Saturday, July 08, 2017
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Eventually ending up in Southern California, he one day was sitting on the porch of a rented home when he saw two LDS missionaries making their way up the street.
“With a rush of memory and guilt, regret and rage, he despised the very sight of them,” Elder Holland recounted. “But he was safe, because he kept all visitors at bay by employing two Doberman Pinschers who viciously charged the gate every moment that anyone came near.”
The dogs startled the missionaries as they passed by and continued on, “our man on the porch laughing at the lovely little drama he had just witnessed, wishing only that the gate hadn’t restrained his two dogs.”
Then, the two elders stopped, looked at each other, conversed a little, “likely said a silent prayer,” then turned around and approached the gate.
“The Dobermans on cue charged the gate again, hit it, snarling, frothing, and then stopped in their tracks,” Elder Holland said. “They looked at the missionaries, dropped their heads, ambled back to the front steps and lay down.”
The man on the porch was speechless as they missionaries opened the gate, walked up the path and greeted him.
“One of the elders said, ‘Are you from this part of California?’
“The man said, ‘No. If you want to know, I’m from Pocatello, Idaho.’
“There was a pause. ‘That’s interesting,’ the elder said. ‘Do you know the [such-and-such] family in Pocatello?’
“With a stunned look, our biker paused, and then, in very measured words, said, ‘Yeah, I know them. They are my parents.’
“ ‘Well, they’re my parents too,’ the missionary said. ‘God has sent me to invite you to come home.’ ”
The younger brother had been born after the older boy had left home. The elder brother did not even know of him.
“Mom and Dad have been praying for you every morning and night for 20 years,” the younger brother said. “They were not sure you were alive, but they knew if you were, that someday you would come back to us.”
The wayward son invited the two in, and they talked for the rest of the day and some of the night. He did return home, returned to Church activity and, in March 2015, was married and sealed in the Boise Idaho Temple.
Commenting on the account, Elder Holland said, “This is a story of the role of Almighty God, the Savior of the World, and the Holy Ghost involved in the work of the ministry to which we’ve been called.
“The Holy Ghost prompted those parents to keep praying, to keep believing, to keep trusting. … The Holy Ghost inspired that rebellious boy to come to himself like the prodigal he was and to head for California. … The Holy Ghost influenced that younger son to serve a mission and be willing to accept a call to Southern California. … The Holy Ghost inspired one of my brethren in the Twelve, who was on the assignment desk that Friday, to trust his impression and assign that young man for service not a great distance from his native-born state. The Holy Ghost inspired that mission president to assign that young missionary to that district and that member unit. The Holy Ghost led those missionaries to that street, that day, that hour, with big brother sitting on the porch waiting, and, with Doberman Pinschers notwithstanding, the Holy Ghost prompted those to elders to stop, talk and in spite of their fear, to go back and present their message. …
“And, through the elders, the Holy Ghost taught repentance and brought true conversion to one coming back into the fold.”
Elder Holland said the young elder, without realizing it, gave the missionary speech of all time, when he said to his brother, “God has sent me here to invite you to come home.”
“We are sent by God to invite His children home,” Elder Holland concluded. “We do that through the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, on the strength of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Welcome to the divine companionship.”
Posted by David B at 2:56 AM
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Posted by David B at 7:47 AM
Monday, June 19, 2017
The Tabernacle and Holy Temple were constructed so that man could enjoy the Divine Presence (Shechinah). In the Old Testament, the cloud by day an firey pillar by night served as physical protections. In latter-day temples, the covenants of the temple provide spiritual protection from sin and temptation. Covenants are how Heavenly Father is present in our lives. Similarly, our involvement with our children can protect them. Fathers being present and involved in our children's lives will likewise protect them from harm and temptation.
Posted by David B at 2:01 PM
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Posted by David B at 1:29 AM
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
The Idaho Falls Temple was rededicated by President Eyring this last weekend. In keeping with the spirit of the original dedicatory prayer, President Eyring prayed for the preservation of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and in so doing, preserve our freedom. In 1945, at the original dedication of the Idaho Falls Temple, President George Albert Smith included in the dedicatory prayer these words:
"We thank Thee that Thou has revealed to us that those who gave us our Constitutional form of government were wise in Thy sight and that Thou didst raise them up for the very purpose of putting forth that sacred document....Thou did'st [raise] up wise men for the very purpose of giving us our Constitution.... We pray Thee that Thou wilt inspire good and just men everywhere to be willing to sacrifice for, support and uphold the Constitution and the government set up under it and thereby preserve for man his agency."
But what are the threats to our nation's Constitution? Poverty is the greatest threat to freedom. That is why scripture makes that point that the perfect Zion society has "no poor among them". What is the main driver of poverty? Sexual sin and drug abuse leads to greater poverty via broken families and decreased productivity.
How does poverty threaten freedom? Poverty leads to bloated government welfare programs which usurp our individual rights and liberties. Government welfare exacerbates the problem of poverty by enabling it and never reforms or rehabilitates. Government welfare redistributes without accountability. Fascists and dictators have always come to power promising greater social justice via the redistribution of wealth. (Rome = free bread and circus, Communists, Nazi's, Castro, etc)
Welfare according to James 1:27 is the business of "pure religion". So, if we believe in a separation of church and state, the State needs to get out of the business of religion. Religion needs to do its job by providing welfare and promoting virtue. The US Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Well, welfare and marriage are establishments of religion. Ancient Religion addressed welfare, caring for the fatherless and widow using the institution of the family via marriage/polygamy and adoption.
However, we are never going to get anywhere in saving Constitutional Government if all we talk about is limited government, but we do not address the problem of poverty. We cannot convince liberals to support the constitution if they think our solution to poverty is just to "cut everyone off" and have all the single moms and disabled "go get jobs like the rest of us". Unless we address the poverty problem we won't be address the real threat to the Constitution, and we won't be addressing the major concerns of Liberals and Democrats which currently divide our country.
Posted by David B at 12:15 AM
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Posted by David B at 9:47 AM
Friday, May 12, 2017
Posted by David B at 9:35 PM
Posted by David B at 5:09 AM
Monday, May 01, 2017
Despite our trials, God is still a just God. In the pre-mortal existence, we were all given "informed consent". Informed Consent is what a medical doctor does before doing a painful surgery or procedure. Similarly, in the pre-mortal existence, we were fully made aware of the potential for suffering here on Earth but also the unspeakable rewards. Also, God promised to make up to us all of our losses. The Bible reveals that not only did we accept the terms, "we shouted for joy!".
Posted by David B at 10:55 AM
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Posted by David B at 8:45 AM
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Easter is the holday when the Christian world commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why is the life and resurrection of Christ important? When I try and understand the importance if something I try to imagine life without it. What would life be like without Christ?
Philosophers and sociologists have tried to define exactly what makes humans different from animals. In another sense, we could ask, what causes humans to act differently from animals? Why do some humans act in selfless, self-sacrificing ways to strangers, turn-the-other-check, and forgive? I believe it is because of the light of Christ and our faith in Jesus Christ.
God, who is the creator of the universe, lives. However, God's existence wouldn't necessarily impact human behavior if we didn't know about His existence and nature. God, being God, could greatly control our lives regardless of our knowledge of Him. But that's not how God works. God has revealed that He is not about controlling our lives. Instead, God "leaks" information about Himself and His will, so that only those who are seeking Him will find Him.
For those that have found God, our Heavenly Father has revealed to us by His Son Jesus Christ commandments. It is through these commandments that we learn that "the natural man is an enemy to God" and it is God's will that man act with restraint. If it wasn't for this revealed knowledge, there would be no reason for humankind to not just be controlled by our fears and appetites. Without God, it would be "dog-eat-dog". God's commandments make us free by giving us a choice. We can be hungry but choose to fast; offended, but choose to forgive.
If it wasn't for Christ's atonement and resurrection, humankind would have no hope for redemption. So many decisions we make in life are based on fear and scarcity. We fear death, and we fear not having enough. These fears cause us to hoard resources, and take what we can get now instead of sacrifice the good we have now for better later.
All humankind are imperfect, sinful, and mortal. But because of Christ, we have a hope that we can repent, improve, and one day be resurrected and become citizens of a perfected society. Without Easter, the hearts of man would become hopeless and depressed, and resign ourselves to just "eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die". But because of Jesus Christ's power over sin and death, His disciples can enjoy a perfect brightness of hope.
