Friday, June 10, 2011

A Strangite View of the Economy - Daily Bread in Zion

As many here observe, we are living in a time of economic crisis and scarcity. While economists and politicians seek explanation for it in worldly terms or turn it to their advantage, we realize that, as always, it is the Evil One taking and giving of his own. Because, for the time being and as long as we permit Zion to be postponed by our own actions, he retains the ability to use and withold the treasures and resources of the earth from people in order to ensure their obedience or at least continued deception and blindness.

This is reflected by Jesus in the Lord's appears in the KJ Bible in Matthew 6, and Luke 11 in slightly different forms and a version was recorded in the Book of Mormon at 3 Nephi 13. I refer, however, to the version of the Lord's Prayer found in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, also at Matthew 6. Jesus provides valuable teaching about how to talk to the Lord wherein he counsels us to ask the Lord for three things. First, our daily bread - sufficiency in resources, no more or less - and second to forgive us our debts. These two requests should highlight for us much of Satan's source of control over God's children. Our agency is constricted and supressed by witholding from us the basics of survival that were (and will be again...) intended from the beginning to be freely available, which in turn leads us into debt and bondage to others for our very survival, restricting what little agency we would have left. In fact, the Greek word used for debt in the KJ version of Matthew 6 - "Ofeilema" - actually has as its primary meaning a monetary or business debt that is justly or legally due. So this is how Babylon and Mammon continue to exercise their leverage upon the people of God - withholding what God has freely given us and beggaring us into crawling to them for things that the Lord wants to put on our plate himself, things temporal and spiritual.

This situation should shed more light on the variant Inspired Translation of Matthew 6:13 which reads "and let us not BE LED into temptation....". In an age of restored scriptures, priesthood, ordinances, and prophets we DO have a choice and CAN exercise our free will in ways that hasten Zion and not hinder it. Much of what James Strang did, taught, and stood for concentrated upon creating conditions of justice, plenty, and peace. Indeed, the Much of Book of the Law of the Lord and his comments on it center upon how a society that guarantees and secures the kind of world where believers can pursue the Lord in peace and plenty. Did it have to be big - NO? In fact, Nephi himself prophesied in 1 Nephi 14:12 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."

Again, Babylon will ensure that not many will be blessed with seeing
and understanding things as they really are. Thanks be to God for all
the Prophets and Martyrs who gave so much to illustrate - at great cost -
how a just and righteous society works from God's point of view"

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