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Monday, October 29, 2012

114: THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE TARES

Photo taken on Oct. 22, 2012
of gathered bundles and deliberately burned to protect the forest in Oregon. 


The harvest is the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked. The reapers are the angels, or the messengers sent of heaven. As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world, or the destruction of the wicked.

For in that day, before the Son of Man shall come, he shall send forth his angels and messengers of heaven. And they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them out among the wicked; and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

For the world shall be burned with fire.

JST Matthew 13: 39-44



SIDENOTE:





Here is a picture of Wheat and a picture Tares (scientific name: loluim temulentum). It is difficult to tell the difference between the two. In fact before wheat produces fruit, the tares look IDENTICAL to WHEAT.

The parable of the wheat and tares isn’t necessary the WORLD versus the SAINTS (or Babylon versus Zion).. but instead, I think the parable is referring to those who appear like followers of Christ versus the those who truly are disciples of Christ.


In the spring, wheat and tares grow together but the tares grow faster and shoot their branches over the wheat, preventing the wheat from growing and ripening. Therefore, the tares appear taller, stronger and healthier then wheat. The tares actually overshadow wheat and take nutrients out of the soil causing the wheat to deepen their roots to find the nutrients they need. At this stage it is very hard to pull out the tares because their tendrils are wound around the wheat. if you pluck or uproot the tares prior to the wheat becoming mature than you run the risk of pulling up the roots and destroying the wheat.

The work of separation must therefore wait until the harvest.

So how will the Angels know the difference?

The Tares stand straight up, are puffed up and tall.. but with very little grain, empty but full of pride.
While the wheat are bowed down in humility, heavy with grain ready to be harvested.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

113: ZION WILL BE BUILT


"And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God.
And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness,
even Zion." 
 Moses 7:19
 ...
"When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory."
Psalms 102: 16
...



 I attended church in Oregon last Sunday. This chapel is one of two buildings in the world that has all of the Articles of Faith carved out on the front of the building. Below is a zoomed up and cropped photo highlighting four words from the tenth article of Faith, "we believe that Zion will be built upon the American continent."





Yes, Zion will be built. However, Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. Doctrine and Covenants 105:5. What are those principles? Unfortunately the current track we are on will eventually provoke the judgements of God. However, there is nothing to fear if we are individually in the right way. In the meantime, we are here to serve, with meekness, our fellow Saints. There is absolutely nothing which prevents us from going about doing good, just at the Master did. 

The scriptures talk about two ways that Zion has been built. Enochs way which was built before the destruction. The righteous gathered and were taked before the destruction of the world by flood. The other way is the Book of Mormon's way in which the Savior came AFTER the destruction. Destruction happened ...then the Savior helps establish  Zion. I wonder if we had the choice 4 generations ago, but now we have to go with plan B.. the Book of  Mormon's way.

Here are a couple of things to think about when we start to see unrest and civil disorder come upon our land.  The scriptures also describe Zion to be in the mountains, not in the valleys. Possibly one of the reasons why the city of Zion is on high ground is that the “wicked” are at a disadvantage if they decide to attack. Violence is hard to draw back in once it is started. The wicked slay the wicked, and if we start killing people, we become the “wicked.” Some come to like the killing, they become twisted in their violence and defense and this is actually a RISK to the purity of Zion.

So, the protection of Zion will be the Priesthood and Nature-not Force.

Sidenote:

Here is an interesting thing I saw this weekend as I was driving along side the freeway in Oregon. I felt impressed to pull my car over. I looked over to my left and saw 3 large bird flying next to me.  I pulled out my camera and took some photos. I saw one of the birds start to fly higher and away from the two lower birds. Then all of a sudden the two lower birds began attacking each other. It seemed eerie to see these two birds fighting in midair. It appeared they both were hurt and then landed to the ground.




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

112: PARABLE OF THE TWO TREES

Photo on the left taken on October 19, 2012 of a large Sequoia Redwood tree at the Jedediah State Park in California. The Photo on the right is of a Bristlecone Pine (image found on the internet.)

