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Thursday, September 22, 2016

381: FALL EQUINOX 2016



Fall Equinox starts on September 22, 2016 at 8:21 a.m here in Utah. Below is a photo that I just took up in the mountains. Despite everything starting to die, the gold leaves of the aspen are brilliant right now in the upper elevations of the mountains. There is an aspen tree grove called Pando in southern Utah  (Latin for "I spread") which is said to be the single largest living organism in the world because of the massive underground root system. While the grove of trees appear to be hundreds of single trees, they are united together because of the roots. In essence, the trees are of one heart and one mind. Zion.









Wednesday, September 21, 2016

380: ARE WE ROBBING THE POOR BECAUSE OF OUR FINE SANCTUARIES?


It is a marriage with the sacred and the secular. Quite the odd couple in my opinion.  Build a temple along with shopping malls and luxury apartments?

The Philadelphia Temple was dedicated a few days ago and if you can afford $2,500.00 dollars in rent each month you can live across the street and the Church can be your landlord. The Alexander is a newest high rise apartment structure that the Church has built and it is billed as a 'luxury' building complete with an indoor pool, exercise room and other amenities. A two-bedroom apartment will run about $2,500 per month, which is the going rate for such in the neighborhood now. The first two stories will feature shops such as boutiques and bakeries, drugstores and dry cleaners. It looks a lot like City Creek 2.0.

Architecture Rendering



Here is a 3D model animation of the Temple and the High Rise Building that will house shopping and luxury apartments.




Above is a photo of President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, crossing the street near the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple on September 17, 2016. Instead of playing a Mormon Monopoly game,  why aren't we housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

379: DOES THE DIRECTION WE ARE FACING MATTER?

According to scripture, at the Second Coming the Savior will come from the east (see Matthew 24:27). The Church’s guideline concerning placement of the angel Moroni figures is that where possible, they should face eastward.

Below is a photo of the Meridian Temple in Idaho that is currently under construction. On a recent trip to Idaho, we drove past it to see the progress. Angel Moroni has now been set in place on top of the Temple. I was surprised to see that Moroni is facing South with his trump pointing directly Southwest. The decision for the new orientation is for athetics so it aligns with the front entrance to the Temple. (see below the information on Angel Moroni that is posted in the Visitors Center)





This is not the first time that the orientation of Angel Moroni has been altered. Originally, the figure on the Los Angeles Temple was placed facing southwest, the same direction the temple faced, but the figure’s orientation was adjusted to face due east upon instructions from President David O. McKay.
I wonder if we eventually see the same adjustment made to the Meridian Temple.


NEXT BLOG POST WILL BE ABOUT THIS:
 Another City Creek?
PHILADELPHIA TEMPLE



Friday, September 16, 2016

378: TABLE ROCK HIKE IN BOISE, IDAHO

Last week, a group of 24 of us hiked in the early morning hours to the top of Table Rock.  Table Rock is a mountain pillar located just south-east of downtown Boise, Idaho. This beautiful natural rock was sacred to the Northern Shoshone tribe, who used the high plateau as a ceremonial meeting place. In 1959, an illuminated 60 foot cross was erected that stands on top of Table Rock. The cross can be seen from the entire valley and serves as a beacon and a symbol of “faith, moral values and integrity” for those who live in Boise.

Shortly after midnight on June 30, 2016 a fire erupted on Table Rock burning everything around the entire mountain destroying over 2,500 acres. Below is photo and video of the fire. You can see how quickly the fire spread by watching the entire video.






The trailhead begins at the Old Penitentiary, a historic jail that sits at base of the mountain. This prison held Idaho's most notorious criminals but is not longer in use. We meet there around 6:00 AM. and had prayer before we began our ascent. It was still very dark but we could see the illuminated cross as it glows brightly in the early morning hours before sunrise. 


Before the sunrise, we reached the west end of Table Rock summit. We looked over the city as well as the graffiti which was previously left by others how have little respect for nature.  Instead of staying on the west side where the cross is located, we turned around and hiked to the opposite side of Table Rock to face the sun before it rose. There on the east end is a living tree that was not burned by the fire. We gathered together, prayed and sang hymns.



