Welcome, to the Understanding and Application of Plain Precious Truths

The Glory of God

I glory in plainness, in the glory of the Lord, and keeping his commandments and my commitment covenants. It is He who has set upon me the love of knowledge, wisdom and favor.

May we all find the Lord in His true church upon the earth, and enter in through faith, repentance, baptism by immersion by one holding the proper priesthood authority, and then being confirmed a member of His church upon the receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I love being a son of God with full access to the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. I love the church and kingdom of God here on earth. It is burning with the glory of the redeemer of the world in darkest night.

We can all be a light to the world around us. May these insights help you find your way, and better your walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Shane

Featured post

The Brimstone and Burning Defined: Part Two

Our God is a Perfect, Loving and Fair Father

The atonement and its coverage is infinite and eternal, and covers everyone with certainty through spiritual undergirdings. Yet for one to take the highest kingdom and glory, namely the Celestial Kingdom, or highest Heaven, the gospel must be learned, accepted and lived, including faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and becoming a member of Christ’s covenants and Church upon receiving the confirmation of The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then truly living thereby. In this there is true joy and peace.

There is forgiveness in the life hereafter, for those who have as yet not been taught by the servants of the Lord about their Redeemer, and His gospel plan of happiness. For there is much preaching and teaching taking place in the spirit world, where those who have passed, are awaiting their resurrection. But for those who have had ample understanding and have been pricked in their hearts to know the truth, but have not lived it, and have knowingly rebelled, these are they whom are sent to outer darkness, where there shall be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

All of these, who have not partaken of repentance, will spend some time in this place of cleansing, known in The Book of Mormon as, Outer Darkness. This is where one will truly be purified, although not in an easy way. It will be through the fire and brimstone burning process, wherein their Spirits will be cleansed. Then they will be sent to the kingdom of glory most suited for them. This is according to how they lived their life, with what they had, understood and felt. They will also be judged according to the desires of their hearts, so Jesus’ atonement still has some good effect on them.

Once those who have suffered in Outer Darkness have been fully cleansed, they are free to leave and receive either the second or third resurrection, according to which ever Kingdom of Glory they will be restored unto. Either the resurrection unto the Terrestrial Kingdom or the resurrection unto the Telestial Kingdom.

All who enter into this place of Outer Darkness shall leave, except for the sons of Perdition, and Lucifer and his devils, or fallen angels. The sons of Perdition are those who knew the Lord in this life, and His love and grace completely, and then knowingly and purposely chose Lucifer over Jesus Christ (this will be very few in number), of which it is said, it were better for them to have not been born.

Shane

The Atonement and Fall: Part Two

Providing Agency For Man

For a message about the atonement and the fall, the atonement is the rectification of the breaking of a universal law, in which the outcome is known in general terms as, “the fall.” This atonement is also the blessing of the entire human family throughout all the eternities. So much of how we allow the atonement’s reach to be for us in the eternities, depends on our faithfulness according to the light and knowledge we have and receive here. In other words, we are to do the very best we can, with what we have and are given.

This fall, which started in the garden of Eden, made possible the birth of sin into this world, through disobedience and introducing an unhealthy substance to the bodies of Adam and Eve, namely, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This poisoned fruit, coupled with their disobedience of the given commandment, introduced sin, and made their future sins to stick to and apply itself to their bodies, because in this state, they now understood the difference between good and evil, and could be fully accountable. Christ’s atonement would no longer be automatically applied to them because they ‘knew’ no sin in their previous innocent state. They would now have to actively supplicate and seek out the Lord and His forgiveness. 

Having deliberately disobeyed the Father, and partaking of this unhealthy food, they were then fallen, and this change allowed them to fully and actively exercise the gift of agency, which is the ability to do anything good in this fallen world, choosing the right.

Before the fall, Jesus’ forthcoming atonement covered them in any wrong choices they may have made unknowingly, because they were innocent, not comprehending the difference between right and wrong. Their choice to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a transgression, because they had been specifically told by God not to do it, even though they didn’t fully understand why. Therefore, partaking is called a transgression, rather than a sin, because they didn’t understand the difference between good and evil.

Such was their predicament in being innocent, without wisdom or knowledge. Therefore, Eve needed to partake of the fruit, and Adam also, to learn for themselves, and progress from grace to grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was once they understood the opposites of right and wrong, that they could then learn from their mistakes, and repent of them.

As is stated in LDS doctrine, partaking of the fruit gave their bodies the ability to have children, through the effect the fall had on them. God, who is without sin, and who cannot create anything in sin, had to create them in this state of innocence, to then try them with the commandments to not partake of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, which would bring about sin, and a knowledge of sin for Adam and Eve, but also to multiply and replenish the earth.

Even as the atonement was already part of God’s plan before sending us to this earth, so too was the fall. Heavenly Father is not capable of sin, so He could not create Adam and Eve into a fallen state, to carry out His purposes for His children, which purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Truly this fall, which not only changed Adam and Eve by introducing eventual death to their bodies, and the ability to have seed, or children, it also changed the earth into a corruptible state, bringing about entropy and decay.

Christ is the rectification of this fall, using it to further the growth and potential of mankind, through turning something hard and sorrowful, into something good and meaningful, even glorious, by learning from our mistakes and repenting. So is this life.

Indeed, the Tree of Life planted in the garden of Eden was God’s pinnacle creation in the garden, in terms of plant life, and man, the pinnacle of his creation, even after the image and likeness of Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was originally planted there by God as a fig tree, but through the evil influence of Satan and his devils, who were purposely cast down to earth, they wrought upon it, and it became unclean, thus unfit for Adam and Eve’s bodies to partake of.

There is always a little bit of bad to everything good, and a little bit of good to everything bad, so we know in the Garden of Eden, this had to be, for there is always opposition in all things. With a bit of bad to a greatness of good, or a lot of bad to a little of good, we know that all things must be a compound in one, for if not, it must needs be as dead or as naught. Our task is to choose the better part, or good.

The tree was there, and Satan cast down to earth by God, to start the process of earth life for His children, that they could suffer, have joy, learn, grow, have children, and progress, all toward the purpose of becoming more like Him.

The Atonement takes something which would by itself be the destruction of mankind (the fall), and raises mankind’s course upward into the celestial realms, where attainment to godhood is made possible. For as a child can become like their parents, so too can we, as literal children of our Father in Heaven, become like Him.

As was God’s plan in the beginning, He wanted us to be like Him, and to do this, we had to pass through mortality as He once had, walk in the path wrought out by our Savior through His holy atonement, and come unto Him, repent and keep His commandments.

With such a glorious gift as this, is it any wonder that those who understand this atonement and live by it, truly rejoice in their love and relationship with our Savior? Our Savior lives! He is the course of true joy and happiness! He understands all of us and our needs and concerns, and cares perfectly. How? Through the atonement. Because He experienced it. He also carries us, and lessens the burdens we carry, only to the degree we can bear, that we too can experience growth from trial. This is essential. We need to go to Him, and not try doing things by ourselves, for this truly is, the great plan of happiness!

Shane

What is Poetry?

