Tuesday, July 14, 2020

WEARING FACE MASKS: SO DO YOU FOLLOW THE PROPHET OR NOT?


Our friend posted on Facebook the letter from the LDS Church leaders which was sent to all members in Utah asking them to wear face masks in public, In the facebook post, this comment was added, 

"So do you follow the prophet or not?" 

Here is the post with our friend's name and photo removed. 


So we now have mandates from our religious and government leaders to wear a face masks. So if you live in Utah apparently you are not following the prophet if you don't have a face mask on. I understand that more cases are being reported and I am sensitive to those who have underlying conditions who are vulnerable, but let's remember that fewer deaths are happening in ratio of those who get the virus. And don't even get me started with our Utah Governor forcing our children (K-12 grades) to wear masks to school next month.

That being said, I just watched a few really good youtube videos that I thought are important to share.  I echo what my friend said after watching it, "Given the overflowing scourge of misinformation that seems to be gripping the country, it's the closest thing to the the truth I've seen since all this started."



continuing the quote from my friend:

"It's curious to me how the world almost overnight lost all of its good common sense. It began with the leadership of local and national governments who bought into the fear, but the most revealing truth is how willing we are to allow these leaders to do all the thinking for us while at the same time unwilling to hold them accountable and say.... "Look, show me the data that demonstrates this draconian approach you are taking and I'll saddle up along side you and fight the fight. But if there is no data, and your argument is weak, then I would prefer to trust my own intellect and common sense."



From the latter video:
"The longer that this goes on, the more we are realizing that the young and the healthy are relatively immune to this virus. they do well when they catch it, the recover quickly and they do not die from this virus. In children, they are so immune that they have a greater risk with influenza than they have with Covid 19. So that is why I am advocating opening up the schools with almost no restrictions. We got to get the children back into the classrooms. The children have a greater risk of dying by driving to school than they do from Covid 19. It is clear that children are not at risk. What the kids are at risk from is delaying their education, from delaying their socialization, from keeping them home and therefore, keeping their parents home who work. That is a greater risk. No data showing an asystemic child giving it to an adult. Putting masks on school children is not only unnecessary but very unhelpful.
To have people who are not in shape and not physically fit wearing a mask. (especially out walking) and is very unhealthy due to the lack of oxygen needed for the body. Not only that but after you have been breathing on the mask for 5 to 10 minutes in gets really moist inside, and once that mask is moist, the ability for that mask to filter goes out the door. Wearing a moist mask is the equivalent of building a chain link fence to filter out mosquitos..."
But until we really let go of the Fear... these two signs are our "new norm."

DISCONTINUING THE ANGEL MORONI ON LDS TEMPLES?

Below are a few of the latest renderings of the new temples that the First Presidency of the LDS Church has released.  Notice anything missing?


Orem, Utah Temple


Tooele, Utah Temple

Moses Lake, Washington Temple

Phnom Penh, Cambodia Temple


Not sure why the Church is starting to discontinue putting the iconic Angel Moroni facing east on top of the temples.  A few years ago I posted about some of the Temples placing the Angel Moroni facing a different direction other than facing to the East, but now it appears they are beginning to altogether not even put up the Angel Moroni on the temples.
No. 389: "I think I'll dedicate that one. It's good fishing up there"
No. 379: Does the direction we are facing matter?


Sidenote: 
Another name change announced today by the First Presidency. They are changing the name of the Washington County Utah Temple. It will now be called the Red Cliffs Temple.
https://www.ksl.com/article/50000191/washington-county-utah-temple-gets-a-new-name

I seriously don't understand why all these changes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A WAR ZONE AROUND THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE - the Demolition continues

Here are a few photos I took of the Salt Lake Temple yesterday. I was shocked to what appeared to look like a warzone.  These are the views from the north side of the Temple.

It appears that the foundation of the Temple is starting to be removed. 


Here is a close up of the foundation of what is holding up the North side. 



Most of the glass windows have been removed and the north extension of the sealing rooms appear to be hollowed out. 



