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Showing posts from March, 2009

Armageddon – on earth and in heaven

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For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that the battle of Armageddon is a great war that is going to take place somewhere in Israel in the very last days. In fact, it is one of the very last events that is to take place before the Lord returns. If the battle of Armageddon has commenced, then you know that time is about up.

Well, not really. Time will continue, but for any wicked who are living on the earth at that time, their time is up and they are about to be destroyed. In fact, we know that time exists even where God is although it is after a different order than our time, but that’s a discussion for another day and another essay.

I think you will agree with me though that the battle of Armageddon is surely one of the great signs that we need to be aware of as being a harbinger of the coming of the Lord to the earth in power and great glory. We call this the Second Coming or the Second Advent. To many people it is a day of rapture, rising to meet the Lord.

More than an eart…

The blessings of the LDS Temple

Carol and I went to the temple this afternoon and joined with members of our stake in a wonderful chapel session with a member of the temple presidency. I love these sacred moments where we are taught more about the endowment ceremony from one who has been set apart to teach the saints about what the temple really means.

Our visit to the temple today was emotional for me as I thought of both my parents who are now on the other side of the veil. The Los Angeles temple is where I was endowed over thirty years ago. My mother and father took me there and prepared me to understand the sacred blessings that are found there and nowhere else on earth.

In the temple we learn how to deal with the challenges of life better because we are taught the true source of some of those challenges. It is also in the temple where we are united as families through the eternal sealing power of the priesthood. I am so grateful to have been married to my sweetheart in the temple so many years ago.

The plural wives of Joseph Smith

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I’ve thought long and hard about the propriety of this essay. It is a sensitive subject and one that is so easy to misunderstand. It is also a sacred subject that I have seen dragged through the dregs of the ex-Mormon sites, and yet presented well on some Internet resources. Although some may claim otherwise, it is not a secret subject. It is just not taught in your basic church curriculum.

In today’s Internet age, this information is readily available. It was readily available when I was growing up but you just had to know where to look. The best official source for this information is on the Church’s Family Search site. Just enter Joseph Smith and his birth date of 1805 in the state of Vermont, click on search and then click on his ancestral file entry. There are his wives.

The list is not complete and includes a few wives who were sealed to him after his death. A more complete list can be found at the website appropriately titled, wivesofjosephsmith.org. The summaries presented of th…

Mormon Temples and HBO's Big Love

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Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God. Faithful members of the LDS Church go there often to draw closer to God and to feel his power in their lives in greater abundance. I have been visiting the temple since I was 12.

Because we consider our temples sacred, we require that members of the church prepare themselves to receive the instruction and ritualized ceremony that is found within the walls. Casual members of the church and the general public may visit the temple grounds and the visitor's centers, but admission is reserved only for those who meet the requirements.

That is why we are concerned that HBO's Big Love has decided to air an episode of the show in which the temple ceremonies are depicted. We do not feel that the producers can treat the subject with respect that the sacred nature of the temple deserves. Beside…

But that’s not Biblical!

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Another common objection I have encountered in my dialogs with some who visit my essays can be summed up in the phrase, “But that’s not Biblical!” Similar to those who don’t understand what Mormons mean when we refer to our testimony, this common complaint also never ceases to amaze me. They just don’t get it.

I wrote in a previous essay about why the LDS personal testimony means so much more than most Christian apologists admit. I got to thinking about it and decided that I was giving them too much credit. Maybe they really do understand what our testimonies represent and it worries them because they don’t have that certainty.

People mock what they don’t understand. Some of our Christian evangelist friends are apparently no different. They claim that we base our religious convictions on mere feelings to draw attention away from the fact that the testimony is not in the feelings but in the knowledge revealed directly to our spirits in answer to prayer.

The Bible as the last word

Likewise,…

Critical thinking among faithful Mormons

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I’m motivated to share this essay based on much recent dialog between myself and a reader who calls himself Evangelical. Mr. Evangelical seems to be intelligent and writes well but also seems to be under a false impression that Mormons can’t think for themselves and that they don’t know how to think critically or objectively.

You can read some of his comments on my essays, “Are Mormons Christian?” or “The new Mormon History – Grant Palmer”, “Burning of the Bosom – Feelings from God,” and “Objections to the Book of Abraham.” I’ve enjoyed our dialogs but have been mystified by his lack of understanding of the Mormon testimony.

I have tried several times to explain and clarify the process of personal revelation but he just doesn’t seem to get it. If you want to have an intelligent conversation with Mormons, I suggest that it would be extremely helpful to understand what we mean when we refer to our testimony. He seems to equate it to emotional feeling.

The Mormon testimony

When Mormons say t…