My Interpretaion of True Poetry

Originally written on PoetrySoup.com
Suplimented by Shane Brown
See end of post for reference

Poetry can be said to be a careful, inventive and creative consideration of words, written in order to convey some thoughts and meaning as a literary arrangement, but it is so much more. Usually, but not always, poems are written and designed to evoke powerful emotion, or spiritual upliftment. In essence, poetry can manifest itself as a two-word phrase, in the spoken word, or a one-thousand-page book, like the scriptures, poetry can be inspired and relevant wisdom for our day and journey home.

The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek, Poieo. Translated it means, “I create.” True poetry, when it is well written, goes much deeper than words on a page. It comes from the inspiration and gift of the Holy Spirit, through the use and experience of the artist’s life, and obedience to the truth they already know. The ability to use the written word to create, change and impress upon the heart and mind enlightenment, such is the powerful reach of words. Poetry’s use of language to open the righteous imaginations of one’s heart of hearts, and mind of minds is unique and unprecedented.

Much like sculptors who carve in stone, and painters who bring a canvas “to life,” a poet’s medium for expressive art form is unending through the written word. Poetry is an art of the heart and mind, using both the purity of any given language to create, and bringing together light with pure poetry is also a state of beiny people think of poetry, they think of rhythm and flow. While this is a widely known and accepted form, there are many types of poems that don’t rhyme or follow any direct rules. In fact, some of the greatest and well-loved poets in history pushed the limits and broke the mold of what was considered acceptable prose.

Something meaningful should not be restrained by trying to express it in a certain casted art form. Instead, think of it in this way, an apple is an apple, and a melon is a melon, and shouldn’t be attempted to be forced into a mold of any other fruit. In other words, one should not try to grow an apricot tree, by planting a peach seed, but recognize that true unity is found in uniqueness. i.e. Think about doing this poetic metaphorical exercise as a test: what does it mean to try to fit a fragrant rose into a teardrop? Then try to limit this metaphor into a rigid, oddly shaped box, which has no complimentary form other than conformity, to rules which don’t apply to the subject at hand. Such is the limiting methods of many formal structures. Art and creation is an individual and unique experience, and cannot be expected to fit into all the rigid rules of the early past, wherein prose were to be structured into very specific boundaries.

Now consider the abilities of words to speak to us, make us feel good, hopeful, loving and faithful. Also, when something from any art medium stirs feelings and emotions, giving our imagination the freedom to roam and discover new possibilities, uplifting ideas and truths, it is considered poetic. For example, a wholesome dance performance can also be called poetical, for showing rhythm and good worthy movement, portraying a story and creating good feelings by using expressive dance, scenery, props and music. The artists, or dancers, can help positively influence other’s thoughts and emotions.

Poetry is a form of art which uses words to express, whose expression is used to reveal, interpret, and express things which would otherwise be difficult to express or understand. As an example, consider these inspired writings, all the holy scriptures were written under the inspiration of revelation, and through the spirit of prophecy. This is true poetry in the written Word.

Poetry moves, speaks and creates. The Word of God brings about change in the forming of something new and wondrous in every living soul, in every eternal moment. Whether it is in sustaining life, love, nature, humor or spirituality, poetry has been, and will continue to ben used to interpret these blessings.

What life cannot easily express, poetry can. What love cannot articulate, poetry will. What nature cannot say, poetry does, in a way that does not duplicate, but compliments. Under the heavens, poetry is the great interpreter of life.

Misc. Poetry Pages

Shane

Original Source: Poetry Soup Article (What is Poetry)

Missionary Work, Service and Ministering

Being a Good Neighbor


A talk given by Shane R. Brown
During a Sacrament Meeting 6/09/2019

Let’s start off with the basics. I am a child of God. You are a child of God. We are all His beloved sons and daughters. God, our true and perfect Father, has sent us away, to school us on how to work, serve others, and be missionaries, bringing the gospel covenants and blessings to all His children. This is why we are here.

To love, serve, teach, associate and bless each other. To laugh and have joy and peace together. All through the righteous teachings of the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, through His gifts of the atonement, administered through the Holy Ghost, and further through the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Consider this quote from Elder Uchtdorf from his April 2019 talk, entitled, Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart. He says:

Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them.

What a great opportunity for all of God’s children, to reconnect on why we are here. To rekindle in our souls, the sacred work of lovingly gathering safe, all of God’s children into His fold and kingdom, that we also may return to His glory.

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

These are our true brothers and sisters, whom we already know, love, honor, and respect, and they need us more than anything, and we them! What we offer them in Christ, are the most important, significant and incomprehensible blessings they could ever possibly receive, and without it, the unthinkable.

So how do we love and give this gift to others? Through missionary work, teaching and service. It is also in this service that our spirits grow and mature. Jesus Christ spoke very emphatically about loving service when He talked about true religion, as is found in Matthew 25:37-40, that we obtain charity, the highest saving virtue, and grace, to obtain the Kingdom of God.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In pure missionary work is service. As missionaries, young men and women receive a letter of calling, in which they are called to serve in such and such a mission.

I believe that as members of our Savior’s church, the word for service and missionary work combined, is ministering. These two things together really are our call from the Lord as our stewardship, for our ministering efforts needed in the field of service, are not limited by anything earthly, nor by any geographical location. I am a missionary. You are a missionary. We are all called to serve.

I’m going to read Doctrine and Covenants 4, in the which I will add commentary for applicable context.

Now behold (or, at this very time, look into a vision of what I’m saying, and remember, Jesus Christ is speaking to and calling us), a marvelous work (or a work the whole world will greatly marvel at and be aware of), is about to come forth among the children of men (or among us, with the children of men, through God’s help).

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God (or you, as you set a course of service for our fellow beings), see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day (this means that we must serve with all our capacities combined, to be readily equipped for the salvation of souls, for we cannot be saved without being member ministers. We must also remember, that as children of the covenant of Abraham, we already have the blood stewardship of everyone upon us so as to answer the call, we must. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; (There it is, your official letter of calling from the Lord).

For behold (or look upon your life openly, and see the lambs in your life, which you can minister to, feed and love), the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; (we cannot be saved unless we share, prepare and help others accept and live the gospel. Then we must continually feed His sheep once they have entered His fold. This works best when all of us feed one another through ministering and gathering together to partake of the sacrament).

And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God (or in other words, in every endeavor, our eyes being fixed upon the Lord, in that we do things for Him, and with Him), qualify him (or her) for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence (and I would add, obtaining these things through feasting upon the words of Christ, for this shall help us develop these virtues).

Ask, and ye shall receive; (asking the Father to help us have these ministering experiences, and help us magnify them), knock, and it shall be opened unto you (this is the success factor! It doesn’t mean they will join the church right away or in this life, but you have successfully helped plant a seed, or a desire to do so, as in Alma 32). Amen.

We hear this theme of ministering repeated in the mission statement of the church, in the perfecting of the saints through serving and living the gospel. Redeeming the dead, and ourselves through family history and temple work, which when aided through missionary work on the other side of the veil, makes this efficacious. Proclaiming the gospel throughout all the earth, sounding the gospel in every ear, helping people know of the love and goodness of Christ through our efforts, and taking care of the sick and needy through service and ministering.

This brings to light again, this very important truth. Missionary work and service together, truly are the embodiment of, and true form of ministering. We are bringing together everything the Lord has blessed us with to give, and ministering in the Lord’s way.

