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Friday, November 29, 2013

221: BE

Forty years ago, a film version in 1973 debuted about a young seabird entitled Jonathan Livington Seagull. When it first came out to the theatres, it was poorly received by critics and barely broke even at the box office. I remember seeing it when I was young. 

Here is a brief summary of the movie. The film begins with Jonathan Livingston Seagull  soaring through the sky hoping to travel at a speed more than 60 miles per hour. Eventually, with luck he is able to break that barrier, but when Jonathan returns to his own flock... he was criticized by the other seagulls and mocked.  The Elders of the flock shame Jonathan for doing things the other seagulls never dare to do. Jonathan pleads to stay and claims that he wants to share his newfound discovery with everybody, but the Elders dismiss him as an outcast, and he is banished from the flock. Jonathan goes off on his own, believing that all hope is lost. However, he is soon greeted by mysterious seagulls from other lands who assure him that his talent is a unique one, and with them Jonathan is trained to become independent and proud of his beliefs. Eventually, Jonathan himself ends up becoming a mentor for other seagulls who are suffering the same fates in their own flocks as he once did. 

It has been many years since I have heard these songs from the movie soundtrack.. The below song is entitled, BE.  Here is the link in case the below video does not play. LINK


. I went onto youtube and found a few other clips from the movie. The below video is entitled, "Dear Father".  I think they have deep meaning and convey an important message.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

220: Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!!

It is a rare thing for Thanksgiving and the Hebrew holy day Hanukkah to occur on the same day. The last time that Hanukkah (on the traditional Hebrew Calendar) fell on the fourth Thursday of November was in 1861.  But the crazy thing is that it will never happen again because the Hebrew Calendar is slowing drifting through the seasons so that Hanukkah (and all days) occur later every year. Hanukkah usually occurs about Christmas time.  It turns out this year is the last time the two holidays coincide!!!!


Thanks to my astronomer friend and cousin for this insight.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

219: Happy Birthday to THE CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT:

Today is the 90 year anniversary that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed with the government to become a corporation. The full legal name is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  If you go the Utah.gov secured website you can see the registration date of November 26, 1923. link  (see below attachment)

The financial strength of The Corporation of the President of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints derives primarily from the commitment of its members to pay their tithing and other forms of voluntary contributions and service. It is estimated that the LDS Mormon church earns $7 billion a year from tithing. Here is the link.

How this money is used is under the control of  the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, which consists of the First Presidency of the Church, the quorum of twelve apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric. This council meets regularly and oversees the expenditures of all Church funds worldwide. It approves budgets and financial strategy and establishes financial policy.

Two subcommittees of the Council on the Disposition of Tithes are the Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee. Both committees consist of the First Presidency, selected members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and members of the Presiding Bishopric

When you go to tithing settlement before the end of the year, notice how the checks are eventually made out to the Corporation of the President. It would be a good question to ask your Bishop. Personally,  I think I would rather write my check out to the originally established name of the Church of Jesus Christ that the Lord set in the scriptures... I find it interesting that I did a search in the scriptures and I can not find the word Corporation in the scriptures anywhere. I would love to read the revelation from the Lord to establish this corporation... I wonder if it is in the Church archives somewhere. :)

Any way... Happy 90th Birthday to the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   



Friday, November 22, 2013

218: PAIN, SEPARATION, and DEATH.

 
Yesterday, 11.21.13 was an important day for many reasons. I am of the opinion that the Lord speaks to us in a language that is unique to each one of us. The manner in which He speaks to me will be different to how He speaks to you. However, I believe he speaks to all of us if we choose to listen.

I entitled this post, Pain, Separation and Death. While the experiences I will share are personal, I think one might find deeper meaning.

