Zion, Part 1

This entry is part 41 of 49 in the series JJ Lectures

Zion

JJ Seminar West Jordan, Utah, 2006

Susan asked me to speak on manifesting Zion and since we are in strong Mormon territory this is probably an interesting subject here. As you know I have written on many things not related to Mormon Doctrine even though I do have a Mormon background myself. I was not really raised in a church and my parents were pretty much alcoholics. When I was young I used to have to take my little sister and go downtown and drag my parents out of the bars and try to get them to come home. They would often want us to stay so we would stay and I would drink beer with everybody else when I was a little kid – so I was not raised in a religious background.

My Mom thought she was marrying a religious guy because my grandmother was ultra, ultra religious and she was just so sweet that you could not say no to her and that is why my Dad went to church when he was young. So anyway, my Mom thought she was marrying a good member of the LDS church and then when they got settled into the marriage she said well Ted lets go to church and he replied, “I am never going to darken the door of the church with my presence again, I have been forced to go to church all my life and now I am done with it and that is it.”

This was a rude awakening for my Mom. My Dad had always drank a little on the side but started drinking more and my Mom felt like she would have to drink and party with him or else stay at home so she decided that she was going to go out with him. My Dad was a notorious drinker for most of his life. He used to do a lot of prospecting and mine consultation and he would take me on trips where he would look at mines and give advice. When I went on a trip with him when I was a kid he would go in some bar in a far away place and he would walk into that bar even in the middle of day and someone would say, “Oh Ted where have you been?” Everywhere he went people knew him and he was quite a character. He knew a boat-load of jokes and he would tell stories and everybody would gravitate towards him. He loved to buy drinks and whenever he got ahead financially he would throw parties and would spend all his money.

So this was the background I came from – so I didn’t grow up in a typical Mormon family by any means. My Dad took off to Nicaragua for a year or so leaving my mom, me and my sister to fend for ourselves with no support or communication from him. He went there to mine for gold and built a huge machine to dredge river bottoms for gold. He and my uncle got some investors to invest a large amount of cash to do this and they went broke. After this they got some more rich guys behind them and invested in the first bus line in Central America that went from one end to the other on a schedule. They had machine guns on the bus to keep people under control.

So he was down there having these adventures and he went broke and he came back home and showed up like nothing had happened. We had not seen him for over a year and we got word one time that he was dead and then we found out he was not dead. Later he shows up one day and I asked him what was the story about him being dead? He said, “Well I was down in Nicaragua and I came out of this bar and I was hit over the head and I woke up with nothing but my shorts on and they even stole my false teeth. I could handle everything being stolen but losing my false teeth was really a handicapped for me until I got back to America.”

So anyway he showed up like there was nothing wrong at our door and my Mom begrudgingly let him stay and he was making him some eggs and he was grumbling about something and my Mom told him,  “You know those are my eggs you are eating there.”  Now this really set him off and he took one of the eggs out of the carton and he threw it at her and that was the last straw and she threw him out.

When I was thirteen, after the divorce, we bought this little house in the big city of Letha, Idaho between Emmett and New Plymouth. I talk about Letha a lot because I made up about 2% of the population. The dad of my best friend, Wayne,  owned half the town and he was a poor man so that tells you a little bit about Letha. There was a church in the town that drew members from the surrounding area and we bought the house only about a block away from it.  I was under pressure from members to go to church and then one  Easter  I had felt guilty about not going so I thought I better attend since it was a special day.

On my way there I was thinking that I had to make a decision about this church thing. Now if I was a good guy and I do what I was supposed to do and go to church then I was to be rewarded with heavenly bliss for all eternity. I thought that is not really a bad deal because this life here on earth is like the snap of the finger and eternity is forever. So I reasoned to myself that I would have a great reward for eternity which may be worth enduring the boredom of the church.

