Edna Lister's Sermons on Acceptance

Acceptance, as the world defines it, is "the act or fact of accepting, or taking what is offered, whether as a pleasure, a satisfaction of claim, or a duty, to take or receive willingly, or with consenting mind, to receive a thing or person with favor or approval, with patience or resignation, to tolerate."

Acceptance is a law of doing, a soul virtue rooted in the principle of nonresistance. As an ascending soul, acceptance is how you apply the principle of nonresistance in your life and relationships. However, do not accept anything, to take it into your being or consciousness, unless you lift it first to a cloud continent of Light.

Three Steps to Healing

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is fated April 12, 1950, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Matthew 9:27-34.

The two blind men who were following Jesus, cried out, "Thou son of David, have mercy on us," in recognition of his identity and the Power moving through him. Recognizing the Source of Power is always the first step in healing.

Then Jesus asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They answered "Yes, Lord." The second step in healing is always acceptance. He really asked, "Do you accept," and each answered, "Yes, I accept."

The final step to healing is forever "according to your faith." Their eyes were opened immediately, restoring their vision. Jesus warned them to tell no one because he knew that the doubts of those whom they told would be too great a test for their faith, and their healing would falter.

You must allow your faith to grow and wax stronger in the stillness of the golden silence. That stillness provides the poise, peace and power that you regain for your soul by praise, joy and rejoicing.

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Five Steps in Ascension

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 16, 1950, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 3:1-10.

A miracle is either an instantaneous act or a slow process, according to your desire, awareness, recognition, acceptance and surrender. The length of the process of healing depends on the degree of your consciousness.

Desire is the Creative Impulse, a fundamental principle, which you bring with you to earth, and use turned either up or out and down into the world. Awareness is the awakening of consciousness. When you are unaware, you are unconscious. You are supposed to be aware of whether a friend or danger is approaching. You are more easily aware of love or hate. Yet you must synthesize all five senses into one for true awareness.

Recognition, which means "to know again," is also a universal faculty. You use it to place a person or a thing within a frame of reference, to give it a name. Acceptance is always personal. All too often people say, "I accept," when they really want to think about it and still not accept it. While acceptance is crucial to ascension, it is important not to accept resentment, blame or criticism as yours before you lift it to a cloud continent of Light.

Surrender of self is an act of soul. People dislike the idea of surrender, thinking that it means giving in to others. Yet you surrender to God first, then to love, to forgiveness and to Light. When you have truly surrendered, you are then lifted, filled, used and happy because God needs you.

A certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. – Acts 3:2-3. Peter was with John at the Temple. "With" means you are never alone.

Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." – Matthew 28:20. It's never a case of God and you, but God with you as you. Like Peter, you can say, "What I have, I can give always," for I have the Light of the Creator.

All things are made of this Light, which is always flowing and available. The Light does the work as the Power. Light is the way of ascension. The creature consciousness dwells in the darkness of self. Only a creator has the desire and the will power to surrender freely to God.

All you do and all you can use is Light to create the right emotional and mental conditions for God to move in and heal. When you use a weak love, poor in quality, it causes delay. If you want time, as length, instead of quality, you must leave so much out, which is the difference between now and later.

You receive the hidden riches from above when you create from Light. At first glance, ascension is like being a mountain climber, climbing, staying level or descending. Yet true ascension is going up always.

Jesus will return as he left. When he ascended, he rose into heaven and disappeared. At his return, he will be unseen by the world of men, seen only by a few, riding on a cloud.

To think and declare, "He has come! He is here!" is the creator's attitude of expectancy. The creature expects to be hurt, and thus fears. The creator lives in fervent anticipation of more Light, life and glory.

I am health, wealth, love, for I am become rich, I have found me out substance. – Hosea 12:8.

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Acceptance and Obedience 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated September 2, 1952, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Romans 12 and Matthew 7:16-20.

From the time the soul first hears about returning to God, it begins the long pilgrimage from the Land of Egypt, which represents darkness, famine, lack of initiative, and weakness. The soul must pass through the Land of Promise, which symbolizes inspiration. There you must fulfill all your promises and your vows to become like God.

Then you must enter your original Garden of Eden, which is the high place in consciousness, your tower room, the prayer closet. In the garden, you find the golden silence, and hear the voice of Oversoul's I AM consciousness.

Acceptance of and obedience to law are twins. Truth is not just trying, but full acceptance of the law as applying to you. You move from, "I hear," to "I accept" and "I become." You pass through four stages of acceptance, from being unwilling to expend any effort, to doing without grudging the time or effort it takes.