We waited individually for the sun to come up as a new day began. While it looked imminent that the sun was about to rise, it took longer than expected, but we patiently waited.

The sun in all it brilliance, warmth and glory rose from the dark and black mountains. I saw a large cottontail scurry past me, a reminder of rebirth, and a symbol of Easter when we observe the Risen Lord from the grave. It is no coincidence that on the west side (representing death, the world etc stand the 60 foot cross and on the east side was signs of new life, a beautiful living tree and a cottontail. 





Descending the mountain with sun now up, we could see the burned and scorched trees and bushed. However, at the base of the once living plants, is new growth. Such is the cycle of life not only in the physical world but spiritually as well. 







Additional Photos: The burned landscape around the Table Rock in Boise Idaho.


 This is taken from within the Old Penitentiary Building. Despite it being a prison, they have tried to beautify the area. If you look close through the center window of the rock wall  you can see the cross on top of Table Rock. Below is a zoomed up photo.


If you look closely, you can see people on top of Table Rock near the 60 foot cross.



While these photos might not mean alot to others, it has alot of significance for me. I experienced them prior to a talk that was given that the speaker shared the following experience:

"I recently had a vision that began as a dream. In it I was traveling in a small car up a mountain road. The road was steep, but straight, and it grew steeper as it climbed upward. On the left side of the road there was a railroad track running parallel. As we drove the small car upward, I noticed a sharp bend in the railroad tracks ahead that interrupted the otherwise straight course of the line. I saw a train approaching from uphill in the distance coming downhill rapidly, and it seemed to be going far too fast to safely negotiate the sharp bend in the tracks. The small car we drove was not quite to the bend when the rushing train hit the bend, leapt from the tracks and violently crashed in front of us. Our little car narrowly escaped a collision, as the train’s wreckage spread about. As the small car continued upward, the train crash worsened, at first beside the car, and then as we accelerated, closely behind us. The little car got ahead of the continuing wreck of the moving train, and I could see the train was full of passengers who, uphill from the wreckage, were enjoying themselves. They were paying no attention to the disaster already befalling their train. We began to shout out the windows of our car, trying to warn the occupants in the doomed train, but they gave no heed. They laughed and partied aboard the train with no concern for their impending destruction. I could see the wreckage behind me in the mirror as the violence of the wreck threw shattered railcars about, some onto the road behind us, making the road now impassable. We  were powerless to save those aboard the train because they would not hear the warnings we shouted to them. As we reached the top of the mountain, the last of the train went by, and I stopped the little car. We got out and stood in the roadway looking down the mountain and watched as the last of the train was destroyed. While mourning over the many lives that had been lost, I awoke from the dream and sat up on my bed, but the vision continued. I next saw in the distance, beyond the wreckage, an overpowering flood, as if it was a great fire, consuming and destroying all the country coming from the east. Although we had survived the train wreck, it appeared certain we would all be killed in the coming flood. I looked about for any sign of hope we might survive, and noticed beside the roadway a great rock with an opening. I led the small party to the rock and discovered the opening was for a cavern that went upward within the shelter of the rock. We entered the cave, and climbed upward. Inside the cavity of the rock, our small group waited as the flood approached, unsure whether we would live or die. The noise of the destruction outside was deafening as the flood approached, and then the opening of the cavern went black and we were left in complete silence and darkness. We waited. In a few moments the light returned but silence remained. After a few more moments our small group emerged from the rock’s cavern to see what had transpired with the world. The scene of destruction was astounding. The entire landscape was transformed. It was destroyed. The wrecked train, the tracks and the road had all been consumed. Everything appeared barren. Then suddenly new life began to spring forth in the widespread desolation. Barren trunks brought out new limbs, blossoms and leaves. Flowers sprang from the earth. As we watched, the earth was quickly transformed, and in a short time the denuded desolation was full of life, beauty and fertility much greater than before the flood of  fire had destroyed the landscape."
...............................................................


