Friday, September 22, 2023

THE DESTINY OF AMERICA - American Citizenship and it's Decline

This has been a big week with significant days that have been important to observe. 
  • The Fall Equinox
  • The 200 year anniversary of the first Angelic Visit to Joseph Smith that led to the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon 
  • The Jewish Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah
  • National Constitutional Day. 
To observe these important days, I went hiking up to Honeycomb Cliffs with two friends. The three of us hiked for over 7 hours. It was the first time that we did not reach the summit before sunrise. However the clouds covered the sun until we reached the top. At our ascent, the sun shined through the clouds.

It was a great hike. Probably one of my most memorable. 
I post this today only so that I have a record of when this hike happened. 


Last Sunday on September 17, 2023 was National Constitutional Day. Our Stake Presidency sent an email all to the members of our stake with the following direction from the Utah Area Presidency in how we should observe that day. Here is an excerpt of the email:
"During our sacrament meetings on Sunday, September 17th, each ward will be having at least a portion of their meetings focused on "God's hand in the origin and destiny of America."

The Utah Area Presidency also provided a list of ideas and suggestions for families and individuals to consider such as having a family home evening and read and discuss the booklet "Why I Love America" which can be found at
While I think it is great that we fly the American Flag, Read and Study the Constitution, and talk about  why we believe that God's hand is in the origin of our country... it doesnt not mean that we currently have His favor and that He is happy with how things are going. I think a Sacrament Talk given by a man like Victor Davis Hansen would be so great for LDS Wards to hear around the country.  See below link to the official trailer of American Citizenship and Its Decline.

Last Sunday was the last day of Rosh Hashanah, This fall Jewish holy day is also called Feast of the Trumpets. Rosh Hashanah ushers in the Ten Days of Repentance which culminate in the major fast of Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement. This is the time which we are to repent for both our individual — and on Yom Kippur, our communal — sins committed over the course of the previous year, before God literally closes the books on us and inscribes our fates for the coming year. 

On that Sunday, a book was publicly presented and released. It is now made available to the public. LINK TO AMAZON  It is an important book.  Sobering.. just like entire The Book of Mormon. A warning to us all. 

Happy Fall Equinox.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


The past month has been hard to watch the news. 
Here are some before and after photos of devastating and destruction from the four destroying angels over the four elements (Fire, Water, Earth and Wind)





Wednesday, August 30, 2023


The Church has announced the completion of the RESTORED home of Joseph and Emma Smith in Kirtland, Ohio.  This "restored" home was dedicated last Saturday on August 26, 2023, and is now open for visitor tours in Kirtland, Ohio — immediately north of the Kirtland Temple and historic cemetery.

Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this home where the first prophet of the church lived is more than just a historic building.
I am not sure if I would call in a historic building now.. maybe the land and the location of where the original home was built, but this is far from being a "restored" home. I think it would be best for the Church to call this a "Recreated Home" and not the Restored Home of Joseph Smith.

Here are the definitions and distinctions:

a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition. restitution of something taken away or lost. something that is restored, as by renovating. a reconstruction or reproduction of an ancient building showing it in its original state.

a reenactment or simulation of something,  the process of making it exist or seem to exist again in a different time or place. 


One of the earliest photos that the Church Archives has of the original Joseph Smith Home was taken in 1907. This photo is on display in one of the visitors centers in Kirtland Ohio.

Here is a photo of the home that I took last year in March, 2022. 

Many of the beautiful large trees (maybe even that were existing at the time of Joseph Smith were being cut down to accommodate for the new parking lot that the Church was building. 

Over the past year, the Church demolished this historic home that has stood for their "restoration". The first took down everything except the front part of the 2 story home. 

They need put in a new foundation and removed almost the entire rest of the home. 

The Church then rebuilt what they are calling the "Restored" home of Joseph Smith. To me, it looks like a pre-fabricated home with aluminum sidings. Nothing about this home is "restored"... it would be better to call it .. 
"our best guess in recreating a home that Joseph Smith lived in"

Here are some of the photos from inside. For those of you who have seen the Barbie movie.. it looks like the interior could be "Barbie's Pioneer Dream home" 

I find in interested that they have placed a top hat in almost every room. Super odd, but maybe that is a "hat tip" to the historic records on how Joseph received some of his revelations.

Thursday, August 10, 2023


A couple of weeks ago, Sister Patricia Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R Holland, passed away. Her funeral was held in the Conference Center Theatre on July28, 2023. The Church News published a lengthy article about her passing and the funeral. I was really surprised that most of photos in the Church article was focused on President Nelson instead of Sister Holland. 

