The Not-There-Yet Svithe


when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction"

I'm glad to say that I don't think we're anywhere near "ripe for desctruction." Say what your will about McCain, Obama or Clinton, but at least they're not John Taylor Bowles, you know what I mean? And even he is not Hitler. (Sorry, Bowles, but you're not.) With Hitler we're getting close to ripeness. But even with Hitler, it wasn't like the Jaredites, anxious to completely destroy themselves, more willing to kill and die than live and let live. So for all the ballyhoo about x, y and z, we're doing okay. I'm sure of it.

And in proof that we are not cursed into slipperiness, I present three bits of evidence from the online world:

    No one gets anything material out of editing the comma splices out of the article on Marilyn Monroe. Yet millions are striving to get all the world's important knowledge available to all, for free. Just because it's a good thing to do. This speaks well of the inhabitants of our allegedly wicked world.

    Think about it: we're choosing to trust people we've never met and will never meet. Isn't that amazing?

    I know lots of kids even (of an allegedly devious generation!) who love playing FreeRice because it makes them smart and because they can help people. Tell me that isn't good news. It's not the same as wasting and wearing out your life, perhaps, but it's still a good thing, no? Evil will not reign in the next generation either.

IN CONCLUSION, things aren't so bad. People are still generally good. Let this comfort you.

You know, if you're totally freaking out now or something.

Note: if you're freaked out by this post, please recognize I didn't even proofread it -- I'm running behind schedule today.....

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Svithing chapter ten.....


Recession Cone is teaching elders quorum tomorrow so I told him I'ld be sure to read the lesson this week (although, I have noticed, quorum instructors' plans are almost always based on the assumption that no one has read the lesson--which heavily affects the manner in which discussion is led).

Anyway, to motivate myself, I thought I would just provide glosses here on some key passages as this week's svithe. So!

    If one man can live upon the revelations given to another, might not I with propriety ask, why the necessity, then, of the Lord speaking to Isaac as he did, as is recorded in the 26th chapter of Genesis? For the Lord there repeats, or rather promises again, to perform the oath which he had previously sworn unto Abraham. And why this repetition to Isaac? Why was not the first promise as sure for Isaac as it was for Abraham? Was not Isaac Abraham’s son? And could he not place implicit confidence in the word of his father as being a man of God? Of course he could. I rather imagine he did. So the real question is why wasn't what he told Abraham good enough for God, when it came to Isaac? Perhaps you may say that he was a very peculiar man and different from men in these last days Actually, no, I wouldn't. Because I am of your persuasion, Joseph. Moving right along.

    I may believe that Enoch walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels and heard the word of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed and obtained a blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant.

    But will all this purchase an assurance for me, or waft me to the regions of eternal day with my garments spotless, pure, and white? Ah. Now I finally se where you're headed with this. I had guessed a little wrong. Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? Interesting question. Is an assurance of salvation prerequisite for salvation? Can one not be saved--not in ignorance, per se, but in ignorance of having been saved? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did to theirs if I come to him in the manner they did? I suspect he will. And since the quotation ends here, I'm guessing you intended the question to be rhetorically obvious anyway.
    We can make everything we undertake a subject of prayer.

    O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men … , look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him, even the faith of Elijah; and let the lamp of eternal life be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away; and let the words of eternal life be poured upon the soul of Thy servant, that he may know Thy will, Thy statutes, and Thy commandments, and Thy judgments, to do them. As the dews upon Mount Hermon, may the distillations of Thy divine grace, glory, and honor, in the plenitude of Thy mercy, and power, and goodness, be poured down upon the head of Thy servant. You know, I never thought to offer a prayer quite like that one. But why not? Are those not righteous desires?

    Remember that without asking we can receive nothing; therefore, ask in faith, and ye shall receive such blessings as God sees fit to bestow upon you. I find this so mysterious. I can accept it, but only so deeply. I am given so much without asking--unless we presume breathing is a form of asking for air or being born a form of asking for many of life's incidentals. So what specifically is available only to those who ask. Or am I taking the word 'ask' too literally; I can't imagine I am--the whole point of what he is saying is about deliberate studied prayer.