I experience and saw the remains of an all encompassing fire, I climbed to the top of mountain. I saw through a small opening of a rock area the symbol of Christ. I saw the barren trunk of trees bringing  forth new life. I was amazing to not only hear the above dream/vision on Sunday. but to personally see and experience alot of these important symbols on this hike the day before. 

.........................................


Sidenote Addendum : 
Within a month of the iconic Table Rock mountain in Boise catching on fire, 
Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City which is our iconic mountain also caught on fire. I find it interesting that both cities with iconic and religious  monuments at top would both burn in the same summer all within about a month of each other.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

377: FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST


Video created that was shown at the Doctrine of Christ conference in Boise, Idaho.
September 9-11, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

376: THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH WE LIVE

 A friend of mine sent me a video a few weeks ago taken from a security camera at Utah Lake's marina. The video is uneventful for the first 15 seconds, but you will then see a huge mass of alga sweep into the marina. 

My friend  pointed out that no one even notices…they just keep coming and going totally unaware….you can see swimmers, parasailers, and paddle boarders in the distance totally oblivious to the danger.  It’s all very subtle change until you use a time-lapse camera. I find the video to be extremely symbolic.

Most are not aware that some of the lakes in the state of Utah have been contaminated this summer with this algae that contains a cyanobacteria which has left fish, wildlife and birds dead along the shores.  Utah Poison Control continues to receive numerous calls reporting illnesses associated with exposure to the contaminated water.

Yesterday, the Scofield reservoir, a popular place to fish has been closed due to the pollution of this cyanobacteria. Payson Lakes on the Nebo Loop Road have been posted with warning signs urging visitors to stay out of the water due to algal blooms there.

 Lincoln Beach on Utah Lake's southeastern shore has been closed since July 15.

Cyanbacteria monitoring efforts continues as state environmental officials try and get  handle on what the largest algal bloom in Utah's history means for Utah water quality. The concern has been that the algae bloom originating in Utah Lake has affected the Jordan River and other downstream systems. Because farmers use Utah Lake and the Jordan River to irrigate their crops. the state Department of Agriculture and Food has advised against using potentially contaminated water for crops, and advised residents to avoid eating produce watered with secondary water sourced from Utah Lake or the Jordan River. Cyanobacteria toxins may accumulate in plant tissues, according to the DEQ.

The effects of stagnation, heat and pollution are reasons that cause this toxic environment. The results of stagnation and pollution are not just found in water. We can see the effect in our personal spiritual lives as well. If we aren't continuing to learn, grow and study.. and/or learn incorrect doctrine we could be living in a spiritual toxic environment. Imagine if we could somehow do a rapid time-lapse view of all the changes that have happened in our religious institutions over the last 177 years? Possibly more people could see the stagnation and false ideas ("pollution" that have gradually creeped into our belief system and be shocked. Unfortunately like the above video shows, we continue to believe All is well like it is another day at the beach.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

375: NEW THOMAS S MONSON CENTER UNVEILED

A newly renovated South Temple mansion in downtown Salt Lake was unveiled today and it will now be known as the Thomas S Monson Center. The building will be used to host dignitaries, symposiums, wedding receptions, and other public and private events.The $10 million renovation was covered by private contributions from several sources, including the LDS Church. Other contributors to the renovation include Zions Bank, American Express, KSL Broadcast Group and the Deseret News.

President Monson, along with his counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and President Russell M. Nelson and M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle, attended the unveiling ceremony. President Eyring spoke at the gala today and said "The church looks forward to the center becoming a "source of enlightenment" for the people of Utah and the world."

The mansion, completed in 1912, was the residence of copper mining magnate Enos A. Wall. The LDS Church bought the mansion in 1962 to house LDS Business College. In 2014 the Church donated the building to the University of Utah and in a formal ceremony today the renovated building was rededicated as the Thomas S. Monson Center.























Another day in the life of a prophet of God.

Monday, August 8, 2016

374: RAINBOW AFTER THE STORM


Spent the past weekend in the mountains down in Southern Utah. Here are a few photos.
I am grateful for the rainbow after the storm. For the sunrise after a long night and a place of refuge in the wilderness mountains.







