Sunday, July 18, 2021

It Rained This Week – And some free advice that could be helpful to President Nelson


The line we draw between dots in our cause-and-effect, connect-the-dots life is often such bull-shit that there’s probably not enough bleach in the entire world to clean it up.  I find it even more bothersome, and the B.S. exponentially deeper, when we’re shown by church leaders, any church leaders, which dots connect to each other, especially when, according to the scriptures, they don’t or may not.  


Without an email prompt from a church leader, last night after sunset as the skies darkened, I began a period of fasting and prayer that the sun in all its celestial glory would rise again sometime soon and then went to sleep.  It eventually did and with that -- I connected the dots.  Hell yes!!  Mission accomplished – fast successful.


For several months, weeks, even years, I have received periodic recurrent emails from local, stake, and regional, etc. church leaders inviting a period of fasting and prayer to the Lord that he would ease the drought we are experiencing. And we are, let me tell you, experiencing a hell-of-a-drought. At the moment, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is lamenting the dire consequences of a two-decade drought that has plagued the region where the water supply serves 40 million people in seven states and Mexico. The 6 degrees of drought glory, so to speak, as identified by the U.S. Drought Monitor are - None; abnormally dry; moderate drought; severe drought; extreme drought; exceptional drought. For us, the needle has been pegged at the “exceptional drought” level for going on years now. Don’t worry, I totally get the invitation by local church leaders to ask the Lord to help us out; after all, what do you expect them to say/do? [I’ll tell you what I expect in just a moment.] In Texas, where they’re getting too-damned much rain they’re fasting and praying that the Lord will also ease the weather conditions there. So, church leaders of all stripes dutifully send out pleas for members to fast and pray that we’ll be liberated from conditions caused by adverse weather. For a day, usually the first day of the month, members fast and pray for relief and then go to sleep. Eventually it rains and well, dots connected. Hell yes!! Mission accomplished – fast successful. But the drought persists and persists and persists – two decades now.


I have a thought that, thanks to many years of wickedness, I’m one already scheduled for utter destruction. It’s likely I shouldn’t be proffering an opinion about anything. Yet, here I am and here I go.


The drought persists because fasting and praying is not the freaking answer to the problem. No no no, not trying to minimize real fasting and praying here but it’s a placebo effort prescribed by our leaders that has a positive psychological benefit to church members but abso-freakin-lutely no effect on the drought. How, you say, do I know it’s not working? Two-decade long drought affecting 40 million people. Try that for how I know.  


Here’s what pisses me off!! The scriptures are full full full of examples of the solution. Yet magnificent church leaders seemingly never offer or invite the simple solution presented in the scriptures for members or others to consider. It’s not like they don’t have 100 billion dollars to run a regional ad campaign sharing the solution. 


Just one example from the scriptures. You’ll get the point and it’s basically the whole matter of the scripture anyway.


This one’s kind of straight forward and pertinent -- “Oh Lord,” says Nephi 2.0 [son of Helaman] when he sees that the people had repented and did humble themselves in sackcloth and had wiped out wickedness from among them. O Lord, wilt thou turn away thine anger, yea, thy fierce anger, and cause that this famine [in our case drought] may cease in this land? O Lord, wilt thou hearken unto me and cause that it may be done according to my words, and send forth rain upon the face of the earth that she bring forth her fruit and her grain in the season of grain?” (RE Helaman 4:3 +-).


O.K. – another example


This from the Savior to the Nephite survivors of global destruction following His crucifixion – “…will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (RE 3 Nephi 4:7+-)


O.K. – just one more, but there are hundreds.


From the church news in 1994 -- “As wickedness spread on the earth, the Lord called Noah to teach the gospel to his people. Noah warned the people that they must repent and be baptized or they would be destroyed by floods. When the people would not repent, the Lord told Noah, "Behold, I . . . do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh." (Gen. 6:17.)


I can come up with almost endless examples from the scriptures – well I shouldn’t say scriptures, I should say standard works. Scriptures for the last and next six months are the general conference talks – God forbid we actually look in the standard works. But, I digress, if I can, can’t the church leaders notice this little item in scripture and then share it with others?  


Bottom line – when connecting dots, the rain-dot should be connected to the repentance-dot, not the fast-and-pray-dot. Fasting and prayer should help you “wax stronger and stronger in humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ…”(RE Helaman 2:8 +-) which, if properly done, leads to repentance. 


