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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Native Americans and Nature

Caution: Deeper Doctrine ahead. This is for those who have a testimony of God and Jesus Christ who know of their wonderful gifts they have provided to us. It is some pretty tough stuff to "digest." Much like meat to a child, one must be mature spiritually to understand. Paul wrote at the beginning of 1 Corinthians Chapter 3, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." (1 Cor 3: 1-2) In other words, one must be able to digest the milk, before getting the meat. I have placed this out there for those who are ready. I, also, know some who are not ready will read this as well. It may be overwhelming, but if you go back to square one, and work your way forward, it will make sense:
One of the reasons I have created this blog is to compare beliefs/traditions of Native Americans, mostly what I have learned from tribal members. Traditions and beliefs vary from one tribe to another but they all seem to have at least one thing in common.
The Book of Mormon proves that their traditions were, at one point, the Hebrew traditions in the Bible. Which leads to the fact they, too, followed the prophets of old, even that of Moses, Isaiah, Samuel, and Elijah. Therefore, some of the Native American beliefs ought to be reflected in the writings of those prophets of old. One of the things, which I would love to expound upon today is the relationship of Native Americans and nature. The fact nature was created is, in and of itself, a miracle. As people, we were created from nature. This truth is even demonstrated in the Bible with Adam being created from dirt (clay). The Lord put into Him, his spirit. This is not, necessarily, what the Native Americans believe, but they do believe we have a spirit, and when we die our spirits and our bodies separate. Because the spirit is our "life force," all things which have life also ought to have spirits.

Often times, when closing a prayer, Native Americans will say, "... all my relations." This demonstrates the belief of the closeness of their spirits with the nature. Everything which has life, has a spirit. They are our spiritual brothers and sisters. Native Americans, when they killed an animal for consumption, would thank their brother (or sister) for giving up their lives for them to eat. To show their sacred gratitude, they would use EVERY single part of the animal for something useful. This is a bit different to the rest of the world, who throw things away. It was thought to be a bit of unique belief by the Native Americans. But if we look to the writings of Moses, we will see where they got this belief.
In the Book of Moses (The Pearl of Great Price), the Lord says, "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth..." (Moses 3: 5, underline added) The Book of Mormon shows they had the writings of Moses (which they gradually fell away from), and the beliefs are still demonstrated in the practices today, such as believing everything has a spirit. This leads to another thought. (Good) Native Americans didn't kill any animal unless it was NEEDED. If we look to the Book of Genesis, The lord said, "But, the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat. And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands."
This is actually found in the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 9: 10-11. The Lord, through His servant, clarified Doctrine, and corrected mistranslations in the Bible. Through this correction, we see they knew that meat was for food, only to save our lives. It was demonstrated through their practices. I find it fascinating to see the similarites of the Beliefs of Native Americans and other Worldly Religions. The Book of Mormon helps us understand how those similarities came into existence. We have all heard of "Mother Earth." Native Americans have accepted the fact that the earth is a living thing and have called it, "Mother." If we look, again, to the Book of Moses (Moses 7: 48), we see the Earth is exactly that: "And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?"

When we go back far enough, we see Native Americans are truly of the house of Israel. This is one of my reasons for the my emphasis on Native Americans. The earth is, soon, going to go into a state of rest. That rest is going to be the personal reign of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Savior. The day of the Lord is coming quickly. He is preparing the world for His reign. If we learn of His Patterns, and follow the words of the Prophets, and most importantly, heed His warnings, we will be safe. This is His true and only church with no doctrine left out. I pray, those who read this will pray and grow spiritually to know of His Truth. Do not take my words for it, ask the Lord.

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