Friday, October 22, 2021

INDEPENDENCE FROM A FAILING SOCIETY



This week I had the opportunity to spend some time on Antelope Island. It really is like going to another world, a perfect place to escape from modern civilization. It was a full Harvest moon that night. The Hunter's Moon always follows the Harvest Moon, and is named after the time of year when animals fatten up in preparation for the colder months ahead and hunting season is underway for hunters to stock up on meat for the winter. Later that night when the full moon was almost directly overhead, a bluish ring appeared around the moon. It lasted for about an hour. The photo below doesn't do the experience the justice. 





While hiking around on the island, I was able to see bison and wheat-like stalks, two symbols of the Hunter Moon and the Harvest Moon.




Right after I got home from Antelope Island I received an email from a friend to see if I would be willing to post a written document on this blog. I usually don't post requests public service announcement requests, since this blog is more of a personal diary than an outlet for advertising, but thought it was important to share what was asked. The document can be found HERE

I am always grateful for those who use their time and talents for the benefit of others.

Here is a closing quote:   
"In our day of abundance, we are easily be misled into thinking that the blessings of our productive society permit us to be self-reliant. Of course that is only temporary. The principles upon which our society’s abundance are built have been discarded. Therefore, our “riches will become slippery” as the fruit of true principles vanish from those who dishonor the foundation upon which prosperity is conferred.

Safety in the coming scarcity of the last-days will only be found through Zion. Because the occupants of Zion will be one, they will follow two controlling principles which create the “self-sufficiency” of Zion.

First, the counterpart to the world (or Babylon as the scriptures have nicknamed the world) is Zion. Zion will require the laborer to labor only for Zion, not for themselves.

Second, we must perform the required great labor. We cannot expect to eat or be clothed in Zion if we do not work to produce the necessities of Zion."



Monday, October 11, 2021

Latest Official Proclamation (this one from the Federal Government)

Observing Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of Columbus Day.


Today is Columbus Day. However, President Biden on Friday issued a proclamation naming today, the 2nd Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This new holiday is being celebrated around the country instead of or in addition to Columbus Day. For almost a century, Columbus Day has been one of the 12 federal holidays established by Congress. The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the U.S. was on October 12, 1792. The day marked the 300th anniversary of Columbus' landing.

Instead of remembering Columbus, people across the country have defaced, decapitated and even removed statues of Christopher Columbus. 



Where is the outrage? As members of the Church, we read in our canonized scripture that Columbus was a man of God who was inspired by the Almighty to open up the pathway for people to come to the Americas. We read in the beginning pages of The Book of Mormon where Nephi tells us why Columbus sailed: “I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man and he went forth upon the many waters. even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” 1 Nephi 13: 12.  

And while historians may debate his motives, we can read from Christopher Columbus's own writings why he did what he did:
"With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail, and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project. . . . This was the fire that burned within me. . . . Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit . . . urging me to press forward?"
 Hugh Nibley observed, “Most of what is mysterious and contradictory in the story of Columbus comes from the refusal of the experts to believe what he tells them. They say he was an outrageous liar when he was actually telling the truth!"

While there are so many depressing and unsettling things happening in our world and especially in our country right now. I find one of the ways I can cope with everything going on is to spend time up in the mountain, especially now with the fall weather. The leaves up in the mountains this year have been some of the most spectacular displays of color that I can remember here in Utah. Here are a few photos from latest hike up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Enjoy before the snow comes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

ATTRACTING THE WEALTHY TO BEAUTIFY AND REPLENISH THE TEMPLE AREA

Today the LDS Church released the latest news on their website announcing the completion of  huge real estate development around the Mesa Temple. News article found here. CLICK THE LINK


This latest real estate development is called The Grove on Main. Interesting they called it "The Grove".

The project includes 240 apartments, 12 townhomes, condominiums, and detached homes with 70,000 square feet of landscaped open space, ground floor retail space and underground parking. Some of the amenities include a palm tree lined pool and recreation center. Here are a few photos. 











The reasoning given for this huge real estate venture is to enhance the grounds around the Mesa Temple. From the aerial photo below of the project, it almost dwarfs the Temple. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find the Temple (hint: it is in the top center of the photo.)


So, here is an honest question that I would love to ask at the next Face to Face event with the Brethren.

