Friday, October 12, 2018

459: THE MASTER TEACHER AND HIS STUDENTS

My daughters are currently studying hard for their mid-term exams. One of them has been staying up very late trying to finish an important assignment that is due before her test. Teachers give these assignments to help their students learn important concepts that will help them pass the exam. These assignments can be submitted online but need to be turned in before midnight the day before the test. The assignment is then graded and given back. The students are not able to redo these assignments.  If  potential is seen in the student,  the teacher will provide feedback to help them improve.  Comments and suggestions are given for the student to hopefully consider and implement for the next assignment. 

While not all of us are in school, all of us are given "assignments" in this life. Some are individual assignments and other assignments require an entire group of people to complete.

Recently an assignment was given to a group of people. It was a difficult assignment that took almost 2 years to complete. Time had been far spent and because the students loved and honored their Teacher, the assignment was finally turned in. Almost immediately the Teacher responded back and accepted and approved their assignment.  The Teacher said:

"I accept the statement you have adopted 
and approve it as your statement to be added."

In addition with approval to move forward, the teacher provided much needed feedback to the students. All the students were acknowledged by the Teacher for their contributions in accomplishing the task. The students felt that the Teacher was aware of each of their struggles during the assignment and began to heal and recover for the next assignment. 



Some students began to read different interpretations from others about the response from the Teacher. Some wondered and even questioned if the Lord really did accept the assignment because He didn't say it was "His"... The students forgot that the assignment will always be "ours" because of our need to continue to learn. Doubt set it and a few students thought it wise to begin to redo the assignment...hoping to get a better "grade." Even if the student decide to redo the assignment and turn it in again, the Teacher is not obligated to accept and might even be offended that we didn't take His word for it that is was already approved.

I think it is wise to take under consideration three scenarios.



The task given by the Teacher was never about the assignment.. but to learn for the final exam. Progression is to continue to learn from the past and move forward. A Master Teacher wants His students to progress, not to go back and regress. The past is where you learned the lesson, the future is where you apply the lesson. The Teacher want His students to continue to move forward. 

Proverbs 26:11



Thursday, October 11, 2018

458: OFFENSIVE NAMES AND MAJOR VICTORIES FOR SATAN.


"If we allow nicknames to be used or adopt 
or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, 
He is offended."
President Russell M Nelson

"To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is 
a major victory for Satan
President Russell M Nelson
________



So, apparently these are major victories for Satan and offensive to the Lord. 
How did we let this happen?








Good thing we are correcting things now. So unlike the rest of the world who are fine with their own shortened iconic names, we now want everyone to refer to us with a 12 word phrase.


Jewish
Lutheran
Catholic
Protestant
Hindu
Muslim
Buddist
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
. or maybe they could call us now "anti-Mormons" for short. :)
---------------------

Whether or not, the Lord really is offended by nicknames, I find it interesting that all of the Lord's people have been referred to in scriptures by "nicknames".. like the Israelites, the Nephites, the Jaredites, the Ammonites,etc. and even the repentant Lamanites who kept their nickname even though it could be viewed as less than positive.

Personally I am just hoping that I am worthy of being called a  simple Christian.


Sidenote:

I took all the talks given by President Nelson at conference and did a "wordle" which gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the talks. Looking at this, I think maybe we focus too much on CHURCH than we do JESUS CHRIST.




and just for the record:

On April 6, 1830, when Joseph Smith and five other men formally established the Church it was called the Church of Christ. The church was known by this name, Church of Christ,  from 1830 to 1834. It was NOT originally called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A number of other churches also used the name "Church of Christ" which caused a some confusion. So instead of keeping that name, we acquiesced and in May 1834, the church adopted a resolution that the church would be known thereafter as "The Church of the Latter Day Saints". 

Eight years later after the Church had been established, a revelation to Joseph Smith changed the name of the Church again to include Christ's name yet Joseph Smith also used the term Mormonism.

A modern day prophet also didn't seem to mind the term Mormon either. President Hinckley said the following in his conference address:

"Mormon means “more good.”It also means more of tolerance and mutual respect and helpfulness. Said the Prophet Joseph Smith, speaking in Nauvoo in the year 1843:
“The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon.’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.” (History of the Church, 5:498.)

