Love is Love . . . Except When It’s Lust

Now that Sodom and Gomorrah Remembrance Month is in our rearview mirror, let’s talk. You were no doubt inundated on social media and TV with pro-LGBT messages like “love is love,” “love has no gender,” and “love only knows equality.” We’ve been force fed “gay pride” and “gay rights” at every turn. Everything has been bathed in rainbow colors. The queer flag has been raised across the world at U.S. embassies. This homosexual agenda is Satanic, dangerous to society, and based on numerous lies. I want to speak about the biggest of those lies today. 

People who are afflicted by homosexuality, and their vocal cheerleaders in the press and online, are laboring under a sinister delusion. They believe that homosexual lust is “love.” It’s not. It never will be. In fact, it’s impossible for homosexual lust to ever be love. You heard me correctly: There was never a homosexual who possessed true romantic love towards another homosexual – only lust.

Jesus with the woman caught in adultery

This is so for several reasons. The easiest reason to explain is that the Apostle John said that “God is love.” God is love and He has forbidden homosexuality. It is therefore a contradiction to suppose that so-called homosexual “love” comes from or is recognized by the One who is love and who also forbade homosexuality. This is basic logic. 

But if two plus two doesn’t equal four for some of you, looking at John’s teaching in context might do the trick. He explained further what love is and where it comes from: 

“[E]very spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:3-11). 

Love is a gift of God. Love is linked to righteousness. Love is exemplified by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Those who are born of God, or reborn through Christ, are those who become filled with pure love. 

Those who accept Jesus Christ hear God and know the spirit of truth. Or, at least, they should be able to recognize error. Christian disciples are called to “love one another” in the same way that God loves us. Those who don’t love in this way don’t truly know God, and don’t truly love, because this type of love is God and comes from Him. So, John said, “herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 

The word “propitiation” means to appease God. Christ’s “propitiation for our sins” appeases the eternal demands of justice that come upon all of us because we have all sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). In return, the Son of God requires certain things of us. We can’t appease, please, or satisfy God, therefore, without following His Son Jesus Christ and living according to His teachings. 

The Lord frankly and openly taught how to receive His and our Heavenly Father’s incredible love and what it means to honestly love God: 

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . . 

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . . . 

“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 

“He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24). 

According to Jesus, true love equals obedience to God’s laws. It means honoring His teachings, keeping His commandments, and following Him down the pathway of righteousness. Only those who “keep my words,” or who sincerely try to do so, will “be loved of the Father, and I will love him.” Those who do not do the will of Christ and keep His commandments have no such promise and walk in darkness. 

Again, Christ is the exemplification of love. And what did Christ do? He said: “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). He later testified: “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). 

Jesus with the woman at the well

If we want to always have the spirit and presence of God, we must likewise do those things that please Him. We must do the will of the Father, which is revealed in the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. Long before the Son of God came into mortality, He had revealed to His ancient prophets the truth that keeping the commandments is central to the Gospel Plan. “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Of those commandments that we are duty-bound to keep, the mortal Messiah listed two as cardinal: 

“Thou shalt the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy cmind. 

“This is the first and great commandment. 

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). 

Loving God is the first and highest commandment of them all. As we’ve seen, we can’t please God without following His Son Jesus Christ and following His commandments. The second great commandment is to love others – to love them in the pure and undefiled way Christ loves us. This is the type of crystalline love that led the Lord to voluntarily sacrifice Himself in Gethsemane and on the Cross. The Savior proclaimed: 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). 

God is our Father. He doesn’t want to condemn us. He doesn’t want to punish us. He doesn’t want to lose us to that malevolent being who tempts us to follow a darker, lower, meaner path. Rather, He sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to light the world with love and to show us a higher and holier way of living. He sent His son to atone for our sins, die on the Cross, and rise from the grave to prepare the path so that we who are not as perfect as He was could one day, through obedience, become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). 

Jesus does not give us commandments and rules in order to restrict us from having a good time, to oppress us, or to make us miserable. Quite the contrary. He said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). As the only perfect Person to ever walk this earth, He knows what He’s talking about. 

A righteous life is an abundant life. It is a lifestyle that merits the unsurpassed love of God. It is a lifestyle that allows Heavenly light to penetrate the darkness of this world and illuminate our souls. It is a life of peace, comfort, and joy (John 13:17; John 14:18, 27). It is a life that allows the Redeemer to redeem and the Savior to save. He doesn’t require perfection before He showers us with love and spiritual gifts, but He requires our hearts and minds and our sincerest efforts to go about doing good (Acts 10:38). Loving God and loving our neighbors is fundamental to this process of Christian living.

Let’s now consider three specific reasons why homosexuality is a counterfeit of true love. 

Firstly, since the beginning of time, the Lord has defined the proper relationship between men and women. He set gender roles and sexual boundaries. He told Adam and Eve, and, by extension, all of us: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). It was a command, therefore, for men and women to enter into the marriage covenant and “multiply.” Marriage was essential to God’s Plan and the essential part of marriage was procreation and childbearing. 

How do humans multiply? We multiple through sexual intercourse. It only works when a man and a woman are joined together as “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Men and women are spiritually designed to fit together. We are anatomically designed to fit together, too. This is for the purpose of fulfilling the command to multiply and replenish the earth and to solidify unity between the sexes. Procreation simply doesn’t work if two women or two men try it. Homosexual sex, then, is an unnatural aberration that fulfills no purpose other than lust. Thus, fulfilling the Lord’s command to multiply is something only heterosexuals are naturally capable of doing. Remember, keeping the commandments is a prerequisite to pleasing God, following His Son, and truly loving. 

Secondly, the gift of sex was given to humankind with special rules. It was only to be used between men and women and only within the confines of the marriage covenant. Anciently, the Lord told His people: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). Homosexuality was considered such an abomination, in fact, that it merited the death penalty (Leviticus 20:13). That penalty was dropped by the Lord when He came and established His Church and introduced a higher law, but He and His apostles continued to preach against homosexuality and all other forms of sexual impurity. 

Additionally, pre-marital sex was strictly forbidden. It was called in both the Old and New Testaments “fornication.” The Apostle Paul taught that “this is the will of God . . . that ye should abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Under God’s law, there is no provision for homosexual marriage. Thus, all homosexual liaisons are, by definition, fornication and forbidden. 

Extra-marital sex has also been forbidden by the Lord throughout history. It is known as “adultery.” The Apostle Paul admonished: 

“Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. . . .  

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. . . . 

“. . . of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. . . . 

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:16-24). 

Many people throughout time have disregarded these laws, choosing to follow after forbidden lusts instead. We rationalize and justify our lust and our violations of divine law by calling it “love” or by trivializing sex as a base bodily function. “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness” (Proverbs 30:20). But we can’t merely wish away God’s laws or the consequences of immorality. “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverb 6:27). 

Taken as a whole, these rules regulating sex can be called the law of chastity. There are only two sins that are greater than breaking the law of chastity; namely, denying the witness of the Holy Spirit after receiving it and murder. The Lord takes sexual impurity very seriously. He condemns and forbids everything from homosexuality to fornication to pornography to rape and beyond. All of these have, as at their core, some form of lust or selfishness. 

Thirdly, some people say “God made me this way” and embrace the illicit desires they have, branding them as “love” to ease their consciences. Let me tell you a truth: God did not make you that way. He did not create you gay. He did not put lust in your heart. He did not implant in you a desire to abandon the path of marriage and procreation. To do so would be to violate His own laws and to contradict the teachings of His Son and prophets. The Apostle James clearly taught: 

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13-14). 

I repeat: God doesn’t make people gay. God does not tempt anyone to do evil. God does not entice anyone to fornicate or commit adultery. It’s contrary to His holy nature, His mercy, and His love. As James said, these forbidden desires are born of lust and are evil. 

But let’s pretend God does create some people gay at birth, even though He absolutely does not. Nevertheless, the commandment to repent, change, and be reborn still applies! It applies to every person on earth regardless of their challenges and inclinations. It applies to people who have problems with thievery, lying, gossiping, substance abuse, pornography, gambling, fornication, adultery, violence, pride, anger, arrogance, impatience, ingratitude, ad infinitum. Jesus called the adulterers, prostitutes, demoniacs, and handicapped to follow Him with as much fervor as He called those with less visible problems, such as the learned Pharisees, to follow Him. He’s the Master Healer and He knows how to heal and mend hearts and lives. 

Jesus powerfully and plainly taught Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Could it be any clearer? 

We’re not enough by ourselves. We need Jesus. Our natures are fallen and corrupted. We all sin and do things that we regret or that harm others. It comes with the territory here on planet earth. But we don’t need to let our lusts, our failings, our weaknesses, our sins, or our past define us. We’re better than that. We’re the children of our Heavenly Father! 

Think of it – the King of the universe is our Father! The Creator of worlds without number – the One who walks on water, raises the dead, and calms the raging sea with a single word – is His Son who stands with open arms to receive, lift, and heal all who come to Him regardless of what they were or did in the past. Our Heavenly Father wants to give us everything He has and to see us follow His Son in becoming like Him (Romans 8:16-17; John 10:34). We belong to the family of God Almighty. Shouldn’t that fact alone inspire us to do better and be better?  

Our mission as fallen and sinful individuals is to not embrace the low path, but to throw off our old habits and desires and embrace the higher and holier standard revealed by the Redeemer Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve fallen; you can be redeemed! It doesn’t matter how frequently you’ve sinned or screwed up; you can be saved! 

Just as Joseph in Egypt literally ran from sexual temptation when it literally pulled on him, so, too, does the Lord expect us to remember our legs and flee from the snare of sin (Genesis 39:7-21). Paul urged: 

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

“For ye are abought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). 

As difficult as it may be, our path is clear – we must flee fornication. It doesn’t matter if it is homosexual or heterosexual fornication. It’s wrong either way. It’s lust in both cases; not love. In fact, we are to flee all sin, all error, and all unrighteousness. 

The prodigal son returns

When we slip and fall, there’s a way back. Some mistakes are bigger than others, but all mistakes take us away from God and cause us to lose a measure of His holy light. Repentance is the remedy. To repent simply means to turn away from something. Those with gambling problems must turn away from gambling. Those with anger issues must learn patience. Those with pride must learn humility. And those with sexual problems of all kinds must turn away from them – both in deed and in thought. 

Russell M. Nelson, a powerful Christian leader and example for all believers today, recently gave us these encouraging words about repentance: 

“Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

“Whether you are diligently moving along the covenant path, have slipped or stepped from the covenant path, or can’t even see the path from where you are now, I plead with you to repent. Experience the strengthening power of daily repentance—of doing and being a little better each day. 

“When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy—the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ! 

“Brethren, we need to do better and be better because we are in a battle. The battle with sin is real. The adversary is quadrupling his efforts to disrupt testimonies and impede the work of the Lord. He is arming his minions with potent weapons to keep us from partaking of the joy and love of the Lord. 

“Repentance is the key to avoiding misery inflicted by traps of the adversary. The Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point in our eternal progression. But He does expect us to become increasingly pure. Daily repentance is the pathway to purity, and purity brings power. Personal purity can make us powerful tools in the hands of God. Our repentance—our purity—will empower us to help in the gathering of Israel.” 

