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Friday, July 27, 2012

88: THE ONLY CONNECTION THAT MATTERS, THE ONE THAT SAVES.

Today, while we might feel more "connected" than ever...electronically via social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,... most of us are actually becoming less connected to the only connection that really matters. This false sense of being "connected" will actually damn us since we are not yet connected to the only connection that will save us. The word connection means to "knit or link together"; "to tie or fasten together", "To join or unite", or "to have a close relationship with".
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My wife and I are currently teaching the Temple Preparation class in our ward. I wanted to share the following answer given at the end of symposium talk entitled "The Road to Emmaus"  given a few years ago.  Hopefully this will be helpful to someone in understanding  the importance of being truly connected.
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"Part of the rites in the temple are intended to communicate to you things that are most Holy. They are intended to make you Holy. They are intended to make you a suitable recipient for an audience. They are intended to make you a suitable companion for a walk down a dusty road with the risen Lord who is trying to get you to notice exactly Who it is that speaks to you. It is intended to have you understand that He lives. And that He is willing to associate with you. And that, it is not as Joseph Smith put it,.. relying on the words of an old book to a people who once lived long ago that is going to save anyone. It is the dialogue that you engage in, with Him NOW. It is the living, breathing, and vital. The Lord uses the symbol of the living vine.. and you have to connect to the living vine. He is the vine and you connect to it and get life through that. Words could not be more plain. What does it mean to be connected up with the vine and to derive subsistence from it. You have to be alive, which is not inert or an object you move from there to there, if it is alive, it is going to grow. It is going to increase, it is going to improve, it is going to have connection with. Christ was extraordinary in his selection of the things that He wanted to communicate to us what He intended the Gospel to be. And we read them and say.. “that’s cool, I’ll pay my tithing,.. I am connected.”… “ I got a card,.. I am connected.”

Well, It is intended to be more than that. In the way it becomes more than that is an individual journey in which you receive from Him and become a part of Him and He does His best and use analogies, parables and stories to make it clear to us. And the history of events as recorded in scripture are intented to make it clear to us, but at the end of the day it is up to us, up to you to have that Aha moment. That He really is talking to you and inviting you. YOU! Individually. Whereever you are, wherever you are at, whatever your confusion, whatever your doubts, whatever your uncertainties, He wants to talk to you
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It is inspiring to hear others words that that they have recieved the Lord in mortality whether in places like the Draper Temple or in their own homes. Let us not be like the wandering Israelites in the wilderness unwilling to approach, and ascend our own Mt. Sinai. Let us all recieve that testimony ourselves of Christ and be connected to the Living Vine.
here is an excerpt from a book entitled "Zion’s Redemption" by Francis Dartar published by the Deseret News Publishing Co. in 1933.

It is the solemn duty of every Christian to seek by study and prayer the plans of God, as delineated in Holy Writ. They should daily draw nearer to Him, until they obtain a soul-satisfying testimony of His reality. This information is revealed to man in many ways, including the seeing of Him face to face. The writer, has had many of these blessings – including the latter, and the Lord is my holy witness. I have used the greater portion of my allotted space in portraying the terrible judgments that are soon to come upon the wicked. They who have obeyed the fullness of the Lord’s commandments are their own witness as to their present joy and the great blessings and love God has in store for them. When they once find Him – their faith becomes knowledge..


Fear not what man may do unto you , but rather seek to know and assist in spreading the will of Him who holds all judgments and blessings in the palm of His hands. I have felt His great love and unlimited power, seen and recognized His Holy face, as once explained. Now I know that He lives and is coming soon to fulfill His covenants and to dwell in glory with those who love Him and have kept His commandments.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

87: SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS


"And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God."
Ether 5: 1

The fifth chapter of Ether only contains 6 verses. They are specific instructions from Moroni to Joseph Smith. In the first verse, we read that Moroni was commanded to write the things he did. He did not write because he enjoyed it, or to gain popularity, or to sell more books, or even to have a following. He wrote because he was obedient to the Lord. I know of very few authors today who write because they are commanded to. You can tell the difference by what they write. Those who are NOT commanded to write from the Lord contain words that flatter, or contain feel good stories, or elevate themselves to get gain or popularity. On the other hand, those who are commanded to write often offend us, their words usually contain messages of repentance.