I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that when people speak of us by the name of this book, they will compliment us, if we will live worthy of the name, remembering that in a very real sense Mormonism must mean that greater good which the Lord Jesus Christ exemplified. "





Friday, October 5, 2018

457: TAKING THE 'MORMON' OUT OF THE MOTAB CHOIR IS LIKE TAKING THE 'DISNEY' OUT OF DISNEYLAND

It is now official
The MoTab is now the NoTab


____________________________


Joseph Smith didn't seem to mind the word Mormon or Mormonism. Here are a few quotes:


"One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may."

Joseph Smith Jr.
Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 199 (9 July 1843)



"Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it 
feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth" 

Joseph Smith Jr.
Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 March 1839

---------------------------------------------------

No longer using the name 'Mormon' is like no longer 
using the name 'Jew' and calling them a 'Latter-day Israelite'

________________________________________________

Thursday, October 4, 2018

456: PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED.

On the LDS Church News Facebook page is the following news: 

"After basking in the historic visit of President Russell M Nelson to Seattle, 
local members of the Church now view Safeco Field as holy ground."

In my last post, I mentioned President Nelson's talk to almost 50,000 people in Seattle's Safeco baseball stadium. Since his talk given on the 2nd base, some people are already predicting that the Mariners will win the World Series now that President Nelson has walked on the field and made it "holy ground." Well, I am not sure that will happen, but one thing that you can be sure of .. and will always happen... is whenever the current prophet enters the room, members of the Church stand. Here a video that has been created to explain why. 



What is really interesting is that the members don't even need to be in the physical location where the Prophet is at.... and they still stand. Case in point, Priesthood holders around the world sitting in their stake centers to watch the General Conference Priesthood Session via satellite will all stand up as soon as they show President Nelson walk into the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.  I get it.. it is out of respect that everyone stands.. We would do it for the President of the United States.. however, when I watch Trump enter the room on TV.. I don't stand. But some reason we do for Nelson.  We stand because we believe he is God's spokesman on earth. We believe he receives revelation. His wife testifies that he does... so then I find the below "trailer" called "Prepare to be Inspired" with the below invitation to watch this weekend's General Conference to use interesting words.

The First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and General Officers of the Church will deliver messages of inspiration and guidance in five sessions:



I find it interesting that they use the word "messages of inspiration" and not the word "revelation." There is a huge difference between inspiration and revelation.
  • Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  • Revelation is the divine communication from God to men about sacred truths that was before unknown to them
The last part of the invitation is really important" 
Conference provides an opportunity to receive personal revelation as living prophets give counsel and direction. Asking questions can help you prepare for conference, increasing personal revelation while you watch.
------------------------------------------

The following are some excerpts from a blog post that was written by a good friend of mine. He asks some very important questions to ask yourself as we prepare this Conference Weekend. I believe it would be beneficial for members of the Church to reflect on some of these questions.

Questions to ask for personal preparation:

1. Am I repentant, ceaselessly prayerful, and diligently obedient to the commandments so that God can reveal his mysteries to me?
Alma 26:21-22D&C 93:28&39
2. Is my heart soft and ready to receive correction by God? Alma 12:10,