I asked myself if I could handle the boredom because I found the church really, really boring but, on the other hand, if it was true than it would be worth be being bored to get that eternity of happiness. I will not tell the whole story because I told it at the last gathering but to make a long story short I determined that it would be worth it if I could handle the boredom and I decided that I would commit to going for six weeks and if I could handle the boredom for the six weeks then I would go for the rest of my life. If I could not handle it then I would just be like my Dad and party and have fun.

So I went for six weeks and I learned to handle the boredom and then I took it seriously and started reading the scriptures. When I read the scriptures it was really an awakening because I previously figured if the church people were boring then the scriptures were probably even more boring. But when I read the scriptures I found them quite fascinating and then when I read the history of the church I found that even more interesting and I thought wow these people here have some really good history and everybody was just preaching just the standard watered-down stuff.

So I was amazed at what the people in church seemed to be missing. Then after I started taking the church seriously everybody said that I needed to really study the scriptures and start taking them seriously and I said well then that is what I will do, I will read them and study them. When I did this I found all kinds of unusual things in the scriptures that were not taught in the church. But after I took the scriptures seriously I got thrown out for studying and believing them. I got in trouble because I read the scriptures and found things in there that was not taught in the church. I did not get thrown out of the church for plural marriage by the way. Almost everybody who got thrown out of the church in that day was for plural marriage or some transgression. What got me in trouble was I discovered that there is progression from one kingdom to another in the next world.

I wrote a little treatise on this and gave it to my nephew and I told him not to show this anybody or it would get him in trouble and he thought that was kind of silly. He said why would this get me in trouble? So he attends his local church and he shows it to everybody. Then the Bishop calls him and says we are removing you from of all your jobs and we are having a trial for you before the High Council in 3 days.

Well I went to his trial and defended him and that led to me getting investigated and thrown out. So basically what led to me getting thrown out of the church was writing a little seven page treatise showing that there was progression from one kingdom to another. It was really a minor thing to get thrown out for but it led them to questioning me and when they questioned me they found out I believed in all kinds of strange things. They felt that they could not handle having a guy with strange beliefs in the system. So this led to me getting thrown out of the church. What was interesting about getting excommunicated was that Curtis and I did not break any single rule. At that time I was paying my tithes and living the Word of Wisdom and doing everything I was supposed to do and not breaking one single rule and I still lost my membership. I got thrown out because of what I thought.

I did nothing wrong and obeyed all the rules and I had eight jobs in the church at the time of my trial. I did all that I was supposed to do but when they found out what I was thinking I got thrown out because I was not thinking correctly according to them. Now, was that right or wrong?

A lot of people would think such an action is hard to believe because the church is reluctant to excommunicate members for regular sin. You’d just about have to rape a bishop’s wife to get thrown out but if you think incorrectly,  you become dangerous. You become dangerous if you are thinking things that make sense that other people may believe.

If you rape the bishop’s wife then everybody realizes that it is wrong and they try and get you to repent but if you think something out of the mainstream that makes sense which may sway other people and may catch on, then they feel it is like a disease and they have to get rid of you because you could pollute the whole system. The Mormon Church is not the only one with this problem. Every system on the earth has this problem – every religion, every government, every organization, every position of power tries to protect itself from change, from things that will threaten and one can understand this to a degree. If you have a family and someone threatens your family then you will do everything you can to protect them, so when you look at it logically we cannot blame the church or the government or whoever they may be that is trying to protect themselves from change because  the first instinct as an individual or group is to protect ourselves.

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Series NavigationWhat is Love? Part 5Zion, Part 2

3 thoughts on “Zion, Part 1

  1. I am enjoying these lectures so much! I just read the whole section about love and I was wondering if you have any wisdom to share about the concept of twinsouls (probably what most people refer to as soulmates) ….I never did disguss that notion of love/oneness with you and I’m highly interested in what you might have to say about the subject. ….Also hoping you recieved my last two emails a while back….about religious matters.

  2. “He loved to buy drinks and whenever he got ahead financially he would throw parties and would spend all his money.” I should have married your Dad LOL. I used to drink like a fish and buy drinks for people at the bar. In fact, I was probably more a binge drinker and I loved to party.

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