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Showing posts from December, 2022

Bringing you in on two quotes I find hilarious, and one I don't

Sometimes, people say things that seem like criticisms, but actually are affirmations. It always cracks me up, even though it's probably not funny to anyone else. "From another country writing a book in English" A really long time ago someone wrote this on an Amazon review of "Teaching for Doctrines," and it has stuck with me: "...he is hard to read and I think it is the way he puts his sentences together. It is like he is from another country writing a book in English." Exactly! I was born in Baltimore, and though I was raised speaking a dialect people do not recognize as proper English, it is in fact my first language.  However, I am vastly more fluent in the spirit than I am in English. I have spent much more time listening to and speaking that language. The spirit is a domain of ideas, and it is vastly more expansive than anything that can be conveyed in what we call words. It is so expansive that it can only be fully expressed by referring to proc

Getting lost in the glory of God

The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (Isaiah 50:4) I've gone through phases of how and why I wake up early. In my present phase, it is frequently the case that I get up because the Lord teaches me things through the night in my sleep, and I have somehow come to the point that when he teaches me something I recognize as particularly valuable, I force myself out of sleep with the message still on my mind. This morning, I woke up at 2am because he was using the analogy of an ambassador to a country to teach me about how information flows through his kingdom. It is very difficult to preserve these messages in useful form, because they are given in a form very different than what our bodies use, and they evaporate quickly. Typically, I will get one golden sentence per morning of sleep lost. And to me, that is more than worth

My policy for (not) corresponding with married women

I began my public ministry about ten years ago with this blog. Over the years, people have emailed me from time to time with questions and comments. Some of those people have been women. Almost all of those women were married women. While some of those conversations were obviously helpful and appropriate, there has been a surprising (to me) number of threads where, out of nowhere, the ladies involved attempted to take from a completely doctrinal conversation into something less appropriate.  I am officially done writing one-off emails indicating the following: - I have zero interest saying or doing anything that in any way detracts from your marriage. - I have zero interest developing friendships with married women. - I have zero interest in any married ladies leaving their husbands to come live with me or more. (Yes, this has happened more than a couple of times). - If you are a married woman needing a private conversation, you really, really need to speak with your husband, the Lord,

Join our livestream Sat Dec 31st, 10AM mountain time

This Saturday I'm going to try out a new format: a livestream with a guest. The guest is Todd McLaughlin, who has written and spoken on various gospel topics. Todd is a real pleasure to speak with, and I'm looking forward to it. We are going to try to guide the conversation around questions you submit, so you can either put them up as comments on this video or email them to me at upwardthought at gmail. You might also be able to submit them live during the stream. On that note, this will be an experiment with the tech we are using. YouTube has some funky provisions for this tool, so if for some reason you can't join the chat (or see the stream), it might be limited to subscribers. I didn't read the documentation very carefully. Anyway, I hope it is useful, and that Todd being there helps us keep roped in!

Principles, promiscuity, and polygamy

Culture and technology have combined to proliferate all the worst parts of human nature. The exhibit this post focuses on is the nexus of male lust and female hypergamy. Male lust: obvious. Female hypergamy: women prefer the same small group of high quality men. The modern situation pours gasoline over a fire by enabling these two groups to have sex with one another at frequencies not possible without shameless promiscuity, birth control, and antibiotics. This psychologist says 20% of women under 30 are living a polygamous lifestyle . What he means is that 20% of women under 30 have more than one sexual partner in a given year, and statistically speaking, these men are sleeping with more than two women per year. He focuses on the women because there are more women sleeping with men than the reverse, as has been well documented. I think his statistics are far too conservative. I have heard more firsthand accounts of body counts in the double and triple digits to make me sick for the res

Reflections on a now 3 year old video of prophesy

I'd much rather spend my time looking forward continuing to tell you what is going to happen next than looking behind and pointing out what already did. However, to make up for those who see but do not say, and to benefit those who do not see because they do not look: Do you remember  when I said  "governments will create children in artificial wombs and raise them outside of families"? Look. Also note on that slide "they will make certain medical decisions (like vaccines) mandatory)."  Also everything else in that presentation that has since happened (such as a "superflu from China"). If you can remember back three years ago, consider how far-fetched each one of these things seemed, note the few things that haven't happened yet, and act accordingly.

