A Traditional Proposal:
I present a “taki” to the entire movement, using method of Traditional Proposal. In Polynesian culture, particularly Maori, when visitors come to their land, a ceremony was performed called powhiri (a ritual ceremony of encounter). It was a process of determining whether the manuhiri (the visiting party) were friend or foe to the tangata whenua (the people of the land). As the ceremony progresses, the tapu (or the sacredness) of the visitors is unveiled. If they are unveiled as friends, they become one with the tangata whenua (the people of the land).
The ceremony begins with a woman’s karanga (a chant from both parties), calling in a high pitched voice to each other to exchange information, in order to establish the intent of the visit. The one’s exchanging in chants use their conversation to weave a mat on Papatuanuku (Mother Earth), …or in other words to establish a land, binding the two sides together, covenanted to protect the land from war.
Next, a wero (or challenger) was sent forth to challenge the visitors further, to look into the whites of the visitor’s eyes, up-close and personal, to further establish intent. As the wero (or challenger) seeks the intent of the visitors, the tangata whenua (the people of the land) perform the haka powhiri, also commonly known as the haka.
Finally, the wero (or challenger) places a “taki” before the visitors, as a recognition and a challenge. The “taki” is a token, representing the conditions of equality, unity, and freedom, offered by the tangata whenua (people of the land). It is only offered when such conditions seem possible by the wero (the challenger). The offering is an invitation, and the total unveiling, and exposure, of the tangata whenua (people of the land). For the manuhiri (visitors), picking up the “taki” is to accept the terms. Anything else is to reject the terms. Thus, the final unveiling is their choice.
Depending upon the final unveiling, there would be a battle, or a feast. In the case that the “taki” was lifted and accepted, while the feast was being prepared, the mihi (orator of knowledge) would share their whakapapa (knowledge of genealogy, history, and records). Speeches are followed by waiata (song and dance), many times sacred songs and sacred dances. After knowledge and wisdom was shared by oration and performance, both parties would physically move together, and one at a time, they would press noses and foreheads together, inhaling, in hongi. Food would be shared by both parties. The eating of the feast finally removes the barrier between manuhiri (visitor) and tangata whenua (people of the land), signifying the binding together.
My wife and I, and our ancestors, have fulfilled the first portion of this protocol, unveiling our hearts, leaving you to show yourself. My wife used her high pitched voice, woven with many of your voices, in karanga (a chant from both parties), working to weave a mat, or covenant land, to be bound on Papatuanuku (Mother Earth). A mat/land where we can be bound together, both manuhiri (visitors) and tangata whenua (people of the land), without contention. In this lengthy process of word exchange, the hearts of both parties have been partially unveiled.
I have fulfilled the protocol of the wero (or challenger), sent forth to look into the whites of your eyes, to discern your deep intent. I have been in your face, with my eyes wide opened so you can see me and my deepest intent, and I can see you and your deepest intent. My strength is not representative of my power, but the haka of those who stand with me (a visible minority), our dead ancestors tangata whenua (the people of this land), and my God.
Finally, I lay this “taki” (challenge) at your feet, for you to do the final unveiling of who you are (friend or foe), to be expressed by what you do with this “taki,” picking it up, or something else. It is a token, representing the conditions of equality, unity and freedom, offered by the tangata whenua (the people of this land), so that we both can dwell upon the mat/land which we have woven, bound together, without contention.
The few instances where Zion succeeded at being gathered offers little information more than: Enoch/Melchizedek preached repentance, and “the people” repented. Over the year that the Governing Principles Project has been underway, many views have been shared, at varying times, about what is required of us. I suggest that what is required of a people who have been preached to, …is for “the people” to minimally mutually agree to repent, turning and facing Christ.
Given our varying degrees of understanding, mutual agreement (where people choose not to dispute) has eluded us. To some, “choosing not to dispute” has been defined as: put aside your view for another. To others, “choosing not to dispute” requires: something they agree with, and because they agree, they choose not to dispute. Since the only tool any are allowed to use is persuasion, neither definition authorizes anyone the power to tell another what’s right for them, …threatening their agency to choose for themselves. Relying on persuasion alone has presented a difficulty, as those who desire to graciously put aside their view for another have expressed frustration with those of us continuing to search for something that we agree with, and will not dispute.
The gospel or “good news” of Jesus Christ is repentance and redemption from the fall. All must be redeemed from their own fallen state, which process is extremely unique, personal, and individual. But the efforts surrounding the building of Zion requires the unity of a community of people. Therefore, this assignment must satisfy both “individual redemption AND unity.” Emphasizing one over the next produces imbalance, making completion impossible. For instance, individuality satisfies “my” understanding to be respected, but unity is often lost with an individual emphasis. Or putting aside your view for another can produce unity, but at the cost of possibly loosing individuality. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope for redemption and Zion, providing both individuality and unity. Zion is the family of God, and it must return through the preservation of both the individual and the unit. Male and female is the image of God, requiring both individuality and unity to be preserved within them. Likewise, within a successful family, each member must have their individual identity, while protecting unity. And a community, like Zion, is no different.
