The Master's Template
All Factions of the Joseph Smith Movement
Repent, Be One
Come Out of Babylon
July 12, 2012
I have no idea how many factions now exist of the movement begun when Joseph Smith Junior found the Book of Mormon plates; I once heard well over 200, but it could be thousands by now. The document below is addressing all of them.
I don't know why I am the vehicle delivering the words below. I am not special, except for the fact that God has dealt with me since my youth to the extent that I have certain knowledge He is real. I do my best to behave accordingly. That's what I'm doing now. I feel accountable in this. The words below are not mine. They call us all to repentance and obedience in temporal things - square one -the responsibility of the Aaronic Priesthood.
At the end of this you will find a postscript. It mentions the effect on me of implementing this message in my own life since it was received in September of 2011. Of course, the postscript does you no good, unless you have read the message of the words below.
The Master's Template
May 5, 2012
"Awake to union and be one, or, saith the Lord, Ye are not mine!" I've sung that line of the hymn many times. So have you. But are we one? I've always been frustrated with my answer to that question. To me, union required a sort of collective willpower that kept eluding us. What could I personally do to facilitate it? I couldn't see my role, and I really couldn't see it happening. Now I can. I feel the Lord has shown me the way. This speaks of responsibility to God. I share it here - a personal confession. If you are sincere, you want to read this. If not, do us both a favor and trash it now.
Something occurred last September (2011) that for me sheds light on "awaking to union." Words came out of my mouth with no precognition. Back then, except for the fact that I didn't intend to say them, the words were no big deal. But now, because of them, I will never be the same. The scripture "Now we see through a glass darkly" has new meaning. So do "line upon line, precept upon precept," and "no further away nor any closer than the spiritual condition of My people justifies," and "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." So many scriptures clarified and connected to a new understanding of "union." Those words my mouth spoke become more important every day.
I said them in reconciliation when an old friend was visiting. Years earlier her fresh out of college daughter lived with my family a couple of years, but then became offended with us and moved out. So - face to face with my old friend, I tried to tell "the rest of the story." Without getting specific and all embroiled in past feelings, I tried to explain how the offense had occurred when really none was intended. I was ineffectually fumbling around with this when I guess the Lord just took over, and that's when the words happened. Again I say they were no big deal to me at the time, but later in the conversation, further related words were said, again with no precognition, and those second words were a huge deal to me, because they addressed the issue of becoming one. They were a total revelation, completely new and yet so obvious and smacking of simple truth, that I don't know why I didn't see it before. Confusing? Two sets of words focused on one thing - our Master and His mold - key to union. Total accuracy betrays confidence, but the relevant gist of the words is in bold below. What I mean here is that instead of the actual words that would identify a particular person and situation, the words make the message universal - applying to all. The rest of this is what led up to those words and what was learned after them as a result of their impact. Also, almost frustratingly, as I wrote and tried to finish this quickly, I became aware of further insight, and so included that too, making it longer, taking more time and editing. At first, I didn't feel it important enough to warrant that big an effort, but now, I no longer question its value.
If these words are not just vain imagination, the message implies we are missing simple truth, core to everything. Because of its effect, we here are now moving forward in real progress, but I do know that this message is not just meant for me and mine. Perhaps it will help others to move forward too.
Undoubtedly some will find a way to take offense here. When I started to get supportive scripture, I felt stopped and told to let it stand as is. Those who know their scriptures will have them popping into their minds as they read. Those who want to criticize will be able to find ways to do that no matter how much scriptural substantiation I might include. So now I lay it before you to test by Spirit and scripture too.
The Unintended Words
So - there I was, as I said above, trying to reconcile with my friend, explaining what happened so long ago, and I found myself saying words (in bold below) that convey the following message.
It's like God has built into each one of us a spiritual template. (Template - I'd never said the word before. I wasn't even sure of its definition. In essence, it means a shape used as a pattern for making a similar desired shape. It's usually a tangible plastic, wood or metal shape, but in this case of course, it's invisible/spiritual --- Most would prefer to call this “Holy Spirit” but that term is treated as something outside us.)
