Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tribulation Before Redemption

It is an unofficial LDS Tradition that the end-of-the-year lessons in our various Sunday School manuals and curriculum focus on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the signs of the times, and the Millennium. 

A thought I had on this is why tribulation must preceed redemption. Why did God have to curse Egypt before leading Israel out?  I think one reason is because, God wanted Israel to leave Egypt and the World behind and not just inherit it and continue the same corrupt traditions, beliefs and practices.  

The various curses in the plagues served to weaken Israel's faith in the World, and strengthen Israel's faith in God.  We all live in the World and are likely all guilty of much worldliness and materialism in one way or another.  I suspect that the Tribulation period in the last days will serve a similar function to reveal the weakness and unreliability of the World and unveil the eternal constancy of God and His gospel and Kingdom. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Peaceful Christmas Stable

I imagine that Joseph may have felt somewhat frustrated with himself not being able to secure a comfortable room for Mary in one of the inn's in Bethlehem.  (or living area in the upper areas of a house).  Joseph must have been earnestly praying to find a warm and safe place for his wife to labor and give birth to the Savior.  But in the end, the lowly stable and manger proved to be the perfect spot that allowed a peaceful and quiet location for the Savior Jesus Christ to be born, for the nativity star to shine down upon, and for the shepherds to reverently visit and worship. 

As we approach this Christmas season and all the seemingly endless Christmas parties, and gift buying; the Lord invites us to seek the peace and quiet of the humble stable as opposed to the ruckus of the noisy inn. He invites us to try and avoid the worldly stress, clutter and noise of the overly-commercialized holiday and instead reverently reflect, ponder, and pray about the true meaning of Christmas and quietly look to serve others.

I am the proud father of 6 children. The youngest is only 6 months old.  Like Mary did to the infant Jesus, we swaddle our young babies while they sleep.  Young infants can't control their arms and will routinely startle and wake and otherwise disturb themselves.  God is our Heavenly Father and we are in comparison to Him, spiritual infants, who have not yet learned to master and control our bodies.  Like tightly swaddling an infant, mankind requires strict commandments lest our infantile reflexes and natural appetites similarly startle and disturb our peace, safety and development.

Agency, Atonement, and Parenting

Jesus Christ respects the agency of all mankind. That is why Christ came to save us from our sins and not in our sins. Christ wants His followers to be agents to act and not just be acted upon.  There is no true faith in Jesus Christ without repentance and the continual, life-long process of sanctification (Sancts = Saints).

What is agency?  Agency is not just "doing whatever you want".  If we had no knowledge of God, if we had no prophets and no scriptures, we would have no choices. We are not free unless we are enticed by both sides.  That is why Lehi in the Book of Mormon desired to bring the Brass Plates with him to America. Without the commandments of God, all we could do is be ruled by our appetites and fears.  Since the fall of Adam our default setting is the natural man and social Darwinism (eat or be eaten/survival of the fittest/be enslaved and not realize it).

Without a knowledge and the influence of God we would have no alternative, we would have no hope, we would have no choice. (Discussed in the movie "the Matrix" on why the "Oracle" was created). Commandments give us choice.  Commandment make us free.  That is why the first thing God did for Israel after freeing them from Egypt was give them commandments to establish and preserve their freedom.  

A great Scout leader empowers (EDGE Method) Boy Scouts to be self-reliant and learn outdoor and life skills for themselves and not be pathologically dependent on their leaders.  These principles are also the basis of the "Come Follow Me" curriculum. 

Great parents likewise respect the agency of their childen.  Some parents take their children's weaknesses personally. Some parents worry too much how their children's mistakes will make them look to the world.  Consequently, self-absorbed parents become emotionally unavailable when dealing with their children's adversity, mistakes, weaknesses, and struggles.  On the other hand,  "helicopter-parents" go to the other extreme by making all the important decisions for their children fearing lest they make any mistakes.  These parents can only deal with their children's successes so they 1. overly criticize failures, 2. ignore failures 3. or prevent failures by micromanaging. 