PAIN:
 
Several months ago, my family went on a summer night walk. Instead of walking, one of my daughters rode her new skateboard, a popular version these days called a longboard. We passed an LDS church were there is a declining sidewalk that looked fun to skateboard down. However, my smart daughter was unwilling to skate down it since she thought it looked too dangerous . I told her, "watch me do it." Forgetting that I am no longer a teenager but a middle aged man, I rode the skateboard down the hill. Once I reached the bottom of the hill, the skateboard fell out from underneath me. Due to my weight and the speed that I was going, the skateboard could not make the transition from the declining slope to the completely flat parking lot. The skateboard came to complete stop and I fell directly on my right elbow. The hard blow to the tip of the elbow caused damage to my bones and the olecranon bursa produced excess fluid and became swollen.    I knew that something was seriously wrong, but I was hoping that I would be able to heal over time. Months passed and I have not healed and in fact things have progressively worsened.  After  a few doctor visits and consultations, the decision was made to have surgery. The surgery was scheduled for today. However, the surgeon had to reschedule and moved up the date.  It was yesterday that I went under the knife and the surgeon excised the olecranon bursa in my elbow. While I preferred a less evasive procedure, the excision was necessary for my body to heal.  I now am trying to recover, basically unable to use my right arm for the time being.
 

SEPARATION:
 
We are living in this mortal world as human beings. We are separated from God. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on this earth to unite and create. They lived as two humans distinctly different in gender yet united together as two humans learning from each other and experiencing  mortality together.  I have been concerned recently of many people struggling in their marriages. Many I know ar  not living in harmony with each other,  in fact, some are contemplating divorced and/ or are already divorced. No marriage is perfect. All marriages face conflict. However. I think it would be best to refine what a perfect marriage is. In a "Perfect" marriage, there is development of both husband and wife. Not the product of one person pulling it off. It requires joint development, joint progression and joint effort. 

I understand there might be reasons for divorce but if the marriage produced children, the decision to get divorced needs to be reconsidered due to the children, the true victims. The dissolving of a marriage is devastating to the children. It creates chaos in their lives, a life of pain.. almost impossible to repair.  Scars are the product of a failed marriage. Many children will remain unhealed and probably will to the end of her life. Scars will remain.  Divorce destroys families.. and it snowballs and effect the children. It has irreversible consequences.
 

DEATH:
 
Yesterday, our neighbor David Pratt passed away. I had been asked on Monday to give him a blessing to pass peacefully and to "release" his physical body, allowing for his spirit to continue on free from this mortal probation. David shared many thing in common with President Thomas S Monson. They were high school classmates and both suffer from similar physically problems. David had Alzheimer's. I shared a few things in common with David Pratt as well. We share a common name and are both descendants from Parley P. It was a blessing for me to kneel and place my hands on his head with his family surrounding his bed prior his passing. I mentioned an earlier experience about David Pratt in this is post on his brief encounter with the other side of the veil: on life and death, hope and tragedy
 
In short, yesterday was a  symbolic day for me. Furthermore, the weather was very stormy with high winds, rain and snow storms. It was a day that I experienced pain, a day that I was made aware of various kinds of "separations" .... including death.
I look forward in faith to future days of healings, unity and life.. instead of pain, separation and death.
 
 
.....
 
Just a quick sidenote:  
I am sure many of you have already seen this trailer for the movie, NOAH, that will be coming out next year. I am sure that Hollywood will distort much of the true history about the diluvian. However, I wanted to post this just case you haven't seen it.

"But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;"
JST Matthew 1:41


.I think there is much to gain and learn from the Noah and his wife and children, the gathering of the two by two dyads of animals into a safe haven we call the ark prior to the earth being  cleansed by water.

Friday, November 15, 2013

217: KOYANNISQATSI: "Unbalanced Life"


In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life”. In the early 1980’s, a movie was made entitled, “Koyannisqatsi: Life Out of Balance”. The film does not contain any dialogue or words,  but contains only slow motion and time-lapse footage of natural landscapes juxtaposed with cities. The first image in the film is of the Great Gallery pictogram in Horseshoe Canyon in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.  Here are a few images of these pictograms:

 
I enjoyed studying these pictograms that were shown at the beginning of the film. I think the pictographs are  highly symbolic.  Just a few quick observations. On the left side of this Great Gallery there is a small gathering of people on the white section of the red rock. In the middle of this small grouping on the left is a taller figure adorned with a crown. They are separated from the majority of the other people. On the far right side is another dominate figure. He is raised higher than the others. It is almost as if he is speaking from a pulpit to all of the others in the crowd.
 