How many of us need daily repentance? All of us need it! And the greater our sins, the more we need the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we think we have sinned too much, moved too far away, done too many terrible things, to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and healing. I seem to have missed the line in the Bible where it says the Lord won’t heal and embrace those who come to Him. Instead, I remember His words which say: 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

I also recall the words of Paul which urge us to boldly approach the Lord so that His grace can heal us: 

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). 

Jesus understands. Jesus knows how difficult it is. And He has mercy on those who sincerely approach Him confessing their sins, acknowledging their weaknesses, and laying all their burdens on Him. He wants nothing more than for the prodigal son to return home. He stands ready to receive all who come to Him with open arms. He will give rest to all who believe on His name. 

A modern disciple of the Lord, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, gave additional encouragement to those who feel lost or who feel weighed down by their sins. He said

“[H]owever late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines. 

“Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. “Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,” and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast “without money and without price” at the table of the Lord. . . . 

“So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t delay. It’s getting late.” 

It’s getting late, dear reader. Each of us needs to be better. Each of us needs to wake up to the reality that lust is not love, wickedness is not happiness, and a life without Jesus Christ is incomplete. Whether your sin is homosexual or heterosexual sexual immorality, you need repentance either way. 

The fact that “Pride” month is now over can serve as a metaphor. If you’ve suffered from homosexual desires, or if you’ve even acted on your lusts, it was in the past. Today is a new day. Time isn’t over yet. You can change. You can repent. You can turn from darkness to light, from the Adversary to the Lord, from lust to love. Jesus stands with open arms to receive you. He promises cleansing and healing. He promises peace and happiness. He promises eternal rewards, light, and love. Don’t delay. Turn to the Savior Jesus Christ and experience the majesty of God’s perfect love. 

Zack Strong, 

July 1, 2021 

I’m Not a Holocaust Denier

I’m often called a “holocaust denier” by folks who don’t have the intellectual capacity to counter the truths I share about historical events – truths that conflict with the carefully-crafted narrative they’ve been spoon-fed their entire lives. But let me say it right here – I’m not a “holocaust denier.” How could anyone be? After all, Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “holocaust” thus: 

“A burnt-sacrifice or offering, the whole of which was consumed by fire; a species of sacrifice in use among the Jews and some pagan nations.” 

Who can deny this? History is replete with examples of Jews and pagans making sacrifices by fire. The Jews mastered the art of the holocaust when they sacrificed their children to the devilish idol god Molech. I don’t deny that in the slightest. Again, I’m not a “holocaust denier.” 

Ah, I suspect you thought I was referring to something else – something a bit more modern and allegedly more sinister. I assume you thought of World War II when you saw the word “holocaust.” So, let’s talk briefly about the Second World War. 

Soviet predators at work

It’s true that there were holocausts during World War II. Was not the mass rape of approximately 2 million German women by the Allies during and after the conflict a “holocaust”? The Russian hordes in particular raped and violated anything that moved, including girls as young as 8 and grandmothers as elderly as 80. They gangraped them brutally. Sometimes these attacks were so horrific that the victims died. At times, German women were crucified by the Jewish-led Bolshevik commanders and then raped by their men while they bled to death in agony and shame. Was not this a “holocaust” – a red-hot offering to the god of war and destruction, lust and hatred? I don’t deny the Allied rape of 2 million German women because I’m not a “holocaust denier.” 

I also don’t deny the deliberate firebombing of Dresden, Hamburg, and other German cities by the Americans and British. In a single day, Allied bombers burned to death between 100,000 and 500,000 civilians in the “refugee city” of Dresden with firebombs that created literal walls of flame and vortexes of fiery death. Not only did they attack the city in a solidary wave, but they deliberately attacked first responders and helpers in additional waves of flying death. How could I deny what is so graphically recorded by these holocaust survivors and researchers? 

“Here, in the heart of old Dresden, temperatures reached upwards of 3,000 degrees. Metal roofs, copper cupolas, glass, even sandstone, liquefied in the furious heat and poured down like lava. A hurricane of smoke, flame and dust roared toward the vortex from all directions as the cold air beyond Dresden was drawn in by the fire ball. Many disoriented victims, especially the thousands of refugees, took wrong turns on strange streets and were swept like feathers into the furnace. 

The ruins of Dresden

““The whole of Dresden was an inferno,” said one teenage boy. “In the street below people were wandering about helplessly. I saw my aunt there. She had wrapped herself in a damp blanket and, seeing me, called out. . . . The sound of the rising fire-storm strangled her last words. A house wall collapsed with a roar, burying several people in the debris. A thick cloud of dust arose and mingling with the smoke made it impossible for me to see.” . . . . 

“Through sheer will, some, like Margret, did succeed in reaching safety—but most did not. Standing alone on the far hills outside Dresden, one viewer stared in silent awe at the fiery massacre. 

““I did not understand what my eyes were seeing. I stood in the darkness, paralyzed, numbed, with my eardrums aching from the hellish uproar. . . . It was simply beyond comprehension, beyond the wildest imagination. It seemed actually unreal. . . . I saw the rising of a flaming sea which . . . inundated the entire city in one huge glowing wave. . . .[T]he entire area was in flames. Huge red and yellow tongues of fire were roaring toward the sky. Streaming, trembling, madly onrushing clouds . . . intermingled with brilliant white, red, and yellow explosions out of which the big bombers seemed to rise like flocks of giant birds. . . .Without ever having been through a big air raid before, I knew at once that here something quite different was happening”” (Thomas Goodrich, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, 112-113, 115). 

These are not Jewish bodies, as is sometimes said in captions accompanying this horrible image, but the bodies of Germans slaughtered by fire in Dresden – true burnt offerings.

No, I don’t deny the literal holocaust in Dresden. I don’t deny the poor German holocaust victims. I don’t turn a blind eye to what the Allies deliberately did to the Germans. I’m no “holocaust denier”! 

I also don’t deny the holocausts inflicted upon the Japanese. Japan’s sixty biggest cities were bombed and firebombed into oblivion during the war. Tokyo, very infamously, lost over 100,000 of its people in the 1945 firebombing. Hiroshima and Nagasaki lost even more in the atomic holocausts perpetrated so needlessly upon them. These were truly unnecessary events, U.S. Admiral William Leahy and supreme Allied commander General Dwight Eisenhower said at the time. Admiral Leahy stated: 

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.” 

The remains of Hiroshima

And Ike remarked: 

“During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ’face’.” 

You can find my analysis of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima holocausts at this link. Knowing how ghastly and unnecessary it was to drop the a-bombs, and how fiery and savage the destruction was, I’d be heartless if I was a nuclear “holocaust denier”! 

And speaking of General ‘Ike’ Eisenhower, he knows whereof he spoke since he presided over his own holocausts. I refer specifically to the Rhine meadows death camps where up to 2 million German POWs were intentionally starved to death on Ike’s orders after the Second World War had ended. This genocide had no excuse and was condemned by those few Americans who were allowed to learn of its occurrence. The book Other Losses by James Bacque tells the dreadful story. How could I deny this well-documented holocaust of German POWs in peace time? I’m not a “holocaust denier,” after all! 

Keelhaul victims

Finally, I don’t deny the forced repatriation of 2.5 million Russians, Serbs, Yugoslavs, Cossacks, and people of other groups – who had supposedly been Soviet citizens in the past, but sometimes never had been – to the Soviet Union per a dastardly secret deal between Stalin and FDR. Operation Keelhaul, as the plot was known, led to the murder or imprisonment of millions of human beings. Most of these were refugees or enemy POWs who had fled communist oppression and were living abroad in Europe or even in the United States. Some of these were drugged and kidnapped or forcibly thrown onto ships that transported them to the Soviet Union. Many committed suicide rather than be fed alive to the Bolsheviks. Some met instantaneous execution at the docks, as witnessed by American servicemen in Ukraine, or years of exile, torture, and inhuman conditions in the Siberian GULAG. You will never hear me deny this atrocious holocaust that is sometimes called the “last secret of World War II.” If it hasn’t sunk in by now, I’m not a “holocaust denier”! 

You see, the word “holocaust” has been misappropriated and hijacked by a small group of vicious people who control all the most powerful media organs, educational institutions, and financial houses in the world. They thus have a dominating influence over the mind of the average person. With this monstrous influence, they craft narratives – lying and malicious narratives. They paint true Freedom fighters and dissenters to their scheme of world domination as evil, genocidal maniacs. They portray sadistic tyrants as heroes. They make hostile groups appear as victims and true victims appear as aggressors and oppressors. Simply, as Isaiah the prophet foretold, we live in a time where people call good evil, and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). 

The next time someone brings up the canard of “holocaust denial,” which is nothing more than a way of demonizing political opponents who ask too many pesky questions that could unravel the approved Marxist-Establishment narrative of World War II, ask them if they acknowledge the fiery holocausts of Dresden, Hiroshima, Rhine meadows, and Operation Keelhaul. If not, then it doesn’t matter what they believe about the events that allegedly happened in Poland from 1942 to 1945 – they are true “holocaust deniers.” Don’t be a “holocaust denier.” 

Zack Strong, 

June 24, 2021 

God’s Majesty

Praise ye the Lord. . . . Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. . . . Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.” – Psalm 150:1,2,6.

As I drove in my car this morning, I listened to a wonderful album by Nashville Tribute Band called “Redeemer.” As I enjoyed melodic messages about Jesus Christ, I pondered what word I’d use, if I only had one, to describe my Savior. What I came up with is the word majesty. Jesus was and is a majestic Man and I want to devote a few lines to His praise.

I turn to a dictionary definition of “majesty” and “majestic.” Webster’s 1828 dictionary tells us that majesty is:

“Greatness of appearance; dignity; grandeur; dignity of aspect or manner; the quality or state of a person or thing which inspires awe or reverence in the beholder; applied with peculiar propriety to God and his works.”

And majestic is described as:

“August; having dignity of person or appearance; grand; princely. The prince was majestic in person and appearance. . . . Splendid; grand. . . . Elevated; lofty. . . . Stately; becoming majesty; as a majestic air or walk.”

As I consider the life and character of Jesus the Christ, I’m more and more struck with how awesome He is! I’m in total awe of His attributes, His power, His teachings, His compassion, and His reactions to hostile and difficult situations. The older I grow and the more experience I gain, some of it good and some of it heart-wrenching or challenging, I realize how incredible, miraculous, and singularly amazing Jesus Christ was.

It takes an extraordinary person to behave with composure, self-control, and honor in the face of a frothing crowd that wants to murder you. It takes effulgent compassion to heal an injury on one who is in the process of unjustly arresting you in what you know will lead to a bogus trial and your eventual murder by crucifixion. It requires total conviction and courage to march into the most sacred building on earth, bodily cast out wrongdoers, and publicly castigate the religious authorities and onlookers alike for their transgressions. And it takes pure power to raise a man from the dead, successfully order demons to depart, and instantly calm turbulent waters with a mere word.