First of all, I am not quite sure at her funeral for Sister Holland that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have to sit in their enormous red chairs front and center on the stage at the funeral. Why does this funeral look like General Conference? In my opinion, a funeral should be more focused on the life of the loved one who died and not the Church Hierarchy. Why the need to have all these men on the stage especially when none of them spoke except President Nelson who was the concluding speaker?  Personally, I don't' thing there should be anyone on the stand but a large photo of Patricia Holland. She should be the main focus. Period. Even in this article there should have been a least one photo of Sister Holland. I didn't see one.

Here are a few of the photos that were published and the link: THE CHURCH NEWS

President Nelson, Front and Center on the stage 

President Nelson was the concluding speaker at the funeral.

A photo of President Nelson with his all to familiar posing with his arms outstretched. 

Also, I am not sure why a funeral needs to a a CHURCH MEETING. In addition, why is the Bishop the one who needs to conduct and oversee the planning of the service? Why can't tributes to the loved one dominate the service? Why does the a member of the Stake Presidency, or Area Seventy or General Authority need to be recognized during the service?. Why does the presiding leader need asked if he would like to be the final speaker as well? 

All of these rules and requirement for an LDS funeral are in the Handbook of Instructions:

From the Handbook of Instruction:


Funerals and Other Services for the Deceased

A funeral conducted by the bishop, whether in a Church building or elsewhere, is a Church meeting and a religious service. It should be a spiritual occasion. The bishop urges participants to maintain a spirit of reverence and dignity.

When a bishop conducts a funeral, he or one of his counselors oversees the planning of the service. He considers the wishes of the family, ensuring that the funeral is simple and dignified, with music and brief addresses centered on the gospel. The comfort offered by Jesus Christ because of His Atonement and Resurrection should be emphasized. Family members are not required to speak or otherwise participate in the service.

Funerals are an opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. However, such tributes should not dominate the service. A special family gathering, separate from the funeral service, is usually a better setting if the family wants more time to share tributes or memories.

Video presentations should not be part of a funeral service held in a chapel.

If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service. The presiding officer should be invited to offer closing remarks if he desires.


In contrast, I attended a funeral for a close friend. The service was beautiful. Projected on the screen above the casket was an photo of my friend. The focus was on him. His sisters and his brother spoke. His wife and his four children spoke. The entire funeral was a tribute to him. It was not a Church meeting where a presiding church authority was sitting on the stand. No Church leader needed to be the concluding speaker. A funeral should not be a church meeting. 

  I post this in tribute to him. He stood up for truth and what is right. My heart goes out to his family especially his wife and his four children. He will be sorely missed.

Friday, July 28, 2023


Historically, the Temple Cornerstone ceremony is when the first stone is set during the building process of sacred Temples. Temple builders would carefully measure the stone to make sure it is exact and the angles were right. This was so important because it was from that stone that all other stones in the edifice especially the foundation would be organized and would be aligned. Cornerstones have been around for Millennia. Ancient cultures also had ceremonies around placing the cornerstones to their sacred temples like in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamia.  We have continue that ritual and have what we might call a groundbreaking ceremony. In this ceremony, the people would ask God to protect the building. It was this kind of dedicatory type of ceremony around the laying of the Cornerstone. Buildings were often designed in relation to constellations and stars astronomical points on the compass. Ancient cultures would often believe that how you position these buildings in relation to these Heavenly Bodies would form a connection to the cosmos. 

However,  in the latest change made by President Neilson, we are now discontinuing that connection and sacred ceremony. Apparently from the First Presidency's news release, the construction techniques of men are more advanced that we no longer need to symbolically align ourselves to the heavens and making that sacred connection that has been done for centuries with the Temple Cornerstone Ceremony.

Joseph Smith understood the importance of the cornerstone ceremony. Examples of past cornerstone ceremonies are as follows:

 Kirtland Temple

Joseph Smith saw the building of the Kirtland Temple in vision in 1833. He presided over the laying of the temple cornerstone at a ceremony held on July 23, 1833. We do know that 24 priesthood holders met on the temple site July 23, 1833, to lay stones from the quarry. The First Presidency - Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams - and three others laid the southeast cornerstone. Six additional priesthood holders stood at and laid each of the remaining three cornerstones according to what some called `the order of the Holy Priesthood.'

Nauvoo Temple

The cornerstones for the original Nauvoo Temple were laid on April 6, 1841. As described in History of the Church 3:326-331, the southeast cornerstone was set in place under the direction of and dedicated by Joseph Smith. Thereafter, the other cornerstones were ceremonially placed under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The account records that the Nauvoo Legion was present to add an air of ceremonial splendor to the occasion.

Rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple

The symbolic laying of cornerstones at the Nauvoo Temple took place on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2000, at noon in Nauvoo, Ill.
"We want to imitate, insofar as possible, what was done at the original cornerstone laying on April 6, 1841," said President Gordon B. Hinckley. This is particularly significant because the Nauvoo Temple will be constructed to appear almost as a replica of the original temple built on this same site in the early 1840's.