Moroni then speaks directly to Joseph Smith with specific instructions. He tells Joseph to not touch the plates in order that ye may translate. That is forbidden. The Lord and through His wisdom will show Joseph the order and the process to follow. Even though Joseph might have wanted to follow a different order, he was told that there was a specific order to things he would translate. Joseph was warned, but he was still free to choose. Just like the commandment given to Adam and Eve who were forbidden to partake of the fruit. They still had their agency and were free to chose. Despite being told it was forbidden, Adam and Even partook. They didn't wait for further light and knowledge as promised by the Father when He said that He would visit again and give further instruction.

Too many times, we are not patient for further instruction. We should avoid what is forbidden, wait upon the Lord and be obedient to what he commands.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

86: SCHOOL OF THE PROPHETS


I was really moved when I read the following account of the appearance of the Savior and the Father to the School of the Prophets in 1833 penned by Zebedee Coltrin.  I thought it was important to share on this blog for others to read.

"The salutation as written in the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 88:136-141] was carried out at that time, and at every meeting, and the washing of feet was attended to, the sacrament was also administered at times when Joseph appointed, after the ancient order; that is, warm bread to break easy was provided and broken into pieces as large as my fist and each person had a glass of wine and sat and ate the bread and drank the wine; and Joseph said that was the way that Jesus and his disciples partook of the bread and wine. And this was the order of the church anciently and until the church went into darkness. Every time we were called together to attend to any business, we came together in the morning about sunrise, fasting and partook of the sacrament each time, and before going to school we washed ourselves and put on clean linen.

At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, (the school being organized_ on the 23rd of January, 1833, when we were all together, Joseph having given instructions, and while engaged in silent prayer, kneeling, with our hands uplifted each one praying in silence, no one whispered above his breath, a personage walked through the room from east to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; he was surrounded as with a flame of fire. He (Brother Coltrin) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness. The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw Him.

When asked about the kind of clothing the Father had on, Brother Coltrin said: I did not discover his clothing for he was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not discover anything else but his person. I saw his hands, his legs, his feet, his eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man. He sat in a chair as a man would sit in a chair, but this appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in his presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones. The Prophet Joseph said: Brethren, now you are prepared to be the apostles of Jesus Christ, for you have seen both the Father and the Son and know that they exist and that they are two separate personages.

This appearance occurred about two or three weeks after the opening of the school. After the Father had passed through, Joseph told us to again take our positions in prayer. We did so, and in a very short time he drew our attention and said to us that Brother Reynolds Cahoon was about to leave us, and told us to look at him. He (Brother Cahoon) was on his knees and his arms were extended, his
hands and wrists, head, face and neck down to his shoulders were as a piece of  amber, clear and transparent, his blood having apparently left his veins. Upon the attention of the brethren being thus called to Brother Cahoon, the change seemed to pass away and Joseph said that in a few minutes more, Brother Cahoon would have left us, but he came to himself again..


Source: Minutes, Salt Lake City School of the Prophets, October 3, 1883

 http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/ZebC.html

Friday, July 20, 2012

85: ENTERTAINER/SINGER TO PERFORM AT THE MORMON TABERNACLE PIONEER CONCERT


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing their annual Pioneer Day Concert this weekend. The featured guest is Katherine Jenkins. I've never heard of her before so I did a quick google search. (Caution: It might be wise to make sure you use strict filters if you want to see the following images that come up for this star)  As reported on KSL, the choir extended the invitation to Jenkins while she was performing on "Dancing With the Stars." The performances will feature the breadth of Jenkins' abilities: show tunes, opera, and even a Welsh song. The Mormon Tabernacle singers say they are thrilled to perform with the singer.
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http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=21330826

As you know, Deseret Book always records these concerts and then sells the DVD and the CD's. Obviously inviting a certain entertainer/singer will boost sales. Recently Sheri Dew, President of Deseret Book stated in Bloomberg article, "How Mormon's Make Money":
“We here at Deseret Book think families are important, and kids are important, marriage is important, and values are important … and if there are ways we can communicate it, whether through nonfiction or fiction, we want to do it.”
So glad that we invite entertainers to sing at our 24th of July Pioneer Concerts that have the same values as we teach to our Young Women.