In the first stage, you wonder, "Who am I?" Young zeal is still slumbering, so it rolls over to whine, "Leave me alone! I want to rest." The creature soul is still a skull bumper in this phase, never leaving its own opinion, its cubicle of supposed reality.

The second stage is the first awakening. The creature soul says, "I hear," but usually responds to any new ideas with, "You are wrong!" At best, the consciousness is a ceiling bumper in prayer here. Yet, how can you learn unless you see something wrong outside, somewhere else, in someone else. This is the only way of learning what's wrong.

In the third stage, the creature soul finds its personal will, and uses it constantly as, "Do it my way." The majority rules here, and "I" and God form the majority.

Intellect backs the will and forcefully seeks to strengthen will as determination and concentration. The "star grabbers" in consciousness grasp at the Light they can see outside of the self. They "try" to hold onto the Light and often fail, but at last they are off earth.

The fourth stage is the crucifixion of will, as symbolized by Abraham sacrificing his first begotten son, Isaac. The story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah, illustrates the soul's perfect sacrifice of self to God. Abraham represents the soul's willingness to sacrifice the firstborn of self to do God's will.

In the fifth stage, soul becomes a "throne seeker" searching for the I AM consciousness of the super-conscious mind, the Oversoul. What the throne seeker finds is the "I AM that I AM" of God, the source of all good, the substance of God's Reserve Bank.

We are all like the five-year-old boy who spread his arms and said, "See me? Everyday now I practice flying." He hop, hop, hopped as high as possible, saying, "I don't quite know how yet, but I'm learning!"

Help yourself along by declaring, "I AM all acceptance and obedience! I hear the still small Voice that is as loud as thunder. I hear I AM THAT I AM." By your fruit you will be known:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7:16-20.

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This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 21, 1953, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Romans 12.

From acceptance to obedience is a long pilgrimage. We ascend from creature consciousness, the Land of Egypt and "midnight of the mind" urges, through the Promised Land dawn, where the sons of man are learning to believe in God.

We are returning to the full Light of creator consciousness, the Garden of Eden, as sons and daughters of God. We are transforming the old into the new, lifting self to soul. We move from acceptance to obedience, which are twins, one following the other. What is acceptance? What is obedience?

The old idea was that proper obedience was the complete submission to the will of God. The difficulty arises when blind obedience to ideas about God comes first, before God. This anchors the soul to earth.

Blind obedience to this mysterious divine will makes man a plaything, a weak worm subject to illness, and aging must result. The other extreme is willfulness that takes and grabs, making no payment. The extremity of willfulness is atheism, born of fear.

Yet Abraham set an example of obedience for all time, when he offered Isaac as a living sacrifice. He received a ram in the bushes from God, as a substitute. To accept willingly is good, but also to declare it good is even better.

The secret of acceptance that transforms and renews you is willingness to sacrifice self. An unwilling sacrifice, one that is forced or offered grudgingly, does not transform you.

You transform yourself in four stages, from acceptance to obedience. In the first stage, the soul asks, "Who am I?" Young zeal is slumbering here, and the creature soul says, "Leave me alone."

We call them skull bumpers at prayer since they get no farther than their own heads. They start to climb, but self throws them back because they are still selfish and indifferent.

The second stage is the first awakening in which soul is teaching the self by outer recognition. Self first sees all the faults in others. "You are wrong" is the most often repeated phrase. They remain ceiling bumpers in prayer because great complacency still fills them.

In the third stage, the creature soul finds the will. Will and intellect rule here under the attitude of "My way or else!" The self-centered "I, me and my" majority pulls God down to the level of self. This is the star grabber stage, though, as the soul begins to reach higher.

Through sacrifice and service you ascend to the fourth stage, to begin crucifying the will, mating the self's desire and will to God's desire and will for you. You become a "throne seeker" in prayer to answer the question, I AM what?

Soul is no longer weak, tired, ill, mad, complacent or asleep, but determined to sacrifice selfish desire to God. Declare, "I am obedient to 'I AM' consciousness as intuition and illumination." Listen for the Voice, loud and clear or "still and small" but The Voice.

You find that you have become "I AM THAT I AM." Your body is like a filled bobbin, ready to weave perfection for God to see, not man. The will of God is perfect now. Your soul vision is out front and up front.

Leave self-satisfaction behind to work at soul ascension. High vision is your transforming Power. You never reach up if you focus your vision at eye level or below. Your soul's vision must ever focus higher or you stagnate.

