Heavenly Beings in Babylon

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

My good friend Frederick and I were at City Creek Mall a few months ago having lunch. I teased him for suggesting we eat at “the great and spacious building” in the heart of Babylon, but since he was here from out of town, I “forgave” him and thought it would be an amusing experience.

As we sat eating in the restaurant, my boy was playing around and began laughing hysterically for no apparent reason. This may not seem remarkable for a young boy, but today it was. My son has a gift (sometimes a curse) of seeing beings from beyond the veil – a gift that both of my boys apparently “inherited” from me. My friend – who clearly has this gift as well, declared, “there are angels around him, that’s why he’s laughing”.

He also said that my boy had a white glow about him. I have been told that about my son by a few “sighted” friends. You see, my boy was born with Down Syndrome, and some people see much more than the physical and mental differences in him; they see his spiritual maturity and Godly gifts.

He got up and played in the windowsill next to our table, and was laughing and pointing at things outside – I wonder if he may have been seeing more of his “friends”.

After lunch, we went outside so my boy could play by the fountain while Frederick and I talked. As we were sitting there, a beggar woman came up to us and began telling us her story, and asked for some money to help. Without even thinking (or counting), my friend pulled out all he had in cash – which was probably about $5. He and I looked at each other and without a need for words, expressed that we “knew” who she was. My son left the fountain, walked up to this dirty, “homeless” woman and started patting her leg before he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her and expressed his love for her…. he KNEW her, and he loved her. He is a friendly and outgoing boy, but it was unusual for him to abruptly leave the focus of his play to show love like this for a complete stranger on the street. He recognized her – and that she was an angel of God.homeless

She graciously thanked us for the help and said goodbye. I looked at my friend and started crying; I knew that my boy knew she was a heavenly being too. It was just so awesome – we had 3 witnesses! I don’t know if she might have been a translated being or what form she was in, but it was clear that she was there on a mission from God, and she was not dwelling the same tabernacle of clay most of us are housed in right now. It was truly an amazing experience.

A few minutes after this woman left us, my friend began sobbing. I didn’t understand why at first so I just held him and tried to offer him comfort. He finally said: “Someone rejected her….”.

Then I understood the reason for his upset; he saw someone across the walkway brush her off and refuse to help her when she asked. He sat there and cried for probably 5 minutes, and talked about how “they just don’t get it”  and how we are so utterly damned and wicked…. It broke my heart to see HIS heart breaking. I see this kind of thing all the time downtown – ESPECIALLY outside the temple, so I wonder if he just isn’t as used to it as I am. I’ve done my share of sobbing about the poor being rejected too. I’ve also lived it myself recently – being rejected in the same way by the church. He is right though, we as a church, are utterly damned. We epitomize Mormon, chapter 8.  I was reminded of these verses that day:

“And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.”  (Mormon 8:36-41)

This woman was rejected and refused help – in the most expensive edifice in Utah, where the richest of the rich; people from across the country; the “elite”, come to shop, and where the headquarters of “God’s true church” is purported to be. She was rejected and cast off like a leper in this place that is owned by that church, as we sat just across the street from the temple.  We sat in the same place the leader of our church declared “Let’s go shopping!” before cutting the ribbon to open this place of idol worship and watched as the shoppers did just that – and thought of nothing but themselves and their new purchases. Why do we not understand the amazing blessings available to us if we choose to be part of another kingdom; one not of this world? If only we could learn to ignore the temporary enticements of this telestial world, we would leap at the opportunity to heed the words of the Savior as He said:

“Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 18:22-25)

welfare-ftrI’ve heard enough times, the argument against giving to panhandlers and beggars – the one that says: “we are told by the brethren not to give to those begging outside the temple because not only does it bring in the rif-raff, but it does nothing more than contribute to their drinking or drug habits, or enable them to remain in their circumstances”. The Lord, however, has been utterly clear about how He expects us to treat the poor and extend the pure love of Christ without judgment. I love the way he expressed these expectations through the prophet King Benjamin:

“And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?”  (Mosiah 4:16-19)

As I was finishing up this post, I noticed Denver Snuffer posted on his blog this morning, about the same topic, and quoted from the same section of Mosiah. He notes that King Benjamin was adamant that as soon as the people were converted unto the Lord and had taken that covenant upon themselves, their first and highest priority was the care of the poor – and without judgment. If you are reading this now, please take a moment to also read Denver’s comments HERE.

