What made Jesus the Ultimate Ladies Man?

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What made Jesus the Ultimate Ladies Man?

Jessica Wise

founder – The Litas

Devin Townsend

recording artist

Pat Bagley

Pulitzer finalist political cartoonist

Sean Whalen

men’s coach

Robert Clark

National Geographic photographer

Kurt Bestor

Composer, pianist, trumpet player Kurt Bestor

composer

Richard Dutcher

black and white portrait of filmmaker Richard Dutcher

filmmaker

Marianne Willamson

author & spiritual teacher

Steven Wilson

Grammy nominated musician & producer

Peter Breinholt

Singer / songwriter Peter Breinholt photographed by Paul Duane

singer / songwriter

Genpo Roshi

black and white portrait of Zen Master Genpo Roshi

Zen Master Genpo Roshi

 

….According to my friends.

Timothy Smith, Kelly Boyce, Charlynn Hamaker, Marc Hanson, Steve Conlin, Jake Garn, Ashley Bracy, Richard Dutcher, Dr. Pam Gurley, Brandon Lee, Steve Urquhart, Patrick Williams, Bethany Schrader

We all suspect Jesus being a champion with the ladies… on today’s episode, 12 of my friends weigh in on what made him such a hit with women.

What does God think of your Facebook Thoughts and Prayers?

Virtue Signaling: ever heard of it?

How many times do you see people post something that – if you pay close attention – is crafted to advertise to the world how concerned they are, how righteously angry they are… that they are “worried” about the “right things”?

Being “virtuous” has never been more in style – problem is, it’s really just a game of “Hey everyone, look at me! I’m better than ________”.

Ninja level question: How often have YOU done that?

I certainly have done an embarrassing amount of it over the course of my social media career, and yes, calling out the virtue signalers can be read as a meta-version of that. Yep. I get it.

A desert dwelling guru called Yeshua once said,

“When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

I think if Yeshua had known about Facebook back then, he would have said,

“When thou prayest, remember that Thy Father is in heaven, and not on Facebook. He hateth that shit. Whilst thou may use Facebook to gently invite others to pray for the downtrodden, thou shalt not advertise thine own prayers, for thou runnest the risk of thy reward being the approval of men, rather than communion with thy Father and / or Mother who art in heaven, but are divorced and not on speaking terms with one another, so you’ll need to call them separately, but that is another story for another parable, beloved ones”.

A Mormon Family that Drinks Together, Stays Together

I was born of goodly Mormon parents. Sometimes, it takes getting drunk around them to realize just how good they are.

When I call myself the “Crossdressing Mormon Anarchist”, I’m only partially kidding around.  Like any Jew who carries the card but only attends Synagogue during Yom Kippur, Mormonism is my heritage. It’s basically an ethnicity. They are my people. My parents, and grandparents on both sides of my family all served missions for the LDS Church. My great great grandfather is a famous Mormon pioneer; he was one of Brigham Young’s hit men. The foundational stories of my parent’s lives as individuals, and as a couple, are rooted in The Church. Mormonism runs thick in our blood, which means that as far as orthodoxy is concerned, things like alcohol, should never run in our blood.

One of the main tenets of Mormonism is the idea that via Temple marriage,  families can be together forever – after death, in heaven. As a kid, that failed to make sense to me in several ways, but the foremost reason was that I really didn’t like my family that much. I regarded them as bunk mates assigned by the drill sergeant of life circumstance – and as soon as bootcamp ended, I’d leave and probably not give them a second thought. The Mormon Church attempting to incentivize righteous living with the reward of an eternal family felt like my mom trying to bribe me to clean my room by promising that she’d take me to have a root canal as a reward.

As adults, it was no secret that my brother and sister had left Mormonism by the wayside. My mother used to call me her “last hope” for having a kid that would carry on a legacy of “righteousness”.  Many years ago, my own falling away became known to the family. This was ushered in one Christmas night as we were wrapping up a family party. My parents went home, my daughters returned to their mother’s house, leaving just the three of us kids together. Wine emerged from Camille’s cupboard. Glasses were poured, glasses were raised and we partook of the goodness of the grape together for the first time. Something shifted in a way that’s difficult to account for – it may suffice to say that we found ourselves three grown adults with things in common that only we could have. It’s like some kind of pretense disappeared and left us honest. I found new friendship in my brother and sister. From that day forward, I’ve enjoyed their companionship in a way that starts to give ironic legitimacy to the promises of the church.