In case you missed last years Pioneer Concert. I wrote about it here:
http://barerecord.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post.html

I wonder how the Pioneers feel about how we are honoring them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

84: INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN THE TEMPLE

I received an email from a friend who recently attended the Temple. He told me that he saw the following words on a placard next to the Prayer Roll Box. 

"The practice of submitting long lists of names of people to be prayed for is inappropriate". 

I had to laugh.  Really? Who determined this? Is this revelation from the Lord telling us that we are praying for too many people?  How many names is considered inappropriate? Maybe the placard should be more specific and say,   "You are only allowed to write 15 names. If you write more, than that is deemed inappropriate."


Here is an excerpt from his email:

“As I read the little placard some questions immediately had to be answered.  What about that practice is inappropriate?  And who is the person who presumes to evaluate the act as not appropriate?  Would the slips of paper become too much to fit into the box?  Is that it?  Would the need for a bigger prayer roll box not speak well of the temple patrons??  Is it inappropriate to pray or intercede on behalf of multiple people if you felt so inclined? In this world of pain and suffering and affliction should we limit the prayer roll to only a few select?  Can God only handle a couple at a time?  Why not put a scripture as the placard?  One that invites the right Spirit?     

That was the discussion in my mind while waiting for the temple workers to get the session organized for such a large group.  It was an interesting topic for sure, I tried to give both sides fair treatment.  I'm still not sure what would be so very inappropriate about submitting a long list of names.  Would it not speak to the charity of the person who's heart is inclined towards their fellow man?  Or who was aware of a group of people who are in need? I guess we could sit and impose all sorts of motives upon the person participating in such a practice; but at the end of the day none of us will know their heart and whether it was inappropriate or pure.  What a shame to call inappropriate what in reality may have been pure.

Do not prophets and authors of scripture often pray and intercede on behalf of entire cities?  Do the heavens not morn over all Gods children?  I would never complain if my name was one in a long list submitted for prayer.  I think most people would be grateful someone thought to petition God on their behalf.  I took a moment just now to consider all those people who are not prayed for due to that placard.....             

Just a thought.  I guess it may look funny if the pray roll box became a huge prayer bin, with folks putting lists with everyone they know on them.  But at the same time I don't know that establishing it as inappropriate communicates the correct message either.

Speaking of inappropriate, I find being obligated to make a covenant with God seated, unable to to observe the physical gestures without invading the space of the patron beside me inappropriate.  There used to be a disclaimer that if patrons had trouble sitting and standing frequently during the session they were allowed to remain seated while those able to, would stand. However they changed it, the disclaimer apparently wasn't enough, so now I'm forced to remain seated which I find an inappropriate way to approach God to make a covenant.  I suppose what I find inappropriate and what others have deemed inappropriate are simply different.  What's more important, that we limit how long a list a person makes for the temple prayer roll?  Or that we alter the ordinances and require people to be in the most casual, sleepy of positions while they make covenants with God?  

While making a covenant with God, my view is you should be standing, or kneeling.  But then again, I sometimes submit long lists of people for the prayer role.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

83: TODAYS STORM OVER NEW YORK

This photos were posted today on the internet of a storm that rolled into New York.

http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/18/12816635-storm-darkens-sky-over-new-york-city?lite
Thunderstorms rolled through New York City on Wednesday, relieving the city of sweltering temperatures heat but replacing them with pounding rain, strong winds – and hail.


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However we read in the Book of Mormon a promise that was given to those who repented and that turned back to God.
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"Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day;
 yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds;
but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place,
that the storm cannot penetrate to them;
 yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them."