This is a photo of the demolition of the Chapel and North Entrance into the Temple.


All of the trees have been uprooted and removed. The entire surroundings around the temple is void of any living thing. It appears to be a shell of concrete.



________________________________________________________

I sure miss what the Temple used to look like. Here are a few photos taken before the demolition on the Northside of the Temple with all of the Cherry blossom trees. 


Some views from the South side of the Temple of the gardens and fountains.

Salt Lake Autumn Fountain | Lds temple pictures, Salt lake temple ...

View of Lds Temple with Flowers in Foreground, Salt Lake City ...

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But, this is what we have to look forward to. Here are the architectural rendering that the Church has released on what the newly remodeled Salt Lake Temple will look like in 4 more years.



Salt Lake Temple renovation: See all the images of what's coming ...


Plans Unveiled for Salt Lake Temple Renovation

Saturday, June 20, 2020

THE HEAVENS ARE OPEN - PART TWO (new video released today on Summer Solstice 2020)

Today, Saturday, June 20, 2020  the sun will take its longest and highest path through the sky. The 2020 Summer Solstice occurs at 3:43 pm in Salt Lake City. In terms of daylight, this day is 5 hours, 51 minutes longer than on the December Winter Solstice.

A week from now will be the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.  A series of seven short videos on Restoration are currently being created to not only commemorate the 200 year anniversary of the First Vision but to also show how the Restoration is continuing to unfold today.  Below is the link to the second video that was just released in part of observing the Summer Solstice and the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum.

The style of the video uses imagery of large brush strokes on an old deteriorating canvas. The first large brush strokes introduce the images in monotone colors, but then begins to restore the original color. Each image on the canvas is not fully completed nor do they have all of the color restored completely. That is symbolic that the Restoration is not complete. That process of remembering and completing the Restoration  is currently underway. The remaining five videos will hopefully paint that picture of what the Lord is currently doing in our day.





Tuesday, June 2, 2020

EXTREME CONTRASTS: Black vs White, Control vs Freedom, Turmoil vs Peace

This is the world in which we live... Opposition in all things.  Everything has it's opposite. Good and evil, virtue and vice, light and darkness, health and sickness, pleasure and pain.

“Life is 10% what happens to you 
and 90% how you react to it.”

"We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." by Charles R. Swindoll

Below are a few quotes from a great blog post: Blessed are the Peacemakers that was written over 10 years ago. It is probably more relevant today than when it was written: 
There are too many willing to cry for revenge or justice in the world. Eventually the spirit of revenge will reign, and the earth will be filled with violence. As it was in the days of Noah – those days will return again. (Gen. 6: 11-13Moses 8: 28-30.) Those who want to see justified and unjustified killing will have their fill. In the days before the flood the earth was filled with violence. There was also a corresponding return of Zion. It would not be as it was in the days of Noah if Zion were not to return. For that, the pattern is set out in Moses Chapter 7: How much guilt we bring with us to that final day depends entirely upon the intent of our hearts, the actions of our hands, and the words we speak. (Alma 12: 14.) Becoming a peacemaker and meriting the call as a child of God is measured by our acts, but includes as Alma warns us, our thoughts and words as well.
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Sidenote:

My daughter and I just got back from a week long road trip up the West Coast.  Nature is full of contrast as well as similarities. I took some photos to show the extreme contrasts that we saw.



Great Salt Lake vs The Pacific Ocean
Both are bodies of water that contain salt, but one is inland and the other is on the coast. One has waves and rocks, the other is calm and flat. 


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Lake Tahoe vs Muddy Lake 
Both are fresh water lakes, but one is clear and blue and heavily forested, the other is muddy and only has dry sagebrush.



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Modern Sundial Bridge vs Old Railroad Bridge



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Pacific City Sand Dunes vs Cannon Beach




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Artificial Tree vs Pine Tree





May we learn to better appreciate the contrasts in the human race as well.

