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I often join the many people thinking and pondering the birth of Christ this time each year. With Christmas coming up and all of the wonderful carols sing through the day, it is easy to think on that little seen of such humble beginnings.

One of the songs speak of the 3 wise men from the east, and my thoughts ponder on their choice of gifts. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Each a richly gift of great value, but I think there is an underlying reason for these particular gifts.

Then it hits me… The Wiseman were preparing that little babe for the day he would die, the day he would bring about the atonement. They were preparing Jesus for the grave. See, Gold would be needed to purchase a tomb, and frankincense and myrrh (in the form of oil) were used for funeral preparation, it was how a body would be preserved in that day (like embalming as it were).  Of course I could be way off the mark here, but that is something to ponder over. When I look at it that way, I can see just how very wise these men were. 

God bless us all,

Ditchu

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I have heard many complain and argue with the LDS Philosophy of Milk before Meat when teaching of Gospel and spiritual things. Many just do not understand what is meant by Meat.

I look at it this way. The simple essentials of the Gospel can be taught rather quickly and bring someone to the understanding of Salvation and Exaltation. From this understanding one can choose to live in accordance to these principals or decide to turn from Christ.

So far this is just Milk.

For evangelical Christians and others that have issue with the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints philosophy of exaltation, I ask a few simple questions so that I can understand their point of view and help them to understand mine.

  1. What is “Salvation” to you?
  2. How does one obtain “Salvation,” or how is one brought to the point that they are considered “Saved?”
  3. Ok, let’s say you are saved… Now what?
  4. Do you continue to grow in Christ after you are considered “Saved?”

Anything beyond the essential principals of the Gospel is “Meat.”

“Meat” supports the principals and helps us continue in our progression beyond our spiritual infancy. As at one time my boy could not digest anything beyond Milk, we were spiritually at a point that we would not take to anything more than Spiritual Milk. Like my boy, he still young, is starting to eat meat and veggies in his diet, so we must include spiritual meat in our Spiritual Diet, when we are at an spiritual maturity to accept such understandings.

 

As an example of Spiritual Meat, I offer a link to a talk. Listen to Elder Bednar, and see what is really meant as Meat. See how it fits in and supports the Principals of the Gospel.  After you have received this understanding you may wonder What in the “Meat” is so offensive and contrary to the teachings of these other Christians that would cry foul to the LDS Philosophy of “Milk before Meat?”

http://lds.org/broadcast/ces/0,7341,538,00.html

 

God bless each and every one of you,

Ditchu 2009

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As it was, Decoration Day was a day to clean up and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. A day we give them honor and respect for the duty they preformed. Now as Memorial Day we not only recognize the fallen in combat but all who have served in out nations need as defenders of our constitution. When we see the white stone markers in our national cemetery, visit the grave site of the soldiers we knew, or fly the flag in honor of them we have the solemn reminder that freedom is not free. Often the price of freedom is not paid in gold but blood and the cost far exceeds the wealth of nations.

I take this year and remember our dead and as a Christian I know they will not remain in that state. Jesus Christ paved the way to eternal life, and has given the promise of the resurrection for everyone. Freedom is never Free, Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for each and every one of us. It was a price that we for ourselves could never completely pay. With his perfect life, he submitted to the cruelty of the very people he offered forgiveness for, and with his suffering, Death and resurrection, we can now accept the Gift of Freedom. We can be free of our sins.

God Bless you all.

My gratitude also goes out to all of you who have served our country, by being a guardian of our constitution (and our freedom) or by allowing your family member to take this precious position. God bless you and I pray for the day of peace that you all are still safe. God has truly blessed America, let’s hold on to our freedoms… For there is always a dire price to pay to get them in the first place, and there seems to be a timely remittance of that cost to protect and keep them.

Thank you, and God bless and keep you safe,

Ditchu

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I may be weird but I tend to re-read some old “text”-books from my College Years. Yes I have kept most of my college textbooks… I have only sold-back 1 book and maybe ridded myself of the clutter of a few of my copies of  the same books that my wife had when we married. I find it makes good for public transit when everyone around me is cussing up a storm, I can escape the bastardization of the English language into the thought provoking jargon of intellectual theory, i.e. reading.

Currently I am in the middle of a Mythology (can be applied to folklore, sociology, religion, faith, behavior, or psychology) book:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces  by Joseph Campbell  one of the leading authorities in the study of Philosophy, Myth and Folklore, (God rest his soul). So much so that he was interviewed on his favorite subject of Mythology about a year before he died and that special came out on OPB about 2 years after he had passed from this world to the next. His words do not represent any Church, Religion, or Faith, but sometimes, as with any philosopher, his words represent all.  Here is a part of the book that sums up an experience I have been encountering on-line recently:

 

Totem, tribal, racial, and aggressively missionizing cults represent only partial solutions of the psychological problem of subduing hate by love; they only partially initiate. Ego is not annihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society. The rest of the world meanwhile (that is to say, by far the greater portion of mankind) is left outside the sphere of his sympathy and protection because outside the sphere of the protection of his god. And there takes place, then, that dramatic divorce of the two principles of love and hate which the pages of history so bountifully illustrate. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. The laws of the City of God are applied only to his in-group (tribe, church, nation, class, or what not) while the fire of a perpetual holy war is hurled (with good conscience, and indeed a sense of pious service) against whatever uncircumcised, barbarian, heathen, “native,” or alien, people happens to occupy the position of neighbor.106

