Articles For The Cause of Zion
COME TO BE A PART OF THIS STORY????
COME TO BE A PART OF GOD'S WORK
"Come to be a part of this story." I recently read this headline inviting people to be a part of a "story." Stories can be true or false – about something real or something imagined. Who would want to be a part of a "story" that pretends to be the work of the Lord, when there is a true work of God going on? By presenting false statements, one can make things appear real when they are really the creation of a man's mind, intended to build him up. Through the ages, worldly man has always desired glory, to rise and be held in high esteem. Today is no different. There is an attitude that if one has to falsify a thing or two to get to where he/she wants to be, the end justifies the means.
What did Jesus think of all this?
Luke 14:"7-11 And he put forth a parable unto them concerning those who were bidden to a wedding; for he knew how they chose out the chief rooms, and exalted themselves one above another; wherefore he spake unto them, saying, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room, lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; And he who bade thee, with him who is more honorable, come, and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he who bade thee, cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher; then shalt thou have honor of God, in the presence of them who sit at meat with thee.
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he who humbleth himself shall be exalted."
In the Old Testament we read of a man named Cain who received the priesthood from his father, Adam. He was also counseled by the Lord to walk in righteousness, yet he loved Satan more than God. After killing Abel his brother, he too began to use false information to gain a following. Then there was Nimrod who also chose to use Satan's powers to control the minds of men. He also gained a great following and high esteem. Neither one of these ever gained God's favor. So if we were to see a similar movement in our day why would we want to be a part of that "story."
The 1830 Restoration movement was charged with establishing the land of Zion, and building a house of the Lord upon that land, which they failed to do. For 185 years they talked about Zion, preached about Zion, but never, in my opinion, made an effective move to accomplish this work. In 2018 a body of men were empowered by the Spirit of God to begin to move forward that cause of Zion. Now we have begun that work with full purpose of heart, and although we are small, we carry a strong Divine Spirit from the realms of Heaven. We do not twist scripture to suit our agenda, nor do we deal in false information. Rather we choose to walk in truth and righteousness. We have begun to fill the quorums of Christ's Church with Apostles and Patriarchs called by revelation, Elders and Priest empowered to do the work of the Lord, and filled with a firm consensus to carry forward this work. We do not, however, invite you to a "story," but rather to the true WORK of the Lord, for we have received God's promise of victory.
Joseph F Smith
More than Motherhood
I was standing on a hillside, but in my mind’s eye, I was standing behind a pulpit. I was preaching a sermon. It must have been an interesting one, because all eyes were upon me. Everyone was avidly listening. I held them with my words, and it felt good. There I was – little ol’ me doing something important. I needed that feeling. I knew I could do it if I tried. Yes, my preaching worked. I was beginning to feel important. But was it importance I felt? Or was it pride? I wondered if men felt this way too. I was doing something for God, wasn’t I?
That’s what happened to me in the early ‘90’s. Years before that, when revelation 156 came out, I was scandalized at first. But then I got to thinking and wondering. I knew I had spoken in public and had to organize speeches to both deliver the point of the message and keep the attention of the listening crowd. Yes, I knew I had done that. I knew I had opinions and testimonies. I knew God had taught me many things by inspiration. I could share all that. But even though I was sure I could do it, I wanted to know if I should do it. What did I think about priesthood? So I put my question to God, and one morning when returning home from a jog, He took me on a mental journey up the central aisle of a church, then up the rostrum steps and behind the pulpit.
There I preached, and at first I was elated, but then I began to observe myself. When I was allowed to be behind that pulpit I had to shamefully admit that my head was beginning to swell just a mite, and I was horrified to realize it. Somehow women have a hard time maintaining humility in the face of adulation. I also began to sense the mind-set of My Maker. He was not mad. He was sad. Although it appeared to me that I was helping the congregation, really I was hurting myself. I was lowering myself, and he let me know it. He let me know that I had far greater purpose and far greater power elsewhere, and so He was sad that I had chosen to deny that and take a path foreign to what He created me and all women to be.
So I had at least part of my answer. Nix the priesthood idea, but what about that “far greater purpose and power elsewhere.” Years passed, and I began to understand.
Yes, I can speak. If we look at us women in general, we find we all are almost compulsive about verbal communication. We like to talk so much that there are plenty of times we do it when we shouldn’t. We use our words for so many purposes – some good and some bad. Here we need to be careful. Our love for words is given us by God Himself, and just like Him, our words create.