You need to know right now that my mom prays for me every night. And Camille. And Mikey… not just that we’ll be happy and safe, but a particular kind of happy & safe: In my Mom’s experience, Orthodoxy in the church is akin to getting enough vitamin C. I’ll say this – that absolutely IS her experience, it is her reality. The Church, the community of people that are the church – have been really good to my parents, and they’ve been good to it. I would never want it to go away, for their sake… it defines and supports their lives –  but that’s another story for another day. My sweet mother prays for us with the energy of a good mom whose sole desire is that her offspring thrive – thrive in the only way she knows how. She means really, really well. I seriously adore my Mother.  Every week that Camille, Mike, and I do not engage with The Church, I imagine she must feel like a failure. How can she not? Her purpose in life is defined in terms of dedication to The Church.

I have dedicated my life to authenticity. There are many rewards that come from living authentically (again, another story for another day). One of the dark prices I pay for living authentically is the knowledge that I regularly disappoint my mother, break her heart, even.

During a recent trip with the whole family to visit Camille, her husband and her awesome little boys in Mesa:

Mike and I decided to let everyone take a rest. We took over the kitchen to prepare a feast for our family. In preparation, we hit the grocery store.

One of the things I love about shopping outside of Utah is the experience of being treated like a true grown up.  The Kroger store was just like my beloved Smith’s at home, but had a very large isle of wine and liquor that echoed the candy isle in any Utah grocery store (we don’t drink our feelings away, but we eat them away like a motherfucker. Diabetes is our religion’s disease of choice).  IT WAS GLORIOUS. Mike bought thin sliced pork chops, whiskey, and a 30 rack of beer. I stocked up on  garlic, tomatoes, onions, basil, pasta, bread, and wine.


I adore the process of drinking, conversing, and cooking with, and for, people I care about.  Mikey and I spread out and started chopping, cutting, simmering and searing a spread of ciabatta with balsamic vinegar & olive oil; marinara from scratch over penne; seasoned & breaded pork chops . We took our time. Meal prep included a first course of cold beers, followed by whiskey. As dinner neared completion, I opened the wine and had a couple of glasses.  Four drinks just while cooking? Hell yes. We come from Viking stock and can handle our liquor. Let’s pour a fifth as we dish up and consider it an apéritif, shall we? Cheers!

I paused and took inventory:

Beers: 2

whiskey shots: 1

glasses of wine: 2

crusty looks / lectures from parents: 0

There were my parents – enjoying time with us, loving us, without conditions – IN the conditions of us kids flagrantly behaving in ways that offend some of their deepest sensibilities, hopes, and dreams. This was a defining characteristic of Christ – he was criticized for breaking bread with sinners. Each week, my parents partake of bread and water (used to wine in the early days of the church, but any liquid will suffice for symbolism) that has been blessed in the following way:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

They were, in the most literal, and possibly painfully personal sense, about to break bread with sinners. Not a single lecture nor word nor gesture nor any hint of disapproval. Just love. We had a wonderful dinner, told stories, and truly enjoyed one another’s company in a way that exceeded every lofty and empty idea of “family time” from my cold hearted childhood.  I raised my glass of wine to my lips and partook of my own personal sacrament of gratitude and witness that my parents were, in that very moment, not just claiming Christianity, but DOING Christianity. This is what it looks like to take up the name of Christ and always remember Him, and this is what it’s like to have His spirit.

Mom, Dad, you’ll probably never read this, but if you do, I hope you can see that the quality of your character has not been lost on me for a second. I’m profoundly grateful. Not everyone has been blessed like I have with parents as exceptional as you. To everyone else  – this is it. This is what it looks like. This is how it’s done.

much love –

Paul Duane

 

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Power, 4th dimension, and Jesus

Shit got deep today.

Adam & Eve. Garden of Eden. The 4th dimension. Jesus.

Put on your waders, kids. It gets deep in here.  I lay out my current understanding of our relationship to the 4th dimension.

Call it religion.

Call it science.

Call it hippie talk.

Call it something that makes you feel better.

