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Friday, June 28, 2013

188: CIRCLE THE WAGONS

..
 To “circle the wagons” is a idiom that usually suggests that a group of people have come together, unified and work together for a common purpose. In the early migration of pioneers to the west this was a common practice used for protection from outside forces. They became united in purpose. They would circle their wagons at night, or when threatened during the day. These wagon trains would stop moving and form into a circle on the frontier prairie as a means of protection against the weather, the wind, or an attack by local Native Americans or outlaws. The above photo actually show a similar "circling" with those in active duty.
  
Like many who probably read this blog, we look forward to a day to “circle our wagons” and live in Zion. Zion is a group of people who have come together, who are of one heart and one mind. In the meantime, many of us weep for Zion. In my opinion, each of  must individually seek the “Face of the Lord” in order to join such a miraculous endeavor, whenever the Lord chooses to make it happen. All will have to receive revelation directly from heaven, directly from the Lord Himself.
  
Once the Lord establishes the City of Zion, the Lord will come to dwell among His people. It will be difficult in our society, yet the Lord promised that He would do it. How does Zion work? It is my understanding that everyone will know the Lord, and have a great love for one another. It will not bother us that there will be those who will work more and others less.
 
Unfortunately very little is spoken in scripture that gives us a model for Zion. Probably the best chapter is Fourth Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Here is a short list:
 
  • They had all things common among them.
  • There were not rich and poor, bond and free. 
  • They were all made free.
  • They were all partakers of the Heavenly Gift.
  • There was no contention, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts
  • There were no envyings, strifes, tumults, whoredoms, lyings, murders, nor lasciviousness.
  • There could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
  • There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; 
  • They were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
  
And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings;
 
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness;
 
 
While we might try, only through the Lord can Zion be established. Him alone can bring again. We don’t have the first inkling yet of how Zion is going to come about, or what it will require. Many of us might have the wrong picture in their head. However, I know it works because everyone has love for one another.
 
So in the meantime We can show forth love for one another. Here is an opportunity.
   
I have read other blog posts when an opportunity to help a family in need, miracles have happened. I am mindful of funds that were raised in order for a car to be purchased, or a passing of a providing father to help sustain his family. It has come to my attention that a family who have experienced much tragedy and loss recently have been prompted to sell what little they have and travel from the other side of the world to come to the Rocky Mountains. With No job, no family support, no financial means, they come with faith and with the shirts on their backs. Hearing that this family will be coming to the United States, another humble family has offered to convert some available space into a home for them to live in. In order to make this work, resources are needed. (framing, sheet rock, flooring, insulation, electrical, plumbing, water heater, paint, cabinets, finish Hardware, flooring, Washer and Dryer, Stove and refrigerator)
 
   
As well as furnishings for two-bedroom apartment: beds with sheets, bedding, pillows, kitchen table and chairs for a family of six, Couches and chairs, Towels, rugs, shower curtain, Cleaning supplies: vacuum, broom, mop, buckets, Dishes, pots and pans, silverware, etc.
 
 If any of you feel that you help in donating items or contributing financially:
 
please email at:  circlingwagons@gmail.com

and more information will be sent on how to donate. (Look for a few other blogs that more will probably share more information about this opportunity to help this family in need.)
 
  
Sidenote: Over the course of the next several weeks, the need has come for my family and I to “circle our own personal wagons”. A need for some time to reconnect with each other and deconnect from the world. A time to fortify our marriage and  create bonds with my children. So more than likely I will be taking some time off from posting.
 
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

187: MARTYRDOM OF TWO BROTHERS: HYRUM and JOSEPH

Those who seek the truth are few and unloved in this world.
One who receives adulation or popularity is not a seeker of truth.
Christ was not popular. Joseph Smith was not popular.
 
.....
Today is the 169th year anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his older brother, Hyrum. Ironically, I found out today that a friend of mine, a truthseeker, who was only a few years older than me, passed away. He has a strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph. I can only imagine the reunion.

"On June 27, 1844, at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were assassinated by enemies of the Church in the county jail at Carthage, Illinois. John Taylor, severely wounded at the same time, later called the Smith brothers " martyrs of religion" and declared that the Restoration of the gospel had "cost the best blood of the nineteenth century." These faithful souls personified the Savior's teaching: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. "God is my friend," wrote Joseph Smith to his wife in 1832. "In him I shall find comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me, only to do his will." Days before his death in 1844, the Prophet reiterated: "I am ready to be offered a sacrifice for this people." Leaving Nauvoo for Carthage, Joseph said, "I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men." The Prophet humbly acknowledged, "I am a lover of the cause of Christ." .... from the Life of the Prophet

I received an email from a friend yesterday. I asked him if I could post it, since I think others could benefit from it. I post it with his permission. He entitled the email: The Subversive Prophets: Why We All Just Can’t Get Along

Here is the entire email:

Do you think Jesus had career goals? Apprentice carpenter by age 16, Rabbi by 30? To think the Lord maintained earthly aspirations of any type beyond strict obedience to whatever Father asked of Him seems silly:

 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

And yet, if Jesus truly is our exemplar; “be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect,” why do we insist on plotting our own course with the vigor and self determination that rivals that of the proudest gentiles? (3 Nephi 1:48)

Who do you think runs this world? The great quest for stuff, glory, pleasure, and power are the shiny lures Satan employs to divert our minds from heavenly gifts by reminding us of the best his world has to offer. But let’s be clear; his ability to reward is real. His game would have collapsed long ago it he weren’t able to compensate his followers. As the god of this world, Satan has been given dominion over some specific things:

“And the Spirit taketh him up into a high mountain, and he beheld all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-8, see JST 4:5)

Jesus never questioned or refuted Satan’s assertion that the power to distribute power and glory in this world had been specifically delegated to him. Jesus clearly identified the confines of his dominion to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

If the natural man’s heart is automatically attuned to the frequency of Satan’s revelation, it would be easy to influence his followers to reward those he chooses with praise, popularity, power, and the other things that gold and silver can buy. What’s interesting is that in both Satan’s plan, “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine,” and in the Lord’s plan, “therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him,” the reward structures are the same. (Luke 4:7 and D&C 84:38) Both the God of Heaven and the god of this world promise all they control as gifts to their faithful followers. While their approaches are similar, their rewards are not. One offers the riches of heaven, one offers the power and glory of this world. The god we worship is a function of the rewards we desire. When we pray desiring wealth or fame, who is likely to respond?

 A strange thing in the land; wild men among us.

 At this point we ought to consider the unruly band of miscreants otherwise known as the prophets. Why is it that these faithful souls who, having partaken of the tree of life and paid no attention to those from Satan’s “strange building” pointing the finger of scorn in their general direction (ever consider which finger that might be?), and having received the testimony of Jesus and the accompanying gift of prophecy seem to be in constant contention with everybody around them? (see 1 Nephi 8:33 and Revelation 19:10) Consider, for example, Lehi, Nephi, Abinadi, Captain Moroni, Nephi (Helaman’s grandson), Enoch, Moses, Joseph Smith, John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself. They simply don’t play by the rules. The world’s rules, that is. See, it turns out that the well dressed folks over at Camp Satan are tolerant of pretty much any message except repentance. And that’s why sparks always fly—because that’s the one message true prophets always bring. The world’s method of operation is to induce compliance through social pressure. Team Great and Spacious will do whatever they can to shame everybody else into accepting and following their rules. Righteous saints have a very distinct reaction to this campaign of shame; they despise it. The word “despise” comes to us from the Latin despicere “look down on, scorn.”

“But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.” (2 Nephi 9:18)

It may seem strange that in our quest for meekness we should need to despise anything. But the spirit of this world and the Spirit of Heaven are intrinsically opposed, and once we truly desire the latter, the former becomes distasteful and even loathsome. You can’t hold to the one without despising the other. (see Matthew 6:24)
The saints don’t like the world, and the world can’t stand the saints. It’s not often you’ll find instances of the Lord Himself despising people, but in this case, He sides with the saints:

“And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:42)

Is this the enmity placed by the Lord between us and Satan’s followers to protect us from their desire to take possession of our bodies? Does true love of the Kingdom of Heaven bring with it a true distaste for the things Satan has to offer us here in this telestial kingdom? If what I truly want is pleasure, power, praise, or popularity, then I want what this world has to offer, and when I pray for (or desire) those things, there is a god ready and willing to answer my plea. If what I truly want is peace, to be enveloped in the loving arms of my God in Heaven, then when I pray for (or desire) to be in His presence, there is a God ready and willing to answer my plea. What matters most is what I want. Not what I think I’m supposed to want or what other people tell me I should want, but what I honestly, at the core of my heart where nobody else knows but me, really, truly long for. What we want is what we worship.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

186: EROSION: THE BEGINNING OF THE GREAT DIVIDE

 
One word came to me today. The word was erosion. Erosion is the gradual wearing away, the process of undermining, of deterioration, of weakening to a state of final destruction of. What is interesting is that erosion usually divides. A gulf is formed where there are two sides. You can no longer stand on middle ground or if you are, as shown in the photo above, you would be standing in mud.

Today is a historic day. The Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional on June 26. In a pair of landmark rulings, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, giving married gay couples access to federal benefits — and declined to rule on Prop 8, paving the way for same-sex couples to wed again in California.
 
Here is a photo taken this morning in front of the Supreme Court. What caught my eye was the scaffolding around the building. The U.S. Supreme Court Building's West Front Fa├žade is undergoing construction to address deterioration and erosion due to age, weather and nature. Years ago, a modillion (a support projecting from a wall) from the pediment cornice failed and fell to the ground. Emergency repair work has been performed on the West Portico over several years during summer recess of the Court, but now full restoration work is underway. I find that symbolic.
 
 
 
Here is a photo of some LDS supporters of the decision for Marriage Equality.

 

Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old woman who brought the case against DOMA, said that the ruling ensured that the federal government could no longer discriminate against the marriages of gays and lesbians. “Children born today will grow up in a world without DOMA, and those same children who happen to be gay will be free to love and get married,” she said.

A few weeks ago on the front page of MSN.com, there was an article on how new parents keep their relationship strong. See the photo of these two men. The photo suggests that these two men are the parents of this baby.  Our world is becoming ever more confused. My heart is saddened to think that children will be raised without ever having a female mother... or for that matter, a male father.


 
 
Bottomline: From the beginning of time, Satan's main purpose was to separate the man from the woman which started in the Garden. And if Satan could divide, he could conquer and defeat them. There is power in the couple of man and woman. It is creative power. It is the same power of God which is to bring forth new life. The divine couple of male and female when "fused" together is limitless... any other  type "fusing" is an abomination of desolation.
...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

185: MARKETING, PERSONAS, and SOCIAL MEDIA

To begin this post I wanted to share this quote by Hugh Nibley:

"An extremely important lesson [is] driven home repeatedly in the Book of Mormon,  that righteousness does not consist of being identified with this or that nation, party, church, or group.  When you find a particularly wicked society in the story, look back a few pages and you will probably find that not many years before those same people were counted righteous. Or, when you find a particular godless and ferocious lot of Lamanites, if you look a few pages ahead you may find them among the most blessed and favored of God's people." Hugh Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon (1989), 337

.....

Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers. To better understand the "customers", surveys and focus testing are conducted as well as market segmentation analysis are performed. Personas are created, and vast amount of money is spent on advertising.

In the NEW YORK TIMES, it was reported that the Church hired two big-name advertising agencies Ogilvy & Mather and Hall & Partners, to find out what Americans think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints using focus groups and surveys.

 The Church has been spending a vast amount of time, money, and resources around the world to "market" The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. or affectionately called, the Mormons, including the creation of "personas". One of the goals of this particular marketing campaigns is to portray the members of the Church as normal, everyday people who are happy, successful and all have beautiful smiles.



Here is a news report of this marketing campaign happening in London, England. LINK TO VIDEO


The main purposes of marketing is to influence someone's decision. The best way to do this is through their emotions. My wife coined the term POPE.... (Playing On People's Emotions). Beautiful ads and videos are created which affect our thoughts and hopefully our actions.

Most are aware of billboards, television commercials, radios ads, and print advertising to influence others, but most are not aware that  "personas"  that are also used in marketing. Personas are fictional characters created with the purpose to generate positive comments and start a buzz about the product. These comments will give the real people impressions that this is something of value. However, it is an artificial means to create hype. It appears real, and a way to influence the public. It creates buzz as if it were spontaneous. Even though it makes the product look hot, hip... it is fake and phony. It dismisses bona fide real people. It manipulates by influencing the impressions/comments written by real people

The Church can use personas to generate reactions to new stories and other things to influence real people by the contrived comments/"reactions" of the personas.  For example, if you put up an announcement that for instance about the dedication of City Creek mall in the Deseret news, or for the continuing support of the Boy Scouts, and you have personas generating comments who made sure that the first comments are positive.. (those are the personas).. These comments by "personas" help influence others to what would otherwise be a negative responses.

Another way of marketing is using social media like Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other forms of online digital media.

I have always been somewhat leery of Facebook. I prefer that my children do not have a Facebook Account. Now that President Monson, as well as the other apostles have Facebook's accounts, it will be hard to discourage them from having an account.. I can just heard it now, "But Dad, our prophet has a Facebook account"

click on news article LINK

"First Presidency members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently launched their own Google+ pages. President Thomas S Monson, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will soon have their own Facebook accounts."

In the World Wide Training Meeting held on Sunday, it looks like all the missionaries will now be able to have Facebook accounts as well.

 “As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves,” Elder Perry said.

....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

184: A DESCRIPTION OF THE LORD


We are approaching the Summer Solstice in a few days, as mentioned in the previous post.  It is a good today to draw closer to Heaven.  It is a good day to ascend. The word ASCEND derives  from ad- "to" + scandere "to climb". Ascend literally means “to climb”. It also means “to rise, to proceed from an inferior to a superior degree; to move upwards; to mount; to go up; 

The legacy that Joseph Smith left is a drive for knowledge, to ascend. He taught the importance of seeking after knowledge…seeking after the mysteries of God…seeking after the things of heaven. Joseph Smith taught the importance of the ascent through the heavens back to the presence of the Father. This is a spiral ascend upward. It is a belief that man can become a God. “As man is now, God once was. And as God is now, man may become.” Eternal progression is what it is all about, which is man's destiny is to become like God. It is the process of ASCENDING.

 
Below are some thoughts that were shared with me.

There are two statements that are repeated in scripture that describe the Lord. (Three times in the Book of Mormon and also in the Doctrine and Covenants,) This two part description says that "His paths are straight and His course is One Eternal Round." 

"For God doth not walk in crooked paths,
neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left,
neither doth he vary from that which he hath said,
therefore his paths are straight,
and his course is one eternal round."
Doctrine and Covenants 3:2

Two different things are being described,  His path and His course. It is not the same thing. The path is Him. The path is what He is. The path is straight. If He were not to fulfill everything that He says, then he would deviate from his path. Whatever He takes into his heart to do or to say, that is what he does, that is why his words are endless, and His path is straight, that is why he can not deviate from it.
 

His course is the One Eternal Round. His course is what we are on. In other words, his curriculum, his manner of teaching.. is one Eternal Round. That is why He can be straight, but the course that we take is one eternal round. And the reason why it is one eternal round is because … if you are going to ascend the mountain,.. not by walking straight up.. but go back and forth and back and forth.. in order to reach up. And that process requires cycles of upward movement in incrementally stage by stage. We move by degrees and increments. We are invited to walk in the path, but the way that we get to his path for us , is by following or taking the course that He offers. The course does narrow the higher you get.

 

 
 

Furthermore, we read another description of the Lord. Neither does the Lord  have a shadow…of turning to the right or the left.

"neither doth he vary from that which he hath said;
neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left,
or from that which is right to that which is wrong;
therefore, his course is one eternal round."
Alma 7:20

Imagine yourself perpendicular to the sun, on the longest day of the year, standing at the equator. With the Sun directly overhead, there is no shadow except beneath your feet. There is none. Likewise, the Lord and His path is so reliable that he doesn’t even cast a shadow by leaning to the right or to the left.  There is no shadow between him and being true to the path itself.  He doesn’t cast a shadow,.. neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, because that is who He is… his course is one eternal round. And that is what we do… And we are expected to improve, and increase and grow incrementally… but like what Joseph said,… it will a great while after we have departed from this world before we will have learned all you need to learn in order to know enough to be saved and know enough ultimately to be exalted.. because that course it just continues.
 
 



Friday, June 14, 2013

183: SUMMER SOLSTICE


SEVEN days from now, it will be the Summer Solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun is higher in the sky throughout this day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, creating more sunlight on this day then any other. In North America, summer solstice begins on June 21, 2013 at 1:04 A.M. EDT

 As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning sol = "sun" and stice =  "to stand still." It is said that  the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

Above is a photo of Mount Timpanogos. It is the second highest mountain in Utah's Wasatch Range and the 47th most prominent mountain in the United States. The name translates as "rock" (tumpi) and "water mouth" or "canyon" (panogos). It would make for the perfect hike to ascend on the Summer Solstice.

A wise friend of mine said:

"Observing the Vernal, Autumnal and Solstices was something done from ancient times, in ceremony and in ritual. Whole cities were built aligned to the cardinal directions of the compass and the lights of heaven. The lights of heaven were given to us first as “signs” and secondly as “seasons.” Don’t let them pass by unnoticed. Otherwise you note less than even the plants and the animals whose life cycles and behavior acknowledge the passing of such events.

"Nature testifies endlessly of the Lord. It also invites us endlessly to turn back to Him. This continuing patience and enduring invitiation shown in nature is a reminder of how loving and patient, how persistent and committed the Lord is to our salvation. Salvation is predicated upon the same, universal standard for all who would return to Him. In that respect it is as exact and unchanging as the cycles of nature. Despite its exacting requirements, it is endlessly inviting and continually encouraging us to accept that standard and to live it. Not just to say, but to do."

"In this world, we are always in motion. Always either growing or receding in light."

"So also with the sun. From solstice to equinox, to solstice to equinox, it grows, then dims. Never static. It is impossible to freeze the light. It will grow or it will fade, It is not possible for an individual, nor a collection of individuals, to remain static. They are either involved with restoring truth or in apostasy from it; never merely "preserving". All great truths are simple, and they are testified of in nature as well as in scripture."

 It would be good to plan accordingly if you intend to do something, then, to show Him that you want to return to the Light. The Summer Solstice is a symbolic day to be in more direct alignment and a day of "most light".


Sidenote:

Summer Solstice is believed by many to be the day that the Savior was conceived. In an article by John Pratt (see link HERE) he has pinpointed the conjunction of the constellations Jupiter and Venus - the two constellations representing Father and Mother coming together as a sign,and that the Son of the most light, was conceived on the day of the most light.

....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

182: HE AGAIN FORBADE ME TO JOIN WITH ANY OF THEM

Does it matter which Church we belong to?

  Joseph Smith had the same question. So, he prayed and asked the Lord. He received an answer. We can read the answer in Joseph Smith History 1: 18-20.

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write as this time."

Multiple times the Lord forbade Joseph to join with any of the other church.

So, the reason for this post is that I am a little surprised that the Restored Church that Joseph Smith put into motion, namely, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the same church that is creating a new campaign with the message: "Come to church, Whatever church you choose, Just Come".

Here is the link on the LDS Casting website posted Monday June 3, 2013, under the Project entitled: "Faith, Families, and Freedom".

http://ldsavdcasting.blogspot.com/

______________________________________________________________________

MESSAGE:  “Come to church: Whatever church you choose.  Just come!”

SEEKING:   Young Adults, age 17-25, who are actively practicing adherents of any religion.  Specifically, we would like to interview those who are not of the LDS faith.
 
Dear Talent,
 Please see listed below the main emphasis of our casting efforts this week.  All these roles require some very high-level acting talent.  These are not throw-away roles.  The director will linger on faces and take the time to gather and express the emotion of the moments captured herein. 
 This project is a prototype under the umbrella of a much larger “Faith, Families and Freedom,” project.  While it is being created by the LDS Church, the project is designed to air as national commercial spots for a unified group of many faiths; not just LDS.  As such, all of these pieces have requested ETHNIC MINORITY DIVERSITY.  If a specific ethnicity isn’t listed, “White/Caucasian” is acceptable, although preference will most likely be given to those of color.  (Just sayin’.)

 _________________________________________________________________________


  Joseph Smith restored a completely different religion that any other church on the earth. The underlying theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to ascend, and to become like the Father in order for us to dwell with Him. The teachings of the Restored Church should center around us getting back to the Father. The teachings of the Restored Church are meant to save us.

So, yes, it does matter which Church we choose. I am puzzled that we would be sending out a message to the world opposite to this.. and tell people to just choose any church.. Just go to Church.

This concept will not save anyone, and possible damn those who teach it, as well as those who believe it.
....
 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

181: PRIESTHOOD


Is it better for a man to have great faith WITHOUT priesthood, than a man to have priesthood WITHOUT faith?

It probably is better to have great faith.

Faith is the foundation of all righteousness. Faith and only faith is the moving cause of all action. Faith is not only the principle  of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether  in heaven or on earth. It is the principle by which God works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal as well as eternal things. (Lectures on Faith)

It is even better to have a man with faith and with priesthood. Having both, that man has the ability to get the attention of Heaven and perform mighty miracles.

How does the priesthood work?  It works “only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned and  by kindness, and pure knowledge, D&C 121: 41-42

The Priesthood has only one main purpose… IT IS TO BLESS.   The priesthood should never be used to curse, nor is it required . We are better off in enduring, suffering ..rather than curse. The safest way to proceed under this fallen world with man in it.. is to refuse to curse anyone at anytime, and endure all things and bless when you can.

All too often when men suppose they have the Priesthood, if not narrowly circumscribe.. men will forfeit their priesthood.   Men have a tendency to aspire to the honors of men, set their hearts upon the things of this world, cover their sins, gratify their pride, have vain ambition, exercise control or dominion or compulsion. Because of this, the heavens withdraw themselves.

Once a man gets even a little authority, he will IMMEDIATELY begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. This is the case in almost ALL men, and because of this, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

Monday, June 10, 2013

180: FEEDING SHEEP?.. OR AMUSING GOATS?

An essay was written in the 1800's by a man named Charles Haddon Spurgeon from England. While it is referring to the Church of England,  I think is very interesting and has parallels to our own Church today. The title of the article: Is the Church feeding sheep or amusing goats?  Feeding and amusing are polar opposites, as well as sheep and goats. Feeding sustains life, while amusing gradually leads to damnation.  Feeding would include preaching repentance, amusing might include telling feel good stories or maybe even wiggling your ears. To amuse means to divert the attention, beguile, delude. The primary meaning of amuse is to deceive or cheat.  Here is the article:

IS THE CHURCH FEEDING SHEEP?.. OR AMUSING GOATS?

"An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough So it would have been if He had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow." Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

179: LETTING GO OF ANGER

I wanted to share a few things. A Native American story about 2 wolves, a symbolic story about 2 eagles.. and a few passages of scripture.

 

TWO WOLVES:
 
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story”.
  
“I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken, so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
  
But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggles with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
 
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
 
Sometimes, is it hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
 
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
 The Grandfather smiles and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

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TWO EAGLES


There was a crash landing Sunday at the Duluth International Airport, but it didn’t involve airplanes. Rather, it was two bald eagles, which were fighting in midair when they locked talons. In a rare spectacle of nature, they were unable to disengage in time before crashing to the runway.

“Apparently, mature eagles will sometimes fight over territories,” Randy Hanzal, a Minnesota conservation officer said. “They will do battle in the air, crashing into each other and grabbing an intruding eagle with their talons. See photo below of two eagles with their talons intertwined.




“Usually, they will let go of each other before hitting the ground, but in this case, they had the talons so deeply imbedded in each other they may have been unable to let go.”

Because neither Eagle would let go.. they both came crashing to the ground which could have killed both.

link to article

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How often do we fight and do not let go. In the last days, it will be the wicked who destroy the wicked. What is our role as disciples of Christ? 

One of my favorite stories in scripture is the conversion of Paul.  He is first referred to as Saul of Tarsus. He was born a Jew, "circumcised on the eight day, of the race of Israel, or the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee". He grew up in a strict Pharisee environment. He would have been considered "a righteous man".  Yet, he helped murder and imprison followers of Jesus Christ including the disciple Stephen.

On the Damascus Road, Saul was struck down by a blinding light. The men with Saul heard the sound but did not see the vision of the risen Christ that Saul did. Saul was blinded. For three days Saul was blind and did not eat or drink anything. Meanwhile, Jesus appeared His disciple Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, and restored his sight. Paul then became one of the greatest teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He is an example of once one has a testimony of Jesus Christ,  anger can be changed to love and the importance of possessing charity.
 
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 
 
  • Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
  • Charity envieth not;
  • Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
  • Charity doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
  • Charity thinketh no evil; 
  • Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
  • Charity Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 
  • Charity never faileth: