Justification for Working with a Wild tree

on 23 December 2008

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job 13:18 Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.

I believe that my work (as defined by aiding others, raising righteous children, spreading my love for the principles of the Gospel) will demonstrate my faith to the Lord, and that through that work, my faith will be made perfect and then my works can justify me just as Job was justified.

I believe that regardless of what others think, Though I might be tried, I can not deny my story, though the ends of the earth shall hate me, and though some might try to harm me, to take my life, I will never be ashamed of what I know. I know that I am meant to raise a family in righteousness, that I was designed to be who I am for a reason, that I have a lesson to be learned, and that that lesson is how to love for I feel myself faking my emotions, my love with everyone around me, I must learn how to truly love someone far more that I love myself. I know this with the same feeling that I know that the Lord lived and that he lives, and that he suffered for my sins, lived through my pains, and experienced my sorrows.

And so like Job, I feel justified. Justified in being a sinner who brings forth good fruit. I am as the wild olive tree with tame branches grafted in, and by my fruits, not by anything else shall the Lord know and judge me. And so I am determined to bring forth good fruit even if I myself might be wild. I know that it can not happen alone, and that it will take effort on my part and a partnership with the lord, but I plan on striving to bring forth good works.

My New Philosophy

on 22 December 2008

In 1972 Boyd K. Packer said the following: “Someday you will hold a little boy or a little girl in your arms and know that two of you have acted in partnership with our Heavenly Father in the creation of life. Because the youngster belongs to you, you may then come to love someone more than you love yourself. This experience can come, insofar as I know, only through having children of your own or perhaps through fostering children born of another and yet drawn close into family covenants. … Through this loving one more than you love yourself, you become truly Christian. Then you know, as few others know, what the word Father means when it is spoken of in the scriptures. You may then feel something of the love and concern that he has for us. It should have great meaning that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that could be given him, God himself, he who is the highest of all, chose to be addressed simply as Father.”
While Elder Packer was saying this concerning the beauties of a traditional marriage, I believe that the principle that the only way to love someone more than yourself is through the raising of a child, and that the act of loving someone more than yourself is when you become truly Christian. I believe that loving someone more than ourselves is the true embodiment of the second great commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and is one of the only ways to follow the example of Christ’s selfless love towards all men.
The desire to raise a child that I love more than anything, more than myself, is what motivates me to live righteously, yet in order to provide a loving home for a child I must go against the desires of the Church. I do not believe that I myself could provide a loving home for any child. I do not believe that were I to pursue a traditional marriage, that it would be strong, and filled with enough love to raise a child in. The only possibility for a home loving enough for me to raise a child in is in one that I love my companion almost as much as I love our children, and it just happens to be that I see my companion as being my husband.
The Church has said, “Like other violations of the law of chastity, homosexual activity is a serious sin. It is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality (see Romans 1:24–32) It distorts loving relationships and prevents people from receiving the blessings that can be found in family life and the saving ordinances of the gospel.” I believe that my homosexuality will not distort any loving relationships that I have, the only way it will do that is if I try to get married to a woman. And while it may prevent me from receiving the blessings that can be found in family life and the ordinances of the gospel, if I remain celibate, those blessings are withheld, as are several of the ordinances of the gospel.
I can understand how homosexuality, in current practice and understanding today, can be viewed as contrary to the purposes of human sexuality. But If we were to legalize civil same-sex marriages, that is, rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and allowing for all legal, civil rights that are bestowed to opposite-sex marriages, be granted to same-sex marriages, that there would emerge a new class of people. These people would be homosexuals who seek after a family more than sex, a class of people who seek to strengthen the bond of marriage rather than make a mockery of it like Brittany’s 55-hour “just for fun” wedding. These would be people just like me who want to settle down with the person they love, raise children to be great and righteous individuals.
I plan on getting married to the man of my dreams one day, raising children to live righteously with him, and growing old with him. Eventually we will die, and we will have succeeded in drawing closer to the Lord than had we remained single and a lone and because our marriage will have been a marriage of this temporal world, it will not be binding in Heaven (see Mark 12:25, D&C 132:15-16). The Church publication, God Loveth His Children states that, “However, the perfect plan of our Father in Heaven makes provision for individuals who seek to keep His commandments but who, through no fault of their own, do not have an eternal marriage in mortal life. As we follow Heavenly Father’s plan, our bodies, feelings, and desires will be perfected in the next life so that every one of God’s children may find joy in a family consisting of a husband, a wife, and children.” (Emphasis added) We will through the promise given by the Lord be able to gain an eternal companion with whom we can create spirit children. I will be able to draw from that love that I learned here in this earth life in the raising of my spirit children.
Because Homosexuality is a byproduct of this fallen world, and since it did not exist in the pre-earth life, it will not exist in the afterlife, but my experiences and knowledge that I gain here on this life will exist in the next life. So I choose to have the focus of those experiences be towards knowing and loving my God, and towards loving others more than I love myself. For Christ was the most selfless of all. That, I believe, is His greatest characteristic, His selfless love of all. If I can gain but a small part of that, Is that not a life well spent in following the Lord, even if I would be living in sin to do it?
After all, we are all striving for perfection, we each have our own sins that preclude us from immediate transfiguration, perhaps homosexual behavior will be mine and over time, I can repent from my sins, but to me, a life spent focused towards that perfection and focused inwards rather than towards others can not be repented of.