The Parable of McSashimi

There are some religions that claim to have special power from God that allows people to do really cool things like heal people, tell them what God wants them to do with their lives, endow them with extra power to overcome difficulties, etc. This power and privilege is often called “priesthood”. It’s almost always given to men and denied to women.  In this article, I am going to be discussing the Ordain Women movement that has happened within the context of Mormonism / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

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While I am, in some sense, very much in support of the Ordain Women movement, I must confess: I can’t get all that excited about it. While the Ordain Women movement has the best of intentions, I think it’s missing the bigger point.  It’s a bit like trying to issue licenses to people – in this case, women – for the “privilege” of breathing.  If a special power to heal, manifest, discern, exists in any human, then ALL humans come with it. It’s like that anti-virus software that every computer comes pre-installed with.  The only question is, are you going to activate it and use it?

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Can we talk about Jesus for a minute? While I do find myself swimming around in a certain kind of mysticism, and while I definitely feel a connection to the Divine (whatever that is), there are certain things that don’t make sense. Let’s start with one of the foundational ideas behind Priesthood: Jesus Christ.  I believe in Jesus Christ as one of the most brilliant teachers of human wisdom, one who mastered the laws of dimensions 1, 2, and 3 and had a solid understanding of our relationship to dimensions 4, 5, 6, and 7.   In his recorded teachings, many brilliant truths hide in plain sight.  His Father, however, did not ask him to suffer infinitely so that you and I can be let off the hook. There IS NO HOOK.  When I take a few cosmic steps back, I see an inherent perfection in all things, even though to our 3 dimensional minds, they can seem like a massive pain in the ass at times. Growth and progress are inevitable. Cosmically speaking, I do not believe in “good” and “evil”.  Certainly we all have our sense of “preferable” and “not preferable”, but to relabel them as “right” and “wrong” is cosmically presumptuous.  If there’s no cosmic construct of “evil”, then there’s no need for a Savior… particularly if you believe in a God that’s not a score keeping passive aggressive jerk like your mother in law.  On the other hand, if you do believe in a mother-in-law God, it’s not a stretch to believe in a God that plays favorites.

lol_jesus_3

Those in the Ordain Women movement are rightly offended by the notion of special privilege and their view that God doesn’t play that game.  I argue that they are merely making an expansion onto special privilege. Instead of demolishing the abominable building, they’ve just remodeled and added a few extra rooms. I’m just asking Ordain Women to take their good idea and run with it all the way into the end zone.

The argument that women should be ordained into the priesthood gives entirely too much credit to the divisive notion that God gives selectively permits some people to have special powers. It CERTAINLY gives entirely too much credit to an organization that claims to have the patent on that power. This is somewhat like picketing McDonald’s to begin serving sushi when there are three excellent sushi restaurants on the same block. They COULD do it, but do you really want a McSashimi?

The question, “Should women be ordained to the Priesthood?” is the wrong question to ask.  It’s like believing that it’s politically significant to vote Democrat. The Democrat / Republican question is the wrong question. They are both “wrong”, in the sense that they both serve the same master and lead to the same place. It’s a false question and a false choice. So it is with the Ordain Women movement.

If you are serious about this business of Women having the Priesthood, take a step back and realize the truth – you already have it. ALL of you. It came pre-installed in your being.  Stop asking an invalid institution – or ANY institution, for that matter, to recognize it.  Go alone to a mountain top, in a cave, under a tree, or in the desert, like so many great gurus who have gone before us and make your own personal connection to The Divine – and then get on with using your power to serve your fellow man. And woman. 😉

 

Was Santa an inside job?

The Santa Claus Industrial Complex is the culmination of all the great conspiracy theories: aliens, the war on drugs, the war on families, religion, economics, and the illuminati.  Jake Garn Photographer Not Astronaut and I explain it all in painstaking detail.

mushroom_ornaments

We also discuss a northern European traditions explaining how psychedelic mushrooms gave rise to Christmas.  Good times.

SantaMushroom

 

 

 

The Most Absurd Story

There once was a man and woman who fell in love, got married, and bought an attractive home together.  The husband grew up in a home with many children and an overworked mother who struggled to keep the house clean. Dust, disarray, and clutter were the norm. Though he greatly appreciated neat tidy spaces, it could also be said that he was at perfectly comfortable in a mess.

 

One day, he found his wife pouting on the sofa.  He had known something was amiss for a few days, perhaps it would now finally come to the surface.