In His mortal ministry, Christ proved all of His Father’s words by obeying the Doctrine and Law of the Father. He shared the fruits of His labors freely, healing the sick, restoring sight, and raising the dead. He was made one with the Father through His atoning sacrifice and triumph. These three components are of interest: Doctrine/Law, Fruits, Sacrifice.
After resurrection, Christ instructed those who were His sheep in Jerusalem for forty days. Christ referred to both His words and His works as the model for all to follow. The record instructs that all who would be Christ’s sheep must respond by going and doing likewise. They too must prove Christ’s words by obeying the Doctrine and Law of Christ, both in word and deed. He counselled that by their fruits His sheep will be known. And the sheep that would be called the Sons of God would be persecuted for His names sake, as a willing sacrifice. Christ departed that fold of sheep, to tend to other sheep which were not of that fold.
The account of Christ’s instruction to America, compared to the instruction in Jerusalem establishes a pattern. Christ taught on this continent His Doctrine and Law, produced fruits of mighty miracles among them, and interceded on their behalf, accessing His atoning sacrifice. Those at Bountiful were left with the Doctrine and Law of Christ, the responsibility to produce fruits, and to offer up sacrifices of a broken heart and contrite spirit, to bear one another’s burdens, etc. Christ left those in America to instruct other sheep, which were not of that fold, or the fold in Jerusalem.
The Lord is unchanging. Those who are indeed His other sheep will resonate with the Doctrine and Law of Christ. They will expect to identify with those who produce fruits similar to the fruits of Christ’s, recognizing them as His sheep. They will recognize a people who are willing to sacrifice all things for the Kingdom of God on the Earth and the establishment of Zion. Each of these other sheep have strayed (the LDS progenitors, the remnant of Lehi, and the scattered Israel). Each of them have fallen, broken the covenant, and must be restored, expected to produce fruits, and to receive a covenant by sacrifice, to be gathered. In an effort to not dispute, respecting that some are willing to put aside their view and others need a sufficient reason to agree and therefore not dispute, I propose that we preserve individuality and find unity, by mutually agreeing to: “Govern Ourselves by the Doctrine and Law of Christ.”
Those who have written documents all include the Doctrine and Law of Christ, and a little bit more. If they will agree to this proposal, to: “Govern Ourselves by the Doctrine and Law of Christ,” I will not disassociate from them if they choose on their own to do a little more. This is my proposal. Those who agree to this proposal can email their names to the recorders clearinghouse, and let Keith Henderson keep a list of names that match baptism records, and report his findings of matching however he sees fit (As Keith Henderson knows nothing of this matter, as of yet, if he refuses to participate in accumulating names and reporting, someone else may volunteer). Those who disagree simply need not submit their name.
Opposed to some opinions identifying me as froward, angry, obstinate, aggressive, …I seek only to be sanctified and purified within the sanctuary of Christ’s presence. Conversations that talk, preach, rejoice, and prophecy of Christ provide that sanctuary, …because where two or more are gathered in Christ’s name, He promises that there He will be also. Those who are unsure, who want clarification, or who need to talk it out, this would be a perfect opportunity to talk to you, either online, on the phone, or in person. Even though digital communications come with it’s isolated keyboardist issues, the Lord’s promise did not come with stipulations excluding digital communications. Where two or more are gathered in His name, was the only requirement. That can include a personal prayer, a face-to-face conversation between two, a fellowship in person, a fellowship via video conferencing, a telephone conversation, emails, …or even this online forum. Those who comment here, if they gather in His name, Christ promises that He will be there. His sanctuary “is” His presence. Gathering in Christ’s name should not restrict any topic of conversation, whether you agree, disagree, or are indifferent. Each person commenting must answer for themselves if their comments are to gather in Christ’s name, governing their own intentions.
In the end, it is Christ who will do the gathering.
The journey we have been on has fulfilled the first portion of this protocol. Our words are woven together in a weaving of a mat. You have seen my heart, and I have seen yours. I lay this “taki” (challenge) at your feet, extending my heart. It is up to you to do the final unveiling of yours. It is a token, representing the conditions of equality, unity and freedom, offered by the tangata whenua (the people of this land), so that we both can dwell upon the mat/land which we have woven, bound together, without contention.
We desire to share our whakapapa (knowledge) and our waiata (wisdom), through the sharing of our words and our music/dance. We desire to share the breath of life in a ritual welcoming embrace. And most importantly, we desire to share the ritual feast that removes the barrier between manuhiri (visitor) and tangata whenua (people of the land), signifying the binding together.
Mahalo Nui Loa (Big Thanks),
Rob & Q Adolpho