Sunday, December 04, 2016

2016 Augusta Stake Free4All

Just a report on the successful completion of the 2016 Augusta Stake "Free4All" hosted by the Augusta Ward. Stake members and the community donated lightly used clothing, house wares, toys, furniture, etc.  Donations were received beginning on Tuesday until Friday night. Tables were set up in every room in the church.  Each room was dedicated to a different category of items:

Primary: Children's clothing
Cultural Hall: Adult clothing
Relief Society: House wares
Nursery: Toys
Young Women's: Books and electronics
Basement: Furniture

Needy stake members were invited to help sort items during the week and Friday evening and had first dibs on anything they needed. Bishops and RS presidents could also set aside items. Then come Saturday morning, the remaining items were open to the public.  Posters were placed around Augusta advertising the event.  People started lining up at 630AM.  Doors opened at 8AM after a prayer. 

LDS Volunteer members wore our "Helping Hands" t-shirts and name badges. LDS Members helped participants carry items to their cars and give direction. Colorful signs inside the building directed participants to different areas.  As items were depleted in smaller rooms, remaining items were transferred to the cultural hall and rooms were cleaned and set up for Sunday as the morning progressed.  The chapel was kept closed off. 

Missionaries operated a table with pass-along cards, Book's of Mormon and helped visitors carry items to their car. 

Goodwill/second-hand organization arrived at 2 PM with a truck and remaining items were boxed and taken away.  Remaining trash and broken unusable/unwanted furniture and items were thrown in a separate roll-off dumpster and taken to the dump. 

We ended the give-away/free4all at 1 PM, finished cleaning, locked up, and drove away by 2 PM. 

Temple Institute

Dear Rabbi,

Hello, and thank you for your dedication to rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.  I enjoy your weekly pod casts and Torah portions. I am a member of the LDS Church in Augusta, GA. 

I have noticed that you often sound befuddled at Israeli and US policy regarding Israel and the temple mount.  I am equally befuddled at how Israel could give away the temple mount following the 6-Days War? I thought your insight into Solomon judging the 2 mothers was outstanding.  The true follower of G-d would never allow the baby (Israel) be divided (2-state).  And that is precisely the problem, our leaders in the US and Israel cause us to error. (Isa 9:16).   

Without the temple, we have no basis upon which to properly vet our political leaders.   In my view, this is a major purpose of the Holy Temple.  LDS operate temples built unto the Lord and understand something of their value. 

Jews in Russia rose to great power and influence but were blamed for participating in a failed 1905 coup against the Tsar Nicholas II.  Likely only a few prominent secular Jews (Trotsky) if any participated in the coup.  Persecution of Russian Jews followed leading many to flee to Germany (Fiddler on the Roof).  In Germany, Jews again rose to great power and influence.  Certain secular Jews were blamed for making an international deal to get the US involved in WW1 in exchange for Palestine (Balfour Agreement).  Hilter later unjustly used this point as an excuse for the terrible holocaust. 

Jews have the same problem as the LDS Church in Missouri and the US.  The Lord told Joseph Smith in D&C 101, had the LDS constructed their temple in Missouri, they would have "seen the enemy afar off".   Without the temple, they are easily infiltrated by wicked men (Danites) who commit atrocities in their name.  The temple gives us a basis upon which to judge men's hearts.  

Wicked combinations/conspiracy/Hamas prevent infiltration by requiring the inner circles to commit unspeakable acts to know in whom they can trust.  The righteous could never bare to do them. The temple requires its righteous members to perform acts of righteousness which are unbearable to the wicked.  Jesus Christ warned about "wolves in sheep's clothing" and that "by their fruits ye shall know them".  Only the righteous bring their first-fruit offerings to the House of G-d?  

Zechariah prophesies that In the Last Days all national will go up to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Tabernacles or they will receive no rain.  Isaiah says all nations shall flow unto the Mountain of the Lords House and the law and word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem and Zion. (see also Ezek 37:24-28, Mal. 3:3)

Our current leaders cause us to error.  But by the temple, we are given a measure upon which to select righteous leaders.  No wonder the wicked in power will do anything to prevent its construction. Evil cannot allow the temple to become the holy institution for which it is destined to become to judge all nations and bring eternal peace upon the Earth (Isa 2:1-5).

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hunting Gadiantons

(Hel 6:37) "And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites."The Book of Mormon not only warns us about secret combinations in the Last Days, it also reveals to us how to get rid of them from our society. First, we are told that we are to "hunt" the more wicked part of them. It is interesting that God would specify that we go after the worst of the worst. Second, we are to preach the word of God among them. But what exactly is the message we would say?

The key here about "hunting" is not a hunt to kill, but a hunt to save. (young lions who carry their prey away safe) Many people part of a conspiracy, are so far in, a few may actually wish they could get out but they feel like there is no hope. They may feel like Sherem that they have committed the "unpardonable sin". But actually, the message of repentance, is that they are not beyond the power of the atonement of Christ to redeem.

The key also, is that conspiracy is great about keeping secrets. It is near impossible to penetrate the conspiracy from the outside to get a clear picture of what's going on. And not everyone who is a part of it, knows everything about it. What we would be going for is to get a CONFESSION from a true insider who was near the top. But the conspiracy loves to sent false defectors all the time. So, how do we know that a confession is true?

Well, according to the example of Sherem and the malefactor who was crucified was that they both felt like they had committed an unpardonable sin, but they both confessed Christ, the malefactor defended Christ, they made a public confession, and they freely accepted their legal consequences without appeal or plea deal (even submitting to the death penalty if required). It is the confession of Christ, the public confession, forsaking the sin, and the freely and fully submitting to their punishment which is the key to securing a reliable confession from an insider.

This is just applying the basic steps of repentance.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Prohibition Success

Prohibition did not make the consumption of alcohol illegal, only the manufacturing, distribution and sales of recreational beverage alcohol. Anyone could make their own and consume it and even freely share with friends. 

According to Havard reserchers and the data, Prohibition did decrease use by up to 30-50%, decrease medical complications, and alcohol-related crime.  Violent crime and homicide did not increase during Prohibition but was steady.

A black market was created by organized crime but revelations about J Edgar Hoover's FBI demonstrate that he was covering for the mafia (also serious undisclosed morality issues) and publically denied its existence until the Apalachin Meeting embarrassed the FBI in 1957. The media also had a hand in sensationalizing the impact of the mafia and crime. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Spiritual and Temporal Self-Reliance

From the Church Handbook of Instructions, we learn: “The Savior has commanded the Church and its members to be self-reliant and independent. …

“To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. …

“As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities” and are “better able to care for others in need.”

President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) taught: “Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak.” 

Self-reliance is not about vainly thinking you can work and save yourself.  Self-reliance is about cultivating your own dependance and personal relationship with Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.  Self-reliance (not self-sufficiency) is about becoming an agent and applying the teachings of Jesus Christ and receiving the spiritual  and temporal blessings therefrom such that you become enabled to spiritually and  temporally assist others and serve in God's kingdom.