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Friday, January 24, 2014

236: STAND WHEN THE PROPHET STANDS, SIT WHEN HE SITS

  “Surely one of the crowning blessings of membership in this Church
 is the blessing of being led by living prophets of God…..
Trusting in and following the prophets is more than a blessing and a privilege.
President Ezra Taft Benson declared that “our [very] salvation hangs on
following the prophet….
We can choose to follow the prophet, or we can look to the arm of flesh.
May we have the wisdom to trust in and follow the counsel of the living prophets and apostles.”
Elder Duncan October 2010 General Conference
 LINK 

... 
After reading the above counsel given to us in General Conference, my question would be: “Is the Prophet's arm not make out of flesh?”

There is a fun primary song called “Do as I’m doing.. Follow, follow me” These words are sung while the person leading the music performs an simple action while singing “if I do it high or low.. if I do it fast or slow.. Do as I’m doing; Follow, follow me.”

The direction to follow means to do as another has done. Christ asks us all to come, follow Him. He is only One we should follow. Yet, today’s mantra seems to be “Come, Follow the Prophet.”  

I recently read a couple of reports from people who attended their Stake Conference a few weeks ago. One the Twelve Apostles was in attendance and was the concluding speaker. It was reported that after he spoke, the congregation sang 6 of 7 verses of the closing song and as the sister assigned the closing prayer approached the rostrum, the apostle then stood up again. He asked the sister for a moment to address the congregation before she prayed and he shared the following the story before the closing prayer was given. He said that there was a devotional at BYU when another apostle spoke. During the closing hymn, some of the students in the building stood to sing. Their closing hymn ended and the apostle stood again and said, "I love you and so I want to teach you something. I noticed that some of you, in your enthusiasm, stood during the closing hymn. You should always follow the presiding authority in the meeting. If he stands, you stand. If he sits, you sit." The apostle then yielded the pulpit to the person who would say the prayer. The apostle in this recent Stake Conference then told us: "The day is coming that you will have to follow the prophet. If he stands, you must stand. If he sits, you sit." And with those words, he sat down and the benediction was given.

The report by one who attended then said and I quote, “Praise be to a loving Father in Heaven. There is a prophet in these, the Latter-Days! Let me be among those who stand or sit as he directs.”


In the Catholic Church, the priests and superior religious leaders are treated with the utmost respect. The rules are that all in room or congregation is to stand when the leaders enter the room and remain standing until they invite the congregation to sit. Men must remove their hats in their presence. When it is your own Bishop, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office.

 I read recently why this formality began in the Catholic Church. “The Pope did not need to display virtue, only power. He did not need to produce revelation or expound on how men could entertain angels, only to appear in the seat of power, displaying the incidents of authority, wealth, privilege, standing above the common man in a place filled with art, treasure, statuary surrounded by supporters. These trappings were a substitute for revelation and authentic fruits from heaven. This formula worked to keep all of Christendom subordinate to the rule of oftentimes wicked, even cruel, men. For nearly a thousand years it monopolized power over men. Because these pontiffs claimed to hold God's authority, people feared them and were loathe to challenge them. When the bedrock of an institution's claims rests on authority, these failings are almost always eventually unavoidable. God's power is so resilient, so powerful, so vital for salvation that almost all men will surrender to it or be forced to submit when a group trusts that it exists. These are powerful forces. When released upon the stage of history, they are meant to be held by only the meek, the humble, and the servants of all. Never by the proud, the vain, and the ambitious. But it is always the proud, the vain and the ambitious who are drawn to seek to hold such authority. Hence the many sycophants who always congregate at Rome.” DS Remembering the Covenant. Volume 4 pg 1356

 Many of us have heard the Brigham Young quote that was also cited by Harold B Lee in the October General Conference in 1950.   “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are being led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind security, trusting their eternal desting in the hand of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would twart the purposed of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give their leaders if they know for themselves by the revelations of Jesus Christ that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know by the whisperings of the Spirit of God to themselves whether their leaders are walking in the way the Lord dictates or not. (As cited by Harold B Lee, Conference Report, October 1, 1950)

“I do not believe God was meant to be experienced second and third-hand. I do not believe we are supposed to "know about God" but were instead, according to Christ's doctrine, to "know God." He will make Himself known to you. Not vicariously through a Pope, or a Bishop, or an Archbishop, or a Cardinal, or a Stake President, or some other preacher. He, Christ, and He, the Father and the Holy Ghost are the ones who are to declare themselves to you. Then you aren't building on the sandy, unstable foundation comprised of the many varieties of the hireling intermediary who gets acclaim here, praise and adoration here, as an inappropriate surrogate for He alone who can save. When men get put between the individual and God almost every individual immediately begins to exercise control, and dominion and compulsion over others. It is a wise God who restricts His delegation of "power" to such a degree that it cannot be exercised unrighteously.”  DS Remembering the Covenant. Volume 4 pg 1328

 Someone left a comment on a previous post that I really appreciated. I don’t know who the author was, but this is what they wrote: “God will never remove our ability to have a choice. In order to make a choice, you have to have at least two options. When you remove all other options, there is only one option left so how can there be a choice? By making a statement "The Prophet will not or cannot lead you astray" automatically removes the perception of any options and by definition puts him in a position of control, which is what the war in heaven was about! If you buy into that logic, you have moved over to the dark side. This places a greater responsibility on us to have Him as our standard to measure ideas and revelations against. While it is usually a simple process, it's not always easy, and yes we often don't get totally correct on the first pass. It becomes a learning and sharing process. Thank Heaven for the atonement, patience and forgiveness!”

 So lets hope we don’t add “Stand when your prophet stands, and sit when your prophets sits.” to the list of mantras like “When the Prophet speaks, … the debate is over.” and “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”
...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

235: OUR IDOLS WILL BE DESTROYED

  

The iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro was damaged during a storm on Thursday, January 16, 2014. Lightning struck and broke a finger off the right hand of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Lightning frequently strikes the nearly 100-foot tall statue, a symbol of Rio that overlooks the Brazilian city from the peak of the Corcovado mountain. Its right hand had been damaged sometime ago, but part of finger finally broke off in a storm late Thursday, night. A lightning rod and other equipment are in place “to protect the image,” but they do not always do the trick.



Lightning lights up the sky over Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan.16


 

 
From the beginning, mankind was told not to make idols and displace their reverence for God by a physical image or object. It is the second of the Ten Commandments. The commandment extends to the “likeness of anything that is in heaven” and would include the Lord. An idol does not apply just to an inanimate object but to people as well. In our modern day culture, we tend to idolize people who possess things we wished we had. That could include power, fame and/or riches...we even idolize those who claim to have authority to speak in God's name.

"Any man who tries to come between you and the Lord is seeking to make themselves an idol and they will lead you astray. There is no-one who can stand between you and the Lord. He alone is the keeper of the gate, and He does not now and never has employed a servant there. You should obtain your own independent knowledge of everything another man tells you. If you don’t then you are surrendering what should never be surrendered: your own agency and responsibility." Remembering the Covenant Volume 1, pg 245

Anything that separates us from the Lord is an idol. We need to cast it aside and come to Him.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

234: NURTURE VS AFFLICTION

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents,
therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father;
and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,
nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days;
yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God,
therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days."
 
 
In the first verse, in the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Nephi's opening line describes his life’s as: “having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days.” 

"Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos,
knowing my father that he was a just man—
for he taught me in his language,
 and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
—and blessed be the name of my God for it–"
 
In contrast, Enos in his first verse of his book, he describes his life as having been raised in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  A quote from the book, Beloved Enos points out that "Nephi draws attention to “afflictions” first, then to having been “highly favored.” In contrast, Enos draws attention first to “nurture,” and second to “admonition.” Nephi could see the overriding hand of Providence in the afflictions he endured. He acknowledges God’s hand in all that he suffered. He was the better for having passed through his life’s ordeals. God’s hand in Enos’ life was more gentle. He needed admonition, as we all do. However, he was perhaps a more willing student, or a more optimistic personality than Nephi. Whatever accounts for this difference, Nephi’s formula includes “afflictions” first, and God’s “favor” second, while Enos follows the formula but adopts “nurture” first, and only secondly “admonition.” So, in the very beginning verse we find a contrast between Enos and the first writer in the Book of Mormon."
 
