Archive for April, 2008
Posted by coventryrm on Friday, April 25, 2008
Posted by coventryrm on Friday, April 25, 2008
“Brother Judah, with the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the calling of a Patriarch, I lay my hands on your head to give you a blessing that you have asked for, Judah, to give you inspiration and guidance at this time in your life when you are thinking so seriously about what you should be doing and your desire to be a servant of our Father in Heaven. You are indeed blessed, Judah, in so many ways, to be in this family you are in, and to be here in this day to take advantage of the opportunities that are yours. You have led a pleasing and concerned life , thus far, and your prayerful attitude and your sweet, humble spirit will bring much in the way of guidance and inspiration from our Father in Heaven. If you keep this spirit and plan your life you so can enjoy this and let nothing mar this, you will be directed and guided and you will have many opportunities and occasions to be thankful for and you will enjoy the sweet things of life, the comforts and blessings and joy and happiness that you seek. The gospel will mean much to you as you commit your self to its principles and keep his commandments.
The day will come when you will have a companion who will be a choice one, and meant to spend he life with you. Live so you are prepared for this day, and when you meet her you will know she is the one you should have, that you will be able to appreciate and sustain in her callings, whatever they may be, and she will give you the blessings and the guidance you need.
You will have great callings, Judah, in this church, callings that require that you understand the basic principles of the gospel and that you be committed and fully dedicated to that which you do. You will be looked upon by those you are associated with as a serious and spiritual man, so live righteously and be the great example that you should be. The Lord will bless you with understanding and knowledge and ability to interpret and feel the spirit that is in others who are associated with you. The resolution of problems that you will be faced with will come to you as you are called to leadership capacities.
Judah, develop a foundation that is secure and fundamental. Read the scriptures. There is much in them that you will enjoy and there is much the Lord desires you learn, and pattern your life after that of the Savior. You can be not greatly different from our first prophet in this last dispensation. Knowledge and understanding and the serious attitude you have will bring forth inspiration that will astound you. Even, so you will be in communication with out Father in Heaven as he will reveal to you thing that only you will understand and others would not. You will sit in councils of the church and be able to concern yourself with the lives and affairs of others who are associated with you. Your testimony will determine the future of many. Those who have erred and who have gone astray will be led back by the strength of your firm hand and you advice and counsel. This is a great responsibility, Judah, to know that the lives of many are in your hands. So, live righteously and live with understanding and let prayer be prominent and important in your life. Plan those things that you do. Plan them carefully; submit them to our Father in Heaven until you that warm feeling in your own heart. If you do not feel this, have courage to change, because the lives of some will depend on that which you do and that include those souls who are destined to live their early lives with you. Their future and their destiny will depend upon you, your guidance and that of your companion.
You are of the House of Israel, Judah, of the Tribe of Ephraim. As you are called to go on a mission, you will know and truly understand this. Search the scriptures so you know what blessings are in store for those of this tribe. You are entitled to those which have been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You will be able to share your knowledge and your understanding with others of other tribes, who will have leadership capacities as a later time. You will have ease of communication and be able to speak their tongue and be able to understand them and they understand you.
Judah, there are other things that will be made known to you by various means. You will be protected and you will be guided, until you live a life that is long enough to perform that which is important and necessary and which our Father in Heaven would desire. Also you will have great temptations. You will have feelings of spirits that are not desirable, that will try to deter you, and you must have the power of the priesthood to give you the strength you need, and also a strong companion, and you will need to be near our Father in Heaven in prayer.
Study the lives of those in this latter day who have been leaders in the church because you will have opportunity to live and perform as they have, and you should follow their example.
Judah, if you live righteously and are committed to those things that are good and wholesome for the benefit of the lives of others and also your own life, you will never need to fear for your own outcome, nor the bounties of life and success in the business field around you, but be sure you devote the time that is necessary to maintain the spiritual strength you need ad for the benefit of those that depend upon you. If you so the Lord will bless you with a call to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and receive rewards for the good things you have done. Now, be obedient, Judah, to these desires of our Father in Heaven, this is important to you. Be obedient and be humble and always available. These things, I pronounce upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. ”
September 6th 1981
Posted by coventryrm on Thursday, April 24, 2008
Study: Divorce may not cause kids’ bad behavior
Posted by coventryrm on Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The recent discussion that came as result of my post regarding the FLDS compound in Texas turned from the original topic to a much broader discussion and brought up the question of where do we draw the line when it comes to imposing values on society or other cultures?