 
 
We can learn much for nature and from the Ancients who lived before us. I think what they wrote or drew on canyonwalls were meant to tell us something. Unfortunately we spend too little time reading or spending time out in nature. We live unbalanced lives. A condition has been called, "nature deficit disorder"
 
"Nature deficit disorder" refers to a theory written in a book "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv that states that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of  physical, emotional, social, and mental problems. Recent research has shown that there is a declining number of parents and children spending time outdoors and an increasing amount of consumption of electronics and media by our children.

We have already been disconnected to the heavens for a long time and now we are becoming disconnected with nature and the outdoors.
 
Last weekend early in the morning, I went for a hike with a "Native America brother". I took a few photos from our hike on a beautiful fall day. We started hiking when it was still dark and reached an area for us to watch the sunrise. There is something about leaving the city, ascending to a higher elevation, facing East and watching the sunrise that connects you with the Heavens.
 




 





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

216: WILLFUL BLINDNESS

I appreciated the person who made the comment about willful blindness on the blog post #214. I watched the link to a video and for those who didn’t read the comment I thought it would be helpful to post on it. 
 
 
The author, Margaret Heffernan states that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don't see – not because they're secret or invisible, but because we're willfully blind.
Willful Blindness is a legal concept which means that if there is information that you could know and SHOULD know, but you somehow manage NOT to know. The Lord deems that you are willfully blind if you have chosen NOT to know. Those who share, blog, teach, lecture, comment about topics that others would rather NOT know or listen to…but probably SHOULD know… are sometimes called apostates. In the work environment they are called “whistle-blowers”. Research has shown that “whistleblowers” are actually very loyal and dedicated to the institutions they are exposing the truth about. The reason why they speak up and the reason why they insist on seeing and saying the things they do is because they care so much for the institution and want to keep it healthy. 
 
Here are some great quotes from author’s book, “Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril” by Margaret Heffernan.
  • “When we care about people, we care less about money, and when we care about money, we care less about people.”

  •  “The combination of power, optimism and abstract thinking makes powerful people more certain. The more cut-off they are from others, the more confident they are that they are right.”

  • “You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.
 
I actually think that one of the roles of a true prophet is to be a “whistleblower” to the religion whose people who are being led astray.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

215: FOUR BLOOD MOONS and the MAN IN THE MOON


 

This photo was taken of a lunar Eclipse over the Salt Lake Valley that occurred in December of 2011. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow (umbra). This can occur only at night when the Full Moon, the Sun, and the Earth are directly aligned , with the Earth in the middle.  Because total lunar eclipses often appear red, people sometimes call a totally eclipsed moon a “blood moon.”

It is written in the Jewish Talmud that "When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world." Therefore: Lunar Eclipse = bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel; Blood Moon = sword coming; Solar Eclipse = bad omen for the world.



Starting next spring in 2014 there will be 4 blood moons. While that is not necessary really rare.. the fact that these four blood moons will occur on significant Jewish holy days is not only rare, but significant. The first blood moon will be on Passover on April 15, 2014. There will be another blood moon on the following year on Passover which will be April 4, 2015. The other Jewish Holy Day is the Feast of Tabernacles which is  Oct. 8, 2014. On this day as well, there will be a Blood Moon Eclipse.. and then the following Feast of Tabernacle on Sept. 28, 2015 will be the 4th Blood Moon.

Lunar eclipses occuring on these holy days is a rare occurrence in the history of the world,  and each time they were linked to significant events. For example, four PARTIAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover in 32 AD – 33 AD and the "Feast of Tabernacles" in the years before and after the Crucifixion of  Jesus Christ. Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles in 162 - 163 AD, coinciding with the worst persecution of Jews… and Christians in the history of the Roman Empire. Not to mention within 3 years the Antonine Plague killed eight million people, a third of the population.