In the lush lowlands near the coast of California and Oregon, there are hundreds of Redwood Sequoia trees. Many of these trees have fallen to the ground… HUGE, BEAUTIFUL Trees that have toppled over. One of the reasons so many of these Sequoia trees have fallen is a result of not sending down deep roots. Since the surface of the soil is abundant with easily assessable nutrients, these tree will send their roots along the surface of the ground to obtain more and more easily accessible water that is needed to sustain the enormous tree. The roots end up being far away from the trunk and lay in shallow ground.
.
As the trees become taller and taller, many times the long shallow root system cannot support the tall, gigantic tree. One who has seen the Sequoia will also notice that the trees have a hollow core. the inner core is dead and usually disintegrates after time from insects, disease and rot. The living part of the tree is only on its outer layer. It is interesting to note that while the tree is void of a center, which does weaken the tree structurally; it can grow quite nicely without a center core. To most people, the tree appears strong and firm and it is not apparent the tree is not solid, but just a shell.
.

On the opposite extreme, on the high mountain tops, near the tree line where trees are unable to grow, one can see the solitary Bristlecone Pines, growing out from a rocky surface and white stone. These trees aren’t tall, proud, magnificent or standing upright, but are gnarled, knotted and twisted, and sometimes almost appear nearly dead. These trees are remarkable for their ability to survive adverse growing conditions and are among the oldest trees in the world. (some date back 4, 900 years (prediluvian) and have reached an age far greater than that of any other single living organism known.) Its roots sink deep as well as wide into an inhospitable rocky dolomite soil. Invasions from bacteria, fungus or insects that prey upon most plants cannot penetrate and destroy this tree due to its dense, highly resinous wood.. which also prevents rot. The outer wood of the Bristlecone pine when exposed to winter ice, driven by high winds, becomes beautifully sculpted and polished.


It would be well with us tobe more like the Bristlecone Pine in order to survive the onslaught of the comings days... combating the daily fungus, the “bacteria” and insects of the world that is all around us. More importantly....It will only be possible to survive by having roots securely fastened… deep and wide on the rock and soil of Jesus Christ. This ultimately might require us to stand alone, and be different. This could possibly mean to not be “appealing” like the Sequoias, who appear strong, magnificent but has a hollow center with shallow roots.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

111: RE-CONNECTING BACK TO GOD

This is the number 111 post on this blog. Three ones. For this post, I have felt prompted to share three short experiences that happened to me recently. (for those who read the previous post Wicked vs Evil, I did not number it and it is not just by chance that it preceded this post, there is a pattern in all things)

Even though alot could be said about the symbolism of the number three, I wanted to briefly mention a few. Three is symbolic of divine completeness. It is also a number for perfection of testimony.  Three stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, and complete. Three is associated with the Godhead. God's attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. There are three divisions of time: past, present and future. The Lord rose on the third day. The number three makes a complete solid witness, such as Peter's denying Christ three times, then later the Lord asking Peter if he loves Him three times.  In Jewish customs, when a friend had an important question to ask someone, they would knock three times on their door, which is very symbolic of other sacred things.

...

Experience number one:
Taking the wrong trail

...
"Enter ye in at the strait gate;
for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it;
but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death,
and many there be that travel therein,
3 Nephi 27: 33
...

A few weeks ago, I went on a very early morning hike. The hike began around 4:00 AM in complete darkness. The first part of the hike, the trail was easy to follow in the dark, since I could follow the wide and maintained dirt road. With only a flashlight to light my path, I was confident that I was heading in the right direction. After a few miles into my hike, I started to feel uneasy when this road began to descend and deviate from the direction that I felt I should be heading to reach the top of the mountain.  Despite a feeling that I might be offcourse, I still followed this main road. However, the road eventually came to a dead end. The road lead right into an old abandoned silver mine used back in the day by others searching for earthly wealth. I realized that I was now on the opposite side of the mountain that I needed to be.  Even though I had hiked this mountain last year on the Fall Equinox, I had somehow didn't remember nor see that I needed take the narrow path that ascended uphill from the main road.  (see photo above taken during the daytime). So instead, I found myself on the wrong side of a gulf that separated me from where I needed to be. My goal in hiking this mountain was to reach the summit in time to see the sunrise, however, I lost precious time hiking longer then I needed to the silver mine and then trying to find my way back. Long story short.  I eventually found the correct trail, and made it to the top of the mountain. However, the sun had already risen and I missed a sacred moment.
............................................................................................................................................................


Experience number two:
The Loss of Power
...


".. to those whom God should call in the last days,
who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel;
and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood,
which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage;
also to return to that power which she had lost. "
Doctrine and Covenants 113:8

My wife and I were recently doing yard work in our backyard. We were trimming our bushes with an electric trimmer. In order to reach all the bushes, we need to use a long extension cord to supply the needed power. Unfortunately, due to a distraction when we were working, we cut the extension cord with the electric trimmer. The trimmer no longer worked due to the lack of power.  Realizing our error, we unplugged the cord to see where the wires were cut. All three electric wires were completely severed. We then began the process of reconnecting the wires by intertwining them. Once finished with the reconnection, the wires were united in one again.With the power now restored,  we were able to carry on.


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

Experience number three:
Seeing the Unseen



"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; 
 for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

I Corinthians 2: 9-10
...

I took the above photograph from a poster that was given to me by my parents when I was young. It hung in my bedroom growing up. The color blue has always been my favorite color, partly because I love to be around water. What is interesting about this print is that there appears a 3 Dimensional world instead the image that few can see. It is still possible to see this on this blog image. On the surface it appears to most people as a chaotic design pattern. However, with the correct view, it creates a beautiful scene of a mother, with her young looking up into the heavens at night.  

I am not sure where I found this, but I wrote this down in my journal.

It has never been God’s intention to hide Himself from us. On the contrary, we have been the ones to hide ourselves from Him- a habit we inherited from Adam and Eve. Our determination to hide, however, is no match for God’s ability to seek and find us. When He does draw us from darkness to light, and as we surrender ourselves to His love, the roles of hide and seek are gradually reversed. Instead of God having to seek us, we begin with our whole hearts to seek Him. We have an amazing Savior who makes the process of getting to know Him.. life’s most rewarding adventures . God assists our quest for Him by revealing Himself to us on many levels.

Physical eyes and physical ears are incapable of perceiving things which are spiritual in nature. Satan is fearful of the believer who is mighty in spirit and has his spiritual eyes open. It has been Satan's tactic to tempt us either to ignore the spirit altogether, or to pursue spirituality in other ways. On the other hand, God would have us develop  our spiritual eyesight and hearing by means of obedience to His Word, and using our Spiritual Senses.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WICKED VS. EVIL

When we learn the true definition of a word, especially if the word is found in scripture, our understanding increases. For example:
Unbelief doesn’t mean you don’t believe, it means the form of your belief is not correct (i.e. you have the wrong kind of understanding).
Vanity is not a slave to fashion, it means ineffective or lacking power. (i.e. your faith is vain)…
  
Wicked can be defined as "acting in the name of the Lord, when you really aren't. Wickedness is deviating from correct doctrine. A wicked generation is a religious group of people who are unrepentant. A wicked leader teaches the commandments of men. He has a form of Godliness without the power. Wickedness leads people astray. An act of wickedness is similiar to taking Lord's name in vain.  Pretending you are speaking on behalf of the Lord when they aren't not His word's.

We have been warned and forewarned that wickedness will increase. We have been told that the Book of Mormon is a type and shadow for our day. Just reading in  3 Nephi gives us a the pattern for the Second Coming of the Lord.
  • People become Wicked
  • Righteous are holding on by their fingernails
  • Social collapse occurs
  • Nature responds to wickedness by destroying the wicked. Nature is an engine of destruction. Entire Cities are destroyed.
  • Only a righteous few remain. Bountiful is still functioning. For 11 Months the people must suffer and be sanctified. This was required to prepare them to see the Lord.
  • 11 Months after the destruction The Lord Jesus Christ appears.