This template is how God has formed us spiritually. It's different for each one of us and it's what we're meant to be - who we really are. It resides within us, and it calls us to get real. It's deep inside, beneath our subconscious. Our conscious mind is fed a partial picture. We all know the template is there inside us; a vision of "the real me" hidden deep. God wants us to become it. Our challenge is to change and fit the mold. Then we become aware of more of the vision, so we can change further. On and on - forever. This is the template path - the path of our personal repentance.
If we ignore walking that path; if we get off course or stall around, the template will urge us back, almost irritating us with its call. It will make us feel dissatisfied, unsettled, judged or guilty. We can end up looking for what or who to blame when really, it's our own template calling us to account. Blaming won't help. Our dissatisfaction will find relief only when we start following the template path, becoming the vision of who we really are, what God created us to be.
Refusing to become the template vision is huge. It's denying our Lord, hardening our heart - choosing to separate our physical reality from our spiritual destiny. It builds a wall of willfulness that instantly divides us from God. Worse - by insisting on our own way, we become our own God. It's our choice, but it does have consequences. Mercy can't rob justice. Grace ends.
Those first words about God's template were finished, and my friend and I talked of other things. As she was about to depart, she remarked on the recent 40 day fast and the call to union, and then she said, "We just have to put aside our differences and become one." I had thought that too. I was about to agree with her. After all, it is assumed, right? Well, I guess not. Again words came out of my mouth but this time preceded by insight. A gigantic feeling of "to the contrary" came over me, as if what she had just said was an obvious, absurd impossibility. And I found myself saying the following,
That's impossible. People cannot become united as a group, if as individuals they are divided within themselves, not becoming one with God's template for them. Building that wall between us and God by ignoring or refusing His intent for us is major. It's the ultimate in division. That's it. There's nothing worse.
Being unwilling to do real repentance as individuals annihilates the possibility of real group union. It's saying but not doing; no integrity, a fake public display hiding a contrary private behavior. A bunch of people like that together would just be a "let's pretend" costume party.
For anyone who is willing, pursuing the template vision tears down that dividing wall. In a blink of the eye we transform. Even if we have a lot of catching up to do, even if we are old and ill we become God's person the instant we make the effort to repent and walk His template path. And even if we don't know who or where they are, we immediately become part of the united group known as God's people. We have to avoid the common mistake that I call "the collective cop-out." It's assuming that just by searching for and being part of the right collection of people, we, along with them, are somehow grandfathered into glory. Nothing is further from the truth. It's avoiding task. The human part of our salvation is all up to us alone.
Healing Group Discord?
But if individuals are becoming that God given vision, can their template living create harmony where there is discord in a group? What about those differences that really do exist and all those inappropriate, appalling, unchristian behaviors that we have heard of or witnessed? Does one heart and one mind mean that everyone in the group thinks and feels alike and would therefore never disagree? Or does it mean that each in the group is one with God, the template source, and He would never motivate them to be appalling or inappropriate? My answer comes from my studies of successful communities and from recent, direct experience in my present, immediate family.
How can individually pursuing template affect the group? Only and extraordinarily by example. You've heard of a tipping point, right? And you know that example ministry is far more influential than words. Like a pebble tossed into water, the effect of other people witnessing or hearing about your template repentance ripples out into ever widening circles of influence, carries over into the observers and begins a chain reaction, an unstoppable force that frees everyone to individually inspect themselves and begin following their own template paths. Union can't come from outside argument. It has to come from the spread of inside motivation. It may feel like shooting in the dark, but really it's just faith - knowing if we will repent individually, God will accept and bless us corporately. Example is everything.
Revealing the Mechanics of Group Harmony (in bold)
Now - my confession. Part of my own template path. This shows how God worked with me before He gave me those words. I hope it will clarify the previous paragraphs. I'm not claiming to be an expert on template living, nor am I claiming to have spoken those words just out of the blue. All of this is grounded in the way the Lord has changed me personally. I have pursued template living privately for decades, although like so many others, I used a different label - "guided by Holy Spirit". But - corporately I have failed. I didn't know how to use the template path to reconcile and achieve unity with others - even in my own family. Those two sets of words at the beginning of this writing reflect how God has used my own template to influence others toward unity. Where I fell short, He filled in. Those words will make me toe the line in the future, but they also show me what He did in the recent past, so I can pass it on now to you.
First picture a 62 yr. widow, kids grown and gone, alone in a 7,000 sq. ft. house on 80 remote acres of forested, landscaped, and gardened land - deer, turkey, coon, eagles, razorbacks, bear, cougar, coyotes, copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlers - we have it all. It was under control with the original family of 7, but with them gone I needed more people, or I needed to sell. My oldest son and his wife moved in with their children on a trial basis. Now, 3 years later, they have sold their own home. This is not about now but about those 3 years. In telling this, not only am I being transparent but so is Amber, my daughter-in-law. Her words are few, but I could never say them. This is our experience together. It taught us about template. We didn't call it that then, but now we do.
In Amber's words, "I'm different now, but 3 years ago I was lazy, fat, self centered, disrespectful to my husband, and living in total denial. But I thought I knew it all. I found Sally's slim appearance, diet, and activity level annoying. I assumed she didn't think much of me. I whined and complained about her to my husband, mother, and friends. I hated the thought of living with her."
Amber was right in her assumption. Her public display did not match her private behavior. I was deeply worried. But - I didn't say anything to her. God wouldn't let me. I'm not, as a rule, verbally offensive, but I did have cause. As Amber said, there were many issues, but laziness was probably the core, and its physical manifestation was the hardest for me. I needed more bodies helping, but at first all I got was more mess. Resentment grew. I too complained to a friend who said, "Lay down the law." But - God said otherwise - basically to shut up and wait. So I did, unhappily. I wanted to get instant fix but instead had to give endless patience. I only hoped my son saw something hidden in Amber that I was missing. I also realized that I shouldn't play victim. Where many could have just put up with the mess, I am sort of a neat freak. That's my problem, so I took responsibility for it. I stayed in my own quarters and straightened the common areas up to bearable, taking care of my own need without trying to control Amber. I confess, I did this in rancor, but the Spirit squashed my desire to burst. Instead I did the mote and beam bit. I just pursued my own repentance - and openly - not by direction but only because I'm almost too transparent by nature. That felt right, not selfishly satisfying but right. I waited a lot more - nearly two years. During that time Amber could not help but observe me and witness my repentance. She didn't like it, but she saw it. Circumstance brought other people for her to watch, and she visited her home grounds where her habits began, and she observed there too. I didn't know it at the time, but as I stayed quiet, Amber was processing.
Eventually it was time to speak. It was easy to know when. It's called the teachable moment, and it's signaled by question. Amber began asking me questions. She asked one question repeatedly in different ways - something like, "Are you bothered with me?" Wow! I had to answer. What to say? Hurt? Lie? Stall? Prevaricate? Condescend? Like the incredible hulk, the Spirit hovered over me in tremendous weight of warning, staunching any of that. Other options flashed through my mind, and in retrospect I will tell you now, there are only two types of answers - speak about her template or speak about my own. With more time, more questions were asked. I learned to always answer one of those two ways. That always led to further questions and lots of discussion, letting us find a common space between us. Speaking this way is important, so some real, shortened examples are below.
Two examples of speaking about her template
"So are you bothered with me?"
"Well, I'm frustrated with the situation, but really what I think is not important. What is important is the way you feel about yourself. Are you bothered with you?"
"Amber, all I want is for you to become who you really are inside. Then we'll see if I'm bothered."
Two examples of speaking about my template
"So are you bothered with me?"
"You? I'm bothered with me. I'm such a neat freak; it's like my brain shuts down in disorder. I have to fix things or escape. I don't know how to change it, or even if it is something I should change."
"Yes, sometimes I am, but I remember when I was your age. I never learned to keep house as a kid. It took me ages to figure it out. I was so embarrassed at college. I didn't even know how to sort laundry."