How quickly we forget after our 20 min/day scripture reading ritual, that the poor fisherman we worship as our Christ and our Savior, spent His ministry among the poor, the needy, the fatherless, the homeless, the sick and afflicted, the thieves, the prostitutes, and those regarded as the lout of society – extending charity and the pure love of Christ TO THEM. We forget that it was the rich and the prideful and the selfish who received His chastisement, not those in need. We forget – as we walk in our freshly pressed suits and new Sunday dresses with our temple bags in hand, and turn the other way as we pretend not see them there begging, “alms for the poor…”. The church and community programs set up to aid in helping the poor are not enough! I could fill this post with more scriptures to demonstrate the importance of this topic to our very exaltation than most of us would read in one sitting. But the bottom line is this: we have a PERSONAL responsibility to ensure that no one among us is left in need.poor-and-needy-man-sitting-on-sidewalk

Will we continue to reject the poor and needy and allow the scales over our eyes continue to grow and multiply – as we also reject ministring angels from God before us? Will we continue to disregard His words and warnings given to us in our very own scriptures, and replace them with policy and procedure? Will we continue to reject the very formula outlined for us in the scriptures that allowed the multitude in 3rd and 4th Nephi to live on as a Zion society for over 200 years; the same formula that enabled the City of Enoch to live as Zion for 365 years before they were translated, and brought to Heaven – as they embraced the principles the Savior taught and lived?

I am grateful for the experiences the Lord has allowed me to have that taught me these things from perspectives I would not have been able to see otherwise.  I testify that angels and translated beings ARE here among us doing God’s work, and acting as witnesses against us – or on our behalf, as we go about our lives. I testify that my son, my friend and I encountered a few of these beings that day – who are testing and measuring our actions.  I testify too, that the last days are now.  If we do not turn from the wickedness of Babylon and repent, then we as a church will remain under condemnation and will be burned as the tares. We MUST have no poor among us in order to be saved from being swept off. I pray that I will be endowed with the strength I need to cast off this natural flesh, and completely embrace the Fullness of the Gospel and become like my Savior. I pray that the Lord will lead me to those I can help and minister to and serve. I know that no matter my circumstances, there is always someone more in need than myself, and I always have enough to give.

29 thoughts on “Heavenly Beings in Babylon

  1. Jules,
    This is a timely discussion. I firmly believe that we are in the process of being judged in the manner you described.

    I only share the following because it ties in with your post, and may encourage others to seek to know God’s will in directing them to look for opportunities to help others: In recent months, God has been working on me, expanding my awareness of others’ needs and directing me to help as I can directly – not leaving things in the hands of the Church, expecting that donations to an institution relieve me of my responsibility toward others. This process has been a joy for me, and has even pushed me off the spiritual plateau where I have resided for a while, and has resulted in remarkable and unexpected blessings.

    Recently, the voice of the Lord spoke to me and, to my surprise, quoted, in customized language directed to me, Matthew 25:40, among other things. It’s an incredible time to be alive, to be awake, to be willing to do as the Lord directs.

    1. Thank you for the comments Lance! I am glad that you shared your experience. There are so many others who have been directed by God to do the same – give their donations directly to individuals in need of help. And what an awesome opportunity to see first-hand how those you have been led to are helped by this divine intervention! I firmly believe that if we allow God to direct us in this way and trust in Him, then we will be blessed beyond what we could imagine for taking that leap of faith that you did. And that scripture you were led to is just perfect! Looking at it in another light – if we are unwilling to give all we have to help who we regard as “the least” (the bum on the street with booze breath or meth teeth, for example), then we would be no more willing to help the Lord Himself if it were Him in disguise! I would never want to be guilty of failing such a test and turning Him away – or any of God’s other children He loves just as much as us! Thank you again Lance for your comments 🙂

  2. Thanks, Jules! This was a beautiful post. This is something I have thought about so much over the years. King Benjamin’s words are something I have heard many times in lessons and conversations, but the point that we cannot judge the beggars, we just must give, is missed or changed. Almost every time, even after reading these scriptures, people say “But . . . ” and tell why we must qualify our giving. We justify not giving by judging. We are all beggars. We don’t recognize our tests, and therefore I think we often fail them.