3. Am I willing to consider that some of my most cherished beliefs may be incomplete, inadequate to save, or altogether wrong?
 Helaman 15:7-8
4. Have I studied the scriptures closely and carefully, and do I know them well enough to detect when I am being taught false traditions rather than God’s words? Mosiah 1:4-5
5. Do I trust in men or trust in God? Am I willing to discard anything I hear that is false, regardless of the one speaking? Likewise, am I willing to accept truth taught by someone regardless of their title, name, position, lack of position, gender,  race, slowness or sophistication of speech, or any other reason I have for dismissing their words?  Am I prepared to accept only what the spirit carries to my heart, and set the rest aside, even when others claim that the correct (and “faithful”) course is to accept everything that is taught?Jeremiah 17:5-8; 2 Nephi 28:31; D&C 1:17-20; 2 Nephi 33:1; D&C 50:19-20
Questions to keep in mind while listening to speakers:
1. Is this person a true high priest, meaning they teach the commandments of God, purely and unadulterated, in a way that will lead others to enter the rest of the Lord? At any point do they teach codes of conduct; procedural guidelines; traditional mores; or any other standards of dress, behavior, or diet as though they were commandments of God without providing a record of where and when God commanded them? Does this person carefully and clearly differentiate between commandments of God and commandments of men?Alma 13:6Matthew 15:7-9JS-H 1:19
2. Does this person encourage me to keep all the commandments of God? Or does this person teach me that it is impossible to do so, and that God’s grace will save us in our sins?JST Genesis 9:213 Nephi 14:24-274 Nephi 1:12Mosiah 2:13&22
3. Does this person keep the commandments of God (as found publicly stated in the scriptures), as far as I am able to observe?Mosiah 23:14
4. Is this person completely financially independent of the people to whom they are speaking? Are they esteemed as equal to their hearers? Do they receive a wage, salary, or stipend from their audience? Are their living expenses, housing, clothing, and food paid for by their parishioners? Are they esteemed above their hearers as evidenced both by the flow of money to them and by public displays of deference, praise, and reverence?Mosiah 2:14-15; Mosiah 18:24&26Mosiah 27:3-5 Alma 1:26Matthew 23:3-8
5. Does this person rely on persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, unfeigned love, kindness, and pure knowledge to influence others? Or do they attempt to exercise power or influence by virtue of their priesthood or institutional position? When they claim to know something, do they know it? Do they attempt to coerce obedience, compliance, or agreement by the weight of their title or their ability to withhold institutional privileges?D&C 121:41-42
6. Does this person remember the “new covenant” which is the Book of Mormon, or do they treat it “lightly” by misusing it or failing to reference it in their teaching? Are they teaching and expounding its principles? When they reference it (if they reference it), is their interpretation reasonable or are they reading into the text things that it does not say?D&C 84:54-581 Nephi 13:40-41
7. Does this person encourage me to trust in men, or to trust only in God? Does this person encourage me to be “no respecter of persons”, or does this person encourage the belief that some people’s teachings are more trustworthy due to their title or office in an institution? Does this person claim that there is a man or group of men will not, and indeed cannot, mislead me?Jeremiah 17:5-82 Nephi 28:31D&C 1:17-20
8. Does this person claim that the words of some religious leaders are the same as God’s words by virtue of their institutional position, or do they confine such a claim of equality only to instances where someone actually can truthfully testify that God has spoken?D&C 1:38
9. If this person claims the title “Prophet,” or claims their words and counsel are “prophetic”, have they stood in the presence of God and attended the divine council?Are they delivering words they were commanded by God to speak? Do they warn the audience clearly of their need for redemption, or do they assure them that their religious institution is indestructible and safety is found in loyalty to it?Jeremiah 23:13-22
10. Does this person teach that spiritual gifts, including visions, visitations, working miracles, and receiving revelation encompassing “all things” is the inevitable result of faith? Or does this person discourage me from seeking and obtaining these things by suggesting they are unavailable, given out sparingly and capriciously to random people, restricted to those whom God arbitrarily favors, or that they pose some spiritual danger? Does this person teach that the Lord will only give me revelation about things pertaining to my specific institutional calling or family responsibility, and that therefore I cannot receive revelation outside of that narrow window? Or does this person teach that the purpose of the Holy Ghost is to make “all things” manifest to each of us as we repent, ask, seek, and knock?Moroni 7:36-37; Moroni 10:5; Joseph Smith’s letter to his Uncle Silas Smith; Moses 8:23-24; Joseph Smith on the topic of faith, fruits, and the gifts of the spirit
11. Does this person teach that people are saved by the redemption of Christ, meaning being brought back into his presence, or that people are saved by participating in religious rituals?Mosiah 13:27-32Moses 5:9-10
12. this person teach that I can only claim the blessings received by those in scripture (eternal life, sealing to spouse and children, etc.) by sacrificing all things and thereby receiving God’s personal assurance that I am accepted by Him? Or do they teach that these things can be obtained in some other way and that some other process can provide me with an assurance that I will receive them?Lecture on Faith 6:7-8Joseph Smith – 10 March 1844 – “Scriptural Items”
13. Does this person teach that I can gain the same knowledge or “testimony” as the people in the scriptures by gaining a spiritual witness that their words are true, or do they teach that I can only claim knowledge of the things I have personally experienced? Are they encouraging me to gain saving knowledge by actual contact with God (hearing his voice speaking words to me, receiving visitations, having visions, etc), or are they encouraging me to gain a generalized feeling of religious conviction? Do they adequately teach the difference between the two?1 Nephi 10:17-19Jacob 4:8Joseph Smith- 9 October 1843
14. Does this person claim that all things pertaining to life and godliness are only available as I come to know Jesus Christ personally? Do they teach that the personal knowledge of God is the main key that will put in my possession the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven? Do they teach that God’s personal promise of salvation will be the anchor to my soul that allows me to remain steadfast and overcome the world? Or do they teach that I can obtain these glories and mysteries without knowing God personally, and that I can remain steadfast and not faint without God’s assurance to me?2 Peter 1:3-4Joseph Smith – 14 May 1843 Lecture on Faith 6:4
15. Does this person claim to know God? If so, what experiences do they testify of to validate the claim? Do those experiences include physical contact with God, which is required for one to fully claim knowledge?Joseph Smith – 1 May 18423 Nephi 11:14Ether 3:18
16. If this person closes their talk “in the name of Jesus Christ,” have they truly been speaking his words, or have they taught anything that didn’t come from Him? If they are not quoting words given to them by God, are they accurately, correctly, and faithfully expounding the words given to others in the scriptures? Will a careful analysis of their teachings reveal that they consist of God’s words or of traditions not revealed by God?Jeremiah 23:16-221 Nephi 1:18 – 1 Nephi 2:1Helaman 13:3D&C 42:12-13
17. Does this person teach that the words of God given through Joseph Smith will, if heeded, prevent the gates of hell from prevailing against me, and will allow God to disperse the powers of darkness from before me? Or do they instead teach that Joseph’s teachings are subject to revision and deletion by current leaders, and that the scriptural promises which were once applied only to God’s words through Joseph now apply to others and not Joseph? Do they treat the oracles received through Joseph Smith carefully and respectfully, by relying on them to establish doctrine and truth? Or do they treat them lightly, preferring instead to correlate their teachings to other traditions?D&C 21D&C 90:5

