Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Importance of Covenant Intercessors and the Power of Oneness



"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18)

It happens to all of us as we walk in the course of our everyday lives-working, taking care of kids, doctors appointments, cleaning the house, grocery shopping- that we sometimes find ourselves underestimating the power and gift that we have been given in the Restoration of the Gospel.  If we take a moment and think about the great gift of light and truth we have received in The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, we really have been given betrothal gifts whose worth is far greater that the finest rubies and the purest gold.

Like God's judgment upon the generation of Noah, the Tower of Babel, the House of Israel, the Jaredites, and the Nephites we are about to see judgments of like severity poured out upon our Nation.  Even in the midst of the darkness of impending judgment there is the possibility of the light of salvation.  If our adversaries believe that they are being successful in extinguishing this light, they are grossly mistaken for while the light may be temporarily obscured, the pillar of fire which came from Heaven and dwelt upon a rock can never be extinguished. (1 Nephi 1:6).  In fact it is the same fire which enlivens every man, woman, and child within whom burns the Love of God and righteousness.

BECOMING COVENANT INTERCESSORS


The scriptures are filled with example after example of righteous men and women who walked in the Path of Covenant Intercessors like the Messiah.  Rather than choosing death, they choose life in taking upon them the name of Christ--they choosing repentance rather than destruction.  Make no mistake the judgments are sure, but like Moses and Israel there is an Exodus (both spiritual and physical) under the covering of the God of Israel is still available.  Before that day comes though, there must be people like the Nephi who have have walked in the path of God's covenant and obtained the Land of Promise.  There must be women like Deborah who rendered righteous judgment for all Israel before God.  There must people like the Brother of Jared who drew down the compassion of Heaven in the midst of judgment.

In order to obtain deliverance in times of trial, as a bride of Messiah we must return to our first love.  To do this we must identify ourselves as a Zion and become the covenant bride of the Messiah.  To do this we must follow the true "protocols" of Zion.

One Heart and One Mind


“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)

The idea of oneness has been pontificated on and speculated about by many scholars, religious leaders, and theologians.  As a result the doctrine of “Oneness” has been taken from its roots and been planted in a foreign soil of Western Greek Culture. Over the years I have heard many proclamations and discourses in my experience in Mormonism about “Being One.”  While there are many who cite Moses description of Zion in the Pearl of Great Price wherein he states that the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them they completely ignore the rest of his teachings to Ancient Israel on how to be of one heart and one mind.  They ignore the commandments given to Israel on how to dwell in righteousness. They neglect the laws God gave to Moses to establish a society with no poor among them.

It only takes us two seconds to turn on the news and witness with our eyes the reality that we are living in the latter days.  We are witnessing curses being poured out and our children being taken over by a foreign culture.  We are receiving the curses of the covenant and in our ignorance and blindness we stand bewildered not knowing what to do as the chains of bondage wrap themselves ever tighter around us and our families. The truth is that Zion is not a mystery.  God foreknew our situation and preserved his word to us in these latter days:

 “In the future (latter days), when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations (gentiles) to which the LORD your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions.” (Deuteronomy 30:1)

God revealed to Moses that Israel would not be faithful in keeping his instructions.  Moses knew that we would be scattered to the ends of the earth.  We would be found living among nations that did not know the God of Israel and in conditions where we would forget his covenant instructions that he not only gave to all Israel that stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, but to all their future generations yet unborn.  Realizing this predicament God revealed:

“If at that time you and your children return to the LORD your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you.” (Deuteronomy 30: 2-3)

This promise that God revealed to Moses is the backbone of the Great and Marvelous Work wherein God will remember his promises he made to the Fathers and restore the House of Israel.

“Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The LORD your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!  The LORD your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! (Deuteronomy 30:4-6)

Pay close attention to these words because they are the “Heart” of Oneness with God and each other.  God is making his case very clear to his people.  He is God.  We are to follow his instructions.  In doing so he will change our hearts (Heb: Thoughts and desires) so that we may be one (echad) and live.  To an Israelite, this should cite our minds to the greatest commandment given by God, the Shema:  
          
“Hear (Listen and Obey), O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one (echad). You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)


DWELLING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:



For a people to be Zion they must dwell in righteousness. This expression contains a two fold meaning that gives us additional information on how to be Zion. If this characteristic was important enough to be used in Moses’ description of Enoch’s Zion then perhaps it would help us to understand what righteousness is and what it means to dwell in righteousness.