“What’s wrong?” he inquired.

 

“I know that you resent me for not keeping the house clean, but I have been so busy with my responsibilities on the committee, my boss has given me extra work, and this flu has sapped up all of my extra energy this week. I know you are always mad at me for the house being a mess. I am really hurt that you are so upset with me. That’s why I’ve been staying away from you, that’s why I won’t hug or kiss you, that’s why I’m so cold – because I know you are mad at me. How am I supposed to be loving to you when I know you are angry with me over something like this?”

 

The husband was shocked. In his own mind, just earlier that day, he had been contemplating how beautiful their home was and how grateful he was for it. The current state of housekeeping was vastly superior to anything he had grown up with. In his eyes, he didn’t even see a mess. All he saw was a beautiful home with an angry wife.

 

He tried to console her, but she did not believe him. She continued to attack him for being angry at her for not keeping the house spotless.  This pattern continued for some time.

 

The husband felt helpless, like a shipwrecked boy floating at sea on a tiny life raft, with no help in sight for months. At times his desperation started to taste something like anger for her construction of this artificial problem – but it wasn’t real anger.  Few things could sadden him more than her accusations of him feeling a way that he truly did not. A deep, profound despair took residence in his heart  as he contemplated the futility of the situation.  There was nothing he could do to convince her otherwise. If he helped more around the house, she would see it as evidence that he was, in fact, so upset with her that he was taking matters into his own hands. If he did not help, she further resented  that he was part of the problem. He was utterly powerless to help her – not because he himself lacked power, but because she would have no part of it.

 

If housekeeping was the only area in which the wife experienced this way of thinking, their marriage would have been salvageable.  Humans typically don’t compartmentalize habits of the heart, though. Her self criticism crept into every other area of life. Money, friends, work, sex… Brick by brick she laid an impenetrable wall, turning their marriage into a stale cavern of tears. Eventually, the marriage ended.  Both were devastated, both had radically different stories about what happened.  So much potential, so little realized.

 

So it is with our relationship with The Divine. (Call it what you want. For the sake of brevity, I’ll call it a few simple things, sometimes I’ll use the word God.) We emanate from a Source of ultimate creative power that we don’t fully comprehend. It is our heritage, and our destination, to grow eternally in our powers of creation.  If a God exists, I am certain that it’s main objective is to nurture us into beings like unto itself, masters of all creative powers.

 

Look at the ancient and modern wisdom that’s been put on the earth: Vast amounts of it are aimed at convincing humans to stop judging.  God has gone so far as to play a cosmic game of Santa Claus – a temporary charade that’s intended to get us going in the right direction, even if we aren’t fully mature enough to understand the real reasons yet.  He’s allowed the perpetuation of stories that should empower humans to relieve themselves of the judging duties and hand them off to someone that’s better equipped for the job: Think of the thousand of tales in all cultures that God, in fact, is the great judge, that there will be a great day of judgement, and thus, no other human needs to be concerned with judging. Taking it a step further into near absurdity,  there even exists a story about God sending his only Son in the flesh, to come down here, get horribly abused, suffer, and die, on behalf of all “sinners” – taking upon him the sins of all the world – just in an effort to convince us humans to CALM DOWN AND STOP JUDGING. There are countless ceremonies, rites of passage, rituals, all of which are a “Dumbo’s Feather” of sorts – intended to give each of us permission to feel “clean”, “forgiven” so that just maybe we’ll stop judging – others, and ourselves –  and get on with the joy of creation.

 

While it’s true that on some level, the wife was judging her husband, it all emanated from judging herself.  In the court of her own self criticism, she became the judge, jury, and executioner – and thus, unable to consider any evidence to the contrary. All of the promises of marriage became impossible and moot.

 

The dilemma of the married couple is a dilemma of human nature, and may be rightfully multiplied by many thousands as we contemplate our true relationship to God.  God loves us vastly more. The minutia we judge ourselves against are, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant. The consequences of the rift between you and God are cosmic in scale.

 

God does not judge us. As we let go of the baseless assumption that God disapproves of us, as we accept our own unique perfection in God’s eyes, we’ll find that relationship to our Creative Power improving exponentially. This, I believe, is where the bliss begins.