More than His multitude of miracles, Jesus’ attributes fill me with still greater admiration. This humble Man from Nazareth was a man’s Man, in the most dignified sense of the term. He was a masculine, strong, bold, honorable, upright, hard-working, down-to-earth, powerful individual. He was a leader. He stood against injustice, denounced evil, rejected the wrong, and always pursued truth and right.

He wasn’t pushy, but He held His ground and wouldn’t compromise. He didn’t mince words, yet He wasn’t arrogant. He was meek, yet He controlled Himself and His native honor called forth the respect and love of men and women from all walks of life. He was and is the type of Man who makes honest people instinctively stand up straighter, square their shoulders, and fill with resolve to do better and be better while at the same time feeling the urge to drop to their knees in reverence and thanksgiving. Every admirable, manly, and noble characteristic found its perfection in Him.

Jesus has been described by seers and inspired poets for millennia. I cite but a few of their descriptions of His glorious attributes. Isaiah said that “the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory” (Isaiah 60:19). Nehemiah called him “our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God” (Nehemiah 9:32). Jeremiah gave a beautiful description when He said:

“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

“Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name,

“Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. . . .

“And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror” (Jeremiah 32:17-19, 21).

Finally, the Psalmist gave us line upon line of resplendent praise, including the following:

“The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself. . . .

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea” (Psalm 93:1, 4).

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5).

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).

“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:8-9).

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).

“The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty” (Psalm 29:4).

“The Lord is King for ever and ever” (Psalm 10:16).

I can’t add much except my personal witness of His reality, His divinity, and His majesty! His grandeur is unsurpassed. His mercy is unequaled. And His beauty is unmatched. Everything about the Lord is pleasant, refreshing, and invigorating. Like the Psalmist, we should lift our voices Heavenward and sing His praises for having delivered us from the hell of sin and sorrow. His mercy is over all the earth and all who will may come to Him in sincerity and He will lock them in an embrace that will cleanse their souls and purge their hearts of worldliness. Yes, the Lord is good to all!

I close with my sure declaration that Jesus Christ not only lived, but lives; that He’s the Anointed of God, the Ruler of Heaven and earth, and the King of kings. I love Him. I’m awestruck by His greatness and even more overawed by His unfailing goodness. He’s a majestic Man. His majesty and magnificence surpass all and I feel in my heart to proclaim: “Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things” (Psalm 72:18).

Zack Strong,

June 18, 2021

The Coming Assassination False Flag

Imagine this scenario: Faced with a Joe Biden whose brain is obviously melting and who is losing even the sympathy of those who now regret voting for him, and running up against rising opposition to their tyrannical schemes, the world Elite decide to assassinate the U.S. president, turning him into a martyr and a providing a pretext for greater power grabs, war, or conquest expeditions designed to further their New World Order.

Around the time of the installation of the fraudulent puppet-in-chief Joe Biden following the election swindle operation committed by numerous hostile foreign powers, including Red China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and others, Alex Jones of Infowars fame said that we’ve entered “the era of the false flag.” He might as well have been stating that the sky is blue. It’s obvious to students of history that false-flag attacks, assassinations, bombings, poisonings, etc., have always been used by conspiring entities to start wars, knock out political opposition, and consolidate power.

The world Elite were forced to show their hand in 2020. They saw that the American People were waking up to their schemes. They saw that Americans, led by their extraordinarily popular president, were beginning to openly identify socialism as the great enemy of mankind. They saw America becoming more energy independent, lifting itself slowly out of economic ruin, and becoming more nationalistic.

As a result, they launched their “Great Reset” of humanity designed to halt America’s advance, dethrone their most popular national leader in decades and install a compliant puppet in his place, induce fear and confusion in the world population, and usher in a Marxist one-world order. The trigger was COVID-19. From the very beginning, I called this false-flag virus attack “one of the largest psyops in recent years” and “media-induced mass hysteria.” Because of the Coronahoax and the resulting election swindle carried on under cover of unnecessary lockdowns, the Elite indeed dethroned America’s real president, Donald Trump, and brought forward the weakest, most doddering, most intellectually defective individual ever to hold high office in America.

The Elite successfully put their puppet in the White House on January 20th, yet they had to go to such great lengths, commit such extensive fraud, tell so many blatantly obvious lies, and trample on so many rights to do it, that they’ve woken up a huge segment of the population. People who one year ago were comfortably asleep are now wide awake and watching. People who before would’ve never owned a gun now own numerous. People who felt they could remain in socialist-controlled zones in the United States and exist without problems have now relocated to saner parts of the nation like Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas, where the spirit of patriotism still lives. People who were content to allow their children to go to public school are now homeschooling and training their children in moral principles and real Americanism. People who loved the censorship-loving platforms like Facebook and Twitter are now joining or creating alternatives like Gab, MeWe, and USA.life. People who before would’ve called me a “conspiracy theorist” are now repeating the same messages, are convinced elections are rigged, understand that the media lies, know that science now serves a political agenda, and are standing staunchly against the experimental gene-editing Coronavirus vaccine.

Furthermore, states and local communities have begun exercising their right to reject and deny federal overreach. Florida famously outlawed vaccine passports. Several states such as Montana and Oklahoma have passed abortion laws heavily restricting abortion. Towns such as Gooding, Idaho have declared themselves gun safe zones. People are furious and many won’t tolerate being pushed around any longer. Thus, the Elite find themselves in a bit of a conundrum. They’ve seized power again, but the peasants are gathering with their pitchforks. Historically, when kings and rulers have felt threatened by their peoples, they’ve lashed out and have attempted to quell them by force and intimidation. I see them using the same tactic this time.

Instead of allowing Biden’s defective brain to continue malfunctioning on the world stage for all to see, or allowing him to die an ignominious death of natural causes after the media went to such great lengths to convince everyone he was as healthy as a horse, the powers-that-be might find it more useful to off him in a way that would allow them to seize even more power and to silence dissenters.

Think about it, the string-pullers have murdered people with two separate bioweapons – Coronavirus and the even worse vaccine that has claimed many thousands of lives and inflicted tens of thousands of horrific casualties including paralysis, miscarriages, and birth defects; have induced thousands to commit suicide due to forced isolation; have caused millions to be laid off or lose their businesses; have squeezed the global economy while prices have skyrocketed due to inflation and insane spending; and they’ve stolen Freedom from entire nations in such a recklessly obvious manner. Do you really think they care whether they have to take out a man who has become such a laughingstock and a liability and who’s now serving as a catalyst to unite dissenters?

It’s becoming glaringly obvious to all that Joe Biden is cognitively impaired. From recently stating he’s been president for 15 months to threatening to run over a man with his vehicle to forgetting his defense secretary’s name to saying on a hot mic that he’s not even sure what he’s signing in all those Oval Office photo ops, everyone can see that he’s clueless, unhinged, and unfit for office. I warned last August:

“Joe Biden is unfit for the presidency. That is not up for debate. Biden has no honor, class, or civility. More importantly, he has no coherence and is in obvious mental and physical decline. He must not be permitted to weasel his way into office. He must not be allowed to steal four years from the American People. He must not be allowed to become a “placeholder” for an even more radical individual waiting in the wings. Biden admitted that he is a “transition candidate to bring the Mayor Petes of the world into this administration.””

Now, with the whole world snickering about Biden’s free fall into dementia, the election swindle unraveling quickly, and states rebelling against federal overreach, the Elite know they’ll need to act soon to mitigate the damages. How will they do it? There are several plausible scenarios I want to briefly mention.

Perhaps the world Elite will decide to give the puppet-in-chief a fatal dose of Coronavirus and then make him the patron saint of vaccination voodoo. Imagine that – the media would use Biden’s memory as a truncheon to bludgeon dissenters and anti-vaxxers into submission. They’d forever use Biden’s demise to discredit those of us who call the “pandemic” a hoax, as if feelings trump facts.

Or perhaps the ruthless Elite will decide that the Coronahoax is out of the bag and that something more drastic is in order to halt opposition, distract those peasants with their pitchforks forming outside the gate, and create a pretext for truly consolidating world power. The thing that could bring this about is an assassination of the president. Please note that I’m not calling for this. I think, for the reasons I’m about to outline, that an assassination would plunge us into greater chaos and speed up the destruction of our Republic.

In the wake of the 9/11 false-flag attack, the United States, in her “righteous” anger, with the full support of Vladimir Putin, declared a “War on Terror.” Who would oppose such a war? After all, 3,000 of our people were slaughtered in a horrific way on live TV by Arab “terrorists.” So, with so-called patriotism numbing people’s consciences, we invaded Afghanistan. Then we invaded Iraq. Then we went after other nations – Libya, Syria, etc.

Now imagine if a “terrorist’s” bomb brought down Air Force One or took out the president during his State of the Union address. Imagine if, whether true or not, the bombing was blamed on Iran – a nation which has vowed eventual revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani. If our nation’s indignation after 9/11 was high, what couldn’t we do if our leader was eliminated on live TV?! Our military-industrial complex would immediately gear up for war. Our media would beat the war drums. Our politicians would clamor for vengeance. Israel would relish and cry for a U.S.-led attack on Iran. And so a regional war could begin in the Middle East dwarfing that in Iraq.

Alternatively, if a bomb or bullet ended Biden’s career, think of the response if it was determined, or alleged, that the perpetrator was a “right-wing extremist” group or some embittered Trump supporters. If the January 6 false-flag Capitol “siege” was considered an attempted coup, an assassination would be considered outright rebellion. The military could be mobilized against “extremist” groups like Oath Keepers or against “seditious” individuals like Chuck Baldwin in Montana or Alex Jones in Texas. Congress could likely be prevailed upon, in a time of turmoil like this, to ram sweeping gun control “laws” down our throats, just like Congress foisted the dastardly Patriot Act upon us after 9/11. Would anything lead to a civil war faster than gun confiscation after the chaos of an assassination?

Furthermore, consider what might happen if Kamala Harris was also eliminated in a mass attack. If our leadership was decapitated in one fell swoop, who would take over? Something in me doubts whether the powers-that-be would ever permit Kamala Harris, let alone crazy Nancy Pelosi, from assuming office. I doubt, in the wake of a terrible tragedy like an assassination in such a time as we now live, that the normal presidential line of succession would be followed. As I wrote last August, I think someone even more radical is being prepared to take over and use the machinery of state to clamp down on dissenters and snuff our our Freedom.

All of this is hypothetical, but take it seriously. I don’t see Joe Biden surviving much longer. He could potentially drop dead before the end of the year. He’s that sick. But let’s say he survives until 2022. That’s an election year. What better way to either cancel or create a pretext to swindle these important elections than a sudden change in the presidency? We’re certainly in the “era of the false flag.”

Please, pray for the good remnant left in this nation. That remnant is in the tens of millions. America is still the greatest nation on earth. Period. If you don’t believe it, try living abroad sometime as I have. Never take your blessings as an America for granted. We’re facing civil war and total oppression. I outlined what I see coming for our special land in a previous article. It’s not pretty. And I sincerely believe that the world communist Elite, who hate American and consider us the “main enemy” of their one-world schemes, will attempt – likely through some sort of false-flag attack – to overthrow the Biden administration and place a stronger radical on the throne. Watch carefully, prepare your family, and brace for the coming impact.

