Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Elder West Website Information

Many readers know, know of, or have spoken with Elder Samuel West, who has done more to preserve the true Strangite heritage than any one else. In the event you don't or don't know about his "Mormon Beliefs" website, now you know. All of our scriptures, for viewing, download, or purchase can be found at:

WWW.ORIGINALMORMONBELIEFS.COM

There is also a Yahoo group containing more information on independent Strangites associated with Elder West. This is still the same.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Strangites/

Blessings

Elder Tom

Study, Ponder, and Pray.....

I have been pre-occupied this week - perhaps as a result of the study and writing necessary to write the epistles for a couple of weeks - with the necessity to study, ponder, and pray about our life, our position in the Body of Christ, and our future. In these days of insecurity of all sorts it is important for us, as Paul said, to "put on the whole armor of God". You will notice in that scripture (Ephesians 6 10-18) we are presented with a number of defensive devices - a helm, a shield, a breast plate, and so forth - but only one offensive weapon, that being...

".....the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"

It is incumbent upon us to remember that Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ do not want us to mindlessly flail about as we confront the difficulties of life in Babylon. This is what the gentiles do; throw their weight around, push, bully, threaten, rail, often hurt, and sometimes even kill. We have a better and more effective strategy, being to use the truth of the Gospel as our weapon against the powers of evil and darkness abroad in the earth. This is the kind of "righteous war" that is enjoined upon us in the Word of God, as described again by the Apostle Paul

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Cor 10:3-5)


I have always understood a "stronghold" in its dictionary meaning when looking at this scripture. Webster's says a stronghold is"


"1 - : a fortified place

2 - :a : a place of security or survival
b
: a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic

I have always been keenly aware of my "strongholds", the fortified places inside of me that provide a place of security or survival for the carnal man and dominated by the particular group of my own wishes and desires marked by the characteristic of self-centeredness and darkness. Both early and latter-day scripture contain several stories about the investiture of strongholds and one characteristic was that the defenders would often rain down fire, pitch, rocks, etc. in order to keep the besiegers at bay. This said I don't think that night raids on strongholds were such a great idea as one could not see the flying object that was about to crush them or pick them off a ladder or siege engine; daylight would serve to illuminate the field and lead to the best protection and coordination.

Joseph Smith said "
“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” (Utah D&C 93:36). That said, our illumination for overcoming strongholds in our lives is directly related to the amount of truth we have at our disposal. This is a life and death matter but one that bears eternal reward because, as the Prophet Joseph also said....

"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."

Indeed, getting ourselves "smart" about the things of the Kingdom is a matter of life and death - " “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1CO 2:14

So it is incumbent upon us to work at learning, talking, pondering, studying to keep our lives full of intelligence, truth, and light. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" 2TI 2:15

That said, I close with another quote from Joseph Smith

"As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved...A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence we need revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God."

So let's remember the corollary to this as we go through the week - a man can continue to gain knowledge as fast as he is saved.