Health is the proper relationship the microcosm, which is man

and the macrocosm, which is the universe. Disease is a disruption of this relationship. Dr. Yeshe Donden, Physician to the Dalai Lama

                                           Sacred Herb — Sacred Purpose

       The right to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience surely must

    also include the right to have that inner guidance direct us in our choices of healing

     methods and practitioners.  If we fail to honor this truth then we are outsourcing

                not only our rights but also our sovereignty and covenant with God .  
                                                  By Sarah E. Firmage

The choice of how an individual cares for his or her body is supremely intimate, personal and private.  At this time in history we are seeing these rights threatened and removed one-by-one. We are now mandated to pay into one system of medicine that does not adequately recognize other modes of healing.  The insurance companies can deny care even as they take our monies. Innovative physicians who have discovered new methods of healing face threats of loss of license and ridicule in the press. Many are driven out of business due to a corporatized medical establishment that has a monopoly on the practice of medicine.

Throughout history leaders from both spiritual and secular traditions have warned about government overstepping its bounds, about monopolies gaining a foothold in government and commerce that then threaten individual choice and sovereignty.   In this day we also have religions institutions overstepping their bounds by using their political influence and monies to interfere with elections and personal healthcare choices. These are shadows we must identify clearly for we cannot heal until we deal with them. If we want to create a healthcare system that truly works for all we must ensure all modes of healing are covered fully and we must allow the patient to make those choices.  This is a Spiritual right and it must be protected as a civil right. Thomas Jefferson issued a strong warning of this danger. He said this: 

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” 

Neither state nor federal governments, organized religion nor pharmaceutical or insurance conglomerates belong in the sacred relationship between provider and client. It is not the proper role of these agencies to deny a chosen modality nor is it proper for them to mandate we accept therapies we do not wish. The healing relationship between provider and client is as sacred as that of priest and parishioner. It  must be held as sacred and protected by law. Corporate giants will decry anything that threatens their power structures and profit margins. They distort science and commerce to block that which they cannot control and patent. Many organized religions are as guilty as the governments by using their political influence and monies to unfairly interfere with the will of the electorate.  In doing this they are complicit in blocking personal freedoms as well as progress and evolution in regard to the health and wellbeing of human beings.

The right to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience surely must also include the right to have that inner guidance direct us in our choices of healing methods and practitioners.  If we fail to honor this truth we are outsourcing not only our rights but also our sovereignty and covenant with God .

The Doctrine and Covenants section 89 speaks to the “wise and prudent” use of the seeds and herbs of earth. It speaks to this a wisdom teaching which is to be given as a greeting not a mandate. No where does it deny the right to use herbs such as Cannabis, Peyote or Ayahuasca. Everything  Mother-Father God created  as right use built within it. This includes Cannabis. When we do not educate towards right use we suffer the consequence. Abusing herbs such as Cannabis is one form of misuse but it is not the only one. Interfering with the right of an individual to take these herbs when they may facilitate healing is also a tragic form of misuse that carries untold suffering in its wake.  It is also an overt abuse of power. The herbs and seeds of Earth are here to help us heal. Like any other substance, identifying right use and right dose is a collaborative journey between client and practitioner. 

Refusing to openly acknowledge and protect the healing powers of these sacred plants is to deny the Mother-Father God who gave them for that very purpose. Properly used these plants are God's answer to our prayers for healing.

Yes they can be misused, just as our western drugs can. However, if we focus only on that then we fail to see the blessing they can be and we miss the miracles of healing that Creator intends for us.  Cannabis has use for pain, seizures,  cancer, depression, PTSD and more. In this fear-based push to keep it illegal we ignore and deny the  miracle it can bestow when properly used.  

If we do not honor the herbs and seeds of Earth for the purpose for which God created them,  then  we displace God as healer and Earth as provision. Rather than Spirit and Earth as prime healer, we put ourselves, limited vision and conflict-ridden economies on the throne. By doing this we deny sovereignty even as we preach freedom and safety.