Today, we use the word wicked and evil interchangablely. However, they are two completely different words.  Evil is outward, and can be seen with the natural eye. Wicked is inward, and is usually hidden, and disguised.  Evil produces fear, sorrow, distress, injury or calamity, Wicked produces a false hope in something that can not save you.


It is the religious who are convinced  they know what is "right", are the ones who can be the most wicked. It was the religious, temple-working, Jews who crucified their Savior. Despite being a religious, moral, and chaste virgin, the five who do not know the Lord are called foolish and wicked. Doctrine and Covenants 63: 54 states, “And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked.”. (a separation from the wise and the foolish)

Sidenote:
Disclaimer: I hestitated even posting the following. I am not recommending that you look at or watch the below videos, if you are sensitive things of a dark nature. (and BTW: I didn't number this post because of the below content)

The month of October is a time that many people like to dress up in costume. Some costumes that people choose to wear could be defined as 'evil'.  Evil is defined as a malady, or depravity especially when regarded as a supernatural force. Commercial Haunted Houses use evil to create fear. People pay to go through these haunted house, others profit from them.

For the past several weeks the Deseret News has been running a full page ad for one of Utah's most visited tourist location, This is the Place Monument. This is a sacred location where the Saints entered into the Salt Lake Valley. There is a large monument of Brigham Young there.

During the month of October, you can pay to walk through what is usually a sacred historical site turned into a haunted village. I took a picture of the newspaper ad below of this full page ad:

(At least "This is the Place" is closed on Sundays to keep the Sabbath day holy.)
I originally embedded the videos but now just have the link.

Here is the link to the website for the This is the Place Haunted Village. LINK
Here is an online commercial for it LINK
................................................

Furthermore, The Polynesian Culture Center run by the LDS Church is one of the most (if not the most)  visited tourist attractions in Hawaii. Also in the month of October, this popular location becomes "haunted".

Here is the website for the Polynesian Culture Center Haunted Lagoon. LINK
Here is a trailer for the Haunted Lagoon LINK


I am not sure why this locations can't just decorate with pumpkins and scarecrows.  These are important tourist attractions to promote the church and our sacred historical places.
We are studying the life of President George Albert Smith in Priesthood and Relief Society this year. He strongly cautioned, “If you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the spirit of the Lord.”
 "Abstain from all appearance of evil."   
I Thessalonians 5: 22. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

110: THE CHURCH 168 YEARS LATER FROM THE PROPHETS DEATH.

I have talked to many people about their views, insights and thoughts on last weekends General Conference. I have read the writing of others who have shared their feelings on blogs and forums.  In my opinion, Conference is a time for personal reflection. For me, it is important to listen not just what the speakers say, but what the Spirit reveals to you personally. Even though listening to conference this year was a little harder for us at our home with a one year old, I was grateful to spend time with my family. I enjoyed the beautiful weather, going on an early morning hike, and listening to the talks when they testified of Christ and our complete dependence on Him and our need to not just have a testimony of Him but to  be "converted."

