Sunday, August 18, 2019

"Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon"

A quote one would hear in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I believe the statement is even included in The Book of Mormon is:::

"Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon".


I initially learned this in the non-standard church's context from The Book of Mormon, and oh boy it was interesting to hear that this statement is also in the Bible.



Of course::: The INTERPRETATION of this statement differs between the non-standard Church and everyone else.



I talked to my Mom about this statement, and she reminded me in her response that the non-Standard church does not interpret this the same way as everyone else.



To everyone else::::


MAMMON is basically like money or wealth, something like that.

Some interpretations of the bible say "Ye cannot serve God and money".



To the non-Standard Church:::::

According to the church I grew up in, Mammon was referring to THE DEVIL, as far as I remember.



So:::: The non-standard church would say you cannot serve God and the Devil ----------



While most interpretations say you cannot serve God and money.




SO:::::: The concept of not working for money while serving God was unknown to me for a very long time.




What I grew up with in the Church was people claiming they served God, even as they worked for money at the same time.



Like trying to find their definition for "forgiveness" ---- it's just weird you know?




Sooooo::::::: It might actually be a good thing that I just live on a disability payment, and all my works have been more or less monetarily fruitless.



I just didn't know for a very long time about how real Christians view that scripture.



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Well, I'm thankful that I'm finally getting to enjoy my life, although because my family is still involved in the non-Standard Church, it's kind of difficult to find ways to actually serve God. I just kinda live in my family and do the family thing. Nothing really big going on here anymore.



I want to write about, like I have in previous posts, about messed up my life has been or was::::: but I actually feel like I shouldn't.


I get a specific feeling that I shouldn't write right now again about how messed up what I went through in my life was.


if you want to read about that, you can probably go back a few pages or months on this blog to find out about why it's so amazing how I'm finally enjoying life.



What I think I can say though is that because of my inner-devotion to Jesus, I feel more capable of feeling unphased by so many things, because I know that I must be willing to die for Jesus ----- I'm not intending to die ------- but I must be willing to -------- so thinking about how I could die any day for Jesus, I feel pretty unphased ----------- although this may simply also be because I am enjoying my life and evil surroundings are not readily apparent to me.



Canada is actually a pretty great place to live in my opinion. I am quite happy with the country I am in, more or less, most of the time. Or even all of the time.



Maybe with the church telling me to forgive everything I just don't let anything bother me, ever.



Canada may be a great country, or maybe I'm just conditioned to never let anything bother me. Who knows.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Two Birthdays

It used to be that every year, on my birthday or thereabouts, someone from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would come along to greet me for my birthday.

Every year. Without fail. A birthday greeting from the church.

But for the past 2 years ------ no birthday greetings from the church, they don't even talk to me anymore (except for a family friend who invited me to conference).

I got birthday greetings from my mental illness clubhouse both years ---- but nothing from the church.

I wrote an email to some psychiatric friends mentioning this ----- and I thought I knew the reason ------ I had a theory ------- turned out I was wrong.

My theory involved me asking the church a really hard question that they couldn't answer and then they just give up on me.

And though it's true that I actually do have a really hard question on my mind that I have no answer from the church for ------ when I looked at my email records, I hadn't actually asked this question to the church. Unless I didn't look far enough back.


I checked my last two emails to the Church Bishop.


Maybe I asked the question in an earlier email and never got an answer. Maybe not though.


But:::: I did send two last messages within days of each other, and the Bishop did respond to one of them (it was a kind email, nothing really wrong with it, it was basically his validation that he received my message and he understands).


So::::: What were my last two messages that the church received that the Bishop actually understood now about?


I had all kinds of amazing things happening in my life, socially in the world, especially due to my books and video games, and I told him about some of these things in my last two emails.


He responded basically giving his nod of understanding.


And then the church never talked to me again, except for a family friend.



So::::: There was this history of the church trying to control my life for years telling me I'm not allowed to be friends with Avril Lavigne ----------


And what those last two emails said about my experiences said I really did make some breakthroughs in the world ----------


And the Bishop just had to accept, I'm guessing, that past leadership was wrong in their control tactics and that the church had been misled.