From mutual loathing to mutual loving; disrespecting to cherishing. No arguing. No manipulating. No winner. No loser. Amber says I made her feel safe, but really I didn't. God did. He first kept me quiet and later told me how to speak. Amber is product of a hurtful past. It was holding her back. As soon as she felt safe from the outside, she was able to look inside. She saw her own vision of herself, her template; a beautiful person. And now she is becoming it. I can hardly believe how fast she has changed and grown. She is so far ahead of where I was at her age - and not only at keeping house.
Everyone has a beautiful template. Everyone has a hurtful past holding them back. Everyone needs the same safety. If we all will just do our own repenting and leave others alone, they will observe our critically important example, take time to process, question, and examine themselves and then be free to begin their own changes. Once they begin, they will never quit. Repentance becomes sustenance; a wondrous way of life. It's God's intended path to joy for us - programmed into our template. The only way.
Finding Your Template Vision - Spectacular vs. Mundane
When you look inside yourself, what does the real you look and act like? What is your template call? Only you can find it, and that might seem tricky at first. Never assume it has to be some extraordinary, spectacular demand. More likely a call to lose weight than a call to Nigeria. Right, that's what I said. The template path concerns everything we do, even and especially the mundane. Our temporal stewardship is made up of the mundane. Our true fruits are found in ordinary behavior, when we aren't trying to impress other people. My own template challenges have included my talking, eating, exercising, reading, spending and doing. Usually we don't want to change the mundane. We think it unimportant, but really it's square one. Do it to get to square two
Don't tackle square #30 if you haven't done square #1. You're not ready. You don't have the skills. In handling the mundane, we learn the important skill of letting go. Without that, there can be no union anywhere. Let me say that another way. If we can't let go of the junk food, we can't let go of junk thinking or junk behavior. Letting Go 101 in private behavior where we are in complete control, leads to Letting Go 202 in group situations where we aren't in total control. If we won't let go of our ordinary, private, hidden vice to follow the Lord, we aren't ready to try group union for Him.
Moreover and paramount, it's ordinary behavior that builds us up or tears us down in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, especially significant others. If our physical or emotional self is out of control, we feel fake and our example ministry shrinks. That's why God calls us a temple. The structure that houses us, our body and mind, is sacred - precious - the first gift He gave us. It's what other people observe. It makes us God's tool. We must cherish it and be steward over it. Neglecting that responsibility is telling Him His gift is of no great value. Flagrantly abusing that responsibility is thumbing our nose at God.
Yes, becoming your template vision may mean you should control your weight, or your anger, or your language, or your spending or your activities. Maybe you should get priorities straight, get healthy, get more sleep, quit drinking, respect your husband, cherish your wife, spend time with family, quit being lazy. Nigeria might be next, but you're no good there if your ordinary life at home is out of order. On the other hand, lots of template people at home make a culture that's contagious. The influence of observable mass repentance is tremendous. It snowballs. It's unstoppable - awesome power for the world to witness.
The Barrier to Template - Idolatry
So what I learned from those unintended words is that union begins with each one of us alone, and it pretty much ends there too. You aren't God's unless He claims you, and that requires union with Him. Unity of the group is dependent on the independent inner unity of the individuals in that group. Simple - but is it easy? No. Most will be unwilling, wanting to avoid the one requirement for finding their template vision.
In pursuing template, the thing that prevents us from getting with God and His vision for us is replacing Him with other gods. Idol worship. Just like in Moses' time, God gets pretty upset with anyone dancing around idols.
It doesn't have to be a golden calf at the bottom of a mountain. Idols are everywhere, and almost anything can be an idol. Correct
that. Anything or anybody. Gurus, mentors, friends, television, radio, computers, web society, books - even prophets, church and
scripture can all be idols if they prevent us from privately seeking God Himself. Personal behaviors and habits, cultural
traditions, sports, shopping, work, play. Even our food. I have a book entitled Worship Your Food. It is written in a
positive note and encourages us to return to the spiritual bond present in our food. But it also points out how we have played
carelessly and cavalierly with our food supply and the systems that support it. People can become so attached with self indulgence
for unhealthy food that it has replaced the God given purpose of it as the essence of life and health. Yes, what we put into our
mouths has so often become an idol - our "go-to" for entertainment, comfort, and self-reward. Anything, you name it; it can be
an idol. And many idols are addictive. They take over, controlling our mind and consuming our time. Identifying idols and getting
away from them is crucial.