In describing Enoch’s Zion Moses stated:

“And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish. And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7: 16-18)

The phrase “dwelt in righteousness” although simple is packed with meaning. To understand what it means to dwell in righteousness we must understand what righteousness is from a Hebraic point of view.  

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law (Torah).” (Psalms 119: 5-9)

To an Israelite his walk with God is the path.  Just as the Hebrew word resha (wicked) carries the meaning of departing from God’s path, the Hebrew word tzadik (righteous) carries of the meaning of walking in God’s path.  God’s commandments and instructions are the path of righteousness.  To uphold, correctly interpret, protect, and carry out God’s commandments is righteousness.

Righteousness is not some mystical state of bliss but a condition of being where people establish and carry out God’s commandments or laws amongst them.  In describing who would dwell in the holy hill and in the presence of God’s tabernacle, King David demonstrates God’s definition of righteousness as condition, attitude, and most importantly actions:

 “ LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” (Psalms 15)


One God, One Law, One People


Unity or Oneness comes from accepting God as our King and his laws as our standard.  The people are of one heart because their thoughts are centered on him and the embracing of his instructions given in the commandments on Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount.  The people become of one mind because their will is to carry out or implement God's instructions.  The oneness comes from the combined oneness of our desire.  The success of the Nephites in the Land of Bountiful lay in the unity of desire (kavanah).  In offering their desire, Heaven and Earth once again connected.

By returning (teshuvah-repentance) to the God of Israel and his commandments that he delivered to Israel not only to say them, but to do them in the here and now we will obtain the covenant blessings that will overturn the curses coming upon us.  Rather than destruction we will have prosperity.  Rather than losing our children to a foreign culture we will establish an everlasting inheritance in the land to our God.

 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’

It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’

No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.

 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.

For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.   (Deuteronomy 30: 10-16)





Sunday, March 22, 2020

What Does it Mean to Watch and Pray Always




"Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him." (3 Nephi 18:15)

For years we have heard the admonition to "watch and pray always".  At first glance it would seem that we are being told to "be on the lookout and pray always" so that you enter not into temptation.  On the surface level the admonition sounds simple enough, but then arises the question, "How do I watch and pray always?"  I mean I have to go to work.  Life is busy and I have things to do. I have children to take care of, etc, etc. 

In order to better understand the admonition and how to "watch and pray always", it is helpful to understand what the words mean from an Israelite perspective.  The word 'watch' is often translated from the Hebrew words shamar .  In context the word shamar means to guard or to observe something and is the same word wherein we get the admonition of "Keep (shamar-guard/observe my commandments).   In the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew we find that this is the word used by the Messiah in his admonition as found in Matthew 26:41, "Watch (shamar-guard/observe) and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

So the question then comes, "How do I Guard/Observe and Pray Always".....  In cultural context not only is the phrase connected with the concept of the respective "watches" when guards were placed around strategic areas of the city or temple to alert the city should an enemy approach, but it also became culturally connected with practices of walking with God and "how" we are to pray always:

Israelite Tools For Guarding


Practicing The Presence:

One of the first principles of  "the watch" was the idea that we are practicing our duties as a "watcher" in the presence of God.  The duties of a watcher entailed not only being physically and mentally prepared, but also ever vigilant in their duties to guard the people of God and to be ever ready to carry out the commands of the King. One of the disciplines taught came to be known in later Jewish circles as "practicing the presence". The Prophets of Israel walked in the discipline of living/practicing the presence of God.  This discipline was taught to their students as in doing so they began to come out from their spiritual hiding places, experience their nakedness before God, and walk in the path of his presence in this world.  Their acknowledgment of God's presence in their heart (thoughts) and in the world around them was a key discipline by which they lived and governed their lives and in doing so unleashed a fundamental power of transformation and the utter destruction of doubt/unbelief.

The idea is that God is in all things and through all things-both good and bad. It was not sufficient that we simply believe in God.  We must learn to see him and his presence in all things on this earth- both the good and the bad.  In doing so we begin to come out from our hiding places.  In doing so we begin to know God.  This is why both in ancient Israel and even in the history of the restoration, men would mark their homes, their tools, their door frames, etc with the outward phrase, "Holiness To The Lord (YHVH)" or other instruments containing scriptures (i.e. mezuzah) because whether in life or death, sin or obedience, the acknowledgment of the presence of God in all things brought the person out from under the power and shame produced by our adversary and back into the presence of God and the path of true healing and redemption.  By putting up signposts (whether physical or spiritual) we open ourselves to the divine presence- we begin both outwardly and inwardly acknowledge his living presence or eye.  It was not the question of "Why bad things happen to good people" or the declaration that  "Prosperity follows the Righteous", but that the presence of God fills the whole earth in the here and now.  In fact we walk in it daily and with every breath we breathe.