We all learn differently. The Lord is our Master Teacher and knows  us personally. He will teach us differently and knows whether we learn better through afflictions or less "painful" tutorials.
 
Both Nephi and Enos spent a considerable amount of time in solitude whether in the mountains and/or  in the forests to pray, connect with heaven and commune with the Lord. (I often wonder if Uncle Nephi took his nephew Enos on a few hikes.) We can read in the scriptures that Nephi would hike very early in the morning. The Lord was his alarm clock. The voice of the Lord would come and say.. Get up Nephi.. Arise... and go hiking up into the mountain. We know that Nephi was obedient and would "go and do" as commanded and he arose and cried (pouring out his soul in prayer) unto the Lord. we read: 

"And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord."

and a few chapters later:
 
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given... "
 
Yesterday I took a few photos of the Mt. Olympus mountains just east of my home. It has been rare this winter to be able to see the mountains from the valley due to the pollution and the inversion that settles in Salt Lake. In my opinion, the snow covered mountains peaks are majestic. The signs of our Creator are visible everywhere in Nature.
 


  


I could help notice the natural "cross" that was formed  high on the rocky face.
 

Friday, January 10, 2014

233: ROLLER COASTER RIDE

Looks like we are in for a roller coaster ride.

The federal government will recognize marriages performed in Utah after a judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, Attorney General Holder said Friday, noting that the newly-wedded gay couples “should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status” as the legal challenges unfold.

Holder’s announcement comes two days after Utah ordered its state offices not to do anything that would acknowledge the more than 1,000 same-sex marriages performed in the state over a nearly three-week period following a federal judge's decision to strike down the ban on Dec. 20.

LINK TO THE USNEWS


and now this  Official statement was just released by the LDS church.

Salt Lake City —

Following recent court actions bearing on same-sex marriage, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles today sent the following instructions and guidance to congregational leaders throughout the United States. Leaders were asked to share this information with their members in appropriate settings.

On December 20, 2013, a federal district judge in Salt Lake City issued an order legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, striking down century-old state laws and a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage exclusively as between a man and a woman. The United States Supreme Court has put that ruling on hold pending consideration of the issue by an appellate court. During the interval between the district court ruling and the Supreme Court stay, numerous same-sex marriages were performed in Utah. Legal proceedings and legislative action in some other states and countries have given civil recognition to same-sex marriage relationships.

As we face this and other issues of our time, we encourage all to bear in mind our Heavenly Father’s purposes in creating the earth and providing for our mortal birth and experience here as His children. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth"
Genesis 1:27–28).

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society. Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation.

Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We urge you to review and teach Church members the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”


Just as those who promote same-sex marriage are entitled to civility, the same is true for those who oppose it. The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.

Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.

While these matters will continue to evolve, we affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree.

As members of the Church, we are responsible to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to illuminate the great blessings that flow from heeding God’s commandments as well as the inevitable consequences of ignoring them. We invite you to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths of the gospel, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

232: DOOMED?

“If a religion is to be based on certain sacred texts,  it will inevitably fall into corruption and decay, the further away it moves in time and space from the historical origin of those texts—unless it has a constantly living, internal "interpreter", in the semantic sense of the word."

—Herbert Musurillo,
History and Symbol: A Study of Form in Early Christian Literature,
Theological Studies vol. 18, 1957, 360.

 
A friend of mine sent me the above quote with the tag line, “If a revelator, translator, prophet, and seer don't exist - a living church is doomed!” ....and I would add, "especially if an anonymous committee of paid individuals is now rewriting what we should now consider "Doctrine" (such as the recently released topics of the First Vision Accounts, Polygamy, and Race and the Priesthood.)

....

The below  is some interesting information on the authorship of the LDS Church's newly released essays.

DISCLAIMER: It is second hand, so best to take that under consideration. I can not confirm the source, but certainly worth pondering about.

"I have had a recent, long, direct and informative discussion with a well-placed and highly-credible Mormon Church source, which focused on the question of who, specifically, authored the historically-revisionistic essays that the Mormon Church has now placed on its official website. Just let me say that these essays were not written by members of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency.