 

much love-
Paul Duane

 

You are the CEO

 Have you ever had those times in life where things around you start speaking to you in a new way? You start hearing new meaning in things your friends say. New friends with special qualities come along in serendipitous ways.  Certain TV shows take on special significance. Song lyrics jump out at you. Random strangers say things that make you stop and think. That’s what’s been happening to me recently.  I’ve realized that I’m still hurting and angry over some things in my past.

I am tired.

I want to get rid of it.

I know that I’m meant to spend energy creating amazing things, not carrying around horrible things.

But first, let’s talk about video games!

In April 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) was hacked. Of course, the gaming service was unavailable for a few weeks, but the grave concern was the loss of personal information of 77 million users, making this one of the biggest data security breaches in history.  Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer apologized: “As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack…. Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it,” he said. “We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.” To make up for the attack, Stringer offered affected users a 1 million dollar identity theft insurance policy, free of charge, along with other PSN membership perks.” In an attempt to right the wrong, Stringer offered users free identity theft insurance and some free PSN membership perks.

Shame is a corrupt imitation of healthy stress

Should Sony CEO Stringer feel personally shamed and guilty for the data breach? No, of course not. He didn’t really have anything to do with it.  He may have hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy that made the mistake… but his personal accountability is diluted by these realities.  He certainly didn’t have anything to do with the hacker’s malicious desires, either. Shit happens.

Is it reasonable for him to feel stress about his responsibility to craft an appropriate amends?  Sure. But there’s a difference between stress and guilt / shame. It’s his job to follow up and lead the clean up effort. And once he’s employed every reasonable measure to clean up the mess, should he be able to sleep at night?  Of course.

When I was in college studying psychology, I gained a profound appreciation for the power of social conditioning in human beings.  We are irrefutably the products of our environment. Clearly, we are some combination of nature and nurture.  Every behavior has a rich history of influences that helped cause it:

When you graph it out, your own thoughts really aren’t even that big of a part of the pie – ESPECIALLY considering that your own thoughts are largely a product of the various other components of your environment.  But this doesn’t excuse you or I from responsibility – it just explains the mechanics of our behavior. There’s a profound and important difference between explaining and blaming.  If you accidentally drop a bottle, WHY you did it doesn’t change the fact that it’s your job to mop it up.  BUT – there is an important lesson in parsing out the difference between explaining and blame / shame.

We just commemorated 9/11.Deep feeling of retaliation and anger were stirred up in many Americans. It’s important to understand that the  9/11 hijackers believed they were being obedient to God’s edicts.  Suppose you or I were born into the same time, city, family, social, political, and religious situation that these hijackers were born into. Is it possible that you or I would have helped hijack a plane?

We are, to a large extent, shaped by our environments. But that doesn’t let us off the hook per se – it just changes our understanding of the hook.

It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Not only will a good CEO step up and lead the effort to right wrongs committed by the company he represents, he will organize the party and pass the glory along to all involved when the company succeeds.

Guilt and gloat are fundamentally the same error: the Ego believes that it is solely to credit for an event.

Some call this a “sin of pride”. Pride is a funny term, it is usually associated with boasting. It’s a bigger concept than that. Pride and boasting are very different. Pride is the misappropriation of credit, good or bad.

Here’s where I’m at in life at the moment: It seems that guilt and shame are totally unnecessary.  Responsibility is the key. When things go right, it’s my job to turn around and spread the glory to those that helped make it possible. When things go wrong, it’s my job to step up and be the solution to the problem. Just like Sony CEO Stringer. It’s no longer my place to walk around suffering for things that I can no longer change and that I couldn’t have even controlled fully when it happened. 

Sometimes it’s easier to apply standards to other people than ourselves, so let’s do that for a second…

In some brands of christian mythology, the story goes like this: All of the spirits of humanity existed in a state prior to becoming humans on Earth. They were created by a master creator, God the Father. These spirits (which included you and I) desired to become more like our Creator. Inhabiting bodies on earth was seen as the next step in our evolution. One person volunteered to assist the human race in “succeeding” on earth, by forcing everyone to do the right thing. He wanted to take full credit for everyone’s “success”. That being is referred to as Lucifer.  Another candidate – one referred to as Jesus Christ – came forward and volunteered to come to earth and do his best to show people the right way to live, but he’d never force anyone to do anything To the extent that people succeeded, he would convey the glory of that success to The Father (and obviously, the succeeding individuals would enjoy the fruit of that success, too). Jesus wouldn’t partake in any of that glory – he’d just pass it along, like a good CEO would to his employees and shareholders. Since problems were going to be inevitable, He would come down be the face of the solution.