And it gets worse…much worse.  To make natural Cannabis illegal and simultaneously allow pharmaceutical companies rights to make synthetic equivalents which they then can patent and own is a profound insult to God and to Earth.  They are doing this with many herbs and vitamins as well. Many of our cancer drugs are synthesized derivatives of plants. Supplements such as Vitamin B6 (pyridoxamine) and L-glutamine (an amino acid) are now being synthesized into western drugs and pharmaceutical companies are wanting the natural supplements removed from OTC status.  This gives these multi-national giants a virtual monopoly on healthcare, contributes to sky rocketing costs and forces humans to turn to corporations for health rather than the Earth. This denies Earth her proper role in healing. This is yet one more reflection of our fall from the Garden. It reflects mans greed, arrogance and overt attack on Nature.  

In Truth we do not need to look back thousands of years to see how we fell out of the Garden State. We need only look at what we continue to do to Earth. The biggest factor in our healing is to return to natural living and wisely using the seeds and  herbs of Earth as a primary source of wisdom and wellness care. The bulk of the chronic illness we face as a nation is life-style induced and our business models contribute to this  illness by polluting our airs, waters, media and food supply.  One of the meanings of the scripture “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you” is to look first to Earth as a primary source of healing. Genesis 2:15 reminds us that our purpose here it to tend and keep the garden. We are under Covenant to care for her waters, forests, foods such that they remain pure and in the hands of the people.  This truth is seen in virtually all of the worlds traditions which is why all traditions must return to this wisdom teaching. This is what will open the prophesied New Earth to us. 

We have lost our way and given far too much power to institutions which are now riddled with conflicts of interest. They have now amassed such power that they are threatened by anyone who questions their dogmas. Jesus experienced the same thing. His demonstration of  love and  power along with his passion for encouraging others to do the same was too big a threat. This is why he was killed and why he warned us of the dangers of giving our power away. We face a similar dynamic today.

Physicians who try to use natural plants to treat disease are being sued. They face ridicule in the press and are threatened with loss of license. In doing this we are putting Earth and her resources up for sale. We breaking our covenants with God and we lose our sovereignty in the process.  By refusing to address the institutional  shadows of our own making we fail to recognize the tools of the Serpent which continue to use the weapon of fear and greed to  lead us out of the Garden. Disguised as truth to “keep us safe” these actions prevent us from accessing that which God placed here for prudent use in our own healing.

While I do understand the fears of addiction, we must also keep our fears in check. No drug is without some risk including those we currently enjoy as OTC medications. Acetaminophen alone accounts for more than 30, 000 emergency room visits and 25, 000 hospitalizations each year. Long-term use is associated kidney and heart disease. It is a leading cause of liver failure in this country and causes several hundred deaths each year. This is just one of our OTC drugs. We have epidemics now of addiction to legal drugs such as opioids.  ADD drugs such as Ritalin are highly addictive and  are now traded on the streets. Big Pharma is allowed to advertise these drugs on TV even though many of them carry extremely severe side-effects including addiction and use in suicide.  For medical organizations or federal/state governments to mandate we first use drugs such as the ones listed above before being allowed to access the herbs and seeds of earth does not keep us safe. It forces people to take unnecessary risks. 

I encourage us to remember these facts as we discuss Cannabis. Its safety profile is vastly better than the drugs just mentioned. It treats far more than pain. Cannabis has use for pain, seizures and PTSD to name just a few. It can make a critical difference for people undergoing cancer treatment.  Cannabis is supremely effective for pain.  Can you imagine the blessing it would be for those hospitalized in a burn unit where pain is beyond comprehension or those going through very painful rehabilitation after severe injury? We must look at these issues with vastly expanded vision and compassion. We can no longer continue believing that governments, church’s and medical organizations always have our 
best interest at heart. This is the shadow of the lay public and one we must face.

We cannot let unbridled fear guide our footsteps. Fear is the great enemy scripture warns us of. Allowing fear to guide our footsteps will lead us into an enslaved and  indoctrinated state. 

Legislation has not made use of drugs or addiction go away. It is making both worse. This multi-decade war on drugs as served only to  increase crime and black market economies. It has led to epidemics of incarceration. The “freest country” in the world imprisons more of its citizens than any other country, a stark fact that deserves consideration. Our war on drugs is an utter failure and once we acknowledge this we can begin to heal.  If we want to deal with addiction we must deal with the underlying dynamics: ineffective treatments for diseases such as PTSD, autism, traumatic brain injuries, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, seizures, cancer and its treatment side-effects. Excessive stress, low wages, high debts and lack of medical coverage are  also leading factors in this epidemic of addiction and chronic disease we face in this country. We must also begin full funding for natural approaches to treat pain with modalities such as massage, yoga, acupuncture. These therapies are available but financially outside the reach of many people and insurance is not required to pay for on-going use these effective treatments. We cannot turn around chronic disease until we fund on-going wellness care. 