(My source is aware of the fact that I am posting this on the Recovery from Mormonism discussion board, since I told the source I would be doing so).

Per mutual agreement with the source, I will not, at this time, be disclosing the names of those who participated in the writing of the essays--although the identities of certain specific individuals were given to me who, directly or indirectly, assisted in the authorship of the essays.
Just let me say that these essays were not written by members of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency.

I was told that the directed goal of the essays' authors was to craft statements that would satisfy everyone--an assignment which the source said was their first mistake. These publicly-unidentified-authored efforts, I was further told, ultimately were required to pass what was described as the paranoid approval of the Quorum of the Twelve--a group that was also characterized as being full of egomaniacs who needed to be humbled.

The authors of these essays were said to represent a wide variety of people employed by the Mormon Church in the LDS Historical Department, some of whom are historians themselves. In authoring the essays, these individuals were also given the task of contacting others outside the Mormon Church Historical Department who were considered by the LDS Church's Historical Department to be experts and scholars, and from whom all kinds of input was sought. I was told that the Mormon Church, in present circumstances, was doing the best it could.

The source noted that these essays would not be laying blame at the feet of the Mormon Church's founder, Joseph Smith, because that was simply not possible to do at the present time. From the source's perspective, the decison not to take problematic issues back to Joseph Smith (especially on the issue of race) was understandable, given what were characterized as current complicated realities facing the Mormon Church--although the source said that they (meaning the source) was not pleased with the essay on polygamy.

I was told that employees of the Mormon Church Historical Department were given the assignment of hammering out statements in their essay documents that would:

1) repudiate racism and sexism;

2) create pronouncements that strike a balance; and

3) lay the groundwork for the release of new information in the future.

I told the source that the sooner the Mormon Church quit mischaracterizing the historically-doctrinal (not policy) nature of official Mormon Church positions--(particulary as related to its historically-racist ones that are currently embedded in the LDS Church's canonized scriptures, notably the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, as well as in the officially-authoritative statements of the First Presidency that have traced Mormon Church doctrine directly back to Joseph Smith)--the better,

During the course of our lively one-on-one discussion, the source and myself did not agree on all points, although our discussion was quite cordial, as it typically is.

So, there you have it:

"Revealed" Mormon Church truth, brought to you by anonymously rolled out, correlated committees."

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

Below is further information coming out from the inside on a variety of fronts, pertaining to {the new essays, SSM and church finances}:

1) the research, authorship and internal consequences of the Mormon Church's essays on problematic areas of LDS history and doctrine;

2) internal Mormon Church developments relating to the evenaul nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage and how the Mormon Church may be preparing to accommodate that scenario; and

3) the extent of LDS Inc. financial holdings and who inside the Mormon Church super-structure does and does not have full knowledge of LDS Inc.'s full financial picture
_____

--The Nature and Effect that the Mormon Church's Anonymously-Authored Essays Aee Having on Those Tasked to Write Them

According to a source of mine who has contacts with Mormon Church correlation committee employees, one of these individuals (whose identity, although known, is being kept confidential here) has direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow. This Mormon Church-committee researcher/writer is regarded by colleagues as respected, informed, forthright and honest when it comes to Mormon Church historical issues--and is one who is seen as being well aware of the problems these issues pose to the Church. My source informs me that some of these Church researchers/writers, including this individual, get together on occasion to compare notes with one another.

The particular individual being mentioned here works within the Church's history-committee system and, from that vantage point, has been judiciously and strategically posting information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Church.

For instance, it was this individual who publicly noted the following (as quoted earlier on this board):

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum." . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&)start=20)
_____

--The Mormon Church is Said to Possibly be Preparing for an Inevitable National Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage and Considering Modifiying Its Temple Wedding Procedures Accordingly

My source has been in contact with what has been described as a well-placed and completely credible senior executive in the Utah corporate world (whose identity is also known but being protected here). This individual is reportedly aware of how the Morrmon Church's legal beagles may be looking at unfolding realites on the same-sex-marriage front.

According to this executive (some of whose posts I have seen), a member of the Mormon Church's legal team (a team that has long been battling marriage equality) is of the view that 50-state legalizion of same-sex marriage is an unavoidable eventuality.