While not a complete list,  here is quick short list of a few highlights, one-liners and slogans that I can remember. I tried to get one from each of the speaker's talks.
  • Announcement was revealed to the church to have 18 year old Elders and 19 year old Sisters serve missionaries.
  •  Two new temples will be built in Arizona and Peru.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • Don’t have your faith falter despite adversity or church history. 
  • Two tragic stories of loss (a 8 month old baby, and a tragic accident of a 21 year old daughter)
  • Ask the Missionaries.  They can help you.
  • I Know it, I Live it, I Love it.
  • Importance of marriage,  family and children. 
  • Honey contains all the essentials food to sustain life. One bee’s contribution 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey
  • Plea for the Lamanites/Native Americans/ Remmant to read and reread the Book of Mormon
  • Would I sell my soul for 5 cents or a championship game?
  • Perfectionism in the Temple with no grit on wall or crooked square glass windows.
  • Rise up Men and Boys (and these are my words… and “grow a pair”)
  • Courage to stand as a witness at all times and follow promptings like leaving a party before being found guilty by association.
  • Beware of falling rocks on the steep highway carved into the mountain.
  • Whether you are in a Piper plane or F-18 plane ward, immerse yourself in church service and feel heavens embrace
  • See others not as they are but rather as what they can become.
  • Mandate to share the gospel.
  • Pray to know the gifts that I have been given and help others find the gifts they have been given.
  • As I am soaring through the clouds on an airplane, don’t complain about the peanuts.
  • Look for the Lower lights to help guide in storms.
  • First Observe than Serve.
  • Seeing the face of the Lord....only at the Judgement Bar?
  • Become a more Christian Christian.
  • Surf the “Celestial” Web.
  • Feel good stories and examples of following the promptings of the Spirit.
  • Don’t pick a few things to eat, but eat from the whole buffet of the gospel.
  • A Testimony will not be enough..it is essential to be Converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

I know that this might seem out of place to post these here....I wanted to also post two of Joseph Smith's last dreams that he had just prior to his death  almost 168 years ago. I find them to be extremely symbolic.
....
Joseph Smith Farm House Dream
 TPJS, pp. 393-94
Section Six 1843-44, p.393

     Joseph related the following dream which he had last night: I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture. I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather-boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.
     "While I viewed the desolation around me, and was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me. "The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.
     "I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.
      "He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.
     "I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with the destruction of my body. 
     "While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.           
      "When I was a little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended."   
      Both Joseph and Hyrum bore a faithful testimony to the Latter-day work, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and prophesied of the triumph of the Gospel over all the earth, exhorting the brethren present to faithfulness and persevering diligence in proclaiming the Gospel, building up the Temple, and performing all the duties connected with our holy religion.

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

 The Steamboat Dream
 Almanac for the Year 1863:
Being the Thirty Fourth Year of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
(Great Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News, 1862), 28-29. From William W. Phelps,
.
       While I was at Jordan's in Iowa the other night, I dreamed that myself and my brother Hyrum went on board of a large steamboat, lying in a small bay, near the great ocean. Shortly after we went on board there was an "alarm of fire," and I discovered that the boat had been anchored some distance from the shore, out in the bay, and that an escape from the fire, in the confusion, appeared hazardous; but, as delay was folly, I and Hyrum jumped overboard, and tried our faith at walking upon the water.
       At first we sank in the water nearly to our knees, but as we proceeded we increased in faith, and were soon able to walk upon the water. On looking towards the burning boat in the east, we saw that it was drifting towards the wharf and the town, with a great flame and clouds of smoke; and, as if by whirlwind, the town was taking fire, too, so that the scene of destruction and horror of the frightened inhabitants was terrible.
       We proceeded on the bosom of the mighty deep and were soon out of sight of land. The ocean was still; the rays of the sun were bright, and we forgot all the troubles of our Mother Earth. Just at that moment I heard the sound of a human voice, and, turning round, saw my brother Samuel H. approaching towards us from the east. We stopped and he came up. After a moment's conversation he informed me that he had been lonesome back, and had made up his mind to go with me across the mighty deep.
       We all started again, and in a short time were blest with the first sight of a city, whose gold and silver steeples and towers were more beautiful than say I had ever seen or heard of on earth. It stood, as it were, upon the western shore of the mighty deep we were walking on, and its order and glory seemed far beyond the wisdom of man. While we were gazing upon the perfection of the city, a small boat launched off from the port, and, almost as quick as thought, came to us. In an instant they took us on board and saluted us with a welcome, and with music such as is not on earth. The next scene, on landing, was more than I can describe: the greeting of old friends, the music from a thousand towers, and the light of God himself at the return of three of his sons, soothed my soul into a quiet and a joy that I felt as if I was truly in heaven. I gazed upon the splendor; I greeted my friends. I awoke, and lo, it was a dream!
       While I meditated on such a marvelous scene, I fell asleep again, and behold I stood near the shore of the burning boat, and there was a great consternation among the officers, crew and passengers of the flaming craft, as there seemed to be much ammunition or powder on board. The alarm was given that the fire was near the magazine, and in a moment, suddenly, it blew up with a great noise, and sank in deep water with all on board. I then turned to the country east, among the bushy openings, and saw William and Wilson Law endeavoring to escape from the wild beasts of the forest, but two lions rushed out of a thicket and devoured them. I awoke again.