---

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LDS CHURCH LOSES 8 BILLION DOLLARS OF VALUE IN THEIR "RAINY DAY ACCOUNT"

The Salt Lake Tribune printed an article this morning that the investment arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, reported to federal regulators that the value of its stock holdings fell by $8.1 billion during a three-month span. Here is a link the article: [LINK]


Compare that 8 billion dollars (8,000,000,000.00) loss to what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives annually to help the poor, sick and needy. President Oaks reported (LINK) that  the Church gives about $40 million on welfare, humanitarian and other LDS Church-sponsored projects around the world and has done so for more than 30 years (equals out to approximately $1.2 billion on welfare and humanitarian efforts over the past 30 years.)


So much has been said on how prophetically we had been prepared as a Church for the  Covid pandemic with the programs that were put into place like our study manual to have home church. I wonder if not all the Church departments got the memo. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

THE ZEALOUS IMPATIENT REAPING ANGELS vs OUR LONG-SUFFERING GOD - A message of Optimism found in Nature

Right now there is a lot of pessimism in the world. There are so many loud voices that demand our attention which continue to create fear, mistrust, division, anger and despair.  Some people are reveling at the  possibility that the end of the world is near and destruction is at hand. They are like the angels who "are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields." D&C 86:5. Are we sometimes like those angels who are excited to have the tares bundled and burned?

I suggest taking a break from the doom and gloom for a minute and take a walk outside in nature. What you might find is a message of optimism. Observe and take notice of what God might be saying. God speaks loudly in nature. These messages in Nature are important for us to hear. They should be viewed, noted and appreciated.  I believe that God's hand is not only written in scripture, but it’s also in nature. God is speaking to all of us, more or less all of the time. We determine how much we want to hear and are willing to let in. We just need to observe it.  Francis Bacon wrote, “God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called Creation." 

We must read them both.

One such message in Nature that my wife and I saw this past week was this Weeping Pine. Below is the photo I took of the tree.  It appears to be dead.  If this tree was in your front yard, this would be at the top of the honey-do list to have it cut down and removed. 


But take a look at a close up of one of the branches.


If you look closely you can see small signs of life.



I think there is a message of Optimism found in this Weeping Pine. There are signs of life in this tree that appears to be a completely dead. In fact the new growth coming out of the nearly dead tree is the most vibrant green color I have seen. It is beautiful new life.

I am reminded about the story of Abraham who pleaded to the Lord to not destroy the city of Sodom if Abraham could find a few righteous people.

In Genesis 18 we read this dialogue between Abraham and God:

ABRAHAM: Will you destroy all the city for their wickedness if I find there forty-five righteous? GOD: I will not destroy, but spare them.

ABRAHAM: If perhaps there should be forty found there?
GOD: I will not destroy it for forty’s sake.

ABRAHAM: If perhaps there shall thirty be found there?
GOD: I will not destroy them if you shall find thirty there.

ABRAHAM: Will you destroy them if perhaps there shall be twenty found there?
GOD: I will not destroy them for twenty’s sake.

ABRAHAM: If perhaps ten shall be found there?
GOD: I will not destroy them for ten’s sake.

.........

The reason why Abraham was so acknowledged by God was because Abraham didn't give up on Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was trying to save the lives.  The characteristics that Abraham possessed is the same as Gods. Long-suffering, patient, forgiving. You contrast that with the zealous and impatient angels who are so quick to reap and cut down. Because Abraham has a similiar outlook and nature as God,  God said to Abraham.. It is through you Abraham,  I will make your Father of Nations.

I am wondering if Abraham would ask the same questions about this Weeping Pine. 

ABRAHAM: Would you destroy this tree if I can find a few living branches?
GOD: I will not destroy the tree.
The reaping angels: Let's cut down the tree and burn it.

What do we want? Are we like Abraham? Would we want to nurture to try and save this Weeping Pine if you see a few living branches? Or would you be more like the reaping angels who would want to cut the tree down?