Saturday, July 23, 2016

373: FIRE

 Woke up early yesterday morning and headed up North. Before the sun came up, I looked up into the east sky and the color of clouds were turning fire red. Later that day as I was driving back home, there was a brush fire that was approaching a small community of homes. "Fire" in the sky.. fire on the earth.


All of us experience firestorms in our life. Fire destroys, but it can also sanctify.
Here are some lyrics to a song called "Eye of the Storm". The music video is below.

When the solid ground is falling out, from underneath my feet,
Between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see
And when I’m feeling like I’ve let down by my friends and my family, I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When my hopes and dreams are far from me, and I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus' name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When they let me go and I just don’t know how I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best now I’d scared to death that we might lose everything
And when a sickness takes my child away, and there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You, I trust you Lord

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm


 Here is the video.






Sidenote: Below are a few photos that I took this past week where I have felt peace in the middle of my own firestorms. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

372: WOULD YOU RATHER....

As a family we like to play the game.. "Would You Rather".  It is game that consists of asking each other questions that requires a choice between two options. You can learn a lot about someone by whether they choose either "this" or "that". You can ask questions between two good options like “Would you rather have the power to be invisible or to be able to fly”, or it can be two bad options like “Would you rather lose your job or lose your hair?

So I pose this question.. would you rather spend a few hours on top of a mountain, or along the beach on the ocean. While I am more of a mountain guy, I actually love the ocean. The best hours of the day are the early morning hours before the sun comes up. Either way, whether you are up in the mountains or walking along the beach, there is nothing like connecting with Heaven when you are alone in God's creations.

Below are a few photos taken last week along Crystal Cove Beach.





Sidenote:

A question that I would love to ask my family, friends, neighbors and ward members:

Would you rather know the truth even if it might be troublesome, or continue in ignorance and be happy?

Unfortunately, my guess is that most would choose the latter.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

371: LIGHTNING STRIKE



  As reported on KSL news, the LDS Church operated news channel:

"A lightning strike damaged the Angel Moroni statue atop the Bountiful Temple on Sunday afternoon.

LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed that lightning struck the statue but did not the know the extent of the damage.

Photos emailed to KSL from people in the area show part of statue's head missing and a hole in the back. One of them estimated the lightning hit at 2:12 p.m. Sunday."



I always thought growing up as a kid that the statue of Moroni on top of all the temples was a solid gold statue. While still impressive, I can see now that after lightning struck the Bountiful Temple that the iconic statue is actually hollow, most likely made out of fiberglass with a gold shiny veneer finish.
 

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

370: WE LEARN MORE WHEN WE STRUGGLE

My perspective on this world is that we learn more when we struggle. We are more humble when we have less, and depend more on the Lord when we face challenges, setbacks and failures.  There would be no reason to come into this mortal existence if everything went smoothly and we had no need to struggle . . . Things that matter more to me is that I have loving, supportive wife and friends and family that would do anything for our family.

This life is not meant to be a Disneyland vacation.

Monday, May 9, 2016

369: BAPTISMAL QUESTIONS

In the Book of Mormon there is a list of Baptismal Questions that Alma asked all those who wanted to be baptized. We read the questions in Mosiah chapter 18.
  • Are you desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people?
  • Are you willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light?
  • Are you willing to mourn with those that mourn?
  • Are you willing to comfort those that stand in need of comfort?
  • Are you willing to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal lie?
  • Now, If this be the desires of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
How beautiful it is to want to bear one another's burdens, to mourn with those who mourn, and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I wish some of these same questions from the scriptures were asked today to the baptismal candidate  

 
In comparison, here is the list of LDS Baptismal Questions that we ask today.
  • Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father?
  • Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
  • Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? 
  • Do you believe that President Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
  • What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
  • Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? 
  • Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?
  • Are you willing to obey the law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman?
  • Are you willing to obey the law of tithing.
  • Are you willing to obey the Word of Wisdom.
  • Are you willing to obey the Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.
  • When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life.  
  • Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?
Recently a new question has been added to this list which involves making sure that the one who wants to be baptized does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.
 