Neither parenting extreme respects our children's agency to learn to repent, improve, progress and become self-reliant.  Our children should feel like they can come to us with their struggles, mistakes and weaknesses and we will  receive them, love them, and accept them.  Our children should feel that we will help them as Christ does to overcome those weaknesses and struggles. Christ doesn't just accept us without wanting to empower us to be better, repent, improve and progress.

Agency is not "doing whatever we want". Agency is being empowered to choose the right through a knowledge of God and His commandments and a hope in the Atonement of Christ. Only because of God and Christ can we be hungry but choose to fast, be offended and angry but choose to forgive, and be fearful but step courageously forward.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Chinese Cloning Facility

As I have explained in previous posts, part of the reasoning behind same-gender marriage is to roll out advanced genetic and cloning technologies.  Notice how this Yahoo article reporting on the Chinese cloning facility discusses the ability to have children that are 100% mom or dad.  This kind of technology will disrupt Hardy-Weinburg genetic equilibrium producing greater phenotypic diversity, but less genotypic diversity.

It is the right of every child to be raised and nurtured by both a mother and a father, but on a more fundamental level, every human deserves a genetic inheritance from both a male and female. This is what sets marriage apart from a civil union. This is really the only thing that sets civil union and marriage apart from one another.

These sorts of genetic manipulations and abominations were the sin of the anti-diluvians. Science tells us that humans mixed with Neandertal.  The Bible hints that humans mistakenly thought they could enslave the hybrid offspring.  Had God not sent the flood, humans would have been exterminated and become extinct.

If we begin accepting and implementing this genetic and cloning  technologies in the production of so-called "designer babies", we will be genetically weakening and enslaving our posterity; worlds without end.  If we allow our national sovereignty to be stripped away by international treaties and governance we could see the day when this technology becomes mandatory.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Jesus: The Perfect Leader

My remarks are taken from an excellent talk given by President Spencer W. Kimball to the Young Presidents Organization in 1977 and reprimted in the Ensign in 1979.

With over 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Christianity is the world's number one religion and is experiencing amazing growth Africa and on the verge of a similar explosion of growth in China. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, part of our responsibility in being members of the Church is not only leading others to Christ but also to be an example of true Christian discipleship. 

In learning to be a leader, shouldn't we look to Christ, our Great Leader, for our example. We can look to Christ's and seek to develop the same qualities, attributes and skills that He more than anyone else so perfectly exemplified. Christ our Exemplar As we examine Christ's leadership, President Kimball pointed out a few attributes that set Christ apart for all others. As we lead and set an example in our families, among our friends and coworkers, we would do well to apply Christ's example and do as He did. 

3 Nephi 27:27 And know ye that ye shall be judges (leaders) of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. 

Fixed Principles 
First, Christ based his leadership on fixed principles. Jesus Christ knew who He was, the Son of God, and why he was on the Earth. Jesus acted based on truth and true principles and not like so many secular leaders of the day that, like chameleons, “change their hues and views to fit the situation.” Many secular leaders love to hold focus group and gather “informatics” on their constituency and develop social and political stands based on what seems popular at the time. However, we shouldn't be surprised when our politicians political stands turn out not to be much of a stand once elected. Could traveler's depend on landmarks that migrated from one position to another? Could ancient seamen be guiding by the North Star if it wasn't fixed in it unfaltering position? Similarly, we can't effectively lead others unless our lives and decisions are based on constant and correct principles. 

Moral Authority 
Christ taught “come, follow me”, “come and see” and “do what I do” not just do what I say. Christ was not afraid of close relationships or proximity. Christ chose his 12 Apostles to assist in his desire to personally minister to his followers and not as a way to create distance. Christ lived a moral and virtuous life. Christ wasn't afraid of his follows seeing Him as He really was and is. This is in contrast to many of today's leaders who live very discordant personal and public lives and try to convince us that their personal conduct does not affect their public administration.  Our leaders should be selected based their personal virtue as well as secular qualifications.  Virtuous living empowers our moral authority.

Leading with Love 
Christ was a listening leader who sought to understand those he taught. Jesus was patient. Because he loved others he was able to be candid and forthright. He reproved Perter at times but afterward showed an increase of love. 

D&C 121: 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; 

In the workplace, how many of our supervisors and managers manage based on fear instead of love? How many leaders seem only instrested in elevating their own status?  The most effective leaders are concerned with the development and happiness of their coworker and seek to build a unified team instead of just focusing to taking all the credit for things that go right and shirk all the blame when things go wrong.  

