Saturday, July 14, 2018

Deep Doctrine


the mysteries of godliness have more to do with the human heart than “what is Kolob” or “how to change lead to gold” or “water to wine”. 

How to forgive when offended or even seriously harmed.
How to get help others feel the spirit.
How to get Saints to show respect for sacrament by showing up on time (be less casual).
How to be intune with spirit.
How to minister.
How to feel more converted and devoted and be a more enthusastic believer.
How to keep our promises under any circumstance.

Miraculous healings are only temporary. The healed person will eventually die again. The most miraculous miracles involve the changing of the human heart to God because it lasts forever.

Friday, July 13, 2018

King, Priest, Banker?


I dont think the perfect government is a theocracy where one person is both King and High Priest. Looking at scriptural patterns of Kolob/Obiblish, Zion/Moriah, Acra/Ophel, Jachin/Boaz, Judah/Joseph that there is a separation of Church and State.

The Book of Mormon prophet stepped down as Chief Judge. Government protects religion and religion upholds government, or in other words, people should use the temple and temple worthiness as a basis to judge political leaders (by their fruits). 

There are jurisdictional differences. The government has jurisdiction over a person who causes harm to others. Religion has jurisdiction over a person who causes harm to themselves (rehab). 

“That Jesus will be a resident on the earth a thousand [years] with the Saints is not the case, but will reign over the Saints and come down and instruct, as he did the five hundred brethren [see 1 Corinthians 15:6], and those of the first resurrection will also reign with him over the Saints.”23 -TOTPC, Joseph Smith

The big missing piece of perfect government is an equitable economic/banking/credit system.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Heart vs. Kidneys


Admittedly, there isn’t as much concrete archeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon, like the Bible.  While we can visit Jerusalem, there are no ruins or artifacts which say “Zarahemla was here”.  Also, we haven’t discovered the burials of Book of Mormon prophets like Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, King Mosiah, Alma the Younger, Helaman, Mormon or Moroni. Nevertheless, there are plenty of historical accuracies and consistencies (Wayne May, Heartland, Hopewell).  These accuracies and consistencies are only recently being appreciated. But, for the tens of millions who believe in the Book of Mormon as scripture equal with, and in harmony with the Bible; our belief is based in revelation from God by the Holy Ghost. 

The Bible teaches that that the Holy Ghost would lead the believer into all truth. However, critics of the Book of Mormon commonly attack the LDS testimony as only miss-guided “good feeling in our hearts”. Critics of the Book or Mormon deny the testimony and witness of the Holy Ghost claiming the Bible condems the “heart of man”

Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

However, the Old Testament doesn't ascribe the same meaning to the vital organs as we do today or in the New Testament.  In modern times, appetites are assigned to the stomach, pure love and restraint to the heart, and thoughts are assigned to the brain. Despite our more advanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology, we know feelings are not actually generated by or emanate from the heart. The heart pumps blood.  But we ascribe feelings to the heart because many intense emotions are felt in the breast over the heart.

In contrast, the Old Testament actually assigns thoughts and imagination to the heart and not feelings (search: thoughts and heart). 

Deut 15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand;

1 Chron 8:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Daniel 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

The feelings of restraint and love in the Old Testament emanates from the kidneys or “reins”. In the Bible, the kidneys and not the heart are the seat of emotion and affection.  

Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Proverbs 23:16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

Psalms 16:7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Psalm 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

Jer 12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

Jer 11:20 But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

An interesting side note is thar the Community of Christ (formaly RLDS) is now disavowing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the need for any ordinances.  The RLDS Church is disavowing its Mormon heritage, has joined the World Council or Churches and is transforming itself into becoming a standard Evangelical church. These changes are alienating its membership who believed the RLDS Church preserved the true Mormon religion of Joseph Smith.  Now the RLDS Church is altogether abandoning Joseph Smith. The consequence of this short-sighted shift is the RLDS Church is broke, with significant unpaid liabilities in terms of pensions.  This is causing the RLDS Church to need to sell its historical assets to the LDS Church such as: printers manuscript of the Book of Mormon, and may in the future involve selling other assets like the Kirkland temple, properties in Nauvoo, and the temple lot in Independence, MO.

Like the LDS Church, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of the RLDS religion.  If the Community of Christ has become embarrassed by the Book of Mormon, and now disavow its authenticity, then they must also disavow the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.  But these circumstances would have never come about if the Book of Mormon had a more popular opinion and more accepted evidence. God wants to preserve His elect who are not compelled to believe because of undeniable proof.  There is ample evidence to create a healthy soil for belief, but testimony of the Book or Mormon can only come by the Holy Ghost. 

Friday, July 06, 2018

Coffee, Tobacco, Wine


Scholarship and the scientific method are seen as the gold standard of truth in out modern society.  However, John Ioannidis, professor of medicine at Stanford University, who specializes in the study of scientific studies, has shown that many studies have very poor study design and execution.  Dietary studies tend to be the worst offenders. The consequence of poor study methodology is erroneous conclusions. According to Dr. Ioannidis. conclusions made from the endless terrible studies on coffee, chocolate and red wine," should be avoided. 

This criticism from John Ioannidis of dietary studies should be of no surprise to Latter-day Saints.  LDS appreciate and respect sound scholarship and the scientific method, but we see revelation through God’s ordained priesthood authority as the highest standard of truth.  God has revealed in the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) to the prophet Joseph Smith that “hot drink” and “strong drinks” together with tobacco are “not good for the belly”.

However, these natural substances are given unto man and have their uses.  Just as the revelation reveals, alcohol is useful for “the washing of the body” as both a clensing solvent and disinfectant.  Tobacco, prepared as a poultice, is useful to speed the healing of bruises. Using alcohol as a disinfectant and tobacco prepared as a poultice for bruises is perfect medicine. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Randomness, Creativity, and Eternity



The LDS Church officially does not have an official doctrinal stance for or against evolution.  The reason for officially not having a stance is: 1. God hasn’t yet revealed exacly how He did it 2. It wasn’t necessary to exclude well-meaning scientists who believed in evolution and also believed in God.  Steven Peck and Terryl Givens are wonderful LDS scholars that fit this description. 

My opinion is that there may be a creative solution that rectifies creationism and evolution. I don’t know what this is, but I appreciate the views expresssd here that discuss randomness, creativity, and eternity.  I was talking with a work colleague about their concept of heaven and they remotely  responded that they’d be singing in a heavenly choir for eternity.  After a moment. they admitted that they hoped heaven was more than just that one single activity. 

My point is that I think Dr. Peck makes some insightful points about creativity and eternity, even if his views are biased by his belief in evolution. However, I don’t think you have to believe in evolution to arrive at the same conclusions.  I suppose I am making an argument based on convergent evolution of truth. 

I like several points in the discussion about Job complaining about his lot in life and God showing him whales, with the point that the same nature that rained tragedy on Job produced the wondrous beauty of the whale.  Nature is balanced. We shouldn’t be so self-absorbed, entitled and narcissistic.  We should deal patiently with our lot in life and understand its purpose and the same natural factors that produce boils, make whales.  

I was discussing this interview with a friend and that creationism and evolution were not necessarily at odds with each other.  My friend commented that they had to be because creation happened in 7 literal days. I commented about days representing epochs of time and the sun not appearing until day 4.  I then said, why should creation happen in a blink from nothing?  This is superimposing man’s values and time on creation where we want everything right now and for free.  6 billion years is still a blink for God who is timeless.  But God enjoys the journey.  There is beauty in each step of creation which is lost if things are conjured out of nothingness.  There is beauty snd wonder in the craftsmanship. God experiences joy in the journey.