Monday, October 1, 2018

455: A "SNOWSTORM" OF CHANGES: OCTOBER 2018 GENERAL CONFERENCE RUMORS

Six months ago before the last LDS General Conference, I made the prediction that the word
'MINISTER' was going to be repeated multiple times in the Conference Talks. I based that upon seeing the word 'minister' appearing multiple times weeks before the conference in news articles  on mormonnewsroom.org (which has yet to change the name of the website since the Lord's revelation to President Nelson that we should no longer use the term "Mormon") .

Here was the blogpost from six months ago: 438: RUMORS AND PREDICTIONS FOR THIS WEEKEND'S LDS GENERAL CONFERENCE

Little did I know that not only was the word used multiple times during Conference the term, Ministering would be the replacement for the Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching programs. That was only one of the many changes that President Nelson has made.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the other changes:
  • Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums and High Priest Quorums into one Elders Quorum
  • Church Discontinues Reading Statistical Report in Conference
  • Stop the use of nicknames and abbreviations, such as Mormon and LDS
  • All missionaries around the world will receive their mission calls online and notified by email
  • Mormon.org has been changed to www.Become.org

It has been mentioned how exciting all of the changes were during April 2018’s General Conference. In speaking of those changes, President Nelson has been reported recently of saying that "it was as a snowflake in a snowstorm, compared to the changes that are to come."

Elder Bednar has also been reported of saying a similar thing – that while the changes during last April’s General Conference were monumental, “You have only seen one snowflake in the blizzard to come”

Elder Holland has also been heard of using the catchy phrase that the changes from the last conference were like a snowflake in a snowstorm when compared to that which is to come.

I am not going to add to the already existing rumors floating on the internet on what those changes might be...  But instead post a 7 day weather forecast for the Salt Lake Valley of the upcoming "snow storm" of changes that will be announced this weekend.


However, I am interested to see if the Church will change how they handle seating for General Conference. They might continue what they did up in Seattle a few weeks ago.  The Church gave out  "#Follow the Prophet" wristbands to be worn by those who get preferred seating. Those who wore the purple wristbands a few weeks ago in Seattle were able to sit in the premiere box stadium seats to listen to President Nelson who delivered his address at the second base in Safeco Field





------------------------------------------

Sidenote:
Speaking about snow. I actually love the snow.. however I am not a huge fan of "snowjobs" 
A snowjob is a effort to make someone believe something by saying things that are not true. 

On September 9, 2018, Elder Quentin L. Cook hosted a Face to Face event for young adults where he and two Church historians, Sister Kate Holbrook and Brother Matt Grow, answered questions focused on Church history from young adults around the world.
This afternoon I watched a few minutes the broadcast: Here is the link: Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults: A Face to Face Event with Elder Cook.


For the record I have not listened to the entire broadcast, so hopefully he eventually corrects himself later in the devotional. At the Time stamp of 22:19. This is what Elder Cooks says:

"One of my favorite accounts in here (holding up the Saints book) is the story of Addison Pratt going to the South Pacific. He was sent down to the South Pacific, they called it the Society Islands, its French Polynesia now and he was down there in the Austral Islands. He was successful. He had about 60 baptisms and toward the end of his mission when everybody was leaving Nauvoo, his wife Louisa and their four children instead of going to Utah, she joined him down in French Polynesia with their four daughters."


I am not sure who wrote script to be read by Elder Cook and/or revised the history about Addison Pratt and Louisa Barnes Pratt but she did cross the plains and went to Utah.

It is not hard to find online that this story is false. From the BYU Religious Studies Center article:  Louisa Barnes Pratt: Self-Reliant Missionary Wife

"No one exemplifies the term missionary wife better than Louisa. She cared for four daughters during her husband’s absence of over five years, during which time she took her family across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley on her own."
"Her greatest joy came, though, when, a week after entering the Salt Lake Valley, Addison Pratt arrived by way of California. She and Addison had been separated for five years and four months"
__________________________________________________________________


And from the Biography of Louisa Barnes Pratt written by S. George Ellsworth this is the short summary on Amazon.com 

"Converting to the LDS Church, the Pratts moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, from where Brigham Young sent Addison on the first of the long missions to the Society Islands that would leave Louisa on her own. As a sole available parent, she hauled her children west to Winter Quarters, to Utah in 1848, to California, and, in Addison's wake, to Tahiti in 1850."












_________________________________________________________________________

I know that this really is not that important, but with such great effort that has been put into the new "Saints" book as our Church History,  I am not sure why this contradictory to historical records was one of Elder Cook's favorite accounts.

To be fair, Loisa Pratt did eventually go down to the islands but she first crossed the plains with her four daughters and after her arrival into the Salt Lake Valley, her husband joined her in Salt Lake City. As a family they all went down to the islands much later.. TOGETHER.  

Friday, September 21, 2018

454: ESSENTIAL MISSING PARTS


This is the second of seven videos in the Christian Restoration videos currently being created. The timing of the delayed release of Part 2: Essential Missing Parts is interesting due to the current battle with the LDS Church's publicly getting involved in the Prop 2 campaign.

I agree with Thomas Jefferson and Roger Williams, both featured in the video about the importance of separation between Church and State.


Sidenote: Tomorrow is officially the Fall Equinox. It is important time of year. It begins the harvest season.



One more sidenote.... latest development about Prop 2
Here is a billboard that was put up this week... and then taken down.. but was then put back up today in downtown Salt Lake.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/09/20/mystery-surrounds-who/

Billboards quoting Mormon scripture to support medical marijuana initiative reappear after temporary removal

Monday, September 17, 2018

453: ZION IS NOT FOR ME.

Preface: A few years ago, a friend of mine wrote a blog post that went viral. It was entitled,  Marriage isn't for you. It is a must read for anyone getting reading to get married. Using that same theme.. I have named this blog post.. Zion is not for me.

 ......

As the Prophet Joseph Smith observed, “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; … it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory [of Zion] … a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.”


Zion is not for me.

... nor is it for you. 

Zion is for the "we" and for the "us"

Zion is not only a location, but it is a diverse group of people that are of one heart and one mind. It is a rare thing.. and you can count with one hand how many times it has occured in the history of the world. All the powers of darkness will make sure that it does not happen. It is almost impossible to achieve. 

But I have hope. I believe that Zion can happen for Us.

The strength of Zion comes from the unity of the community and not the strength of the individual.