June 9, 2021

Zack Strong

Spiritual Communication

The function of satellite dishes gives us some insight into how spiritual communication works. A website gives a technical explanation of how satellites and dishes function:

“A satellite dish works in the same way as the reflector for a torch or car headlights. A signal is produced or reflected from a focal point. This signal then reflects off the large part of the satellite dish and travels towards the satellite.

“At the satellite, the signal reflects off another curved reflector towards a focal point where the signal is received. The signal is then amplified and sent back towards Earth using a different frequency.

Another website describes the necessary conditions for a satellite dish to work properly:

“There has to be a direct line of signal from the dish to the satellite in the sky to work . . . there can be no obstructions of any kind between the satellite and dish. The dish must be located in an area clear of trees, bushes, buildings or any other objects. It has to be mounted securely and completely level to function correctly. It must be set to the precise elevation degree needed.”

A third site explains why a satellite dish might not work:

“Satellite dishes need to be aligned very accurately to get a signal, because of the way the work and the frequencies that they use. It is not easy to align a satellite dish by eyesight alone or by looking at the direction of the neighbour’s satellite dish. An adjustment of a millimetre of two can be the difference between a good reliable satellite signal and no signal at all.”

What did you glean from these descriptions of satellite dishes? There may be more points of value, but I’ve chosen to mention five.

First, a signal must be produced by a satellite dish and be beamed into space.

Second, the signal must be aligned to a specific frequency and aimed at the correct location.

Third, the signal must be unobstructed.

Fourth, the signal cannot be borrowed from another dish or be the result of guesswork.

Fifth, the signal must be aligned correctly not only to send, but also to receive, a signal.

These lessons apply beautifully to personal prayer. Consider our five points in order.

First, prayer, in order to function, requires a person to pray. The prayer may be silent or spoken aloud, but it must be uttered intentionally by the individual. The Bible Dictionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that “prayer is a form of work” (Bible Dictionary, 753). Truly it is. In order to receive dividends, one must first put in the “work.” In order to receive an answer from prayer, you must first pray. Send your personal petitions, desires, concerns Heavenward just as a satellite dish sends a signal skyward. This is the first step to receiving an answer from God, just as a satellite beaming a signal to space is a prerequisite to receiving a signal and projecting an intelligible picture onto your TV.

Second, a satellite won’t function if it’s tuned into the wrong frequency. Your prayers, if not aligned to the proper spiritual frequency – a frequency defined and set forth in revealed scripture – won’t be very profitable. The Lord isn’t so concerned with the verbiage one uses in his prayers, and has consequently never instituted set prayers except in specific instances regarding collective rites However, He is concerned about the petitioner demonstrating proper principles, patterns, and attitudes.

For instance, a normal personal prayer should be addressed to God our Father and conclude in the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:9). The prayer should be offered in childlike humility and with expectant faith, such as when Jesus, when praying before His disciples, said to the Father “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). They should be sincere and from the heart, not rote and repetitious (Matthew 6:7. Prayer should be a personal exercise hidden away from the world, not a self-serving spectacle for public consumption (Matthew 6:6, 16-21).

When your prayers are dialed into the correct spiritual frequency and our attitudes are properly sincere and humble, your prayers begin to reach the ears of your Father in Heaven who is eagerly waiting for you to learn how to approach Him, communicate with Him, and receive knowledge from His Spirit. Citing the Bible Dictionary again, it’s important to note that a huge factor in having the correct attitude for effective prayer hinges upon our understanding that we are the literal spirit children of the Heavenly Being to whom we’re praying:

“As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7-11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other” (Bible Dictionary, 752-753).

A little girl says her evening prayers by her bedside, accompanied by her dolls (including a Golliwog). Date: 1908

If we don’t want our prayers to bounce off the ceiling, as it were, we must remember who we are, that God is not some distant Being but a personal and very near Father who loves us, and that speaking to Him should be as normal as speaking to our earthly parents. When I served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia, I sometimes encountered people who had never prayed before. Never. Not once. On one such occasion, after teaching a young man that God was His literal Father and that He should be approached in a familial and familiar manner, this childlike Russian began his first prayer: “Good day, Father.” It was a touching moment. That prayer absolutely reached Heaven. Every prayer tuned into the frequency of sincerity, humility, and familial love, will be heard and answered.

Third, just as a satellite dish won’t work if cluttered by branches or covered in snow or rain, distracted and cluttered prayers have diminished capacity. If we rush our prayers, fail to pray sincerely or humbly, or have hardened and cold hearts that would rather be doing something else, can we honestly expect to receiving amazing answers from God? He has given us a pattern for right living. If we disregard this pattern and disobey His commandments, we can’t help but reap a negative reward. Part of that ignominious reward is unanswered prayers and a break in the sweet communication with the Spirit of God.

Let’s be more explicit. If we watch porn, drink alcohol, harm another, quarrel with our spouse, or any other number of sinful behaviors, and then attempt to pray without regretting our actions, confessing them, and petitioning for forgiveness and the strength to be better, can we expect to be heard of God? You can answer for yourself.

I want to be clear, prayer is for sinners. We’re all sinners. Prayer is for the weak. We’re all weak sometimes. Prayer is for people who fall short. We’re all in that category. If we make a mistake, let a curse word slip, let our temper flare up, view an inappropriate video online, flip someone the bird in a fit of road rage, or any other number of misdeeds, prayers is actually the best thing we can do! That is, prayer is the best thing we can do in our lowest and most shameful moments if we sincerely regret our actions, do our best to repair the damage, and confess in full to the Lord and anyone else to whom it may be necessary.

A great man of God, a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, Lorenzo Snow, gave this encouragement:

“If we could read in detail the life of Abraham or the lives of other great and holy men we would doubtless find that their efforts to be righteous were not always crowned with success. Hence we should not be discouraged if we should be overcome in a weak moment; but, on the contrary, straightway repent of the error or the wrong we may have committed, and as far as possible repair it, and then seek to God for renewed strength to go on and do better. . . .

“. . . We must not allow ourselves to be discouraged whenever we discover our weakness. We can scarcely find an instance in all the glorious examples set us by the prophets, ancient or modern, wherein they permitted the Evil One to discourage them; but on the other hand they constantly sought to overcome, to win the prize and thus prepare themselves for a fulness of glory” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, 100-101).

If we find that our prayers are too distracted or rushed or if we know that our conduct has not lived up to the standards outlined in the holy scriptures, then the solution is, ironically, prayer. A sincere prayer asking for forgiveness and the strength to be better is worth more than most people comprehend. The moment we intentionally take a step back our Eternal Father, He sees the effort and runs to us, just as the father ran to his dejected and battered prodigal son (Luke 15:18-24).

Some of the best prayers of my life have been uttered in the aftermath of some stupid mistake on my part. It never ceases to amaze me how willing my Father is to run to me in my moments of weakness and error when I simply turn my heart to Him and attempt to pray from the bottom of my heart. However, I also testify that prayers have even more power when backed up by personal purity; for, as James said, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Fourth, just as one satellite dish cannot borrow a signal from another, we cannot live on borrowed Gospel light. We can’t subsist on other people’s prayers. Having other people pray in your behalf is wonderful, but their petitions can’t substitute for your own personal, private prayers. The prayer of a priest at a public meeting is insufficient. The prayer of a friend in a prayer circle is insufficient. The prayer of a spouse before bedtime is insufficient.

Our prayers must be be our own. They can’t be written for us by another. They can’t be read from a book. They can’t be regurgitated from memory. True prayer is specific, individualistic, and genuine. We must learn to send our authentic communications, longings, questions, desires, apprehensions, and concerns to our Father in Heaven. What troubles John across the street or Sarah down the road might not matter or apply to you. Your Father wants to know what matters to you. He wants to know what troubles you. He wants to know what questions you have for Him and what you need and desire in your life.

When we pray, we may fumble with our words; there’s no harm in that. Moses suffered from a speech impediment. Yet, he became an effective communicator through the medium of prayer. He poured out His mind and spirit to His God and His Redeemer and was blessed with miracles, revelations, and power. Our minds and hearts must be similarly bowed in an attitude of humility and sincerity. Our words must be our own and come from the heart. When our prayers come from the depth of our souls, they’ll find the right signal and won’t have to borrow anything from anyone. A personal conduit to Heaven will be opened that will, if you keep it open by righteous living, be a source of continual light and knowledge, comfort and love.

Fifth, just as a satellite has to be properly lined up in order to beam its signal to space, it must be aligned aright in order to receive a correct signal. Prayer is the same. Prayer is not a one-way form of communication. President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:

“Pray to the Lord with the expectation of answers. . . . The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (Isa. 1:18)” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 114).

Thinking of prayer like a two-way phone call can be helpful. If your environment is too loud, how effective is speaking on the phone? If raucous music or revelry drowns out the voices, how effective is a phone call? Many things can impede our ability to communicate with our Father. By the same token, many things can block His messages to us. Impurity, anger, insincerity, selfishness, hatred, ignorance, raucous music, irreverence, and a hundred other things, can deaden our spirits and diminish our ability to hear our Father’s communications, answers, and words.

The Holy Spirit is a bit finicky. He doesn’t like inappropriate situations, deafening music, cursing, immorality, anger, fighting, or violence. He avoids circumstances where He would expose Himself to these degrading influences. If we, therefore, put ourselves in these circumstances, how can we expect to hear the sensitive communications of the Spirit? How can we truly hear our Father if we’re surrounded by evil? How can we hear the small voice of the Spirit if we’re drowning it out with profane behavior?

Undoubtedly, this fifth step in the prayer process is the hardest. It’s been the struggle of my life to find out how the Lord speaks to me. He speaks differently to everyone. To one person, He speaks through dreams. To another, He uses His own voice. To another, He imparts subtle thoughts, hints, and feelings. Just as each person is different, so, too, is Heaven’s voice tailored to us as individuals. It’s our job to make sure our spiritual satellite dish isn’t cluttered or misaligned. If we want to receive information from God, we must be in tune with Him and His laws. There’s no other way.

I’ve drawn much inspiration from the rough-around-the-edges pioneer prophet Brigham Young. His heartfelt advice on prayer stirs me. I think you might benefit from it, too. I quote several of his statements, taking them from chapter three of John A. Widtsoe’s book Discourses of Brigham Young:

“Let every man and every woman call upon the name of the Lord, and that, too, from a pure heart, while they are at work as well as in their closet, while they are in public as well as while they are in private, asking the Father m the name of Jesus, to bless them, and to preserve and guide in, and to teach them, the way of life and salvation and to enable them so to live that they will obtain this eternal salvation that we are after.”

“When you get up in the morning, before you suffer yourselves to eat one mouthful of food, call your wife and children together, bow down before the Lord, ask him to forgive your sins, and protect you through the day, to preserve you from temptation and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that day that shall be beneficial to the Kingdom of God on the earth. Have you time to do this? Elders, sisters, have you time to pray?”

“It matters not whether you or I feel like praying, when the time comes to pray, pray. If we do not feel like it, we should pray till we do. And if there is a heavy storm coming on and our hay is likely to be wet, let it come. You will find that those who wait till the Spirit bids them pray, will never pray much on this earth.”

