Sunday, August 30, 2015

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Old Testament, Genesis 2:2-3)

Today I was teaching primary sharing time. Our congregation's 5th Sunday topic was "keeping the Sabbath Day Holy".  I told the children that our Prophet and Apostles had been praying and discussing this issue and wanted us to be talking about it.  I shared Elder Bednar's instruction that the most critical time in life when we are most at risk of falling away from the gospel path is after our children are baptized and before they are endowed in the temple.  This got the children's attention as they had never before supposed they were an "at risk" population. 

After much pondering and prayer, the Brethern have concluded that if families do better at keeping the Sabbath Day holy, this practice alone would do more than any other to help our children surmount the dangerous period between baptism and temple endowment. This is because parents who keep the Sabbath Day better model and teach gospel principles by word and example.

And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; (Doctrine and Covenants, D&C 59:9)

In addition to keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, I shared with the children 2 more reasons why we are to keep the Sabbath Day. First, Sabbath observance shows God our gratitude for creation. While we express our gratitude to God for creation in prayer and song;  Observing the Sabbath Day demonstrates our gratitude not just by what we say but also by what we do.

Second, proper Sabbath Day observance gives us the proper eternal perspective. While working for mammon is necessary here in mortality, there is no money in heaven.  Every day in heaven is the Sabbath Day where we do Gods will instead of our own. Keeping the Sabbath Day keeps us grounded in the eternal reality of what is of true and lasting value. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Jesus Christ: The Brazen Serpent

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14-15)

If the serpent or snake is a symbol of Satan who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and then was cursed by God; why does Christ also use the symbol of the fiery serpent to represent himself?  All symbols and all creation are Gods. Satan is the one who impersonated, counterfeits, steals and corrupts a symbol. Nothing belongs to Satan as he can not create anything. 

Why is a venemous serpent used as a great symbol of Christ? Christ as a healing serpent is a powerful and suprisingly accurate symbol. Think about how you treat a venomous snake bite-- with antivenom from another venemous snake. Antiserum is created by harvesting and injecting the snake venom into a horse or rabbit forming antibodies against the venom. Then you administer the healing blood or serum containing these antibodies into the envenomated patient.

So, just think about this miraculous metaphor of Christ's Atonement. Like anti-venom, only after taking upon Himself the poison of our sins and death does Christ's blood become the needed healing anti-serum. All those who look to Christ and take upon themselves His blood will be healed and live eternally.

Like antivenom, convelescent serum is the only effective treatment for the most deadly hemorrhagic viruses like Ebola.  The antigen/antibody principle of immunity is also the basis for immunization and vaccination technology.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jurisdiction of Government and Religion

It is the jurisdiction of government to prosecute and rehabilitate those who cause harm to others such as distributing recreational drugs. Distrubution causes harm to the buyer.  The recreational intent is directly connected to the form in which the substance is being sold. Abusing ourselves with psychoactive chemicals (natural or synthetic) exploits our natural brain-reward systems. Chemical abuse and causal sexual immorality contributes to greater poverty via decreased productivity (idle poor) and illegitimacy (broken families).  Yes, recreational drinking beverage alcohol should not be illegal, but distribution should be.

Religion has the jurisdiction to discipline those who cause harm to themselves.  The jurisdiction of the Church is welfare and virtue (James 1:27).  Government can tax and then write and distribute checks but they cannot inspire personal virtue at the root cause of poverty like religion can.  Only religion can discipline, rehabilitate, and inspire personal virtue.  Only religion can end poverty and realize greater social justice.

Greater private immorality leads to increasing public poverty and greater social injustice. In the setting of social inequality, corrupt and opportunistic individuals swoop in to seize government power promising greater social equality in exchange for our freedom.  In reality, government welfare enables and exploits the poor until there is an absolute consolidation of power and all our freedoms and liberties have been wrested away.

The United States and the rest of the Private Central Banking-Controlled world is bankrupt.  The US alone is 18 Trillion dollars in debt. The US is on fiscal life support with QE adrenaline being main-lined into the economy to keep our heart beating.  Maybe a few vital signs (Dow Jones, inflation, and job creation numbers) are looking okay on the patient  monitor, but that shouldn't get us to overlook the fact that our country is only staying alive thanks to a ventillator and artificial resuscitation.

