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Friday, October 4, 2013

206: THE CREATORS AND ORGANIZERS vs the destroyers and deceivers

“And the Gods organized the lights in the expanse of the heaven,
and caused them to divide the day from the night;
and organized them to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years;”
Abraham 4: 14
Taken early morning  before sunrise.
 
"If you look up in the morning sky, you can see Orion on the Eastern horizon. That has been true twice a year since the beginning. It has been true that all of the ordinances ordained by God in the heavens above have remained true from the day that He set them there until today. They are so well established, they are so permanent, and they so far beyond the ability of man to touch, alter, or destroy. That, the only way to have apostasy from those ordinances from our perspective is for you to forget what knowledge there is that is written in the heavens.

The Lord created the heaven. The Ancients viewed the heavens as being a testimony given to us on the earth. From the surface of the earth, the sun occupies a space, even though the sun is over a 100 times larger than the earth. The space of the sun occupies from the firmament of the earth is exactly the same as the space in the firmament that is occupied by the moon. Although the moon is one sixth the size of the earth. From the surface of the earth, they are identical in size, so much so that when you view them on the ecliptic that they are located, one can block out the other entirely in an eclipse. Because all these things were ordained by God to testify in the heavens about Him and about His work. And those things are bearing testimony. And they are telling you something."


"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying,
Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,
saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day,
and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night,
which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar;
The LORD of hosts is his name. "
Jeremiah 31: 34-35
....
 
 
THE CREATOR vs. THE DESTROYER 
 
The above photo was taken in Idaho Falls on Saturday night, September 28.  I was guided to this location late at night by a series of interesting events. There is much symbolism in this scene. Since it is somewhat difficult to take a good photograph at night, hopefully the quality is sufficient to see the important symbols. There is a lot of symbols that could be discussed: living water, barren fallen trees, light, and darkness, eagle and the cougar.

In brief, the Eagle is full of light. It is descending down from Heaven. The eagle is the symbolic bird of the Father in Native American lore, (the hawk is the Son, and the owl is the Holy Ghost). The eagle suggests freedom, power, clear vision, intelligence, renewal, and courage.

Below the eagle on the rocks is a cougar. It is standing on precarious rocks without a sure footing. It seeks to attack it's prey. It doesn't create but instead destroys. The Cougar is the largest cat in North America.  Cougars are both solitary and territorial, not to mention excellent hunters.  They will sit for hours just watching their prey, waiting to ambush it. Like the great hunter, they persevere and wait for the perfect moment to strike.  Yet cougars are easily threatened, and thus quick to attack.

 

205: FALL CONFERENCE WEEKEND 2013: CHRISTIANITY vs CHURCHIANITY


Conference Weekend is now upon us. Downtown Salt Lake is bustling with people from all around the world. Leaders and members alike descend upon Temple Square for this weekend's two day event to hear messages carefully written and then read to us over the pulpit. Since we are a world wide church, the talks have already been translated into many languages  for all those to be able to hear the messages. LINK

Most members will watch the sessions via their television sets, including Priesthood Session which for the first time can be viewed live on television by all the Priesthood holders, as well as provide the opportunity for all those who have always wanted to watch (and have been campaigning for permission to attend) this "Priesthood Only" Saturday night session.

Centered around this conference weekend, there is an open house at the Church History Library that will extend through this weekend, ending on Oct 10. For those interested, the open house showcases memorabilia from all of the 16 Presidents of the Church. Here is one of many advertisements you can see on the streets of downtown.

 
 

It might be hard to read the text at the very bottom. This is what it says: (emphasis mine)

"From the time The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830, a prophet, seer, and revelator has been called and sustained as the President of the Church. Sixteen men have been called to serve in this position. Wilford Woodruff, speaking of the Presidents of the Church, said, "We have the living oracles with us, and have had from the commencement. The Lord will never leave his kingdom without a lawgiver, leader, president ... to direct the affairs of his Church on the earth". (Deseret News Weekly, May 3, 1876, 212). Each President has left a legacy of faith."

...

In addition to this open house, there is another interesting display at Deseret Book. There are huge creative stacks of the latest released books written by the Brethren (including one book written by the wife of one of the apostles.) From Left to right here are the book titles and authors:

Consider the Blessings by President Thomas S Monson.
One Drop at a Time by Elder M Russell Ballard
An Uncommon Life: Years of Preparation by Elder L Tom Perry
For Times of Trouble by Elder Jeffrey R Holland
The Not Even Once Club by wife of Elder Russell M Nelson


    
 
Sidenote: In reference to the above advertisement for the Presidents of the Church open house, I found the placement of all 16 Presidents photographs to be interesting. It is a diamond shape.  I think it is wonderful that Joseph Smith is at the top of the diamond shape. He is our dispensational head.
 
I have often wondered, as we progress  through the years, from one President to another, are we progressing upward with further light and knowledge?  Or perhaps have we been falling farther and farther away from what Joseph Smith taught and originally tried to restore? If the first is true, then why wouldn't we put President Monson at the very top of the pyramid? If not, the advertisement might be symbolic of the direction/situation we find ourselves.  
 
That being said, most main stream Mormons would probably say we are increasing in light and knowledge. With our emphasis that we place on our current living prophet, some might  wonder why President Monson's photo doesn't appear at the very top of the diamond. Case in point, a friend of mine sent me this photo below of the positioning of these two framed images hung in their Church building. Usually the higher we place something, the higher of importance. Thus, are we members of Christianity or of a Churchianity?