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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

12: "Yea, they have ALL gone out of the way; they have become corrupted."

photo taken from Temple Square of the new corporate headquarters for Deseret Book and Utah Woolen Mills flagship clothing store on June 23, 2011

The 28th chapter in 2 Nephi is about how many false churches will be built up in the last days. We tend to think that the true church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is immune from ANY of these bullet points below that describe the awful situation that the religious churches will find themselves. Here are a few of them.

  • Every church will say that they are the Lord's church.
  • They shall teach with their learning and own understanding.
  • They will say that  Lord has done his work and now given His power unto men.
  • Puffed up in their hearts.

However we read... THEY HAVE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY... and become CORRUPTED

BECAUSE OF:
  • because of pride, false teachers, and false doctrine.
  • and they rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries and of their FINE CLOTHING....
So basically ALL churches in the latter days have gone out of the way due to:

  • False Doctrine
  • Fine Clothing 
  • Expensive Buildings. 

Surely OUR church doesn't fit into any of these categories.

The photo above is taken from the Temple Square. They are new buildings which are part of the church's multi-billion dollar remodel to beautify the surrounding area of the temple. I find the photo to be significant and symbolic. 
  • Utah Woolen Mills does not sell Fine Clothing. (wait.. what is their tag line seen in the photo)
  • Deseret Book does not sell books containing False Doctrine. (wait.. does fictional stories of church history, vampires, or even commentaries by scholars contain any false doctrine?) 
  • We help the poor ( but wait... is the billions of dollars spent on these LDS buildings better served to adorn our buildings?)
Is the Book of Mormon really true? Did the Book of Mormon prophets see our day? Are they warning us, our church? Do we need to repent? Are we the Gentiles that will be sweep off? Important questions to answer honestly.

Yes...some things to think about ....but many will think we don't need to worry.. all is well.. JUST FTP!  
....

sidenote:
A biography was recently commissioned by one of our beloved leaders to be written about his life of service. It was then published by Deseret Book and then released during their peak of book sales at General Conference. But since then, sales have slowed. In order to boost sales, each book has now been personally autographed by the leader himself and available at Deseret Book's flagship store across from the SL Temple. If that wasn't enough incentive to purchase the book, a discount ticket to Lagoon, a local amusement park, is given upon purchase. It sound like is would be a great biography since the first line in the book reads.. "He is more Christlike than the rest of us. ...."

The book is now 20% off.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

11: NEVER BE LEAD ASTRAY

Our last Sunday School lesson was on the importance of following the prophet. We read quotes given in General Conference. Here are a few of them:

"If we listen to the voices of the world, we will be misled. But if we listen to the voice of the Lord through His living prophet and follow his counsel, we will never go astray....There aren’t many guarantees in this life. There isn’t a car made with a warranty that covers everything. No bank on earth can absolutely guarantee that your money is completely safe. Even the Good Housekeeping seal of approval has a disclaimer written right on it! Nothing man-made or man-controlled can ever be truly guaranteed! But here’s the miracle. The Lord has given some marvelous guarantees without any disclaimers. And this is one of them: He will choose the prophet, and He will never let that man lead us astray. Imagine for a moment the impact of that promise. There is at least one place we can turn for pure, unpolluted guidance." Virginia U Jensen,  First Counselor in the RS General Presidency.

The quote that he will never let that man lead us astray comes from Brigham Young. There is an "IF" clause in the orginal quote that we don't include these days. I find it very important.

"The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and He will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother's arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth (JD 9:289)
so there is the qualifying statement "if you are found doing your duty."


The “if” clause Brigham uses...  makes the blessing of the President never leading the Saints astray happen ONLY if they are worthy of the blessing As a people we haven't really been "doing our duty" since we failed in Jackson County - at least since 1832 when the Lord condemned the whole church for failing to receive or enter the New Covenant, even the Book of Mormon. We read  - We are ALL gone astray and have and are all, save a 'few'.

"If He should suffer him (Joseph Smith) to lead the people astray, it would be because they ought to be lead astray... it would be because they deserved it."
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:297-298.

"I told the people that if they would not believe the revelations that God had given, He would suffer the devil to give revelation that they - Priest & people - would follow after. Have I seen this fulfilled? I have. I told the people that as true as God lived, if they would not have truth, they would have error sent unto them & they would believe it."
Brigham Young, Deseret News, June 8, 1873.

"We make no claim of infallibility or perfection in the Prophets, Seers & Revelators."
Elder James E. Faust, CR Oct. 1989.

