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Book of Pearls
1st Endowment
2nd Endowment
3rd Endowment
4th Endowment
5th Endowment
6th Endowment
7th Endowment

Chapter 17

The wise and foolish children of Terralee – Sariah the healer – The philosophy of Alcibiades – Law, order and prosperity – A humble plea to Sariah – Sariah speaks – The sophistry of learned men – The greater defense is joy – Parable:  A golden cage of words – Guard well that inward joy – Faith (defined)


1  On the world of Terralee did the children of God flourish and multiply upon the earth, making subject to themselves the whole creation; being themselves both wise and foolish, sometimes thoughtful and filled with care, or sometimes thoughtless and hurtful in the things they did.

2  For there had arisen upon the earth a plethora of city-states, each claiming within its borders a great deal of land; for it was prosperity which most men and women sought; seeking in the possession of many things the fulfillment of themselves, causing that they should be constantly compelled by the ego within.

3  Becoming themselves driven from one want unto another, going forth with anxious breath to gather things which have no life, causing that they should appear in the eyes of those which were like unto themselves, to seem themselves affluent and worthy of prestige.

4  And there developed upon the world of Terralee the class of the rich and powerful, which class pressed hard against the poor; for those which were rich thought themselves superior when compared to those of lesser means.

5  Flaunting for all to see their knowledge and education in worldly things, becoming themselves as peacocks which strut and flutter all about, being finely dressed and overfed, but being themselves unable to fly beyond such smallness as did constrain them.

6  Making mock or ridicule of those things which could not be seen, or in the hand most firmly held, being convinced among themselves that the purpose of life was to get gain and power, and by such means prove themselves the true inheritors of God.

7  Whose devotion was measured by worldly goods, like merchandise bought and sold, claiming themselves above all others that they were favored of God because of such riches as they possessed; claiming in their pride that God was the author of all their wealth, and not themselves alone.

8  Which thing did compel that there should prove a great many of the children of God which became as most distracted, becoming themselves as people torn between the calling of the spirit and the call to wealth and riches.

9  Being themselves in quieter moments desirous of God and holy things, but in the moment of rush and hurry, chasing down with anxious breath the prize of worldly wealth, causing that they be numbered among the richer classes.

10  Becoming themselves as harried and strongly driven, to busy themselves with endless labors, driving away through endless wants that soft and quieter moment where the song of God is heard, to be themselves instead consumed by the lust of worldly things.

11  Thus had the world become a place where the things of God grew thinly pale midst the rush of many labors, causing those who would believe to wonder, musing soft within themselves, where God and Heaven might be found.

12  Now there lived in the city of Gidianna the woman Sariah, a physician and healer of great renown, being held in high regard by all people; for those who were rich would count her among themselves, while yet the very poorest did claim her as their own.

13  For Sariah took no thought for money’s sake, but turned her heart and soul to helping every man and every woman, and children also, tending with utmost care those which were sick or sore afflicted, treating all which came to her with a gentle word of kind regard, giving of herself equally to the rich and poor alike.

14  And to those which were near to death and sickly dying, these would she hold in her arms as though but tender babes, and in the ear most sweetly sing, removing through her gentle words the fear of death, to fill them up with joy instead in returning unto God.

15  Now there came unto the city from out of the lands of Aconah, a man made famous through a philosophy of his own devising, which philosophy was meant to ingratiate himself in the eyes of the ruling class.

16  For this man, whose name was Alcibiades, taught that it mattered not the doing of goodly things, for it was strength and wealth which mattered most, and not the spirit or soul within; for God, being the Father and Mother to all which lived, even they could not cast away the children they loved so dear, being compelled to give to all, whether they be good or evil, a portion of Heaven’s glory.

17  What mattered then the holy life, or the things which were born of spirit? For if men should err in the seeking of worldly things, then is God alone to blame, for in all the earth where could God be found? In what land or place or city could be found the house where God might dwell?

18  Therefore, seeing that God is far away, then should those which ruled seek for themselves an increase of power and wealth together, setting aside such thoughts as would plague from time to time, to fill them with a troubled spirit about the God so far away.