Given that expectation, this Mormon Church legal advisor is reportedly of the view that the Mormon Church may ultimately implement a U.s.-focused policy that not only accepts civil unions, but that combines these constitutionally-lawful unions with LDS temple-performed sealings, in order to prevent the Mormon Church from becoming entangled in legal problems (along the same lines as the Mormon Church is now doing in some European countries).

commenting on these possible developments, the senior executive observed that if the law ends up driving the Mormon Church to adopt a civil-marriage-first policy, it would make it much easier to preserve family cohesiveness when, otherwise, certain famly members would be excluded from celebrating LDS marital events because they are not deemed worthy to participate.
_____.

--Secrecy Within the Mormon Church Hierarchy Regarding the Full Breadth of Its Financial Holdings

Citing the same senior corporate excutive mentioend above, my source reported that only eight indivudals within the Mormon Church's highest functioning bodies are fully ware of LDS Inc.'s financials. These individuals are:

1) the First Presidency;

2) the Presiding Bishopric; and

3) two unnamed LDS finanical leaders (although one of whom is said to be related to the aformentioned senior corporate executive)

Pointed note was made that even the Quorum of the Twelve is not kept in the full fnaancial loop.

According to the senior executive, this small, elite group meets only once annually, at which time the complete financil picture for LDS Inc. is reviewed. The other individual components of the organization are described as being limited in their knowledge to only that part of organizational operations in which they are respectively involved.

I appreciate my source's willingness to share the above credible, insightful and valuable information for the express purpose of public disclosure. As this individual observed, the Mormon Church is in need of experiencing the effects of sunlight on its secrets. To that end, they said they would pass information along as it is received."

...

Friday, January 3, 2014

231: DECEPTION: THE ENEMY OF TRUTH

 
I have been impressed to write about the enemy of truth.. not error, but deception. Deception is the act of making someone believe something that is not true. We can willing deceive someone with the intent to mislead, and/or we can unknowingly deceive someone when we teach falsehoods.  We read in Revelation 12:9 that Satan deceiveth the whole world. Satan was cast out into the earth to deceive, and he is here along with his angels.  We live in a war between truth and deception and the battle is ratcheting up.

Satan has many tools that he uses, and to illustrate his subtle craft, I wanted to share an analogy using the painting of Mona Lisa.  The Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about painting in the world".  I use this painting to symbolically represent Truth. Truth originates from the Creator.  It is the knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.  It existed from the beginning and does not change.  Satan tries to copy and imitate the truth, but through men, he manipulates and alters Gods' truth.


 ORIGINAL
 
 

Just like in Photoshop, there are 6 basic ways to transform and manipulate an original photograph. These techniques are scaling, spinning (rotating), skewing, distorting, perspective and warping.
 
 TOOLS TO "TRANSFORM" THE ORIGINAL
 


SCALING:

Scaling is a transformation that enlarges or diminishes an image. I compare this to myopic vision. It happens when we look or "scale up" too closely at one particular area. We all have a tendency to zoom up and focus too closely on subjects that interest us. Like a piano player who likes a particular sound, he will play that note over and over again, instead of playing the entire song.  We have all heard the phrase, "you can't see the forest for the trees." which means we pay too much attention on certain areas and we lose the big picture.

SPINNING (Rotating):

Spinning or Rotating is to turn the original from it's axis or center. What used to be correctly orientated is now off even by a small degree. When it's position is off, it is now considered crooked. We use the term "spin" in the media when we alter the truth. This is achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public figure. It is a deception that is widely used in all institutions including religious organizations.

SKEWING:

To skew is to turn or place at an angle. It is different than rotating in that the image stays "upright" but diverges in a different direction. The image now looks slanted. Skewed is often used as a synonym of truth that has been misinterpreted.

DISTORTING:

To distort means to change the natural, normal, or original shape, or appearance  in a way that is usually not attractive or pleasing. It has become twisted out of the true meaning. It has become unnatural.

PERSPECTIVE MANIPULATION:

Perspective manipulation is another way of distorting an image. Perspective can change our opinion on things when we view things out of context and from an angle which might not be accurate. It is important that we see things accurately in respect to their true positions and proper proportions and distance.