    1. Thank you Sara – I always love reading your comments 🙂 . You are SO SO right! We have no right to judge and must forgive and give freely. Forgiving means we don’t hold on to those things that would hinder us from extending the pure love of Christ to others…. we should forgive those in need for whatever we are unrighteously judging them for. Yes – we are ALL beggars. We own nothing in this world except what we have done individually to progress or digress from being like God!

  3. Jules,
    I was very happy to discover you maintain a blog. Somehow that news escaped me, but I have now added you to my own blog roll at Pure Mormonism.

    I’m wondering why that scruffy messenger you met had not gotten the memo that one of the primary reasons the Church invested in that mall was in order to beautify the area by pushing the beggars from that area? She must have been one of those angels TOTALLY unaware.

    1. Rock!! I am so glad you found my little space 🙂 . Thank you for your comment and your support – I certainly have enjoyed your blog for the past few years. LOL – yep, it appears she missed the memo! I am very grateful she did!

  4. I have also come in contact with a beggar which God told me later was a translated being. Sent to test the hearts of those driving on 2100 South and 300 West. They are among us cheap ass mormons, testing our hearts.

    Thanks Lord for sending them here to humble us. And for Jules’s witness! She is a such beautiful person!

  5. Hi Good Sister Jules.

    City Creek bothered me (1.5 billion); now Philadelphia (cost undisclosed) is so disturbing to me, I’m considering giving alms directly (and anonimously) to those in need, rather than through The Church(TM). I know it will cost me access to the Temple and I’m having a struggle with that, but my heart is telling me to make the sacrifice. I see many good examples laying everything on the alter and find no excuse why I shouldn’t do the same. I have been sharing my thoughts with my Wife and 5 adult children; they initially reacted like I forgot to put my pants on, or something; but I perceive their trust in me, that my track-record is reliable and consistent. Overall, I sense the importance of leading my Family since I brought them to The Church in the first place. I assure my Family I’m not leaving the ‘church’, as defined in D&C 10: 67; I love my neighbors and friends and want to worship with them; I’m no longer accepting of correlation, handbooks, meetings to plan meetings, and a sanitized history, so until the Lord directs me further, I am where I need to be.

    I really appreciate you and other good brothers and sisters who are networking to help one another. Please keep it going.

    1. Roy, I just wrote a comment to Lance about this same thing – giving directly to those in need. As I told him, I know of MANY people who have been led by God to do this. I know others who have been told to continue giving in the form of tithing. I know some who have been told to do both – give tithing to the church and give extra to those in need. I don’t know the right answer for you, but I testify that if you are led by God to do something that presents challenges with the church organization or mankind in general, HE WILL make the blessings of following His direction worth the challenge! Our connection and relationship with HIM is what matters ultimately. The church and the leaders are still the arm of the flesh, and following God must come first in my opinion. I understand the feelings of being faced with these paradigm stretching situations though. It is uncomfortable for you, and for those around you who may not yet understand. As I said though, if you follow Him first, He will make it right and you and others will ultimately be comforted! Thank you so much for the comments!

      1. Just as an aside to this thread, when I was in a bishopric and read the blue handbook, I learned that the bishop is not to question you if you declare yourself to be a full tithe payer, even if the amount seems to be low to the bishop. When he asks and you say Yes, I am a full-tithe payer, he is to let it go. Some will say that they are questioning you due to the “discernment” they have, but all you need do is reiterate that you have paid an honest and full tithe on your annual increase and that you feel right with the Lord…and he is to sign that recommend and let the issue stand to be judged by the Lord.

  6. I just found your blog. I have really enjoyed reading your experiences. It is such a good reminder to me to quit learning just from books and learn from Angels and the Lord. I do appreciate your sacrifice in doing what you are doing to teach us lower life forms. I am seeking direction from the Lord and your blog is a great help. I understand there are those among us who are seriously preparing to build Zion and your work in helping to identify the 144,000 is much appreciated. I look forward to reading what the Lord allows you to teach.

    1. Bill, Thanks so much for your comments. I need to work harder on this too – learning from God. I LOVE to study and read, and I need to do more listening 🙂 . I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed my blog – it makes me happy to see others having the opportunity to share the joy I’ve had in these experiences.