I'm guessing that's why they stopped talking to me:::: because they realize I don't trust them anymore.



They were so freaking seriously trying to control me to not be friends with Avril ---------- but to be honest that was actually completely contrary to what the Holy Ghost actually inspired me to do------


So the Holy Ghost spoke to me and the Church went against it ---------


And years later I've got all this stuff going on after having followed the Holy Ghost and ignoring the church ------------


having told the bishop about it --------- he must've realized the church was wrong for me, and then all contact was lost.



Interesting huh?



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I have realized a new question that I would want to ask to the church (m parents are never any help on these doctrinal issues) ------- but it's touchy enough subject matter I guess I might as well not explain it on my blog.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Potential Solution to the question of giving to the poor

I was just thinking about my obsession with differences between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and actual Christianity, and after a short while, I realized something on the question of Selling all that you have and giving to the poor.


If I sold all that I had and gave it to the poor ----- then I myself would also be considered poor wouldn't I?


If I am poor myself at that point:::: doesn't it then make sense to give to myself?


And yes, that basically just means keeping some for yourself.


I understand that this isn't really biblical because the New Testament itself teaches about this a bit differently,

But it's what makes sense to me.

If you aren't already poor, you will be once all your stuff is gone.

Give to yourself then. Keeping some for yourself only makes in this ideation.



Another thing I figured I could mention is this::::

Before making that donation, I had been to the doctor.

I have a mostly benign and cosmetic medical condition.

The chances that this medical condition would ever kill me are really, really low.

But I was urged to seek treatment for this condition.

The government does not pay for treatment.

Treatment would cost about $220CAD.

We were told a local charity might help with the price. My Mom figured that's what I should go for.

And without thinking about my benign medical condition:: over the weekend I gave over half the cost of treatment to charity.

Was that right or wrong? It does make me feel kind of silly------


But it also helps me realize that I'm not really that rich.




And finally, hopefully, the donation will finally be taken from my account today. The banking system is just a bit slow with transactions that take days to complete - isn't it?



UPDATE:::


So:::: The account has sent the money. Finally. Hours ago (it's 10:24 pm right now).


I was just thinking:::::: If people had given me actual payment for all that I sold:::::::


What would be the best use of that money? To just give it all to the poor, or something else?


I mean, even with the argument that I could keep some for myself -------- there are some questions about how much to keep to oneself.


Why?


If I made 6 million dollars selling books and video games -------- and I gave all that away -------- well, here I am, none the better, while someone else now has money ------- and for what? What good would that do?


Like::: If it was somehow decided that I should actually reproduce because of my extreme intellect and good looks ------ I would probably need funding to make that happen.


If I wanted to be useful and help other people, if even just as a food courier ------- I would need to learn to drive ----- I would need to buy a car ------ insurance, gas --------- often times these things are traded for money, so I would need money in order to actually be physically helpful to people.


If God really did want me to be a travelling preacher to the nations as the Church said in my patriarchal blessing ----- unless the Lord taught me to teleport, I would probably need money in order to do all that travelling.



I mean I COULD just give all that money away keeping enough for myself to live on ------- but I and no one else would likely be any better for it.


Having earned money, and having kept some to trade for vehicles and fuel -------- I could then actually do things in the community, if even just to deliver meals.



If I gave everything away -------- then I'd be absolutely useless to people, and I would be praying to God to "beam me up" because I'd have nothing useful to do ----- unless again someone gave ME stuff and I did stuff with that stuff.



Inasmuch as money is not the be-all and end-all of our existence, in order to actually be a useful person in our world, sometimes trading money is necessary to get things done.


But giving it all away would serve SOMEONE or SOME PEOPLE ------ and the person who actually sold all their goods would be out in the dark.


I'm afraid, however relevant that teaching may have been in Jesus' day ------ it really probably isn't entirely relevant to us today. Maybe partially relevant ------ sometimes unloading clutter can be good ---- and giving is good -------- but if I were to be a reproducing and useful member of society, I would need to keep a portion of my hypothetical 6 million dollars just do actually do things myself.