Way back in the 70's my husband trashed the TV to save our marriage. At first I was shocked, but it didn't only save our marriage, it saved my life. I had no idea the hold it had on me, and without it I became a whole different person. With time I saw the corruption in our society and I chose to leave it behind. I see TV and now other screens as a brain washing idol for everyone. Some think they're immune, but statistics show otherwise. The things are solely designed to subliminally control the spending power of the viewers. That means they control everything you think and do. I called TV the beast. If you want to drop one idol to start with, make it TV or the other screens. Movies are next. At least dramatically limit them. Next take a look at what mostly controls your time and keeps you from getting alone with God and processing template. Whatever it is, curb it or cull it, so that you can have time to do the important spiritual work of self examination and repenting.
Many people might freak at the thought of giving up their various screen entertainments and other idols, but those idols are just for escaping to because life otherwise is boring. Template living is not boring. It's the most exciting life, tailor made for each individual. Someone following God's template might want to research using a screen, but escapism is not needed. Real life becomes the passion, the quest, the drive - the thing you hunger for.
If it's not escapism keeping us glued to screens, it's laziness. Laziness comes in different forms, but all of it starts with a lazy mind. In everything we do, we either go along with what is fed us, like we do when we watch a TV screen and believe what it says, or we think for ourselves. The original sin was not eating that forbidden fruit. It was a lazy brain allowing outer influence to control inner choice. Eve blamed the deception on the serpent, but really she was beguiled and then just didn't want to think things through and practice some self discipline.
If we are sincere about repentance, we can't be lazy-brained. Whenever we make hard choices we have to think things through first, using Holy Spirit always as the guiding test. That thinking might take only an instant, or it could take years. To follow template and let go of idols, we have to think, and we have to have time to do it. To even have that time, some idols have to go. Here lies the core challenge. To let go of idols we have to think first. But to have time to think we will have to clear some idols. What comes first - the chicken or the egg? It of course, is your decision.
Game of War
One of the greatest challenges in my own life, and one I wish I had realized much sooner is how we idolize the game of war. As a new widow, I tried to keep on keeping on, so to speak. I continued in the path my husband had begun for us. This path naturally led to competition. Out in the country we pursued activities and skills like horse riding, but still we ended up trekking back and forth for gymnastics, dance, music, and ice skating, all to match up pursuits for five growing children. Eventually it all became competitive, even and especially the horses. My children succeeded at all of it - winning dramatically in almost all the areas and reaping applause from observers, but in the midst of all that success we became very disillusioned. We learned the hard way that there was a dark side to it all. There is no such thing as "good clean competition." By its very nature it is a war where someone has to win and someone has to lose. Even in back country, small town competition, nothing is good and clean. Oh yes, there are smiles slapped on all the faces, hiding the envy and corruption beneath. If there has to be a winner and a loser, what do you want to be? We found that people will go to great lengths to win, even country-folk. We worked our tails off to attain competence, but many others didn't. They went at it in other ways. Drugs, bribes, illegal agreements, money under the table. We were appalled and disheartened.
Then I read a book that made me have serious doubts about all of it. The name of the book is No Contest: the Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn. It's still available. I encourage everyone to read it. It will make you ponder our world and what Zion may be.
Competition is defined as one entity pitted against another. Despite how fairly or open-mindedly we practice it, it is just war with a different label. Everything in our society is done as war. Everything is a competition. Winning is paramount. Everyone wants to win and will go to great lengths to do so. The losers eat worms and the majority have to be losers. But there are other societies where it is different, very different. The book I mentioned tells about those societies. I only wish I had read it sooner.
A Different Kind of Fight for Christian Soldiers
So we have been immersed in the tactics of war all our lives, and we have learned its ways. We practice it everywhere, even in our Christianity. There it's not pretty and it's hard on us. The strain of fixing and fighting each other is ugly and dirty.
Privately banishing idols and pursuing template repentance causes a whole different type of fight, and it's a tough one, but it's clean. Not more than we can bear but taking our all. Integrity is the thing. Not only to say but to do. This results in a twofold struggle that will change us as individuals and will also change the group.
