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Thursday, August 30, 2012

98: ELECTING A "KING" TO RULE AND REIGN.

I would rather that this blog not become a political platform, but I feel I need to express my opinions and my concern for where our country is headed. I have watched some of the Republican National Convention happening this week in Tampa. I found it symbolic that Hurricane Isaac caused the first day of the convention to be cancelled. Seems as if Nature's God was not in complete support. With the exception of a very few that I know, everyone is very excited about Mitt Romney's chances of conquering the "evil one."  Because Mitt is Mormon, most believe that he is "called" and "chosen" to turn the country around. While maybe he was "called", Personally, I think the wrong man has been chosen. and why not?

Last night at the RNC, a special tribute was given to the man I would chose to be our new President, Ron Paul.  Planners of the Republican National Convention gave Ron Paul an opportunity to speak at this week RNC event, but only under the conditions that he fully endorse Mitt Romney, and that he only deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign. Unsurprisingly, the congressman who has for decades been noted for his uncompromising stance on issues, including those on which he disagrees with the majority of his party, refused the conditions. As far as I know, Ron Paul was the last man standing in the Presidential Primary Race. This video was played last night at the convention. Since Mitt Romney has recieved the nomination, the Republican Party no longer feels that Ron Paul is a threat, and felt it was safe to play.

Here was the video that was played:

"It’s the American story…
charting your own path, forging new ways forward.
Not because it is the easy way, but because it is the right way.
And for those with dedication, character, faith and conviction.
Sometimes that lonely path paves the way forward for millions
."



I had a chance to see Ron Paul and hear him speak personally when he came to Utah. He is a modern day George Washington. I would even go so far and say that if Captian Moroni were alive and well today.. this would be who he would "chose" as well  to vote for. It is sad that so many are blinded by the craftiness of men, (especially when the craftiness is mingled with scripture and/or they share your same faith).

Sidenote:
I friend forward me a post from someone who posted this on facebook:

"I just put my arm around Ron Paul and told him that the way he understands agency and liberty, he understands Mormonism better than Mitt Romney. He answered, 'I used to talk to Ezra Taft Benson a lot. We were friends. I know quite a bit about Mormonism."

I think there are enough freedom loving people in America that Ron Paul actually could have won the nomination had he not of been "stoned to death" in the media. The "Powers That Be"  knew that they could not control him, or make him their puppet.. Unfortunately, as we have see in history that we mock and cast out those who speak truth. So instead of having a President like Ron Paul, we will continue to have kings who will rule and reign.
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For more information of the corruption that is happening within the Republican Party at the RNC that you probably won't see on the mainstream media. We are entering a period of time where a dissenting voice will not be heard. This is not just happening in politics either.

The result of the "vote" was written on the teleprompter BEFORE the vote was even taken.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

97: A LIFE LOST, BUT ANOTHER LIFE SAVED

A good friend of mine forwarded one of those "viral" emails to me yesterday. Maybe some of you already recieved it. Just in case some have not seen this, I wanted to post a few of the photos that were contained in the email including the captions to each photo:

A father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye.


Then the below photo with this caption:
If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing: In less than an hour,
two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl's kidney and liver.

This story touched me greatly since I have a young daughter around the same age as this little girl whose mortal life has now ended. Although it was very heartbreaking to see the parents kissing their daughter for the last time, my heart swelled to see the respect, and the love offered to the little girl by the medical staff all bowing in her honor for the life lost but resulted in two lives saved.

I can't help but see the symbolism of the story and how it parallels the life of Our Savior. His life was laid down for us. Through Him and Only Him are we then saved. Here are a few excerpts from the book, "Come Let Us Adore Him" written by Denver Snuffer.

"As a result of what the Lord suffered, there is no condition – physical, spiritual or mental – that He does not fully understand. He knows how to teach, comfort, succor and direct any who come to Him seeking forgiveness and peace.... He suffered that we might avoid sin by being obedient to His commandments. None of us need harm another, if we will follow Him. He knows fully the consequences of sin. He teaches His followers how to avoid sin.