Jesus’s 3rd to last sentence may have been the most profound he ever uttered.  As he was hanging crucified on the cross, being taunted and tortured, near death, he said:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34

Stop for a moment to think of everything that this means. Jesus recognized a truth- the people who were not just slowly and cruelly killing him, were a product of their environment.  They were like the 9/11 hijackers.  They were just doing what they thought was right at the moment.  They had good intentions.  Even in his moment of the most exquisite physical agony, even as people stood around yelling insults at him, he comprehended this truth so deeply, that he yelled out this amazing expression of compassion and understanding. 

Time has a way of shifting our perspective on things. Have you ever had the experience of looking back on a part of your life and realizing that you really didn’t understand things as well as you thought you did?  How powerful would that be to shrink that amount of time down, so that you can have a real-time awareness that when you make “mistakes”, you “know not what [you] do”?

If Jesus, under such incalculable emotional and physical pain, could have this compassion for his murderers, might it be possible for you and I to have this same compassion and perspective about ourselves?

Such understanding would cleanse us of the self inflicted crucifixion of guilt and shame, and leave us fully imbued with response-able dignity and power to create good in the world. 

Let us all be good CEOs in the corporation of our lives. Just like Jesus.

*** Addendum:

This morning, it dawned on me that all this letting go of shame business I’ve been talking about, is the precursor to what Marianne Williamson meant when she said:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.”

And there is no higher calling that we can aspire to than this.  This is it, folks.  This is the essence of the fully expressed and well lived life.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Mormonism and Islam: faiths of peace and love?

Here is a video of a man and woman being executed by members of the Muslim faith in Iran for having a love affair.  This “sin” according to Islamic law, is punishable by death.  The video is grainy, but you’ll get the idea. Do all Muslims practice this? Of course not. It’s just the most radical and depraved Muslims that carry this out:

Okay, now that we’ve seen that, take a moment to read what Mormon Prophet Heber J Grant had to say about the issue of sexual purity:

“There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity—realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.” Prophet Heber J Grant, as quoted by another prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, in his book Miracle of Forgiveness

christ and the woman taken in adulteryIn John Chapter 8, we read about Jesus’s encounter with the adulterous woman and the people who also felt that adultery should be followed by death, just like some Muslims and Mormon Prophets. Here’s what Jesus Christ said about the matter:

 

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his fingerwrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 

If you are an active Mormon, this part is specifically for you. Feel free to comment below. Heber J Grant was a PROPHET OF GOD, in the view of Mormons. His words were then quoted again by another Prophet, Spencer W Kimball, in his seminal work “The Miracle Of Forgiveness” (which is de facto required reading for any who commit sins of a sexual nature in the church). Mormons are fond of quoting 2 Corinthians 13:1 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” as a way of establishing the veracity of doctrines. This idea that it would be better for your own child to DIE, than to commit a sexual “sin”, has been established in the mouth of 2 witnesses: Prophets of God

Do you agree with this?

Do you feel like the prophets were right?

Have you committed any sexual sins?

Do you think you should be murdered for them?

Would you be willing to kill your son or daughter, if you found out that they had sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend?

If you hold a temple recommend, you’ve answered these next two questions in the affirmative before:

  • Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?
  • Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator?

If you have answered YES to these questions, you have also accepted what Heber J Grant and Spencer W Kimball have said about your own child’s death.

…Now, what were you saying about The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints being Christ’s true church?

 Addendum:

This next part is for some specific people. You’ll know who you are…. There is someone in your family that has “committed the ultimate sin” by having sex with someone she loved, and is now expecting a baby. The parents are not married.  You continually refer to your first grandson as an “illegitimate child”.  When are you going to stop calling your own posterity “illegitimate”?  Is this the legacy you want your grandson to grow up with, knowing that you loathed it’s very existence? You continually say things that bring shame and guilt to your daughter. Though you have not picked up any physical stones, you have been casting stones all the same.  You profess to be a Christian, a proud member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Paul taught that you should be an example of the believers, and in this, you have failed miserably. Is it any wonder that your children despise the church? Your own Lord and Savior taught on countless occasions that, “by their fruits, ye shall know them”.  A good branch does not bring forth bad fruit. Every word from your mouth has been foul and devoid of love. It is time for you to start acting like Jesus would. You make a mockery of your own faith. .  