God is Creator, right? And He creates spiritually with words, then element obeys Him. God made a woman’s body to procreate, and tied to that ability is the ability to create with words, like God does. We are allotted a portion of His own power. This is not to say that men aren’t allotted some portion of His power, but we are talking about women here. Sometimes women are shuffled under the carpet. This shouldn't be, but it may be our own fault. We need to realize that if we speak something, we create a spiritual sphere where whatever we say tries to actually happen. When holy women use this, great good can happen. When unholy women use it, it becomes witchcraft. Where any gift exists, there is great responsibility, so that means God, in giving us the gift, thinks we have the discipline to exercise that responsibility. And if we don’t – watch out!
There is more. I had already nixed preaching from my agenda. Paul nixed “ruling” in the church, and he called us to be silent. To us, “silence” is a hard word, but there is more power in staying quiet than we know. When I first read Paul’s words long ago, I felt chastised, put down, and disciplined. It seemed to me that Paul had a very bad opinion of women. But now I believe that God, of course, was using Paul. What Paul was saying was not discipline but direction. A direction we women need to explore.
Think of the phrase “power behind the throne.” Almost all leaders have one or more quiet people in the background. Depending on what they lead, they have different titles: counselors, advisors, wives, partners, associates, friends; I’m sure there are more. In women for the cause of Zion, our quiet behind the scene words can generate support, a sense of calm, a call for truth and transparency. It can also generate stamina, especially from those women who have born and reared children. These attributes are not minimal things. They can make a world of difference.
We women have not taken our proper place in building Zion. In fact we’ve done the opposite. Because we didn’t realize the power of our words, often callous disregard in the form of gossip and backbiting became our behavior and our reputation. This must be replaced by understanding this gift and using it with discipline. Our words create what they express. Think about it. Explore the direction set by Paul.
So this is not finished; don’t you agree? If so, do you have ideas? How can we repent and learn to use our words for the cause of Zion. Can we undo harm we may have unwittingly caused in the past? For me, long ago, gossip replaced boredom. It was a type of entertainment almost. I shudder at the harm I might have done. For years now, I have known better, but even as I wrote this article, I have learned more. What have you learned? When does this power of words happen? Is it affected by life events such as maturity, baptism/confirmation, adulthood? What different forms can our quiet words take? How do we optimize this gift for the good of Zion? What do you know? Do you have testimonies of repentance? Has the Spirit taught you? This whole question of woman’s role needs to be explored. And we women need to be the teachers.
Titus 2:3&4 – Women teaching women
By Arco Iris
Joni Batista - Ordinances
LDS references used
The ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, should not be altered or changed. We all need to be saved by the same principles. Teachings of President of the Church, Joseph Smith, Chapter 36, pg 439.
God has established that the ordinances be the same ‘forever’ and put Adam to watch over them, to reveal from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them. * Teaching of Presidents of the Church Joseph Smith, Chapter 8, p. 112, 3rd Paragraph.
The power and blessings of the priesthood could not continue with those who were ordained unless they continued in righteousness; because Cain was also authorized to offer sacrifices, but because he did not offer them in righteousness, he was cursed. ‘This means, therefore, that the ordinances must be maintained exactly as God has determined them; otherwise the Priesthood will be a curse, rather than a blessing. * Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, Chapter 8, p. 113, 2nd Paragraph.
In D & C 84: 20-21 (RLDS 83) He says: 20 Therefore in his ‘ORDINANCES’ the power of the Godhead is manifested. 21 And without their ordinances and the authority of the priesthood, the power of the deity is not manifested to men in the flesh.
… If there are no changes in the ordinances, there are no changes in the Priesthood, whenever the ordinances of the gospel are given, there is the Priesthood. * Teaching of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, Cap. 8, 1st Paragraph.
If we believe that Joseph Smith Jr. is a prophet sent by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ, then it is wise to conclude that the CHURCH professing to be “true” in our day fulfills all the requirements, rites and ordinances taught accordingly with its founder; otherwise it is no longer built on the ROCK, for everyone who does more or less than Jesus Christ taught, builds upon the foundation of sand (3 Nephi 18:13) . If there is a rite, ritual, or some word left unobserved in the ordinances, in the meanderings of the Restored Church, then there is a scourge in the Priesthood, for both ordinances and Priesthood go hand in hand and one is not without the other. If we find out through the scriptures that the church does not follow the ordinances as they were restored through Joseph Smith Jr., then there is a condemnation of the sons of Zion (D & C 84: 55-58)(RLDS 83)
Is there a way for the Lord to remove this condemnation from his people? Yes!
When they repent and remember the Book of Mormon and the former commandments, otherwise there is a judgment to be poured out upon the sons of Zion (D & C 84:57)(RLDS 83 :8?).