For example, if we bring a need to the attention of the Bishop, Elder’s Quorum President or Relief Society President, then administering and ministering can take place. In such a circumstance, a quorum or relief society can engage in bringing assistance to these needs, and filling them will be a manifestation to others of the Lord’s true church, functioning after the order of the Son of God. To truly be His disciples.

We are not to bury our talents, but to bring them forth, opening the door of opportunity and salvation to the rest of the world. Why else are we here!? Doing these things will in turn open the door of our salvation. For in no other way can we be saved, but by bringing others with us, through doing as Jesus would do. Our mandate will not be complete, unless we are true member ministers, through being active missionaries, loving and serving, and standing in for the Lord. In essence, becoming other’s true friends, and developing meaningful, lasting relationships with them.

When I look at the world around me, and all the people I meet and observe, one thing always comes to mind. None of us really have it all together in and of ourselves. No one is a professional at anything. We take ourselves way to seriously. We are all fallen, and a far cry from who we need to be. But, as we lay down our pride, put aside our self inflicted agenda, and forget ourselves, mercifully following the will and Spirit of the Lord, by steadfastly living the gospel with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we will grow in the purposes of the Lord, and His use and care, and His privileges and blessings will sanctify and purify us, making us justified and confident in the presence of God our loving Father. He will, as in the parable of the talents, use us to do great things. Together we can do more.

Let me emphasize that we really do need each other. I believe that we shouldn’t wait to participate in redemptive acts of service and ministering, until we are of a certain personal stature. Greatness comes not from individual effort alone, but because we are willing to expose our weaknesses, and allow our burdens to be borne. This goes for everyone.

None of us are complete without each other. We need one another! My plea, is that we acknowledge our imperfections, and begin to fill in the gaps we all have, by standing in them for each other. What do we have to lose? Not a thing. What do we have to gain? Everything. In this there is true greatness, happiness, peace and reward. Let us be one, serve the Lord, learn to see the world as a world of opportunities, and, as it states in the Old Testament, esteem others as greater than ourselves, that we may do as He did, and live as He lived. I know we can bring about this change, and prepare the world for our Lord’s triumphant return. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Enchantment of Rowan

An Ancient Knightly Tale

Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter I: The Twin Bell Towers
Chapter II: The King’s Fair
Chapter III: A Distant Cry

Preface

A brief history of the Twin Bell Towers of The Kingdom of Rowan

These historic Twin Bell Towers of Rowan have most profound meaning for almost every citizen in the Kingdom of Rowan. They who deeply appreciate the heritage of their forefathers, have long since revered this innovative landmark of great renown, for its meaning and prestigious design, as well as its unprecedented usefulness in keeping the time, and the bells ringing on every given hour, from 7am to 7pm.

On the North face of the East Bell Tower of Rowan, inscribed in metal on a granite memorial placard, is written a brief yet compelling history of how these two twin towers came to be:

These Twin Bell Towers of Rowan, having been constructed as a gift from the great King Rama of the Kingdom of Rahue to the West, for the King and peoples of the Kingdom of Rowan to the East, signify that these two kingdoms are kindred, friends and peaceful allies. This is so because of the glorious deeds performed by King Gordan and his son Prince Germain and their people of Rowan to the East, for King Rama, his son Prince Gilbert and their people of Rahue.

When King Rama’s Kingdom of Rahue was under attack, falling into the perils of a numerous clan of ferocious neighboring bandits, King Rama sent out his son Prince Gilbert with command of his superior knights to thwart off their attack. Prince Gilbert did so, and having succeeded, he drove out and pushed the bandits far away to the East near the borders of Rowan.

To Prince Gilbert’s awful surprise however, as he was in the very act of victory, his forces were ambushed by the Mandricks, who were a barbaric tribal entity, which festered and brooded in the wilderness, ever plotting and planning ways to gain more power unto themselves.

To Prince Gilbert’s utter dismay, these two rebel forces, the bandits and the Mandricks, bonded together and joined forces.

Now, unbeknownst to the Prince’s weary residue of survivors from this grueling battle, his troops shockingly beheld that the Mandricks had also secretly and subserviently joined allegiance with the largest tyrannous group on their Monocratic continent, named the Shizors. The Shizors were known abroad for their laying siege and conquering status, continually rampaging to expand their powers of unrighteous dominion.

Together, under the design of the unquenched bandits, the Mandricks and Shizors all planned to combine their powers, and attack and seize the entire Kingdom of Rahue. To Prince Gilbert’s utter relief and amazement, the citizens of Rowan, who were on the outskirts of the farmland of the Kingdom, boldly made themselves aware of the Mandricks’, Shizors’ and bandit clan’s divergent plans to conquer Rahue, and interceded through posing as neutral and naïve friends, “hoping to keep the peace.” They put forward and offered a peace drink offering for all the tyrant leaders.

Not wanting to pass up such a proposition, but with no intention of honoring the promise, the combined tyrant leaders partook. These drinks were prepared in their strength to achieve the desired taste, and administered to with a portion of plant herb known as hamactin. This herb was used by many homestead physicians to remove infectious fungus on feet. These drinks incapacitated their speech, making it slurred unrecognizably, as well as creating a measure of lethargy, which made it easier to destroy them and their ranks. Having thus wrought upon the enemy’s leaders, resulting in a lack of battle commands and confusion, the Mandricks, Shizors and clan slowly began to fall back from before the forces of Prince Gilbert. King Gordan of Rowan also sent out his son Prince Germain with all his knights and warriors to aid in the defense of Prince Gilbert.

Finally, the bandits and the Mandricks were all slain, and the Shizors outfought, for they had sent the largest portion of their army onward, to continue with their planned invasion of the Kingdom of Rahue, thinking they could still take it. While the forces of Prince Gilbert of Rahue and Prince Germain of Rowan were still conquering, King Gordan saw the Shizors’ departured movement, and hurriedly sent his son Prince Germain onward to head off the Shizors, and thwart them in their planned attack. He also sent ahead a hurried embassy to forewarn King Rama by way of messenger scouts, of the Shizors’ oncoming attack.

Making things even worse for the Shizors, King Rama of Rahue had also just received new recruits to his army, which when met by the tyrants on Rahue’s own soil, King Rama and his son Prince Gilbert, along with the warriors of Prince Germain of Rowan, warred victoriously, gaining the first victory ever over the Shizors, whose numbers had significantly reduced through battlement. This was such a huge feat in the land, that because it had been accomplished, it gave way to hope for many of the other righteous kingdoms in the land to spread forth their reign and dominion, without the fear of tyranny.

To ever after give an appreciation for the King and people of Rowan, for their heroism and bravery, I King Rama, anointed under the hand of my father King Royel, do now signify on this granite and metal plated memorial placard, that these magnificent twin bell towers, built and hallowed by the craftsmanship and gentlemen of Rahue, that the great Kingdoms of Rahue to the West, and Rowan to the East, are seminal kindred, and honored friends.

To further the appreciation of King Gordan and Rowan’s people, a clock has been built and established in the Easternmost tower, to live as a legacy, and help govern the affairs of this people in this part of the land. To ever remind its people of the kinship shared between these two kingdoms.