The world is full of the resultant mutually contending bands: totem-, flag-, and party-worshipers. Even the so-called Christian nations-which are supposed to be following a “World” Re-

deemer-are better known to history for their colonial barbarity and internecine strife than for any practical display of that unconditioned love, synonymous with the effective conquest of ego,

ego’s world, and ego’s tribal god, which was taught by their professed supreme Lord: “I say unto you, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for

them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” 107

Once we have broken free of the prejudices of our own provincially limited ecclesiastical, tribal, or national rendition of the world archetypes, it becomes possible to understand that the supreme initiation is not that of the local motherly fathers, who then project aggression onto the neighbors for their own defense. The good news, which the World Redeemer brings and which so many have been glad to hear, zealous to preach, but reluctant, apparently, to demonstrate, is that God is love, that He can be, and is to be, loved, and that all without exception are his children.108  Such comparatively trivial matters as the remaining details of the credo, the techniques of worship, and devices of episcopal organization (which have so absorbed the interest of Occidental theologians that they are today seriously discussed as the principal questions of religion),109 are merely pedantic snares, unless kept ancillary to the major teaching. Indeed, where not so kept, they have a regressive effect: they reduce the father image back again to the dimensions of the totem. And this, of course, is what has happened throughout the Christian world. One would think that we had been called upon to decide or to know whom, of all of us, the Father prefers. Whereas, the teaching is much less flattering: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” 110   The World

Savior’s cross, in spite of the behavior of its professed priests, is a vastly more democratic symbol than the local flag.111

   The understanding of the final-and critical-implications of the world-redemptive words and symbols of the tradition of Christendom has been so disarranged, during the tumultuous centuries that have elapsed since St. Augustine’S declaration of the holy war of the Civitas Dei against the Civitas DiaboliJ that the modern thinker wishing to know the meaning of a world religion (i.e., of a doctrine of universal love) must turn his mind to the other great (and much older) universal communion: that ‘ of the Buddha, where the primary word still is peace-peace to all beings.112

(Pages 156-159)

 

It is not to be taken that Buddhism is the only religion that holds truth, nor the only way to God. Never the less Buddhism is in reality a Philosophy more than a religion.

 

What is this section from Campbell’s book saying about me? That is a good question to ask. Too often I am coming across the idea from many different people, that belonging to a group, somehow makes us better than everyone else. Often of late I have been dealing with Christians (like myself) but are trying to segment God’s children into little boxes and say “We are saved but you are not.” Or “We are Christian but you are not.” Some sadly do so and think or say that it is out of Love, compassion, or concern for others. In truth it is for no concern of others that this ideal becomes rooted in us. It is out of self-concern, some may even call it greed. Greed for power or position, the ability to say that they are better than others, to believe they belong to a “select group” that would gain the favor of God while others do not. Campbell has pointed out that it is not from love of others but love of ourselves only that we do not accept the divinity and righteousness, the Worth of each of God’s children, of each of God’s creation, in humble equality.  I am not of greater worth in God’s eyes than any of you, for “God is no respector of persons.”  If I mess up the same as you, I find no more favor with deity.  What does it matter if I call myself Christian, and you don’t? What does it matter if you consider yourself Christian and do not want to consider me with that title, because I am “Mormon”? These are just words, words with definitions, and by definition I am a Christian. But how can I deny others who claim the Christian Faith? I cannot see the works they do not show. I cannot determine their faith. If you tell me you are Christian, or Muslim, or even an Occultist, Who am I to say you are not?

 

Words do not replace faith, words do not replace action. It is Faith that brings you closer to Deity, and faith prompts for action.

 

Someone has called me a “Relativist” trying to say that some statements I made speak to him in General terms about there being many paths to God. Those statements, however, were precise and were speaking of his expressed beliefs and mine, in no uncertain terms.

I am not a relativist, but do leave room for differing beliefs and faith practices. I attest that I do believe that there is only one true Path to our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. However I only know what I know, no one else can say more. I do not tell you how to worship, or who to worship. If you ask we, at best you will get how and who I worship, what I believe, and maybe some reasoning behind it.  I am not here to condemn you but to share the truth I have found. I am not here to claim my rightness over others, but if you can see the light of Christ shine through my love for you, then you may see that I will rejoice in you victories. I hope to celebrate in the Kingdom of Heaven with you someday, even if I am wrong and there are infinite paths there, as I do believe that Jesus Christ is the only way, and we must accept him to enter. But the issue is not if I am right or wrong. The issue is discovering Truth and sharing it with all who will listen. We Christians should not quibble over minor details to segment different Christian groups and labeling them: some “Saved” others “Unsaved.” If we truly believe in the teachings of Christ we should implement them into our daily lives and stop to share His Love with all of our Brothers and Sisters, all of Humanity, all of His Creation.

 

God bless,

 

Dithcu 4 November 2008

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