Is this helping the poor and the homeless? Or does it seem that the LDS Church is becoming more of a real estate company building homes? Is providing shelter to the homeless include charging 2000 buck a month for a two bedroom apartment? 

I wonder if we are better landlords than good Samaritans. 



Church Newsroom Video: The downtown revitalization project for which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground in 2018 is complete — and locals say it’s helping the city find its soul.


Monday, September 13, 2021

OH THE IRONY....HOW LDS MEMBERS FOLLOW THE PROPHET IN UTAH COUNTY

Photos published in the Salt Lake Tribune of BYU Football Game this past weekend in Provo, Utah.

62,000 people without masks, not socially distanced at the BYU Football Game

...10 hours later on


Reason for the contrast: Because the Prophet only said masks needed to be worn at Church. He didn't say anything about wearing them at the BYU football game. 

____________________________

Sidenote:.. One more thing that is also two faced. 



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Some Utah Stakes now mandating wearing masks again at Church.

 Some Utah Stakes now mandating wearing masks again at Church. 




Video Announcement from a Stake President in Sandy, UT sent to members of his Stake sharing his frustration and disappointment towards who have not been vaccinated and blame them for the Delta variant surge. LINK HERE




“It is best for all of us to wear masks again while attending our Sunday worship services. We understand that returning to this mask requirement will frustrate many of you, especially those who have followed President Nelson’s council to get vaccinated and recognized this vaccination as an answer to our prayers."

"While we seriously considered requiring only unvaccinated adults to wear masks, we think unity in our stake and wards remains a critical ideal to seek and even though the data makes clear that this is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, indeed more than 97 percent of the positive cases and hospitalizations are those of unvaccinated people in our communities."

"In all honesty, we are frustrated and disappointed as it seems the sure was completely preventable especially when our prayers of last year were answered with the vaccine rollout earlier this year. Nevertheless, we must join together and unite as brothers and sisters to do our part to end this pandemic and protect others during this surge including those who have chosen not to be vaccinated."


The First Presidency just released an email with a similar message:






Saturday, August 7, 2021

Photoshopped Media Photos of LDS Church Leaders?

Social media pressures us to look our best when we post photos. Photoshopping pictures before posting them on a social media has become a common thing among teenagers and even celebrities. Phone apps have been created to easily make you look better than you really are. While this innocent action might seem like a simple wish to enhance a look and appear our very best....let's just call it what it is.. VANITY.

__________________________________

VANITY
Excessive attention in or admiration of one's own appearance or attractiveness to others
__________________________________


Some of the enhancements that people do to their appearance is to give themselves:
  • Flawless and smooth skin
  • Whiten teeth
  • No more wrinkles or blemishes
  • Removed age spots
  • Contoured/adjusted facial features
  • Enhanced eye color
While we might think this is just a fad with the self absorbed generation with cellphones, it might surprise you who else used photoshop techniques to improve their photograph portraits.

Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. announced last week that our three-term Utah governor, Mike Leavitt will become the next president of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square starting one Aug. 26. For the media announcement, the Church posted a newly taken 2021 photograph of Leavitt with photo copyright to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was surprised at how much the promotional photographed had been photoshopped. No wrinkles, no sagging under the chin, no age spots. Here is the link to news story where the photo was published.  LINK HERE



If there is any doubt that the photo has been altered by the Church, here is side by side comparison with a photo that was taken of Mike Leavitt many years ago. LINK HERE. The photo on the right was taken no sooner than in 2017. The photo on the left was just recently taken for the Church with obvious techniques to make him look younger and better. (or at the very least, heavy amounts of makeup) Some might even say that it almost doesn't even look like the same man. 


 Last year I was surprised to see Church released photos of President Nelson where he too looked like he has some photoshop love with enhancing the color of his eyes to be more blue to maybe match his suit a little more. See below. 



Here are some video still images of President Nelson's eyes before he became the President of the Church with the new and improved blue eye color that we see. It might be that he now just has new colored contacts. 



I realize that this might be just a small thing, but I think this something interesting to point out and wonder why we feel we need to enhance reality and/or remove our blemishes and flaws. 





Friday, July 16, 2021

DO WE FIND GOD IN OUR TRIUMPHS? OR IN OUR FALLS?

This year to observe the summer solstice as well as to commemorate the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, a few of us hiked to the summit of King's Peak. I have always wanted to climb to the highest peak in Utah and was grateful for the invitation to hike it with guys half my age. It required a three day backpacking trip into the remote wilderness of the Uintah Mountains. Our first day we battled with adverse rainy weather hiking into base camp. We passed several hikers including a group of 50 who decided to turn back due to the weather and snow that was falling on the higher elevations. After a wrong turn, we corrected our course and arrived at Base Camp just in time for dinner. We set up our tents which provided a great shelter from the dark clouds and rain that rolled in. The next morning we woke up to blue skies and continued on the roughly 15 mile hike to the summit of King's Peak. 

It was truly a triumph to make it to the top of Kings Peak. The last couple of miles were more difficult than I anticipated, so making it to the summit felt like quite the accomplishment.

 

In addition to the wildlife we saw like on our hike, I was surprised to see so many dead pine trees. It seems like the aspen trees were healthy, but the majority of all the pine trees looked diseased and dead. Even along the banks of living water, the pine trees were dead. It was sad to see and can only imagine of the potential wild fires that could break out with just one lightning strike.  


Here are a few more photos from the hike:





Here is a photo of the last mile stretch that one must hike to get to the top. It is fraught with unstable boulders, steep inclines and sheer drop-offs near at the top.




Here is a quick video summary of our hike:  https://youtu.be/ZBmC0EAiuCg



The main reason why I wanted to post about the hike is that all too often we can glory in our accomplishments and take pride in our triumphs. But is that were we find God? Or do we find God in our struggles, our failures or our falls? Truly God wants us to succeed, but He also wants us to have a broken heart and contrite spirit. I know many who are hurting physically, struggling emotionally, straining financially, failing spiritually. I believe it is in those moments of pain that one cries out to God for help. In the end, it is a blessing to fail if it brings you closer to God. 


Sidenote: 
A week from today begins the 2021 Olympics Games. It has always been inspiration to watch the athletes overcome great obstacles and still achieve their dreams on the world stage. 

Here is short video that shows the contrast between those who win and those who fall. It is especially meaningful for me to watch those who reach down and help those get across the finish line. 

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/6iqD2cQybbc














Friday, July 9, 2021

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Last week I had a phone conversation about vaccinations with a friend who is a medical doctor.  He told me that he got the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and felt like it was safe. However, he shared something interesting with me that I wanted to post. I asked him to send me a follow up email with additional information. He did. I have posted his email response below. 

In a nutshell, my friend told me some history about Merck, one of many drug companies working on vaccines for the Covid-19. Merck also developed the drug Ivermectin which has been around for over 40 years with an estimated human use of 4 billion doses.  Ivermectin has few side effects and is known to be safer than either aspirin or Tylenol. What is interesting, Ivermectin has been proven to help in treating the Covid-19 virus. However, in order for Merck to get authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization,  there can not exist other medications that helps in treating the virus. So knowing that there own drug Ivermectin helped treat Covid19  patient with positive results, Merck had to do a 180 degree about-face claiming now that Ivermectin to be unsafe and discourage the use. Misinformation and falsehoods has been disseminated all of the internet about the drug.

We live in world of lies. 

However, I am grateful for doctors, medical professionals and scientists trying to share the truth.
I recently listened to a podcast with  Doctor Pierre Kory, an ICU and lung specialist and  Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist, both experts on the use of the drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19.." 

LINK HERE






The email I received from my friend and posted with his permission:

Only Part of the Story

I have had the sense that we were only getting part of the story with COVID-19. Early on Trump’s claim that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan lab was scoffed at by the media. Nobody is scoffing now. Both Fauci and Biden are demanding answers from China and the lab as the source of the virus is the leading theory of its origin.
Before the FDA approves a drug it must be shown to be both safe & effective but since 2009 Emergency Authorization Use can be given if “the totality of scientific evidence” makes it “reasonable to believe that the product may be effective.” It does appear that both of the major vaccines are very effective against preventing serious life-threatening COVID infections.

As for safety, federal law requires a weighing of risks and benefits, taking into account the “material threat” posed by the emergency. The vaccines short term safety in the groups tested also appears safe (ish).

Finally, an EUA can be granted only when “there is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product.” 
Ah there’s the rub!!