It is the duty of every Latter-day Saint to minutiously study the scriptures, to do thorough research, to search diligently for references, to strengthen oneself in the knowledge of the truth, after making sure they are on the right path (Alma 17: 2) (RLDS 12).
Can a prophet receive revelation to change the ordinances? It depends! Unless there is a change of priesthood, as happened in the exchange of the lesser priesthood and the Law of Moses by the Law of the Gospel and the Greater Priesthood with Christ. Within the Law of the Gospel, no prophet can receive revelation to alter the ordinances, because it would show that God does not fulfill his word. In Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 we read: 38 What I, the Lord, have said is said and I do not apologize; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but it shall be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
By saying through His prophet, Joseph Smith Jr, that the ordinances of the Priesthood can not be changed, God is committed to His word.
ORIGINAL – PORTUGUESE
As ordenanças instituídas nos céus antes da fundação do mundo, no sacerdócio, para a salvação dos homens, não devem ser alteradas nem mudadas. Todos precisamos ser salvos pelos mesmos princípios. Ensinamentos dos Presidentes da Igreja Joseph Smith, capitulo 36, pg 439.
Deus estabeleceu que as ordenanças sejam as mesmas ‘para sempre’ e colocou Adão para zelar por elas,para revelar do céu para o homem, ou enviar anjos para revelá-las.
*Ensinamento dos Presidentes da Igreja Joseph Smith, Capítulo 8, Pág. 112, 3º Parágrafo.
O poder e bençãos do sacerdócio não poderiam continuar com aqueles que receberam a ordenação a não ser que continuassem em retidão; porque Caim também foi autorizado a oferecer sacrifícios, mas por não oferecê-los em retidão, foi amaldiçoado. ‘Isso significa, portanto, que as ordenanças precisam ser mantidas exatamente como Deus as determinou;’ caso contrário, o Sacerdócio será uma maldição, ao invés de uma bênção. *Ensinamentos dos Presidentes da Igreja, Joseph Smith, Cap. 8, Pág. 113, 2ª Parágrafo.
Em D&C 84:20-21 Diz: 20 Portanto em suas ‘ORDENANÇAS’ manifesta-se o PODER da Divindade. 21 E sem suas ordenanças e a autoridade do sacerdócio, o poder da divindade não se manifesta aos homens na carne.
… Se não há mudanças nas ordenanças, não há mudanças no Sacerdócio, sempre que as ordenanças do evangelho são ministradas, há o Sacerdócio. *Ensinamento dos Presidentes da Igreja, Joseph Smith, Cap.8, 1ª Parágrafo.
Se acreditamos pois, que Joseph Smith Jr. é um profeta enviado por Deus para restaurar a Igreja de Jesus Cristo, então é sábio concluir que a IGREJA que professa ser “verdadeira” em nossos dias cumpra todos os requisitos, ritos e ordenanças ensinadas de acordo com seu fundador, caso contrario, esta não esta mais edificada sobre a ROCHA, pois todo aquele que faz mais ou menos do que Jesus Cristo ensinou, constrói sobre o alicerce de areia (3 Néfi 18: 13). Se existe algum rito, ritual ou alguma palavra que foi deixado de ser observado nas ordenanças, nos meandros da Igreja Restaurada, existe então um flagelo no Sacerdócio, pois ambos, ordenanças e Sacerdócio, andam lado a lado e um não é sem o outro. Caso concluamos através das escrituras, que a igreja não segue a risca as ordenanças tal como foram restauradas por meio de Joseph Smith Jr., então existe uma condenação sobre os filhos de Sião (D&C 84:55-58).
Existe uma maneira de que o Senhor retire essa condenação de sobre seu povo? Sim!
Quando se arrependerem e lembrarem do Livro de Mórmon e os mandamentos anteriores, caso contrário , há um julgamento a derramar-se sobre os filhos de Sião (D&C 84:57).
É dever de todo o santo dos últimos dias, estudar minunciosamente as escrituras, fazendo uma pesquisa cabal, examinando diligentemente as referencias, para se fortalecerem no conhecimento da verdade,após, certificarem-se de que estão no caminho correto (Alma 17:2).
Um profeta pode receber revelação para alterar as ordenanças? Depende! A menos que exista uma mudança de sacerdócio como aconteceu na troca do sacerdócio menor e a Lei de Moisés pela Lei do Evangelho e o Sacerdócio Maior com Cristo. Dentro da Lei do Evangelho, nenhum profeta pode receber revelação para alterar as ordenanças, pois mostraria que Deus não cumpre com sua palavra. Em doutrina e Convênios 1:38 lemos:
38 O que eu, o Senhor, disse está dito e não me desculpo; e ainda que passem os céus e a Terra, minha palavra não passará, mas será toda cumprida, seja pela minha própria voz ou pela voz de meus servos, é o mesmo.