Friday, October 5, 2012

109: WARM FUZZIES AND UPLIFTING BOOKS TO READ



For the past three years just before General Conference, a new book has been released on the life, teachings, and inspirational stories about President Thomas S Monson.

The latest book,  A Prophet’s Voice, was just released  a week or so ago, prior to tomorrow's October General Conference.  From the book’s description, A Prophet's Voice brings together more than fifty of Monson’s classic addresses, including all the major general conference sermons President Monson has given since becoming the sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Filled with warmth and reflection, these messages demonstrate the worth of every soul and the power of personal examples in our lives.”  President Monson is perhaps best known for his gift of weaving true accounts into his addresses, bringing gospel principles to life through the enlightening experiences of individuals he has met or heard of in his ministry.  (LIST PRICE at Deseret Book $32.99)

In 2011, the book that was released prior to the October General Conference was called Teachings of Thomas S. Monson. Advertised as “the ideal companion volume to the prophet's bestselling biography, ‘To the Rescue.’  Whether you’re preparing a lesson, planning a talk, teaching your family, or just seeking to be uplifted and motivated to live the gospel more fully, you’ll appreciate Teachings of Thomas S. Monson.” (LIST PRICE at Deseret Book is $29.99­)

In 2010,  after commissioning that his biography to be written, To the Rescue, was released which has now became a best seller for Deseret Book. The book description states, “To the Rescue chronicles the life and ministry of this extraordinary leader. It is filled with the heartwarming personal accounts so typical of President Monson — some that have become favorites over time and many others that have not been told before.” In conjunction with the books release, readers were invited to leave a “warm fuzzy” in a large jar. Here is that invitation:  . We invite you to join the Warm Fuzzies Movement by doing acts of kindness and service, and then to represent your service, submit a Warm Fuzzy from now through the end of the year. In January, we’ll send your Warm Fuzzies to President Monson. Click here to leave your warm fuzzy. (LIST PRICE at Deseret Book is $34.99 AT DESERET BOOK)

I have not read the books, but since we are taught to follow our Prophet, since he can't lead us astray... I am wondering if we should save up the almost 100 bucks to buy and then read these books.

Sidenote:
I have to admit that I am really looking forward to listening to President Monson tomorrow in General Conference. It has been reported that he has received a revelation that will be announced in this weekend in General Conference. I can’t remember the last time when the President of the Church has actually announced that a “revelation” has been recieved.  It should make for a good chapter to include in next years book. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

108: POWER, RICHES, AND POPULARITY

About 5 years ago I read Hugh Nibley's "Approaching Zion". Few books have had such a profound impact on my life. Since Hugh never attained the rank of a General Authority within the church, I highly doubt that any of his writings will be included in the new curriculum to teach the youth starting in January 2013. In my opinion, I would love it if we at least quoted him once in awhile...or at least as many times as we do non-LDS writers like CS Lewis.

This is a pivotal year. Election year. Tonight is the first of Presidental Debates. I don't particularily like either candidate. I think the American people have been given a "rock" or a "hard place" to choose from. Either the "ripe" or the "ripening".  That being said, I just wanted to mention this. On page 275 in Approaching Zion, Hugh Nibley mentions the four things that will destroy a civilization.  He quotes the Book of Mormon prophet writer, Mormon who also warns us in these latter days of these similiar four things. These four things are the lust for: Power, Riches, Popularity, and the Desires of the Flesh.