  7. Rockwaterman1 said: “She must have been one of those angels TOTALLY unaware.”.

    Rock, you’re hilarious! I’m sure you entertain unaware angels all the time 🙂

    Jules, I loved reading this experience. Thanks.

  8. Thank you for your inspiring and encouraging words. Your post reminded me that true religion is to help and serve others. It made me feel I need to do a LOT more for the poor and needy.

  9. Though I’m a little late getting on the comment bandwagon for this post, I’d like to add my two cents.

    Last year, I became aware of an organization that provides supplements to malnourished LDS children in third world countries (like Guatemala, Cambodia, and the Philippines). The founder of the charity (who is a physician) estimates that there are approximately 90,000 LDS children who are malnourished across the globe. Many of them die every year. Since fast offerings stay at the local level, and in these areas everyone is poor, the fast offering don’t come close to covering the needs of a ward or stake.

    I would commend anyone with a desire to help to check it out. It is a volunteer-run organization, where 100% of donations go to help the children. You can learn more (and donate) at http://www.liahonachildren.org.

    1. Daren, Thank you for this information about the liahona organization – I will look into it! The sad thing to me about fast-offerings, is that although some wards raise very little, they are able to draw from the stake funds, the area funds, and if need be – the corporate funds. But since the church is run like a business, unfortunately, the bottom line is a very big consideration and bishops are under pressure to make sure their ward is in the black — rather than in the red (this coming from bishops I know personally). It is very sad and there is absolutely no excuse for having poor among us in this church. Thank you again for sharing this resource to help others!

  10. My Beloved Sister Jules,

    I am so pleased to have found your blog. My wife and I just become followers.

    My heart goes out to the poor. It is our duty to assist, to be non-judgmental and give according to their wants. I give without restrictions on my generosity. I give them permission to spend their money on anything they want. I had an experience this morning where a man on the street needed help. He didn’t ask for money, I just knew he needed help. He was beyond happy with what little I gave him. I told him to spend it on anything he wanted. The spirit was exceedingly strong and we both felt it. Perhaps I treated an angel unaware.

    I no longer give fast offerings to the Church. The words of Christ have taught me that. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. (3Nephi 13:3-4)

    Who is the right hand? Who is the left hand? What do they represent? Are they not the body of Christ? Are they not representative of the Church? They are. You are one hand, they are the other. (1 Corinthians 12:20-21, 27)

    Therefore, no bishop, bishopric, ward financial clerk or member of the Body of Christ is to know of our alms to the poor. The left hand should not know what the right hand does. And “Father who seeth in secret” Himself shall reward us openly.

    Jules, I seek the face of my Savior. Thank you for posting your experiences and strengthening my faith in my Friend Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! Wow, you truly “get” it! your experience with the man you gave to is the perfect example. He didn’t even ask – but the spirit told you to give liberally and without judgment, and that’s what you did. If we all would follow the spirit this way, there would be no need for the lower law of tithing, and Zion would truly exist among our people. Thank you for your example and testimony!

  11. I was in tears while reading this. I have heard about children who have a gift of seeing beyond this world.
    I always give something to people who come up and ask for help. I do not have much myself, but I do what I can. One night we were coming out of a used book store and two teens asked for bus money. My daughter handed them five dollars. All that she had. She then said, ” one never knows when we are entertaining Angels”. I was so proud of her. My son is the same.

    @ Daren: I am appalled about the LDS children going hungry. There is no reason for the SLC leaders to let this happen. The SLC leaders should be first in feeding these children. The whole self sufficiency thing/mentality has gone too far in the other direction, to the detriment of those who truly need help. There is absolutely no reason for any member of the LDS church to go hungry! (The Catholic church is filthy rich and they do not do any better in feeding their poor. A Catholic Bishop spent $45 million on his home – used Catholic church money) Wow. Sad. Thank you for putting out that information.

  12. Good lovin’ here, Jules. I’ve had a couple of tender experiences like this recently while driving with two of my adult children. In each instance we pulled up to a stop sign where a man with a weather-beaten face and off-white beard and a little cardboard sign was seeking a bit of assistance. In each instance I handed a $5 bill to my companion and asked them to share it with the gentlemen. We felt a glow of happiness when the recipients smiled and replied, “God bless.” When we bid them, “Be safe” and “be well,” it came from deep within our hearts. It was precious to me that I could share these experiences with those that I love. Seeing their kind hearts in action strengthened my resolve to continue.