“We may say that our work drives us and that we have not time to pray, hardly time to eat our breakfasts. Then let the breakfasts go, and pray, get down upon our knees and pray until we are filled with the spirit of peace.”

“If the Devil says you cannot pray when you are angry, tell him it is none of his business, and pray until that species of insanity is dispelled and serenity is restored to the mind.”

“If I did not feel like praying, and asking my Father in Heaven to give me a morning blessing, and to preserve me and my family and the good upon the earth through the day, I should say, “Brigham, get down here on your knees, bow your body down before the throne of him who rules in the heavens, and stay there until you can feel to supplicate at that throne of grace erected for sinners.””

May we each follow Brother Brigham’s sage advice and humble ourselves, get on our knees, and talk with our Father in Heaven. He’s waiting to hear from us. He loves each of us. He wants to hear about our lives, concerns, and desires. He can’t wait to bless us, enlighten our understanding, and draw us closer to Him as soon as we’re ready and make that first feeble step towards Him.

Just after writing these last lines, my ten-month-old baby girl woke up in the other room and started calling “Papa!” I immediately wet in to her, picked her up, and gave her a daddy-sized hug. Do we really think it’s any different with our Eternal Father when we raise our voices to Him? I witness with all the fervor of my soul that He loves to hear His children call Him “Father” and talk to Him!

To close, I remind you that the scriptures plead with us to pray and promise us unimaginable blessings if we do so in purity of heart. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Who doesn’t need mercy and grace? If we approach God in prayer, it’ll be ours. The Apostle James also told us that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not” (James 1:5). Again, who doesn’t stand in need of greater wisdom? And, finally, the Lord showed us repeatedly, by His perfect example, that we must pray. In one particularly touching instance, He showed His love for those who follow Him when He prayed to the Father in this manner:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. . . .

“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. . . .

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

“And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17).

If we want to know God, which is eternal life, we must pray. There’s simply no substitute for personal prayer. Talk with your Father in Heaven. Plead with Him on your knees. Pour out your soul to Him. He won’t be bored hearing about your troubles, struggles, concerns, and regrets. He won’t tire of your questions and seeking for truth. It will fill Him with joy to hear from you, His precious child. His Spirit will smile upon you. And, together with your Savior Jesus Christ, They will make Their abode with you (John 14:21, 23).

There’s true power in prayer. If you don’t currently pray, pray! Get on your knees and talk with you Eternal Father. Get to know Him. Declutter your life, turn down the volume, and clear the wax out of your spiritual ears. Speak and then listen. Ask and receive. And enjoy developing a truly beautiful relationship with your God as you speak to Him and listen to His responses. May God the Father bless you as you open your heart to Him in sincere prayer!

Zack Strong,
May 30, 2021

Uncle Joe

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

This past weekend, George Joseph Swank, or, as I called him, Uncle Joe, passed away from an apparent heart attack. The youngest of my Mom’s siblings, Uncle Joe walked into eternity at age fifty-four. He was surrounded by his family in China when his mortal probation ended and he went to a reunion with his parents and with his sister whom he’d never met. I want to pay a personal tribute to Uncle Joe and say a word or two about life and the afterlife.

I was likely closer to my Uncle Joe than any of my other uncles. I hunted, fished, and camped, watched him fix my family’s vehicles, enjoyed his assistance as my family packed and moved from place to place, attended BSU Broncos football games, and watched sports and movies and ate amazing ice cream at Leatherby’s together with him. He was almost always with my Grandma and Grandpa Swank when they visited my family and he was always willing to drop what he was doing to come help my family – or any relatives – when in need.

When I was young, I remember Uncle Joe talking about government corruption, conspiracy, and things that would make people call him a “conspiracy theorist.” As I grew into my own and learned more, I saw that he was generally right and that those who hurled around the label “conspiracy theorist” were generally wrong. Despite being perpetually outnumbered in debates, he stuck to his guns. Even in times I completely believe he was wrong, he still believed what he believed; and he believed it not because anyone told him to, but because it was his own rational deduction from researching. That’s one of the things I admired about him. Standing up for what you believe in, even when no one else does, is one of the greatest character traits a person can possess. And whatever else one may say about Uncle Joe, he stood by his beliefs regardless of the crowd.

And, so, without too much more blather from me, I want to share a few things my uncle either said, shared, or believed. Two weeks ago, Uncle Joe shared a Facebook post he had originally published eight years ago. His caption was: “Good message for any day and age.” I agree. Here’s the message:

“SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:

Doctrine & Covenants 1:14-16

““And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; for they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; they seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.”

“QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Spencer W. Kimball

““By one means or another, the swiftest method of rejection of the holy prophets has been to find a pretext, however false or absurd, to dismiss the man so that his message could also be dismissed. . . . In multiple scriptures the Lord has indicated that he will perform his work through those whom the world regards as weak and despised. Of course, rejection of the holy prophets comes because the hearts of the people are hardened, as people are shaped by their society. . . .

““Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. . . . Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord’s message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 466-467).”

Wise words. My Uncle Joe was a man who followed the Lord’s past and living prophets. Those who loved and respected him would do well in following his example in this aspect.

Uncle Joe and his sister Penny enjoying the rides at Lagoon
Uncle Joe and his sister, my Mom, Mary
Uncle Joe and his nephew, my brother, Logan

Another aspect that my uncle was often right about was politics. It may seem inappropriate to bring politics into a tribute, but bear with me; I’ll explain why I include this in a minute. My Uncle Joe was awake to the Coronahoax scam, or “Plandemic” as he called it. This is no small feat in a world that has been brainwashed by 24/7 lying via the major media networks. But Uncle Joe saw through it. He often shared information refuting the harmful narrative about global “pandemic” and decrying the “cure’s” adverse impact on humanity’s Liberty. The third-to-last thing he ever shared online was about this worldwide conspiracy and the fake “science” that has been used to deceive people into accepting slavery. The article in part reads:

“[I]f we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Even if the infectious viri are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected].

“The Question is Positive for What?? The PCR test does not detect the identity of the virus. According to Dr. Pascal Sacre, “these tests detect viral particles, genetic sequences, not the whole virus.”

“In an attempt to quantify the viral load, these sequences are then amplified several times through numerous complex steps that are subject to errors, sterility errors and contamination.

“Positive RT-PCR is not synonymous with COVID-19 disease! PCR specialists make it clear that a test must always be compared with the clinical record of the patient being tested, with the patient’s state of health to confirm its value.

“The media frighten everyone with new positive PCR tests, without any nuance or context, wrongly assimilating this information with a second wave of COVID-19. . . .

“What this admission of the WHO confirms is that most of the estimates of covid positive under the so-called “Second Wave” . . . are invalid, which means that the lockdown/economic measures which have resulted in social panic, mass poverty and unemployment (allegedly to curtail the spread of the virus) have no justification whatsoever.

“Moreover, the WHO is calling for retesting: “a new specimen should be taken and retested…”. That recommendation is pro-forma. I won’t happen. (It is there to sustain the legitimacy of the WHO). . . .

“At the time of writing (Second Wave) the test is being used extensively to hike up the numbers with a view to justifying a partial lockdown with devastating social and economic impacts including the engineered bankruptcy of tourism, air travel and the urban services economy.

“Both the WHO and the scientific assessments (quoted above) confirm unequivocally that the tests adopted by governments to justify the destabilization of their national economy are TOTALLY INVALID.”

I contemplated whether to include that excerpt and bring up politics at all. Perhaps it would throw off the spirit and flow of this tribute, I thought. But I finally decided in favor of it because I realized that if I was the one who had passed on, I’d want my beliefs and principles to live on. I’d want people to read and analyze the things I’d publicly shared, proposed, and written. I’d want a major part of my legacy to be my views on politics and Freedom issues.

The last meme my uncle shared. He knew the election was stolen; do you?

Consequently, in remembrance of one who saw what most others don’t, and of one who had the courage to saw what most others don’t dare utter, I decided to tip my hat to my Uncle Joe who saw through the scamdemic and its lying, Freedom-destroying agenda. Having the discernment to see the truth is a blessing and a gift, and Uncle Joe had his fair share of discernment. I salute him and the legacy of truth-telling he left behind.

The last thing my Uncle Joe shared on social media was a testimony of Jesus Christ. This compilation has floated around the web for a while, but it’s worth sharing for any who may need the reminder. It’s fitting that this was the final thing Uncle Joe shared and witnessed to publicly. The “words of eternal life” should always be on our lips – and more particularly when we’re preparing to meet the Author of those words (John 6:68-69). Remember this testimony:

“Jesus from Genesis to Revelation

In Genesis, He is the Creator God

In Exodus, He is your Redeemer

In Leviticus, He is your sanctification

In Numbers, He is your guide

In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher

In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror

In Judges, He gives you victory over your enemies

In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer

In 1 Samuel, He is the root of Jesse

In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David

In 1 and 2 Kings, He is the King of kings and Lord of Lords

In 1 and 2 Chronicles He is your intercessor and high priest

In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship

In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies

In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies

In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles but also has the power to do something about them

In Psalms, He is your song and your reason to sing

In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully

In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity

In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon

In Isaiah, He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace

In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul

In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one on whom you can depend

In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel—the one who assures that dead, dry bones will come alive again

In Daniel, He is the Ancient of Days, the everlasting God who never runs out of time

In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back—even when you have abandoned Him

In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble

In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side

In Obadiah, He is Lord of the kingdom

In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back in His will

In Micah, He is judge of the nation

In Nahum, He is the jealous God

In Habakkuk, He is the holy one

In Zephaniah, He is the witness

In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies

In Zechariah, He is Lord of hosts

In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant

In Matthew, He is King of the Jews

In Mark, He is the servant

In Luke He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel

In John, He is the Son of God

In Romans, He is the righteousness of God

In 1 Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel

In 2 Corinthians, He is the triumphant one, giving victory

In Galatians, He is your liberty, setting you free

In Ephesians, He is the head of the church

In Philippians, He is your joy

In Colossians, He is your completeness

In 1 Thessalonians, He is your hope

In 2 Thessalonians, He is your glory

In 1 Timothy, He is your faith

In 2 Timothy, He is your stability

In Titus, He is God our Savior

In Philemon, He is your benefactor

In Hebrews, He is your perfection

In James, He is the power behind your faith

In 1 Peter, He is your example

In 2 Peter, He is your purity

In 1 John, He is your life

In 2 John, He is your pattern

In 3 John, He is your motivation

In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith

In Revelation, He is your coming King.”

I want to simply add my own testimony of the truth of everlasting life. Jesus really is our Redeemer, our hope, and “the one who assures that dead, dry bones will come alive again.” Death is a feeble fiction. No one ever truly dies. Our physical bodies molder in the ground, but our spirits continue on. And just as the Lord was resurrected with His own perfected, physical body (Luke 24:36-43), so, too, will each of us rise from the grave at the appointed time to become perfected souls. As Job anciently testified: “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26).

