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Showing posts from July, 2023

How do I help someone accept the Book of Mormon as scripture?

I received an email from someone asking for help in helping a family member navigate a faith crisis. The family member was raised LDS, but has decided to abandon all LDS-only ideas as a result of the LDS leadership having been so wrong about COVID. The family member apparently takes issue with their impression that there is no archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. He asked: "Any suggestions on what I might do to help him accept the Book of Mormon as scripture?" Here is my reply: It sounds like he's told you that he has no reasons to believe it is true. So the solution would be to provide some reasons that it is true. It turns out there is plenty of archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, some of which is extremely strong. I personally wouldn't go down that path, because anyone honest enough to be persuaded by it will have already found it. It's not that hard to do. And this gets us to the point. Who cares if he thinks the Book of Mormon is true? So

Why is this a surprise?

Recently, someone wrote the following on YouTube: "When you talk about heaven, it’s like you’re talking about something completely unaccessible (by choice?) to the average Joe. How does one see heaven? Does it happen in deep meditation/prayer?" My reply was: "Heaven is a place, but its quality is not because of where it is so much as how the people there are. If you want to see it, there are no tricks or alternative paths except becoming more like the people there. The whole purpose of the gospel is to provide us with the means and motivation to become more like Jesus." Whether it applies to this particularly person's case or not, it always amazes me how regularly people are surprised by what are the most basic ideas in the gospel. It is apparent that a person can spend a lifetime talking about and living what they think the gospel is before actually coming to an understanding of the most preliminary ideas.[1] A common recurring theme among the particulars is th

Question on God's sense of humor

Q: [Does the Lord have a sense of humor? Can you tell me more about it so I can more fully live it as I teach the gospel to others?] A: The Lord does indeed have a sense of humor. Like everything about him, the description of his humor could easily fill many books. And, like every other facet of his character, the more that is revealed, the less good it would do to those who need it revealed to them through someone else. One thing that I believe is valuable for all to know is that the value of his laughter means so much more than anyone else's. You see, the burdens he has carried exceed all others, which makes every demonstration of his happiness worth so much more than the same in anyone else. This is like the value of a starving man giving away his food to another who is not yet starving compared to an opulent man giving away his food to one who is starving. Worlds apart. So many miss the demonstrations of holiness in our world because they are so blind to the relativity of thing

How long do you have to model something before it’s not a model anymore?

Someone asked me this in a YouTube comment. What an excellent question. I will answer it in long form in one of the books I'm working on. Here's a short answer by way of scripture references. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (Galatians 6:17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17) 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; 3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. (2 Corinthians 3, NRSV) 19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? 20 I say unto you, can ye think of be

Recommending connections

Recently, I was asked by a friend why I chose to recommend that people check out a YouTube channel that didn't seem coherent with my own. He then mentioned how a family member of his who he has connected with my material saw that recommendation, and is finding a lot of value in that channel. I was grateful that he answered his own question in a much better way that I could have. I have repeatedly tried to explain that the kingdom of God is hierarchical. Everything about creation is, because creation is a subset of God, and God is hierarchical, and everything he does is like him to a certain degree (all things testify of Christ). Part of the hierarchical nature of God is the hierarchical nature of truth. The structure is not just in its content, but also its delivery. While all servants of God are demonstrating Christ and not themselves,[1] they do this by being who they are. To the degree that we are not yet exactly like Christ, each of us will differ in what we feel, say, and do.

A comment on A. Gileadi's quote

A commenter on my YouTube channel responded to my video on "The Sound of Freedom" by writing the following. The comment We saw the movie on the 4th of July. Very powerful. I have been given the gift of discernment and can see the evil as it creeps and more recently sprinted into the world and lives of those we love. My husband and I have worked diligently to fortify ourselves against it and try to help others to do the same. It is so heartbreaking to see family members and friends that are so into the world while seemingly living the commandments.  Here is something that Avraham Gileadi has put out recently that is for sure to come soon.  “As the “bands of iniquity” tighten around those whose licentious lives, damning addictions, and appetites for power transform their spirits created in God’s image and likeness into “fiends of the infernal pit,” we may anticipate a repeat scenario in our day—or even another enactment of the kinds of conditions that led a mob with blackened f

Profile of a Prophet by Hugh B. Brown

From the published version of Hugh B. Brown's speech given at BYU October 4, 1955: "...the following characteristics should distinguish a man who claims to be a prophet. A. He will boldly claim that God [has] spoken to him. B. Any man so claiming would be a dignified man with a dignified message; no table-jumping, no whisperings from the dead, no clairvoyance, but an intelligent statement of truth. C. Any man claiming to be a prophet of God would declare his message without any fear and without making any weak concessions to public opinion. D. If he were speaking for God, he could not make concessions although what he taught would be new and contrary to the accepted teachings of the day. A prophet bears witness to what he has seen and heard and seldom tries to make a case by argument. His message and not himself is important. E. Such a man would speak in the name of the Lord, saying, 'Thus saith the Lord,' as did Moses, Joshua, and others. F. Such a man would predict f

The price of perfect contentment

I have found tremendous value in the adage that I am capable of doing the best I can imagine myself doing, but I find others are more often overwhelmed by it, as if the burdens of anxiety, depression, guilt, or regret are any lighter than the exhausted satisfaction of ending each day knowing you left nothing on the table. Jesus said, "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30) and I believe what he meant was that doing one's best all the time--which, in the ultimate, is living as the Ideal himself would in your place--is the easiest possible path when you honestly consider the cost of doing anything else. When you live this way, you stack up situation after situation where you have no shred of doubt that you did all you could, and you look forward with complete confidence to being able to say the same about your life as a whole. What is contentment, if not this? What price would not be worth such a gift? 28 Come to me, all those who are cumbered by the burd

Muslim Immigration: Stacking the deck to fulfill prophecy

On 2/3/16 I wrote: "I believe that we are about to see a fulfillment of the scriptures warning that a remnant of Jacob will tear up the Gentiles with none to deliver, in the form of Muslim immigrants wreaking havoc in Europe and the United States." I originally published the following post on 1/30/2017. I have republished it unmodified today as I watch thousands of Muslim immigrants burn and loot across France.  If I were rewriting this post, I would add several important ideas that I do not presently have the time to elaborate on. These would include: - The remnant of Jacob includes people from within every racial group. - The distinction between the genetic descendants of Abraham and the ideological descendants of Abraham.  These are important ideas that I will speak more about later, along with many other related points. To my friends in France, Europe, and the rest of the developed world: You did not heed the warnings I have given you on this topic since at least 2015. Yo

Easy collapse: A brief treatment of a very important aspect of complexity

Collapse isn't what you think it is People think of collapse in terms of a building collapse; a sudden, complete destruction of something. Societies are much more complicated than buildings. A building either successfully opposes gravity or it doesn’t. Society is composed of uncountable different segments of people and infrastructure. It doesn’t typically collapse all at once; Many disparate segments can struggle in many different ways, and many can be completely decimated without the whole system collapsing all at once. While the collapse of complex system always includes one or more sudden reductions to the efficacy of the system, such decreases are usually less than total. Complex collapse is not defined by sudden, total failure, but by cascading, permanent decrease in net benefit. Complex collapse is a long-term trend of reduction of metrics of importance. Complexity = Brittleness The more complex a system, the more sensitive it becomes to changes. The more complex a system, th