Until Cannabis is legalized for a wide variety of conditions, it will continue to be a street drug with all the risks that carries. The advantage of legalization is that it can be regulated to assure quality, potency and purity. It would also allow us to move to compassionate treatment, not incarceration, when addiction sets in. It would also drastically reduce the black-market economies that our outdated drug laws are fueling. May we also remember that legalization allows people to access it but does not require it. Those persons who do not wish to partake of Cannabis are free to say no. We have plenty of evidence that our current model is failing miserably. Are we so blinded by fear and greed that we cannot envision a new path?

As Einstein said, “We cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” Nothing God created is forbidden. It is the governments and religions that call it illegal. God is not the one saying this. The leadership of Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints has fallen into a deep state of forgetfulness if not outright apostasy where it uses its power to deny the healing power of the herbs and seeds God placed here for that very purpose. In using their power, money and media influence to interfere with the rights of people to choose for themselves they deny core tenets of their own doctrine.  It  is a spiritual covenant to use that which God created for healing.  God gave these herbs to human beings (and animals) on Earth for that purpose.

What is happening now is that many churches, pharmaceutical companies and medical boards are denigrating the herbs of Earth even as they invest in pharmaceuticals derived from those herbs. They are instilling fear in the minds of the populace rather than recognizing that “wrong use” is a byproduct of lack of education, lack of sacred intent and the utter failure of our society to deal with the underlying factors which fuel addiction. By pummeling the media with incorrect, fear-based information and using its influence to  gain unfair advantage they are  in essence positioning themselves between humans and God and making money in that process.  That is idolatry.  

I genuinely say these things not to criticize the Church. I say it to help them heal and so that they may yet fulfill their own prophecy of being a lighthouse of freedom to the world.  By facing and healing the shadows within, the shadow is transformed into light and their worldwide ministry will take on even higher purpose and meaning. I have a dream that the LDS Church will one day use it power and monies to instill in its followers a sacred relationship between Earth and her medicines, to be used in the most natural form possible for the purpose of healing and as sacrament to attune us to The Divine.  In my opinion they will fulfill their prophecy when they transform their teachings and use their resources  to become powerful guardians of Earth: her forest, oceans, seeds and herbs. Any legitimate church operating in the modern era of 2018 (The Later-days) takes their covenant with Earth seriously and likewise recognizes that the herbs of Earth are to remain in the hands of the people. The role of leadership is to teach people all they need to know to use them wisely.

Cannabis is here because God placed it here. God also placed in the physiology of humans an endocannabinoid system—- Our bodies are prewired to accept Cannabis and the list of medical benefits of Cannabis continues to grow. There is a growing body of scientific evidence to support this claim. That process of determining proper use is for the individual to learn in concert with the healthcare practitioners of their choice.   To prohibit use of natures herbs while simultaneously allowing multi-national giants right to patent equivalents is idolatry. There is a place for both and we must honor both. Doing otherwise denies self knowledge, self-exploration and self empowerment. It denies us Sovereignty.

Sovereignty requires we grow in knowledge and wisdom and learn right use of all that God’s placed here for our wellbeing. If we are to grow and “become like unto God’s” we cannot outsource our rights and freedoms, nor can we believe the “lies of the serpent” which tell us that Earths herbs are dangerous and that we cannot be trusted with such power. 

Only by claiming our power and demonstrating personal responsibility can we reduce government/corporate interference in personal healthcare decisions.  If we say cannot do this then we do not really believe in freedom and we are not stewards of a free society.  