He can bring peace to any soul. He can help those who come to Him love their fellow man. He alone is the Perfect Teacher because He alone has the knowledge each of us lack to return to being whole and at peace with the God and Father of us all after our transgression of His will. He is wise to what is required for each man’s salvation."
......

I can't help but think that I personally need to bow more often to my Savior. I need to show Him that I am forever grateful for his sacrifice, by being more willing to forgive others, since He is so willing to forgive me. . I wished we praised His name more often in our meetings. I wish we testified more of Him. It makes me wonder what do we really worship in this world? Who do we worship? Seems like we worship success, status, wealth, prosperity, titles, positions.. instead of the One who merits it.


If only all of us would seek the face of the Lord and have the similiar experiences that others have including those we read about in scripture as well as the author of the book mentioned above. If only more of us had a testimony of Christ, more of us who have seen Him, and bear record of Him. In closing, here is another excerpt from book:
....................

"As the Lord made these terrible things known to the man he cried out: “Hosanna to the Lamb of God! He has trodden the winepress alone! Glory, honor and mercy be upon the Chosen One forever and ever! I will submit unto anything you see fit to inquire of me! I will bend my knee in obedience to you! Let thy will, not mine be done! For worthy is the Lamb!” Then, thinking upon how trifling his difficulties and disappointments had been in comparison with the suffering he saw imposed upon his Lord, the man added: “Surely goodness and mercy have been mine all the days of my life.

And the Lord responded: “And you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Then the man wept.
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He can bring peace to any soul. He can help those who come to Him love their fellow man. He alone is the Perfect Teacher because He alone has the knowledge each of us lack to return to being whole and at peace with the God and Father of us all after our transgression of His will. He is wise to what is required for each man’s salvation."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

96: THE DANGER OF BEING DEPENDENT ON OTHERS

A parable.

............ 
Once upon a time, there was a city where the people became so busy that they oftentimes didn't have time to prepare their food.  They preferred to "eat out" instead of cooking for themselves, which gave them more time to accomplish the things they wanted. Over time, these city dwellers actually forgot the basics of cooking and became dependent on the restaurants to cook for them.  The restaurant owners liked this, since they began to profit from the people not knowing how to cook. Over the years, there began to be alot of  different types of restaurants popping up all over the city. While the menu varied from one eating establishment to another, they all shared one thing in common... all of the food lacked flavor.  Despite all serving bland food, each restaurant owner claimed and boasted they served the best food. They wanted more patronage in to secure financial stability since there was so much competition between the restaurants.

One day a young and upcoming man who loved food,  desired to find which restaurant actually served the best food. He was determined to find out. He concluded after eating at all of the restaurants, that while the food was prepared differently and called different things on the menu .. all of the food tasted about the same. It was lacking flavor and never satisfied him.

This young man remembered reading in the town's history book about a very old man who lived far outside the city limits who used to teach people how to cook. Back in the day, the old man was considered the finest teacher in the culinary arts.  But over time, people lost interest in taking cooking lessons. This old man even established his own restaurant at one time.  But, since his restaurant was not conveniently located and his patrons needed to patiently wait for their food to be prepared, people stopped coming to eat at his restaurant.

This young man searched out this old man. He went out alone and found this old man's house and knocked on his door. The old man was still alive and at home. The young man told the old man of his desire of wanting to find the best food. The question was asked and an answer was given.

The old man said that all of today's chefs lacked the proper ingredients needed to make the food taste good. Not only did they cooks lack the ingredients, but the current food they served would make the people sick over time since it not only lacked flavor but also the important nutrients needed to sustain life.

The old man offered to teach the young man how to find, prepare, and then cook food which would be not only delicious for the young man to eat, but the importance of sharing this knowledge with others. The young man accepted the offered and embarked on this new journey. Many years of training was required for this young man to become a culinary specialist. The old man entrusted in the young man to impart  old family recipes of some dishes and food never before tasted for many generations.

