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Aloha! I am Kara Lynn “Kai” Sanders. I am originally from Heaven. I know I am a daughter of God and am directed by Him to do His work according to His purposes. I am humbled by that realization. Anyone who asks knows I consider myself just a visitor here (to earth) and am just trying to make my way back Home, to my heavenly Home. I was born in Connecticut and lived there for many years before moving to Hawaii. I tell people I was raised in Hawaii because that is where I was “raised” to a new level of knowledge about God, about myself and about the world around me. It is where I started to become a child who would “serve the world.” After four and a half years of tutelage I returned to Connecticut for about six months. I ended up stranded in North Carolina en route to visit a friend in the Georgia prison system. It apparently was where I needed to be because I officially “grew up” to where God needs me to be to do what He needs me to do.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Going Back...3 Nephi 24:7-18 - THE REAL MEANING OF TITHING

3 Nephi 24

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

1And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?

14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
I am so grateful for the process of writing scriptures out.  I learn so much that is too often missed by reading alone.  I was only going to write verse 7 and then jump to verses 13-18 but as I started writing, what I originally thought was a random subject stuck between a question and its answer is really...it's a HUGE part of the answer!  See being taught all the time that tithing had to do with money is deceiving because the way it's stuck between these verses would seem the Lord is "greedy" and upset that we're not paying Him back a little but when He gives us everything.

BUT that's not all...in verse 7 the Lords says "return unto me", then talks about tithing...  Wait, go back.  God talks about being robbed when questioned with, "Wherein shall we return?"  The Lord has been robbed because He DOES give us everything, not just money!  We are cursed, separated from Him because of that, way more separated than we realize or admit.  He tells us how to resolve that in a step-by-step fashion: tithes and offerings.

See thinking about tithing as money alone is truly misleading because if we will "return" back to God a tithe of money only then we are still robbing Him because admittedly He gives us EVERYTHING!!!  We have to realize the real tithe He is seeking for, where we really return unto Him is with our time and our talents, yes, but mostly with our heart where our will is found.  If we live lives submitting to the will of the Father and then utilizing our time and talents to fulfill what He requires, then He will have "meat" in His house.  God will have people of substance in His house, wherever that house may be: the temple, the chapel or the street.  The street?  Yes, the street!  See tithing all of who we are gives God the ability to put people on the street to do His work.  When we don't pray or study our scriptures or truly tithe, not only are we robbing Him but we are not returning to Him but drawing ourselves further away, contrary to what we believe. For all He does for us...that's surely robbery ESPECIALLY when we have the audacity to ask for more when we pray.

The Lord needs "meat", people of substance, not adults who are still drinking milk from the gospel table after years of apparent gospel study.  Think about it, when He is about to use us of course the windows of heaven are opened to us.  And the devourer passes our harvest by.  That harvest is those people we have been led to witness to.  The scriptures don't say "by their fruits ye shall know them" by accident.  It's CLEARLY synonymous or connected to the parable of the talents.  That's what made me think of tithing being about more than money actually.

Most people say the parable of the talents (a form of $) is really about our talents or gifts; magnifying and multiplying them.  But I've also heard it's really about money!  It's about investing wisely and handling our money correctly.  That's why the message of tithing, which most people assume is about money, turned into a message about talents for me.  Because if we can say money is synonymous with ability in the parable of the talents, then the same must be true with tithing.  Makes so much sense if we use a common phrase today: time is money, literally and figuratively. 

The time we give to God should be synonymous or equal to the money we give to God.  Before we enter the temple, the covenant is tithing, after it is consecration...of everything.  (added 9/16/2013)

I also feel like this is striking me is because the Sunday School lesson we had on the Law of Consecration is still on my mind.  The one thing I didn't say is that the law of Consecration is a preparatory law.  It's not a replacement to the law of Consecration.  In fact for those who have been to the temple we are under the law of consecration now even if The Church is not requiring it.  Our covenant is not with The Church, it's with the Lord.  The law of tithing is to prepare us for that whether we're talking money or otherwise.  If we cannot tithe our time, talents, gifts, abilities or most importantly our hearts, we will not be faithful in the Lord and He cannot be faithful to us.  We are NOT faithful in the Lord and it's obvious we are not honoring the covenant we made in the temple.  It's evident that is what is going on...SAD!

