What should you do when others disagree with you? How do you handle contention when it comes to spiritual subjects? This has been a continuous challenge among those who confess to be followers of Christ.
In Joseph Smith’s time it was a regular issue, as numerous so-called friends fell away from Joseph, often because of rumor and innuendo. Some of his closest confidants turned against him. Is it no wonder that he held back so much from the saints? Today, there is similar discontent amongst many who also seek to know God. Why is that?
I have had many opportunities to gather in a circle with over a dozen men to pray on a topic of disagreement and then see the power of God answer the question in such a way that there was a unanimous consensus; whereas minutes before we were divided. This works well when you are amongst a small group united in seeking truth and inspiration through love, without pride or unrighteousness. But when you have large groups divided, often institutions attempt to protect their territory by shaming the opponent.
It is the nature of most people to want to set stakes in the ground, to firmly establish what they believe and are willing to do, or not do. This is not inherently bad, but is unfortunate when people make these decisions based on fear, emotion, logic, advice, or experience. You may ask, “But, am I not to use my own logic to figure out what is truth?” Well, yes, but few today seek to ask the Lord to know the truth of all things. We usually seek that which gives us the most sense of comfort and familiarity.
There are many factions both in and out of the Church that believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. Some believe he was a polygamist, and others believe he was false. Some follow church authorities, and others do not. Most are willing to accuse the other of being deceived by Satan, or some other nefarious accusation. What is the best course of action?
When Jesus came to the Nephites after His resurrection He said,
And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away. (3 Nephi 11:28-30)
What stirs up men’s hearts to anger? Often it is to tell another that they are deceived, or following the devil, often followed with words that characterize the believer in a negative way. This is “contention,” and the Lord said “that such things should be done away.”
But, are we not to judge for ourselves? Of course. We should PRAY and seek REVELATION concerning all things, and act accordingly.
The Lord commanded us to follow His Doctrine, which is repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost. There is plenty of detail in Third Nephi to articulate what this New Covenant entails. We are not to contend on the matter. We are not to add to it. For any more or less than His doctrine “cometh of evil.” (vs. 40) This leaves room for the individual to ponder and receive details for themselves according to the Spirit, but not to use compulsion on anyone to believe their personal revelations.
What about the part that lies outside His Doctrine? Are we to speak about the “mysteries?” There is plenty of scriptures that encourage the seeking of such things, yet we are not to engage in contention regarding these matters. I know there are many voices out there that will conclude that my experiences are false because they do not mesh with their paradigms of propriety, scripture, or personal views. That is okay with me. As I have said before, my purpose is not to convince anyone to believe my revelations, but to give them a springboard to have the faith to seek their own.
When Zion is established we will be of one heart and mind, yet for a while, many will have different opinion concerning topics of the Gospel. You may be standing next to an LDS person, a polygamist, a Denver follower, a Mormon fundamentalist, a Baptist, and a host of other Christian sects. Jesus may very well have to say, once again, “And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been.”
I will never single out any Christian institution, or anyone who disagrees with my views. This is frustrating to some who wish I would draw a line in the sand. I have been commanded not to do this, so I won’t.
I know that I will be dismissed by many, but for the few who find value in this information, I am grateful to have this opportunity to share. The ultimate goal is that Anonymous is forever anonymous, and you are able to rise up of your own faith and stand face to face with the Lord.
Additional Notes: 1) I am a member of the LDS Church, but do not hold a temple recommend because of the reason stated in my first book, “How to Have Your Second Comforter.” 2) There is a Facebook Group called Pure Revelations Discussions if you desire to discuss these topics. https://www.facebook.com/groups/597497973940296/ I do not administer the group and am not a participant.