By the time the FDA provided EAU for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (December 11th, 2020) there were dozens of studies already published showing efficacy and safety of Ivermectin. (See Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines-Table 1—https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Ivermectin_for_Prevention_and_Treatment_of.98040.pdf)

In order to justify the EAU any safe and effective existing drug had to be squashed. This process shows a concerted effort between government and the scientific community. Here’s the FDA argument (https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/why-you-should-not-use-ivermectin-treat-or-prevent-covid-19). What you won’t hear in the article is that Ivermectin is either unsafe nor ineffective, nevertheless it is written to give that impression.

Merck, the company who once produced Ivermectin for the human use of 4 billion doses did a 180 degree about-face once the drug was generic and they were seeking EAU for their own vaccine.

Their statement includes this lie “A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”

40 years of use has shown this drug to be safer than either aspirin or Tylenol.

I have become convinced that Ivermectin is an effective and safe drug against COVID-19, both as prophylaxis and early treatment and there is growing evidence that it is also effective against COVID variants. Numerous studies report low rates of adverse events over the many decades of its use in parasitic infections. I have joined an organization of physicians called Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) who promote its use in the setting of…
  • prophylaxis for at risk persons
  • early treatment
  • illness resulting from the COVID-19 vaccines

I am using the recommended dosing of the FLCCC.

I am in the process of acquiring Ivermectin from a Canadian pharmacy for use among family and friends if and when the medication is unavailable through traditional pharmacies*.


McKay Platt, MD, FACS
 

*lvermectin Prophylaxis for high-risk individuals: 0.2 mg/kg per dose* — one dose today,

2nd dose in 48 hours, then one dose every 2 weeks

Post COVID-19 exposure prophylaxis***: 0.2 mg/kg per dose, one dose today, 2nd dose in 48 hours

MEDICATION RECOMMENDED DOSING

lvermectin 0.2 mg/kg per dose – one dose daily for minimum of 2 days, continue daily until recovered (max 5 days)


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

LDS CHURCH'S $357,000,000.00 MILLION REAL ESTATE SHOPPING SPREE

Two huge commercial real estate properties were purchased this past week by the LDS Church through their real estate companies, Hawaii Reserves LLC and Farm Land Reserves.  The LDS Church purchase a resort hotel on the island of Maui for 149 Million dollars and thousands of acres of land in Washington State for 209 Million dollars.  Total price tag for this week's real estate shopping spree: 357,000,000.00.

What I find so interesting is that not even Bill Gates came up with enough money to win the bid over the LDS Church to purchase the land in Washington State. Here are the news articles.   




It was reported this week that the LDS Church purchased a resort hotel on the island of Maui for 148,000,000.00 dollars. Here is the link to the business journal article.   The resort hotel was completed in 2016. The Church believes it has the responsibility to invest their money wisely and this includes investing in the stock market and buying and managing real estate. This hotel that rents for almost 1000.00 a night is the latest real estate holding they have acquired. 

I would assume that most members would have a hard time believing this. They might say, well it is not actually the church that bought it, but an "affiliate" of the Church. Well, the definition of affiliate is an officially attached or connected (a subsidiary group or a person) to the organization. 


Sidenote: 
What is interesting is that these business deals are never reported to the LDS members. However giving money to help Black Americans is all over the national and local Church News. While that is great to help the NAACP organization (which happens to promote Critical Race Theory) is less than 3 percent of what they spent on real estate this past week.  







Tuesday, June 15, 2021

WHEN WILL THE REMOVALS END? - LATEST CASUALTY THAT WILL BE DEMOLISHED.

 Cue Miley Cyrus's song: "WRECKING BALL"
 "I came in like a wrecking ball."



The North Visitor's Center which is the home of the Christus statue will be demolished later this year and replaced with restrooms to support events in the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall as well as  gardens and space for reflection, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced in a press release Thursday.
“This area will become a peaceful, quiet space on Temple Square,” said Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for the Church. “The plans for this area will also provide a more direct and clear view of the Salt Lake Temple from the northwest area of Temple Square, enhancing the prominence of the temple.” 
Restrooms will be added to support events in the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall.
 



One of my favorite things as a youth was going down to Temple Square and walking up the long circular ramp that lead to the Christus Statue. It was like traveling through space. I will miss this experience as well as all of the murals that were on display at the visitors center. This Temple "renovation" is hardly a renovation at all. Renovation means to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing). This Salt Lake Temple "Renovation" seems to be more about tearing things down and replacing it with something completely different. 



