Friday, November 13, 2015

World Peace

There are two general ways we could choose to obtain our goals.  One is good.  The other is bad.  I refer to the good one as Paradoxical Strategies and to the bad one as Survival of the Fittest Strategies.

Galatians 6:7-10

Paradoxical Strategies
Paradoxical Strategies are seeking to achieve our goals by sacrificing first, waiting to receive last.   

“But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” ~Matthew 19:30 

The goal of using Paradoxical Strategies is to obtain Sustainable results.  That’s why I call Paradoxical Strategies good.  The results are not temporary.  They don’t end after a short spurt of life.  When we use Paradoxical Strategies we put the work in up front.  In the end life gets better and our Joy increases in intensity and sustainability.  This is readily seen in fitness and nutrition.  When we take the time to exercise regularly and eat right, we enjoy a better, more sustainable state of health than we otherwise would had we not.

“Your choice of diet profoundly influences your long-term health prospects…Many older people suffer from debilitating conditions that could have been largely prevented had they known and applied the nutrition principles of today.  The chronic diseases—heart disease, diabetes, some kinds of cancer, dental disease, and adult bone loss—all have a connection to poor diet.  These diseases cannot be prevented by a good diet alone…Within the range set by your genetic inheritance, however, the likelihood of developing these diseases is strongly influenced by your food choices” (Nutrition, Concepts and Controversies, 10th ed., Ch 1 “Food Choicesand Human Health,” pg 3).

Also watch:  

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Survival of the Fittest Strategies
Survival of the Fittest Strategies are seeking to achieve our goals by receiving first and waiting to sacrifice until we are forced to do it.  Receiving first is focusing on what we can grab for ourselves right now.  That means we eat, drink, and be merry now and in the end, we pay for it (2 Nephi 28:7). But we don’t think about the end until it actually arrives.  The results we obtain using this method do not last.  They are only temporary and eventually die out, leaving us worse off than before.  Greater sorrow, pain, anguish, and remorse.  That is why I call Survival of the Fittest Strategies bad.  This way of obtaining our goals is also readily seen in the example of fitness and nutrition.  When we don’t take the time to exercise regularly and eat right, we develop health problems that otherwise could have been avoided.

Our Lord and Savior’s Way
Jesus Christ uses Paradoxical Strategies.  This method of achieving our goals is interwoven all throughout his teachings.  In the Sermon on the Mount he instructs us to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, love those who despitefully use us and persecute us, and to give more to those who would force us to give to them.  He tells us that if we seek to obtain our goals by saving our life, we’re going to lose it in the end.  But if we obtain them by losing our life, we will gain it in the end.  Quite the Paradox.  When we implement these strategies in our lives, we obtain Sustainable results—eternal life (Mark 8:34-38).

Our Savior’s entire life demonstrated Paradoxical Strategies:
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” ~Matthew 9:35 

He wasn’t doing those things to receive.  He was sacrificing his time and God-given talents to re-balance and lift others in their lives.  But in return he received this:

“...the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” ~Mark 8:31

The key is to look at the Paradoxical result: “after three days rise again.”  Suffer first, win in the end.

Listen:  “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

Developing Faith to Sacrifice First
It takes faith to sacrifice first.  It’s a leap of faith.  We can’t see the Results with our physical eyes so we’re not sure that what we’re going through is worth it.  In the beginning and maybe for a long time it looks like we’re the losers.  That’s hard.  Our Savior appeared the loser while hanging on the cross. That’s more than hard.  But with faith, we can know and FEEL that we’re on the right track.  Because Jesus Christ walked the Paradoxical pathway first, we can sense when we’re on it and when we’re off it EVEN THOUGH IT MAY APPEAR LIKE WE’RE LOSING in our Goal Achievement Journey.  We sense him.  We sense his Spirit when we walk with him.  Walking with him is living Paradoxically by sacrificing first and waiting to receive last.  And after our metaphorical three days, we too will rise again because of Jesus Christ (Alma 39:9).  

