Showing posts from January, 2009

Sharing the gospel using Facebook

After many years of resisting, I finally joined Facebook. My intention is to find another avenue to share the gospel. I have been blogging for a little over a year and have enjoyed numerous conversations about the gospel with many visitors. But for the most part, I feel like I'm preaching to the choir. It seems that most everyone who reads my blog is a fellow LDS blogger.
My favorite dialogs online have been from those who are former Mormons or those who are on their way out. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because they raise such interesting questions. Sometimes I have to scratch my head to figure out why a particular doctrine is such a problem for them, but I am encouraged that they are willing to talk about it. This will not be a long essay because I have no experience with Facebook and am unable to offer any suggestions as to how to share the gospel through this medium. So I'll turn it around and ask for your advice. Will you visit my Facebook profile and give me so…

The sacrament is for addicts

I have not taken the sacrament over the last few weeks. Each Sunday I was out of town visiting my dad who is in the hospital. I missed taking the sacrament and felt the difference during the week. No, the sacrament isn’t some magic potion that cures all ills, but it is a powerful way to pull down the blessings of heaven upon us.

This morning in bishopric meeting I was asked to share the spiritual thought so I pulled out my file of papers I have collected over the years on the subject of the sacrament. It has always been one of my favorite subjects to address and often came up over the years while I served on the High Council. It is a sacred subject.

An intensely personal experience

I read, and we discussed just one of my favorite quotes on the sacrament. It is from a church news article on the subject dated 25 May 1991. The title is, “An intensely personal experience,” and it is taken from a General Conference address by Elder John H. Groberg of the Seventy delivered in April of 1…

President Uchtdorf: Pray for Obama

We have been invited by a prophet who attended the inauguration ceremony earlier this week to exercise our faith and pray for the 44th President of the United States of America. This is not a strange or unusual request and one that I am sure can be appreciated by people of all faiths. President Obama needs our faith and prayers.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve attended the inauguration and the National Prayer Service the next day. The two represented President Monson as they attended the events.

Hope and optimism

I like what President Uchtdorf had to say to the media after the events. He said that he prays for President’s Obama’s success in leading this country. Compare that to what popular commentator Rush Limbaugh said recently when he expressed that he hopes that President Obama fails. He later qualified that to be his policies.

I hav…

What punctuation mark are you?

You Are a Question Mark

You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning.

And while you know a lot, you don't act like a know it all. You're open to learning you're wrong.

You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more.

You're naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises.

Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking.

(But they're not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!)

You excel in: Higher education

You get along best with: The Comma

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

Hat tip to Megan at Hall Pass

Prophets, scholars and burning hail

I am more impressed with prophets than I am with scholars. While I know some prophets who are also scholars, I know a whole lot of scholars who know nothing about prophets. Their world of research and peer-review publications is a far cry from the world of revelation and vision-inspired teaching in which prophets excel.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not criticizing or putting down scholars and their ways of getting their message out. Peer-review has its place in the sciences but it is not the way prophets share what they have learned. Just as in ancient times, except to mock and ridicule, the world pays little attention to what modern-day prophets say.

Prophets in Old Testament times were rarely popular, usually because they boldly spoke the word of the Lord in telling the people to repent. That’s not something that most people like to hear, especially if they are enjoying their life of sin. So they drove the prophets away, where they continued to write for our benefit today.

The prophets s…

A Mormon information worker

I am blessed with the luxury and challenge of having a lot of time on my hands. That can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I am able to work from home to provide for my family and still make a good living doing tech support. The curse is that there is a lot of downtime in between support issues.

Being the computer guy that I am, I spend my free time on the Internet, especially in technical forums and on tech news sites. In fact, I used to write for a technical site, but got tired of all the one-upmanship from the other geeks and wanna-be techs. So I have been concentrating on my Latter-day Commentary blog instead.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what is the best use of my time. There is so much information out there and so many sites that one can visit. There is no way that you can read all the blogs, news stories and commentaries that are produced each day. I can barely keep up with reading what my favorite LDS bloggers post.

Bloggers are Information w…

The Visions of Joseph Smith

“The Mormons base their religion on the visions of Joseph Smith.” This passing remark I read the other day from a writer who was not familiar with our church struck me as a profoundly simple summary of our religion. Take away the visions of Joseph Smith and what have we got? Nothing - much of our religion is found in the Book of Mormon and yet much of it is not.

Some have compared the LDS Church with the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they are both religions that started in America in the 19th Century. But you can search in vain for claims to visions or revelation in the history of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. His organization was formed as a Bible study group with no special claims of divine authority.

Another American religious group that formed in the 19th century, the Seventh-day Adventists, followed the same path of establishment by the Bible studies of William Miller. Joseph Smith, on the other hand, made no secret to his claims that he had been vis…

Reaching out to save the soul

A long time ago a good friend saved my life. No, my physical life was not in danger, although I have no doubt he would have jumped in to save me if I were drowning or otherwise threatened. I was in danger of slipping away from church because of life’s circumstances. Gratefully, my friend stepped in to save me.

When I returned from my mission, I immersed myself in getting an education. I chose a vocational path and became a computer programmer. Anxious to get out into the world, I jumped at a couple of opportunities to practice my trade just as soon as I completed enough computer programming classes to make a living.

While going to school, I worked two part-time jobs as a computer operator at two different local businesses. When I graduated, I took on yet another part-time job as a computer programmer at one of the companies. So for the better part of a year, I worked three part-time jobs that left me little time for socializing or anything else.

Life forces us to make decisions

So …