The agencies that were to be our watchdogs such as the FDA, CDC and medical boards have a revolving door relationship with industry. We are incredibly naive if we believe this does not strongly influence decision making. The Watchdog is not barking because it is in collusion with market forces that profit from denying us due process, that seeks self protection rather than public disclosure of the so-called “inconvenient truths” that threaten their position.  Our access to natural medicines is increasingly under threat. The FDA now wants to regulate all OTC supplements which will essentially take them off the shelves and hand them to pharmaceutical conglomerates. The bible warns us of this and we have had many visionaries through time who have sounded this warning bell. It is up to us to protect our rights to access all healing modalities. This applies not only to Cannabis but all supplements,  herbs, non-GMO foods. It likewise includes herbs used in sacred ceremony such as Peyote and Ayahuasca. These herbs are to be used wisely as a form of sacrament. 

We are dangerously close to losing all health-related freedoms, not only as a lay populace but also as healthcare providers. I  give you one more quote, widely attributed to Dr. Benjamin Rush. He was a medical doctor and signer of the Declaration of Independence from the state of PA. He fought unsuccessfully to have medical freedom of choice included in the First Amendment. 

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship. To grant the art of healing to one class of men and deny it to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American, despotic and have no place in a Republic. The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for medical as well as religious freedom.”

These words are prophetic, even more so when we remember he said this during a time of great turmoil. They were waging war on two fronts, with England and with the Natives here. Smallpox was sweeping the country. He did not make the mistake of believing that in a time of war and stress we must forsake some freedom in the interest of national security. These are the times freedoms get lost and he understood that threat. He also understood the threat of monopoly as that was a  prime motivator in attempting to birth a new country. We are now back in the same position. We are now subject to monopolistic powers of our own making, the very thing our founding fathers and mothers were fleeing. Our country is now as divided as at any time in history since the Civil War. We are divided on almost every issue and healthcare is one of he biggest areas of concern. Ironically it may also be the one thing that could bring us back together. 

The way out of this dilemma is through education and honoring the intent of the Declaration of Independence as well as the precepts that began the LDS Church. We are endowed by our creator with intelligence, agency,  choice and the right to pursue our life by following inner guidance and not being forced to outsource that right to governments, corporations or religions. In my opinion this is why Joseph Smith was told not to join any church. Institutionalized dogmas, both religious and secular, are a profound threat to sovereignty 

The LDS Church repeatedly uses their power and influence to interfere with the most personal and private decisions. They have outrageously overstepped their bounds by using their powers, money and influence to interfere with what happens in clinic rooms and bedrooms. One again, I say these things not to criticize the church. I say it to help them heal and so that they may yet fulfill their own prophecy of being a lighthouse of freedom to the world.  By facing and healing the shadows within, the shadow is transformed to light and they will become a beacon of freedom and healing for the entire world. They will become well respected teachers of transformation by publicly reversing their position on these issues.  They can demonstrate to the world that institutions can reverse course without losing their members respect. The worlds institutions need role models and I deeply pray they will take advantage of this breathtaking possibility. They could literally birth miracles of healing across the globe. It is within their reach but they must first drop their egoic use of power and control.  The right to choose for oneself is an unalienable covenant between God and us and it is time to drop any and all laws that infringe on this covenant. 

We are not only endowed with rights but also with Intelligence.  We are individualized expressions of Divine Intelligence, fully capable of growing into right use of our power and freedoms.  Claiming these rights and privileges is part of our Divine Inheritance and it is time to recognize this Truth. To believe or act in such a way as to deny people this journey is to deny the Intelligence God gave us.

The way out of this dilemma is with reasonable regulations unfettered with conflicts of interest along with high quality education appropriate to the individual in need. 

In speaking to the importance of education to correct abuse of power  I again quote Thomas Jefferson. 

“I know of no safe depositor of the ultimate powers of a society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. 

In another quote he says, “ say whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government or information to the people… this last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of people. Enable them to see that it is in their best interest to preserve peace and order and they will preserve them. ….. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. “ 

These same principles apply to our quest for health and for health-related freedom. Prohibition will only get us more of the problems we currently face and we must see this clearly.

Cannabis is a sacred herb to be used wisely for the purpose of healing. The one seeking healing should be making the treatment decisions.  Our bodies belong to us, not to Church and not to State.  We are under moral covenant to learn about our bodies and about right use of all that God gave us to heal. When we govern ourselves according to this covenant then the promise of the  Covenant will be fulfilled and health will be restored to people and planet. 

Copyright:  Sarah E. Firmage 2018. All works mine unless otherwise quoted.