One struggle is seen in the dynamics of public reaction to our private repentance, especially if we are repenting of some behavior
that others have practiced with us where they will notice our changed agenda. The pebble dropped will be noticed. Many may take
offense. They will notice and think you're making a statement about them and will feel threatened. The threat is usually just their
own template urging them to also repent in like manner, but they'll think you are judging and attacking. Peer pressure will happen.
With hardly any speaking, we have to quietly overlook the pressure, move on with our repentance and let others do their own processing.
This is very difficult, especially when loved ones or the group pressure you to join in, doing the thing you're trying to leave
behind. You can feel like a pariah. We have this in common with abstaining alcoholics among old drinking buddies. Just this one
more time won't hurt, will it? Yes, it will!
That brings us to the other struggle. It comes from within. We have become proactive and intend to repent. But we are still carnal creatures of habit. We will lust after our old ways. So at first, just like any addict, our focus turns to anything that helps us break our bad habits. We will be hungry for only that in our private pursuit, and will avoid other addicts, even if they're our friends. If it doesn't further our repentance, it's wasting our time. Much of didactic class learning, where one does the work and the rest sit back and swallow it, will slow or end. People will only want to pursue their own template not someone else's. Support groups of those following the same path will replace classes. Everyone questioning, searching, listening and sharing. For God - the supreme teachable moment.
What about evangelizing the world? Isn't pursuing personal template sort of like holing up in a cave? Is it avoiding the real task? Some might think so, but they're wrong. So much of "evangelizing" is just pushing yourself, your culture or your institutional religion on others. But the receiving people can sense a lack of integrity and might not be motivated to repent. Indeed that type of ministry enables them to avoid repentance. They can be what they observe in the evangelist. A missionary who is out of sync with God might have words, stuff, smiles, or compliments, but are they an observable example that will inspire others to seek God privately themselves and follow His leading? Worse, is this even desirable? A missionary, teaching others to follow template without doing it himself could actually be dangerous to the institutional cause. What if the template they follow takes them away from the evangelist and the institution he or she represents? Lacking template integrity has other ramifications for the evangelist too. Not only does ministry falter but so does your influence with God Himself. Even prayer carries no weight, unless it's a true repentant cry for help
The minute you even begin to follow template, that all changes. You are in "repentance mode." You are humble, and others feel it. They feel integrity flowing from you. Your doing will match your saying. Now, because you are "plugged into God," He can use you. He may have you evangelize abroad or at home, even in your own family. But now you are truly sincere, not fake, and your testimony carries more weight than the previous push. The observers now have choice. They are not conquered - convinced by argument or beguiled by handouts. They feel something that is good. They witness a new way of being. The template spark inside them begins to burn and as I said before, it's just faith. By motivating people to seek the God given direction within them, we enable them to shine. The spark inside them begins to burn. Our greatest purpose becomes being a sounding wall. The difference is that God is in control of them and we are not, and that may seem an uncomfortable difference.
Follow Template Out of Babylon
We are called to come out of Babylon. What does that mean? What is Babylon today? How do we come out of it? These questions seem much debated, so my opinion is just another among many and probably oversimplified. But over four decades ago, when I gave up TV and got serious about examining my life and following Holy Spirit, I began to see two contrasting ways of perceiving the world.
The first most prevalent way is to "work within the system." Accept popular standard procedure and go with the flow. Do it like it's always been done, and act as if its precepts are true. Mass media pushes this perception and controls all who zero in. The masses in turn apathetically or even eagerly submit to being victimized and sacrificed. The system sucks off them. I call this Babylon. It's everywhere.
The second way of perceiving is to see all that and ask questions. Why do we do it like that? Is that the best way? Is there not a better way? What is God's way? To ask these questions will mark you as strange and get you in trouble, but doing it with template guidance will gradually take you out of Babylon.
I live in a place where people who want to be different go to avoid interference. I've met all kinds. Some follow template. I can't help but mention the Book of Mormon message to those I've met and befriended, but I could never suggest they visit or join our warring masses. Most would be repulsed the minute they sensed it, and they would discern it quickly. We have something great to share with others, but we ruin it. People ripe for harvest witness war instead of repentance. So do our own children.