Donald Trump wants America to be great and prosperous again.  He thinks he can rehabilitate the US and achieve prosperity by builing a wall and cutting a few shrewd business deals.  It won't work.  Failed emigration, economic, financial and military polcies are only symptoms and not the cause of America's problems.  Only a return to virtue will save America and the freedom of all nations. (Ether 8:25)

Brent Skowcroft was the national security advisor for George H W Bush.  In his testimony before a US senate subcommittee, Scowcroft was telling Senator McCain and others how they were responsible for liberalizing the current but "disastrous" Westphalia System in favor of returning to another global system like that which existed during the Dark Ages before the Moravians, Lutherans and Huguenots won their and our religious and political freedom following the 30-Years War.

This Fair article got me thinking on this.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Samuel the Lamanite

"And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and sought for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord." (Book of Mormon, Helaman, 16:1)

The Book of Mormon recounts the history of a lost tribe of Israel who were led away from Israel in about 600 BC to America.  Upon arriving in America, the families of Lehi and Ishmael separated into 2 groups known afterward as the Nephites amd Lamanites.  The Book of Mormon recounts the eventual conversion of many of the Lamanites to the Lord and at the same time the increasing pride and apostasy of the, once faithful, Nephites because of their prosperity.  

At a certain point just prior to the appearance of Jesus Christ in America, a Lamanite prophet was raised up among the Lamanites who gave a powerful but brief sermon and witness of Jesus Christ to the more wicked Nephites.  

I don't know if Samuel the Lamanite held amy official position in the Ancient American Church, but one important point of his preaching was that Samuel did not draw people away from the Lord's prophet but led people to the prophet Nephi who was at the head of their Church to repent and be baptized. 

President Joseph Smith, Jun., addressed the assembly and said, "the Melchizedek High Priesthood was no other than the Priesthood of the Son of God; that there are certain ordinances which belong to the Priesthood from which flow certain results; and the Presidents or Presidency are over the Church; and revelations of the mind and will of God to the Church are to come through the Presidency. This is the order of heaven." - History of the Church, Volume Two, page 477  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Economic Solution: Safety Society System

When Joseph Smith and the Early Saints established the city of Kirkland, they needed to establish a banking system to provide credit and currency for their emerging economy. However, what was established was a traditional European-style, fractional-reserve bank that is inherently unstable. Because of the inherent instablility, the Kirkland Bank succumbed to market instabilities and soon failed. Following the direction of the US Constitution, a more equitable and Constitutional banking solution may be possible. The Safety Society Banking System addresses the income inequality starting with the Home Mortgage. 1. National Currency 2. Treasury creates money as needed 3. Local Non-profit Safety Society Bank approves loans 4. Simple-interest and fee-based loans granted 5. Debtors earn equity from day 1 6. Missed payments deducted from equity = instant reverse mortgage and mortgage insurance 7. No income tax 8. No inflation 9. Full Reserve banking. 100% Deposits stay at the bank and are never loaned out. 10. Money for new loans is created "on-demand" by US Treasury based on local loan approval and credit worthiness. 11. Communities or groups can qualify together for a hospital or park or aquarium or whatever if credit worthy. 12. Local Safety Societies cover costs with loan origination fees only and monthly loan service charge. 13. Fed Gov earns money via simple interest which constitutes a necessary fee which regulates money supply. 14. Repaid money is retired from circulation by the Treasury. 15. Loans only made for "real assets" not stock 16. Money is "backed" by the "real asset". 17.Value of currency = quantity and quality of human labor. Automation reduces costs. According to the equation MV = PG, inflation (P) is dependant on money supply (M). US Treasury controls money supply by only creating new money as it is nedeed (on demand). Inflation or deflation happems when there is too much money or not enough. It should always be more equensive to borrow than to save. With an equitable economic system, thrre will be a more equitable distribution of wealth. The Safety Society System is Free Market without a need for the capitalists although there may be a place for Mitt Romney style business venture capital. I like the idea of the ZCMI that was supported by the general public. The Safety Society System would not invest in business aspect but only the land and the building itself. Letting the people themselves be joint shareholders in the rest is a great idea in order to prevent the Walmart syndrome where Walmart has the power to dictate both the wholesale price and the suggested retail price.