Word got around in the city that this young man was taking cooking lessons. He was mocked by most, but those who ate his food, knew this man truly was not only a great cook, but a baker, and a master chef.   This man eventually set up his own restaurant, serving food that no one in the city had ever tasted before. The other restaurant owners despised this new restaurant opening. Unfortunately, this amazing chef and restaurant owner was killed tragically way before his time.

With the tragic loss of the founder, the restaurant was of need of leadership to replace the beloved cook, baker and chef and founder of the restaurant.  A powerful entrepreneur volunteered himself to take on the role even though he knew only how to cook a little, he was never considered a chef or a baker.  He would be known as the new President of the Restaurant.. Fortunately, many of recipes remained in the hands of who helped run the restaurant. Little by little as word continued to spread of the flavorable food being served at this restaurant, more and more people became regulars.

As the years passed, more and more talented and successful leaders were hired to help run the restaurant. It was not a requirement for these managers to be a chef, or a  baker.. or even a cook. Due to some public relations problems with the staff and patrons, the current owner of the restaurant felt it best that those coming into the restaurant address him with the same titles that were reserved only to the Founder of the restaurant. So he was no longer just referred to as the President of the Restaurant but also as the Cook, Baker and Chef.  The upper management also wanted to be referred to as cooks, bakers, and chefs as well. With the added titles, they received the respect from their employees and the patrons. They could do no wrong.


Some of the old recipes began to change depending of suggestions made by those who ate at the restaurants. Polls were conducted on how best to adapt to the tastes of the people. From the results from the surveys, the management thought it best that some of items on the menu were removed. Some recipes of the entree's were altered.  People seemed to be happy with the changes without realizing that the food was beginning to start to taste just like all of the other restaurants in the city.

People who loved to eat at this restaurant  started to become concerned that the food was beginning to lose it's flavor. They began to find out about the old recipes and how over time they had changed. They no longer wanted to be dependent on a restaurant cooking their food for them, but wanted to learn to cook for themselves with the right ingredients. They searched out to find the old man who lived outside the city. They went out and knocked on his door of the old man's house that still was standing. They had the faith that He would be on the other side to open the door and teach them how to cook once again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

95: SETTING THEMSELVES UP FOR A LIGHT

Below is a short excerpt from a Conference address given by Elder Maxwell in his 1993 Conference address, "Behold the Enemy is Combined".
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"While living amid the foreseen “distress of nations, with perplexity,” members also have prophetic leadership which provides direction. Several times a year, we sustain fifteen Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. So we know to whom to look, even though a few “seek not the welfare of Zion” and “set themselves up for a light.”
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Who are the few that Elder Neal A Maxwell is referring who seek not for the welfare of Zion and are setting themselves up for a light? When listening to this, one could assume the "few" are some of the fifteen Apostles sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. If you don't believe the quote..  here is the audio recording of it below, and actual video footage is as well.
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Actual footage. (approximately at the 10 minute and 30 second time mark)



Now... What is even more interesting is that Maxwell's quote was changed and "corrected" in the Ensign: Here is the altered version in the printed Ensign.

"While living amid the foreseen “distress of nations, with perplexity,” members also have prophetic leadership which provides direction. Several times a year, we sustain fifteen Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. So we know to whom to look, even though there are a few members who “seek not the welfare of Zion” and “set themselves up for a light.”

The altered version shifts from the Brethren to a few the members of the church. Is this what Maxwell meant to say? Did Maxwell simply make a mistake in Conference? Or was this statement too damaging to the Brethren from one of their own who was calling a few of them out to repent and stop setting themselves up for a light?