One more announcement. Earlier in the week the First Presidency also announced the discontinuation of the Priesthood Session as well as the Women's General Session during General Conference. The official reason stated in the new release was:
"This change is being made because all sessions of general conference are now available to anyone who desires to watch or listen."
Just because all sessions of general conference are now available to anyone who desires to watch or listen is a really odd reason to eliminate these sessions.

I will miss going to Priesthood Session with my Dad. 




Monday, June 7, 2021

LDS CHURCH's "THE FRIEND"- VACCINATION COLORING PAGE FOR CHILDREN TO COLOR


The LDS Church's printable coloring page for kids to color of a little child getting vaccinated.


What a fun activity for children to do! It is a coloring page of a little child getting a shot, most likely a vaccination shot. It is published in this months June 2021 THE FRIEND magazine. Is this a "FRIEND"-ly way to help child get used to the idea that is safe to get the vaccinated? It is entitled "I CAN BE BRAVE". 

I find it interesting that the Church chose to publish this coloring page just before the vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration meet this week on June 10,2021 to discuss whether to authorize Covid-19 vaccines for children 11 and younger. We are starting to see the mainstream media  report the need for little children to start to get vaccinated even though the numbers of people getting Covid is rapidly dropping. 

We are being told by those we should trust and those who "know better than us" that unvaccinated children are a vulnerable host  for coronavirus. Here is the latest new CNN newsreport. 




Almost all vitamins, medications and other vaccines have the list of warning labels. Even the most basic like Vitamin C and aspirin have warnings on the bottles to protect the manufactures of any adverse side effects so they can shift the risk from themselves through warnings. If you choose to proceed then you assume the risk. You can't blame anyone because you were sufficiently warned. 

The same kinds of warnings for childhood vaccines all have the list of side effects. Here a few of the side effects for just the measles vaccination.  

On the other hand, for the Covid vaccines were are just told that they are safe and effective.

 
Surely there is nothing wrong with these emergency authorized vaccinations that all normal FDA requirements have been waived and that the pharmaceutical companies are not liable for any injuries caused by the vaccine.



Are we suppose to submit our children to participate as basically "lab rats" for a vaccine that does not publish what the warnings of the side effects could be on a child. Remember, if your child should have complications, the companies are not liable for any injuries caused by their vaccines.

If you want to read additional research: here is a good link:









Thursday, June 3, 2021

CELEBRATING OUR GOVERNOR'S OFFICIALLY DECLARED PRIDE MONTH IN UTAH

This past year, Mother Nature has not been very kind to the State of Utah. 

  • Earthquakes, 
  • Fires, 
  • Devastating Wind Storms
  • and now Water Drought 
Coincidences or Consequences?

It makes you wonder why all four elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water have combined together to wreck havoc on the state of Utah. Some associate these basic elements with the four destroying angels. In his vision, John the Revelator saw “four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Revelation 7:1). These are God’s angels who will hold great power and indicates that the four angels have power over the winds, or the elements, of the earth. Elsewhere in the book of Revelation, angels are described as having control over fire (the angel “which had power over fire”; Revelation 14:18) and water (“the angel of the waters”; Revelation 16:5).


Two days ago, our LDS Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox declared an official declaration calling for the whole month of June to be PRIDE month. The official declaration signed below ends by saying:

Now Therefore, I , Spencer J. Cox, governor of the great state of Utah, do hereby declare June 2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Utah. 



PRIDE MONTH?  Usually we set aside just one day to observe something important. Do we really need an entire month!  It might be good to remember that Pride in most Christian societies is considered a deadly sin. In fact is it one of the seven deadly sins and often is listed first.  According to the standard list, they are Pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues. 

So why we are at it,  maybe next month could be GREED month? or how about LUST month? or even ENVY month? 

In Ezra Taft Benson's conference address, Beware of Pride, he says: 
"The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the Book of Mormon is the “record of a fallen people.” (D&C 20:9.) Why did they fall? This is one of the major messages of the Book of Mormon. Mormon gives the answer in the closing chapters of the book in these words: “Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.” (Moro. 8:27.) And then, lest we miss that momentous Book of Mormon message from that fallen people, the Lord warns us in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39.)"
So what I find so interesting is that after declaring this entire month to embrace Pride, Governor Cox is asking all of us to. get this, to pray to God for some divine intervention. Surely to Lord will bless us to escape this drought as we proactively celebrate our PRIDE.  Yes, Heaven help us.