When we see where the war takes us, we look for supreme intervention. It's like trying to manipulate God - wheedling Him to dig us out of the hole we've gotten ourselves into by our own choice. We do it in everything - our health, our habits, our relationships, our worship, our work - even our play. The way of the world has become our way. Spiritual depth has given way to the superficial. This has been going on almost since the very beginning. Is it not time to break the cycle?
In the mid 80's, after the sudden death of my husband and with the lack of solace from a spiritual home, I visited and studied the Fellowship for Intentional Community - over 1000 established physical communities of people so drawn to the idea of peace that they are experimenting to find it. Of course some of them succeed and some fail. Big lessons are learned from both the success and the failure. The main discovery has been that differences are to be celebrated and embraced; that through hearing and understanding each other's point of view, transcendence occurs. There is a synergy in this type of acceptance and respect that leads to serendipity (accidental discovery). In other words - each person's template can hold a piece of the puzzle, possibly an obscure key tidbit, and by closely listening to each other - we might hear God.
An Example: My Own Template Pursuit
As I look back on my own template walk and my decision to get away from Babylon as much as possible, I see how my Lord has been the “back seat driver.” In retrospect I realize the invisible orchestration of His guiding hand.
I grew up in a family of doctors and nurses. I started college as a pre-med student. I was going to be a doctor. But as time passed, I knew deep inside that something was wrong with that dream. My template still draws me to understand human health, but now I tackle pulling truth from the vast array of options in alternative medicine. Years ago I was shocked to find that ever since the 20's real cures have existed for the very worst diseases at far less expense, but this knowledge is suppressed and funds withheld, preventing faster progress in research. Why? Are the powerful protecting us from a lie or their pockets from the truth? I see Babylon in mainstream medicine. Patients and their doctors accept it as the only way to go. They surely don't realize they are feeding the greed of a corrupt system that sucks off misfortune and seeks to perpetuate it, to keep the love of money satisfied. What if there were a safe place where medical research was God inspired through template pursuit - where the sick could go and learn how to tap into the self-healing ability programmed into their bodies by their Creator?
No, I never went into the field of medicine. Instead I graduated with a degree in education. But after four years of teaching, I had enough, and decided to home school my own. Public, private, and even most home education also satisfy Babylon. So many errors taught; not just in subject matter, but in ethics, mores, perceptions and assumptions. Learning should be a never ending joyful pursuit, not a stressful competition we're glad to escape. It should target template longing, not waste precious time pushing useless, mandatory requisites. What if there were a safe place where education understood the template path, and all were successful learners, because they pursue only what they hunger to know?
Landscaping and gardening probably should have been my life pursuit. Even as a child I practiced the art and skill of knowing living plants - how to use them and place them to please the eye and bring health to our bodies. But - nobody noticed that, not even me. As years passed, I realized how the standard methods of farming, gardening and harvesting also were corrupted by the greed of Babylon. Again I delved into alternative methods that seemed better to me for so many different reasons. What if there were a safe place where people followed template guidance to farm responsibly, stewarding the land and harvesting untainted crops for food and medicine? If it had happened a hundred years ago and the example caught on, would we even have global warming today?
So now alternative healing, education and gardening seem to make up my template pursuit. Seeking God's guidance, I have looked for a better way. I have experimented in those areas and learned from the successes and the failures. I choose to leave Babylon. What is your template pursuit? Will you walk its path out of Babylon? I bear witness that it is exciting and rewarding, but you do risk the world’s scorn and all that entails. Babylon, the system that sucks off the underdogs, exists only because they allow themselves to be victimized. When they quit, it will fall. And when it falls, its remaining willing victims will also perish. Trends show that many seem to be waking up – they are becoming aware. Where will they turn? We’ve had a long while to make a place for them. Is it too late now?
