Monday, June 17, 2013

Sacred Contracts


 Have you ever spoken with the tongue of angels? Have you opened your mouth and said things you didn't understand, but as soon as they vibrated the air, you knew they were true?

In January of this year I met a friend in the temple to discuss some things. The conversation did not go as I expected. Even in the temple, my friend seemed to be under some awful power of darkness and I could see with my physical eyes the struggle and the shift between the true self and something entirely different. I found myself speaking many things with authority that I didn't know I had. One of the things I said was "we have covenanted to do certain things together in this life and even though we don't remember them, that doesn't let us out of the obligation?"

I didn't know what I even meant. I just knew I was being guided by God. You see, even though for many years I felt God directing my path, I never thought the path was pre-determined. As Latter-day Saints we don't believe in fate or pre-destination. Or so I thought.

For the next few months I didn't think much of this until I had a vision. It came while driving, so it was not something I saw with my eyes, but with my spiritual sight. I had an awareness of that same friend and I in some spiritual realm, pre-birth, making promises to each other. It was an unusual promise, or so I thought, but I had adamantly agreed that I would do it. The friend made promises in return. I wasn't sure if this was real. I questioned it for a time. It was very hazy. Not like other visions I have had. Plus I had never heard of this sort of thing. Or so I thought. After that, many things showed me I could trust this inner guidance.

For the last month, every time I have done a "hookum" (a random opening of the scriptures or other spiritual book to see what message God has for me) I opened to Romans 8. There are lots of great things in chapter 8 (especially the part about nothing separating us from the Love of God, which is in Chist), but the predestination part kept nagging at me. 
"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (v.30)
 Romans chapter 9 is an even bigger conundrum. Especially this scritpure:

"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (v18)

The cross referenced scriptures tell of Moses and Pharaoh. Do you remember how many times Moses asks Pharaoh to let the people go? The Pharoah decides to let them go several times but then changes his mind because the Lord hardened his heart. 
"And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses." (Ex 9:12)

Some have pointed out that the JST says that Pharaoh harded his own heart. But there are many other examples of this in the scritures, and the foot note in Romans clarifies that He "leaves them to hardness."

Meaning that he doesn't intervene and soften their heart. Because we know he can do that. So, why some and not others?

This idea baffled me. Also the idea that a person can be predestined from the womb. Or that God could love one and hate another.

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to aelection might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
 12 It was said unto her, The aelder shall serve the younger.
 13 As it is written, Jacob have I aloved, but Esau have I hated.
 But Jacob and Esau aren't the only two who seemed fated from the womb. In D&C 84:27-28 we learn a little bit more about John the Baptist's pre-destiny.
..until gJohn, whom God raised up, being hfilled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
 28 For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was aordained by the angel of God at the time he was beight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to cmake straight the way of the Lord ....
 Recently a whole bunch of strange pieces have come together and I begin to understand. I hope I can make it clear to others. Usually my blog posts are about 6 months behind my actual epiphanies, but with this one, you are right here with me. And I am just a baby.

For a little while now, lots of near death experience (NDE) literature and pre-birth experience (PBE) literature has been coming across my path. I don't seek it out; it just finds me. Many of these stories (and they come from all different sources--LDS and non) have similarities. One is the idea that we are prepared to come to earth in a kind of school setting, but we choose what classes to take and ultimately we choose the way in which we would like to grow and progress on earth. We can progress slowly and steadily or very quickly through pain and disease. Many eager young spirits sign up for the hard things because they want to grow quickly. But it is all volunteer. Not everyone, however, is allowed to sing up for some things. Some challenges are too big and only the Noble and Great Ones can volunteer for them. 

Whether all of this is true or not, I can't say. I haven't seen it. But after thinking over my life story and my personality which has been characterized by an impatience to learn everything possible, I bet I'd have signed up to learn and grow in the fastest way. 

Death of loved ones? Abandonment? Carrying the weight of all my ancestors unfinished business? Sure! Who knows what I signed up for. 

The idea was a little annoying. And yet familiar. But it only raised more questions than answers. Such as, why does God harden someone's heart and at other times, soften it? How is that free agency? Why must we forget everything?