    Virtue is one of the most prominent principles that enables us to have confidence in approaching our Father who is in heaven in order to ask wisdom at his hand. I wonder if this is the same virtue that Jesus felt go out of him when the woman touched his robe? Therefore, if thou wilt cherish this principle in thine heart, thou mayest ask with all confidence before him and it shall be poured out upon thine head. In common speech, virtue is not a specific thing at all, but a generic thing set. What then is the scriptural/Josephal definition of virtue?

    Be plain and simple and ask for what you want, just like you would go to a neighbor and say, I want to borrow your horse to go to [the] mill.I think part of why this is good advice is that it takes a lot more faith to ask for something directly than to beat around the bush with your sespequeds and your obfuscations.

    A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon Pure intelligence flowing into you--- I know it's traditional to talk of burning bosoms, but that image always sounds more like cool spring water refreshing the parched soul.; those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus. Good plan.

    I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. . . . I thank God that I have got this old book; but I thank him more for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Seriously. The Blue Letter Bible is awesome, but without the Spirit, it is a mere intellectual plaything.

    No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator. Interesting. And I think it broadens the definition of 'revelation'.

    Elder Taylor, you have been baptized, you have had hands laid upon your head for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and you have been ordained to the holy priesthood. Now, if you will continue to follow the leadings of that spirit, it will always lead you right. Sometimes it might be contrary to your judgment Boy. Ain't that the truth.; never mind that, follow its dictates; and if you be true to its whisperings it will in time become in you a principle of revelation so that you will know all things. Which is what I want. I want to be worthy of that. Right now, I don't trust myself with knowing all things. But I think to be worthy of that gift would be the most wonderful thing of all.

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Svithe: The Big O's Illustrated Book of Mormon
(installment one)


The Tree of Life

(From your left to right: A river, the people who hold on to the rod [as one representative soul], the rod leading to the tree, the tree, the building in the air.)

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The Community of Saints


I recently learned that I am listed at http://mormonblogosphere.blogspot.com/. At first (I imagine), I thought cool, thanks; but then I moved to how? why? and is this even a good thing? And, especially, how did they find me?

There was a time when I wanted to be listed in a Mormon blog aggregator, but they ignored me and I stopped caring. Now I'm listed at a (nicer looking) site and I'm ambivalent. Real nice, Thappreciative.

Anyway, I'm over myself now and I do appreciate being listed -- particularly at the top under This Is the Place Monument which would seem to be a place of honor. I wonder if I'll stay there when they realize I'm the sort of feller who publishes things like this and this and this and this, and, even worse, this and this and this and this...?

Anyway, thanks. And how are you finding people? This Is the Place Monument also includes dear friends like Foxy J and Petra, and also on the site are my new-but-great blogger brother Schmetterling (in The Bowery) and his barely-a-blogger friend Schlange, and our mutual friend cMac (both in the student section). It's almost like . . . it's almost like you, dear aggregator, are stalking me and the people I know.
You aren't are you?

Anyway, to get into svithe territory, this comes back to two svithe-worthy topics:
    1. Elder Ballard's call to literary arms. I've svithed about this before, but in gist, Elder Ballard says we Morfolk need to get the Word out electronically. I still don't think of myself as a religious blogger per se, but just being blatantly What I Am does, I think, meet his requirements.

    2. Supporting the Saints. The Body of Christ is supposed to be a community, a loving community. And how can we do that unless we can find each other? Ergo, a blog aggregator must needs be a good idea. So let it be written.
For this reason, even though it kind of goes against my button policy (unwritten and nebulous, but that's why we love it), I am going to add this button to the bottom of Thmusings:

(Don't you other aggregators go getting any ideas.)

Just call it my turn to spread the love around.

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