"I make no claim of infallibility."
Spencer W. Kimball, Improvement Era, June 1970, p.93.

"Even the President of the Church has not always spoken under the direction of the Holy Ghost."
Elder J. R. Clark, quoted in 'Faithful History, Essays on Writing Mormon History', p.82.

"Pres. Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom & experience, & we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God & when 'Thus saith the Lord' comes from him, the Saints investigate it, they do not shut their eyes & take it down like a pill."
Elder Charles W. Penrose
Here are two different charts to compare the difference:

Here is a different approach that I find based more of what I read in the scriptures:

"A righteous priesthood leader always strives to lead people to Christ and never to look to himself as a source of truth. Be ware of anyone who might block the way to Christ, by teaching that the people need to go through himself or other leaders to get to Christ. We need to establish that direct link to Christ by direct communication with Him through personal revelation, the rock upon which our own personal salvation is built."

Elder Richard G Scott,. May 17, 1992 Layton Northridge Stake Priesthood Meeting

Brigham Young taught:
There is nothing that would so soon weaken my hope and discourage me as to see this people in full fellowship with the world, and receive no more persecution from them because they are one with them. In such an event, we might bid farewell to the Holy Priesthood with all its blessings, privileges and aids to exaltations, principalities and powers in the eternities of the Gods. (JD 10:32)

Young also stated,"The First Presidency have of right a great influence over this people; and if we should get out of the way and lead this people to destruction, what a pity it would be! How can you know whether we lead you correctly or not? Can you know by any other power than that of the Holy Ghost? I have uniformly exhorted the people to obtain this living witness, each for themselves; then no man on earth can lead them astray." (JD 6:100)

George Q. Cannon taught:

Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an apostle or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support will be gone; but if we lean on God, He will NEVER fail us. When men and women depend upon GOD ALONE and trust in HIM ALONE, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. (DW 43:322 [Mar 7, 1891]).

Monday, August 8, 2011

10: GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

I hope to explain these painting in more detail when I have some time. There is alot of symbolism and meaning behind each one of  these paintings.




Monday, August 1, 2011

09: Is our tithing not enough?

Here are some sincere questions…

·         Is our tithing not enough?..or does the church need to own, build and develop more shopping centers?
·         Do we really need to receive profits from worldly commercial projects?  

I have expressed my concerns about the church’s  SL downtown rising project. BILLIONS of dollars have been spent on building upscale condominiums, an outdoor retail shopping mall (complete with a retractable glass roof which converts it to an indoor mall in inclement weather), as well as building restaurants and leasing commercial office space.  We are told that this is ALL in the name of beautifying the surrounding area of the temple grounds… to “preserve” this sacred area and  environment and to kept it “untainted.” form the world. 
Similar reconstruction is underway at the Ogden temple.  The church news reported that the remodel of  Ogden temple and surroundings  “is a huge investment — it basically is the same cost as building a new temple," http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/58811/Ogden-temple-renovation-to-include-significant-architectural-face-lift.html

I don’t claim to understand nor should I judge how church finances are spent (both tithing and for profit church businesses). While, I can “somewhat” accept spending money to update and beautiful our sacred temples, and/or support a business whose purpose helps to fulfill our responsibility to bring us to Christ…I have I do have some questions.

I just learned today that the church is developing close to a 40 acre shopping center in West Valley. It was announced this week that, the church owed company Suburban Land Reserve has the green light for development, starting with the construction of the 135,300 square foot anchor store, Target. This shopping center is called Highbury Centre. Deseret News also reported this, but left off the fact that the Church are the developers of the land.

Below is a photo of the report in last week’s The Enterprise, Utah’s Business Journal.



In researching to find out a little more about one more real estate arm of the church, I learned that the President’s name is W Kent Money. (Great name) I didn’t know this either, but a couple of years ago, Deseret News sold their downtown property back to the church through this company. What I don’t understand is that the Deseret News and building was already another one of the church’s subsidiaries.  While I thought the church owned all things in common and is  one happy family, (Zion right).. this must not be the case. This, however, must be similar to internal family sales like an older brother selling his toys to his younger brother. Usually the toy was originally bought by the parents, yet one sibling can make money off of another sibling . This is another topic though. In case you are interested, here is the link to the sale from one arm of the church selling to another arm.

So my question is.. Is not tithing sufficient to do the Lords’ work or is Mormon talking to us when he said in last couple of chapter in the Book of Mormon (8:37)?
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.”…