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

HERD MENTALITY vs HERD IMMUNITY

HERD MENTALITY

Are you wearing a mask because everyone else is wearing one?
Are you being masked shamed?
Is your local governments and law enforcement punishing you for not wearing one?

Some cities have gone as far as setting fines for failing to wear a mask. In Laredo, Texas, anyone over the age of five who walks into a store or takes public transit without their mouth and nose covered by a mask or bandana could now be fined up to 1,000.00 dollars.




OR

Or do you believe God created your body that can fight viruses,  toxins or other foreign substance that will induce an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies?

HERD IMMUNITY: the resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, especially through passing on antibodies to one another.




Which camp do you belong to? If you are undecided on what to do, here is an interesting videos to watch.



Tuesday, May 5, 2020

PATTERN FOR THE CITY OF ZION?

The LDS Church released today their proposal to develop a community that includes hundreds of homes and a 55-plus adult community around the newly announced Temple in Tooele, Utah. Here is the news article LINK as well as the Church News Release. LINK


Below is the plot map showing all the lots that will be for sale. I assume with all the different size lots that there will be price ranges from expensive lots for the affluent to smaller lots for the modest income families. I labeled them accordingly.
Steve Romney, the president of the Church's Real Estate and Land Development, (Suburban Land Reserve) said the following in the news article, “In addition to contributing to needed utility infrastructure around the temple, this community will help protect the temple and create a place where people can enjoy the setting of this sacred building in ways that are important and meaningful to them.”



Is this the new pattern for the city of Zion?

Friday, April 24, 2020

THE EMPTINESS OF THE NEW MOTAB LOGO

Here is the historic Mormon Tabernacle Choir logo that has been recognized all over the world. It highlights the iconic Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ pipes, along with the recognized name of 'Mormon' in the  Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir was founded in August 1847, one month  after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. It has been a huge missionary tool for the Church. The branding is just a recognizable as the letter 'M' for McDonalds and an 'Apple' for the Macs. However, it has been changed. The new logo and name was released to the press yesterday. 

If you were to take only the empty space of the original logo of the Tabernacle Organ Pipes,  this is what it would look like.

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And now... here is the newly released logo for the Tabernacle Choir. Looks like just the empty, negative space of the former logo. Some of the people who have seen is it for the first time have said that is looks like a building (like the Great and Spacious Building) without a foundation. Other have said that is looks like a frowning face that cuts through the pipes. (unlike Amazon's and McDonald's smiley face)

This is the logo with the text. (which looks a little better)



It is interesting that this hollowed out image of the original logo is the base for the new logo. Removed is the solid form of the well known Tabernacle Organ pipes, as well as a reduction to the number of pipes (from 12 to 7). What is left is the empty space of the original logo along with the deletion of the word Mormon. I am not sure this new logo will ever have the impact that the original logo had, but I could be wrong.

Sidenote: 
In recent years the choir has struggled to represent the actual members of the Church worldwide. Choir members need to live within an hour of Temple Square and be current temple recommend holders. The choir members are 99% white, despite the attempts to focus heavily on close up of those members of color during General Conference. I read today that the choir now only represents the super orthodox Utah segment, and it has lost the ability to represent the church because it is only an idealized white-washed version and not an authentic representation of the members of the Church worldwide. If you can sing, live within 100 miles of the Salt Lake Tabernacle, member is good standing (translation: have a current temple recommend), and are ethnically diverse, you should audition to be a choir member.


Friday, April 17, 2020

The Sacrament administered according to the commandments of Christ

We read in The Book of Mormon the correct mode of administering the sacrament as recorded in Moroni chapters 4 and 5. Beginning in verse 1 of Moroni 4 it says, "and they administered it according to the commandments of Christ; wherefore we know the manner to be true; and the elder or priest did minister it. And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying:

Audio recording of both Sacrament Prayers:


I have always wondered how those who are unable to hear the words of the Sacrament Prayers  participate in the Sacrament. The above video could be helpful for those who might not be able to hear the words but can feel the vibration as they follow along and read the words as they are spoken.
In addition to the hearing impaired, I know of many single women who have not be able to participate in the sacrament recently due to worldwide closures of religious meetings. When it is not possible for a priesthood holder to travel to their houses to bless the Sacrament in person, it might be a beautiful thing for them to watch and listen to the above video to still participate in the Sacrament Ordinance through technology.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does provide videos for the hearing impaired to participate in the Sacrament. These Sacrament Prayers are video recorded and on the Church website.