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Acceptance and Obedience 3

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated July 5, 1953, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Romans 12.

Growth, from acceptance to obedience, is a long pilgrimage from creature consciousness to become sons and daughters of man in the Land of Egypt, through the Promised Land as sons and daughters of God, and back to the Garden of Eden as creators. The way is hard.

You are learning how to believe in God. Think! People take time out to think about whether God exists, whether they can trust Him. Why do this? To believe, to know that God is, transforms your whole life, and lifts self to soul.

Ask, What is acceptance? What is obedience? They are twins, working together as one. The old ideas were unquestioning acceptance and obedience. Yet when blind obedience comes first, as puppet-like unthinking submission to the will of God, it anchors you to earth, to experience delay and difficulties.

Another old idea is that man is but the plaything of the mysterious unknown. "It must be God's will that I am a weak worm or experience illness." This led to punishments and hair shirts. Hair-shirt martyrs fill the earth today.

The other extreme is willfulness that takes and grabs, offering no payment for anything. The extremity of willfulness is born of fear, and we call it atheism.

Yet, we have an example for all time in Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son on Mount Moriah. As he raised the knife to sacrifice his only begotten son, and angel spoke Tell the story of the ram in the bushes.

The secret of acceptance is instantly ready willingness to sacrifice self. To declare people, events and conditions good, transforms and renews life. An unwilling sacrifice, grudged and forced, does not transform.

You grow through four stages from acceptance to full obedience. Yet, you may sum the whole of life's questions in "Who am I?"

In the first stage, young zeal is slumbering. Nascent desire says, "Leave me alone." As skill bumpers, they start to climb but fall back, throwing the responsibility for everything that happens outside back onto situations and people. They are selfish, indifferent, butterfly chasers and escapists.

The second stage describes the first awakening of the soul. Their most favored statement is, "You are wrong." As "ceiling bumpers," they see all the faults in others and the world, but not their own.

They are complacent, self-satisfied and "holier than thou." Yet, how can a rational soul learn what fills the creature soul without "seeing" it on the outside first? You must learn to recognize what is wrong before you can clean house and ascend.

In the third stage, they find their "will power," and will and intellect begin to rule. The most oft repeated phrase is, "Do it my way" with the implicit "or else."

As star grabbers, their selfish "I am" forms a majority with God. Their attitude is "I can drag heaven down for me to use."

Finally, in stage four you learn sacrifice of the self through the 33rd Degree of Christed service. Here you become a "throne seeker" in prayer, who worship God as personality and principle.

To do this, you must complete your crucifixion of will, mating will to desire. Your only sacrifice is self's desires to soul.

You no longer say, "That just took the heart out of me," or, "He put me on a spot!" What spot? You are stouthearted to do, no longer weak, ill, angry, complacent, tired or asleep.

I AM become that soul, I AM. When you know that I AM is obedient, intuitive and illumined, you have found Oversoul's "I AM THAT I AM" consciousness.

Your body then becomes a filled bobbin of Light to weave a pattern of perfection for God to see, not man. You listen for God's Voice, whether still and small or loud and clear – it is His Voice.

Focus your vision out beyond self, and up front. You never reach any goal if your vision stays on or below the level with your eyes. Soul vision recedes ever higher.

Move out of the world to work at this. Stand in your Garden of Eden, free. Search for new thrones and Sources. Then you will know "Who I AM." I AM transformed.

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From Acceptance to Obedience

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated September 2, 1953, Buffalo, New York. Scribe: Edna Bender. Scripture: Romans 12.

The pilgrimage from the first time you hear about God to being like unto God is long and arduous. You must leave the Land of Egypt with its darkness, famine, lack of initiative and weakness, to enter the Land of Promise, where you are inspired to make and pay your vows and promises to become like God.

Your original Garden of Eden is the high place, the tower room, the prayer closet, the golden silence in which you may hear the voice of your Oversoul I AM consciousness.

The twins, acceptance and obedience, must accompany you in your search for truth. Truth is not what you are "trying" to become, but a goal to which you must say, "I hear. I accept. I become." The story of Abraham and Isaac illustrates the perfect sacrifice to God's will without being unwilling or grudging.

Accepting God's will is a process of four stages. The first stage is, "Who am I?" In this phase, young zeal is still slumbering, saying, "Leave me alone! I'm happy where I am," when you disturb it. The soul remains a skull bumper in prayer.

In the second stage, the soul experiences its first awakening, saying, "I hear you, but you are wrong!" They have progressed to being ceiling bumpers in prayer. They may be frustrating, but cannot learn unless they first see what is wrong outside themselves somewhere. They are learning what is wrong and what wrong is.

In the third stage, the soul finds its will, which is self-centered at this point, insisting, "Do it my way." Here, the soul still firmly believes that "I" and God form the overwhelming majority. This type uses self-will and intellect as force because they are unconsciously seeking to strengthen will as determination and concentration. Having progressed to the "star grabber" stage, at last they are off earth!

In the fourth step, the soul faces the crucifixion of will. The story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac on Mount Moriah illustrates this perfectly. At this stage, the soul becomes a "throne seeker," moving from "I am what I am" to I AM THAT I AM. The throne is the seat of consciousness in the higher creative center, in your head. I AM THAT I AM is God's Reserve Bank for miracles.

A little five-year-old boy recently called his aunt to watch something special, He said, "See me?" as he spread his arms. "Every day now I practice flying," he crowed as he hop-hop-hopped as high as possible. "I don't know how to fly yet," he added, "but I'm learning!"

You can declare, "I AM all acceptance and obedience! I hear the Voice, still and small, but loud as thunder, I hear!"

I AM THAT I AM is your name. By their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7:20.

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I Accept 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 27, 1954, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Matthew 5:23-26.

"I accept" means to "take responsibility, to find something favorable, to be reconciled, to receive gladly" and as graciously as you give. Grace is an eternal quality of God; grace is of the soul.

What do you accept? Your place in the world as your only hope? Satisfied or dissatisfied, complaining but doing nothing about it? Faith without works is dead.

"I accept my heavenly inheritance, to fulfill the law through love." God in His Wisdom has a plan for you that you may know, can see and hear. "I accept that faith will hold me steadfast in action."

The Sermon on the Mount is filled with laws to guide you into cooperation with law. To accept is to choose.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. – Matthew 5:23-24.

To be reconciled means to accept responsibility for your actions. You cannot give if you hold anything against anyone. When you break one law, you have broken them all. After you choose, you must act.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. – Matthew 5:25-26.

To agree with the adversary quickly, you must love God enough. If you don't, the adversary will take you to the judge, who will give you to the officer, who will cast you in prison.

So, to disagree is three steps down to the basement, but to agree is only one step up to your tower room of consciousness. If you cannot agree, it proves that you still believe in "enemies." To believe in an enemy creates an adversary, a dark cloud of force, an entity that clings to you.

To be taken before the judge is conscience reminding you of law, your Oversoul breaking through your crust. The officer is regret. The prison is remorse, which is a sense of guilt.

To agree with an adversary means to love God more than you love self. Love is adequate for all occasions. The love you release returns to you and forms a steady flow of Power.

In this place of love's release of Power, your aura is love as Light. When you lift your hands to pray, the magnetic current rushes up through your feet to the solar plexus. Light moves in and you ascend in consciousness on an intake of breath for strength. This happens, of course, after you have no enemies on the outer. How do you get rid of them? Love enough.

Firefighters will set a backfire to stop a range or forest fire. Remember your "fire zone" of protection, a wall of consuming fire. Whatever touches you will change into Light, so that no harm can come near you.

This happens because you accept your own responsibility and inheritance, and choose Light. Therefore, you accept your place at the banker's window of heaven ready to collect your beautiful inheritance.

Declare, "I accept my body as God's perfect temple of the soul. I accept my place as a perfect instrument of Light. I accept the faith that goes before me. I accept my great place in the outer now. I make myself ready for it by cooperation with God as my Father of Wisdom, my Source of all love, Power, joy, life, and glory. Father, accept my new vows as my down-up payment on new strength and glory coming to me. I am unconquerable faith with no failure in it. Use me greatly."

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I Accept 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated June 27, 1954, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe: Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Matthew 5:23-26.

"I accept" means "to take responsibility, to find what comes favorable, to be reconciled, to receive gladly" and as graciously as you give. Grace is an eternal Godlike quality of the soul.

To accept involves a choice. You accept your place in life hopefully or hopelessly, satisfied or dissatisfied, complaining but doing nothing about it. Some people consider it nonresistance to accept hopelessly. Others accept aggressively, but both modes deny the Source.

You cannot pull your plug from the Source of Power and still have the energy to run efficiently here. Many pull their plugs and go to bed, accepting the resulting physical weakness.

You must accept from the soul side. God fills your Oversoul star with perfect substance when you declare: "I accept my heavenly inheritance that God has a plan for me, one that I can know, see and hear."

You must have a firm foundation of divine principle before you can say, "I accept," because the world challenges you when you claim your heavenly estate. Your inheritance must include enough wisdom and substance to plan and build perfect prayer molds.

Your overall plan must be well defined, and you must bring back the day's plan each morning. Then you must love enough to fulfill law and your plan. For example, Job believed until Satan challenged him. He fell to the bottom, but when he bounced back, God redoubled his riches.

Miracles abound when you are able to recognize the action of law in your life. Small miracles, like almost dropping something but catching it in time, happen all day. Blaming the "almost" is cursing God. Love God enough to praise Him instantly.

God pours out enough love and wisdom for the world daily, so too bad if you forget to collect your share. Declare, "I accept that I must have enough faith to hold me steadfast in action." Stand and call everything good, which is the wonderful foundation that holds you.

Two factors are important, the ability to choose and to act. According to the law, you must transpose each earthly experience into a lesson that reveals the divine law to obey. Acceptance of new laws is a matter of personal choice.

Collecting your inheritance is your choice, too, so be greedy in claiming your portion at the window of abundance. Forty others take your place when you step out of line with blame and negativity, so go to your tower room of I AM consciousness without resenting the phone or doorbell. Pour out love and wisdom as faith, no matter what twaddle you hear.

Once you decide to claim your inheritance, you discover that your only choice is God. "Trying" will bring you to boiling, but only choosing God takes you to the point of white-hot faith needed for a miracle a minute. Ascend and love God enough. How much is enough? When you hold the miracle in your hand.

Every request is good, even if you burn your fingers, or if your desire is gone when you get what you prayed for. When you love God enough, and make strong decrees, He will send the right answer that will expand with your joy and needs.

First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. – Matthew 5:24-26. Love God enough to agree quickly.

Acceptance chooses to cooperate with law. If you are drawing on your inheritance, you accept full responsibility for the actions of everyone on your lines of Light.

You may not offend, so search for inoffensive ways to speak truth. You must not smudge your page, and you do not want a dirty page in anyone's Book of Life. If you are innocent when blamed, erase the blot by saying, "I love you."

You cannot give if you hold anything against anyone. If you break one law, you break them all.

After you choose to agree, act quickly by going to your tower room to lift. Your subconscious will create an adversary if a single "enemy" thought remains. People who say, "I just can't agree with that," still believe in enemies, which creates an entity, a dark cloud of force that clings.

An adversary will take you to the judge, who will give you to the officer, who will deliver you to prison. The basement is three steps down, but your tower room is only one up.

The judge is your Oversoul, speaking as conscience, reminding you of law. The officer is regret. Think of the hours you have wasted in regret.

God does not hand you to the officer if you apologize without regrets and erase your name from your adversary's page. Some people have so many smudges on others' pages that they run out of room.

The prison is remorse, which is a sense of guilt. Many are in prison because they do not know how to lift their regrets to a cloud of Light.

To agree with an adversary means to love God more than the self. Reach up to God and love Him. Say, "Father, use me."

Agree with your adversary, saying, "I love you. How wonderful you are." You may never nag anyone, but you can mentally shout it, even in the business world.

Love is the panacea for all occasions. The magnetic current rushes up through the navel center when you lift your hands to pray. Light moves in from above, and you ascend on an intake of breath for strength.

Love as Light fills your aura in this place of love's release of Power. The Light returns to you in a steady stream of Power when you have no enemies on the outer.

How do you get rid of enemies? Love God enough. Build a "fire zone" of protection, a wall of consuming fire to change whatever touches you to Light. Then no harm can come near you. Why? Because your actions are saying, "I accept my own inheritance and choose Light."

"I accept my place at the banker's window of heaven, ready to collect my share of beauty, my inheritance. I accept my body as God's perfect temple of the soul. I accept my place as a perfect instrument of Light."

"I accept all the angels of Love and Wisdom on either side of me. I accept the faith that goes before me. I accept my great place in the outer now. I prepare myself by cooperating with God as my Father of Wisdom, my Source of all Power, love, joy, life, glory."

"Father, accept my new vows as my intent of payment on the new strength and glory, which are coming to me. I am infallible, unconquerable faith. Use me greatly."

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, "Recognition," 5th edition. G. & C. Merriam Co., Springfield, Massachusetts, 1938.

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See Agreeing and Adjusting

See Nonresistance

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