KING  RAMA

Chapter I
The Twin Bell Towers

The Kingdom of Rowan was all amazed. Their twin bell towers had been ringing all morning. At the time of this new excitement, Shrad, the town’s Bell Towers’ trustee, had enlisted the help of his youngest son Heroum, a lad of fifteen, to examine the cause of this tumult.

“Heroum, we must do something to stop this constant ringing.” he stoutly shouted, “It’s upsetting all the town’s people. Let’s go and put a stop to this!”

Shrad had been at the towers all last evening, finishing installing some new equipment, and realigning the gears and timers, without losing any of the clockwork time in between. As the privileged and respected trustee of the towers, and father of four, Shrad feared that the new equipment had either been incorrectly installed, or had been faulty.

Because the tower’s trusteeship ran through family line, Shrad, along with his sons, were the only ones responsible for maintaining the functionality and cleanliness of the bells and towers. Shrad had the obligation then, to teach and train his sons in the ways of the towers, in the same way he was by his father and grandfather. This so that when they were of age, one of them might take charge.

As Shrad and Heroum embarked to discover the cause of the ringing, the two knew this was not going to be an easy fix. After having been taught many things about the towers from previous trustees, including discovered hidden secrets, they felt certain they could work things out.

“Father, this ringing is so loud! It’s hurting my ears!” Shouted Heroum above the piercing powerful noise.

“Yes, and it will make it more difficult for us to thoroughly inspect the gear work.” Shrad replied, “but we must do our part. The people of Rowan are depending on us.”

The twin bell towers of Rowan were built to last, made of brick and stone, cemented and fortified in the structure in which each brick had been laid, making them exceedingly strong.

Each tower was identical in formation, but not in design, for the inner workings, as well as some of the outside appearance, had special markings of significance. While only the East tower bore a clock, known across the land for its grand and meticulous design, both towers were laden with bells. Their acoustic design, as well as the surrounding landscape, caused a resonation, which could be heard by much of the outstretching lands.

Shrad and Heroum confidently climbed the steep stairs of the towers’ lower edifice, carefully inspecting all the gear work along the way. Higher and higher they each climbed, insuring that every little gear and mechanism was properly in sync. When they reached the upper most platforms within the towers, having no success, they half crazily came storming down the stairwells, desperate to find relief from the noise.

“The bells are making it too unbearable to continue,” said Shrad, “but something has to be done.”

The people of Rowan were looking to Shrad and his son for help. Some were highly troubled, even staring accusingly at Shrad and Heroum, as if asking why the problem had not yet been fixed. Others were already trying to go on, as if accustomed to the loud sounding bells, but strangely and honestly, somewhere deep inside each citizen, they mysteriously felt that something more than these bells was awry.

“Son, do you know what this means?” asked Shrad, above the blaring of the towers’ bells.

“Yes Dad, the switch.”

“That’s right Heroum! We must pull the secret lever switch.”

The lever switch was first discovered by Shrad’s father Naham, who upon examination, was able to deduce its ability to reset the clock gears, which would manually realign them, and thus in this case, they hoped, stop the ringing of the bells. Shrad had no other alternative. With this disruption of the town’s people’s lives, he knew he must pull the towers’ secret lever, which by Shrad’s knowledge, had never been pulled.

Having been taught many secrets of the towers by his own father and grandfather, Shrad now had the opportunity to teach these things to his sons. The mystery and secrets of these towers is clearly known by the Griffin family trustee line, but what Shrad and his forbearers did not know, was what it was that caused these different unexplained phenomena which took place. So strange had been the actions and certain outcomes of the towers and their innerworkings, that Shrad almost had a belief that they almost had a life of their own.

Shrad and his sons were the only ones who knew of the lever’s existence, and with the towers’ secret lever pulled, in minutes the bells finally did stop ringing, and they discovered that once this was done, and the lever then repositioned back into its functional place, the clock and gears worked fine, and were back on track.

This was such a huge relief for the kingdom, especially since the day’s events all centered on the people, all gathering together to participate in the King’s Fair.

Shrad said to his son Heroum, “I hope now we won’t have to worry about these towers ringing this way anymore.”

“Yes, but at least we know what to do if they do.” said Heroum.

“Indeed, but I still want to investigate to see if I can find out what might have been the cause of all of this havoc in the first place.”

Shrad and his family, along with the entire Kingdom of Rowan were highly relieved at the silencing of the bells, yet to their uneasiness, it still seemed as though an eerie echo of warning remained. Although things could now resume normally, the end of this mystery was far from being revealed, and as they would soon find out, there was something more precious to these towers than they could have ever possibly imagined. For in it, they would discover a secret that would transform their whole understanding of the world in which they lived.

This very day was to be the towers’ one-hundredth anniversary, and was to be celebrated with a fair in the kingdom, with festivities, food, and the appearance of the Queen’s court. All of this excitement was to begin promptly at 10:00AM, and go until dark. With this unusual start to their day, the people of Rowan were grateful, and also excited to begin their celebration with anticipation.

On this wondrous day of their tower’s anniversary, which happened every five years, Heroum had long since made a deal with himself, that he was going to enter into the gauntlet contest, which if won, he would have the opportunity to dance with Princess Lorena at the royal ball, and have his name written in the King’s Book of Times. This  achievement was the highest honor one could receive as a lad in Rowan. Each person who won this competition, was also granted the opportunity to improve his classmen-ship through education, opportunity and training, personally provided by the king’s court.

Because Heroum had risen so early to the sound of the ringing bells, which began their noise at 6:00AM, he had extra time before the festivities, to do his chores and practice once again for the gauntlet contest, as he had done so many times before. In preparation for this great opportunity, Heroum had used a large portion of his young free time, to run the rigors of the course, and utilize his opportunities to win in the off seasons, until he became of age. His great excitement in celebrating the kingdom’s grand fair came from the prospect, that now that he was old enough to participate in the gauntlet contest, he might also win it. As he had practiced all year ‘round, and prepared with growing confidence, he truly felt ready and able to win. He also desired to have the dance with Princess Lorena, and besides this, if he could win this honor, he could guarantee himself that the assignment of the tower’s trustee would go on to one of his brothers.

Chapter II
The King’s Fair

          Once things got back into the gear of things, and the kingdom resumed preparations and readiness for the fair, everyone was in a spirit of joy, ablaze with excitement and mutual appreciation for each other. This was the electric atmosphere and kinship among the people of Rowan.

Chapter III
A Distant Cry

Forty years ago, a young merchant had once been attracted to Rowan, because of reputable mention among buyers there. Upon arrival, he had begun to deal treacherously with the community, and had stolen some of the town’s people’s trust, as well as their commodities.

At this point, the citizens rallied to bring him to justice, and he was exacted for his crimes, and then sent away. When the day of his liberty came, he left the kingdom never to return, and as he did so, the West bell tower rang once, and then did not ring again on its appointed times, until new equipment was put in, and the gears realigned.

Now, every five years, on the day before the forth coming fifth year anniversary, the towers’ trustee replaces and installs new essential equipment, realigns the gears and timers as needed, and does a thorough cleaning to ensure that the bells never break down as they did that year, forty years ago. The towers were to be kept ever functional and bright by each succeeding trustee, and the kingdom truly respected the Griffin family line for this stewardship.