But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his;
and he will raise them up at the last day.
 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise,
yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever

Alma 26: 6-8

Monday, July 16, 2012

82: DREAM ABOUT A TRUE PROPHET



I normally don't share personal things on this blog, but feel that I should share the following:

A few nights ago I had a dream that I was in a large crowded building. There was a man in the building that I recognized as a friend of mine. He walked with me down to a smaller room in the building. He opened the door leading into this tiny room. It was empty and void of any grandeur. After we both entered into this room, this man sat down on the floor, Indian style. He was wearing ordinary clothes. He drew out and opened up a Book and placed it before him.  It was the Book that was important, not him.. It was the scriptures. He began to read, teach, explain, expound, and expand the words of God. The words he spoke pierced my heart. I knew and recognized that this was a true Prophet of God.. A true prophet is not Higher or Holier. He sits down on the floor at the same level of the student. He points others to Christ.  He doesn't sit in a higher position, or on a chair with armrests with fine deep colored fabric.

A true prophet is someone who has a testimony of Jesus.  A prophet knows Christ. He does not speak about himself or share his successes and victories. A prophet preaches of the need of repentance and our dependence on Christ's Atonement. He knows the fallen nature of man. A prophet reveals truth, A prophet "sees", A prophet testifies and prophesies. He is a prophet, seer, and revelator.

In the Book of Mormon we read about examples of  true prophets and false prophets. Lehi was a true prophet. He followed Christ. He spoke truth.

I quote from a recent blog post:
"Lehi propounded a true message, Korihor a false one. Lehi was Christ-like. Korihor was an anti-Christ. Lehi spoke the truth. Korihor was a liar. They were polar opposites.The difference between truth and error does not lie in the difference between religion and irreligion, but instead between true religion which will save, and false religion which cannot save. If it were any less a test, the very elect would not be deceived in the last days. Unless there are false prophets claiming they are authorized by God to preach false and idle messages, God cannot send true ones to declare the truth. The opposition of the one is required for the other. The enemy of your soul does not create a new religion, but immitates the true one. The Lord's messenger will be mirrored by the adversary's, but the reflected image will be reversed. Those who follow the image will find themselves descending, while they think they are ascending to God. Hence the name: "the Deceiver." He deceives, and even mirrors God's angels by the claim to be an "angel of light" while spreading darkness. The Deceiver's false prophets will point you to themselves, to their great works, wonderful accomplishments, and the pride you should take in following them. The Lord's will point you to Him and preach repentance. The false prophets will speak of riches here, and suggest God's favor can be measured by success in this world. The Lord will speak only of riches in another world which are only obtained through the sacrifice of all things here." Snuffer

81: MORE REAL ESTATE "INVESTMENTS" FOR THE LDS CHURCH


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hoping to develop 140 acres of farmland in Layton into a multi-use real estate development patterned after  Daybreak in South Jordan with a mix of residential, commercial, office, civic and recreational uses.
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On April 5, 2012 the City Council approved the zone for commercial development and applied it to 107 acres of farmland along Hill Field Road currently owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. . The other 30-plus acres planned for the project already are zoned for commercial and professional use.

However, thousands of residents are opposed to the LDS plans developing a Daybreak-like development on this land in west Layton. They've gathered more than enough signatures to bring the issue to a public vote. Brian Pead, part of the group Citizens for Responsible Growth in West Layton, said more than 6,600 signatures were collected — roughly 1,800 more than required.

The group is hoping voters will overturn actions by the Layton City Council last month that pave the way for development of West Layton Village, a 140-acre village center planned for the north and south sides of Hill Field Road between 2200 West and 2700 West. 
The property is owned by the LDS Church, but the West Layton Village project is being developed by the city and its planners, with assistance from consultants jointly hired by the city and Property Reserve Inc., a real-estate arm of the  LDS Church.


“We do not need another apartment building, grocery store, gas station, restaurant or doughnut shop in Layton. We have plenty.” One of the concern residents in Layton said.  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765575174/Layton-City-must-preserve-local-farms.html?pg=all


I am just curious, I wonder if a letter will be sent prior the vote asking LDS church members to support and sustain the Church Leaders desires to develop this 140 acres of farmland into a real estate investment?


SIDENOTE:

There is good news for another LDS Church real estate development in West Valley called the Highbury Centre. Target, the anchor store of the 40 acre shopping center in West Valley is now starting to interview candidates.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/54255179-79/target-west-valley-fair.html.csp

The Highbury Centre, which is across the street from WinCo, is being developed by Suburban Land Reserve Inc., another real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51891885-78/target-store-west-valley.html.csp

Thursday, July 12, 2012

80: IN MOUNT ZION: A NEW BLOG


 This is the 80th blog post. Numbers are very significant, they are symbolic. The number 8 means rebirth and renewal. The number Eight symbolizes a new beginning.  It is the sign of God's convenant.  Jesus was eight days old when he was circumcised. (Luke 2:21). We begin to baptize those who are eight years old. There are many other examples of the importance of the number 8.

It is on this 80th post that I would like to recommend a new blog.
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The author is a close friend of mine, and for right now, prefers to remain anonymous.  I have posted the following  writings to me with permission here on this blog:
  • King Noah and His Kingdom: (Part 1-4) 
  • The Prophet Abinadi:  (Part 1-4)
  • Who are You? (The Gentiles)\
The author has now began to write and post on this new blog. You will find the following new posts that I haven't posted here. I would recommend reading them.

  • Untangling the Priesthood
  • The Salt of the Earth
  • I Show unto you the way to judge.
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Sidnote: The above photo on the left was taken last night. It is of Lone Peak. The other two are close ups of the summit. The closer you get to the top the whiter the rock appears.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

79: SILENCING OPPOSTION


The first rule in real estate is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Perhaps, the first rule in the LDS Church is SUSTAIN, SUSTAIN, SUSTAIN.

Last year the LDS Church announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art facility at the MTC, located near Brigham Young University. The new building is to replace the Melvin J. Ballard Building, which houses the MTC bookstore, mailroom, meeting rooms and resource center. It was also reported back then that it will be several floors taller than the two-story Ballard building. According to a news release from the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the new building will include some classrooms with the latest technological resources.  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52447828-78/building-provo-mtc-ballard.html.csp

If the existing MTC building that will now be demolished is only 2 floors and the Church announced in 2011 that it would be only be several floors taller then why is the building now going to be NINE stories tall?  Sounds like a big building, especially when you consider that the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Downtown SLC is 10 floors.

If the number of full-time missionaries is increasing, I could understand the need for the expansion. Back in 2002, before the we "raised the bar", there were almost 62,000 missionaries serving world wide. Now the number of missionaries is in the mid 50,000.   There has been a decrease from years past. Furthermore, less and less of the US foreign bound missionaries are going to the Provo MTC. Many are now being sent directly to the Missionary Training Center in the country they will be serving in. Many do not realize that there are currently 17 Missionary Training Centers throughout the world. The most recent addition was the Ghana MTC.

It was reported in the news that many of the Provo residents that live close to the Provo MTC have been concerned about this new construction of large high rise building being constructed.
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=20447638

Due to local residents opposition,  a letter of “invitation” from Church Headquarters was read to them over the pulpit last week asked them to “support the decision of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles”.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54456872-78/church-evans-leaders-mtc.html.csp

We are taught to sustain, and to never oppose. We are taught that it is best to be silent, instead of voicing concern. We are assured we will never be led astray.

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SIDENOTE:

I am reminded about President Boyd K Packer’s quote in conference for us to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”.

Yes, Maybe the old 2 story MTC building has been "used up", and "worn out", we can't "make it do" anymore?...so we need to build a 9 story building to replace it so we "don't go without"..

Can't wait to see this new "state of the art" mailroom, bookstore, and meeting room at the MTC…. ALL NINE STORIES of it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

78: USING SUGGESTIVE IMAGES TO PROMOTE LDS INVESTMENTS

THE NEW BILLBOARD ADVERTISING THE LDS CHURCH’S MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT

“MAKE IT” A NIGHT
Ads containing images of romantic couples and promises of love and intimacy for those using the product, combined with headlines using double entendre are  used in advertising to draw interest to a particular product,  for purpose of sale.  The imagery used, (such as that of a pretty woman holding a glass of champagne with a dark, tall and handsome man), typically has no connection to the product being advertised. The purpose of the imagery is to attract the attention of the potential customer or user.