Back to the Beginning
It’s never too late to begin. And by beginning to follow the template path of personal repentance, we break down our own dividing wall between our self and God. And that’s how we facilitate union – the only way. The words of the hymn at the beginning of this writing need the next two lines. “So like the Father and the Son, let all the saints in union join.” The Father and the Son – the physical a copy of the spiritual. The Son became the template. He is our example. We first have to repent and embrace God’s purpose in us like Christ did. Then union happens – with God. It’s not union with each other that is the problem. It’s our individual union with God. If we take care of that, group union will take care of itself.
The Effect of Template on Me
I have had more opportunity than anyone else to process the message in the words of “The Master’s Template.” I must have read it a hundred times or more, so I guess by now I should have it all down pat. Well I don’t.
But I can tell you now that this is one seed that if planted, will grow and bring forth so much good fruit. Not only will it influence others and empower them to also find their own path of repentance, but it opens up a whole new spiritual dimension of understanding the “Kingdom of God within.”
It is a paradox. The fastest way to get to where we want to go seems the slowest. To achieve in others the changes so obviously needed, we have to shut up and just make the changes we need in ourselves. When we do that, something changes in the spiritual world. The focus is no longer war but peace, not Babylon, but the Kingdom, not the harlot, but the bride.
Learning template living is not easy. Indeed it will take our all. We are so indoctrinated by the way of the world, that it’s become our fallen nature to practice war instead of peace.
I am still processing the template message and working to change myself. I will always be doing that. I notice my mistakes often, but that just makes me pay more attention to my template task. To catch myself before I react inappropriately, to stop blaming, victim, and/or retaliatory mentality before it occurs; to not even think those thoughts, but rather take responsibility for myself, my goals and my vision without trying to control others. It can be an overwhelming challenge. But now, after years, I’m beginning to “get it.” My automatic response is changing. I begin to see an inkling of the rewards, and I know they are worthy of the effort. It is a quest, a goal, and a dream wholly attainable – if by me, then by everyone.
This was long. I tried to keep it short, but it just didn’t happen. For those who feel snowed under, or may by now have missed the
action plan presented, here it is below. Remember this - what you read is real. It really does work. God is real. He will be your
guide, if you are really sincere. And if you do it, you will begin to understand the word "joy."
- 1. Give up idols and be patient while their hold wears off.
- 2. Regularly get alone with God – secret closet, private places to meditate, pray, sing, and think.
- 3. Ask God to reveal His purpose in your life – what He wants you to do - your vision of you –
it’s already inside you, but the vision will be murky at first and hard to find.
And don't be afraid of what it might be. You are made for it. You will love it.
- 4. Create a determined game plan to change and repent of old ways and the mundane offenders that are holding you back.
- 5. See the first step of that repentance - that is - how to begin.
- 6. Do not announce it - become it.
- 7. Persevere – don’t be dissuaded. Don't be lazy brained.
Do what you need to do to get where you need to be.
Remember – experiment upon the word. It won’t be handed to you on a silver platter.
You will need to develops habits. You will need stamina. You will need to research.
If people of similar pursuit find each other, they need to mutually support.
- 8. Do not push what you are doing on others. Only share it when someone asks a question.
If you do share, it should be in a transparent template type confession.
People learn best from witnessing your example, not from your argument or persuasion.
- 9. Repeat the above again and again, as you begin to see more of God's plan for you - who you're to be and what you're to do.
- 10. As others follow your example and seek their own path, be a sounding wall for them - not a fixer, a supporter.
- (Yes, you are right - this takes time. That's why you give up those time consuming idols. But time-wise - for almost two hundred years, as a body we have made little progress toward Zion, the city of example. You may feel pressed for time and feel there is a higher spiritual plane that can skip all the above. As a church, we've been trying that for a long time, but it hasn't worked. That's because it's saying the temporal is unimportant, and that's incorrect. Everything, even the temporal, is spiritual. Saying the temporal is unimportant in turn is saying the Aaronic Priesthood is not needed. We have generally treated that office only as a stepping stone to what we think is something greater. Yes, that is how we have behaved, and as a people we seem stuck . The Aaronic priesthood are supremely important. They should be teaching the temporal steps of righteousness - and not just how to tithe. They are part of the priesthood "team." (Maybe it's time we put that right too.)
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