People are digging into the earth (the world) and burying their talents there.  OUCH!  The Lord is not pleased.  WOW!  It fascinates me that the Lord kinda defends Himself in the next couple of verses because He says the people's words have been "stout against me".  I imagine these are His chosen He is talking about, the HOI.  Stout means "determined, bold, brave"; "forceful : powerful"; "staunch : firm".  We speak against the Lord boldly because we look at our situation and think that God is not mindful because, in ours eyes, the proud are "happy".  And those that "work wickedness are set up" in high places with big bank accounts and worldly gain.  And "they that tempt God are even delivered" to the lives of affluence.

BUT as the Lord has stated...He that exalts Himself shall be abased.  Because the Lord is letting them do what they do, ignoring them really because He is hearkening unto those who fear Him and are gathered to speak often with one another.  These are they who God remembers and their names are recorded in the book of remembrance.  For surely what they did not receive in this life they will attain in the next and they will be spared, "as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."  In that day, those who mocked and.or spoke stoutly against the Lord will CLEARLY be able to discern between those who were righteous and served God and those who did not.  And there it is!  WOW!

I calculated tithing on time.  It's 144 minutes per day, 2 hours and 44 minutes.  I get it.  If we cannot live this law, how will we be able to consecrate everything?  I see Father, I see.  I see clearly.  Prepare the space for me to speak this word if that's Your desire, when it's Your desire.  When it's Your time, I will speak with Love and sharpness.  Thank You for declaring it to me in the same way.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Originally written Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1 Nephi 3:24-25 - Possession

1 Nephi 3

24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.

25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.

I am grateful for this verse clearing up a great mystery that has plagued my heart over this past year.  This verse is giving me the words to use and great clarity on what ails the world.  Laban, who has the records in his possession, obviously does not see the value of them EXCEPT that they are in his possession.  And as the old adage goes, "possession is nine-tenths of the law."  So like many people today, they feel that possessing a set of scriptures is "nine-tenths" of God's law too.  It doesn't matter who possesses them, LDS or non, the belief is possession will get you 9ths of the way into heaven.  That's a slight stretch and obvious exaggeration but it feels too close to reality.  Considering the time taken to compile the sacred writings by the authors, abridgers and translators; then recognizing we don't have all of them, we should each have more than a casual relationship with the scriptures.  

Speaking of the Book of Mormon alone, we have a thousand year record on 520 pages of paper and live maybe 75 years, on the high end.  We are told in the book that it is the lesser portion of things and still you have to wonder, what value have we placed on it by devoting time to it in relation to the devotion we give to the daily activities of life?  This is not Steven King or Danielle Steele so I can understand it may not be read with the same kind of fervor.  But it deserves FAR more than to just be in our possession! That's the first thing!

The second thing is king Laban's behavior towards Lehi's belongings...after a quick side note.  Lehi was BIG BALLIN' in 'Salem.  No wonder the boys were upset about leaving.  For them to even have the audacity to believe they could buy the plates means they had muchos dolares.  FOUR men carrying belongings to Laban to attempt to purchase them is A LOT Of merchandise.  And they left it ALL behind for the unknown!  Where there is money and/or wealth there denotes a level of notoriety, power and influence.  So Lehi wasn't just any old joker.  He had status!  No wonder the boys struggled because it's likely they had status too, by virtue of association.  Adds a new dimension or twist to the story...

Now back to Laban's side of the story... the one word I'm intrigued by is lust.  See... when I think of lust the FIRST thing I think of sex.  But really lust is another word for covet. You can lust after more than a person, this is evident by this scripture.  And it's evident to most people, I just don't think they consider the word lust outside of sex much anymore.  Not only that but it is a reflection of what ails the world!  A lust for money.  The greed of money which is the root of all evil.  WOW!