Ao Dizer por meio de Seu profeta, Joseph Smith Jr, que as ordenanças do Sacerdócio não podem ser alteradas, Deus está comprometido com Sua palavra.
Joni Batista, High Priest
January 20, 2019
Mauricio A Berger
James 1:27 - Pure Religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the vices of the world.
“The Saints will generally think that these words of mine here are about a new doctrine that Mauricio Berger wants to propagate, but there is nothing new, just a ransom of the true and immaculate religion in the sight of God the Father, transcribed in the text of James 1 : 27
Statistically speaking, there are now more than 150 million street orphans, also in orphanages, who were born in Africa, Nigeria or other underdeveloped countries.
In addition, in recent times, many children have gone astray and been abandoned at random as a result of wars. And due to religious intolerance in those countries that propagate a holy war, among Jews, Muslims and Christians, many of these orphans, accompanied not only by the torment of these human atrocities, and by the constant suffering due to the death of their parents, are victims of the abuses of those who take advantage of their incapable situation, in which malicious people exploit their smallness and consequent frailty to obtaining illicit gains. Girls still in the years of innocence being forced into true sexual abuse, who after suffering this kind of obscure and diabolical abuse, report to the Lord our God in prayer, asking if God really exists and why he does nothing to save them.
We all know, and no one on the day of judgment can claim that they did not know! As soon as a child is born here on earth, they need affection and love. But when they are abandoned, or lose their fathers to death, and there is no near kinsman to take them in, then they are deprived of such care; small eyes that wander through the vastness, empty of emotions and full of loneliness are what they become, uncertain of the future, unaware of the affection of a family. Poor souls who carry the torture of the dislike of their parents and the like. These children of Christ, who are also our children, live in fear of tomorrow, in emotional dismay, thrown into the streets or orphanages.
Most of the time they remain there until they reach adulthood. They finally end up without any reference to the society that awaits them, and with that they fall into perdition, vices, robberies and prostitution. And there are still those who are already on the streets, in the cold of the night, indulging themselves while still small, to all sorts of human slander, and thus, numb their senses with any kind of drug, in order to lighten the weight of so vile and cruel a reality that surrounds them. To these, not a home rehabilitates them, but a strong organization that can rescue them through faith, repentance and baptism for the regeneration of their lives in Christ Jesus. Should not this organization be those who profess to be your church?
Here is a question for our reflection: Is there really any religion among the sons of men that truly cares about these little ones? Is there, perhaps, any organization among the Latter-day Saint movement that originated from the restoration of the gospel, that in fact corresponds to the one in the sight of God who truly must visit the orphans in their tribulations?
Many eloquent men rise up in the pulpits of the churches that originated from the restoration in 1830 and boast of their number of members and puff up the chest of pride when they claim that they are the only true church alive on the face of the earth, that they are representatives of Jesus Christ, and by giving food to hungry little ones in countries below the poverty line, exhibit to the world a small part of everything they gather from the people with tithes and offerings, and exalt themselves in saying that they meet the requirements of the true religion described in James 1 : 27, when, in fact, they retain most of it for the ostentation of the beautiful sanctuaries which represent nothing to the Lord our God in the present time, when they could, at least, with this amount end this cruelty among the children of men, and with that, bring true honor and glory to the name of God and His Son Jesus!
What then to say of those who are endorsed as “living prophets” of God on earth, who call themselves revelators of God's will to the people of their church in these last days, and are so revered by millions of members who heed their words, whatever they may be, as if it were the Lord’s own voice among the children of men, and yet they do nothing toward the true orphans, who almost at every instant, cry to God for help, for hunger, for cold, for a hug of a mother they never had, for a normal family life?
What could the Lord want from his ‘living prophet’ besides to cry out to the people of his church, that they might indeed experience the pure and immaculate religion, which truly binds us again, creature and Creator, in a perfect bond of union, and require of those who have good conditions among his people, to visit, and finally to welcome (adopt) an orphan in his tribulations?
No! In fact, this act in itself, would not instantly end the evil abandonment of minors that is magnified by our modern society. But these adopted children would become adults in good homes and become distinct citizens because of the gospel of Christ in their lives and would add in the near future a few thousand adults who know well the life in the streets and orphanages, and finally, following this same principle, in a few generations, there would be no such thing in the world.
Mauricio Artur Berger,
Editor's Note: This has been edited to the best of my ability to eliminate some awkward use of English and truthfully represent the impact of this very good article.