In no email invitation, and there have been many, where church leaders have asked me to fast and pray for rain, have they ever ever never asked me to consider repentance as a form of changing the Lord’s heart.  Yet, that appears in scripture to be the sole remedy to the Lord’s anger/wrath.  


As if one bottom line isn’t enough, here’s another -- this drought is a gently prepared appetizer on the divine wrath menu to see if we’ll respond to some tempered stimulus by repenting without having to endure too much pain. But, as you already know, our efforts as a group of people will be limited to a couple of stake fasts with some expectancy based on vague desire that the Lord may respond. And even if he doesn’t cause it to rain, some day it will and then we can connect our fasting-and-prayer-dot to the divine-favor-for-our-effort-dot. Well, I think you know the fact of the f***ing matter is that most of us don’t really, in our heart of hearts, have any thought at all that the current drought has one thing to do with divine disfavor. Do we? This is a two-decade old drought and I don’t think it has caused one damned religious person to think they need to repent. Why? – cause nobody has died. However, if we were to read about a twenty-year drought in scripture, we’d say to ourselves, can’t the people see what in the hell is going on? Why don't they repent?  Look, what the Lord does is always in plain sight but in the casual routineness of our wickedness we have become blind and deaf. I know, I know, you’re not wicked, you probably qualify for a sweet paper temple recommend with a watermark picture of a temple in the background on it that you slip into a perfectly fitted plastic sleeve before stowing it in your wallet until the next time you visit. You  have a bona fide paper document that says you’re righteous and maybe some small adjustments here or there are called for but generally – pretty damned righteous. Good for you!!  The routineness of our wickedness isn’t caused by us violating any direct commandments, wickedness is caused by not embracing additional available light and responding to it.  


As you increase in light and truth you can see new things you need to repent of. If you don’t accept additional light and truth, you don’t see a need to repent. Since in the church there is no, and I do mean no, new light and truth, members don’t even suppose there’s any need to repent.


O.K. – I gotta stop writing – but you get the pic – yes?  


I’ll end on this…


As temporal blessings in our lives that we once considered and assumed to be stable continue to degrade, and they will, you can see it happening, somewhere along that descent each of us will figure out for ourselves that the divine-favor-dot is connected to the repent-dot and only the repent-dot in whatever form it may take. We’ll soon, even if forced by increasing waves of more intense wrath, figure out that temporal things are made of a cheap fabric that frays easily and lasts briefly. Look at your life as though you’re a part of scripture – then connect the dots using scripture.  When you do, it’ll start raining again.


Oh yes – here’s the piece of free marketing advice for Nelson – headline should read




John The-Not-So-Beloved

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Receive what is offered --

As I’m sure many of you too have, at the check-out register in a grocery store I paid for a lady’s groceries who had an easily recognizable need.  She expressed gratitude, shared in her countenance a noticeable moment of relief and was off to the rest of her life.  It was my thought that she would continue to need help in that way until she got beyond whatever thing in her life was creating it. Hopefully for her, a not too far distant triumph.  Despite whatever nick to her pride she may have endured by having another pay her freight, what she did not do, in preservation of that pride, is insist upon paying a second time for the groceries I had just purchased.  That would have been stupid of her and offensive to me.  For me, her gratitude and countenance more than paid any debt she may have assessed as an accrual in her mind.  


On more than one occasion I have been that lady at the register spiritually. – Broke and needing help.   On each occasion, as good fortune would have it, Christ has been behind me, next in line, and paid my freight despite the probability of me returning to that same line with the same need until I have gained some of what I lack.  Hopefully for me, a not too far distant triumph.  Unlike the lady however, I often insist upon keeping my pride intact by trying to pay for something that has already been purchased.  It’s stupid of me and offensive, I would think, to Christ. When I insist upon the maintenance of my pride, two outcomes usually manifest. 1 I fail to express proper gratitude thinking I’ve done something for myself and 2 ensures that I will return to that line with the same flaw and the same need until I get beyond what I lack. 


How asinine is that!!?


If you too are that guy – you’re a dick and Christ is disappointed that for you his currency was worthless.  Don’t be that Guy.


RE Alma 17:4-5   (Finally Alma notices his bill being paid)

And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now as my mind catched hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart, O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who art in the gall of bitterness and art encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy and what marvelous light I did behold! Yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pains. Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there can be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as was my pains.  5. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.




John The-Not-So-Beloved