Different perspectives, different value

God weaves themes through my life at different periods, hitting me with different experiences to show me different facets about it. I can only presume he does the same with you. Here's an interesting vignette from the other day. I had just finished reading a thought evoking autobiography on a concentration camp survivor who remarked that upon the announcement of FDR's death shortly after liberation, the entire camp dropped to their knees in homage, it being the first death they acknowledged in the many they had seen in their time there. My wife, who was born and raised in South Africa, remarked at how shocked she was in recently learning about the grand conspiracy FDR arranged to ensure the Pearl Harbor attack inflicted sufficient damage to turn public opinion to join WWII. Isn't it interesting how some people can value a man so much as to bow the knee in reverence to him, while others can see him as a villain guilty of unbelievably heinous acts?  You may say that the diffe


The abortion issue plainly displays the depth of depravity in our present culture. It is shocking that such a large percentage of our population believes it is acceptable to murder a baby. It is fascinating that these people think that any of us who oppose them care what they have to think on any other issue. If you are ok with murdering the most innocent form of humanity there is, I am not interested in what you think is moral or immoral on any other topic. Let's briefly review the arguments they provide in support for their position. "Reproductive rights" We ought to strongly and publicly object to the absurdity of calling this "reproductive rights." We ought to accost those bold enough to speak lies to our faces with the truth. Let's be honest about what is being discussed here.  A woman's right to choose exists. It ends when she chooses to have sex. If abortionists cared about reproductive choices , they would stress them. They don't. They do not

Homeschooling: If you could but don't, you are harming your kids

The case of those who could but don't Sadly, there exist a significant number of cases where a husband earns enough money for the wife to homeschool, but she chooses not to. This ought not be the case. In struggling to make sense of this, I can only conclude that society provides enough smokescreen that parents who decide to intentionally harm their children can ignore the fact that they are doing so with minimal pain from cognitive dissonance. So let's bring this mystery out of the darkness. Consequences of not homeschooling -Percent not possessing inescapable ideologies that lead to misery. Here are a few: -You are unconditionally entitled to middle class wealth. -It is morally acceptable to steal the fruits of the labor of those who have earned it to give to those who have not. -That people are basically good, and any deviation from goodness is a result of environment. -Another way of putting this: any suffering is someone else's fault and has nothing to do with

A practical routine for helping children learn the scriptures

This seems to work well for kids >= 7 years. M-Saturday: - First thing in the morning, kids spend 30 minutes reading in the scriptures on their own, and 30 minutes reading as a family. Sundays: - For the first 5.5 hours of the day, kids eat two meals and spend about an hour doing chores, and spend the rest of the time sitting in the living room studying the scriptures with a parent watching them to make sure they aren't fooling around. - They are meant to focus on a question they are trying to find the answer to. For example: "what is meekness?" or "why did Jesus have to die?" They should answer the question in the form of an essay written for someone else. They should not only explain the answer, but attempt to persuade others to believe it. - After dinner on Sunday, as a family, review each child's question, read their answer, and discuss it as a family. You will be surprised to see how quickly the children chime in with scriptures and ideas that add to

A very easy and very effective way to spend more and better time with your children

Many parents today are fixated on bringing their resources to bear on the interests of their children. This isn't what God does. He tries very hard to persuade us to adopt his interests, because he knows that his interests yield far more joy than what we naturally desire. He calls us to take his purpose upon ourselves, and it is only when we do so that we encounter his full resources. Some parents make their purpose to satisfy the desires of their children. This doesn't achieve the purposes they seek in it, and just leads to misery. A better way is to first become a person worthy of emulation by taking upon yourself God's knowledge, motives, purpose, etc., and to do what you can to help your children to take upon themselves your knowledge, motives, purpose, etc. Minimize how much of your time you spend shuttling your kids off to spend time with others, and maximize how much of your time you spend with them yourself.  Don't succumb to the temptation to spend that time in

Helping your kids develop a vision for life

Teach your kids how everything of value in life is found in God. Teach them consecration: how we derive our purpose from God's purpose. When kids get around ten years old, this can take on more explicit forms. Around this age, you can show your kids how to lay out a life plan and how to focus their lives on a transcendent purpose. A template that seems to work well is to draw a triangle, and divide it into three sections. From top to bottom: vision, goals, means. A vision ought to be no more than a sentence and encapsulate what is most important to them. The goals are specific measurable achievements that define successful accomplishment of the vision. Means define you are going to do and how often in order to achieve your goals. When you catch them doing something that doesn't align with their vision, you can ask them to go read it and think about what they really want, and either change their behavior or their vision.

