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Showing posts from December, 2015

Redeeming a land through the shedding of blood

The land of America, the present-day United States, has been given as a gift to God's people many times through history.

It was first given to Adam and his posterity. Through iniquity, they forfeited ownership. God redeemed the land through the slaughter of almost every inhabitant, saving only Noah and his family.
It was given to the Jaredites. Through iniquity, they forfeited ownership. God redeemed the land through the slaughter of almost every inhabitant, saving only Coriantumr, who was given enough time to testify of the wickedness of his people.
It was given to the Nephites. Through iniquity, they forfeited ownership. God redeemed the land through the slaughter of almost every Nephite, saving only Moroni, who was given enough time to write the tale as a witness to the wickedness of the Nephites.

It was given to the Lamanites. Through iniquity, they forfeited ownership. God redeemed the land through the slaughter of an astonishing number of Lamanites. Scholars estimate that dise…

What is the Great and Abominable Church?

One of the 1828 webster dictionary definitions of the word "church" is "a particular number of christens, united under one form of ecclesiastical government, in one creed, and using the same ritual and ceremonies; as the English church; the Gallican church; the Presbyterian church; the Romish church; the Greek church."

The defining characteristic of the church of the devil is not the claim that one belongs to such nor any formal membership process. There is no central headquarters of the church of the devil, nor an entrance ritual. Instead, the unifying characteristic is that members of that church believe in one creed. What is that creed? The scriptures provide us with at least some of what it contains:

A man's situation is completely his own fault. (Alma 30:17.)Sins done in secret are admissable. (Moses 5:51.)Success comes by conquering others. (Alma 30:17.)Those who are prosperous are so because they are better than others (Alma 30:17).Anything that seems rig…

"And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them"

Reading in the Book of Mormon tonight, I hit this passage:

 10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.
 11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them." (4 Nephi)

It reminds me of what I wrote here.

What is this cryptic ordinance referred to here?

The Loneliness of the Straight and Narrow

Jesus said,
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:35-36) I have had many seasons where God placed someone in my life upon whom I felt I could lean. These people were true supports at a time when I needed it. I rejoiced to have a second set of shoulders to relieve the burdens that I carried. With time, in every case, these people let me down--almost always when I needed them the most. Once when praying about this, the Lord said "Every person in your life will fail you so that you learn that I am the only one on whom you can rely." It is easy for us to have an earthly crutch, but God intends for us to lean into him, not a man or a woman or a job or a hobby. Everything in this life is fleeting, even the interpersonal relationships some erroneously teach are eternal. The degree to which you rely on a person,…

All children go to the Celestial Kingdom?

Joseph Smith made plain that salvation is a product of the knowledge one attains. One cannot obtain the blessings God has without living the law he lives. Living that law requires acquiring that law. You receive the level of glory commensurate with the level of law you live. This is why no man can be saved in ignorance.

When we read that
All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. (D&C 93:7-9). we ought not be troubled. There is no contradiction here, as those who would have received the law if they had been permitted to tarry will indeed be given the opportunity to do so, and will only receive a higher degree of glory…

The Remnant of Jacob

Who is the remnant? The descendants of Lehi: "And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob;" (Mormon 7:10) "Saying: I, the Lord, will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob, and those who are heirs according to the covenant." (D&C 52:2.)
"Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or be sold, or be slain. Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and h…

Meaning of book cover

Many have asked me what the cover of "Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men: Tradition in Modern Mormonism" (free pdf) means.

The third image above is found on the front cover of the book [1]. The second is found on the rear cover of the book. They appear side by side on the first printed page of the book.

This images are from a fresco painted on the wall of a church in Spain. The leftmost image is the original, a representation of the Savior. The second image shows what it looked like after many years of degradation. The last image is what it looked like after a local attendee of the church decided that she wanted to fix the portions of the painting that had flaked off.

Consider the parable: Someone with a clear vision created the representation of the Savior through their gifts. Those who followed did not have the same gifts as the artist, and/or neglected the task of remembering and caring for what had been given. The world has a way of degrading things. As the pa…

New Book Released

The links for the free pdf and Amazon print copies are posted in the sidebar of the blog. For some reason (perhaps the number of pages, it is around 400), createspace will not let me sell this book exactly at print cost (createspace's printing fee + Amazon's listing fee). The lowest it will go gives me a $2 commission on each book, pre-tax. I give you that info in the spirit of full disclosure.

The pdf.

The print copy.

If you would like a print copy without paying shipping, or if you would like to hear a free talk, or if you would like to meet and greet some wonderful people, I invite you to attend the book launch talk this Friday.

The location of the venue is:
Daybreak Community Center
4544 Harvest Moon Dr, South Jordan, UT 84095
Room B (Upstairs)
December 11th (Friday)
5pm-7:30pm. Talk at 6.

Hope to see you there.