Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Gold and earthly treasures.
These are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves.

Light the World

Since a new star first appeared above Bethlehem, Christmas has been a season of light, reminding us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Together, we can celebrate His birth by making the world a brighter place. All we have to do is follow Him—His life, His example, and His teachings. In doing so, we can help #LIGHTtheWORLD.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Go, and Sin No More

The scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus, not because they cared about the law, but because they wished to trap him into consenting to stoning her.
But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Gloat? Not much.

People have said that they expect me to *GLOAT*.  I'm not sure what they mean.

But I would not want anyone to be disappointed.

Will this serve?

How about this one?  A classy reminder of how some people fulfill their "GLOAT" quota.

Or maybe this one...

I have not felt to tell anyone, "Get Over It".


Actually, I really didn't do much of anything.  Certainly nothing from which I feel to derive any particular degree of pride or satisfaction.

I don't like the "President Elect" all that much.  But I like the "Unelect" even less.  I'm pleased that she lost.  It is inherent in the competitive nature of political election that someone wins and someone loses.  Sorry if that hurts anyone's sensitive feelings.

If nothing that is happening in current events serves anything but my relative degree of antipathy, why would anyone expect gloating?

If anything, I would wish to characterize my feelings in the terms written by my Church leaders.

We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to join us in praying for the president-elect, for his new administration, and for elected leaders across the nation and the world. Praying for those in public office is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints. The men and women who lead our nations and communities need our prayers as they govern in these difficult and turbulent times.  (Letter from LDS Church Leaders)

And I have to add.  The apparent public perception of the relative import of this election seems to be amplified beyond measure.  For my own feelings, I measure the relative importance of the outcome of this particular election pretty much the same as the last few.


Not much.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Last Minute Endorsement

I am coming out with my endorsement for the 2016 Presidential campaigns.

Hope for a cataclysmic Giant Meteor.  Or any natural disaster that shakes the people of America to their senses.  The only responsible thing left to do.  Nothing about the current madhouse election makes any sense.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Make America Great Again

This inspiring slogan obviously does not inspire some who happen to live here. Some are determined to make themselves and everyone else as unhappy as they are about most everything. Perhaps because these unhappy people always seem more inclined to dispute that America was all that great in the first place.  This is an odd posture to adapt - it appears to me to compromise the very things that gave this country greatness in the first place.

I am proud to be an American.  Not necessarily because our history looks back on a perfect story.  But because we look up to the ideals that lifted us up historically, and gave us the will to look forward, to go on.  In spite of the challenges.  In spite of our imperfections.  My ancestors handed me an incredible inheritance, a place where opportunity was literally only limited by our own imagination.

Have we always been perfect?  No, that was never the promise.  Any who demand a record without blemish will need to look elsewhere, because it is not to be found here.  We all have our own imperfections.  But with the determination of our forefathers, the ideal is still within our vision.  And within our reach.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Abortion is Murder

In this era of shrill political sound-bites, there is one clear unequivocal standard that stands out, for those who profess to be faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). The Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience. Members must not submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion...
Church members who submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion may be subject to Church discipline. (Handbook 2)
I cannot in clear conscience support or promote any political candidate, group, party, or individual who embraces anything but a "pro-life" policy.  This is one of those issues where the weight of moral considerations far transcend any political policy.  Those who choose to tolerate abortion have all kinds of philosophical arguments and rationale that twist this ideal, but can't make this unequivocal statement disappear.  They may wish to ignore this in the interest of catering to popular ideas, but ultimately cannot.  Those who willfully violate this principle do so at their own peril.  Those who choose to ignore this principle in the current Presidential campaign are consenting to condemn entire generations to a bloody and horrifying death.

Abortion is murder.  This principle stands.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hillary Supporters

I don't feel very much engaged in the political scene today.  But I would hope that a better candidate than this will become President of the United States.  I suspect my own poor health is comparable.  If Hillary gets elected, I have no confidence that she would even serve a full term.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Specific and Contemporary: LDS Church Counsel

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued letters stating specific policy regarding support for two popular legislative measures from different areas in the US.

LDS Church leaders sent letters to members in Colorado expressing opposition to legalizing assisted suicide, as in Colorado Proposition 106.

Letters were also sent to Church members in California, Arizona, and Nevada encouraging them to oppose legislative measures which would legalize marijuana use.

"The church maintains a firm belief in the sanctity of human life," the First Presidency letter said, "and opposes deliberately taking the life of a person even when the person may be suffering from an incurable condition or disease. Life is a sacred gift and should be cherished even in difficult circumstances."

"While the church opposes physician-assisted suicide, members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life through means that are unreasonable. Decisions in such cases are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance through fasting and prayer."

A growing number of scientific studies show that marijuana use disrupts brain development, according a review of the literature published by the American Psychological Association. Findings suggest structural and functional brain changes, and one decades-long longitudinal study showed an average loss of six IQ points among persistent users, similar to damage from exposure to lead.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Make Up Your Mind...

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  (1 Kings 18:21)

Sometimes we appear to be enslaved by fads and trends in society. Some are good. Some are silly but harmless. Others can be detrimental to our physical or spiritual health.

Our response to critical views can cause us to compromise our values.  In order of ascending concern the critics causing these troubles are (1) nonmembers, (2) former members, and (3) current members.

In the face of such critics,  members would be well advised to relax, lighten up, mellow out, and not get so huffy. While the gospel is sacred and serious, sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously.  Many of our critics obviously do.  A sense of humor, especially about ourselves, is an attribute worthy of development.

Criticism always hurts most when we deserve it.

We would eliminate the most painful criticism from responsible nonmembers by simply internalizing and living what the Church teaches.

In addition to attacking our sacred beliefs, some former members speak evil of the Brethren. Joseph Smith received his share of this criticism from the dissidents of his day. The Lord’s revelation to him is applicable to us today:
Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.
But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves. (D&C 121:16–17)
One activity which often leads a member to be critical is engaging in inappropriate intellectualism. While it would seem the search for and discovery of truth should be the goal of all Latter-day Saints, it appears some get more satisfaction from trying to discover new uncertainties.  Indeed, airing your doubts has become somewhat of a cause celebre with many.

Elder Faust describes this type of intellectual as “a person who continues to chase after a bus even after he has caught it.” We invite everyone to get on the bus before it’s out of sight and you are left forever trying to figure out the infinite with a finite mind.  (Adapted from Glen L. Pace General Conference address, "Follow the Prophet")