Laban kicked the brothers out the first time they asked for the plates, likely because of the possession factor.  Giving them up meant he no longer had power in that situation which means less power when people are searching for more.  We can suppose that is true since when they DID bring something he still kicked out the brothers but had something to show for it as well.  From what we see here we can suppose Laban had no thought about the plates.  He could care less about them really.  He had them.  They were locked up.  And to get to them people would have to go through him and that's POWER!  That was his rush--POWER!

With more money comes more POWER!  And as Puffy once said, "mo' problems" too!  And this is no different in Laban's case.  The plates were of infinite worth to Lehi, to Nephi and most importantly to God.  Since it was apparent Laban wasn't for them, any of them, then he was against them and he would have to be eliminated.  He was the middle man and he would have to go.  I got it!

Now how does this relate to me?  Well... my great frustration is that most every time I speak with people about community development and the plans I have their big question is about money.  "How are you going to finance it?"  "Where's the money coming from?" etc.  And these are the people who call themselves "believers".  "Believers in what?" is my question.

Nowhere in the scriptures does God ever need money.  He requires an offering and a tithe because PEOPLE believe they need money.  When they show their obedience by giving up the money, He shows them HIS ability to take care of them.  Isn't that what Lehi did?  Except Lehi was beyond tithing.  He was living the law of consecration.  He gave up everything except what the Lord told him to keep.  It seems this has been my journey too.

I didn't expect to be writing about this but it's also a reflection of my walk: giving up everything and/or having everything taken from me.  Learning not to lust and covet money but rely on God to provide me with His wealth.   Moving forward it seems I will have to minimize my frustration with people who say they believe in God but need money first.  That's one of the reasons why I got pissed with H**** when we were talking because he wasn't really interested in keeping a gratitude journal to then met with me about how to earn money BUT he was interested if I could give him the money.  D*** was the same way!

"Great plan..." he admitted.  BUT because I never had a chance to show him the way to earn money and he wouldn't take the time to see for himself he wouldn't believe.  Instead he goes back to be with his family and comes up with his own two year plan to earn money to "help me"!  You are a man!  I don't need YOUR plan when I've got God's.  He wasn't helping me.  Not when I'm on God's timetable and He's saying MOVE.  And he's not helping me because he is only trying to provide wealth for himself when my objective is for people to work together to provide wealth for each other.  Not only that but he conjured up HIS own scheme...that's not God's!

These men are my Laban's for two reasons.  1) Lusting after money and 2) casting me out because I don't have it.  In my case, I didn't flee.  They did.  They just cast me out of their lives and that's OK by me.  You will be back, one way or another.  It's that simple.  All in God's good time.

I've been struggling with this money issue for so long it seems.  The challenging part...or the reason why it's so challenging is because of what the church, the Christian religion as a whole, has taught about tithing.  Tithing is not about money.  It never has been, at least not entirely.  That corrupt teaching is making my job extremely hard and is polluting Father's house because people have hearts far from God but have money for the collection plate or tithing envelope.  They think this is acceptable before God and it's not!  God doesn't need money, He needs disciples.  This reminds me of Elder Holland's Conference talk in October 2012 called "The First Great Commandment".

After Peter rushes from the sea after the nets fill with fish, Elder Holland speculates what Jesus must have said to Peter as he breathlessly reached Him.  Among the thoughts Elder Holland expresses, one is "Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish?"  Is it not the same with money?  When the Lord needed to pay Caesar's tax He opened the mouth of a fish and took out a coin.  Caesar got paid.  And Jesus didn't even have a job!  Anyways...the money focus can be so frustrating.  If it is for me, how much more so is it for God?  I get it!  WOW!  This is not where I expected this to take me today but I'm grateful for all I've learned.  I'm focusing on my faith: my faith to endure, my faith to overcome, my faith to lead, and my faith to follow.  I give praise.  Thank You Father.  Let's do this!

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.