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Monday, December 17, 2012

129: KEEPING DARKNESS AT BAY

As a father of grade-school children, I have been saddened by the recent tragedy of the loss of innocent lives. The world in which we live is indeed a lone and dreary place. It has been said that this is the only world that was wicked enough to crucify their Savior. It is true that the Savior chose to work out his mortal sojourn on the most wicked of all worlds (See Moses 7:36).

At the funeral of two-year-old Marian Lyon, the Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst, which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it … grows more wicked and corrupt. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.  The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope."

History of the Church, 4:553–54; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Mar. 20, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff.

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While the darkness seems to be getting darker, I believe the light is getting stronger as well. I saw the movie 'The Hobbit' this weekend. I enjoyed it. It contains much symbolism. A small and insignifant farmer Bilbo Baggins leaves his comfortable home and sacrifices in defeating darkness.  Here was a profound statement from the movie:

"I've found it is the small things,
every act of normal folk that keeps the darkness at bay
...the simple acts of kindness and love."

Reminds me of  this scripture:

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me;
but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;
and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
Alma 37:6

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Sidenote: The following video and below quote by an unknown author were forwarded to me. I post them here for others to be inspired by them.

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“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored, up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.”


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10 comments:

  1. wow--

    that youtube is very amazing--

    Your blog essay is also very good; thank you--

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  2. More and more it's impressed on my mind the insidiousness of spiritual darkness as well as physical darkness. We overcome false doctrine with truth. We learn truth most efficiently through the scriptures, the Standard Works. There are certain LDSs who have become popular authors recently who preach doctrine containing serious defects. I will not name names. Those who do not study the Standard Works are being duped by them. The sifting is upon us. A lifetime of scripture study is oil you cannot pass on to another in a moment.

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    1. I would be interested to know who you think these authors are. Not for arguments sake, just for curiosity.

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    2. Alright, I'll give you one. I won't argue, either, because I know some reading this blog are very impressed by them.

      I am reading Visions of Glory, the near-death experiences and visions of a man who calls himself "Spencer" - the book was written by John Pontius. About every second or third page there is some doctrinal flaw - I wish I were exaggerating.

      Here is one example. He tells how evil spirits can only inhabit people for short periods of time - "a few minutes at most." And he says, "As soon as one or two spirits entered, no more could enter." Anyone who's read the New Testament knows he's wrong on both counts. Those who haven't read the New Testament might believe anything. There are, as I said, many examples of this throughout the book ... I'm not even half-way yet. It's a sad reflection on the LDS people who take its content to be true.

      We need more scripture study - that is what the Iron Rod is, not all these other things.

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    3. Visions of Glory has many flaws, I didn't really like the second half. However, what you proposed as a flaw is not such. In the book it is talking about earthbound spirits which need to fight for a place in a person. This is different than devils or demons. The story in the New Testament relates to demons and/or devils.

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    4. What do you think an "earthbound spirit" is? Devils/evil spirits are earthbound. How many spirits can dwell in a body at one time? There is no limit. There is no fighting for space. Read Luke 11:24-26 again. The idea of competition or fighting for a place in a person is manufactured false doctrine.

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    5. An earthbound spirit is the spirit of a person who has died which stays bound to this earthly realm and cannot or will not move on to the spirit world for various reasons. For the most part these are the "ghosts" that haunt buildings, cemeteries and other places. Some are benign, some are pranksters, some are curious, and some are just plain evil, just as they were when they were alive.

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  3. For a better understanding of this subject I would recommend "Conquering Spiritual Evil" by Doug Mendenhall...very strong book though...

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  4. Loved the video, very inspiring.

    McKay Platt

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  5. Loved the video, very inspiring.

    McKay Platt

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