19  Thus was it needful that those who ruled should only appear themselves as good and noble bearing, while the inward man should be deeply hid away, to chase about in private moments the fulfilling of every want; for it mattered only what the people saw and nothing else besides.

20  Causing that if the rulers should do good things for the people of the city, then are they at liberty in private moments to fulfill their lust and greed; for in the fulfilling of these things, in the inward man or woman, are they likewise made compelled to do good things for the people over which they ruled.

21   For it was law and order and prosperity which mattered most, and whosoever would give these things unto the city, even that one is most truly good and worthy of respect and loud acclaim, to set at liberty his private soul to do as he might please.

22  Yet to all these things did Alcibiades boldly declare that only those which were weak and poor had need of God, while those who were both strong and rich had no need, being eager themselves to push God aside, permitting that they should take command of all their life, being in their wealth and power most capable to deliver themselves from trouble, or to fill their life with many blessings.

23  This then did Alcibiades teach, causing in the city a great stirring among the people; and those which were of the wealthy classes became most pleased by the philosophy of so wise a man, seeing in his words an advantage for themselves.

24  But among the poor and disadvantaged did there come a heaviness of heart, for the poor did comfort themselves in God, believing always that the Father and Mother were always near; but in the taunting of Alcibiades were many shaken in their soul, not knowing themselves how to answer him.

25  Now Alcibiades determined to make sport of those which believed in the nearness of God, to prove through some cunning debate the rightness of his way; and immediately there went out a proclamation which would challenge the righteous to come and plead their cause.

26  And there went before Alcibiades and the multitudes many of the righteous to challenge him, and one by one he swept them away midst mockery and derision, causing that the richer classes should enlarge themselves with pride, while the righteous and the poor were filled with despair.

27  Now it was the custom of Sariah that on the seventh day of every week, she would sit in the gardens of the city and there would she read from the book, which book contained all the sayings and teachings of Adamilus and Evelah and Noaeya, too.

28  For Sariah was elected the Presiding Matriarch of all the city, and among the righteous was she held in great esteem; for her goodness and humility were beyond reproach, being ever attended in all her doings by simplicity and grace.

29  Thus did there gather in a large garden a multitude of the righteous, being themselves distressed by the cunning words of Alcibiades; and there spoke unto Sariah a teacher of renown, saying:

30  “Help us, Sariah, for even all the righteous are made uncertain, for whenever we would answer this Alcibiades, he would but sweep away even all our words through a cunning speech filled with snares and traps of every kind.

31  How then shall we answer such a man as this, for because of such words as he would speak are even all the righteous filled with troubles within the soul?

32  Therefore, reveal to us your deeper wisdom, for we perceive that God is with you, overshadowing and ever guiding wheresoever you should go; for even we do know that God does love you, and for your sake is filled with care.

33  Speak to us your greater knowing, that we may find for ourselves some quick assurance, setting at peace the heart within; for even such words as you will speak shall we cause to be written down, and in every town and village and city shall we send forth the words which you would speak.

34  How then will you answer so cunning a man as this Alcibiades, that by your words we might convince him beyond all doubt that God is ever near, and does wait with anxious heart to reveal the Father and the Mother to all who would truly seek?”

35  Thus did the teacher speak, and there was brought to sit before Sariah some twenty scribes which did prepare themselves to write down even all the words which she might speak.

36  And when all was ready, and the multitude was hushed and filled with expectation, then did Sariah stand before the whole assembly, saying:

37  “Why will you be troubled and the heart within be filled with hurtful doubts? For the sophistry of learned men seeks not the truth of greater things, but for a pretense would they make sport of you through subtle words; for in making you to appear as foolish do they strive to appear themselves as wise and deeply knowing.

38  Going themselves but round and round, to cast in you many doubts, seeking through some clever word to rob you of your joy, causing that they themselves should make mock the things of greatest worth; that by their subtleties they might cast you down whereby they might lift themselves above you.

39  Causing that you should become as one confused, to tie your tongue in knots, causing that you be filled with uncertainties of every kind; to make of you some easy prey which they might devour through words of their own devising.

40  Using to their gain some soft and pleasing word, feigning through some outward manner that they do care for you, while in their inward parts they are filled with hate and loathing against you, being anxious themselves that you should appear as weak and foolish while they appear as strong and knowing.

