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Showing posts from April, 2009

Dealing with Anti-Mormon attacks

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When I started blogging about LDS doctrine and issues a few years back I did not expect to get a lot of comments right away. After all, nobody knew about my blog yet. I was just another blog among millions. So I happily wrote all kinds of essays about things that had been on my mind for several years. Then I started promoting my blog and the number of comments picked up.

I enjoy reading the comments. Most of them are from my fellow LDS bloggers. We read each other’s material and provide feedback. It’s like a peer review system among bloggers. For the most part the comments are complimentary and encouraging. In other words, the writers of the comments either agree with my points of view or express understanding of what I have written.

A believing approach

Of course not everybody agrees with me. I am a very conservative, traditional Latter-day Saint, a typical Southern Californian with an easy-going, laid-back approach to life. I feel like I have always been blessed because of my faith and…

Gospel Symposia are making a comeback

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Carol and I are flying up to Salt Lake on Friday to attend a gospel-related symposium on prophecy and cosmology. In other words, it is a seminar about Armageddon and the last days. It is being held at the Provo Marriott in the Aspen room. Attendance is expected to be several hundred. I am encouraged by the interest in the subject and by the very idea that such an event is being held.

Let me explain why. A few years back in the LDS Church, there were a number of people in Utah who started holding gospel study groups in their homes to discuss doctrines that were not being taught in depth in the regular church meetings. One of those doctrines was Armageddon and the events of the last days. You could say that some participants were just a little obsessed.

Gospel study groups in the home

You may recall that the Manti group formed out of a gospel study group that met in the home. For those who don’t know, that was the forerunner of yet another polygamous split-off called the TLC started by Jam…

Susan Boyle - Internet singing sensation

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While watching the Mormon Messages Easter video of Elder Holland rise on the charts over the weekend, I couldn't help but notice another rising star - Susan Boyle. If you haven't watched her video yet then you haven't been paying attention. In less than five days, adding up all the versions out there, it has achieved over 16 million views. That's got to be some sort of a record.

Update: According to Viral Video Chart, it has now exceeded 91 million views and will shortly surpass 100 million, approaching the record of the most watched video on the Interwebs.

And no wonder! I confess that I have watched her stunning performance at least a dozen times and am floored every time I do. Susan is from a small town in Scotland and has never been married. In fact, she's never been kissed. She lives in the same home in which she grew up with eight brothers and sisters. Her father passed away ten years ago and her mother in 2007.

Her choice of song is one of my favorites, I Dream…

Sharing the gospel through video on YouTube

What Seth calls "a simple video" that he made for Easter, I call amazing. Is it a simple thing to put a beautiful piece of music to a collection of wonderful paintings of the Savior into a video? Maybe some of you can do it with little effort, but for me, it demonstrates real talent. Thank you Seth, for helping me to continue to feel the spirit of Easter on this Monday morning.

An Easter message for those who feel alone

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In recognition of the Easter season, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following Easter message today:
"At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' (Job 14:14).

"Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6).

"We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend."President Thomas S. Mo…

We don't know everything but we know enough

And just because I think that the church is doing a great job with these Mormon Messages, I include the latest one here with a few comments. I'll bet hundreds, if not thousands of other Latter-day Saints are adding these videos to their blogs as well.

Wouldn't it be great if more people viewed the words of living prophets and apostles like Elder Andersen? This was not from the most recent conference but it sure struck a chord with me when I heard it. I love the idea of being able to exercise simple faith.

There's no way we can know everything about the purpose of life, the doctrines of the gospel, the history of the church, the scriptures and all the other stuff we have to cram into our little heads to make a living and to have a happy family. But, we can know enough!

We can know enough to be happy. We can know enough to realize that we can leave the big things up to God while we focus on the things that he asks us to do for right now. This video illustrates the idea of…

Even a child can understand

As a follow-up to my previous essay about how difficult it is for some people to understand or accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ because they intellectualize it way too much, I offer the following video clip of Elder Gerald Causse. It expresess beautifully how easy it really is to understand the gospel that even a child can understand it.

It reminds me of how much I loved teaching Primary a few years back because of the joy, innocence and simple faith of the 11-year old children I taught. They knew the restored gospel was true because of both the feelings they had and the whisperings of the spirit that accompanied our discussions of the gospel in their language.

You don’t know what you think you know

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I know that some of my readers are lawyers, some are philosophers and some are very active apologists of our faith. I know this because I read your blogs and am much impressed by your sound reasoning and logical approach to questions of religion, both doctrinal and practical.

I am not trained in rhetoric, argument or apologetics. I am just your basic, average member of the LDS church who loves his religion and finds great joy in attempting to understand and to practice it better each day of my life. I love the doctrines of salvation and of the restoration.

A common understanding

My blog attracts all kinds of readers: stalwart LDS members of pioneer heritage, enthusiastic recent converts, those who are trying to become more active in the faith, those who are leaving the church and even former members who are very much opposed to the work of the church.

My dialogs with those who are members of the LDS faith or those who are former members all seem to have one thing I can rely on: we are …