In other words, we wake up to the presence of God each morning even as we lie down in his arms each night.  We go to work or school each day as if the presence of God is with us.  We administer to our loved ones and to the stranger on the street as if before the presence of God.  We change diapers, we clean toilets, we nurse our babies, we take out the garbage, etc etc all as if we are continually before the presence of God in all our thoughts, words, and deeds. In doing so the spiritual heart of man is revealed even as the carnal man begins to fall away before his all searching eye.

This discipline of practicing or acknowledging that we live continually in the presence of God is also demonstrated by the teaching of the "eye" of God.  The Prophet Jacob declares:

"O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of your blood." (2 Nephi 9:44)

and

"But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God." (Jacob 2:10)

Israelite Meditation:


The ancient art of the Prophets was composed of disciplines designed to bring the disciple to a knowledge of God (to know in Hebrew is to experience).  The disciplines were comprised of practises that schooled the disciple's daily habits and practises which ultimately led to the correction of the heart.  The correction of the Heart is what was known as walking after the order or pattern of the small face of God or as is also communicated as The Only Begotten.  When the heart is made whole the spirit of man is elevated and vibrates in concert with the Spirit of God (YHVH).  When a group of people heal their collective heart the Kingdom of God is restored to the people.  It is our direct experience (knowledge/knowing) that leads us down the path of darkness or the path of light.  Unless we enter our experiences with God and man with a corrected and healed heart, we will continue to walk in the footsteps of the natural man and woman, who are an enemy to God. As we begin to experience life with a healed and corrected heart, true beauty will follow.  As we create the beauty of God here on earth, the Kingdom of God is on Earth as it is in Heaven.

The phrase "watch and pray always" is also connected with an ancient meditative practice taught in the School of the Prophets called Hitbodedut ( meditative isolation or separation) wherein the disciple begins to cleanse the mind by separating from the distracting thoughts and distractions going on around us or in our heads (sometimes called mental clutter or the monkey mind). The ancient meditation and prayer teachings of Israel are a much neglected topic that adds great depth of understanding to the words of the the Prophets when they made such statements as, "Calling upon the Name" or "Watching and Pray Always", and "Ask, Seek, and Knock".

When the mind becomes separated from this sensory clutter we begin to hear the voice of God that pierces the hearts of man. When the prophets came before God in prayer they detached from the sensations and sensory clutter of the world and their bodies and mind became quiet and still.  Once they reached this quietness of soul, they begin to reach a condition of spiritual balance wherein the rhythm of the opposing polar thoughts and forces are neutralized and the path of spiritual connection is open.  The idea of asking, seeking, and knocking does not mean that we repetitively hound God until we get what we want but that we first find the place of quietness, then ask with our desire or intention.  It is then that the prophet descended into the klipot/the veil/the internal barrier into the darkness wherein they reached a point of almost total consumption by the darkness wherein they called upon the Name of YHVH (knocking) whereon they were then brought into the light.

These meditative disciplines taught in the ancient Schools of the Prophets were deeply connected with disciplines of meditating upon the name YHVH, The Aleph Prayer, the 72 Names of God, and the creative prayer of the 42 letters in the first chapter of Genesis (sometimes called the prayer of creation) which later came to be expressed in a prayer called The Ana Bekoach.

The idea of "watching" being connected with a meditative discipline appears very foreign to our western gentile culture, but to an ancient Israelite culture prayer and meditation were intricately connected.  Praying or meditating upon the names of God was a common practice taught in the Ancient School of the Prophets. The Power of the Holy Names of God is a discipline found within many of the remaining traditions of the House of Israel to this day.  Some choose to meditate upon the name YHVH or El Shaddai as a recitation, repetition, or for lack of a better word a mantra of prayer to focus their prayers of desire through and to God.  One of the most ancient disciplines was the specific meditation upon letters of the Hebrew Alephbet (alphabet) wherein it was taught lay certain spiritual devices that caused the spirit of man to resonate with the Spirit of God.  One such meditation was upon the Letter Aleph in the Hebrew Alephbet:



The Aleph represented the oneness of God, his throne, and reaches into what is termed Worlds Without End (Ayin Soph).  It's expression as a symbol, Aleph represents the organization of order or creation out of chaos. It represents the sacred breath being breathed into Adam and the first expression he uttered. It is the letter upon which when intentionally contemplated and meditated would draw Heaven and Earth together; connecting the worlds above with this world down below.  The discipline of the Aleph Prayer was passed down in some surviving traditions of Judaism and even then only passed on by word of mouth.  It was taught that by employing the prayer or meditation upon the Aleph one's voice of pure desire would ascend to Heaven before the sacred throne. It was considered a part of a very sacred discipline of prayer.