Elder Maxwell is known for using precise and exact words. When you listen to the talk, it is my opinion (and I could be wrong)  that Elder Maxwell's said it exactly right the first time, that a few of the fifteen Apostles seek not the welfare of Zion and set themselves up for a light. So, I don’t know which is more disturbing, the fact that Maxwell said this in conference over the pulpit exposes some of the Brethren.. or that it was changed/covered up later on by the Church Correlation Committee.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. In the October 1984 General Conference Elder Ronald E Poelman delivered a sermon entitled "The Gospel and the Church". Controversy ensued when the version of his sermon that was published in the November 1984 Ensign differed from the sermon Poelman had delivered orally. His talk was revideotaped and copies of general conference that were included in church archives and distributed throughout the church contained Poelman delivering the revised version of his sermon. A "cough track" was included in the retaping to make it appear that the revised sermon was delivered in front of an audience. This could give a “false impression” about this being the original.

There is no doubt that those who edit, change, alter have good intentions. I don't post this as criticism. I do post these things for others to be aware that All is not Well in Zion. Using Maxwell's quote, there are some not seeking for the welfare of Zion.. and some are setting themselves up to be the light for us to follow.


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

Sidenote:

GALA CELEBRATES LDS Church President Monson's birthday

The life and times of President Thomas S. Monson, 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were celebrated in song and story Friday night at the church's downtown Conference Center during a special 85th birthday gala featuring the music of his life.

In front of a near-capacity crowd that included President Monson and his family on the first row, "Golden Days: A Celebration of Life" featured Broadway show tunes, popular songs and religious music that are either meaningful to President Monson or representative of special times in his life.

At the conclusion of the concert, President Monson stood at his front-row seat. He turned to face the audience and waved with both hands high over his head. The audience responded in a way they can never respond when they see him in this building during LDS General Conference: They applauded and cheered their prophet.
link to story
...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

94: RITUAL VS. ROUTINE

A ritual is meant to be sacred. It comes from the word “rite”.  A rite is an established, ceremonious, religious observance.  There is a danger in today’s world, that what was once a sacred ritual now becomes routine.  Ancient rituals created a new person. The symbolism of the ceremony is to reject the old and become the new.  Rituals are part of most of the world’s major religions. Our Latter-day Saint Sunday Services are among the least ritualistic. However, our LDS temple rites are very ritualistic. Three important elements associated with a ritual is the preparation for, the participation in, and the recording or remembering of the ritual.  

One of the primary temple rituals is the endowment ceremony. It is symbolic of the process of how one pierces the veil and enters into the presence of God. Even though our scriptures are full of accounts of fallible men where this experience has happened while in mortality, most think that this is to happen after we die. In the book, Signs of Life by Scott Hahn, There is a chapter about the “presence of God” and it briefly discussed the Temple. It says that:

 "It (the temple) was the divinely ordained place of God's presence. It was the one place on earth that could truly be called holy. It was the place where God's Spirit dwelt. It's important for us to get this right: Jews didn't believe that God was present only in the Temple and absent from the rest of creation. They professed, as we do today, that God is everywhere. But they also held that He made himself specially present to his people in the Jerusalem Temple and its rites. The Temple was a place where they could withdraw from the pollutions of the world and know God's presence in purity."

A routine is any mechanical performance of an established procedure. It becomes ordinary when the extraordinary is no longer found. When the understanding and purpose of the ritual is lost, it becomes a routine.  How many of us don't understand that the Temple endowment is a symbolic representation of a ritual for us to recieve in mortality. If this is the case, is our temple experience becoming just a routine?
 .....................

Sidenote:
The prophet Isaiah writes in his book in chapter 24 states that Men will have “transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant.” and at the Second Coming they will be burned.
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 It is interesting to see what happens once men begin to change, alter, and make more convenient the sacred rituals. Over long periods of time we can see the outcome what happens when religious organizations change rituals.  Here are some examples of what happened to the Early Christian Rituals to what we now see in mainstream Christianity, specifically the Catholic Church. Even now, some of these traditions listed below are no longer being followed in the Catholic Church. 