    Being a long-time reader of Rock’s and a short-time reader of Denver’s I came to your blog with the pump primed. I’m sorry but not surprised to hear suggestions of friction from someone in leadership. As I read your post and the comments I was struck by the words of the temple covenant for the law of consecration. Is it really God’s will that completely invest ourselves in something that builds $5 billion upscale malls then warmly pats itself on the back for spending much much less than a tithe in helping the poor and needy? Let the spirit guide, and guide he will if we have ears to hear.

    1. Kevin – Thank you for your thoughts and sharing your experience! I’ve had the same thoughts – “Is THIS really what God wants done with the sacred church funds?” I know with utter certainty it is not. For all of those who had a chance to listen to Denver Snuffer’s Grand Junction talk on Zion, it certainly applies here with this post. As soon as it’s available, I’ll post it for all to read!

  13. Hi! I’m new here and first time posting a comment on your wonderful blog. I just wanted to share the following:

    Teachings of Presidents
    Brigham Young
    Suppose that in this community there are ten beggars who beg from door to door for something to eat, and that nine of them are imposters who beg to escape work, and with an evil heart practice imposition upon the generous and sympathetic, and that only one of the ten who visit your doors is worthy of your bounty; which is best, to give food to the ten, to make sure of helping the truly needy one, or to repulse the ten because you do not know which is the worthy one? You will all say, administer charitable gifts to the ten, rather than turn away the only truly worthy and truly needy person among them. If you do this, it will make no difference in your blessings, whether you administer to worthy or unworthy persons, inasmuch as you give alms with a single eye to assist the truly needy (DBY, 274). (Chapter 30: Developing Christlike Attitudes toward Others)

    I have met many church members who feel that they don’t have to do anything even when they are approached by someone who needs help because they’ve given their fast offerings. It happened one time when we were all standing outside the chapel awaiting someone to open the door for us. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It felt very wrong. My spirit was grieved to witness this. I think in that group of Latter-day Saints that day, I was the only one who decided to extend help even though it felt awkward being the only one.

    It’s true that it makes no difference to us whether we administer to a worthy or unworthy person. We’ve completely missed the mark if we think that way.

  14. Thanks Jules,
    I was at dinner with a friend in SLC several weeks ago. I had and hour or more before the date so I picked up some cookies from Backer’s Bakery and sauntered down to Temple Square. I stopped to engage a pan handler in conversation as he stood outside the Lion House begging for alms. I recently having been made homeless for a short time has a greater awareness of this man. He told me of his struggles. I gave him money and went into Temple Square being led by the Spirit, wondering and pondering. I wandered West to the Tabernacle, then East toward the Church office building, I popped out on South Temple and there he was, just as I left him. I looked at my cookie, handed it to him and said “GOD wants you to have this.” He smiled, I described the cookie, two chocolate cookies sandwiching a thick layer of butter-cream frosting, he smiled big peeking into the bag. As I walked away I said “Have a good one brother, I’ll catch up with you in heaven.” He lifted his head smiling even bigger, nodding his head, a light shown through his eyes “Yeah, awesome” he said.

    This is pure religion that elevates the soul. Thanks for your insights. Keep blogging.

    1. Lynn, Thanks so much for sharing this experience! And as unfortunate as it is that you’ve experienced homelessness, it’s awesome that you have that perspective and can see from their point of view without judgment or criticism – the pure love of Christ. 🙂

  15. Jules, thank you so much for your blog. I am so grateful to see a sister’s blog. I ashamedly admit that I was surprised it was a sister who had seen Christ and was blogging about it (in fact my reaction took me by surprise). But thank you. You brought things to my attention I didn’t know were there deep and hiding in myself.

    I wanted to comment on this post. My husband and I recently decided to be responsible for distributing our offerings and such. It has been absolutely amazing. Along with that has come the mentality that all we have is literally the Lord’s. We thought we did this before, but this is s new level and it is more than a wonderful blessing. Sure we give whenever we see a need, but I can hardly say it is a sacrifice. My spirit had never felt more alive.

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