City Creek City is a investment product of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A magazine article published today in BusinessWeek, details more information about the City Creek Mall as well as other for profit companies of the Church. The article is entitled, “How Mormons Make Money”.  Here is the link to read the entire article.  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-10/how-the-mormons-make-money
I just want to share one quote in article from one of the interview answers given by Keith B. McMullin, who for 37 years served within the Mormon leadership, including in the Presiding Bishopric and now heads a church-owned holding company, Deseret Management Corporation (DMC), an umbrella organization for many of the church’s for-profit businesses.

“When asked for the purpose of City Creek, he explains that City Creek exists to combat urban blight, not to fill church coffers. “Will there be a return?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but so modest that you would never have made such an investment—the real return comes in folks moving back downtown and the revitalization of businesses.” Pausing briefly, he adds with deliberation: “It’s for furthering the aim of the church to make, if you will, bad men good, and good men better.”

However, in my opinion, with the advertising being used to promote City Creek Center..  I am not sure this is a place to make “bad men good, and good men better.”

Reading the 16th verse in the section one of the Doctrine and Covenants,  it makes you wonder if this could be referring to us today.

"They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness,
but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god,
whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol,
which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon,
even Babylon the great, which shall fall" (D&C 1:16).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

77: SEQUENTIAL ORDER OF CLEANSING EVENTS

“And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed,
both by FIRE, quakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine."
2 Nephi 6:15


This past week, fires have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres, entire neighborhoods wiped out, hundreds and hundreds of homes burned to the ground, and many lives lost across the Western United States.

Below is a list with some images of significant locations that fire has destroyed and/or damaged buildings and land owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the past year.  Many of these locations are very symbolic religious sites.

·         Fire and Destruction of the Provo Tabernacle. (#1)
·         Fire at the Beehive Clothing in American Fork where the Temple Garments are made. (no image)
·         Fire at the LDS Conference Center. (#2)
·         Fire at City Creek Center. (#3)
·         Fire at Stake Center in Arizona. (#4)
·         Fire above Ensign Peak (Ensign Peak was used by early church leaders as a temple SL Temple was completed . (#5)
·         Fires on Wasatch Mountains in Alpine. (#6)
·         Smoke as seen from space. (#7)



Many have probably read this already, but I think it is important to repost this. This is a commentary of the Book of Mormon verse found in 2 Nephi 6: 15:  

“Jacob makes a startling promise for those who live when the destruction begins preliminary to the cleansing of the world before the Lord returns. He says "none will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by FIRE, quakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine."

This amazing promise is predicated on "believing in Him." This requires us to understand what the word "believe" means in the parlance of the Book of Mormon. Those who believe in Him know and accept correct doctrine, or the truth about Him. Those who do not know and will not accept correct doctrine or the truth have dwindled in unbelief. They do not believe in Him. They may have religion, may belong to churches, may be active in all their observances, but they are not in possession of belief in Him. Instead they accept for doctrines the commandments of men, and their hearts are far from Him. They teach false and vain things. As a result they neither enter into the kingdom nor suffer those who are entering to go in. This includes those who, though they are humble followers of Christ, are nevertheless led that in many instances they do err in doctrine. (
2 Ne. 28: 14.)

There will be many who are destroyed who will be quite surprised by it. They will complain that they have prophesied in Christ's name, and in His name cast out devils, and done many wonderful works, but they do not know Christ, and therefore never did believe in Him. (See 
Matt. 7: 22-24.)

If you are one of those who believe in Him, and who will not dwindle in unbelief, will not accept the commandments of men as doctrine, but will take the Spirit for your guide, then Jacob promises that Christ will not destroy you. The rest He will destroy.

Fire will upset the order of things and make societal collapse inevitable. Men's self-inflicted woes will not be the only sign of Divine disapproval. The earth will quake to signal God's disapproval. Interruptions of social order and control will be followed by self-inflicted violence. Bloodshed will be widespread among the survivors. Disease and pestilence will be one of the results of the lack of social order. Air and water will be contaminated. Neglected hygiene will lead to the promised pestilence. As the downward spiral continues, food production and distribution will be inadequate to prevent widespread, global famine. It is as if Jacob could see the sequence of events and gave us the list of how it would unfold, step by step, as the unbelieving are wiped from the earth.