Finally, I got the clarity as I began reading Carolyn Myss's book Sacred Contracts. Carolyn Myss is a best selling author and medical intuitive. Her book has helped millions realize that there is a life before this life, and in it, we agreed to do certain things, for our own spiritual growth, for others, and to forward God's work. For example, in one NDE-PBE I read, the man saw Joseph Smith in the pre-mortal life and saw many covenanting with him to help him restore the church.
"Part of the contract requires that you discover what it is you are meant to do. The Divine, in turn, promises to give you the guidance you need through your intuition, dreams, hunches, coincidences, and other indicators." (Myss, p. 47)
Myss has assembled lots of evidence from all kinds of scriptures and myths, that such contracts exist. One interesting and literary story is the Story of Er, which is in the 10th book of Plato's Republic. In Plato's story, Er is a Greek soldier who died and returned to consciousness 12 days later on the battlefield. The story of what he saw while suspended between life and death corresponds to many near death experiences.

He is in a kind of way station. Some were waiting to be judged, while others are preparing to go to earth. These souls drew lots to see who went first and then the first got the first pick from a "sample of lives." There were lives of every animal and of man in every condition, including tyrants. Lives of fame, beauty, disease, health, every class and station. Once they chose, the choice was ratified by God, then they had to march through the Plain of Forgetfulness and drink from the River of Unmindfulness.
"Let him who draws the first lot have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall be his destiny." - Plato.  

Her idea is that it is a kind of template that we choose, not a fully written story--how we play it out is up to us--how long it takes us to get there is also up to us, but it is a kind of pre-destiny none-the-less.

Knowing that our agency was involved, and that Christ or his assigns, may have laid their hands on our heads and ordained us for our mission before we came to earth answered many questions for me. I'm not saying any of this is doctrinally true, but it has helped me.

One big question I had been struggling with was cases where it seemed like people didn't really have free agency, which we put such a premium on in this life. For example, in the case of mental illness that is genetic or caused by some trauma. How much choice does a person really have when they are in a psychotic mood swing triggered by outside forces? Or in the case of some heavy legacy of ancestral garbage (such as a person who is born with devils from the womb) because of their parent's choices. If they were never really free from the beginning, how is that agency? These are the questions I have been asking myself and God for the last 6 months.

But I realized that just as John the Baptist or Samson were ordained from the womb, there may be people who were ordained for another kind of life, or incarnation if you will, perhaps more for others growth than their own.

Forgetfulness 

Myss believes that the reason for forgetfulness is simple. It is to give us free agency. If you knew ahead of time what was going to happen to you, actually living it would be super boring. And, 
 "How would you ever bring yourself to begin a relationship with someone who you knew would lie to you and abuse you, yet from whom you needed to elarn a valuable lesson? How would you be able to bear counting the days when your loved ones would die?"
Read that again if you want. Yeah. Wow.

I realized she was right. How could I? In the last six months, I have been through what some would call a "dark night of the soul." What that means is that I have been through a super-accelerated period of growth that included leaving behind the known world, having all my worst fears realized, approaching death's door many times but choosing to stay, and in exchange, having a huge increase in intuitive powers, and about 20 years of spiritual, mental, and emotional growth in a 6 month time frame. It felt a little like dying and being born at the same time. I wouldn't so much like to do it again. But it has qualified me far better than anything to be a teacher and prophetess.

There were many times during these past months that I begged God for some knowledge of what was to come. Though it was dark, I was never alone. I was attended by so many angels that they often they fogged up my car windows (I'm not kidding). And God did give me knowledge--but only a few inches ahead of me at one time. I am glad for this now. I don't think I could have bore it all at once. The events have apparently worked their purpose (and still are) and I am still happily on the right path much further along.

There is nothing quite so empowering as living in accord with one's contract, and nothing so peaceful as the knowledge (or just the hunch), that others, though they may seem to be hardened, hurting others, or hurting themselves, may just be living their contract, and it may be all a act of pre-arranged self-sacrifice to help me grow and prepare me for what's next. Anyway you look at it, I have had choice, both before and now, and it is in the harmony of these choices that I feel the fulness of joy.

It is not love but choice that is our greatest power. Because one chooses first to be loving and to love.

Myss suggests that for our own good, each of us needs to find out what our mission is. The details of how we live our lives accumulate. Little traumas accumulate. Scar tissue accumulates. "The further we stray from our true mission in life, the more frustrated will become, and the more out of sync our energy will be... When you working well with your energy, you are also making the best expression of you personal power."

There are many clues and guides to help us figure out what our missions or various contracts are (I believe we make many). I will be writing more about this in the future, but for starters, there is always prayer and meditation. Speak, and listen. Vibrate the Cosmos, and the Cosmos will vibrate you back.

I'd love comments and feedback. 




18 comments:

  1. Awesomeness. I totally want to read it.

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  2. I'm so glad you elaborated on sacred contracts. I was looking forward to that. There is just so much in this post for me to digest. Love it.

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  3. Great article. Pharaoh always has his moral agency. The Lord doesn't do anything to him. If you look in the footnotes of any scriptures where it says, "And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh," you will always find a footnote that leads to the Joseph Smith Translation. If you add that in it will say, "JST Ex. 9:12 And Pharaoh hardened his heart …" and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses. Here is the scripture link. Click on the highlighted word "And" http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ex/9.12?lang=eng#11

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    1. Yes. I saw that. But if you read the foot note to the one in Romans it says that he "left Pharaoh to hardness." Which means God chose not to soften his heart, which God can do... so even though we always have our agency, God helps some people at times more than others for his own purposes. Whatever those are, I think that it has so much more to do with our righteousness level and our choices before we came here than we realize. We lived with Him for literally eons of time before we came here. So yes, we always have agency here, but God can choose to intervene for some and not for others.

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    2. I think He is also bound by the contracts we have made with Him. So it is not only whether He "chooses" to act but whether He has designed it to be so. Just my opinion, but I'm certain Pharoah contracted for the lessons he had to learn as a result of his hard-heartedness. If so, God would be bound to allow him to experience it as such.

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  4. I love the idea of
    " Christ or his assigns, may have laid their hands on our heads and ordained us for our mission before we came to earth "
    We still have to choose to DO the mission, but thinking of it as something we have been ordained to do is pretty powerful.

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  5. Some interesting points, and some things I've considered before, too. It's important to note that the JST for Exodus 9 has Pharaoh hardening his own heart... "And Pharaoh hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them..."

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    1. Yes I am aware. But see my comment above to Audrey.

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  6. Thanks for sharing something to ponder. This quote from Myss spoke to me :"How would you ever bring yourself to begin a relationship with someone who you knew would lie to you and abuse you, yet from whom you needed to learn a valuable lesson? How would you be able to bear counting the days when your loved ones would die?"

    I also want to point out that nowhere in the scriptures does it say "free agency" it says "agency" or "moral agency" (one time in D&C 101).

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    1. Nice. I never thought of that. But yes. Agency is not free. Hmm. will have to ponder more.

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  7. PS. I think the whole softening of the heart also depends on our heart condition at the time of the experience.

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  8. Wow. I haven't spent much time on your site but this post really rang true with me. It goes along with my own experiences, as well. I distinctly had a time once where a thought came to me, "You can take the easy road and stay where you are spiritually or you can go through trials and become who you are supposed to become." I answered that I was ready to take on trials if it would help me become who I need to be and the next week started one of the hardest years of my life. But I knew that I had ok-ed these trials and they were there for a reason. This post has just articulated that principle so much clearer for me.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this - it has inspired me to try to become more clear on what my big purpose here is - something that I've thought about doing for a long time but haven't quite known how or how to ask.

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  9. Hi. I found your blog via Heather's womeninthescriptures blog. I've read the gift of giving life and loved it. If you haven't read "Life Everlasting" by Dwane Crowther go get it soon. Your life will never be the same. :) http://www.amazon.com/Life-Everlasting-Definitive-Study-After/dp/0882908006

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  10. I came to this post through a link from your most recent post, and immediately thought of a children's book "The Little Soul and the Sun" by Neale Donald Walsch that you probably read already, because it illustrated the idea of a pre-existance contract so beautifully. It also talks about guardian angels (there's more of it in the second book "The Little Soul and the Earth"), the idea of which I'm slowly starting to re-discover (after growing up with such belief but abandoning it after joining the church). I would love to know what you think about that :)

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    1. Olya,

      I don't know those books. I will have to look for them.

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  11. Oooh, this post is really resonating with me right now! I've had so many similar thoughts running through my mind for a while. In fact, I've been mulling it over in my mind to write a similar blog post sometime, relaying my own experiences related to this.

    My first thoughts with this line of thinking came from reading the first chapter or 2 of the book "Glimpse of Heaven" by Joanna Oblander. SO interesting!

    I've had my own little "glimpse of heaven" after my daughter was stillborn a few months ago... I saw in my mind's eye a conversation from before I was born, between me, my daughter, and Heavenly Father....and some of the decisions and promises we made to each other. :) That one glimpse of heaven has made all the difference to me in processing what happened and making peace with it.

    I also know there were divine reasons why I should not remember those conversations until right after her death. As you indicated, things would not have happened the way they were supposed to if I had known the end beforehand.

    Anyway, thanks for this!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this experience. I'm so sorry for your loss, but also glad for your growth. Much love.

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