Q&A: "Is my occasional drink a sin?"

A YouTube visitor asked me this question. He said: Q: "...I have been LDS all my life. But since my true journey has begun to bring me towards Christ in earnest, I have felt it to be ok for me to have an occasional drink - usually as sort of a sacrament to mellow out my anxieties and think more on Him and spend time with His spirit…. This “about face” from my traditions has led to profound spiritual experiences. But then sometimes I begin to doubt because of my tradition which says “all drinking is a sin”….   But then I recall that Jesus’ first miracle was to share the “spirit of the occasion” with his loved ones at the wedding in Cana… Joseph Smith had an occasional drink until the day of his martyrdom…. I have had closer experiences with the Lord and with loved ones when taking part of a drink or your view, does my occasional drink most likely equal sin? Or is there a good chance that my occasional guilt about this stem from the traditions I’m still wrestling with?"

A general and obvious pattern: Are you paying attention yet?

22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not. 23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. 24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you;

Persecution for ever-smaller things

A very quick note: Recently, the lady who was famous way back when she was on "Full House" came back into the spotlight after decades of projects that very few people cared about when she became embroiled in an uproar for making a comment about her Christian faith. The comment? She said that in her role as the creative director for some channel only watched by a handful of people who already agree with her religion "will keep traditional marriage at the core." Suddenly, tons of people who had no dealings with her are acting as if their most intimate associate violently betrayed them. This woman's theology is about as offensive and radical as warm milk. On the topic at hand, she wrote: "All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone." She's not exactly leading the charge to live and procla

The silent famine

Why haven't you heard about the food shortages and increased famine? Simply because the news isn't reporting it. They are too busy with Ukraine and other issues.  According to the people who set metrics for this sort of thing, a famine isn't official until at least 2 people per 10,000 are dying per day. To put that into annualized perspective, that would be more than three times the rate killed by COVID in the first year of full exposure. Considering the coverage during COVID, and what they are reporting on now instead of this, that's a high threshold. A quick google reveals that the number of people suffering from hunger worldwide has roughly tripled since 2019. This in spite of more money being spent to feed the world's hungry than ever before. The UN budget for humanitarian aid has gone up 25% per year for several years running. While wealthy countries such as ours can cut back on the quantity or quality of what we eat,[1] or use debt to finance food, those in p

To all who donate to the Ugandan orphanage

Hi all, In the past I have promoted an orphanage in Uganda that has been supported from the states through an organization for this purpose called "The Future is Now," run by Ed Burdick. Long story short: Ed recently went on a trip to see how things were going there and found that the funds he was sending were not being spent the way it was being represented. He was kind enough to let me know, and I'm passing on the info. I'm not sure yet what Ed is going to do moving forward, but if you are donating to this organization, you might want to discontinue your support, at least for now. I am. Much could be said about human nature, the challenges of helping others, and especially of doing so at a distance. All of these topics are important to understand, think about, and learn from. The path to Zion will have many opportunities to give your all for another, only to see your giving treated as nothing (or worse) in return.  I know of a few who have given much for this organi

Whosoever shall put their trust in God

And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 36:3) And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me. (Alma 36:27) Trust in God. Trust him with all your heart and mind. Lean into him with all your strength. Let him lead you. Do not pull away your hand from his plow [1] or turn your eye away from his light [2]. The Lord's path for you will include sorrow and trials and afflictions more sore than anything you can imagine. He knows what he is doing, and the joy and peace that lie on the other side of the necessary process he wi

None calls for justice.

Instruction: And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; (Mosiah 18:8) Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. (Hebrews 13:3) 6 Is not this the fasting that I favor: to free those unjustly detained, to loosen the straps of the yoke, to release the oppressed into freedom, pulling off every yoke? 7 Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing into your home the homeless, clothing the one you see naked, not hiding yourself from your neighbor? 8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, your wound will quickly be healed; your vindication will precede you, the glory of Yhvh will be your rearguard. 9 Then when you call, Yhvh will answer; when you cry out he will say, ‘Here I