Christ could see sin as wrong. But he also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet need on the part of the individual. In this way, Christ was able to condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We also need to be able to look deeply in the lives of others to see and understand the causes for failure and shortcomings. Alma the younger in the Book of Mormon exemplified this when he counseled his son Corianton who went astray during his mission to the Lamanites. Coriantan excused himself and committed sins of immorality. 

Alma 39: 7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.

Alma then says: Alma 40: 1 Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead. [and] concerning the restoration of which has been spoken… 15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all

So, we see that part of Cortianton's problem was a mistaken understanding of the atonement of Christ and when it meant that Christ's followers would be resurrected and redeemed from sin. And this misunderstanding led to Corianton making up excuses in his own mind to justify himself in sin. 

Selfless Leadership 
Christ was a selfless leader. So many problems arise today from self-centeredness. Jesus' leadership emphasized the importance of being discerning with out seeking to control and manipulate others. He taught us that there can be no growth with out real freedom. Christ respected the agency of others and wanted his followers to develop self-reliance. 

Let me explain. The scouting EDGE method emphasizes this exact principle of self-less leadership. This is about teaching people to fish for themselves and not just continually hand out fish making people weak and dependent upon you. EDGE stands for explain, demonstrate, guide, and enable. 

Imagine that I want to teach the scouts to build a fire. I could tell them to build a fire and not explain or show how to do it, and then when the sun is set, and dinner is not cooked, and they fail, I swoop in and save the day. The boys may be fooled into believing how helpless they are, and how skilled I am. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all too often because the natural man, naturally desires to feel important, needed and powerful. 

Instead, a selfless leader that is committed to seeing the boys become self-reliant will explain, demonstrate, guide and enable the boys until they can perform the task on their own and even begin to teach others. 

Christ's atonement works the same way. Christ came to save us from our sins and not just in our sins. Christ atonement is meant not just grace alone to sweep our sins under the rug but also power to overcome our sins and purify and sanctify our lives. Christ atonement empowers and enables us to repent, forsake sin, to improve and grow and develop. Any gospel that preaches faith in Christ without repentance, is not teaching the full gospel of Christ. Faith without repentance teaches a God who doesn't respect the agency or progression of His children.

Family Application 
As parents, we have the sacred responsibility to raise and lead our children to Christ. What can we do to respect their agency, and provide self-less leadership? Are we teaching our children to be spiritually and temporally self-reliant? What are we doing to help each of our children develop their own individual relationship with God? Develop their own testimonies? Develop their own love of the scriptures? Develop their own talents, and develop their work ethic? 

Satan likes to take us to the extremes. Are we guilty of neglecting our children on the one hand, or being “helicopter parents” on the other? We can neglect our children when we are emotionally unavailable, or are unwilling to deal with our children's weaknesses or desires and try to imagine that their problem's or opinions don't exist. Helicopter parenting is a term describing a current prevalent parenting type which means that some parents are guilty of doing too much and make all decisions for our children such that they do little for themselves? 

Doing too much vs not doing enough for our children stems from parents talking their children's mistakes personally and worrying too much on how they may be viewed or feel about themselves more than helping their chikdren to improve. Consequently, many children of the so-called Millennia generation aren't learning to be self-reliant and are graduating college and having a difficult time leaving home, finding a job, getting married, and starting their own families. 

Infinite Potential 
Not all of us would be the prefect example of leadership but all of us can make efforts toward approaching that great ideal. Christ saw in each person a spark of the divine and infinite potential. Christ taught that all mankind are spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. Each soul has the God-given ability to progress towards perfection. Each of us has opportunities and ability to do good and be better. We may not be perfect leaders overnight, but by following Christ's example and implementing Christ-like leadership, we all can be more effective leaders.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tithing and Thanksgiving

Most people don't realize the story of Thanksgiving is the story of the Law of Tithing.  The Puritans at Plymouth Colony attempted to eatablish a perfect society and live with "all things in common" instead of having "all things common"

As Governor Bradford explained in his old English (though with the spelling modernized):

“For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could man husbands brook it."

Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.

Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

As Governor Bradford put it:

“And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end. . . .This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.

In Governor Bradford’s words:

“By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”

When Christ visited the Nephites, he gave them the scriptures in Malachi that derail the Law of Tithing.  So even though the Book of Mormon says that the Nephites lived "with all things common"they als obserbed the Law of tithing.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Power of Hope and Restraint

"And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy. And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days" (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 5:3-5)

Psychologist Walter Mischel performed a series of experiments on self control and delayed gratification with young children using varous rewards involving candy and marshmallows. The studies found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes. Intact families showed the strongest link to delay of gratification.  Children who came from homes without a father exhibited the least self control. (wiki)  Interestingly, Socio-economic status showed no correlation with study outcome. 

Sacrificing what we want now for what we want more later is both a spiritual and temporal principle.  Living prophets, scriptures, are critical to giving us a perfect brightness of hope for the future. God doesn't just promise us peace and joy in the next life but also happiness here and now if we keep God's commandments. If we had no hope in the future, there would be no reason to not just "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die". However, with our hope of eternal glory we gladly enter into covenants with God to do His will and keep His commandments.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:20)

Elder Neal A Maxwell spoke about the power of hope in 1994 General Conference talk entitled "Brightness of Hope".  Elder Maxwell says:

"Hope helps us to walk by faith, not by sight. This can actually be safer. When unaided spiritually, natural sight often shrinks from the odds. It is immobilized by improbabilities. Mauled by his moods and intimidated by his fears, the natural man overreacts to, while hope overrides, the disappointments of the day.

Hope is particularly needed in the hand-to-hand combat required to put off the natural man. Giving up on God and on oneself constitutes simultaneous surrender to the natural man.

Daily hope is vital, since the “Winter Quarters” of our lives are not immediately adjacent to our promised land either. An arduous trek still awaits, but hope spurs weary disciples on."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Elder Bednar Visits Augusta, GA

Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a psychological self-help but a total transformation.

Blessings of the priesthood are to all. Priesthood is not men.  Priesthood is the power of God like an umbrella. For some reason men are asked to hold umbrella but it shields everyone standing under its protection.

Dispensation of the fullness of evil and good.  As bad as it is right now, this is as good as it is going to get until the Savior comes.

Stay unspotted from the world and remain sanctified and retain a remission of sins. Invite Holy Ghost into our lives.  Not a check list.  Living the gospel is rigorous but not hard.  Not living the gospel is hard.

When will we stop talking about Sabbath Day and tithing?  When we all start doing it.  

When Christ said His time is at hand, He Instituted an ordinances. Ordinances unlock the power of godliness.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Esau and Jacob

The Bible tells the story of Esau and Jacob.  Esau was born said to have been born hairy and ruddy and was a man of the field, a hunter, and a mighty and strong man of the world. Jacob, on the other hand, the Bible says was a plain (peaceful) man who dwelt in a tent. 

Jewish rabbi's comment on why it says that Isaac loved Esau.  The Bible says that it was because Isaac, "did eat of his venison" which is also a play on words to mean that "his game (catch) was in his mouth" suggesting a type of deception.  So it seems that Isaac was already blind by Isaac's continual gifts of savory meat. 

Esau came in from hunting and was famished and traded his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils.  The Bible says that Esau despised the birthright or responsibility to care for Isaac's family but later desired to be blessed. Esau and Jacob had very different perspectives on life. Esau focused on death, materialism, immediacy, and instant gratification while  Jacob had an eternal perspective and desired to serve God and his family instead of the flesh.  How can we cultivate a perspective more like Jacob?

I think that the lifelong blindness of Isaac to Esau's deception is what justifies Rachel and Jacob's little ruse.  Jacob understood that the blessings of the birthright are inseparably connected to its responsibility. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wall Street Journal Is Pro Marriage ... 1445986205

Wall Street Journal says getting married would make the biggest difference on poverty than any other thing. 

Immorality in society creates poverty.

Monday, November 09, 2015

"Not as I Will But as Thou Wilt"

Latter-day Saints or Mormons believe in God the Father, God the Son who is Jesus Christ and God the Holy Ghost.  Nevertheless, we do not believe in the Catholic Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed or similar creeds which are the source of the Trinity doctrine.  What is wrong with the Nicene Creed?

The problem with the Nicene Creed is:
1. doctrine by committee (ecumenical council) and not revelation.
2. simple majority vote and not unanimity
3. produced division instead of unity.
4. teaches a "mystery" nature of the trinity.
5. teaches that God the Father and God the Son are "homoousios" or "one substance".

Why is "homoousios" a problem? Because the whole basis of Christian doctrine is that Christ came to Earth to do the will of His Father and not His own will. The doctrine of Christ = "not as I will", but the doctrine of Satan = "do as you will".  

LDS Doctrine teaches that Christ was empowered to love others and do better and be better than any other because He submitted and subordinated His will to the will of the Father in all things.

If you say that God the Father and God the Son are "homoousious" than, you loose this teaching. You loose the meaning of charity which is the pure love of Christ .... for the Father. 

Christ must be God with a destinct will from thr Father or you are teaching that Christ achieved His success and power by the strength of His own will. This is a doctrine of Satan. Instead, Christ taught that the source of His power was by complete subordination of His will to the Will of the Father.

Yes, I understand the hyper-monotheists who say you can't have 3 separate beings in the God Head (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) because that is 3 wills and consequently, 3 separate and different perspectives on truth, 3 separate sources of power which destroys the existence of truth and law in the Universe. Whose idea of right and wrong do you follow? Which God do you have faith in? Which God do you pray to?

But that us why it is important that Christ taught that while He is a different person and being and will and individual, God the Son is perfectly unified in purpose with the Father. Christ created the Earth and did everything else through His Father's power and according to His Fathers will.

Some people believe that they don't need God to do good. They can do good on their own. However, I have witnessed people exceed their capacity to do good and serve others because of their love of God which exceeds our own capacity to love our neighbor. Because God knows and loves our neighbor more than we ever could, we can love and serve our neighbor best by loving God first. Especially when our neighbor is difficult to love or we feel does not deserve it.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Compassion without Compromise

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches to respect, love and serve everyone, even those we may not agree with.  Same-gender marriage has become legal in the US. However, it is not acceptable according to the LDS Faith.  

LDS believe that same-gender couples should be free to live together if they so choose, and not be denied any medical decision making, insurance, employment, or taxation benefit that traditionally married couples receive.  The only thing that sets civil union apart from marriage is the right to bare and raise children. 

That's it. Children. That's the only difference. LDS believe that children have the civil and God-given, unalienable right to receive a genetic inheritance from both a male and female and to be nurtured, where possible, by a mother and a father.  Same-gender marriage violates this right of children to be nurtured by both a father and mother and potentially will violate genetic laws as couples are seeking advanced genetic/fertility technologies to generate offspring. 

Because of the violation of the rights of children and the genetic and social dangers this lifestyle will pose to society, it is not an acceptable practice according to the LDS Faith which wishes no harm to anyone. So, while same-gender couples are welcome to worship and  participate with the LDS, they will be denied membership so long as they act contrary to the laws of God.

In the spirit of doing no harm, children of same-gender unions will also not be given membership until they are 18.  The LDS Church will continue to teach traditional marriage as our gospel standard and we do not wish to subject children of same-gender unions undo stress when they learn the Church does not approve of their parent's choices.  Similar policies apply to children of polygamous unions for similar reasons. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Selflessness vs. Self-Interest

The scriptures don't speak in terms of selflessness vs. self-interest. Instead the scriptures speak of charity vs pride.

Charity = pure love of Christ .... for the Father and desire to do His will (nevertheless not as I will)

Pride = do as I will. 

In the end, the will of God is the ultimate expression of both perfect selflessness (help others) and self-interest (peace, joy, and treasures in heaven).  Zion satisfies wants and needs of all its members. It really is the greatest feast of fat things.

"And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." (Old Testament, Isaiah 25:6)

"And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." (Old Testament,  Isaiah 65:21-22)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hamas = Conspiracy: Sin of Destruction

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Old Testament, Genesis 6:13)

The word "violence" in the KJV is translated "robbery" in the Hebrew Bible. According to Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, the term robbery specifically refers to organized crime. The Book of Mormon uses the term robbery with a similar connection with secret combinations and works of darkness. 

חָמָס = "chamas" = robbery = organized crime = conspiracy = secret combinations = works of darkness = Gadianton Robber = robber baron =  Fabian Globalist = illuminati = international and private central bankers.

God tells us in the Bible that the sin of Robbery was precisely the sin that brought upon the world the judgement of God in the Great Flood.  Amazingly, the Book of Mormon similarly warns us that the secret combinations like the Gadianton Robbers brought about the complete destruction of Jeredite and Nephite civilizations and will similarly bring about the complete destruction of the Gentiles if we do not repent.

And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton (Robber) did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi. (Book of Mormon, Helaman 2:13)

גָּ֝זַ֗ל = "gazal" = violent thievery, seized, stolen, torn away.

Amos says that secret combinations were the cause of the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. 

For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence (חָמָס = robbery) and robbery (וָשֹׁד = destruction) in their palaces. (Old Testament, Amos, 3:10)

Nehum says that the sin of robbery would be the cause of the destruction of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire.

Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; (Old Testament, Nahum 3:1)

And Ezekiel says that secret combinations were the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem.

The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. (Old Testament, Ezekiel, 22:29)

Isaiah also says that secret combinations oppress the poor, the fathless and the widow.

To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! (Old Testament, Isaiah 10:2)

But most evil governments come to power promising to end poverty and help the poor.  So, how can you identify the righteous leaders with true intent?  The righteous understand that the sins of sexual immorality and chemical abuse destroy families and productivity and contribute to the increased production of fatherless, widows and poor in a society. Only a return to virtue will end poverty, not global sustainability goals, not economic treaties, not an international space program, or international sporting competition, or policies regarding global climate change.

Another point.  Despite the similarities between the Hebrew word "chamas" and the Palestinian "Hamas" (not a coincidence), the robbery spoken of here is much more than groups committing random acts of terror. The secret combinations spoken of here reach to the highest levels of global power and political authority.  A terrorist group like ISIS, al-Queda, al-Nusra, Hezbollah or Hamas can tragically kill a couple hundred or even a couple thousand people in an attack.  However, we forget that these extremist groups cannot operate without government sponsoring them with money, training and weapons.  My point is, as terrible as these terrorist act are, the "robbery" spoken of here is a much bigger thing than these murderous factions alone.

Notice that when the Bible warns of robbery it says that these robbers have "palaces" and that their political policies deprive the poor of justice.  According to the Book of Mormon, these robbers are both the king-men among the Nephites as well as the Amalekites who desented and left the Nephites to live among the Lamanites and who eventually secretly infiltrated both the Nephite and Lamanite governments. 

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up (secret combinations) seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, (Book of Mormon, Ether 8:25)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

2015 October General Conference

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a prophet of God. The current president and prophet is President Thomas S. Monson.  Every April and October the prophet and other apostles speak at General Conference.  Here is some of what the prophet of God had to say:

"You (teenagers) may be tempted to lower your standards and to follow the crowd in order to be accepted by those you desire to have as friends. Please be strong, and be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity. The choices you make here and now are forever important."

"May we realize that our greatest happiness in this life will come as we follow God’s commandments and obey His laws! I love the words found in (Isaiah 32:17) “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Such peace, such assurance can come only through righteousness."

"if the commandments had been written by man, then to change them by inclination or legislation or by any other means would be the prerogative of man. The commandments, however, were God-given. Using our agency, we can set them aside. We cannot, however, change them, just as we cannot change the consequences which come from disobeying and breaking them"

"As we prove to be examples in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity, we will qualify to be lights to the world."

"Those things which make us different from most of the world also provide us with that light and that spirit which will shine in an increasingly dark world"

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Addresses US Congress

"In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us."

"I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without," 

"Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family."

"The Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of development."

I apprciate Pope Francis' great leadership in calling the US Congress to defend the principles of peace, compassion, life, and family. We will see if the Congress finds motivation to effect any changes.  So, far Representative Boehner has decided to step down as Speaker of the House and retire from politics. 

Yet, at the same time I applaud Pope Francis stand on life and family, I hope we in America do not forget the "captivity of our fathers" and the hard-fought political and religious freedom won by the Moravians, Lutherans, and Huguenots in the 30-Years War and the Peace of Westphalia. I hope we do not forget the cause of the American Revolution (control of our currency and credit) and the Civil War (tariffs). 

The UN with their new Agenda for 2030, together with Pope Francis and many other smart people are calling for an end to world poverty through political means and world government control of economics.  In the past, international deligations have met together and signed  agreements.  But these deligations haven't had the power to enforce their policies.  Many people think these policies and organizations should be given enforcement power.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a different solution for global poverty. Poverty and welfare are not a political problem, and the solution is not political but spiritual.  According to James 1:27, Pure Religion is to "visit the  fatherless and the widow", not pure politics. Welfare is the business of religion and not politics.  And the answer to poverty is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not global government. Governments can redistribute wealth but cannot address the virtue issues at the heart.

LDS Missionaries combat poverty throughout the world by teaching the Christian principles of sobriety, health and nutrition in the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity which are at the root cause of poverty.  Not that everyone who is poor is guilty of drunkeness and fornication, but oft times the poor are directly and indirectly affected by the sins of others.

Roman and Greek Democracy were destroyed by demoralization in the same way America is being destroyed.  The first step is demoralization by drug abuse (Silk Road) and immorality (Pompeii) which leads to greater poverty and social injustice.  Then corrupt socialist leaders (Caesars) come to power promising to end poverty if they were given all the power.  The Ceasers implemented  government welfare and the redistribution of wealth (free bread and circus) but did not stop the flow of illicit drugs and the great moral perversions. Rome became bankrupt to support its welfare programs while sending all its gold to Asia.  This led to Rome conquering its neighbors for their gold and hiring Barbarians to serve in the Roman Legions to keep the Ponzi scheme going until everything finally collapsed.  But it all started with demoralization.

In addition to encouraging a world-wide "return to virtue", the world does need economic reform.  We already have a global private central banking system (G20) that has caused much of the political and economic exploitation in the world. I can't see how turning over more political and economic control to globalists is the answer. (power corrupts). 

Instead the God-inspired US Constitution calls for a simple, free-market, non-capitalistic, economic system that was never effectively implemented. What we got in the US was another European Fractional Reserve Banking system which  allowed the rise of the Robber Barons.   This is because after the US Treasury lends big banks $1000 at prime interest, the big banks via fractional reserve principles are permitted to lend out $10,000 and collect usury on that $10,000 which becomes $20,000 or $30,000 or more. With this system and the US Dollar as the world reserve currency, the central bankers, and capitalists who can borrow directly from the FED have been enabled to buy up and exploit the world (labor and resources).

So, in the end, instead of the Congress "coining" the money and regulating its value, the big banks end up effectively creating most of the "virual currency" via fractional reserve lending and usury. Instead, of the complicated system we have now, every country on Earth can implement their own national full-reserve currency and credit system.

1. National currency prevents currency wars
2. US Treasury creates 100% money
3. Local Safety Society System Banks serve as agents for loan approval.  Safety Societies are non-profit and collect loan-origination fees only.
4. Full Reserve loans are qualified for and money created on-demand as an individual or community or group is credit worthy.
5. Money comes from the US Treasury via local non-profit SSS Bank that serves as an agent of the US Treasury. 
6. US Treasury charges a simple prime interest rate: a. regulates value of currency b. prevents inflation, c. voluntary tax/generates revenue d. incentivizes saving over borrowing e. incentivizes paying off debt early.
7. Full Reserve loans can only be made 
for real assets like land, infrastructure, and buildings. You cannot borrow for speculative securities.  This way the SSS Bank has something of value to repossess if the borrower defaults.
8. There can be venture capitalist and speculative investing but not by SSS (restores Glass-Steagall).
9. Land, Infrastructure, all proven natural resources, development, houses and buildings are themselves the backing for the national currency.
10. Value of things is calculated based upon the quantity and quality of labor needed to produce the item or service.
11. Borrowers repay loans monthly and earn equity from first paymeny. No amortization schedule.
12. Missed payments are deducted from equity serve as loan insurrance (instant reverse mortgage). 
13. Loan default only occurs when borrower has lost all equity and property is repossessed by bank who can then manage or resell real asset to prevent losses. 
14. US Government ends the income tax and generates revenue via prime interest collection and tariffs and other fees.
15. 100% of deposits are kept at the SSS Bank at all times and never lent out Deposits are ready for immediate withdrawal at any time.  There can never be a run on a Safety Society.  SSS Banks never have to borrow from other banks.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Freedom of Religion

The First Ammendment in the Bill of Rights preserves the Freedom of Religion. But what does that mean.  If we let the opposition redefine freedom, we soon could be trapped in a corner with no freedom. Freedom of Religion preserves 4 things.

1. freedom to believe, free exercise of conscious
2. freedom to share belief, proselyte
3. freedom to form church and association
4. freedom to live (practice or exercize) faith in public and public, to pray privately and let light shine publicly

The immoral demand tolerance of their  immoral behavior. Righteousness should expect equal tolerance for our righteous behavior.   The immoral criticize the moral by claiming we are trying to legislate morality.  In reality, all laws legislate morality. However, government jurisdiction should only cover those who cause harm to other.  This is why alcohol prohibition made the distribution and sale of beverage alcohol illegal and not its consumption. 

The immoral complain that the moral majority are trying to impose their morality on them. Yes, the righteous moral majority has the right, duty, and sacred obligation to decide and impose morality on the immoral minority.  Unfortunately, the complete opposite has happened in America over the last 100.  Instead of the moral majority deciding what is moral, the immoral minority has been imposing their immorality on the moral majority.  

Morality is that behavior which is best for everyone.  Can you trust a government by the majority?  Does the "voice of the people" constitute the "tyranny of the majority?"  Is Democracy two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner?  God says, No. In a just society, there is no such thing as a tryanny of the majority. 

While Representative government is important because many administrative issues are not practical for the general public to decide.  When moral issues arise, the people not only can but must determine what is moral and the decision of the majority should be respected by the courts. 

"Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people"(Book of Mormon, Mosiah 29:26)

I have faith in America; that an informed, moral majority can choose the right.  The adversaries of the American System do not have faith in people and believe that "the unwashed masses" cannot be trusted to govern themselves.  Instead, our adversaries believe that the world can best be governed by an enlightened elite.
Quotes by Founding Fathers expressing the need of moral and virtuous prople to preserve Constitutiinal government. 

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Bitter Fruits of Apostasy

Heber C. Kimball, while serving as a counselor to President Brigham Young, reported: “I will give you a key which Brother Joseph Smith used to give in Nauvoo. He said that the very step of apostasy commenced with losing confidence in the leaders of this church and kingdom, and that whenever you discerned that spirit you might know that it would lead the possessor of it on the road to apostasy.” -TOTPC:JS, Ch 27

 “I will give you a key that will never rust, if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray." Joseph Smith Jr. via William G Nelson

I was listening to President Ezra Taft  Benson's talk on the Book of Mormon entitled "The Keystone of Our Religion". I am also reading in 3 Nephi with my children and I was impresses by Pres. Benson's promise that it was Mormon's desire via the Book of Mormon to instruct the Saints on how me could make sure we were standing with Nephi the Lords prophet and the other disciples at the Temple in Bountiful witnessing the coming if Jesus Christ instead of being one of the many otgers that were killed in one of the many other cities that were destroyed in the calamities attendant to Christ's first visitation to America.

I am also reminded of Isaiah's words when he prophecies that the Lord will see "eye to eye" with his watchmen (pleural) when he comes to "bring again Zion".(Isa 52:8)

Also, Isaiah says that the Lord will see eye to eye with His "watchmen". Watchmen is plural and not singular.  So, this seems to clearly suggest we should not be led astray by some individual no matter how "mighty and strong" he may seem by him or herself.  

The Lord has His watchmen and He will be seeing "eye to eye" at His coming. Maybe there is some improvements that can be made, but when the time comes, the Lord will be looking for His watchmen.  The wise were with Nephi at the Temple Bountiful at Christ's visitation to America. Nephi had to be corrected of a few things like on the prophecy of Samuel the Lamanite on the graves being opened. Nephi immediately made those corrections. (3 Nephi 23:11-13)

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