Here is a screen shot of the one of the videos:


It is interesting to note that the above prayers also used the Book of Mormon wording and still keeps the word 'wine' instead of the replacement word 'water'.

Joseph Smith's revelation of The Word of Wisdom specifically outlines for wine to be used for the sacrament: "Inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make." (D&C 89:5-6, emphasis added.)

Latter-day Saints continued to use wine in their sacramental services throughout the 19th century. Beginning in the 20th century, institutional reforms began to change the wording of the Sacrament Prayer from wine to water. The sacramental prayers were changed with the new wording. For those who prefer the Latter-day "adjustments" with the use of the word 'water' instead of the word 'wine', you can listen to these audio recordings below:

Prayer on Bread

Prayer on Water

Thursday, March 26, 2020

MARCH 26, 1820- Likely Date for the First Vision? PHOTOS

Today is March 26th. According to a couple of scholars, March 26th is the likely date for the First Vision that occurred 200 years ago.

Dr. John Lefgren and Dr. John Pratt did extensive research to discover when the most probable date was for Joseph Smith's First Vision. They both independently came to the same conclusion that March 26,1820 was the most likely date. In honor of this date which is today and that event 200 years ago, I thought I would post a few photos that I took during this year's Spring Equinox. 

On March 20, 2020, I drove down to Southern Utah and spent the evening at the Parowan Gap. Most do not know that this is a sacred site for the Native Americans mainly because it is an Ancient Astrological Temple. The two mountains and the surrounding region were used as an astrological calendar marking solstices and equinoxes.  Below are a few photos I took that evening of the sunset.

 The Setting Sun at the Parowan Gap on March 20, 2020
I find it interesting that this sacred location in Parowan, Utah is located just a couple of miles from another Salt Lake.  It is not the Great Salt Lake, but it is called Little Salt Lake. Two temples in Utah near salty water.  One built by man where earthquakes can damage it, and the other built by God that aligns with the heavens.

Photo taken on March 20, 2020

There are large rock cairns that mark the exact locations of where the sun will rise and set on these important dates of the Spring and Fall Equinoxes as well as on the Summer and Winter Solstices. It is a beautiful and tranquil thing to watch the sunset as it  slides right into the Parowan Gap.

Sunset on March 20, 2020

After my time in Parowan, I drove into Zion's National Park to go hiking and camped Saturday evening with a couple of friends. The clouds dissipated after the sunset and it was a beautiful evening to star gaze. I don't know if I have ever seen Venus so bright.

Entrance into Zion's National Park, photo taken on March 21, 2020

We woke up the next morning just after 4:00 am to begin our hike up to the top of Angels Landing. Overhead in the sky as we hiked, there was an alignment of  three planets: Saturn, Mars and Jupiter (seen below left to right respectively).

Night sky of the three Planets taken on the morning of March 22, 2020

Hiking to the top of Angels Landing is not for the fainthearted, especially if you are hiking in darkness before dawn. However, it was fun to hear an Owl hooting as we approached the saddle.


After hours of hiking we finally reached the summit. The sun begin to hit the tops of the surrounding peaks. We were greeted by a raven who circled above our heads in a clockwise direction.


As we began to descend and the sun hit our faces. We saw the King of Birds.. the Condor.





What make the entire ascent to the top of Angels Landing so memorable was not only to see the enormous Condor bird fly majestically towards us... but it landed on the rocks. It allowed us to hike close and to see him up close and personal. See photo below.


Photo taken by my friend who had the best position on the sheer rock ledge to take this photo.


It was an unforgettable hike, full of symbolism, beauty and accomplishment.