We read the list of the Lords baptismal requirements in 3 Nephi 11:32-41. It is a simple list:
 
  • Believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Repent.
  • Become as a little child.
The Lord further explains that, "whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them."

Yesterday, there was an ad in the front page section of the Denver Post for those who seek to be baptized without institutional requirements or restraints. Here is how the ad appeared in the paper (highlighted below)

 



To see the full ad. Here is the LINK




Friday, May 6, 2016

368: THE LAST THING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE


 
The following was a short talk given by a close friend of mine:

I'd like to talk about the big picture. Too often we get caught in the details of life and we don't see the big picture; the big picture of why we are here, why our eyes are opened and why we have such a burning desire to know the truth and serve the Savior.

We live in the end times, the last days. These are the last days of the end of the world. In reading Nibley's book, Approaching Zion, Nibley says there is only one thing is left to do, only one thing that needs to happen, and that's to gather to Zion.  
We read on page one in  Approaching Zion, speaking about the 10th Article of Faith:

            "Article 10 deals explicitly with our time and our space and sets forth the   steps by which God intends to consummate the great latter-day work. What is the consummation of the great latter-day work? The Return of Christ to usher in the millennium. "

Nibley goes on to say:

There are five steps (and this is the order):

(1) the literal gathering of Israel;      

(2) the restoration of the Ten Tribes (which is happening right now though we have no knowledge of it here);

(3) the building of Zion upon this the American continent: (and that will usher in)

(4) Christ's personal reign upon the earth; and

(5) the renewal of the earth in its paradisiacal glory.



So let's talk about this gathering. What is the purpose in gathering?  and what was the object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world?
Page 307-8 of The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith says:
The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.
 
What are the ordinances for? Ordinances do two things. They bestow knowledge and the teach you how to communicate with the heavens. The ordinances teach you how to open the heavens. What is the purpose of opening the heavens? To bring down the Lord. The whole purpose of the prayer circle is to summon the Lord.

You have to have a temple for the Savior and the Hosts of heaven to return. You have to open a nexus point, a connection between heaven and earth for the Lord to return. So the whole purpose of gathering is to build a temple, open the heavens and summon the Lord and start the millennium.

In a blog post entitled How to Fail  asks the questions:

·         What if the Lord were to give the opportunity to build Zion?

·         What if the Lord wanted it to happen now?  

·         What would be done differently than was done by those who went before and failed?

The post goes on to say how they failed how there were jarrings and contentions. We all know the story. And then concludes with this:

            “It is easy to fail. Just gather people who will contend with each other and there will be failure EVERY time. It makes sense to try something new rather than repeat the pattern that will never work. First, provide an opportunity for those who are interested to display who they are, whether they can live peaceably with others. Once we know one another’s hearts then the Lord can gather only those who will avoid contentions, jealousies, strifes, envyings, and jarring. Like the pattern in Abraham, first men are “proven” and then they are gathered, or spared.

So let's talk about this gathering. What do we know about the gathering?

First off, you have to be invited. You just don't volunteer. You don't just show up. You have to have an invitation.

D&C 77: 9 -11 talks about the angels gathering the righteous.
            "The angels to whom it is given power over the nations of the earth to bring as many as will come to the Church of the Firstborn."

And there is our sermon for today...as many as will come. Well, who wouldn't want to come? To answer that, the Lord gives us the story of the certain man who made a great supper.

Luke 14: 16-21, 24, 26

            A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:  And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. ( So the context is the supper is ready, just come and come now.) And they all with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Why didn't the people who received the invitation want to attend? Business, family ties, etc. We look at these people and we think: "How foolish of them not to attend the party!" and we easily judge them. 

But wait a minute.  What if this was not just a party for an evening, but the Certain Man is asking you to come not for just for a couple of hours, but come permanently and live with him for good. Drop everything and come, and come to stay because you're not going back to your home.  Remember the context...everything is ready, you are invited to come, and you are to come now.