·         Women wear a wedding veil when they marry.  In addition, marriage was performed while the man and woman kneel at an altar, holding hands on top of it.
·         The baptismal fonts were placed away from the altar and/or used to be a separate building. The font was often octagonal in shape because of the significance of the number 8 as it relates to baptism and circumcision.
·         Infant baptism requires godparents to act as proxies for the infant, making covenants on their behalf.
·         After the washing of the baptism, an anointing takes place and the follow words are used:  I sign your forehead... I sign your eyes so that they may see the glory of God.  I sign your ears so that you may hear the voice of the Lord.  I sign your nostrils so that you may breathe the fragrance of Christ.  I sign your lips so that you may speak the words of life.  I sign your heart so that you may believe in the Holy Trinity.  I sign your shoulders so that you may bear the yoke of Christ’s service... In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, so that you may live forever and ever.”
·         Eastern Catholics (& Orthodox) have a garment called a “Phylakton” which is believed to have power to protect from evil and danger.
·         When one takes holy orders, they received a new garment associated with their order, and a new name.
·         The priest’s dress during Mass has its origin in the dress of the Old Testament High Priest.
·         Priests and Nuns wear clerical clothing to remind them of their covenants.
·         Monks, Priests and Nuns are buried in their vestments.
·         Although uncommon today in the U.S.A., in Europe and South America Catholic women traditionally cover their heads during the Mass.
·         At baptism, the taking of Holy Orders, and when one becomes the Pope, a new name is taken.
·         Oil is used in healing the sick.
·         An adult who is about to participate in an ordinance must first have an interview to determine worthiness (with his/her priest), Before participating in any ordinance an LDS person engages in an interview with his/her  bishop.
·         Serious sins should be confessed to a priest before partaking of Holy Communion.  In some cases, if the sin is grievous enough, one could be told not to partake, Serious sins should be confessed to one’s bishop.  Contingent upon the sin, one might be put on probation and told to not partake of the sacrament for a time.
·         During the Mass the priest says things to the congregation, and they are expected to respond, in unison… During the endowment you are asked to respond vocally (and in unison) to things asked of you.
·         The Catholic church used to offer prayer for the church and the world which the congregation repeated after the priest uttered it….. During the endowment some are invited to repeat the words of a prayer when it is offered.
·         Every 25 years a rite is executed (at St. Peter’s in Rome, and a few other carefully selected churches).  The rite symbolizes the entry of God’s children into His presence.  The Pope approaches the door of the church and knocks 3 times with a golden hammer, upon which the door is opened and he is allowed into the sanctuary.
·         During the consecration of the host the Priest prays with upraised hands.  This ancient manner of offering prayers unto God was common in sacred places (Psalms 63:4; 1 Tim 2:8; D & C 88:120; Exo. 17:10-12).
·         Men and women used to sit separately during the Mass.
·         In many Renaissance and Baroque Catholic churches the “all seeing eye” is displayed, as is a hand coming from behind a cloud or veil.
·         The Catholic church used to place a porter (a minor order of the priesthood) at the door of the church to insure that only the worthy entered.  Later they switched to statues of angels and  gargoyles as guardians of the way…. There are priesthood bearers placed at the entrance of the temple to ensure that only the worthy enter.
·         Although the ancient Christian Church only held worship services on the Sabbath, the Catholic church eventually began to offer worship services every day, at various times.  This change came from the church’s absorption of temple practice… The LDS Church only holds it worship services on the Sabbath, but it makes its temples available on a daily basis – with numerous session times.
·         Catholic churches are built to face east… Early Mormon temples and all ancient temples were oriented toward the east.
·         The altar area of Catholic churches are very ornate, with no money being spared…. Temple Celestial rooms are often very ornate with no cost being spared.
·         During Mass one is required to stand at different points during the service, In the Temple one is told to stand at different points during the endowment.

Monday, August 13, 2012

93: WHAT KIND OF "SHAPE" ARE WE IN?