If you can’t even attempt to walk the walk,  you really need to stop talking the talk, thou hypocrite.

It was you of whom Jesus Christ spoke when he said,

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, bu their heart is far from me”  (Matthew 15:8)

 

relaxaphobia

We all have a friend like this… that guy that wears his Bluetooth headset EVERYWHERE. Chances are, he works at a call center, or something low pressure  like that.  It’s not like he’s a high profile stock trader that needs to be able to communicate at the drop of a hat anytime, any place…. he just seems to like feeling like he’s that important.  You know the type.

There is nothing quite like feeling important.   Just when I think I’ve got all of my existential crisis ducks in a row, I read something on the Internet and, BAM! I find out that I too, am just as lame as the Bluetooth dude.

I am a busy-a-holic. If my schedule is not crammed tight with actual work, I will find a way to over complicate the work that I do have, so that I remain super “busy”.  Really, it’s super unproductive, but it feels busy at the moment.

WTF is up with this, you ask?

New York Times writer  Tim Kreider spoke the terrible truth to me when he said:

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

(you can read the whole article here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/ )

Well, fuck’n-a.  I just got called out.

I’m on the fence about the idea of God having a specific plan for me, and I am pretty committed to that position until I meet God in person to talk about it. I believe as the secular humanists do, that there is virtue in assigning your life it’s own purpose. I believe in the meaning of life is a DIY project. I’m balls deep in my DIY meaning of life, but sometimes I look around and think, “Shit. Really?  Am I really doing this?  REALLY?  I’m the only one digging this trench. Does it really even matter?  Is it ever going to serve an important purpose?

…and so I just fuck up my productivity so that I’m always a tad behind on everything and I “don’t have time” to think too hard about that stuff.

I’m relaxaphobic. You may think I spend a lot of time partying or hanging out or playing, or whatever… but 99% of the time I’m a man on a mission.  That night at the club has an ulterior motive. Those beers I’m pounding with the boys are being done in the name of research of some kind.  I’m serious.

Even when I was in Portland on a vacation of sorts, between events, I found myself pacing a lot.  “I need to be doing something”.  I had a terribly hard time just sitting and doing NOTHING.  Many years ago I was packing to go on vacation with Mireesa and her family (my former wife).  I was packing up some scholarly reading to do for school. Thick stuff like “Cumulative Record: A Selection of Papers” by B.F. Skinner. Technical reading on the subject of operant conditioning.  That’s what I planned to read on the beach. Yeah, I know how to party.  Mireesa looked at me and said “Are you serious?  You are NOT going to read that on vacation.  Go to the book store and get some guy magazines. Go get Maxim and some stuff like that. I’m serious.”  I was being ordered by my wife to get some soft core porn to take on vacation.  I reluctantly obliged.

If Ferris Beuller were Jesus, he would say to me, “you draw near me with your lips, but your heart is far from Me”

Am I so afraid of my own insignificance?  I think there’s a fairly good chance of this.   I even misinterpreted the sacred words of St. Ferris Beuller, patron saint of leisure, when he said,

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

But then I get confused, because I find sentiments like the following to be very compelling:

“Each person is only given so many evenings and each wasted evening is a gross violation against the natural course of your only life”  – Charles Bukowski

When it comes to life, I feel like a kid in a candy store. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to experience, I fear that I won’t have enough time to really experience it all. I love the idea of living forever. Life is fun. But on some level, I’m having a hard time accepting that it’s finite.  What drives my habit of being busy?  Fear or love?

Kreider continues ratting out my “busy complex”:

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

Unlike other inspirational – self help – motivational – blah blah blah bloggers, I do not come to you with answers.   I’m bludgeoning my brain with these questions, and for some reason (which I question the wisdom of every day), I write this shit down and click “publish”.  I don’t believe in peddling answers. That’s called religion, and I let go of that a few years ago.  Anyway, I guess that’s all I have to say for now. I really just wanted to share that awesome Times article with you. It really got me thinking about the possibility that I’m running from feelings of my own cosmic insignificance.

Maybe you are too.

That’s a cheery thought, huh?