For more information about these signs in the heavens, here is an interview with a Pastor John Hagee who has written a book called the "Four Blood Moons: Something is about to Change."

Not mentioned in the link, as a precursor to the four blood moons, there are four comets that have entered our solar system this year and have and will loop around the Sun, ISON being the last. Here is a LINK.

Furthermore, what I find really interesting is that after the first two blood moon in 2014, there will be a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015. This solar eclipse happens to fall on the 2015 Spring Equinox. 

Signs in the Heavens?  I think the Lord uses any and all ways to communicate to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
.....
 
Sidenote:  My brother pointed out to me a few months ago the image of the Man in the Moon. Historically, The Man in the Moon refers to any of several pareidolia images of a human face, head or body that certain traditions recognize in the disc of the full moon. The images are usually composed of the dark areas of the lunar "seas" and the lighter "highlands" of the lunar surface. For those who might have a difficulty seeing the "man in the moon", I superimposed the man's face on the two right images below. The left image is the actually moon, and the far right is the image of the profile of a Greek man. 


The moon and circle has always been a symbol of woman. The sun and the square is the symbol of man. Union of both male and female results in creation. Godhood is all about creation. If you combine a symbol of the man with the symbol of the woman (as in the man in the moon with the actual moon which is symbolic of the woman.. it is symbolic of creation. They are one. For eyes that can see, in ceremonial clothing the man places a round article (symbolic female shape)  on top of his head. The woman places an object that when laid flat is the shape of a square  (male symbolic shape). Union and balance of the male and female. In addition, this represents the importance of the dyad.. the union and oneness of man and woman, husband and wife, Father and Mother, male and female.

Friday, November 8, 2013

214: LDS CHURCH SPENDS OVER A HALF A BILLION DOLLARS TO BUY LAND IN FLORIDA

In todays news:

The LDS Church spends over a half a BILLION dollars to buy more land in Florida. Florida? We now own more than 2% of the entire state. Will this be the new Zion?

"The Mormon church stands to own nearly 2 percent of Florida by completing a deal to buy most of the real estate of the St. Joe Co. for more than a half-billion dollars.
 
The megapurchase was announced jointly Thursday by a corporate representative of church, which owns the nearly 295,000-acre Deseret Ranches in Central Florida, and by the real-estate and timber business, which has built several communities along the Panhandle coast.
 
According to the announcement, a church entity, AgReserves Inc., will buy 382,834 acres – the majority of St. Joe's timberlands – in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties for $565 million."

LINK to see the news video and more of the article.


Sidenote:

As a family we are now in the book of Helaman, We read this verse this week which I found to be interesting.

"Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God. And it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites."


Key words we talked about as a family:
  • Great slaughter would NOT have happened
  • Professed to belong to the church of god
  • because of their exceeding riches
  • oppression of the poor
  • withholding their food from the hungry
  • withholding their clothing from the naked.

Friday, November 1, 2013

213: CHANGES DUE TO CORRUPTION AND FOLLY OF MAN

I was going to write some commentary about the following quote. But I think I will just let the quote stand alone. It is written by Johann Lorenz von Mosheim in his book: "An Ecclesiastical History, From The Birth of Christ to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century."


“There is no institution so pure and excellent which the corruption and folly of man will not in time alter for the worse. Many unnecessary rites and ceremonies were added to the Christian worship, the introduction of which was extremely offensive to wise and good men. These changes, while they destroyed the beautiful simplicity of the gospel, were naturally pleasing to the gross multitude, who are more delighted with the pomp and splendor of external institutions than with the native charms of rational and solid piety, and who generally give little attention to any objects but those which strike their outward senses." He then states that the church leaders of that day sought to give splendor and add to the rites and ceremonies and ordinances "by way of accommodation to the infirmities and prejudices of both Jews and heathen."


Mosheim, Ecclestiastical History, Century II, Part II, chapter 4.