If I ever want to be considered to live amongst a group of people that are of one heart and one mind I need to remember that Zion is not for my wants and my needs, nor is it about your wants and needs.. but it is about OUR needs and OUR wants... 

Our Need to become a Zion people is to learn how to Honor God. We have been commanded by the Lord to Teach our Children to Honor God. 

Few understand what it means to truly Honor God.

What does that mean? I have recently been given a profound definition of what it means to Honor God. To honor God means to Follow His Command with Alacrity.

Since my vocabulary is limited, I did not know the definition of the word 'alacrity.'

Alacrity means to briskly accomplish a task and with enthusiasm.

Too often we delay, postpone, put off, procrastinate, and hinder in the work that the Lord asks us to do. I am guilty of laziness, reluctance, apathy and hestitance.

I need to repent. It is time to complete the task and the commands He has given us.

I want to Honor God.. and follow His commands with Alacrity. 

---------------------------
  




Sunday, September 2, 2018

452: REMEMBERING THE COVENANT .... ONE YEAR LATER


Tomorrow is Labor Day. It is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. Fall begins and we enter into the Harvest Season.

This Labor Day also happens to be the one year anniversary of when the Covenant was given on September 03, 2017. The below video has been created to commemorate that event.

 

 "Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye in my vineyard for the last time—
for the last time call upon the inhabitants of the earth." 
D&C 43: 28
...

"Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, 
that we might persuade them to come  unto Christ, 
and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest," 
Jacob 1:7
...

"The spirit of God is withdrawing from the world. Men are increasingly more angry without good cause. The hearts of men are waxing cold...

Language of scriptures gives a description of the events now underway and calls it the end of the times of the gentiles. This process with the spirit withdrawing, will end on this continent, as it did with two prior civilization in fratricidal and genocidal warfare. For the rest of the world, it will be as in the days of Noah in which, as that light becomes eclipsed, the coldness of men’s hearts is going to result in a constant scene of violence and bloodshed. The wicked will destroy the wicked.

The covenant, if it is kept, will prevent you from losing light and warmth of heart as the spirit now steadily recedes from the world. The time will come when you will be astonished at the gulf between the light and truth you will comprehend and the darkness of mind of the world.

Be charitable and patient and labor to reach others. They will judge you harshly, but nevertheless be kind to them. They are going to grow to fear you, but that’s only part of how darkness responds to light. Give them no reason to fear you. The time will come for us to gather, but between now and then, be leaven. Preserve the world. Be salt.

Preserve the world, even if it hates you"

 From the Closing remarks at the Covenant of Christ Conference on September 3, 2017

..

Monday, August 27, 2018

451: EXERCISING CONTROL: Email sent urging LDS Members to vote "NO" on Prop2

THEN:
"We do not tell them how to vote, 
and we do not tell the government how it
should be run."
President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1996.



 NOW:
 "We urge voters of Utah to vote NO on Proposition 2" 
 Official Church Announcement sent via email to members of the Church on August 23, 2018
 .........


TO URGE: to force or impel in an indicated direction or into motion or greater speed 


Below is the email I received last week:


Some facts:
    1.  Out of all 50 US States, Utah had the Seventh-Highest Drug Overdose Rate in the US between 2013 and 2015
    2. The LDS Church owns over 1 billion dollars in big pharma stocks.
    3. Cannabis is natures medicine and it can alleviate suffering from so many medical conditions
    4. Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves.




    Friday, August 24, 2018

    450: 28 YEARS LATER.. FINALLY! GETTING IN HARMONY WITH THE LORD'S WILL

    Almost 30 years ago a talk was given by Russel M Nelson in the 1990 April General Conference.  It was entitled "Thus Shall My Church Be Called" Below is the link as well as some excerpts from the talk. 