Do you know how limited I am as an individual simply because I've never learned to drive a car and don't have a license? I would be so much more useful if I could get myself and others from point a to point b.

Should I Apologize To Jesus?

In a recent post, I basically called Jesus "Crazy" for his command to sell all that I/we have and give to the poor.

To tell the truth, I already apologized in a prayer.



But why does it seem to me that selling everything and then giving it away would be so crazy?



If we sold our home, we would either be living on the streets or forced to rent somewhere.


Here in Canada, the winters can get very cold. Living on the streets could kill us.


What's the point of renting if we already own a place? It doesn't totally make sense to sell EVERYTHING.


In that sense, it's kind of crazy to sell EVERYTHING and then give it to the poor.



I have three guitars. Each guitar produces a unique sound when playing music on each.


If I sold one ---- then I'd lose that unique sound in potential music I could make.


if I sold all of them ----- then I couldn't play guitar anymore. Heck ---- if someone wanted to buy a guitar they'd be better of going to the store anyway.



I have an Apple II. I find it to be a fun machine to play around with. If I sold it ----- chances are very slim I'd ever see it again. I think Apple II's are great, and it just doesn't make sense to sell it. Why not just leave it sitting in my room? Does that disturb Jesus somehow? If it does, then that does seem kind of crazy I think.



If I sold my modern computers, then I couldn't write a blog, check email or watch Youtube anymore.



If I sold my phone I could easily get lost when losing contact with my family.



I can understand the importance of giving to the poor ----- but selling EVERYTHING and giving it to the poor? That IS a really hard thing Jesus asks.




So, on some levels it's just really hard, on other levels it is downright insane.



I apologized to Jesus already for calling him crazy -------- but selling our home and then renting would kind of be insane, whlie it would also be insane to just live on the streets here in winter.




I'm glad that Youtube channel told us to think for ourselves in a later video, because unless God is going to beam me up, it doesn't quite make sense to get rid of everything I have.



And even then, being beamed up would be quite an adventure and might seem too scary at this point, as it really is a step into the unknown.



I apologize, Lord Jesus, for questioning your sanity.


But what you ask in the Bible IS a really hard thing to do for some of us. (maybe I'm just too rich now, who knows).

Monday, August 12, 2019

My Menu

In my last post from yesterday, I said I gave my food budget/most of my bank account to charity.


This is still a far cry from everything I own ---- but hey, I felt like actually following Jesus again a bit there.


So:::: What does my menu of likely eaten items consist of now?


I got lucky today::::: My Dad bought me a salad today. I ate a piece of pie he bought too. Had some of my coffee stash. Chocolate bar stash (which is running out).

I've actually done pretty well for today. Mostly thanks to my Dad's generosity to me.


Normally, these days, or in recent days, I would often buy my own salads ------- but salads cost almost $10 -------- so this is now not in my price range.


I gave most of my bank account away. But not all of it. And I still have some cash on hand I can use.


So, if I eat out, I'll be eating from the Value Menus now. Like::: Cheeseburgers. Just the cheap stuff at this point.


As for my canned food::::: I haven't yet had to open a canned food since yesterday, but if I do I've got Beef Ravioli, Cheese Ravioli, and Beans. I actually have quite a lot of food storage, I should be able to last two weeks (although, my whole family altogether on just my food storage probably wouldn't last that long, unfortunately).


I just thought I'd share what I'll probably be eating now that I've given the bulk of my food budget to charity.


I would normally be eating salads that cost around $9, but now I have to look at the value menu ---- and that'll probably be good enough until I get my next payment.


I actually feel pretty good about having given all that money away. I'm happy with myself for that.


It seemed so insane ---- and I did it, and I can see I will still survive.


But to be honest, most of my bank account/all of my food budget didn't account for everything I have ----- so in that sense I probably still fell short of what people think Jesus might've wanted.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Interpreting The Bible

So::: I bought a Bible. Not an LDS Bible --- but an actual plain old Bible, without all the footnotes.