The letter Aleph while one is composed of three elements of letters in its outward representation. Aleph Lamed Peh.  Since man was fallen and unclean he could not enter directly into the presence of God. In order to connect with God the Aleph Prayer or Meditation was by tradition the manner by which fire from Heaven was called down to consume the sacrifice of which prayer was an integral part.   The Meditation or recitation of this ancient prayer was vocalized by praying/meditating/ mantra-ing the outward letters that composed the ALEPH in the reverse fashion as follows:


PEH LEH EL



In light of this teaching, it would would be ironic if there was not some connection to the restoration of the Gospel.  As it so happens, Joseph Smith stated, "The grand key word was the first word Adam spoke and is a word of supplication...It is that key word to which the heavens is opened." (Joseph Smith, The Journals of William Clayton, June 15, 1844)

This vocal expression of prayer should have a special significance to older Mormons who have walked in the House of the Lord.  Unfortunately, many of the younger generation are not familiar with the expression, but there are many who seek for God to hear the words that their mouths produce.

It was taught anciently that the Prayer or Mediation upon the Aleph brought about a condition of the heart of oneness with God wherein true connection was established and Heaven and Earth Connected. This discipline among many other ancient disciplines of prayer/meditation were also preserved but were only taught among certain traditions within Judaism. In these traditions, it was taught that the language of God was a not only an instrument of creation wherein creation was sung into existence, but it was also an instrument of transformation, bonding, and unity for man in this world as well.In this state, the mind of God dwelt in the vessel of man and as such the living soul became a living Urim and Thummim.

THE FIRES OF THE WATCHERS


During the hours of greatest darkness the watchers had the duty to maintain the fires that were used to provide light to the occupants of the city and to keep the city safe.  The idea of maintaining the fire is connected with the Hebrew Letter Shin:




As one of the mother letters, Shin represents the celestial fires of that proceed forth from the throne of God carrying with it revelations of wisdom, understand, knowledge, power, and mercy of God.  In Israelite priestly tradition the Levites and sons of Aaron acted as watchers before the Throne of God.  Their duty was to maintain the oil in the lamps and to preserve not only the sacrificial fires but the fires that lit the menorah which represented the Tree of Life.  As preservers of the light, we are not only meant to guard but also to bestow the light upon all Israel. 

Those who seek to watch and pray always must be on their guards by implementing the same tools as those prophets of old who stood as watchers/guards over the House of Israel.  We must practice the presence of God in our daily lives, we must draw our hearts in contemplative meditation on God, and we must preserve the celestial fire of revelation in the darkest hours so that the enemy does not come upon us unawares. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

LEHI AND HEALING THE SHAME THAT BINDS US-AKA The Eternal Principles of the Brady Bunch



One day my daughter was watching an episode of some sitcom (for some reason I think it was an episode of the Brady Bunch).  In this episode, a young boy found himself feeling quite small and insecure next to his older brothers and sisters who had won several trophies in several sports events.  In an effort to make him feel better his family organized a race for the boy which included several other kids from the neighborhood.  The winner of the race would receive a trophy.

The day of the race came and the young boy and several other children from the neighborhood lined up to compete in the race for the trophy.  On your mark! Get Set! Go!!!  And they were all off.  The boy easily surpassed the other children and crossed the finish line in first place.  The other kids then rallied around him and he held his trophy high.  He was so proud of winning the race and receiving his trophy.

When he got home he placed his first place trophy on their mantle with the rest of his brothers and sisters' trophies. Later that night as he was going to bed, he overheard his brothers and sisters congratulating themselves on making their brother feel better by paying off the other kids to let him win the race.

All of a sudden all the joy and satisfaction of winning the race fell away.  In fact, he actually felt worse than he did before and he retreated in shame up to his room sinking into a deep depression.

The feeling of this shame and disappointment (including all the destructive feelings and actions that come with it) comes from an Ancient Israelite term known as "Bread of Shame".  In Hebrew the word which is translated as ashamed/shame is buwsh, but rather than just a sense of humiliation or a consciousness of wrong doing as described in our English language the word buwsh suggests a feeling of disconnectedness, disappointment, anger, and confusion.

The concept of "Bread of Shame" comes from the idea that both men and women have an inherent desire to work for, earn, and enjoy the fruits of their labors.  When a person or group of people are at a disadvantage and/or are forced to receive grace/charity from another they feel a very strong and internal sense of shame and disappointment. The result of this shame and disappointment leads them to a condition of being emotionally and spiritually confounded (angry). This then leads to the forbidden paths of destructive behaviors.

This ancient concept of "Bread of Shame" is the concept behind this passage in the Prophet Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life:

“And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed. And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.”

We are literally seeing this ancient teaching at play when we cast our eyes to some of the things we see going on in our country today:

1.  A young 16 year old girl who receives a Mercedes Benz for her 16th birthday and whose parents supply her with enough credit cards to shop at the finest stores only to later be arrested for breaking into the office of an apartment complex to steal whatever she can find.

2.  A new housing project in downtown Atlanta decked out with all the latest amenities and given to low or no income occupants only to find them having to be completely gutted two years later because they were literally destroyed by the occupants.

3.  A young man who scores the winning touchdown and is declared MVP only to find his life later to be taken over by drugs and other self destructive behavior.

4. A singer who becomes the newest celebrity only to find themselves consumed by the constant hunger for approval that leads them to engage in self destructive behaviors.

The list could go on and on.....

A person receives (and it really doesn't matter what they receive) something they perceive either consciously or unconsciously as unearned- a race, a car, wealth, celebrity, etc. In fact while they experience the illusions provided by our idolatrous world, their spirits at a very sublime level perceive the illusion for what it is.  In a sense, this disparity causes a form of spiritual cognitive dissonance which results in a condition of the the person trying to bring him or herself back into a state of body/spirit equilibrium.  "Bread of Shame" destroys their internal sense of value and their ability share themselves in the creation of the world.  It prevents us from experiencing the fullness of joy.

Does this then mean that grace/charity is bad?  God Forbid! This is why the prophet Nephi said, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23)

THE HEALING EQUATION:


God desires for all of us to receive of his fullness and to partake of his matchless love and power. But, if grace/charity then produces this shame in mankind (even if only at an unconscious level), it prevents us from receiving the fullness of joy.  There would be those who would then say, "Why would you want God's grace/charity then?" or "See you have to earn your salvation?  You have to earn it."  But this sentiment would negate the teaching "that it is by grace that we are saved after all we can do."  True grace and charity to be true grace and charity is something that is freely given.  This is why King Benjamin declared:

"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:19)

All mankind are truly beggars before God.  There is none who are righteous-no not one. We have all gone out of the way (Romans 3:10-12).  If we approach life in the manner that everything we have is a gift from God and none of it is earned, then we have embraced one half of the eternal equation which connects us back to the light - Loving God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. In this there is no shame, but a realization of everyone's true condition:

"For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world." (Mosiah 4:5-7)

All mankind has shame or the Bread of shame. Instead of wrestling with "Bread of Shame" God has already revealed our true condition, but this is not all.  We must not remain in shame.  We MUST remove the "Bread of Shame".  How then is this done?

THE SECOND PART OF THE EQUATION:


We remove Bread of Shame by loving our neighbor as ourselves or receiving from God to bestow upon others.  In doing so, the internal struggle comes to an end.  The spiritual cognitive dissonance stops. The spiritual/physical pain is healed. And we are reconnected to the light of the Upper World.

In other words, if a person receives wealth let him show forth love to his neighbor out of that which he has been given.  If a person receives "celebrity" let them not believe the illusion of the celebrity but take the celebrity and lift others up.  If they receive "knowledge", let them not be puffed up in knowledge but share that knowledge with others to help others and make their lives better.  In taking whatever gift God has given us, let us turn toward our brothers and sisters and share the free gifts given by God to all of us, and give to each other with the instruction that they in turn then take the gift they are given and give to others who stand in need.

In the words of King Benjamin:

"And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another." (Mosiah 4:21)

In doing so, we will not be like those in Lehi's dream who "after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost."  But will find ourselves back in the paradise of God like Adam and Eve:

"And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:25)


Instead of earning the light to covet we receive the light to bless God and others. This then is the ancient Israelite equation of connecting with the light of God to bestow light to the world.  It is the receipt and bestowal of this light that will bring healing to our individual selves and our collective communities. Humankind was designed with the desire to receive.  But as Yehoshuah Messiah (Jesus Christ) has stated:

"The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8)