Blazeheliski asked this question: “There are a ton of history books out there talking about how us “high-and-mighty” Westerners swooped in, and brought the “savage” natives clothing, laws and rules, religion, and all the other wonders of “advanced” civilization. Right or wrong?”
SkiUtah asked: “Where does one draw the line? What about genocide, do we step in and impose our values and stop people from murdering each other, or just let them work it out amongst themselves because they’ve been doing it for centuries?”
I think these are great questions and some good examples as to the dilemma caused by the belief that the role of religion should be, or has actually been, responsible for morals and values, and therefore; needs to stay central in legislation and policy making. Finally, what is our nation’s responsibility to the world?
I would propose, however; that these questions and observations show us precisely why religion should play absolutely no role in creating legislation or in deciding the values we as a society or culture feel are important enough to impose or enforce on others in and or outside of our borders. I think it is crucial that religious values or beliefs only be self imposed by the individual in governing themselves in their own personal life and convictions.
The question of where to draw the line I believe is much easier to answer once you take religion out of the picture. No longer do we cloud the issues with trying to second guess what this or that deity wants. Since every religious system has their own ideas about what will please or displease their specific God this can become confusing and it seems to also stir fierce emotions to the point that even the most simple values get confused and twisted within the debate, creating even more gray areas to resolve.
If you take God out of the picture you can then focus on the basics of humanitarian issues and values and the picture becomes less clouded. I think most of our species can actually agree on how we think others should be treated and what actually infringes on others rights and what types of acts cause unnecessary pain and suffering. The debate and discussion can at least be based on actual data and evidence regarding a given issue. For example in the case of young girls being forced into marriage or sex with older men, you can see from the information available that this is not only damaging to them physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Research also shows that the developing brain does not have a high capacity to make rational decisions that overcome impulses and emotions until we are in our early twenties. Therefore, we can safely say that situations or circumstances that pressure teens and pre-teens to do go through physically or emotionally damaging rites of passages or rituals from social, cultural or religious pressure from adult leaders, such as genital mutilation, should be of concern. There are many examples where adult values of questionable action have been imposed on children and adolescents. In most cases you would try to educate and reason about such practices, Obviously, such an approach makes more sense when addressing these issues. This is possible only if you keep God out of the argument, as it seems pretty hard to reason with someone who appeals to the absolute authority of their God.
It is irresponsible and arrogant when a powerful nation such as ours allows religion to influence the political process regarding values and laws imposed on others. It is irresponsible and arrogant, when religion is allowed drive what we do globally as “Peace keepers” or protectors of “Human Rights. ” It is also downright dangerous.
For example, in 1971 Ronald Reagan made the following statement and then 10 years later became the President of the nation with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world.
“In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, it says that the land of Israel will come under attack by the armies of the ungodly nations, and it says that Libya will be among them. Do you understand the significance of that? Libya has now gone Communist, and that’s a sign that the day of Armageddon isn’t far off.
Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn’t seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.
For the first time ever, everything is in place for the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. It can’t be too long now. Ezekiel says that fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of God’s people. That must mean that they will be destroyed by nuclear weapons.” 1971.
My point being if you can convince people that religion does not have a place in these issues globally, and that religious justification for any action is unacceptable, then these issues can be discussed in a rational and reasonable manner. Solutions and actions can and should be based strictly on the question at hand and the debate focused on protecting the rights of people based on good sound humanitarian principles. We know what those are or at least can figure it out in this day and age by looking at historical records and events and learning from the accumulated past years of experience. Certainly religions and myths dating back thousands of years has little or nothing new to offer in this regard.
I would also argue that people of religious faith would be better served and protected in using a humanitarian and secular process in defining which values we need to preserve and uphold. With the many different factions of religious views any one in the minority view would be at risk of the religious majority being imposed upon them. Even if you truly believe that you have the one true religion you can’t believe from a realistic viewpoint that everyone will come to that same place and be willing to follow and adhere to your beliefs, the advancement of your belief in others would still be done more effectively through your own personal example and contact with those around you and not by mandate, pressure or political process. Garry Wills book, “Head and Heart” shows that it is precisely the separation of Church and State that has caused religion in America to flourish so spectacularly. History has shown us that mixing Religion with Government is a dangerous, volatile and extremely unhealthy marriage.
Posted by coventryrm on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
In light of the recent raid on the FLDS compound in Texas I felt this would be an appropriate time to post the following.
Joseph Smith and early LDS church leaders created this mess. In fact, these polygamous compounds closely resemble exactly what Joseph and Brigham set up in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City. In fact, it was communities like the one in Texas that were organized in places like Canada, Mexico, and the most desolate spots in the Western United States in an effort to continue the practice of polygamy even after the U.S. government began pursuing and prosecuting polygamists. There is no doubt that the LDS Church actively fought the United States Congress as it passed legislation forbidding the practice of taking plural wives.
Although I began questioning the basic tenets of basic Mormon beliefs over 10 years ago, I would still defend mainstream Mormons as a group that no longer practiced polygamy. Such a defense seemed necessary because quite often, when someone thought of “Mormon” they also thought, “Polygamist.” So, I would correct these individuals, and explain to them that the fundamentalist Mormon polygamist groups were offshoots and that you could not judge mainstream Mormonism by their practices.
It wasn’t until I started reading what Joseph Smith, and especially Brigham Young, had to say regarding polygamy that I began to question my former inclination to regard mainstream Mormons, who still revere these men, as completely unaffiliated with polygamous off-shoots such as the one in Texas.
In fact, one only has to read the Journal of Discourses to see the true irony of condemning groups for practicing precisely what is written in them.
Yet the average mainstream Mormon is disgusted and outraged by the acts of the polygamists in Texas. The LDS church leaders are quick to remind the public that the current Mormon Church has no affiliation with these groups. Warren Jeffs is called sick and deranged and the disgust from LDS church members is fierce and palpable towards him. But where is the disgust for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the founders of this practice? Mormons will often go to great lengths to defend these men, each who had several wives, some of whom were girls under the age of 16. If you mention certain recorded facts, such as the young age of some of Brigham’s or Joseph’s wives, or the fact that Joseph married women that were already married to other men, then you are called an “anti=Mormon.”
You can’t have it both ways. If the acts of Warren Jeffs are similar to the acts of Joseph Smith then you must condemn them both.
Posted by skiutah on Friday, April 4, 2008
Elder Ballard, Ensign Nov, 1997: “The Gadianton robbers … they have secret signs and code words. They participate in secret rites and initiation ceremonies.”
Mormon temple ceremony?
3 NE 1:29: The Gadianton robbers use lies and flattering words to get converts.
3 Ne. 6:12: The Gadianton robbers rank themselves according to wealth and education.
Stake presidents? GAs? Apostles?
Sperry Symposium on the Book of Mormon 1991, p.246 – 247: “…to the Gadianton robbers, we see example after example of those who professed principles that were opposite to what the truth really is…”
Polygamy, racism, evolution, treatment of women, church history, and so on…
George Reynolds, A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon: “Gadianton was a crafty, capable man, full of strategy and cunning; a flatterer… bound its members together by the most horrible and blasphemous oaths and covenants…”
JS and the temple ceremony?
Monte S. Nyman et al., Helaman through 3 Nephi 8, According to Thy Word, p.169 – 170, speaking about Gadiantons: “For instance, most good people do not have any aspirations to join organizations that are universally considered to be evil. But they can dwindle into believing seemingly proper, yet false, philosophies taught to them by respectable people and naively participate in hurtful practices and attitudes without fully realizing what they are doing.”
President Heber C. Kimball, JD, 26 vol, 11, p.85: “The atmosphere of many parts of these mountains is doubtless the abode of the spirits of Gadianton robbers, whose spirits are as wicked as hell…”
This has got to be Park City, Utah, right? 😉