Posted by David B at 9:04 AM
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Under the Father and Christ's direction, the human family participated in creation. This includes the nobel and great ones and maybe the not-so-nobel. However, all things serve a purpose. God did need to create an oasis of the Garden for Adam and Eve amongst a violent world filled with briars, thorns, and predatory animals. Adam amd Eve were tasked with "keeping" and preserving the garden which served as a protection.
However, with the fall, Adam and Eve were cast out. The garden was not preserved, and they were then exposed/subjected to the thorns, briars, weeds, random violence and unfeeling cruelty of the universe-- for their good. The purpose of life is a test to be subjected to adversity/suffering and see if we will still choose to be patient, obedient. loyal, valiant and devoted to God. So the creations/works of the nobel and the less-nobel all serve Gods greater purposes and human-kinds greater good.
Posted by David B at 4:45 AM
Sunday, April 09, 2017
My wife Ruth is a realtor and spends every day writing contracts associated with the sale of residential real estate. She made a excellent point about the difference between worldly contracts vs heavenly covenants. Contracts are long and filled with fine print because they based on mistrust and the consequence of what will happen if one or the other side does not meet with their obligations. Gods covenants on the other hand are clear and concise because they are based on love, our best interest, and God always will do exactly what he has said he will do.
Posted by David B at 8:44 AM
Saturday, April 01, 2017
Elder Erying- gathering all things in one both in heaven and earth = family history
Covenants paramount, obedience exact
Elder Renland- Christ ate with sinners, offers hope. Will save from sin but not in sin.
Perfect brightness of hope = watching a taped football game already knowing the outcome. In life, we already know the outcome so we don't need to get stressed about a bad penalty call, etc.
Preserve gospel language at home. Keep language pure, don't mix with outside influences. The gospel is our true native language.
Pres. Monson- charitable = being kind, be kind. We do not honor priesthood if we are not kind. Study Book of Mormon daily.
Elder Bednar- Mission Call = Called to serve, assigned to labor in a place. Not called to a place but to "the work". Focus your young men on Priesthood, Temple, and Mission.
Pres. Uchtdorf- chiefest of all is servant of all. People will tell you your great, dont inhale it.
Elder Rasband- respond to first promptings. Be a first responder.
Pres. Utchdorf- don't dwell on the evils of the world. Fear not and be of good cheer. Serve God and our fellow man.
Elder Christiansen- warning voice is civil and joyful. Successful must preach what you practice. Stop feigning neutrality.
Elder Cook- Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours of "deliberate practice" are needed to become world-class in any [skilled] field. This applies to gospel learning. Financial success does not = blessed. Expected to endure adversity well.
Posted by David B at 2:40 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Posted by David B at 6:21 PM
Saturday, February 04, 2017
Kindergarteners, Boy Scouts, police officers, doctors, lawyers and politicials do it. Why do we make oaths and enter into covenants? Life will eventually give you many reasons and excuses to break your promises. Oaths and covenants give you a divine reason not to break your promises even when life circumstances may seemingly justify it.
The selfishness, disobedience, obstinance, disloyalty and rebellion of mankind would give God every reason to allow mankind to destroy ourselves. But because of the covenant He has made with His prophets, and a few faithful of His people, He will keep His promises and preserve a remnant and eventually save and redeem mankind upon the Earth.
Here are a few oaths I made in my life:
Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Scout Oath, Boy Scouts of America:
On my honor, I will do my best;
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Hippocratic Oath (Declaration of Geneva)
University of Utah SOM:
I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity.
I will practice medicine with conscience and dignity.
The health and life of my patient will be my first consideration.
I will hold in confidence all that my patients confide to me.
I will maintain the honor and noble traditions of the medical profession.
I will give respect and gratitude to my deserving teachers.
My colleagues will be as my family
I will not permit personal considerations to interfere with my duty to my patients
I will maintain the upmost respect for human life.
Even under threat I will not use my knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity
These promises I make freely and upon my honor.
Posted by David B at 5:01 AM
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, wrote, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44). We can look up at the sky at night and have an idea of what Alma meant. There are millions of stars and planets, all in perfect order. They did not get there by chance. We can see the work of God in the heavens and on the earth. The many beautiful plants, the many kinds of animals, the mountains, the rivers, the clouds that bring us rain and snow--all these testify to us that there is a God.
Paul explained simply: 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
I great cartoon featuring 2 talking snowmen also expresses the absurdity of denying the existence of God. 2 snowmen were discussing where they came from when the first "Don't be absurd, noone made us, we evolved by chance from snowflakes."