WARPING:

Warping means to alter the original by arranging things in an unfavorably manner. It is in a state of being bent out of shape and has lost its true and correct form.

.....

I mention these things because so much of what we read and listen to has been altered in one way or the other...even from those we consider to be reliable sources. We are being deceived every day in some form or another. If there was ever a spiritual gift that we need to pray for would be discernment. One who has discernment possesses wisdom. They also have good judgement, especially with regard to things overlooked and/or not seen by others.


I am learning recently that in places where we least expect it,  there is much lying, deceiving, whoredoms, and even murdering intentions that abound. As Moroni states in one his final chapters, "it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations."

May heaven help us to discern truth from error.
...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

230: LDS CURRICULUM FOR 2014

 Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2014!

There is much to be grateful for, there is much to ponder about, and much to learn, and much light to gather and much darkness to discern and discard.

This past Sunday the Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society manual was handed out at church which will used this upcoming year for study. It is the one more installment in the series of Teachings of Presidents of the Church. This manual features the teachings of President Joseph Fielding Smith who served as President of the Church from January 23, 1970 to July 2, 1972. The first paragraph of the book states, " As the Church adds volumes to this series, you will build a collection of gospel reference books for your home. They can help you prepare other lessons or talks and answer question about Church doctrine.

Glancing through the book, you might find a few paragraphs that will jump out to you. It should make for an interesting year to see if we will be brave in making comments in our individual wards. Here are a few quotes from the manual.

Pg 121-122

The Church and its agencies constitute in effect a service or­ganization to help the family and the individual... We cannot stress too strongly the great need to utilize all of these programs for the benefit and blessing of all our Father’s children.

If all of us do all of the things we should in carrying forward the programs of the Church, the Lord will bless and prosper us so fully that success shall attend our labors, and out of it all peace and joy will be our lot here and eternal glory hereafter.

The Lord is with the Church. He is guiding us. His spirit is resting upon this people.


Pg 124-125

 But there is one great added thing we have received in this age that has never been had before. In this dispensation the Lord has decreed that the Church shall never again be led astray; this time the gospel is here to stay. This time the revealed truth is destined to prepare a people for the second coming of the Son of Man, and the Church will be established in all parts of the earth when the Lord comes to usher in the millennial era of peace and righteousness.

We are members of a world church, a church that has the plan of life and salvation, a church set up by the Lord himself in these last days to carry his message of salvation to all his children in all the earth.

We have attained the stature and strength that are enabling us to fulfill the commission given us by the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith that we should carry the glad tidings of the restoration to every nation and to all people.

I know and testify that the Lord’s purposes on earth shall pre­vail. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is here to stay. The Lord’s work shall triumph. No power on earth can prevent the spread of truth and the preaching of the gospel in every nation.

 Pg 145

The Latter-day Saints should put their trust in their leaders, and follow the teachings of the authorities of the Church, for they speak unto them with the voice of prophecy and inspiration. The Lord has declared in the very first section in the Doctrine and Covenants, that whether he speak by his own voice or through the voice of his ser­vants, it is the same [see D&C 1:38]. Therefore, we are under just as great responsibility and obligation to hearken unto the voice of the one who stands at the head to teach the people, or to listen unto the voice of the elders of Israel, as they carry among the people the message of truth, as we are [if] the Lord should send from his presence an angel or should come himself to declare these things unto us..


Pg 157

The sealing power puts the stamp of approval upon every ordi­nance that is done in this Church and more particularly those that are performed in the temples of the Lord.

 Brethren and sisters, this is a glorious dispensation. All other dispensations flow into it. All authorities, all powers, are centered in this dispensation in which we live. We are privileged to partake of these blessings through our faithfulness.

May I now say—very plainly and very emphatically—that we have the holy priesthood and that the keys of the kingdom of God are here. They are found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Pg 159

 I testify that if we shall look to the First Presidency and follow their counsel and direction, no power on earth can stay or change our course as a church, and as individuals we shall gain peace in this life and be inheritors of eternal glory in the world to come [see D&C 59:23].