41  Hear then and be you wise, that you may not entangle yourself in the sophistry of those who think themselves more learned than you yourself; for the greater defense which would prove the rightness of your faith is not fashioned of words, but of joy instead.

42  This truth then do even your enemies discern, knowing themselves that if they should steal away the joy within your heart, then are you likewise carried away into the shadows of endless doubt, making dark what once was light, to put in place of all your joy the tears of deeper sorrow.

43  Come then and I will tell you what this Alcibiades is like unto; for he is like a bird which was captured and in a golden cage was he kept all the day long; and notwithstanding that the cage proved large and spacious, permitting that the bird should fly about a little here, and a little there, still is the bird unable to fly beyond his own imprisonment.

44  Such then is it with this Alcibiades, for by his own sophistry has he created for his heart and soul a golden cage, large and spacious; and notwithstanding that he should flit here, or dart there, still is he held captive by words of his own devising.

45  And seeing for himself that even you do soar and upward fly between the heavens and the earth, being yourselves set free because of faith, to race along in happy light to touch the soul of God;

46  Even he would entice you into the cage which he himself did make, using such sophistries as might ensnare your heart and soul together, causing that you should be captured and firmly held, even as this Alcibiades, in a cage of golden words.

47  For this Alcibiades will not permit that he should feel the nearness of God, and neither will he permit that you should feel it either; being himself determined to shame you through subtle words filled with calm deceit, whereby he himself might find some advantage to gather to himself an empty gain.

48  Beware, therefore, the sophistries of learned men, for they would cast within you doubts of their own devising, to rob you of your joy, to fill you deep with perplexities and uncertainties of every kind, whereby they might take some advantage over you.

49  Guard well then that inward joy and permit not that any should steal it from you; for there are many who are themselves without such joys as God would give; and if you then prove joyful in the living of your life, then will those who have not devise some means to snatch it all away, causing that you should prove yourselves miserable even as they are miserable.

50  Watch, therefore, with utmost care and shield well your heart from those who would prove bitter towards God and heavenly things, ever spewing from out of their own hearts such things as would sour even your own souls, if it so be that you permit.

51  Hold tight and let not go such joy as God would place most deep within you; for your Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother do but constantly watch over the babes they love so well, proving themselves ever near and constant ready to bear you up again.

52  For there is given of God that certain means which would guard well the things which lie unseen, being of itself that sure deliverer which would shield us from the hateful storms; and if it so be that we are possessed of it, then do the words of Alcibiades drift themselves as far away, to trouble the heart no more.

53  Know then that if you be troubled through the sophistries of learned men, then are you yourselves not firmly rooted in the things which come from God; proclaiming yourselves as those which do believe, but being in your heart unconverted still.

54  For God is faithful, be you likewise faithful also; for faith is the gift we give ourselves, being of itself the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

55  Faith, therefore, lies far beyond the words you speak, being found itself in all you do; for many speak with easy words that they believe, but in the day of trial do they break and shatter as fragile glass, to become in their own souls as one broken and shattered before our eyes.

56  For they were always quick to speak the things which they believed, but in their hearts were they without faith; and if there be no faith within the heart, then is all our hope vanished away; for hope is the fruit of faith; and if there be found in you the seed of faith, then is all your joy made constant, being ever guarded by faith and hope together.

57  Why then will you be troubled by the words of Alcibiades? Or again: Why are you within the heart, unknowing in how to answer him?”

58  Such then did Sariah speak, and immediately there rose up one of the teachers of the people, and he spoke, saying: “Well have you spoken, good Mother, and in all which you have said do we find a quick assurance that God is with you.

59  Seeing then that God has appointed you to be as a physician among us, be you then filled with care and heal the heart within us; and if then we did prove ourselves faithless, to cast aside our joy for troubled words instead, then teach to us the seed of faith and even we will hear and do.

60  Tell us where God is found, and why there should come from the Father and the Mother so great a silence. Reveal to us that certain place where truth alone is found, and why our doubts are made to haunt us so.”

61  Thus did the teacher speak, and the whole assembly did grow deeply hushed, and filled with anxious breath; and Sariah, being filled with tender caring, did raise forth her voice to speak.