What does that mean? To you men it means to abandon your job, everything you've worked for and built up, the people who depend on you, your retirement, your investments, everything you've worked so hard to make. To you women it means to abandon your friends. Abandon your family, say goodbye because you're not coming back. Can you leave your grandchildren? Can you leave your home and all your nice things? Can you leave all your comforts, your comfortable lifestyle?  Can you just walk away?

The invitation is to leave everything you have and come, and come to stay, you are not going back.  That's the invitation.

Now how excited are you about the invitation? Now how excited are you about receiving the angel or receiving the dream that summons you?

I wrestle with this terribly. My wife's a non-believer. I would have to abandon her and my helpless autistic son. Without me and my income...they are in poverty and would perish. Literally, without my income they are out on the street. I've spent 32 years with this woman. Hard to throw it all away, especially if my leaving would hurt my helpless, dependent son.

There must be an easier way, right?  Surely the Lord makes exceptions. No...there is not an easier way. Christ anticipates my very dilemma in the very next verse when he says:

            If any man (or woman) come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and spouse, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
 
There is no easier way.
 
THE INVITATION:

So let's talk about the invitation.

Let's assume you get the invitation. The angel comes and delivers your invitation. Will you have the option to say at that point. "Wow...okay...let me talk this over with my spouse and I'll get back to you." Is that how it works?

No... it's a "go" or "no go" answer. You don't have the option to say: "Let me think about it and I'll get back to you." The window of opportunity opens and closes with the initial offer.

You don't get asked a second time. The Lord doesn’t beg you to join him. He doesn't sent the servant around the second time to pick up the indecisive.  He offers and you either take him up on the offer or you don't.
The point is you have to make up your mind in advance.
 
Why am I bringing all this up?

The reason I'm bringing up this unpleasantness is to say this: The time is growing short. All too soon this is going to get real. If a true messenger is starting to say stuff like this, then the time is getting short and this is going to be all too real very soon, and you will have to make the decision. Better to understand what you are getting into now, than to say: "Sure, I'll go," and then when reality hits and you understand the cost to then back out.
 
So that's the big picture. That's what faces us. We live in the end times - the last days. These are the last days of the end of the world. There is only one thing is left to do and that's to gather to Zion. We are to build the temple, receive the ordinances, open the heavens and summon the Lord.
To do that, you need your invitation, and if and when the invitation comes you need to be willing to go.

In the original Greek, John 14:15 says: "If you love me, stand watch as a sentry awaiting my instructions." And then when the instructions comes, do it.

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

367: A SHIP UPSIDE DOWN.


photograph taken on May 1, 2016 of the Pine Valley Chapel in Southern Utah.

A year ago on May 1st, I wrote about MayDay. (Not to be confused with May Day, the holiday of Spring), but Mayday as the emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice communication.

The word, "MayDay" is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by aviators and mariners.  The call is always given three times in a row ("Mayday Mayday Mayday") to prevent its being mistaken for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions.

On this past Sunday, May 1st which was May Day, my family attended a church meeting in the historic Pine Valley Chapel in Southern Utah. Built in 1868, this building is the oldest meetinghouse in continuous use of the LDS Church. It was designed by a Scottish shipbuilder and LDS convert, Ebenezer Bryce  (who Bryce Canyon is named after). The construction of the chapel was built using techniques adopted from shipbuilding, and is basically an upside-down ship.

As the building was finished, Ebenezer Bryce was heard to remark, "If a flood should come, it would float and if a wind came strong enough to blow it over, it still would never crash to pieces."

If only our faith and testimonies were built as strong... so when the floods and wind come.. we would not crash to pieces and have to sound the distress Mayday, Mayday, Mayday call for help.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

366: REJECTING HIM FOR BEING TOO ROUGH?

 
 
Would we have shunned Christ?

365: SUBSTITUTE FOR MODERN-DAY REVELATION?

 
 
The above book written by Lewis Carroll must be an important book to read since our Prophet quoted from it instead of any scripture in the last General Conference. 
 
President Monson spoke for a total of 4 minutes during the four General Sessions of Conference. (not including the Priesthood Session). Below is his formal message to the members of the Church and to the world in general. No longer do we really quote scriptures especially from past prophets who actually saw our day and had warnings for us including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Mormoni, even Joseph Smith.. but now prefer to quote from fictional children book authors or current church leaders. The highlighted portion which is one third of his talk is about Alice in Wonderland.
 
Here is the entirely of his talk:
 
  • Now, brothers and sisters, I wish to express my gratitude for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you this morning. I have been thinking recently about choices. It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny.When we left our premortal existence and entered mortality, we brought with us the gift of agency. Our goal is to obtain celestial glory, and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal. Most of you are familiar with Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. As she contemplates which way to turn, she is confronted by the Cheshire Cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.” Unlike Alice, we know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life.  May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals. Although it is imperative that we choose wisely, there are times when we will make foolish choices. The gift of repentance, provided by our Savior, enables us to correct our course settings, that we might return to the path which will lead us to that celestial glory we seek. May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that choice—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice. That this may ever be so is my heartfelt and humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, amen.



Now, don't get me wrong, I think the message is interesting. Yes, it is even wise because if you don't know where we want to go, than it doesn't matter which path you follow. I often wonder what path we are headed down collectively as a Church.  But that is a different blogpost altogether.
But what I wanted to point out that I found it interesting is that this message is not new from President Monson. He has actually used almost the same words in seven previous conference talks. Here is the rundown of past conference talks he quotes Lewis Carroll. It is almost as if it was a copy and paste from talk to talk.

April 1995:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/04/a-time-to-choose?lang=eng

In Lewis Carroll’s delightful classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds herself coming to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path should I take?”
The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t really matter which path you take.”
Unlike Alice, each of you knows where you want to go. It does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life surely leads to the path we shall follow in the next. Choose carefully.
 
...........................................................................................................................................................
 
October 1995:
 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/10/who-honors-god-god-honors?lang=eng

As Lewis Carroll tells us, Alice was following a path through a forest in Wonderland when it divided into two directions. Standing irresolute, she inquired of the Cheshire Cat, which had suddenly appeared in a nearby tree, which path she should take. “Where do you want to go?” asked the cat.
“I don’t know,” said Alice.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
...........................................................................................................................................................

April 1999:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/04/your-celestial-journey?lang=eng  

As Lewis Carroll tells us in his well-known Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice was following a path through a forest in Wonderland when it divided in two directions. Standing irresolute, she inquired of the Cheshire cat, which had suddenly appeared in a nearby tree, which path she should take. “Where do you want to go?” asked the cat. 

“I don’t know,” said Alice. 

“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

We know where we want to go. Do we have the resolution—even the faith—to get there?
...........................................................................................................................................................

April 2002:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/04/pathways-to-perfection?lang=eng


In Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds herself coming to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire Cat, of whom she asks, “Which path shall I take?” 

The cat answers: “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t really matter which path you take!”

Unlike Alice, each of you knows where you want to go. It does matter which way you go, for the path you follow in this life leads to the path you will follow in the next.

...........................................................................................................................................................

October 2004:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/10/choose-you-this-day?lang=eng

Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”

The cat answers: “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life surely leads to the path we will follow in the next.

...........................................................................................................................................................

October 2010:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/the-three-rs-of-choice?lang=eng


Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”

The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.

...........................................................................................................................................................

April 2016:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/choices?lang=eng

Most of you are familiar with Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. As she contemplates which way to turn, she is confronted by the Cheshire Cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”

The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, we know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life.

...........................................................................................................................................................

That is over 7 Conference talks...

Here is a quote from the previous President of the Church Gordon B Hinckley from the following statement:

“How wonderful it is that we believe in modern revelation. I cannot get over the feeling that if revelation were needed anciently, when life was simple, that revelation is also needed today, when life is complex. There never was a time in the history of the earth when men needed revelation more than they need it now.” (President Gordon B Hinkley  May 29, 2004)

What a great statement. I completely agree..

"There never was a time in the history of the earth
when men needed revelation more than they need it now.”
 
So I ask the question,  is quoting from children's books which contains mind altering experiences and warped illusions considered what modern-day revelation sounds like?

and is this what is considered "continuous revelation"?

or maybe it is just that... a continuous repeat of the same story.