Children have a tendency to use Survival of the Fittest Strategies.  They don’t know about Paradoxical Strategies yet.  Some do and we are all amazed by a child’s faith.  But if you have ever watched two small children fighting over a toy, you know what I mean.  It’s about “me first”.  It’s about #1.

The song by Toby Keith, "I Wanna Talk About Me" is kind of a humorous depiction of looking at our natural way of putting self first in our relationships.

It’s easy to see how the Loggerheads can predominate with this mentality (also see It's My Party).  

“Me first. I wanna talk about me and my needs.”
“But what about me?  I wanna talk about me and what I need.”  

It takes time to develop the faith to live Paradoxically.  It can’t be forced.  The more we know, the more we understand.  The more times we actually live through to the results of a Paradoxical process, the greater our faith becomes.  We can make greater sacrifices.  We can deal with more pain or endure it for longer periods of time.  It’s like developing muscles.  When we consistently subject our muscles to strength conditioning, they get stronger and increase in their endurance.

The “end” isn’t just the end of the world or the end of our lives and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, although those certainly are ends.  Ends or Results come when conflicts are resolved, when goals are achieved, or when forgiveness and repentance takes place so that relationships are mended.

The Natural Man
We all seem to carry our childlike Survival Strategies into adulthood to a certain degree.  This is the natural man.  We’re all still learning.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” ~Mosiah 3:19
The natural man is that “me first” side of the child in us that we want to grow out of.  The other side of the child in us is humility and faith that we don’t want to grow out of.  We need to hold on to that side because it is a characteristic in us that enables us to trust Paradoxical Causes to help us.  They sacrifice first for us, and wait for us to choose to pay it forward.

The goal of Paradoxical Strategies is to wean ourselves of natural man tendencies little by little, line upon line.  And wouldn’t you know it but the process to do that is to deal with other Survival of the Fittest Strategies, attitudes, and situations that are used against us by other people.  Trials and adversity that provide the refiner’s fire are the result of natural disasters and natural-man disasters.  But this is why we don’t have to go nuts when others treat us in a Survival of the Fittest way; unbeknownst to them they are just providing us with a chance to work our faith muscle out so that it will increase over time.  But our General Paradoxical Cause, Jesus Christ, won’t give us more than we can take even though some days it seems like he is.  It all works out in the end  Listen to this song by Group 1 Crew (feat. Chris August) called "He Said" that reminds us of this promise.

Taking the Lord’s Name In Vain
Serious issues arise when an adult (or even a child in some cases) who has been continuously treated with Paradoxical Strategies, chooses Survival of the Fittest Strategies anyway and won’t change.  The goal of Paradoxical Strategies is to increase our faith but it is also to persuade people engaging in Survival of the Fittest Strategies to change their colors (Alma 24:23-25).  We want them on our team.  We want them to defect from the Survival team.  We’re not ashamed of this goal.  We shout it to the world:

“We want you on our team!  We want you to leave the Survival team you’re on right now and join us.  Down with the Survival team!  Just so you know, the Survival team is going to lose in the end.  They always do.” 

We demonstrate what our team is by treating others with Paradoxical Strategies.  We say to them:

“This is what it is.  Check it out.  We’re not going to turn and revile again when you revile us.  If you need clothing, food, shelter, love and compassion from us, we’ll give it to you.  We’ll take care of you.”

3 Nephi 6:13
Mosiah 4:16-23
Mark 10:42-45
Alma 17:11
Alma 17:20-25

Everyone has something to offer, however small.  We may not be able to give back exactly what we receive, but we have something we can give.  We need to give it to turn our internal facing Survival arrows externally in Paradoxical Strategies (Mosiah 4:24).  I think this idea is very well said in the "Little Drummer Boy" Christmas song.  Listen to one of my favorite renditions of that song by Pentatonix:  Little Drummer Boy.
If someone receives all this kindness and love but continues treating us with Survival Strategies without any plans of changing to Paradoxical Strategies for an extended period of time, what the heck!? Right!? (Jacob 5:49-51) We are responsible for how we respond to a Paradoxical Team Members’ sacrifice for us.  What will we do once we receive their sacrifice?  Will we keep using Survival Strategies?  Or will we join their team and change to Paradoxical Strategies to obtain our goals (Parable of the Talents)?