With everything the LDS add to that book, the book looks like an insurmountable read.

With all those extras removed, the book looks much more reasonable.



I read the first 8 or 9 Chapters of Genesis ----- this time with a mind aware of greater scientific knowledge (typically from atheists), and realized Joseph Smith was quite wrong about the location of the Garden of Eden ------ but it was interesting.


I read the Book of Ecclesiastes. The book is pretty deep, and had much wisdom in it ------- but the part where it says "There is nothing new under the sun" may have been true back then, but it's obviously not true today.



There are also people on the Youtube who try to remind us to actually follow what Jesus Christ actually said.


I was thinking about selling all I have and giving it to the poor.


Yesterday I gave of my excess to a charity.


Then, today, I thought about it more and realized I haven't still given as much as that Widow who gave 100% ----- so then I gave 3x of what I gave yesterday.


I realize I still hadn't done all that I could to do what Jesus said ------- but then it dawned on me::::::::


Joseph Smith taught ideas like "forgive everything". He got killed in the end. I even tried following that rule ------- turns out he was probably crazy.


Same with Jesus. Jesus died in the end. He tells you to do something which I can now only see as being utterly insane.



Either the Bible wasn't fully truly written properly ----- or Jesus Christ was more or less insane.



My brother and I previously in our lives actually tried to follow Jesus as best we could ---- even at that time with much less to lose --------- and even then we were held as insane.




The Bible has some good ideas. The Church had some good ideas.



But, in the end, I can now see much of it as insanity.



I still believe in a God of some kind mind you, it's clear to me that there really is "something more" out there ---------



But Jesus Christ must've been suicidal ------- and he was kind of insane in that regard.



My sister and her husband recently tried to hold a garage sale.

They sold only like 3 or 4 items the whole time the sale was open.


In today's economy, we wouldn't be able to sell all we have if we wanted to.



I can see how my 1x and then 3x donations of yesterday and today will help someone though ---- and that is a good thing. But in literal terms, it's not enough to satisfy Jesus, according to a Bible which obviously can't be 100% true.



Maybe I can feel disappointed that I've failed to fully follow Jesus ------ but then again, maybe I should be grateful for realizing just how insane that whole thing is ----- and I've already spent enough time in Psychiatry.


In a sense, I did kind of follow Jesus in my life ----------- I took a great risk to try to tell a story of my witness ---------- and though selling all I have would mean people would be buying my book ------ the simple fact was, just like my Sister's garage sale, people weren't paying for what I was selling.



I tried to follow Jesus in the past in my life. Things did turn out well enough.


Do I have to keep doing that over and over and over again?


It does seem kind of insane. Just like the psychiatrists said.



I do still believe there is "something more" --------- Jesus Christ might be a good teacher for the suicidal -------- but it is kind of crazy.



UPDATE::::::


Shortly after posting the above, I decided I would do something crazy::: I gave yet another 3x to charity.


So that's a total of 7x to charity.


That accounts for my daily food budget from now until I get my next disability payment from the government.


Which means my food eating will be scarcer.


But ----- I'm not down and out yet ------ I still have food storage I could use.


I gave most of the money in my bank account ------ but I think I'll still make it even if just because I haven't already sold my food storage.

Yeah.


But in all seriousness ----- giving my money away is one thing ------ but some of the items I'd sell are most likely irreplaceable ------ so why would I want to? Heck ---- then there's a huge chance that nobody would be buying.


If Jesus wasn't crazy, then maybe he was just a little unrealistic. Yeah. I don't know.

Maybe I"m just trying to justify myself.

Maybe I should just limit my Youtube watching.

Monday, August 5, 2019

What have I done with my life?

I've been sitting around thinking about how absolutely "out of place" I am in my life.

In a sense, I am in place -- I'm at home with my family, and my life has finally become enjoyable.


But I look back on the past two decades of my life and realize that I'm not exactly being me am I?


The OUYA stuff was me being me. More or less.


I was a good student, I would do my homework and get the grades. That's who I am.