It had originally been assigned to them because of Heroum’s great grandfather, who had fought in the original war against the Shizors, in the great war against them by the kingdoms of Rahue and Rowan. His great grandfather was both a brick mason, and a clock maker, and was noted for his original designs. It was he, who had also been involved in much of the consultation, for the making of the original plans for the towers.

Because of this, he was readily chosen by the people, and anointed by the hands of King Gordan.

These famous twin bell towers were not without reputation however, and even legends about this glorious landmark had begun to be attached.

The Traveler

A Daughter’s Journey

From Before to Beyond

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Beautiful Life, Ashes and Strife
Chapter Two: Returning to Separate
Chapter Three: Invasion, Persuasion – Casting Out Casts
Chapter Four: Fruitful Beginnings
Chapter Five: A Penitent Offering, A Great Divide Crossing

Chapter One
Beautiful Life, Ashes and Strife

We all lived in heaven, with everyone there, Father, Mother, brothers and sisters. We loved it there. So many friendly faces, so much to do.

I loved spending time with Father. He would hold me in His arms and say, “Sharloma, you are one of my special children, my precious daughter. One day you will be like me.”

“Be like you?” I would ask.

“Yes.” He would always say. This always gave me great comfort and joy. I wanted so much to be like my Father. He had a body that was so fascinating. He could feel, and generate warmth. Father also knew anything I would ask Him.

Then, one day, Father called a meeting for all to attend. Everyone came, to hear Father’s words, feel His love, and learn of His plan, the plan that everyone had begun talking about.

“Please listen everyone.” He began, “I have thought long and hard about how I might help you my children experience greater happiness. As you know, I have had the experience to have a body, and raise you my children. This has brought me much great joy. I so much want this for each of you, but there is only one way to do this, and the way is very hard.

“I will, however, give you your choice. You do not have to accept my plan for your happiness, but if you do not, you will find no other way to receive these great blessings.”

After telling us many things about the plan, its test, and our bodies, among other things, Father closed the meeting with sharing His beautiful personal testimony, and we all went back to our homes, praising His name.

It wasn’t long however, before I could hear some voices out on the street. Not knowing what was going on, I looked out my window and saw my brother Lucifer, talking with some of his friends. He was talking something about a better way. This bothered me.

“What better way could Lucifer know than Father?” I thought to myself.

Then, along came my closest friend of all my siblings, Jehovah.

“Let us not be confused.” He stated, “Our Father, is only giving us the only possible way, to obtain all the happiness and blessings He desires to give us.” He then looked at Lucifer and stated, “Brother, I hope we can work this out. I love you, and l want you to be happy. Please be more obedient to Father. He only wants what’s best for you.” Then He walked on.

The next day, we were all talking excitedly about the plan from last night, and we didn’t notice those from the street last night, go into the Gallery Social Hall, and begin their own meeting.

Later that day, Father called everyone back in, for more instruction on the plan, and to reveal important assignments. Everyone was there, including Lucifer, and those that had been with him.

As the meeting went on, some of us didn’t seem to be happy with what was being said. Some even appeared to be angry. Even a boy from my language class looked irritated.

I began to cry. “Why won’t they understand?”

Then I looked up, and saw my brother Jopana there, raising his hand to be permitted to speak.

Father called upon him and said, “Let us here from our musician, Jopana.”

Jopana then spoke, “Father, I just wanted to know, will we still have our families on this earth, as we have here?”

“Yes Jopana, you will have a family. I have given you the chance to pick who you want to be with, along with my guidelines for who will be best, and you can rest assured, that I will send you to where you need to go. Anything else Jopana?”

“No Father. Thank you.”

Then Lucifer stood up and spoke. “Friends and family,” he began, “I have discovered, that the plan of our Father, won’t bring everyone back home, in the way He promises. I have been thinking, and I believe that I have found a better way.”

Some of the others began to applaud. He continued, “I have come up with a plan, that will save all of us, but I must be the one who makes it all happen. What do you think Father?”

Father paused compassionately, and then stated to him, “Dearest Lucifer, I know that you are only trying to help, but this way is not in harmony with the laws of our eternal government. My plan, is one that will allow my children to appropriately choose their path. That is the only way to freedom, the freedom to choose the right.”

Then defeated, Lucifer sat down.

When the meeting was almost over, Jehovah stood up and spoke, and said, “I am in favor of our Father’s plan, and I will support Him in it, and do whatever He requires of me.”

Then we sang a song, and departed.

That night, and a little worried, I went over to visit my brother Jopana, who lived in the school housing at the music school. When he opened the door he looked very weary, but when he saw me, he lit up.

“Come in Sharloma! What’s going on?” he asked.

“Well, I’m sort of scared Jopana.”

“Scared Sharloma?”

“Yes. I don’t know what’s going on with everyone. Some people don’t like our Father’s plan.”

“I know how you feel.” said Jopana, “It’s kind of gotten me down a little too. I’ll tell you what, why don’t we go tomorrow, and ask Father what we should do, OK?”

“OK.”

“Now, how about we both go for a quick walk, as I take you home my sister?”

“OK Jopana, that sounds good.”

Chapter Two
Returning to Separate

My first thoughts as to what my stand in my plan was, that I be the chosen recipient of all the glory therein. I knew that many had already given me allegiance, and would support me in it, but I feared that I was not chosen.

Father’s plan was one that I could not accept, and so I then settled on the declaration, that I must be the first man in Father’s plan, to inhabit a physical body.

This of course, was denied, perhaps because of my own personal agenda in mind. I knew that Father knew all my intents, but I thought that maybe, if I could gather in enough support, that even He would support my plan as well. Well, I was wrong. He was completely against it, and commanded me to let go of all such ideas, but by then, it was too late. The state of my heart, and that of my followers, was one that would not back down, and so, we began the war, with me at the head, of one third of all heavenly beings.

Back in the quiet quarters of the Father’s room, He privately interviewed His son Jehovah, for the plan’s perpetuation.

“My dearly Beloved son, Thou who art most precious and sacred above all, this plan of Mine, is one that We have both known from the beginning. We have both worked together from the beginning of Your birth as my Son, to prepare You for this plan to come about. I have foreseen the end from the beginning, and I know all. I also know, that You are the very greatest of all, being my First Born, and birth right Son, and so Your love like Mine, is also endless.

“But the sacrifice of Yourself, for Your brothers and sisters, is above all that which You can comprehend, even until You have actually experienced it. You will be pained to the very center, from all eternity to all eternity. You must be completely innocent of all sin. Your sacrifice will include the pains of every kind, of all creations and their spirits, and all of My holy justice, with its punishments for sin.

“All of this will try You even to your very limit. You understand that this sacrifice will leave You with nothing left to give, for you must sacrifice all you have and are to complete it.

“Because of this, You are the only One set apart as My Lamb, and the example of My worthy will. With this experience, You will be enabled to truly redeem all mankind through their repentance and our grace.

“It is because of your begotten birth, and sinless life, that you will have the power to not die, but to voluntarily leave your body, commending yourself to Me. And because of this, you will then also be able to heal, and re-enter your body, through the resurrection ordinance. My power over life and death is given to You, that you may draw all mankind unto me, through the power of the resurrection, to be judged.

“Through your sacrifice, you will bring all to me to be judged, and for all who will repent and submit to Me, they must bring their own sacrifice of themselves and will, to become even as Me, as a God, thus fulfilling our plan, and My work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man.”

“Yes Father, I understand.”

“Now go my son, and encourage Michael and his forces to fight against the dragon of perdition. All will be well. I Love You.”

Chapter Three
Invasion, Persuasion – Casting Out Casts

“Now! Let’s go!” cries Lucifer, “We will destroy them all, and they will all bow to me!”

“Yes my prince!” Screamed Mohakim, Lucifer’s next in line of command, and most evil beside himself.

Lucifer and his captains, with all their forces, go forth in rage to destroy the Father, and all His glory.

“We are going to destroy all of them now!” shouts Lucifer, with his bitter hatred as the two forces meet.

“Not so evil one.” cries Michael, with his valiant forces, “We will banish you, and your plans will be no more!”

“Never!” retorts Lucifer.

Then, with prophetic foreknowledge, Michael gives before all to hear. “Even you, with all the strength given you through deceit and wicked perdition, cannot destroy us. You can only harm us, but all those you injure, will be healed and be born whole and innocent.”

Then Lucifer cries out from the depths of hell, “We will see who the real ruler is! ATTACK! NOW!!”

And they go. The battle between good and evil commences, while the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, knowingly watch on.

The troops of Michael are led by many strong, valiant, and noble spirits of the Father’s choicest sons and daughters, including Jopana, and Haslom, a family brother of Sharloma and Jopana, and Marlbro, a friend. These are all well prepared for the battle, but the fierceness of the dragon is so strong, that it takes all, and the very best, for Michael’s forces and the Father to win.

Haslom and Jopana had always been the best of brothers, consistently depending on each other for support, friendship and love. Haslom would love spending time with Jopana, always thrilling in what was going on in his life. In turn, Jopana relished and loved the time and attention spent with Haslom. The two would work together to bless and inspire the lives of many of their other brothers and sisters.

At times however, Haslom would feel lost in all the crowd, with so many others. He loved them all, but he sometimes felt, like he didn’t know them well enough. It was in these times, that he would begin to doubt himself, and would then go to Jopana to help work things out.

Jopana saw in Haslom, many great gifts and strengths, which he seemed not to recognize or understand. Jopana tried to help him see this, and with time, Haslom nourished these strengths, and his confidence grew.  

Jopana told him, that in some ways he felt Haslom was stronger then he was.

Haslom began to go out, and develop his own life, knowing that he could do it. Haslom had never been shy, but he was just unsure of himself.

Jopana was so pleased with Haslom, for he went out and did it all, having so many friends, who all depended on him for strength.

Truly Haslom was a brave and valiant warrior for Elohim.

Jopana eagerly acknowledged this, and helped to build him up.

One day, Haslom came to see Jopana, with exciting and happy news.

“Jopana! I just met this awesome girl today! I think that she is the one I want to be my eternal companion on earth!”

“This is wonderful Haslom! What is her name?” Jopana excitedly inquired.

“Mingadro.”

“Mingadro?” questioned Jopana.

“Yes!”

“I know her! She is awesome! I hope she knows the great man she is getting, and the wonderful care you will take of her.” Relates Jopana, “She deserves a special man like yourself. I am so proud of you Haslom.”

Then, with tears in his eyes, Jopana reveals something to his faithful brother, which had been weighing down on his heart and mind for some time.

“Haslom.” he begins.

“Yes Jopana?”

“Father has told me something that is very scary to me.”

“What is it?” asks Haslom with great concernment.

“Father wants me to be a prophet on the earth.”

“Really?”

“Yes…but not just any prophet, he wants me to be the final prophet of the last days.”

“Oh my!” responded Haslom.

“Yes Haslom, and I am afraid. He has told me some things about our earthly family that are very unnerving to me.”

“Like what?” asked Haslom, somewhat disturbed.

He said that our immediate family, would not be prepared for earth life, the way you and I will be. He said that it was up to us, to help them prepare down on earth, to face their lives. He also spoke to me about the immense pain that I must endure.

This is a calling however, that is more than I can now bare, but our Father Elohim, has promised that before I go, He will personally prepare me for it, so I must trust in Him.”

“Yes Jopana! You are going to make it! I will help you, the way you helped me! Remember, we are going to the same family.”

“Life isn’t just care free anymore.” Lamented Jopana, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Everything will be fine. I will help you.”

“Thank you for your support Haslom.”

Then the two brothers lovingly and warmly embraced, and said, “I love you.”

“Yes, I love you both too.” Said a near by voice, one oh so familiar.

“Father, You’re here!” Cried Jopana.

“Yes Jopana. I knew that you were hurting, so I came to comfort you. Remember, you will never be left alone. Even in your darkest times.” Said the Father.

“I have a great work in store for you to do, some of which will even be through your music.”

Then the three of them privately spent the rest of their evening, bonding and consoling one another.

“I love you Father.” said Jopana, to which the Father replied, “I love you too Jopana.”

Chapter Four
Fruitful Beginnings

And now life on earth begins. We all watched on with grand interest, as our hero and friend, Michael, or Adam, along with his valiant, noble, and special companion, Guadra, or Eve, now inhabited their bodies.

They were innocent and full of all life and love, fresh and new. Father had breathed into them life, and instructed them relative to their commandments and duties. Then he opened the gate for them, to enter into the Garden of Eden, and they went inside.

Once inside the magnificent garden, which was prepared for them, Adam and Eve were filled with wonder.

“Adam, everything is so beautiful!” proclaimed Eve.

“Yes!” Adam responded. “Let’s go exploring, and see all that our Father has created for us!”

Adam and Eve didn’t remember their lives before coming to the earth, but as a blessing, our Father allowed them to partly retain an open channel, to remember the language they had learned before this life, that they would speak once born in the flesh. Thus they could learn about the world around them, and converse with the Father and Son.

Father called it the Adamic language, and it was clean and pure.

Adam and Eve immersed themselves in their surroundings, like little children in a peaceful dream. Then, much later, Father told Adam that it was time to start naming all the creatures and plant life, to which Adam was given dominion over.

Father called forth all the creatures unto Adam for him to name. Only now, did Adam struggle for the words, as he sought out the predestined names of each creation, and his memory of them, calling spiritually upon the Father for help, and to Eve’s surprise, he did remarkably well.

Eve listened intently, trying to remember all of their names, as their new language unfolded, and soon, every creature was satisfied with its name.

Then it came time for Adam to name all the vegetation and plant life, to which Eve came along and accompanied him. They traveled deeper and deeper into the garden, and when finished, Eve was so pleased with Adam’s faithfulness in finishing our Fathers instructions, that she told him, “I love you Adam.” To which he replied, “I love you too Eve.” And they were one.

Back in heaven, I Sharloma, had mostly learned English, which was to be the first language I would speak, when my turn on earth came.

My brother Jopana was so very good with this language, that he used it everywhere he went, in writings, and in publications, in heaven, and on earth.

Jopana started his life on earth very modestly. Not at all like his life was in heaven, but Father said this was the best way for him.

Father also told me, that one day I would understand why this was, when Jopana would bear his testimony on earth, about our Father’s plan for him.

Father had warned Adam and Eve of what would happen to them, if they were to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said that they could eat from every tree of the garden, but that one. Adam and Eve both understood what Father meant, and were agreed.

Then one day, Eve went off exploring on her own, promising Adam that she would rejoin him soon.

“OK Eve.” said Adam, “I’ll be somewhere around this river Euphrates.” He innocently stated.

Having just started out as a curiosity, Eve now wanted to go and examine the forbidden tree.

As she drew closer, she felt a stronger desire to see it but still knew that she was forbidden to even touch it. When she arrived however, she was not at all fearful, but was at ease in its presence.

“It looks just like any other tree in our garden.” She said to herself.

“Yessssss.” said a voice, somewhat near her.

Startled, Eve turned around to see who was there.

“Who are you?” She questioned this strange serpent which just spoke to her.

“I am a creature of knowledge.” He replied.

“Oh!” gasped Eve.

“Yes. You see, I know all the secrets that eating this fruit will give you.”

“But I am not to partake of this tree.” Defended Eve.

“Then are you to never know the things that your Father knows?”

“Well no, but He told me not to eat it. I’ll die!” She said to him.

“You will not die,” lied the serpent, “but you shall gain knowledge. Father wants you to be more like Him, doesn’t He? And this is the only way. Look,” said the serpent as it slithered down from the forbidden tree, and closer to her, “this fruit is very delicious and sweet, and it is your only chance. You must partake of it, to know the difference between good and evil, the way your Father knows it. You won’t die Eve.” Said the serpent, sure that he’s got her more and more convinced.

Then, wanting to be wiser, and believing the serpent, Eve finally succumbed.

“Now go,” the serpent advised her, and give to Adam of the same.” He said, sure he’d set his plan into action.

Eve immediately began to feel different inside, not sure what was taking place, but as she traveled to Adam, her mind began to expand, and things that she had never before experienced, now came to her mind, and she knew that this is in consequence of her action.

“Adam,” Eve said, “I want you to have some of this fruit.”

“But Eve, isn’t that the forbidden fruit?” Adam said.

“Yes, it is, and I have already had a taste. It is delicious, and I am beginning to know more because of it. You need some too, so we can both know the difference between good and evil, Adam.” Eve tells him.

“No Eve, I will not eat that.”

“But it is the only way to be more like our Father.” Eve replied.

“Who told you that?” asked Adam, still afraid of what had taken place.

“One of the creatures of the garden.” She told him. “Father said that we would die and look, I’m still alive.”

“Eve, our Father is not a liar. Surely you know this?”

“Yes, but surely this is the only way Adam. I am now enlightened, and I’m beginning to understand the difference between right and wrong. Surely Father wants this for us, doesn’t He?”

“Yes, but I don’t know all His plans for us.”

Then enters the serpent and says, “Adam, I know the Father’s plan, and this is very well a part of it. Why would Father plant this tree in the garden, if he did not want you to eat of it? Surely it is for his own purposes.”

“Yes Adam, you must partake of it. We must follow our course,” said Eve.

After much pondering, Adam also partook of the fruit.

Chapter Five
A Penitent Offering, A Great Divide Crossing

Because they had disobeyed Father, Adam and Eve were driven out of His presence, and the earth they lived on was changed. Now, instead of their fruit trees springing up on their own, by the hand of our Father, Adam had to plant their seeds to make them grow. This is what Father had told them they must do from now on, until they died, adding more sorrow to them, which was brought into the world through their transgression.

Eve was Adam’s helpmeet, which meant that she strengthened him, and helped him in their labors as equals, to sustain the life of their bodies, which had also changed.

Both knowing that they would die, and losing their Father, the two of them were very sad, and would often cry out to Him in disparity.

Then, one day, three angels visited Adam, and asked him of his sadness.

“I have lost my Father, and I am going to die! I will never be happy anymore!”

“Oh, but I bring you good news.” Said the first angel.

“What is it?” asked Adam, still not very cheery.

“You and Eve will live again.”

“But how?” asked Adam, not sure who these are, or what he meant.

“We are angels, sent from the presence of God, and He has sent us here, and He has given us the earthly charge, to help you make it back home to Him.”

“But I am a sinner, and I cannot dwell in the presence of a perfect God.” Replied Adam.

“But do you not know of our Father’s love for you, Adam?”

“Yes, I know that He loves me, but I have shamed Him, and have brought sin and death into the world.”

“Yes Adam, but this is still all part of our Father’s plan. He is in control, and He has already made a way for this fall to be reconciled. You are given this very time, to prove yourself worthy and ready, to become even like your great Father in Heaven, and live with Him again.”

“Really!?”

“Yes.”

“But how?” Adam asked, hopeful, but very unsure, for a new chance and purpose.

“Your Elder brother Jehovah is the way. He is the truth, the light, and the life. He will give you the strength to do what you need.

“Do as we ask, as guided by angels and the Holy Ghost, and you will be blessed and receive instruction.

“For now, just know that our Lord, commands you to offer up unto Him, sacrifices of burnt offerings, and call on our Father in His name. This is what you must do, in order to begin your journey back home.”

“Yes, I will do it!” Cried Adam, very happy and grateful for this wonderful and exciting news, and a greater prospect of his life and its meaning.

Adam then rushed back to Eve to share these glorious tidings.

The Compilation of Scriptures for the World

There Is An Established Pattern

The highly esteemed prophet of the Lord Moses, gathered together and compiled from all the holy writings, the records from the beginning with Adam, and all the prophets to his time. Then, from the time of Abraham on to the Jews, all of what we received, is as the writings from Him to the time of Christ. These are all what are known to make up the canonized Old Testament.

The Apostles of Jesus’ time, then compiled their accounts of the Savior, and their acts and letters, forming the New Testament. These were then combined with the prophets of old, which now together form the Holy Bible.

Mormon and Moroni, similar to Moses, compiled the approximately 1,000 year period of sacred records, which came from a branch of Israel led out from Jerusalem to South America, before King Zedekiah of the kingdom of Judah was conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

These people were known as the Nephites and Lamanites, of which the Nephites primarily kept records. Along with their records, were those found by these Nephites, of a people who came out from Babylon to North America, at the time the Lord confounded the languages of the people, taking away from them the universal language given to Adam.

All these abridged records herein, make up The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

A third book of scripture in the Latter-Day Saint cannon is the word of the Lord through His prophet Joseph Smith, revealed in the organization and running of His church once again established. This book of scripture is called The Doctrine and Covenants, and was all but two chapters, dictated to the prophet Joseph by the Spirit of the Lord. The other two were revelations from the Holy Ghost to the then current Prophet, and ratified by the General church leadership.

We also have another book of scripture known as The Pearl of Great Price. This scripture contains, among other things, inspired and edited portions of selections from The Book of Genesis.

Another portion contains The Book of Abraham, an inspired translation of writings from Abraham, which Joseph Smith began the translation of in 1835, after obtaining some Egyptian papyri in New York, written by Abraham himself.

Also in this book of scripture is found, Joseph Smith—Matthew, an extract from the testimony of Matthew in the New Testament, from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible. Joseph Smith never finished a complete restorative translation of the Bible, but what he finished can be found in footnotes in the Later-Day Saint Bible study version. Also in The Pearl of Great Price, is found Joseph Smith—History, excerpts from Joseph Smith’s official testimony and history, which he and his scribes prepared in 1838–39.

Finally therein are The Articles of Faith, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A statement by Joseph Smith about some core doctrines of the Lord’s true church.

Shane

The Economy of the Garden: Part One

Learning As You Grow

Originally written by Jon Foreman
Supplemented by Shane Brown
See end of post for reference

My wife and I planted a garden this year. This tiny patch of dirt has become a space where small miracles occur daily. The slow and steady growth of the garden contradicts almost everything about our fast-paced world. The constant rush of the freeway traffic nearby, seems to grumble in disagreement with the slow and almost imperceptible growth of the garden. The trucks roll through, the beamers and minivans fly past, all the while the green leafy fingers reach quietly for the sun.

Slower than a speeding bullet, slower than the internet, slower than a snail, the progress these plants achieve has no advertisement, and no solicited personal recognition. In fact, if I put my cell phone down long enough to examine the growth, it appears as though nothing is happening. Gradually and imperceptibly, a transformation has taken place. Over the course of a few months, the ground has become thick with plants.

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe human souls grow best at the pace of a plant, and not a combustion engine. Maybe humans have much more in common with this greenery than I had previously thought. These “silent” life-forms really have a lot to say.

These days, I’ve been trying to listen to the slow growth methods of the garden, this incredible place of new beginnings. The genesis stories of many religions and mythologies begin in a garden. According to the Judeo / Christian account of things, humanity’s first occupation was gardening.

I’m pretty sure that things were all organic back then, no GMO’s or steroids. I don’t know what Eden may have looked like, but when I look at our little freeway garden, I can feel a connection with the earth, even in California’s stucco suburbia.

It’s been a truly liberating experience for me to eat a strawberry in the same place that it was born, only seconds after it was plucked. The fruit has no bar code, no USFDA information. It is not shrink-wrapped with thousands of others. No, it’s a very specific strawberry from a very specific plant.

Yes, it may look and taste like thousands of others, but it has a history and a connection unlike all the rest. For me, this berry is a distinct piece of fruit. I have watched her for days, waiting, until she’s perfectly ripe, trying to get to her before the caterpillars do.

And when I pick the strawberry up from her earthy beginnings, it feels like a sacred moment, where earth, wind, sun and water have come together to give me a piece of themselves. This tiny, miss-shaped berry becomes a celebration of life.

Consumption becomes tied to holy specifics, with sincere meaning. This little suburban freeway garden of mine, begins to feel like holy ground. Yes, even against the backdrop of a land where things are not generally held sacred.

Speaking of anthropology, I grew up in a world with very shallow roots. California has only been a state for about 150 years. Our nation has only been around for a few hundred more. We live in the land of new opportunities, yet generally, with a very short-term memory for what has gone on before us.

The American dream is one of growth, progress and change, yet sometimes even at the expense of the stability of communities. This is not unique to our own country. All around the world, humanity has seen more changes in the past couple hundred years than at any other period of time. Every subsequent generation watches the world evolve dramatically.

Electricity, air travel, cell phones, computers, cars, these represent comprehensive changes to our lifestyles that are radically new. And yet, these amazing developments are now, in a sense, held as unremarkable. Their availability and convenience is expected in our society. If you’ve got the cash, you can demand almost anything you want when you want it! Fast food, fast cars, fast Internet, even fast money from fast ATMs, yet, this nearly universal availability is relatively a new reality.

Year round, thousands of strawberries are down the street for most of us, at a relatively affordable price. This is amazing! The average American consumes groceries that kings and queens of the past could only dream of. A veritable cornucopia of fresh vegetables and fruits always at our fingertips. Any cut of meat, any beverage, any dairy product, food from China, France, Australia, South Africa, all within the reach of the average American salary. How incredible! Everything is available!

Everything is for sale, and yet, we have become divorced from the creation of these provisions. Without the garden, I eat my strawberries out of a plastic container at the sink, devoid of any connection with the earth. My consumption has no personal dedication. There is no individual connection with this unique offering that the earth has given to me.

Yes, my money spent at the grocery store represents hours of labor, but my work has no connection with the fields where these berries were grown. I know nothing of the berries’ origins, the hands that picked them, or how they arrived in my hometown. There could be a separation from the sacrifice, gift, and amiable acknowledgment of sun and rain. Now instead, there is a simple, unceremonious exchange. A few anonymous bills for a few impersonal berries. Yes, our stomach and our throats receive these berries, but are we not more than throats, not more than empty stomachs?

Yes! Everything matters, everything has meaning! The specifics are crucial. Ask your wife if any man will do. Ask a music fan why the Beatles are different than the Stones. Did our gas come from a BP source in the Gulf of Mexico? It matters. Are we buying our electricity or paper products from Enron? It matters. Is your bank using bailout money to pay executives their bonuses? It matters. These are important details. The children’s fingers that make our shoes, the migrant hands that pick our strawberries, the repressed souls that mine the diamonds of Sierra Leone.

These are not footnotes! No, these are the stories of our brothers and sisters on the journey with us! This is part of the fabric of the garden that binds us all together in this universal ecosystem. We are all connected, and increasingly so with the global reach of communications, markets and technology.

Our individual plot lines correspond and cross. Yes, capitalism may have brought the world within our reach, but when these products are stripped of context, we begin to lose a piece of our own soul’s individuality as well. The fast-food pace of our daily lives cannot replace the slow growth of the garden. When a product is stripped of its narrative, and we overlook its significance, we lose a portion of our own story as well. We can be slowly, but eventually, reduced to an appetite with nothing more.

Every anonymous bar code has an intricate connection with the “capital system,” which can rob us of our own upward, ongoing beautiful and divine human experience.

I’m not trying to speak against the tides of capitalism, and I’m not against grocery stores. I’m just stating that even as we profess progression with a world driven by money, that in the race for an unfounded entity of such a numerically acquired abduction, we lose a piece of our identity. We reduce our lives to an anonymous pocketbook, with a consuming mouth at the other end.

The unique identity of each one of us, is as a literal child of God, each possessing an infinite and eternal value and worth. We should not tie ourselves to the way we spend our time earning money. It’s certainly hard to call faceless consumerism progress.

In the face of capitalism and professionalism, my backyard garden reminds me that my plot is part of the broader narrative, which opens my eyes to the stories that don’t fit into sales tags. That even with the accelerating digital network and virtual reality, these are not the best soil for the human soul.

With the accelerated detachment of face to face interaction, I’m pretty sure we could all use a little more cordial kindness, and a little more dirt underneath our fingernails.

The economy of the garden reminds me that yes, money may not be the best model for our human experience, and yet the day will come, when all the politics, pretensions, preys and tyranny, will all be done away, and Jesus Christ will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I want to live with deeper roots, even if it means a slower means of travel. Maybe I could spend a little more time in the life of the garden as Adam and Eve, and a little less time in the fast lane.

-Jon

Shane

Original source: Huff Post Article- Jon Foreman

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