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Showing posts from May, 2008

Adam-God theory gets attention again

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This is version two of this essay. In the first version I severely denounced and criticized those who believed the Adam-God theory. I cited several modern prophets who were very clear in their denunciation of a belief in the theory. I stated that Brigham Young was either misquoted or misunderstood. I especially relished listening to Elder McConkie's talk on The Seven Deadly Heresies once again as part of my research. I miss Elder McConkie.

Today, I confess before you the error of my ways. I am now a believer in the Adam-God theory, but not the one that many people claim to be true. You'll note that I still don't call it a doctrine as some do, because that implies that it is something that pertains to our salvation. An understanding of this information is not necessary for our salvation. However, as I have studied, pondered and prayed about this over the past few days, I feel I have been richly blessed with personal insights about the material.

In this essay I hope t…

Man of Holiness is his name

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In our last Institute class we learned about the reality of Satan and the evil spirits in the world around us. That was Moses chapters four and five. In tonight's class we covered Moses chapter six in which we learned about the priesthood, the prophet Enoch and the Plan of Salvation. In this essay, I would like to focus on one single verse which teaches us so very much about God.
57 Whereforeteachit unto yourchildren, that all men, everywhere, must arepent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no bunclean thing can dwell there, or cdwell in his dpresence; for, in the language of Adam, eMan of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the fSon of Man, even gJesus Christ, a righteous hJudge, who shall come in the meridian of time.If we all spoke the Adamic language, when we called upon God in prayer, there would be no confusion about who it is that we are addressing. Man of Holiness is his name. That phrase tells us succinctly that God is a man…

Researching the LDS church on the Internet

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You can find all kinds of people on the Internet blogging and commenting about the church these days. There are those who write so far above me that I have no clue what they are writing about or why they feel the topic is important. At the other end of the spectrum are the terrible lowlife who write hateful and disrespectful things in a taunting and disgusting manner.

I like the kind of bloggers and visitors who are spiritually and intellectually curious and who have developed the good taste to know how to communicate in a kind and respectful method. Like me, they are seeking understanding and meaning in their spiritual pursuits and desire to share their discoveries with others who appreciate insights that have helped them along the way.

What you will find

If you are just starting your investigation of the church and are using the Internet as your primary tool, you might find it helpful to know a few things about what you can expect to find out there. Let's assume that you are us…

Joseph Smith was a Mason - so what?

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I address this subject as a courtesy to Barbara, a visitor to my blog who asked me to do so. Thank you Barbara, for the suggestion. I had forgotten that this is a problem for some people. Critics claim that Joseph Smith borrowed heavily from Freemasonry for the ceremony of the temple endowment. I'm not convinced that he didn't, but it's not a big deal.

A fraternal organization

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization, not a religious movement.
A fraternity is a men's club, whose members emphasize their brotherhood. Similar organizations are Elks, Oddfellows, Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary. It arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Masonry includes a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being. In other words, you can't be an atheist and be a Mason.

Joseph Smith's father was a Mason long before Joseph was and so was his brother Hyrum. It was common for men to join this organization as a means to improve their social standing i…

How to promote your LDS blog

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I started my blog about eight months ago in late September 2007. That was before Elder Ballard asked us in December 2007 to participate more in the new media. For the first few months I got just a few visitors a day. That's OK, I wasn't promoting my blog yet. They were just finding me through raw Google keyword searches. Besides, I was just trying to build up content.

After Elder Ballardextended the invitation to actively share the gospel online, I decided to switch my blog content from political / current events to almost all gospel-oriented themes. A few months later, I began to get a lot of comments from visitors who were opposed to my views. I felt it was time to start promoting my blog to the online LDS community or bloggernacle.

So I asked the major LDS Blog aggregators if they would add me to their lists. I immediately saw an increase in LDS traffic. I could tell they were LDS by the nice encouraging comments. I also got another influx of anti or ex-Mormon traff…

Burning of the bosom - feelings from God

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Anybody who has researched The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to even a small degree has encountered this promise from the Book of Mormon as found in Moroni 10:4:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."Primary children are taught about this promise early in their youth. Investigators are presented with this challenge as part of their discussions with the missionaries. It is the subject of countless discourses in General Conference as well as lessons in Sunday School, Seminary and Institute.

The best online source to explain this promise that I have found is on lds.org. The church has done a wonderful job of expanding on how we can know for ourselves if the things that are taught by the miss…

Bruce R. McConkie, bold servant of the Lord

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I grew up in the days of Bruce R. McConkie. When it came time for Elder McConkie to speak in General Conference, I sat up a little taller and paid close attention. I was never disappointed. That man had a gift for speaking that was beyond this world. I don't know how anybody could listen to him and not be convinced that what he taught was the mind and will of the Lord.

Elder McConkie seemed fearless to me. Although he had many critics both in and out of the church, what they had to say didn't seem to bother him. His next public address was all the more powerful as he blasted their weak arguments. Those who didn't know him criticized his profoundly authoritative manner, claiming that an apostle of the Lord should be more tolerant.

I think the brethren of the church appreciated him much more than the sisters. His leadership was undeniable. If I were in the military, Elder McConkie was the sort of man that I would have no problem in following. Every time I listened to…

The reality of Satan and evil spirits

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In our Institute class this evening, we continued with chapter four of the Book of Moses. We were supposed to get into chapter five but the discussion got heavy on just the first six verses of chapter four. In fact, the questions were flying even before we got into the scriptures. Our instructor introduced the subject by showing the Boyd K. Packer video on Spiritual Crocodiles.

The subject of Moses chapter four is, of course, Satan. Now that's not a pleasant subject to discuss for most people, in or out of the church. It engenders some strong emotion because people have so much wrapped up in their understanding of the adversary. As I have noted in a previous post, amazingly, forty percent of the members of the church do NOT believe in Satan.

Inhabitants of the spirit world

What got things going was when our instructor asked the class to help him list on the board who are the inhabitants of the spirit world. The kids got all the standard answers correctly including one third of…

You can't teach everything you know

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Back in the day when we had missionary farewells, I prepared and delivered my farewell talk with lots of fasting and prayer. I wanted it to be special for everyone in attendance, especially my own family. As I was giving the talk, I could tell it wasn't going well but couldn't figure out why. I plowed through anyway because I had spent so much effort in preparing the darn thing.

I later asked my family what they thought. "Oh, it was nice," was the response I got from almost everyone. It wasn't until I asked one of my older sisters for her opinion that I got an idea. "Well, you certainly knew what you were talking about," as if to imply that she had no clue. That was my first experience in speaking over someone else's level of understanding.

I didn't think such a thing was possible. My sister was a BYU graduate and had sat through four years of mandatory religion classes but she didn't understand my efforts to teach the basics of the c…

A different kind of religious education

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When I was a young lad of seventeen, I attended BYU Idaho. No, I'm not from Idaho or even Utah. I was born and raised in California, where I still live. If you have been to Rexburg, Idaho in the dead of winter, you might wonder why anybody would want to leave the Golden State to obtain an education there. What is the attraction of this school in the Snake River valley?

My two oldest sisters are BYU Provo graduates while my brother, two other sisters and I each attended Ricks College, as it was called at the time. My academic experience at Ricks was not particularly stellar, but my parents said that their money was not wasted. I brought something back from Idaho after just one year that was far more valuable than a transcript.

I'm sure there was some anxiety in my mother's heart as she sent her children off to this church sponsored school so far away. What did she hope we would obtain there? She must have been disappointed that I did not stick it out to the end of th…