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

"Satan had great power,
unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity,
 and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for
POWER,
and AUTHORITY,
and RICHES,
and the VAIN THINGS of the world."
3 Nephi 6:15
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Almost every prophet in the Book of Mormon gives this same account of what happens to the people of the Church when they become powerful, rich and popular with the world. Examples can be found in Alma, Helaman, Mormon, Nephi etc. Here are few scriptures.

"For they saw and beheld with great sorrow that 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."
Alma 4: 8

"But behold, it is to get gain, to be praised of men, yea, and that ye might get gold and silver. And ye have set your hearts upon the riches and the vain things of this world."
Helaman 7:21


"Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches."
Mormon 8:28

"They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a  few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men."
2 Nephi 28: 14


Sidenote images and video:
Multimillion dollars homes surrounding the Draper, UT Temple.
...
Here is an interesting video of  one of our most famous Mormons
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I'll end this post by quoting from a friend,
"May the Lord have mercy on us all. Even so, Amen."
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One more interesting tidbit:

The Republican Party in helping the Mitt Romney Campaign is offering a free 3 day stay down in Las Vegas. I received an phone call and a follow up email with the following offer.

We are sending buses down to Las Vegas every weekend from now until election day (with the exception of Oct 5-7). We would love to have you join us! Nevada is a battleground state and they need us in order for the Republican ticket to win in November.

The buses will leave Utah on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday by 8:30pm. We will be putting you up in a hotel, and covering food for the duration of the trip. Saturday will be spent canvassing neighborhoods (ID-ing voters so that the NV team can effectively target voters). These voter IDs help the campaign to save valuable time and money so that they can focus on the swing voters.


The buses will start boarding at our Midvale office at 3:45pm and leave promptly at 4:00pm, or from our Orem office at 4:45pm and 5:00pm, respectively.
In order to reserve your seat on the bus, I need the following information:.....


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Monday, October 1, 2012

107: SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH

As some people are already aware, Elder Russell M Nelson reported that President Monson recieved a revelation that will be announced in General Conference this weekend.  This information was written on a  LDS Public Affair missionary's blog serving in Europe. (So take it with a grain of salt). This is what was written.
  • "Yesterday the Area Office was reviewed by Elder Russell M. Nelson. He met with the Area Seventy, Elder Teixeira and his counselors, whose offices are upstairs. 88 year-old Elder Nelson meet briefly with us Senior Missionaries next door at the stake center chapel before heading off to Milan for meetings and then to London to visit with the temple president before heading home from a 12 day trip across Europe. He told us that revelation is alive and well in the Church and that we should listen closely in our upcoming general conference as last Thursday President Monson received revelation that will "shape the future of the Church."
 
There has been much speculation on the Internet on what Monson's revelation is....could it be a two hour block instead of 3 hours for church?.. or civil marriages will now be performed outside of the Temple and only sealings performed inside the Temple?, or could it be as simple as announcing a new church wide curriculum change for the youth that has been in a pilot program. We will all know soon enough.
 
If the revelation is the youth curriculum change I mentioned above, this revelatory program was recently announced to the locals Bishops via a letter sent out by the First Presidency dated September 12, 2012.
 
The letter begins by saying, "We are pleased to announce a new curriculum for the Young Men and Young Women, and for youth Sunday School classes."
 
Some of the excerpts from the letter are as follows:
 
  • "The new curriculum integrates basic gospel doctrines"...
  • .
  • "The focus is on strengthening and building faith, conversion, and testimony, using the most current teachings of the General Authorities and General Auxiliary Presidencies." (emphasis mine)
 
I found some of the words very interesting in this letter. The word 'integrates' means to form, coordinate, or blend... The definition of "integrate" is not that different from the word 'mingle' which means to bring or mix together.
 
Also the curriculum will be using the "most current teachings of the General Authorities".
 
So in a nutshell, the new curriculum for our youth will be "using the teachings of our General Authorites integrating basic gospel doctrines...."
 
Reminds me of another phrase I hear often.
.