters of sentiment, character, or even just imagination. The scientists keep looking for answers inside DNA, atoms, and celestial bodies.
All matter is really just comprised of spirit as agitated and organized into 'standing waves' by a carrier frequency paired with a signal frequency transmitted through a medium too fine for our eyes to see, which, in fact, may simply not even be anything like what we traditionally think of as ... a thing, bit is rather much more like what we think of as a force, like, say, magnetism. This is why Quantum Mechanics finds that particles are waves (because that's really all they are), and Relativity concludes that waves are particles (because the movement of 'light' is always going to either create a particle, or move an existing particle, such as a photon/electron onto a detector). And that, then, leaves only the mass to account for, and that's just what the LHC has been busy looking for.
And the frequency that structures matter, the signal frequency, it moves in bursts. Just as rogue waves in the ocean are created by faster and slower waves, by intersecting waves, the signal frequency organizes spirit into what we perceive as matter, and even imposes mass upon it, through a process that, when we really get down to it, is 'an expression'.
The Word of God.
God is no mere man.
He never really was.
God came down to be among his own (those like him) (he having, in the spirit first -- from his perspective -- an important point I'll get to in another epistle -- created us in the spirit to be like him), but we, the darkness, 'comprehended' him (the light) not. Because we are darkness. It says so right there in D&C 88. The only light we have comes from him. Without him, we are not. The earth is not. The sun, moon, stars, anything at all is not.
The ancients all knew this. They all understood God to be what we today call a demiurge, a force of nature, like gravity or magnetism, which, with intelligence and planning, willed the universe, and us, into existence, and then entered into that creation himself in order to show us that a) it's all real, and b) that we were like him, and c) can be like him again.
And that's the celestial level of it all.
Think of it this way, God was a man like the rest of us (telestial level), returned to being a star/planet (such as the wise-men followed) (terrestrial level), but even that was just a 'manifestation' of his highest self (celestial level).
And, as I've pointed out before, Christ himself has given us to understand that *THE* father is eternity, and, through implication, that the spirit is infinity. This is why only the father knows the time of his return, and why it's the spirit that testifies of the truth of all things: Because it's connected to all things, or rather all things are made of that same spirit. Thus the father is over time, and the spirit is over space. Time and Space. Two things that are clearly different, and yet impossible to separate. We even measure time by distance, and distance by time. Miles per hour. Light Years.
But there is a third component in all this. Time and space are not all there is. We are here, too. The earth, sun, moon, all are here. How did they come to be? By the light of Christ. But how does he do this?
You think this is a silly question, a non-question. Time and space are passive. They don't really do anything but create 'a space of time' in the which creation can happen. But nothing just happens. Anything that happens does so by authority.
Christ is that authority. He has all authority. (Remember reading that somewhere?) The power of his word and the word of his power.
But what can we call that?
There is no word.
All we can call it is ...