Wisdom of the Crowds

on 04 December 2008

“Why are Zagat restaurant guides so popular? Partly it is because they are a convenient guide to all the restaurants in town. But their real power derives from the fact that the reviews are the reports of volunteers – of diners who want to share their opinions with others. Somehow that represents a more compelling recommendation than the opinion of an expert whose job it is to rate restaurants.” – Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell

What happens when we compare this principle to massive amounts of reviewers rather than just a handful? We start to gather the wisdom of the crowds. If we can get several “Mavens” to contribute their knowledge, as well as the long tail of other collaborators, then we can, through the law of large numbers, end up with a better sense of Wisdom rather than a sense of intelligence offered by the opinion of one person. If you can harness this power you can create far more than any one person alone could. Think about this, We all know that "Two heads are better than one," but yet we are reluctant to continue this principle into any realm of politics, or any other situations either. We are content having one leader make the decisions when collectively we are smarter than he, I wish others would see that we can and should start colaborating more on every project.

The Founding Fathers Were Incomplete

on 03 December 2008

Our government can not just be a mass of people "digging" up and down like the Romans gave thumbs up and down at the Colosseum, but it must be a forum for discussion and debate. Democracy is much more than just the power of the vote, as citizens, it is our right to engage in a political debate, and that we must.
The founding fathers saw the American people, very similar to that of the Roman populous. The technology was very similar, the religion was a little bit different, and we had a little bit better technology and learning, but not all that much. Therefore, they relied on the Roman system to provide the backbone of our government. Now however, we have grown exponentially smarter and far larger than the Founding Fathers ever imagined us to and yet we still have virtually the same document guiding our lives. We have clarified a few things, and changed some clerical issues, but largely our government has remained unchanged from the original model.
We can download more information in one day than Jefferson had available in his lifetime, and yet we are still relying on the wisdom of our ancestors who have no clue what we are dealing with, and had no way to predict it. We need a change in the current system of governance, but rather than scrap the old and start from scratch, I suggest that we shift our reliance away from the wisdom of the Fathers, and onto the wisdom of the crowds. The wisdom that has brought us Wikipedia. In 1776, everyone was a "Troll," Those with experience were the outlier, but now, only 2-3% of the Internet make up consists of "trolls" (Eric Schmidt - CEO of Google, New America Foundation)
The Founding fathers pooled their knowledge together in order to form a more perfect union, and they succeeded, but it is time to increase that perfection and get out of this quagmire of bureaucracy and red tape in order to have a Government that is Of, By, and For the people.
Obama's Change.gov has started to do that by providing all their material with a Creative Commons Copyright, Promting open discussions through a great system that can track your participation and thus promote those who participate more, by providing a response to these comments in video format, and though there are some things lacking from a perfect system, It is leaps and bounds above any other .gov website, I believe it is a step in the right direction.

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