The prophets have taught us that God is the Almighty Ruler of the universe. God dwells in heaven (see D&C 20:17). Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He created the heavens and the earth and all things that are in them (see 3 Nephi 9:15; Moses 2:1). He made the moon, the stars, and the sun. He organized this world and gave it form, motion, and life. He filled the air and the water with living things. He covered the hills and plains with all kinds of animal life. He gave us day and night, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest. He made man in His own image to be a ruler over His other creations (see Genesis 1:26–27).
The beauty of creation is a great testimony to the love of our heavenly father. whenever I watch Star Wars movies I'm reminded somewhat of this. instead of living on the earth with its temperature climate, had god not been so loving we could've been stuck on some icy snowball of a planet like Hoth, some volcanic planet like Mustafar, or some godforsaken desert planet like Jaiku or Tatooine.
God is the Supreme and Absolute Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is “the Great Parent of the universe,” and He “looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 39).
We may take it for granted that we believe and know that God is a God of love. In Greek and Roman times, The people generally believed in a pantheon of gods who disagreed on just about everything and watched humans fight and die on the battlefield for entertainment. you may think this doesn't matter much to tell you remember that this led to the masses being entertained by savage gladiators who fought to the death in the Colosseums. Contrast this to Enoch who witnessed God weep after being shown the wickedness and resultant suffering of the people of the Earth. Enoch was blown away at God's reaction. God cared deeply for His children and suffered at our suffering.
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
Some people may think of God as all justice and no mercy. They may think Heavenly Gather is the one that cannot look upon sin with the lease degree of allowance while Jesus Christ is the merciful one. but this is to forget that Jesus did nothing on His own but only that which He saw the father do, and only that which he was specifically directed by the Father to do. so we shouldn't forget that it's heavenly father who is just as perfectly merciful as he is just. The plan are redemption in the atonement of Jesus Christ were entirely Heavenly Father's idea. Again, even though Jesus Christ effected the creation, atonement and resurrection, all these were Heavenly Father's ideas.
The Nature of God
The creation story in Genesis in the Bible tells us unmistakably that we are created in the image of God. Because we are made in His image (see Moses 2:26; 6:9), we know that our bodies are like His body. His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). God’s body, however, is perfected and glorified, with a glory beyond all description.
D&C 130:22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
God is perfect. He is a God of righteousness, with attributes such as love, mercy, charity, truth, power, faith, knowledge, and judgment. He has all power. He knows all things. He is full of goodness. All good things come from God. Everything that He does is to help His children become like Him. He has said, “Behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
I'm not sure why our doctrine of God working to have His children become more like Him is so controversial. This has nothing to do with Oedipus-like complex and taking God's place. This has nothing to do with too many chiefs and no Indians. The scriptures describe God as a King of kings and a Lord of lords. When you compliment a doctor, you say they are the doctor's doctor. In a similar way, the exaltation of God's children brings honor and glory to our Father. Our Heavenly Father desires to be the Father over other exalted beings like Himself who continue to serve and reverence Him and not just a smack of jelly fish.
Why is it important for us to understand the nature of God and How can we come to know God?
Knowing God is so important that the Savior said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
John 1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
the Wicked and natural man cannot comprehend and understand God. Gods thoughts are not our thought and Gods ways are higher than our ways. It can be hard to understand why God wants us to live a certain way free from addictive substances, or loyal and virtuous lives. But the key to understanding God, to living a life after the manner of happiness leading to eternal life (or life as God lives) is to fill our live with the light of Christ and the light of the God's Holy Spirit.
How can we be filled with divine light? To be filled with light, The first and greatest commandment is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (Matthew 22:37). If we love God, we must love and serve Jesus Christ. Christ taught that if we love Him we will not only accept Him as our Savior but we will also keep His commandments. We love the Father and Son by feasting upon their words in the scriptures, by listening and harkening to their words we receive by modern prophets, by praying to Our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, and then by loving and serving our fellow man.
As we improve, progress, and purify our lives to live closer to how God desires that His children live, as we tirelessly feed His sheep, love our neighbor, and build His kingdom on the Earth, His divine light with grow within us and which will grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And as His light grows within us, our understanding of God and truth will be magnified.
Jesus Christ taught us in the Doctrine and Covenants through Joseph Smith:
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
Posted by David B at 8:09 PM