Each of us will see God with our own two eyes. We’ll account for our time on earth, whether long or short. The record books will be opened and we’ll be judged according to our actions, words, beliefs, desires, and thoughts. We’ll also be accorded mercy and justice for the good and righteous things we’ve brought to pass. Truly our Savior is a graceful and loving Lord who takes care of all who love Him and call upon His holy name. No one will be shortchanged; no one will be overlooked; no one will miss out on what they should receive.

Knowing this, it becomes our duty to live in constant preparation to meet God. We never know when our mortal journey will end and our Father will call us back home. It might be today, tomorrow, or thirty years in the future. But this transfer into immortality that we call “death” comes to all of us eventually. When a loved one passes into eternity, it impresses upon you the reality of how fragile life is and how each moment could be your last, in this life, with your loved ones. It should also motivate us to do and be better. If nothing else does, at least death makes us yearn to be better so that our reunion with those who have moved on and who are anxiously watching us will be truly joyous.

See you on the other side, Uncle Joe. As you once told me: “Laters dude, love ya man.”

Zack Strong,

April 19, 2021

The Sacred Sixth

On April 6, 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded. From its first meeting of six men in a shack in backwoods New York state, this organization has flourished and now includes nearly 17 million members worldwide and is one of the fastest-growing faiths in existence. Because of what it signifies and what has happened on this day, the sixth of April is a sacred day to be remembered with gladness by all the peoples of the earth.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, the very Son of God, came to earth and restored the Gospel He had previously given, as Jehovah, to the ancient Hebrews. He also added upon it, revealing new knowledge and establishing new offices to help officiate in the ordinances of the Holy Priesthood. These include apostles, seventies, patriarchs, bishops, priests, deacons, missionaries, and others (Ephesians 4:11-12). The early Christians, led by the apostles (who themselves were led through divine revelation), took the Gospel to multiple continents.

Less than a century later, all of the apostles had been murdered (except John who was granted a different fate and special mission by His Master). This jarring lack of leadership catapulted the Church of Jesus Christ to certain apostasy. Long before the apostles had been hunted down, the various branches of the Church were already in rebellion and false prophets were already among them. This cannot be denied if one believes the testimony of the New Testament writers, such as John who relayed the word of the Lord to multiple branches of the Church, reproving them and singling out several apostate sects like the Nicolatians and others who “hold the doctrine of Balaam.” He even warned that there were those “which say they are apostles, and are not” (Revelation 2).

Peter, the chief apostle, concurred and foretold that “there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

The Apostle Paul likewise repeatedly warned of apostasy, lamenting “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6) and warning “after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:28-30). I testify that ravening wolves did enter the flock and have dominated it for nearly two millennia.

It’s a matter of basic history that the Roman Catholic Church, and other churches that later split from them, changed doctrine taught by Jesus and His apostles and combined the mangled remains with pagan dogma and Greek philosophy. This is routinely acknowledged by Catholic scholars, though not by the clergy or by the lay members. It is borne out by any honest rendering of history. If these facts offend you, it’s time to learn true history and embrace reality instead of your cozy and comfortable, but erroneous, beliefs.

I cite only five of dozens of doctrines or practices that have been altered or abandoned by Christendom – both Catholicism and Protestantism:

1) The gift of the Holy Ghost was once given only to baptized members of the Lord’s Church “through the laying on of the apostles’ hands” and in no other way (Acts 8:14-23).

2) The Lord’s Church was directed in the way He established, which was by revelation through a divinely called – not elected or hired – council of Twelve Apostles and prophets, flanked by groups of seventy elders, bishops, priests, deacons, and so forth (Luke 9:1-2; Luke 10:1; John 15:16; Ephesians 4:10-12; Ephesians 2:20).

3) The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit were once properly recognized as three separate Beings and only in the Fourth Century did an uninspired and contentious council convened by political leaders concoct the doctrine of the Trinity – the three-in-one myth that has so confounded the world – and split with the three-hundred year old acknowledged fact that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct Beings united by purpose, not by substance (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; John 14:28; John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 3:14; 1 John 5:7).

4) The false idea that God is only a spirit without a perfected physical body. The resurrected Christ ate food and told His disciples to touch His body as a witness that He was not a mere spirit Being (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:26-28; Genesis 1:27; Genesis 32:30).

5) Marriage was once acknowledged as not only good and right, but as a commandment of Almighty God. In order to become a bishop in the Lord’s Church, for instance, one had to be married. The Apostle Paul, whose words are fallaciously twisted to support the Devilish doctrine of celibacy, actually taught that “marriage is honourable” (Hebrews 13:4). Peter, as the scriptures show so clearly, was married (Mark 1:30). And, of course, the Lord commanded Adam and Eve – and by inference, all of humanity – to marry and become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-25). Marriage is a prerequisite for exaltation and intentional celibacy or deliberate singleness is damnable (Matthew 19:4-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

Not only did these, and many other, heresies become engrafted onto Christ’s true Church after the martyrdom of the apostles, completely bastardizing it, but the bishop at Rome decided to usurp authority and centralize all power in his office after the death of Peter. Catholic popes claim Peter was the first “pope” and claim their authority came down to them from Peter. This is erroneous on its face for anyone who has a basic historical chronology in front of them.

After Peter was killed, John remained alive. John, then, was the highest ranking apostolic authority in the Church. The authority would have devolved upon him to lead the Church. For the much lower bishop of Rome to claim the right to rule in the Church is a blatant usurpation of John’s legitimate authority. Yet, the Lord took John away from the apostates who called themselves “Christians” and permitted His Church to spiral into total apostasy, eventually including the Greek, Roman, and pagan mysteries as part of formal “Christian” dogma.

The conduct of the popes likewise betrays the fact that they were often uninspired and certainly not called to their post by the Lord. The Catholic Church came to deny revelation, which was the lifeblood of the Church Jesus Christ established. Indeed, in ancient times, the Lord revealed that His Church would always have a prophet at its head. Any church that denies continuing revelation or which doesn’t claim to be led by a living prophet is, simply, a false church. They may have some good followers and do good works. Many of their doctrines may be correct. But they lack the Priesthood authority to officiate as legal administrators of Christ’s Gospel with its myriad of sacred covenants.

Many philosophers and religionists alike acknowledged the need for some sort of course correct. This acknowledgment sparked the Reformation. The Reformation accomplished much good and freed people from the tyranny of the popes. Yet, as well-meaning as the Reformers were, and as righteous as many of them were, their efforts were only half-measures and lacked God’s ratifying seal of approval.

Three centuries after the Reformation began, learned men were still eagerly awaiting the rise of true Christianity. In 1822, for instance, Thomas Jefferson remarked that he was “happy in the prospect of a restoration of primitive Christianity” (Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, July 19, 1822). This “restoration,” he often said, would lead to the “disbandment of the unintelligible Athanasian jargon of 3. being 1. and 1. being 3.” (Thomas Jefferson to Wells & Lilly, April 1, 1818). Jefferson had correctly accused the clergy of using “the whimsies, the puerilities, & unintelligible jargon” of Plato to create a despotic system of oppression that confused people into believing they needed the priests to tell them every little thing and micromanage their lives. Or, in the Sage’s own words:

“[T]he Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from it’s indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power & pre-eminence. the doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained” (Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, July 5, 1814).

“[N]o one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason in it’s advances towards rational Christianity. when we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus, when, in short, we shall have unlearned every thing which has been taught since his day, and got back to the pure and simple doctrines he inculcated, we shall then be truly and worthily his disciples: and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed purely from his lips, the whole world would at this day have been Christian. I know that the case you cite, of Dr Drake, has been a common one. the religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconcievable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce it’s founder an imposter. had there never been a Commentator, there never would have been an infidel.” – Thomas Jefferson to Timothy Pickering, February 27, 1821

John Adams responded to Jefferson that his views on Plato “perfectly harmonize with mine.” He also said: “If the Christian Religion as I understand it, or as you understand it, Should maintain its Ground as I believe it will; yet Platonick Pythagoric, Hindoo, and cabballistical Christianity which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1500 Years, has recd [received] a mortal wound of which the Monster must finally die; yet So Strong is his constitution that he may endure for Centuries before he expires” (John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, July 16, 1814).

Check mate, Plato. What honest and informed person can deny these piercing observations? The Great Apostasy really did exist. Catholicism really did combine Kabbalism (Jewish mysticism), paganism, and intellectually bankrupt Platonism. Though the Reformation struck a severe blow to the monstrous Catholic dogma, the Apostasy persisted and necessitated a total restoration of the Lord’s doctrine and Church – a restoration that could only be effected by the Lord Himself.

When the time and setting were right, the Lord indeed spoke again from Heaven. In 1820, the veil was parted and the Lord again called a prophet to not merely reform, but to fully restore His Church, complete with all the authorities, offices, and ordinances it had formerly possessed before the murder of the apostles. Though Thomas Jefferson didn’t know it at the time, the momentous “restoration of primitive Christianity” he dreamed about was already underway.

The man chosen by the Lord to wear the prophetic mantle and usher in the final Gospel Dispensation was a young man in backwoods New York named Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith was chosen by the Savior to be His representative on earth – a prophet, seer, and revelator. The ancient apostles who last held the Lord’s Priesthood authority – John the Baptist, who held the lower Priesthood, and Peter, James, and John, who held the higher Priesthood – appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and, following the ancient pattern, laid their hands on their heads and conferred upon them the Holy Priesthood.

This started once more the chain of authority that began with Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry. The same Priesthood that He possessed and which He gave, through the laying on of His holy hands, to Peter, James, and John, continued onward with Joseph Smith. The Prophet Joseph Smith became the successor to John, the final apostle of the early Church. Through divine inspiration, the Prophet brought forth additional scripture to complement and bolster the Holy Bible’s witness of Jesus Christ and to clarify how ordinances like baptism were to be properly performed. On April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith formally restored the Church, calling it “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” which name he received through revelation.

Like the ancient apostles, Joseph Smith, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were unjustly imprisoned and murdered by a mob in their jail cells in 1844. In spite of their tragic deaths, the Church continued forward. This is because it was not Joseph Smith’s church, but The Church of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s power was upon it. His Priesthood authority directed it. The prophetic mantle transferred automatically from Joseph Smith to Brigham Young. It has continued down to this day to a man named Russell M. Nelson who stands as the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify with all the fervor of my soul that this Church is the Lord’s Church and that it is led by prophets who hold the identical authority held by Peter, James, and John. I know this truth through the Holy Spirit and I dare not deny it. It’s true! I’m an independent witness.

No one likes being told their beliefs aren’t true. It’s a hard thing to accept. Yet, if the world is to save itself from darkness, it must acknowledge that the Great Apostasy is ongoing; that the version of “Christianity” that’s popular in the world is a false and altered form; and that the Lord’s true Gospel has once more been restored to the earth and is directed by legal administrators who officiate in the ordinances of salvation.

In April, 2020, the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a rare proclamation commemorating the Restoration of the Lord’s Church. They stated:

“In humility, we declare that in answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph [Smith] and inaugurated the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) as foretold in the Bible. In this vision, he learned that following the death of the original Apostles, Christ’s New Testament Church was lost from the earth. Joseph would be instrumental in its return.

“We affirm that under the direction of the Father and the Son, heavenly messengers came to instruct Joseph and re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ. The resurrected John the Baptist restored the authority to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins. Three of the original twelve Apostles—Peter, James, and John—restored the apostleship and keys of priesthood authority. Others came as well, including Elijah, who restored the authority to join families together forever in eternal relationships that transcend death. . . .

“We declare that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized on April 6, 1830, is Christ’s New Testament Church restored. This Church is anchored in the perfect life of its chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, and in His infinite Atonement and literal Resurrection. Jesus Christ has once again called Apostles and has given them priesthood authority. He invites all of us to come unto Him and His Church, to receive the Holy Ghost, the ordinances of salvation, and to gain enduring joy.”

Truly, the Lord invites all people to come to Him, learn of Him, live like Him, and partake of the grace and love He offers through the ordinances of His Gospel. John the Revelator saw that the Gospel would be preached by angels from Heaven once more in the last days:

“I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).

Clearly, it would be superfluous and improper for an angel to bring the Gospel to earth again if it had remained and no Apostasy happened. But the Great Apostasy did occur. And so did the Restoration! The Restoration of the Gospel is one of the most important events ever to transpire. Joseph Smith was the instrument the Lord used to start the process of the “restitution of all things.” That process is ongoing as the scattered Israelites are gathered, through missionary work, back into the fold of Christ. There is revelation yet to be revealed. There are momentous things yet to happen. There are more miracles in our future.

April 6th is a sacred day, a day of rejoicing and gladness. For those of you who have already joined yourselves to the Lord’s Church, give thanks to the Savior. Those of you who have not yet joined, I invite you to investigate the restored doctrines of the Lord’s Church. Investigate them prayerfully. Don’t feast on the bilge of dissenters, but go to the source – the scriptures themselves and the Lord. You can write to me and I’ll help guide you to sources that can help you in your personal search. More importantly, ask Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, to reveal to you by the Holy Spirit whether or not these things are true. And when you receive your answer, which I can testify will be in the affirmative, find a modern legal administrator of the ordinance of baptism and embrace membership in the Savior’s earthly Kingdom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

God bless you to feel and know the truth for yourself as you contemplate the “marvelous work and a wonder” that is the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Zack Strong,

April 7, 2021

You Are Responsible to God for Your Political Beliefs, Actions, and Votes

During my time of peak activity with the Independent American Party, I penned 54 articles. Most of those were tragically deleted when the IAP changed web hosts several years back. A small handful, however, can still be found floating around the web. Independent Political Report, for instance, hosts some of them, such as the article I’ll share today.

I wrote the following piece in April of 2016. In the time since I wrote it, I’ve become more convinced of its truthfulness. These principles are accurate and true. We will stand accountable to God for everything we do, including everything we do in the realm of politics. There’s no escaping the fact that God will judge us, among other things, based on our politics.

Now begins my original article written in 2016:

It seems to me that the prevailing opinion in society is that politics and religion are two separate things. According to this view, one’s political decisions have no bearing upon one’s faith or standing before the Lord. My article is a refutation of that false notion. I want to impress upon your mind that your political beliefs, actions, and votes are a direct representation of your religious views and moral principles. If this is accurate, then it is true to say that we will be accountable to God for our political choices and attitudes. This fact should cause us to carefully study politics and to never compromise our soul to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or for a candidate whose views are questionable, but who appears “viable.”

You cannot vote for a man whose views are contrary to your own personal beliefs without compromising your values. If you compromise your values so easily, what do you really believe in? Actions speak louder than words. If you claim to believe in one set of principles, but then vote for a candidate or support a party or program which espouses a different set of principles, logic dictates that you actually believe the latter. In such cases, your verbal profession of belief is disingenuous and you mark yourself, by your actions, as a hypocrite with no fidelity to your espoused principles. At a minimum, you prove that you do not have enough courage to stand for your convictions, but that you are an indecisive person who floats with the political winds and stands for nothing in particular. More candidly, however, you prove that in practice you believe in and advocate the principles and ideas of the person or program you have supported.

It is illogical to vote for a candidate while alleging that you do not agree with them. But, some might rationalize, you will never find someone you agree with 100% of the time, so you have to make compromises and go with the best candidate available. I reject this thought. When considering the relatively inconsequential details of a person’s policies, it may certainly be true that you are not in full agreement. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, it is a different thing entirely to support someone whose core principles do not align with your own, or whose platform contains planks which do not conform to your person beliefs, even if they appear to be the “best” candidate available.

If I see you vote for a person, I automatically assume you believe the same ideas and hold his identical principles. If not, why are you voting for him? If I see you support a Republican, for instance, I will generally assume that you support the Republican Party platform in its entirety unless you, or the individual candidate in question, specifically state otherwise. If you are unaware that a person’s views differ from your own, then it may be said you are acting in willful ignorance, which proves that you haven’t taken your civic duty seriously. It likewise proves your laziness.

Willful ignorance, in our information age, is contemptible. There is no excuse, absolutely no excuse, for feigning ignorance in this era when you hold access to the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand. Therefore, I am justified in assuming that if you vote for a person, you are in full agreement with his particular set of values and principles. I hope you can see that your political decisions reveal your innermost convictions. If you think this assumption is unfair, change your votes to align with your principles. Otherwise, stand by your choices and cease to complain that they’re not a representation of your true beliefs.

I cannot relate to a person who would compromise their principles and beliefs for the sake of politics or out of a desire to win an election. And I don’t believe God will look favorably upon this either, if Revelation 3:15-16 is to be trusted. This passage states: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

I do not believe we will be judged favorably if, when we stand before our Maker, we are compelled to confess that each election year we sold out our principles in order to win, or that we put our support behind a candidate we knew was the “lesser of two evils” in order to stymie another person who was “worse.” Either the Lord will say you have been “lukewarm,” or He will determine that your actions spoke louder than your words. In either case, you stand condemned. The only solution, then, is to establish a set of principles and never deviate – even if it means doing the unpopular thing and voting for an independent candidate or someone you know has no chance in a national election. What is more important, winning or doing what is right? Answer for yourself.

At this juncture, I wish to quote several paragraphs from Hans Verlan Andersen’s book “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil.” In this work, Andersen tries to convince the reader that he is responsible to God for his actions regarding government, including his votes. Indeed, according to Andersen, our political views accurately reflect who we are on the inside. Let the author explain his reasoning to you:

“A person’s political philosophy is an expression of his moral beliefs because he cannot determine whether he favors or opposes a law without consulting his moral standards. Before he can approve of a law which forbids a certain act he must believe the forbidden act to be wrong or harmful . . .

“Similarly, before one can approve of a law which commands an act, he must believe the act to be good and a failure to perform it as a culpable omission deserving of punishment . . . It is contrary to logic for anyone to espouse a political philosophy which is inconsistent with his moral beliefs. On the other hand that philosophy is a formulation of his moral code.

“A person’s political philosophy not only reflects his moral convictions, but it represents his most intense feelings regarding good and evil. Those acts which are prohibited by the laws he favors are not only regarded by him as evil, but so objectionable are they that he is willing to physically punish anyone who commits them. His feelings are equally intense regarding those acts he thinks he has a moral right to compel others to perform.

“Suppose one were given unlimited power to use force on his fellow man without fear of retaliation, physical punishment, or condemnation by other members of society. Under such circumstances, the manner in which he treated others would be an accurate index of his moral character. The only thing left to restrain him or to determine the good or evil he would do with that force, would be his conscience. This is substantially the position a person would be in if he were given the power to secretly direct the affairs of government. He would have in his hands the supreme physical force in society and could use it to control others without incurring either physical danger or condemnation.

“In a society of self-governing people this is essentially the position the voter occupies. . . .

“Our political desires are an extremely accurate index of what we would do if the Lord made us a king, a judge, or a ruler with power to govern others.”

No elaboration is needed.

While contemplating Andersen’s statements, let me ask you several questions. As a sovereign citizen with the Freedom to choose your representatives, what do you choose? Do you choose to always do the right thing no matter how unpopular? Do you compromise and vote for programs or people which don’t share your same principles, thinking that somehow God will overlook your insincerity because it was seemingly for a good cause? Do you carelessly make your political decisions or do you thoughtfully and prayerfully research and then act? Do you go with the flow or follow the latest trend, or do you stand for something real, fixed, and concrete? Do you know what you believe and are you willing to die for it? Do you separate politics and religion in your mind, or do you approach politics as a religious duty for which you will give an accounting in the hereafter?

Our political actions, most importantly our votes, show who we are inside. They show what we believe in, which morals we cherish, and what our attitude is regarding our God-given Freedom and the equal rights of our fellow man. All Christians should be constantly cognizant of the fact that we will be judged according to our works – yes, all of our works, not just the so-called religious ones (see 1 Peter 1:17; Matthew 7:2,12; Luke 19:22; James 2:10-12,17,26; Revelation 20:12-13; Revelation 22:12). The honest course is to vote and act according to our principles – and to make sure these principles are just, good, true, and virtuous. To do otherwise is shameful.

I hope that I have impressed upon you the necessity of acting in harmony with your personal beliefs. I’m confident that you now see that your political choices are reflections of your religious opinions. I likewise hope that you will never again view politics outside of its religious context. Freedom is a Gospel principle, and our actions toward Freedom reveal the realities of our religious faith. We will each give an accounting to God for all of our actions, including which candidates we voted for, which political parties we favored, and which governmental programs we supported.

Let’s not be compromisers, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s stand for true and correct principles – constitutional principles, moral principles, religious principles. Let’s never be guilty of voting for the “lesser of two evils” – even if it means the hated Democrats win because you “divided” the Republican vote. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still evil and you will give an accounting of it to God no matter your rationalization. Let’s be men and women who prove our faith by our actions. If you will not do so, please abandon your faith and cease to pretend you’re someone you’re not. God help us to see the light of truth and to eschew error and oppose all people, programs, principles, or parties whose views do not uphold individual Freedom, morality, and religion. Never be ashamed of being unpopular. Do the right thing and your conscience will be clear. God help us restore our Liberty!

Zack Strong,

April 6, 2021

Victory Day

Traditionally, VE Day means Victory in Europe Day and refers to the end of the horrific Second World War. Today, I use VE Day to mean Victory on Easter Day. Easter is all about victory! Victory over death. Victory over sin. Victory over hell, the Devil, and misery. Jesus Christ is the Victor and it is to Him I pay tribute and give my eternal love, loyalty, and thanks.

Two thousand years ago, the Son of God was arrested, illicitly tried, spit on, abused, tortured, and cruelly crucified in front of a jeering mob on a forlorn hill outside of old Jerusalem. This Holy Man, called Jesus of Nazareth, suffered excruciatingly while those of His own people – those He had loved and served so diligently – mocked Him and exuded demonic hatred and malice for no reason. His pain, however, was not merely physical, but profoundly spiritual.

It was not only Jesus’ wrists, hands, and feet that were pierced, but His noble spirit had been pierced the night before this public humiliation and veritable ritual murder. It was in the tranquil Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus worked out the Atonement that allows me and you to lay our burdens and sins upon Him and become redeemed. There, Jesus suffered a private torment surpassing anything the Jews or Romans could have inflicted upon Him. It was while prostrate in that Garden of Glory that Jesus literally bled from every pore of His body because His anguish was so awful for the sins of mankind.

Despite the immense pain which required God the Father to send an angel to comfort His suffering Son during this most pivotal moment of eternity, Jesus endured, pushed forward, and conquered! He did what He tells us to do – He gave His heart and soul. He poured Himself out to His Father and our God, offering His sinless soul as an offering for our .

For some reason we don’t yet understand, blood – the life force of mortality – is required to ratify a sacrifice. To voluntarily spill His blood and give His life as the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus went from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Cross. There, on Golgotha, the Savior completed His work and fulfilled His Father’s Plan of Salvation. There on the Cross of Completion the Lord cried in anguish, but also with finality and exultation: “Father, it is finished, thy will is done” (Matthew 27:50, Joseph Smith Translation).

At that moment, Jesus was dead, yet He was never more alive. His spirit, freed from its suffering tabernacle of clay, simply transitioned from mortality to immortality; from the cruel earth to the paradise of the spirit world. There He reclaimed His spot as the Lord of Hosts. There He marshaled His forces to preach the Gospel to the spirits in prison. There He continued His work of salvation and prepared for the next act – placing the capstone on His perfect performance by rising from the grave in great glory.

It was in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Friday afternoon after He voluntarily gave His life for us on the Cross, that the Savior formally finished His Atonement and forever abolished death. Jesus, who is the Life and Light of the world, offered eternal life to each of us with the glorious hope of a future day of rest from earthly cares and pains, happiness with our families, and salvation in Heaven. Angels appeared to declare that He had fulfilled His promises; that He truly was the Master of Heaven and earth with power to save. It was a day unlike any other; a day that changed everything!

The empty tomb is the Tomb of Triumphant. The empty tomb is the ultimate symbol of Christ. Christians often remember the cruel Cross on Calvary. While it is essential to recall this event and to always keep in mind the suffering our Lord endured for us, it is more joyful and appropriate to remember the empty tomb and what it signifies. That tomb told the world that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer, the Savior, the All-Powerful Lord of the elements and of eternity. Let’s remember all that Christ has done for us and give Him particular thanks on this glorious Victory Day.

On an Easter morning many years ago, a modern prophet of the Lord gave this witness of the miracle of Christ’s Easter Victory. He proclaimed:

“There is one grand key in this vast divine program, and that is the redemption of mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

“This is Easter morning. This is the Lord’s day, when we celebrate the greatest victory of all time, the victory over death.

“Those who hated Jesus thought they had put an end to Him forever when the cruel spikes pierced His quivering flesh and the cross was raised on Calvary. But this was the Son of God, with whose power they did not reckon. Through His death came the Resurrection and the assurance of eternal life. . . .

“Whenever the cold hand of death strikes, there shines through the gloom and the darkness of that hour the triumphant figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, He, the Son of God, who by his matchless and eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the world. He gave His life for each of us. He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept. He, as King of Kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He, as the Omnipotent One, stands above all rulers. He is our comfort, our only true comfort, when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us as the spirit departs the human form.

“Towering above all mankind stands Jesus the Christ, the King of glory, the unblemished Messiah, the Lord Emmanuel. In the hour of deepest sorrow we draw hope and peace and certitude from the words of the angel that Easter morning, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matt. 28:6). . . .

“He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives! He lives, resplendent and wonderful, the living Son of the living God. Of this we bear solemn testimony this day of rejoicing, this Easter morning, when we commemorate the miracle of the empty tomb” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Glorious Easter Morn,” General Conference, April, 1996).

I add my testimony to President Hinckley’s. Death is nothing. The Devil is nothing. They have no power over us because we are Christ’s and Christ is King – the Triumphant Victor. Life is endless and eternal because of our Eternal God, Jesus Christ, who is the Life and Light of all. I know without any doubt that life goes on and that Jesus the Christ, the Redeemer of the world, lives!

What greatest message can we give to the world than that Jesus, the very same who was crucified in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, lives at this very moment? If He lives, then He was and is truly the Savior He said He was. And as that living Savior, He has the power to help us and save us even now. As one man of God said of our Redeemer:

“He is so accessible. I bear witness that He is alive right now. Jesus is saving and helping and healing and forgiving right now. He is quick to forgive and slow to anger. He is mighty to save” (Elder Kyle S. McKay, “There Must Needs Be a Christ,” BYU Devotional, March 23, 2021).

And so He is. Jesus is the One who saves, who purifies, who rescues, who heals, who changes us into better men and women, and who promises us eternal life with Him and our Father if we but turn to Him and give Him our heart. This Victory on Easter Day, let’s remember the redeeming power of Jesus Christ and the grace He so freely offers each of us. Yes, let’s remember the abundant life He offers us and has the power to offer us because He redeemed us in the Garden of Glory, died for us on Cross of Completion, and gave us unending hope by raising from the Tomb of Triumph.

As the Lord’s prophet on earth, President Russell M. Nelson, said this morning in a worldwide message about the Savior:

“No other message is more vital to our happiness now and forever. No other message is more filled with hope. No other message can eliminate contention in our society. Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power” (President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, April 4, 2021).

Amen to that testimony. It is true. It’s all true. And because it’s true, each of us can cry in our hearts, in our prayers, and boldly before the world:

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? . . . .

“. . . thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57).

Zack Strong,

April 4, 2021

Confidence: The Fruit of Knowledge

With confident soul he stood, hour after hour,

Thy return never doubting to see;

No sneers of tyrant, that faith could o’erpower,

Or shake his assurance in thee!”

William Peter, “Damon and Pythias”

Earlier, I saw a picture with the caption: “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” My immediate reaction was: “Have a knowledge of the truth and your voice won’t shake.” As I thought about it, I became even more convinced that this is true. Knowledge yields the fruit of confidence, boldness, and decisiveness. When we truly know something, not merely think it or believe it, we stand unshaken before the scoffing, antagonism, and threats of the bewildered world.

When the Lord Jesus Christ stood before the enraged Jewish rulers who wanted to murder Him for His teachings, He stood His ground and stated:

“[N]ow ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God. . . .

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe it not” (John 8:40, 44-45).

The Lord stood with boldness before the homicidal political rulers of His day because He knew the truth. He didn’t merely believe or hope that what He was saying was accurate. His knowledge was of God. His knowledge made Him unshakable and unruffled in every situation.

We sometimes forget that though He was the very Son of God, Jesus still had to learn obedience, suffer temptation, and grow from grace to grace as any other person. He was not born perfect, He was “made perfect” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Because of His perfect fidelity and honor, He grew more rapidly than normal people and came into possession of all truth and knowledge, leaving Him firm and steadfast and in a unique position in the human race.

It was this Son made perfect who shared His knowledge and helped all around Him rise to a greater stature one step at a time. Integral in this process of ascending to Heaven is truth. The Lord proclaimed: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). He could say this with perfect surety because He was and is the truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

All those who come to Jesus and learn of Him – that is, who learn the truth – become unshaken and immovable. Our voice won’t shake when we proclaim the truth, because we know it in every fiber of our being and feel it in the marrow of our bones. The Apostle Paul, who heard the resurrected Lord and talked with Him face to face and knew that He lived and stood supreme over death and hell, boldly stood before judges, jailers, kings, and mobs, proclaiming the truth he had received from the Lord of all truth. This supreme confidence is reflected in numerous passages of Paul’s writings, such as the following:

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. . . .

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. . . .

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

“Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus. . . .

“For which cause we faint not” (2 Corinthians 4:6, 8, 13-14, 16).

Because Paul had his own personal experience, ratified repeatedly by the Holy Spirit which impresses truth on our hearts, he was able to promptly teach truth and commend others to the Redeemer. I particularly love this encouragement found in his epistle to his fellow Hebrews:

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

The children of God were never intended to fearfully cower before their Savior, nor were they supposed to kowtow with their eyes averted when they approached their Lord. Rather, we’re meant to “come boldly” to our Savior. But this boldness is much more difficult to come by if we don’t have a firm knowledge of the One we’re approaching.

Truth is a knowledge of things as they really are. Possessing truth, then, is to have knowledge. When we have knowledge, we can’t simultaneously have doubt. Knowledge and doubt are incompatible. If we truly know a thing, we can have full confidence in it at all times and in all situations. And if we have knowledge and confidence, we can’t fear or quake in speaking what we know.

To deny or fearfully stay silent on what we know is to deny ourselves, because truth, when acquired spiritually, becomes part of us – woven into our very sinews. Boldly telling the truth when we have a sincere knowledge is easy because it’s who we are. Our voice should never shake when speaking truth because it’s a mere expression of our inner selves.

To know something is true but to shrink from saying it is cowardly and shameful. I excuse the telling of sacred manifestations or higher truth because sometimes it’s not wise to cast your pearls before swine. But in a general sense, when it’s time to tell the truth, we either do it or we blot our soul, stifle our spiritual growth, and mark ourselves as liars and hypocrites.

When we have firsthand, personal knowledge of the truth – a witness born of the Spirit – we can stand before the world like Peter and boldly proclaim: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). To so stand may earn us the displeasure of the mob, the hatred of our community, the abandonment of friends and kin, bodily harm, or even the sacrifice of our life, but what else can we do except stand if we’re filled with the knowledge of truth?

When people turn against us for doing and saying what’s right, regardless of peer pressure and the prevailing attitude of society, we should remember that the very Son of God was hated, persecuted, hunted, and slaughtered in a public spectacle for telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. His apostles were likewise driven, exiled, and hunted. Paul once lamented: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). Telling the truth comes with a price; but it also comes with eternal rewards that liars and cowards will never receive.

We should be so filled with conviction and the fire of truth that we can enthusiastically repeat the words of the hymn:

“Oh say, what is truth? ‘Tis the fairest gem,

That the riches of worlds can produce. . . .

“Yes, say, what is truth? ‘Tis the brightest prize

To which mortals or Gods can aspire. . . .

“Then say, what is truth? ‘Tis the last and the first,

For the limits of time it steps o’er.

Tho the heavens depart and the earth’s fountains burst,

Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,

Eternal, unchanged, evermore” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hymn No. 272).

Let’s tether ourselves to truth. Let’s boldly speak of things as they really are and never quiver when opposed by offended, ignorant, or violent individuals, mobs, or governments. Their protests mean nothing in the eternal scheme of things. But our fidelity to the truth which has been imprinted on our soul by the caresses of the Holy Spirit produces rewards that last forever. Or, as Paul said: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward” (Hebrews 10:35).

The scripture tells us that “the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). The Holy Book also tells us that Jesus is the “Lion of the tribe of Juda” (Revelation 5:5). Let’s be righteous. Let’s be like our King, the Lion of righteousness! Let’s proclaim the truth – His eternal truth – with no hint of wavering or doubt in our voices. Fear is for the faithless; those filled with truth can speak with calm certainty because they know. So, let’s faithfully stand like Peter, like Paul, and like our beloved Messiah, and log our names in the book of life.

Zack Strong,

March 21, 2021