    April 1990 Russell M. Nelson


    "Today I would like to speak about a name. We are all pleased when our names are pronounced and spelled correctly. Sometimes a nickname is used instead of the real name. But a nickname may offend either the one named or the parents who gave the name.
    The name of which I shall speak is not a personal name, yet the same principles apply. I refer to a name given by the Lord: “Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (D&C 115:4.)
    Note carefully the language of the Lord. He did not say, “Thus shall my church be named.” He said, “Thus shall my church be called.” Years ago, its members were cautioned by the Brethren who wrote: “We feel that some may be misled by the too frequent use of the term ‘Mormon Church.’” (Member-Missionary Class—Instructor’s Guide, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982, p. 2.) Before any other name is considered to be a legitimate substitute, the thoughtful person might reverently consider the feelings of the Heavenly Parent who bestowed that name.
    He issued this solemn warning: “Let all men beware how they take my name in their lips.” “Remember,” He added, “that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care.” (D&C 63:61, 64.) Therefore, just as we revere His holy name, we likewise revere the name that He decreed for His church.
    As members of His church, we are privileged to participate in its divine destiny. May we so honor Him who declared, “Thus shall my church be called … The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

    --------------------------------

    I find it interesting that six months later in the October 1990 General Conference, President Gordon B Hinckley spoke and admended the things that Russel M Nelson said about not using the term Mormon. Here is the link with excerpts from the talk below:
    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/mormon-should-mean-more-good?lang=eng


    October 1990 The Prophet, President Gordon B Hinckley
    "Many of our people are disturbed by the practice of the media, and of many others, to disregard totally the true name of the Church and to use the nickname “the Mormon Church.”
    Six months ago in our conference Elder Russell M. Nelson delivered an excellent address on the correct name of the Church. He quoted the words of the Lord Himself:
    “Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (D&C 115:4.)
    I suppose that regardless of our efforts, we may never convert the world to general use of the full and correct name of the Church. Because of the shortness of the word Mormon and the ease with which it is spoken and written, they will continue to call us the Mormons, the Mormon church, and so forth.
    I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that when people speak of us by the name of this book, they will compliment us, if we will live worthy of the name, remembering that in a very real sense Mormonism must mean that greater good which the Lord Jesus Christ exemplified. I so pray in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
    _______________________________________

    Fast forward almost 30 years later.
    President Nelson states here:
    "The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will."

    According to President Nelson, the Church has been out of harmony with the Lord's will for a really long time since we have being using the term Mormon. 

    Good thing the Lord impressed this upon President Nelson mind last week. 
    “The president has spoken, the Lord has spoken to the president,” he said, “and this is going to be an extended, multi-year effort — but this will not be something that will be attempted and then pulled back from.”
    Above is a direct quote by Elder Anderson printed in the Deseret News


    So which is it? either Hinckley was right or now Nelson is right.

    One could observe that Nelson has been preoccupied or obsessed with an idea of his dislike of the term Mormon for many years and finally gets to call the shots now.I don't think God changes.. but this is one more example of a current prophet contradicting a past prophet.

    or on the otherhand.. the Lord was preparing President Nelson 28 years ago about not using the term Mormon and the Lord has waited patiently to be able to press this upon his prophets mind now to finally do something about... and be in harmony with His will.

    --------------


    Friday, August 17, 2018

    449: IMPRESSIONS vs REVELATION.... THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!




    Publically claiming the impressions that come to your mind as revelation could potentially be taking the Lord's name in vain.  Taking the name of the Lord in vain has been misunderstood. It is not swearing by saying the G**  or L*** words, but rather it is when one claims to speak for the Lord when they do not. Attributing something to God without His authority or authorization is the definition of taking the Lord’s name in vain. In addition, whenever someone proclaims their own agenda in the name of the Lord they are taking His name in vain.


    Thursday, August 16, 2018

    448: CHANGING THE NAME OF THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR TO "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS TABERNACLE CHOIR" ?

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced today the new style guidelines for referring to the Church, asking people to avoid using terms such as “LDS Church” and “Mormon Church.”

    President Russell M Nelson official statement/revelation: 
    "The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church. even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months'
    It appears that President Nelson has received "revelation" to no longer use the term "Mormon Church or LDS Church." After hearing this news, someone commented "The Lord is revealing really important stuff."

    Ironically this official statement from the Church is on the mormonnewsroom.org website and lds.org

    The official statement continues to read as follows:
    On first reference, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is preferred, according to the Church’s Newsroom site. “The Church,” “Church of Jesus Christ” and the “restored Church of Jesus Christ” are acceptable as abbreviated names.
    Members of the Church should be referred to as "members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" or "Latter-day Saints,” not “Mormons,” according to Newsroom.

    Keeping with the new guidelines and to follow the prophet's impressions that came to his mind, I wonder what the new name of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be, since we now need to avoid the term "Mormon"...