Participating in the ceremony will be General Authorities of the Church as well as local Church leaders and women of the Church's Relief Society. Four large stones will be set in place, one at each corner, beginning with the southeast corner of the temple. LINK

Here are a few other examples of the importance of the Temple Cornerstone Ceremony in the past couple of years given in talks by Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. 

"The importance of Christ as the head of the church and the cornerstone of members’ faith was also highlighted during  Elder Quentin Cook Talk

At the time of the original dedication of the Suva Fiji Temple in 2000, members of that nation’s parliament were taken hostage by a group of rebels. Due to the potential danger of violence, President Gordon B. Hinckley was told it was safest to do a small dedication with no events outside the temple.

President Hinckley agreed to a small dedication with one condition. If the dedication was to occur, the cornerstone ceremony would as well. President Hinckley said, “‘If we do dedicate the temple, we will have the cornerstone ceremony because Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, and this is his church.'”

"Just after the start of the first dedicatory session, the choir sang “The Morning Breaks" as President Oaks and the other Church leaders came outside for the symbolic cornerstone ceremony. President Oaks invited young children from Maryland, Virginia and Georgia to participate in placing mortar around the cornerstone.
“The most important idea about a cornerstone is that Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone, setting the direction for the building at the key position in the foundation,” President Oaks said. “So it is with this temple.” LDS CHURCH NEW LINK

So I find it so surprising that President Nelson has made the decision to discontinue this sacred and symbolic Temple ceremony. And the reason for doing so because of the "advancement of construction techniques." 

Another Temple Symbol has been changed.  The Direction of Angel Moroni.

Historically, the Angel Moroni statue faces east, the direction that Christ is to come from when he returns to earth at His Second Coming, as a symbolic herald of that return. all but a few temples have Angel Moroni facing due east. 

Some of the newer temples being built, the Angel Moroni no longer is facing east but actually facing west like the Saratoga Temple which will be dedicated next month. Or even more common now, the Angel Moroni is  longer being placed on our temples. 

Losing the symbolism of the importance of the East: the direction of the rising sun; a symbol of the resurrection as well as the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; a sign of renewal and rebirth and new life.  Facing West is symbolic of  losing light, decline, death, and destruction. 

Below are photos of the sun setting behind the new Saratoga Temple. Angel Moroni is facing the setting sun instead of the facing East towards the direction of rising Sun. Most people when that are buried placed in the ground facing East (not West) in the direction of Christ's Second Coming the hope of the resurrection



New spires have been built and are starting to be placed back onto the top of the Salt Lake Temple. From the photos I took, I do not think they are the original ones. I wonder how much of the Salt Temple after is completed will be original. So much for preserving a historical building. It is quite possible that it might have cost less take it down and rebuild it, since it looks a lot of it is being rebuilt anyway.

Friday, June 23, 2023




Elevation of thought, sentiment or expression

 In a general sense, greatness; that quality or combination of qualities in an object, which elevates or expands the mind, and excites pleasurable emotions in him who views or contemplates it. 

This week I hiked to the top of Grandeur Peak in observance of the Summer Solstice. The day before the Summer Solstice on June 20, I saw the sun rays shining down on the ridge line of the trail that ascends to the top of the Grandeur Peak. For me, it was a confirmation that this was the trail to hike.

Here are a few photos on that morning hike to see the sunrise. Indeed, Grandeur Peak is well named.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Salt Lake City is lauded as "Progressive"... However, a better word might be "TRANSGRESS-ive."

an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense


The photo below was taken in downtown Salt Lake City at the annual PRIDE PARADE last Sunday featuring: 

 A toddler wearing a "TRANS-KIDS" T-Shirts
A woman wearing a "I LOVE HOT TRANS BABY DADDIES" T-Shirt
A woman now a "man" wearing a "TRANS BABY DADDY"  T-Shirt

 This week, my wife and I watched the documentary called "What is a Woman." You can watch the movie for free now on Twitter. Here is the LINK . I don't really have the words to express how I felt while watching the movie. As a father of all daughters, I am outraged that an underage girl can undergo medical procedures to become a boy without needing parental consent. It is so ironic that we have laws prohibiting children under the age of 18 to get a tattoo (which can be removed) but yet underage children can get irreversible treatment to change from one gender to another.  If a parent tries to stop the procedure, he can be put in jail? It is unbelievable. The documentary is a must see. 

 Elon Musk tweeted, "Consenting adults should do whatever makes them happy, provided it does not harm others, but a child is not capable of consent, which is why we have laws protecting minors." 

Another photo of downtown Salt Lake of our UTA public transit system buses. They are being wrapped using tax payer money in support of this transgender movement.

"I was disappointed to see UTA putting wraps around their equipment supporting a controversial social position that is very (divisive),"

"This is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars"

"Why spend the funds and political capital on this effort? What other social issues have you not supported, but now are supporting this? I am shaking my head at this decision."