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” ~Exodus 20:7

The Survival of the Fittest Team
Here’s the issue with Team Survival:  there are people on that team that are stronger than we are and PURPOSEFULLY operating in Survival of the Fittest Strategies to get what they want.  Their whole game plan is to take advantage of the weak.  They want to trick them.  They don’t want them to know what’s going on until they are completely trapped into habits that force them to be on the Survival team forever, being sucked dry of those who are stronger thereby being forced to suck dry those who are weaker JUST TO SURVIVE.  So they bait us with incremental temptations.  They start small because if they started big, we would see them for what they are and jump ship.  They give us a lot of something for nothing up front.  They say we don’t have to do anything for it.  We just receive lots of goodies, lots of freebies, lots of the vain things of the world like riches, honor, money, substance, fine apparel, stuff to adorn our churches, harlots, peer acceptance, and the praise of men.

“But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.” ~Moroni 7:17

“And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” ~2 Nephi 28:21

“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” ~2 Nephi 28:22 

So when we choose to obtain our goals using Survival Strategies, we join that team.  We may be able to beat out those weak ones but don’t forget there are stronger ones lurking, hiding, lying in wait for the moment to take advantage of us where we are weak in the end.

"Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him." ~D&C 10:25

The Great Tempter and Accuser
After we take the goods and become addicted to them, Survival people will blow the whistle on us.  They will stand there accusing us before God and men.  They will shame us and won’t let it rest.  In fact many Survival Causes will purposely tempt us out of the Safe Spot so they can then accuse us of breaking the rules and of being untrue to our God and unworthy of returning to him.  We actually think that is true.  We believe them!  And so for shame we won’t go back to our Paradoxical Cause.  We don’t reach for him.  We don’t repent.  We just wallow.  This keeps us in this cycle for years and years and years.  Hell.  Definitely hell.
“...for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” ~Revelations 12:10

“Laying wait for [Jesus], and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” ~Luke 11:54

So Survival Causes have two strategies they use to lure us out of the Safe Spot:  Adversity and Temptation.  Once out, they have power over us.  And they shame us which basically prevents us from going back to the Paradoxical Team.  We feel like we don’t belong on that team anymore.  We think those team members will view us like a defector.  
Unfortunately there are people who are acting like they belong to the Paradoxical Team who will treat those who have defected but then want to come back, like Survival Team Members would treat them, with accusation, unrighteous judgment, and coldness.  These are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).

Protection vs. Subjection
Paradoxical Causes protect us against Survival Causes when we remain in the Safe Spot—meaning we’re using Paradoxical Strategies.  But if Survival Causes can trick us into believing that Paradoxical Causes are just trying to subject us to them by putting fences up to prevent us from enjoying all the goodies, freebies, and vain things of the world, then we might actually fight against that protection (#Korihor).  They say it is our right to receive first and enjoy our “privileges.”  Gluttony is a right.  Lasciviousness is the joy of life.  They say receiving first is the way it ought to be.  The trouble is that it is not the way it is.  If we want Sustainable Results, we must sacrifice first.  The good stuff comes in the end and it comes forever.  It is the law. 

Time Limit:  Enter Justice
We can see that there needs to be a time limit for allowing Survival of the Fittest people or natural disasters to be the fire by which we are refined (1 Nephi 2:24).  If allowed to continue for too long the bad guys will take good guys out completely (Alma 27:12).  Some people would use their agency to repent for Survival Strategies once they have been loved by a Paradoxical person.  But there are some people who would take advantage of Paradoxical people, use their sacrifice for selfish gain, and never have any intentions of turning Paradoxical themselves.

Alma 1:16
Mormon 8:37
John 12:42-43
1 Nephi 19:7 

This is bondage for a Paradoxical person.  If Survival people are not kept in check by the laws of Justice, they would eat up the Lord’s vineyard, overrun it, abuse it, walk all over it like a carpet, live like a parasite on it. 

So that’s why there is another Cause that needs to be involved besides Paradoxical and Survival Causes.  This is the Cause of Justice.  It is our Father in Heaven and all those who are called to uphold the law.  So while Jesus Christ and all of us who have taken upon us his name take the Paradoxical role, the Father stays in the Justice role.  The Father tells us when we have bowed our heads long enough to a Survival person.  He is able to tell after various trials and much time that a person is not going to change his/her colors.  He allows his people (Paradoxical Team Members) including his own Son to suffer first but then in the result, he will sanction one of three strategies:

1.  Loss of Protection:  Exit Mercy
He will take the offenders out himself by not protecting them against stronger Survival Causes and natural adversities, which will eventually seize them.  Basically they get taken out by their own teammates

"And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end." ~1 Nephi 14:3

“Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.” ~2 Nephi 28:23

2.  Defense
Authorize and empower beyond their own natural strength his Paradoxical Team Members to defend their families, lands, country, rights, religion, and homes against the Survival Team

“And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that:  Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.  And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed.  Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.” ~Alma 43:46-47

First Offense—the one who started the Survival fight.
Second Offense—This is when we continue in Paradoxical Strategies despite the reviling.  We don’t revile again but the Survival Causes just continuously walk all over that, which constitutes the Second Offense (1 Peter 2:23 , 3 Nephi 6:13).

“We would not shed the blood of our brethren if they would not rise up in rebellion and take the sword against us. We would subject ourselves to the yoke of bondage if it were requisite with the justice of God, or if he should command us so to do.  But behold he doth not command us that we shall subject ourselves to our enemies, but that we should put our trust in him, and he will deliver us. Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God.” ~Alma 61:11-14

But if the majority of Paradoxical Team Members defect to the Survival Team, seeking to obtain their goals in wickedness and forgetting to have faith in sacrificing first/waiting to receive until last, then they will lose their enhanced power to defend themselves.

“Therefore the Lord did cease to preserve them by his miraculous and matchless power, for they had fallen into a state of unbelief and awful wickedness; and they saw that the Lamanites were exceedingly more numerous than they, and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish.  For behold, they saw that the strength of the Lamanites was as great as their strength, even man for man. And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak, because of their transgression, in the space of not many years.” ~Helaman 4:25-26

3.  Separation
Direct his Paradoxical Team Members to separate from the Survival Team (1 Nephi 2:1-2, Exodus 3:7-8, 2 Nephi 5:1-6).

When Paradoxical people are separated from Survival people, the Survival team can no longer have them as their slaves, taking advantage of their mercy.  In reality, Survival Causes are taking advantage of our General Paradoxical Cause’s mercy (Exodus 20:7).  This is their craft (Alma 35:4).  It is how they survive.  There’s only so long that the Father will allow that to happen.  If it is defeating the purpose of strengthening Paradoxical people’s faith or winning over Survival people to the Paradoxical Team, he will end their relationship either by natural disaster, war, or separation.  This is what is referred to as “ripe for destruction.”

“Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe.”
~Alma 37:31

When the freebies (#Mercy) of Paradoxical Team Members are taken away, Survival Team Members have no choice but to repent and join the Paradoxical Team or they will crash and burn.  If they still refuse to repent, they may choose to start a war upon the Paradoxical Team because they can’t subsist in a closed group.  They will eventually kill each other off (#Crash&Burn).  They need to feed off of a Sustainable source to live.

This is why we can never obtain world peace as long as Survival of the Fittest Strategies live in us and in the people among us.  If we want the wars, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters to stop, we must each voluntarily choose Paradoxical Strategies and strive to win others over to that team, allegiantly trusting that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father have our backs.