An analogy:
My wife mentioned to me this past week that our yard is in pretty bad shape. Over the past few months, I pretended to not notice all the weeds, the grass turning yellow, and some of our trees dying. The outside physical structure of the house seems fine.. but everything surrounding our home that is suppose to be green and growing, and alive has begun to die and instead  noxious weeds were taking over. It took someone to wake me up and point out the kind of "shape" our yard was in.  Ever since we got married, the outside has always been my responsibility while the inside was my wife's responsibility. Her observation and comment could have been taken as a personal attack of my lack of diligence. But she was right. The truth hurts. So instead of debating the truth, and/or blaming the state of our yard on the heat and lack of rain, I spent the weekend in the yard pulling weeds. I am still not done, but our backyard now looks alot better.

Having a yard in bad shape is one thing.. but what kind of "shape" are we in personally?.. are we keeping our bodies in good physical shape? Do we exercise? eat right?.. How about our spiritual health?. are we emotionally and mentally in good shape? If not.. how come? What do we need to change? Does it take someone else to point this out to us? Do we need someone to call us to repentance?
...
Sidenote:

 I have been reading in Alma chapter 4. It is an important chapter that would make a good to study.  The first 6 verses are very interesting.  Alma had just baptized thousands of converts. Everything seemed to be in good "shape". There were no contentions or wars..  however,  the people were afflicted due to loss of their brethren, flocks, herds, and fields of grain. Just like in our yard.. weeds will continue to grow and things will continue to die. These afflictions are like "wake-up" calls for us to stay humble and  remember our constant  stewardship to keep things in "shape".

The people of Alma were humbled due to their affliction, and now with a new sense of duty, they began to prosper. However within JUST ONE year, the people of the church began to wax proud. They were lifted up in the pride of their eyes.

"...the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world, that they began to be scornful, one towards another, and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure...and the wickedness of the church was a great stumbling-block to those who did not belong to the church; and thus the church began to fail in its progress." Alma 4: 8,10

Could we liken this to our current situation? What kind of shape are we in as a church? Well, by the worlds standards we are doing quite well. It was reported on NBCNews.com that we rake in  7 Billion Dollars a year. Interesting article.  Let's just hope we don't follow the same pattern that we read about in the Book of Mormon.

Friday, August 10, 2012

92: CHANGING THE ORDINANCES (LDS MOTION PICTURES Part 2)

All of us should have the desire to bring more light into the world, instead of darkness. We bring in more light when we love, when we forgive, when we repent, when we pray for charity, and when we teach truth. Ironically, part of that process of bringing more light into this world includes bringing to light hidden things of darkness. Unfortunately error whether unintentional or deliberate, false assumptions, and disputations bring more darkness to our already very dark world in which we live. It is important to expose, and bare record of these things.D&C 123: 13

In the previous post, I mentioned that the LDS Church has built an expansive movie set sprawled over more than 800 acres to produce then distribute “The Life of Jesus Christ” Bible videos. There has been much attention to detail in all the videos, from the individual hair glued on for Lazarus beard, to the words in the script. All of the videos go through an extensive approval process by Church Leaders. These videos should bring more light into the world.

You can view all of these new Bible videos that the LDS Church has produced by going to this website.  http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos?lang=eng

I want to bring to light something contained in one of the video posted below that has potential to bring some confusion and possible disputation. The video I am referring to is called "Christ is baptized by John".




I am puzzled about a few things after I watched this.We know that one of the first things Christ teaches the people of Nephi in His visit to the Americas, is the importance of baptism. The Lord is very specific on how this is to be done, and what words are to be said in this ordinance. One would think that Christ Himself, would have been baptized the exact way He taught us, so that we would follow His example.  (It is interesting to note that it would have only been just a few years earlier that Christ was baptized before teaching the people here in America.

“And he (Christ) said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you...Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. ..And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:

“Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen”
3 Nephi 11: 25

So, if you watched the new Church video, we have altered the way Christ Himself taught us how we should be baptized. John the Baptist uses completely different words to baptize. These are the words he says:

“I baptize thee, having authority from The Almighty God, 
as a testimony that ye have entered into a convenant to serve Him.”
source unknown to where these words come from?

So why the change to the wording? Ever since I was in primary I was taught the importance on following Christ’s example on how he was baptized. Well, according to this new video that the Church has produced, I was not baptized in that way. So what is the right way? What if my very observant daugther asked to be baptized exactly the way we show in this video. Would my bishop correct me? Would it be valid?  Could this lead to disputations? (t is interesting to also note that Jesus Christ standing on his reverse side of John and John holds Christ right hand with his right hand. this is even different on how John baptizes the people earlier in the video.)

Joseph Smith taught that “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.”

Mormon 9:9–11 “ . . . God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing . . . if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.”
“[God] set the ordinances to be the same forever and ever. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 133)

In the Church Handbook of Instructions written by those we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators we read that the following about the procedure of baptism. We state the person’s full name and says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (D&C 20:73).

If this video portraying Christ being baptism is going to be shown around the world with the purpose set forth in D&C 68:8, to “Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

...Then I am not sure why we are spending millions of dollars to create videos which shows Christ being baptized a completely different way using completely different words than we have been instructed by the Lord himself.

God does not change. Man does and changes the things of God.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

91: LDS MOTION PICTURE STUDIO: PART 1

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The recently dedicated Jerusalem Movie Set built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is currently being used to produce Church films. The new set is located on the LDS Motion Picture Studio South Campus in Goshen, Utah. (interesting is that the city of Goshen used to be called Sodom.)

The LDS Motion Picture Studio has developed some 830 acres — a square-mile area – into a parcel of the ancient Holy Land that includes replicas of parts of old Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other New Testament-period places.

"If you compare this to shooting on location in Jerusalem, this is a far less costly option," said Elder Robbins. He declined to disclose property, set or project costs, saying the LDS Church keeps its financial information confidential. This set has been built to last over 20 years..  (maybe with the intentions to eventually have tours (like the backlots in Hollywood)

Needless to say, The Church has spared no expense. Everything is top notch. Hired talent have been flown in from all of over the world, including makeup artists from Europe. The Church has even hired two full time paramedics to be on the set in case there are any medical problems. Below are some pictures of the sets.
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Sidenote:  Reality vs Look-Alikes.  In creating movies, a movie "set" is built, which is made to look real, but it is not. The viewer is only able to see what the director wants you to see. Actors perform who are not the real characters. It is pretend.. they are look-alikes for the real thing.. A close friend of mine recently wrote  a  list about Look-alikes.  Here are some of them from his blogpost.

Reverence.... for Group Depression  
Boredom.... for Reverence
Academic Credentials...... for Spiritual Credibility
Emotional stories......... for Doctrine
Faith among historical saint's........ for faith among us now
Success of an institution......... for Personal Righteousness
Priesthood authority for priesthood power (Boyd K Packer Conference address)
Religious platitudes........ for actual knowledge of God (2 Timothy 3:7)
Financial success.......... for God's Approval (Mosiah 12:14-15) (Luke 6:24)
Worldly acceptance........ for Heavenly Acceptance (John 15:19) (Luke 6:26)
"Following The Prophet"........... for Following the Lord (D&C 76:98-101)

We may also mistake:
Uniformity........ for Unity.
Human talents.......... for Gifts of the Spirit
Following the manual........ for following the Spirit (Moroni 6:9)
Uninspired words of leaders............... for Truth (Mormon news room Link)
Praying to be "heard of men"........... for praying to be heard of God. (Alma 33:8)
True prophets.............. for "wild men" (Moses 6:8)

And a few more mistaken look-alikes could be mistaking:
Trials for sin, or the contrary, lack of trails for righteousness.  
Official changes........... for Revelation

and the
The City of Goshen(Sodom)....... for the Holy Land.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