"I think public funds should never be used to promote private agendas, especially those that contradict our state ideals."



Today's Wordle took me three attempts   I started out with the word TEACH, then the word HASTE.. and the final word ironically, is the word HATER.  

Kind of symbolic. One who teaches, with haste, might be accused of being a hater. 


Monday, May 8, 2023


Starting in 2021, President Russel M Nelson has donated millions and millions of dollars to the NAACP and the United Negro Fund. After generous donations equally close to $10,000,000.00 dollars of Church funds, Nelson recently received the prestigious Gandhi-King-Mandela Peace Prize from the black community at Morehouse College. The college is a private, historically Black men's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia. 

A special portrait was painted to commemorate President Nelson receiving the award. The oil painting of himself in front of Jesus will hang in the International Hall of Honor at Morehouse College. Below is a photo of Rev. Lawrence Carter shaking hands with Nelson in front of the portrait. 

The new oil painting of President Nelson standing in front of Christ's Triumphant Entry

Back in 2018, right after President Nelson was sustained as the new President of the Church, there was as strategy created at Church Headquarters to promote Nelson as a world faith leader. The Church was hoping people around the world would view President Nelson on the same level as other world religious leaders like the Pope. There were many public events held around the globe to help with this campaign.  When Nelson was touring all of the countries,  the church news made a series of  videos documenting his trip. The videos focused on all of the adoring crowds and how they had waited hours to see Nelson. They didn’t focus much on what he said, just the crowds. In essence the videos highlighted that Nelson was almost just like the Pope with all of the adoring crowds from all over the world. Nelson even visited local people and handed out photos of himself. See video excerpt below.

It seems like for a while now, the message is not always using the Church to bring people to Jesus as instructed in 3 Nephi 27, but it is almost as if it is the reverse by using Jesus to bring people to the Church and essentially to President Nelson. I find it interesting that in the paintings, visual images and videos of Nelson that Jesus is in the distant  background and Nelson is in the foreground. Oftentimes, Nelson is striking the same pose as Christus statue of Christ used in the Church Logo—which seems to be all part of the choreographed strategy. The message is almost like, "if you believe in Jesus, you will believe in Nelson and the Church". While subtle, it is though Nelson is essentially showing that he is a stand in for Christ.

Here are some links to examples of the Church's PR and Media strategies to promote Nelson:

It is interesting to see the Church’s Public Relations Department execute this strategy that began just over five years ago. While they have all right intentions and most likely see themselves as promoting the gospel of Christ, but from the outside is appears they are instead promoting a man.

A picture of the First Presidency that hangs in one of the cubicle offices in the Jordan River Temple.

President Nelson using the common pose with his arms outstretched.

While more could be said, I want to conclude with an excerpt from the book, Eighteen Verses- A Discussion of the Book of Mormon:

The lowest state of glory, the Telestial Kingdom, will include those who say they followed God’s properly ordained, authentic messengers of the Gospel. Though the messengers they claimed to follow were authentic, the faith of these followers was not. This is one of the great reasons why true messengers do not focus attention on themselves. They do not make themselves idols. They do not seek fans, nor welcome personal adulation and vainglory.

Religious leaders and teachers who want the adulation of their followers are leading them to a Telestial state. Those who encourage others to adore men are furthering a false religion which can only damn its followers.

The Lord’s true messengers would never want reverence or demand honor to be bestowed upon them. They do not want people to be awed by them, rise when they enter a room, or claim their salvation is derived from any mere man. Instead they want Saints to be awed by the Lord, show reverence to Him, and look to Him alone for their salvation.

All who succumb to the temptation to follow a personality, rather than the Lord, will suffer damnation, and then be resurrected to the Telestial glory. For anyone who invites people to “follow them,” it “were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18: 6.) The Book of Mormon calls such acts “priestcraft.” We call such folks scholars, professors, inspirational speakers, great performers, inspiring speakers, heroes, etc. We should make no mistake about it; these forms of “hero” worship are currently going on among the Saints. And we seem to be blind to it. Some folks magnify their egos rather than their callings. That is one of the problems with this second estate. We can clearly see the mistakes of past generations, but our own lives are so blighted by the chaos of culture, tradition, and group-think, we cannot properly see our own failings.

In the Church, there are many men whose devotion to Church leaders goes beyond hero-worship. They make themselves “ladies in waiting” hoping to secure for themselves favorable attention from Church leaders who can “call” them to positions which they covet. Their slavish focus on Church leaders, and desire to get noticed, makes them fit decidedly within the Telestial description given here. It is no wonder such people are only capable of handling Telestial glory, for they have failed to face the fearsome responsibility of acting before God as an agent for themselves. Agency has done them little good, since they have surrendered it in favor of following men to their damnation,

Links to some of the PR: