A man had a heart attack while eating a steak dinner at his favorite restaurant.
His wife cried out, "Is anyone a doctor?!"
A woman rushed over to their table. "Yes, I’m a Doctor of Philosophy."
The wife said, "Ma’am, this is serious, my husband is dying!"
The philosopher replied, "We are all dying."
Cholesterol for Christians
The "heart" is a symbol of a person's character.
How is our spiritual heart-health?
1. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that circulates in the blood.
2. Cholesterol combines with other substances to form thick, hard deposits in the arteries.
3. Too much cholesterol can result in heart attacks and strokes (read: death).
Question: So what is spiritual cholesterol?
Answer: Anything that restricts our ability to receive and share pure love.
Ideally charity would flow through our celestial veins freely (filling our bodies and relationships with the life-giving energies of creation and love).
The reality? Jesus said:
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
(Matt. 24:12) What happens when love grows "cold?"
Holy Anointing Oil, Batman!
Under the law of Moses, a person was ordained to the priesthood by being anointed with holy oil. This was to sanctify the person (Exodus 30:29-30).
Now, imagine taking the holy anointing oil (olive oil) and putting it in the freezer.
At room temperature the oil is liquid. But as it cools it begins to harden; the saturated fats congeal.
When love grows "cold" we see contention, pride, envy and lust multiplying (read: spiritual death).
Since anointing oil was a symbol of Christ (the "Anointed One") and of his blood (Gethsemane = "place of the press"), what does it mean when the priesthood of God "waxes cold?"
In other words, what happens when love is replaced in our churches with carnal commandments(i.e., "priesthood" authority)?
Come to the Temple
Question:Can a person whose spirit is filled with contention, pride, envy and lust go to the temple?
Answer: Sure! As long as they don't drink coffee.
"Pure" Love + Giardia? If a waiter at a restaurant filled our glass with bottled water, but the glass was smudged and dirty, we would probably not drink the water and ask for a different glass.
We want (1) the water and (2) the vessel to be clean.
I mean, it sort of defeats the purpose of having clean drinking water if we add leeches and giardia to it!
Now, hold on. I suppose if a person were thirsty enough ― desperate enough ― he may not quibble over a little filth and gulp the water down all the same. And that is what we see in terms of love, when people who are starved and craving affection will drink from most any cup, grime and all.
God's love is pure (i.e. "the pure love of Christ"). But what happens when His pure love is poured into lustful, prideful hearts?
In the Old Testament the Lord lamented how His people had “forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
The point: hardened, sinful hearts have a tough time holding pure love any better than broken cisterns can hold water.
Paul taught that "the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart" (1 Tim 1:5).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
So let's take our analogy a bit further:
It appears the Lord wants us to be transparent vessels so that others can see through our hearts to behold His pure love within.
The Pharisees, on the hand, were like beautiful water vessels on the outside, elaborately decorated, which appeared to be worthy vessels.
But because they were opaque, people couldn't see the water inside was actually black as tar.
Temple Worthiness Questions
Our checklist of temple worthiness questions include "carnal commandments" (i.e., the requirements we associate with the lesser law).
Are we surprised? The recommend questions appeal to our Pharisee-mindedness because they focus on the "outside" ― on the performances and obligations that are Old School (by which I mean, Levitical).
Who can judge what is on our inside, anyway? Just smell my breath and check my wallet: that'll tell you what you need to know.
I would speculate that if the apostle Paul saw the recommend questions, he would rip the paper into shreds.
Now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
When we return to Old Testament practices and carnal commandments, we are choosing to be bound by the law, which is what Christ freed us from!
Why would we call ourselves Christians if we believe we are saved by works of righteousness? Why would we consider ourselves "worthy" to enter the temple when we are demonstrably not living the celestial law? Why do we claim to have God's pure love while we exercise control and authority over others?
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Oh boy. If there's one thing the Lord really seems to hate, it is boasting.
Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
Aren't we struck by the irony of recommending our own worthiness?
What Qualifies Us To Enter the Temple?
When we frame the question, "What qualifies me to enter the temple?", we highlight a fundamental flaw in the way we approach the temple.
Instead we should be asking, "Who qualifies me to the enter the temple?"
Answer: Jesus Christ
And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true;
And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength.
I wish I had St. Peter's cell phone number.
I wish I could call Peter and ask him to come down from the Pearly Gates and set the record straight.
Oh, here is his number. Wait, it's ringing.
Me: Uh huh . . . yes . . . okay [I hang up].
Well, here is what I think Peter would say about our temple recommend interviews and recommends:
Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.
(Acts 10:15, NIV)
Golly. How long will it take us to learn this lesson?
If the temple is where we see God (it is His house, right?), then would the qualification for seeing God be similar to the qualification for entering His house?
So what are the conditions for seeing God?
I think we could make a good case that the fruit (or sign) of someone who should be welcome in the temple is . . .
[drum roll, please]
Someone who possesses God's love.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
And all the pure in heart that shall come into it [His house] shall see God.
(D&C 97:16) Can love really be . . . it?
Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.