    I guess some options are call them:
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tabernacle Choir
    • The Church's Choir
    • The Restored Church of Jesus Christ's Choir 
    •  or maybe "Jesus Christ's Tabernacle Choir "
    -------------------


    Speaking about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir..(or whatever they will be called from now on)

    A few weeks ago the State of Utah observed the 24th of July, a state holiday to commemorate the Mormon pioneers arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.  As part of the events of that week, my wife and I attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Concert. Below is the printed program cover. 




    I was surprised at how little the cover resembled anything like something that would be honoring the pioneers or celebrating the 24th of July. The program looked alot more "Hollywood-like." I found it interesting that they would use on the cover the Conference Center with the spotlights to almost mimic iconic buildings found in Hollywood with the movie spotlights used at  red carpet premieres. 
    What ever happened to the covered wagons and oxen? Maybe now those are too cliche.

    Cool summer nights under Hollywood lights is way more exciting to celebrate our Mormon Pioneers.. I mean the ..."Latter-day Saint" Pioneers. 


    Historically, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Program was to honor the Mormon Pioneers. However, this year the Choir honored different kind of pioneers. They honored the theatrical "pioneers" of Rodgers and Hammerstein. With the exception of the one song which has the famous chorus words of "all is well, All is Well",  all of the songs performed that night were Broadway hits.  The guest soloist who was invited to sing with the choir was Matthew Morrison, the TV star of the hit show Glee. He is an Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award nominee. 




    I am reminded of a talk given by M Russell Ballard in 2003 entitled "Let Our Voices Be Heard"

    "Each year the new shows seem to get worse, pushing the envelope of what the public will accept. What comes out of Hollywood, and off the internet and in much of today's music creates a web of decadence that can trap our children and endanger all of us."

    So I wonder whose idea it was to invite the TV star of  Glee, one of the most LGBT friendly TV shows and have a Hollywood/Broadway theme for our annual Pioneer Day Concert.  


    Tuesday, August 7, 2018

    447: GARNISHED AND WITH MISREPRESENTATION - THE NEW "SUMMARIZED" 13 ARTICLES OF FAITH

    The LDS Church has published a new version of the 13 Articles of Faith on their website www.mormon.org. It is a summarized and shortened version of the original Articles of Faith written by Joseph Smith. Not sure why the need to summarize the summary of the Church Beliefs that all Primary children have to memorize by the time they reach of age of 12.

    Apparently the original 13 Articles of Faith was too long or too wordy that the Church felt they need to shorten it. However, in doing so, they have "garnished and misrepresented" what Joseph Smith wrote back in 1842.

     Joseph Smith made it very clear that the Articles of Faith and the entire Wentworth Letter should NOT be altered. They were to be printed word for word, ungarnished and without misrepresention.

    Joseph Smith wrote on March 1, 1842.—

    "At the request of Mr. John Wentworth, editor and proprietor of the Chicago Democrat, I have written the following sketch of the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-day Saints, of which I have the honor, under God, of being the founder. Mr. Wentworth says that he wishes to furnish Mr. Bastow [Barstow], a friend of his, who is writing the history of New Hampshire, with this document. As Mr. Bastow has taken the proper steps to obtain correct information, all that I shall ask at his hands is that he publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation"

    And yet, the LDS Church has now taken the liberty to reduce, edit, add to and change the meaning of some of the Articles of Faith. Here is a screenshot of Church's Website:





    I have done a side by side comparison of the Original Articles of Faith (left) to the new Revised Articles of Faith (right) and have highlighted only a few of the additions and garnishings.

    One of the biggest additions is the insertion of 'confirmation' into the Church as being necessary for salvation. The Fourth Article of Faith has been changed in this summary. Apparently in this new "summary" - Faith, Repentance, Baptism and Receiving the Holy Ghost in NOT enough for salvation but you now need to be confirmed a member of the Church as well. See below as well as other changes to the Articles of Faith.

    One of the biggest deletions that probably makes me the saddest is the changes to Article Faith # 7. As you can see below, the Gift of Tongues, Prophecy,  Visions, Interpretions of Tongues  have all been removed.

    Please look over and compare the two version. It is one thing to just summarize, but it is another to add to and change the meaning.