90: And there were MANY who could not be kept from within the veil

One of my favorite books in the Book of Mormon is the Book of Ether. It contains the condensed history of the Jaredite people starting with their journey to a promised land and ending with their ultimate destruction. We learn about the Lord's promises to lead these people to a promised land and make them a great nation. This land  is a choice land, requiring a convenant whereon they must serve Christ or be swept off. Wars, dissensions, and wickedness dominate the Jaredites. Secret Combinations result in the destruction of the nation. The Spirit of the Lord ceases to strive with them and millions are killed in battle, The Jaredite nation is utterly destroyed. We are warned specifically that this is a pattern of how pride, greed, secret combinations destroy a once prosperous nation.

Moroni is commanded to seal up these writings of the brother of Jared—They will not be revealed until men have faith even as the brother of Jared who pierced the veil.

I wanted to share this verse from the 12th chapter, verse 19:

"And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad."
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This scripture says... "And there were MANY" .. not just one, or a few select people, .. but MANY, who were not kept from within the veil. Is this something we should seek after? Is this something we should talk about? What does the church handbook say about piercing the veil? Do our leaders encourage this or should we settle for less."

My grandma is the youngest granddaughter of Parley P Pratt. This is what my great great grandpa had to say about his desire to be like one of the MANY who we read about in Ether.

"For my part I never can rest until my eyes have seen my Redeemer. Until I have gazed like Nephi upon the glories of the Celestial world. Until I can come into full communion and familiar converse with the angels of glory and the spirits of just men made perfect through the blood of Christ. And I testify to all, both small and great, both male and female, that if they stop short of the full enjoyment of these things they stop short of the blessings freely offered to every creature in the Gospel."
(Parley Pratt letter to John Taylor, November 27, 1836; spellings and punctuation corrected.)

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Are we stopping short of the blessings freely offered to every creature in the Gospel?
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

89: DANCING WITH THE STARS AT THE CONFERENCE CENTER

"And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf."
Exodus 32:35
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(This is an update to a previous post about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing with the celebrity guest entertainer and singer, Katherine Jenkins.)

Since the demand for Mormon Tabernacle special performances is so high, tickets are distributed through a lottery system.  In case you were not one of the “lucky ones”… I am posting one of the segments of  last weeks performance. In addition to singing popular songs, Katherine Jenkins with her partner Mark Ballas performed their dance routine from the popular television show, “Dancing with the Stars”. Here is the link for you to watch.



The couple performed the Paso Doble which is a Spanish dance where traditionally the man is characterized as the matador (bullfighter) and the lady as his cape/or the bull in the drama of a Spanish bullfight. It was a crowd pleaser as you can tell by the applause. I don’t want to read too much into it.. but I think there is some symbolism.
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There are many places that I consider to be a holy place on this earth. Places like Mt. Sinai where God spoke to the prophet Moses, places like the sacred grove where the Father and the Son came to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I consider the point where heaven meets earth as sacred. Twice a year, men who are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators speak to us from pulpit in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake. Many would consider that place to be a “sacred” place where they believe the mind and the will of God is revealed to us through these men. You can go on a tour of the Conference Center; however, the visitors are not allowed to come close to the pulpit.
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Now for the reason for this post. When Moses came down to speak the mind and will of God to the Israelites, he found them dancing and worshipping a “golden calf” (which was actually a small bull.) We know that King David danced in praising the Lord....so the dancing of the Israelites is actually a wonderful form of worship. However, the dancing to worship a false idol is not pleasing to the Lord.. While waiting upon the Lord the Israelites were dancing in worshipping a bull. The bull is an ancient symbol for the power of God.

I couldn’t help but think how ironic that this symbolic bull dance that spectators watched for pleasure would be performed on the very spot where messages are delivered by the Men who “sit in Moses seat”. It is at least interesting to see some similiarites between us, "the chosen people of the Lord" today and the ancient Israelites.

Sidenote: Funny how I came across this today of one of our most famous Mormons in very opportune photoshoot.