 
Survival during this bleak time depends on the qualification of "believing in Him." Suddenly, if you think Jacob knew what he was talking about then our doctrines take on terrible significance. What we believe matters. Not just in the distant after-life, but for the preservation of our present lives. Jacob does make a powerful case for studying the Gospel a good deal more carefully than we can accomplish in a 40 minute class-discussion, with an approved "discussion leader," using Correlated materials, rather than a teacher declaring and testifying of true doctrine.” (Snuffer)
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SIDENOTE:

SYMBOLIC STORY OF THE ONLY THING THAT SURVIVED A UTAH FIRE WAS A BABY EAGLE:

The baby golden eagle miraculously survived a Utah wildfire and was found alive on June 28 behind a charred tree, about 25 feet below the nest that was burned to a crisp in the 5,500-acre Dump Fire near Saratoga Springs in Utah. The 70-day-old eaglet had suffered burns on his talons, beak, head and wings. His flight feathers were melted down to within an inch or two of his wing and tail. He's very underweight at just over five pounds. What seems to have saved his life during the fire was the insulation offered by his down feathers and once-thick body, according to the wildlife rehabilitation center. They have named the baby eagle, Phoenix.


In Native American symbolism, the Eagle represents God, the Father Creator.  This baby eagle that survived  the fire was the child, or son of, the eagle that was spared in the all consuming flames. Perhaps this is a beautiful metaphor for us.  As Jacob testifies in the Book of Mormon, If we but believe in the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father, we will be spared.

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"none will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by FIRE, quakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

76: SLICK MARKETING CAMPAIGN

I tried to log onto lds.org today. Unfortunately, the website is temporartily down. The page that came up was this. http://outofservice.lds.org/ 

So, instead I went to mormon.org. Below is the webpage that came up. I was a little surprised to see the huge departure from the typical "look and feel" of the Especially for Youth pamphets. The title of Limitless Options sounds like a Marketing Slogan. Anyway.. I thought I would share the screenshot from the main page.


LIMITLESS OPTIONS
As a professional skateboarder, Kevin feels God in every crazy color, emotion, and rush of adrenaline.

From his testimonial,
"I was raised into the church but didn't have a testimony of my own. It wasn't until I ventured away from the church in my early teens and found myself gaining an extremely strong testimony through skateboarding and my mom and sisters's example."

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The church invests millions in the infrastructure to test, market, gather focus-group insights, and then opinion poll to improve the marketing of Mormonism. The success of the church is not dependent upon, nor guaranteed by, a multi-billion-dollar downtown complex of religious and commercial buildings. If that is what motivates someone to join, they do not have the right reasons or focus, and will not contribute anything to the faith. We do not need to gather into the net those who  find a slick marketing approach convincing enough to become Mormon.  

We only need to gather those who are pricked in their hearts, humble and who prayed to know if this is God's work or not. Those who get an answer are going to join because they got an answer. Such people will have an inner strength that flows from having spoken with God. They will remain and grow in their knowledge of godliness-- as long as we feed them. They will perish, however, if we feed them nothing but myth and superficial portions of the Gospel. The truth is exciting, and we risk killing their faith when we make it dull, incomplete, and mingled with misrepresentations. They will die, even if they are active in the church. (Snuffer).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

75: MORMON NIGHT in LOS ANGELES


EVERYONE is invited to Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium!! This is an incredible opportunity to enjoy a Dodger's baseball game in the company of ward members, friends, and investigators. Everyone is encouraged to invite their friends. The event will be held on June 29, 2012 at 7:10pm.

President D.F. Uchtdorf will be throwing the first pitch to a member of the Area Seventy. There will be amazing fireworks following the game. Bring blankets and lay on the field for an optimum view.

Please purchase tickets as soon as possible. The money needs to be sent to Salt Lake as soon as it can be sent.

Tickets prices are as follows:

Right field, all-you-can-eat: $28
Left field, regular: $14
Children 4 and under: Free
Parking:$10

A Mormon Night wrist band comes with all ticket purchases. :)


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"Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium, the longest running community event held by the Dodgers organization, has gone for more than 20 years. It is also the largest special event they hold.
Elder Cook expressed his pleasure with the event and noted that the name of the church had been mentioned several times throughout the evening, both over the PA system as well as on the Jumbotron."
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