But most of the past 2 decades I've basically just been responding to a situation in my life from when I was 16 or 17 years old and have been dealing with that whole thing ever since.



Who I am:::: A top student in school. Extremely intelligent and teachable.


What I intended to do with my life::::: I look back, and I realize my whole goal ---- as I decided in my mind when I was thinking about what I would do when I was young ---- my whole goal was to work for Jesus. The Church got me to a point of wanting to spend my whole life doing what was best for mine and others' eternal benefit.



What happened in my life::::: It seems like everything just went all wrong. There's a whole story here, and I don't even tell it all in my book ------ but what happened in my life was just really messed up.


In the end, I guess what I accomplished is that I learned enough and juggled enough facts into place and found that the church I was raised in wasn't really true.


There are a zillion ways this can be demonstrated I'm sure::::: but wanting to serve Jesus in my life, I think I was set off course by the simple fact that the "true" church I had joined wasn't really what it claimed to be. Some of the information in the church just doesn't seem to be really right.



And that's what I discovered. That's what I did with my life.



I was a top student who wanted to serve Jesus, and then everything went topsy-turvy and I eventually managed to figure out and learn the Church wasn't really correct. And there's a lot of ways this can be known.



I kind of feel like I've wasted my life. I kind of sometimes wonder if there's something better I could have done.



In a sense, what I did was very important ------ In another sense, what I did was a complete waste of time.



But::::: Anyway:::: There might be a light at the end of the tunnel now ----------


I mentioned in my last post that emotionally things have not been well with my mother after she comes out of the temple.



Today I asked my parents what tomorrow's plans are.


Tomorrow is Tuesday. Tuesday is temple day for my Mom.


She would have been expected to say she's going to the temple.


But this time there was no mention of the temple. None.


The emotions turned wrong, and she wasn't happy.


Normally she or my Dad would have no problem saying that tomorrow is temple day.


Except they didn't say that this time.


I don't want to spread any rumors, because maybe she will go to the temple tomorrow ------ it's just that the expected response of tomorrow being temple day was NOT given.



We'll have to see.



Maybe it's finally time for a faith crisis after all. I don't know.




The most recent thing I told my Mom about the church if I remember correctly, is that the Church prides itself on not paying their clergy ------


and yet in the D&C, there are scriptures that state people like the Bishop are supposed to, basically, get paid.


The church prides itself on not having to pay their people ---- but in the original documents, they are actually supposed to pay their people.


The simple fact that a whole D&C scripture is completely disregarded and not even followed anymore might bring into question why the church kept on mentioning D&C 64 every time something went wrong, but then never actually followed that scripture when dealing personally with me.


Either the D&C is valid or it isn't.


D&C 64 was constantly quoted and was a very big pain in my life.


But then the church didn't actually follow D&C 64.


And it turns out they aren't even following the D&C scripture that tells them to pay their bishops either.


Which kind of puts the whole thing into question. Why keep quoting D&C 64 at me, making my life miserable, if that scripture doesn't actually have to be followed anyway?



I don't know if this is what my Mom's problem is ---- but that's one of the last things I told her before the recent developments, and bringing D&C 64 into the question is where the discussion my logically turn on the matter --- or it turns that way in my own mind.




Anyway. I haven't exactly been myself all these years I think. Well, learning guitar was something that I might do (but only after leaving the church). OUYA was something I might do.


But there's been so much insanity in my life -------- that is not who I really am.


I was always doing my best to learn my stuff.



I was interested in the best eternal outcome --- so I wanted to work for Jesus -------



And I guess what I did with my life was figure out the church has problems.


Big waste of time or big accomplishment?



TEMPLE TUESDAY UPDATE:::::::

So::: in the above post I wondered if my Mom will stop her temple attendance because yesterday she did not mention the temple in her plans for today.

turns out::: she IS attending the temple today.

The temple is green to go still for her.

So who knows, we'll see ----- but I can say that as I write this post that I am again noticing some slight emotional discomfort in myself.

So who knows what will happen.