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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

401: SPRING EQUINOX 2017


Yesterday was the first day of spring. A time of birth, rebirth, a new beginning, and a new start. Darkness and Light are equal in the amount of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. After the equinox, light begins to overcome darkness.The days get longer.

Fitting that on this past weekend which marks a time of balance and "equality" The Church came out with a few new videos that celebrate EQUALITY. Below are a few screenshots from their social media video that can be seen only on Facebook. The video emphasizes that we are all different, and despite our diversity we should all be accepting, united and equal.


















From the above videos, it seems that the LDS Church is making huge media efforts to show we are an accepting and tolerant church. Quoting from the video, "We believe different, we act different, but we can be different and still be together. We don't have to be the same to be one."

Another LDS video that came out and just posted on lds.org is entitled Mormon and Gay. Below is the video and the link on LDS.org  https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/mormon-and-gay?lang=eng



One could conclude from the above videos that the Church is changing their stance on social issues and becoming more accepting of the LGTB community, as well as to the blacks, and other religious organizations specifically the Catholics. What is interesting is to see such a dramatic shift. It was not too long ago that the past prophets declared the following statements: 

 Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 78
“Homosexuality is an ugly sin, repugnant to those who find no temptation in it, as well as to many past offenders who are seeking a way out of its clutches. It is embarrassing and unpleasant as a subject for discussion but because of its prevalence, the need to warn the uninitiated, and the desire to help those who may already be involved in it, it is discussed in this chapter.”
 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, v. 2, “Homosexuality,”  
“... it is clear that any sexual relationship other than that between a legally wedded heterosexual husband and wife is sinful. The divine mandate of marriage between man and woman puts in perspective why homosexual acts are offensive to God. They repudiate the gift and the Giver of eternal life.”

From the Apostle Bruce R McKonkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958)
"It is also to the Book of Mormon to which we turn for the plainest description of the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church. Nephi saw this ‘church which is the most abominable above all other churches’ in vision. He ‘saw the devil that he was the foundation of it’ and also the murders, wealth, harlotry, persecutions, and evil desires that historically have been a part of this satanic organization.

Prophet Brigham Young, New York Herald, May 4, 1855, 
"You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham.

So much has changed in such a short amount of time. I could be a black, gay Catholic and be welcomed with open arms to any LDS church. On the other hand, I could be a white, straight, faithful father and husband who believes in the Restoration, have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon but struggles with leadership only to be shunned, threatened, cast out and even excommunicated. We live in crazy times.
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Sidenote:

Here are a few photos I took on a camping trip this past weekend down at the Parawon Gap.

Sunset looking West through the Gap

After a brief prayer from a 13 year boy named Lucas, the sky turned crimson red. Beautiful and Miraculous.

For those who don't know much about the Parawon Gap, here is an interesting descritption by Hugh Nibley that he wrote in the book, Promised Lands.

Hugh Nibley states, “By an interesting coincidence I had spent the previous week in Cedar City with President William Palmer, a patriarch as well as stake president, who taught anthropology in the college there. He had been initiated into the Paiute tribe, and took me out to their sacred place in the plain southwest of Parowan [Parowan Gap]. The building of the highway had put an end to the rites of initiation that once took place there, but President Palmer described the teachings and ordinances as far as was permitted. In particular he told the story of the descent of the Lord from heaven as if at that place, an event much like that described in 3 Nephi. Tobats was the God of all Creation; his son Shinob was the peacemaker full of love and eternally young. One day the Evil One Un-nu-pit killed Shinob. At once a great darkness fell upon “Tu-weap,” the whole earth. It was absolute blackness for three days. In this chaos and confusion everyone was groping around in howling and lamentation. Finally, a voice from the top of the mountain spoke; it was Tobats the Father. He told them to move about with outstretched arms, calling out to each other, and joining hands with whoever one touched. Thus they formed lines, and the lines were instructed to join with each other; people in the lines were to cry out for husbands and wives and children until all families had reformed. Then the noise ceased, and a voice told them to climb the mountain or mesa where Tobats was. They worked their way up the mountain, toiling in human chains and finally forming a huge circular formation on the top, with Tobats in the middle. Well, Tobats said he would shoot an arrow straight up (this is the well-known Indian and world-wide theme of the arrow chain to heaven [the fiery pillar of light?]). His arrow produced a tiny spark of light; but the second arrow brought light, which grew like an explosion until it flooded all the land. The blackbird and the flicker have been honored ever since because their feathers were used for the arrows—they are perpetual reminders of the great event.” (See Hugh Nibley, Promised Lands, in Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, FARMS-Deseret Book. See also William R. Palmer, Two Pahute Indian Legends: “Why the Grand Canyon Was Made” and “The Three Days of Darkness,” Cheney, WA: Citizen Journal Press, 1987, pps. 21—22.)

Photo of tree at the campsite where we pitched our tent. 


Sky on the morning of the Spring Equinox 2017 just before sunrise. 

Sunrise view on top of the North peak of the Parawon Gap


Leaving the Parawon Gap two hawks circled around over my head.  


Never have two hawks descended down towards in unison and making their screeching sounds and calls. 




6 comments:

  1. rumor ask it that you group is planning on spending $5,000,000 on a temple. think of all that money that could go to help the poor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The LDS church spends alot more than just 5 million dollars on a temple. They spend 5 times that amount on a single temple. For example, it was reported in LA Times that the San Diego temple was, at the time, the most expensive temple we had built. It cost $24 million (http://articles.latimes.com/1993-01-04/news/mn-912_1_san-diego-temple) But, that was along time ago. They have built more expensive temples since then. (Hong Kong, Payson and Manhattan are all more that that)

      Anyway.. for what it is worth, building a temple for only 5 million seems like a great deal.. that is less than the money the LDS Church recently gave to help build a theater that shows derogatory Broadway plays including the raunchy "Kinky Boots" as well as the religious satire that mocks our beliefs ironically called "The Book of Mormon.. the Broadway play".
      Just think of all that money that could have been used to help the poor. Link to the Downtown Theatre post:
      http://barerecord.blogspot.com/2016/10/388-lds-church-donates-millions-to-new.html

      Like the message of post points out from the LDS released videos, "we can think differently, act differently, and be different.. because we don't have to be the same to be one." I would Llove to go to lunch with you sometime to discuss the gospel, especially so we could maybe become friends because there is no one I rather hang out with than someone named Joseph "joe" Smith.

      May we both try to be more Christlike to one another.

      I wish you the best

      Delete
  2. This was the most incredible thing I've ever beheld! Both the evening and morning sky blanketed with a red robe.

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  3. Excellent point you made there at the end, Bare Record. I too can attest that you can BE anything and believe anything and be welcomed into this church, but if you are somehow unable to swear an oath that the leaders of the Church have the gifts of prophets, seers, and revelators, out you go. You are treated as a leper.

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  4. What a beautiful evening and morning. There are rock cairns erected in the valley to the east of the gap that mark the equinoxes, solstices, and cross-quarters when sighted through the gap at sunset. They take a little effort to locate (and a few burrs in the socks), but with a map they can be found.

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  5. I personally found it strange and a little troubling that the church released this video (not to mention the gay-affirming one, which suggests that people have no control over their feelings). The Lord says that if we are not one we are not His. What are we to be one in? His gospel. His word. So isn't it true that we can't believe differently and be one? That doesn't actually make sense. I am not suggesting that we shun those who don't believe what we do. Not at all. But I thought the way the video put things was off. Also, I agree with President Kimball's quote and encyclopedia's definition, but McConkie's and Young's quotes are worrisome.

    ReplyDelete