Monday, November 17, 2014

Zion Prospers, All is well?

Reading the lesson this week, the sections below came to my attention most specifically:  I particularly like to see this teaching of Joseph Fielding Smith emphasized in our day because there is a tendency to embrace the "Steven Robinson doctrine" about being on "the Lord's team," which is partly true, but mostly misses the key point that "salvation is an individual sport, not a team sport," (to quote DGT on this subject.)  

In my opinion, reading the fine-print in the contract (the scriptures) is more important in our day than blindly following the prophet (being on the prophet's team, so to speak.)  The difference is vey subtle; bottom line: look closely at the admonitions of a modern prophet below:  work out your OWN salvation, with fear and trembling. 

Where is the path that leads to salvation?  The LDS Church opens the door by teaching the fundamental principals, and by providing the (symbolic) ordinances of salvation. However, in the scriptures is where we find the details that must be worked through.  Yes, there are works to perform. For example, see 3 Nephi 11.  We can preach this much openly;  from the start through Baptism of Fire; not more, not less.  The path to salvation is not hidden; it's right there in the scriptures. The actual path is not delineated in the conference addresses; it's more secret than that; don't assume you have assured your own salvation until you have advanced up Jacob's ladder somewhat.  "No man is saved in ignorance." What does that mean?  

You know, its all good. I just think we have to be very careful to follow the details in the scriptures, not just "stay on the good ship Zion."   That won't do it for the individual. (I mean, it will, through time and eternity; but not in this mortal probation. Stay on the ship as a passive passenger, and eventually you will get there, worlds without end.) Stay on the Good Ship Zion -- all is well -- is a unfortunate paraphrase: "all is well in Zion, Zion propers."   


Joseph Fielding Smith, from the lesson manual:

"We should learn the obligation that we are under to the Lord and to each other; these things are essential, and we cannot prosper in spiritual things, we cannot grow in knowledge of the Lord or in wisdom, without devoting our thoughts and our efforts toward our own betterment, toward the increase of our own wisdom and knowledge in the things of the Lord. 13

Of course salvation and exaltation must come through the free will without coercion and by individual merit in order that righteous rewards may be given and proper punishment be meted out to the transgressor. 17

We believe it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can do, and that building upon the foundation of the atonement of Christ, all men must work out their salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord [see 2 Nephi 25:23Mormon 9:27].18

First, seek our own salvation; and, second, our duty to our fellow men. Now I take it that my first duty is, so far as I am individually concerned, to seek my own salvation. That is your individual duty first, and so with every member of this Church. 20"

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LDS Conference 2014; Saturday over Sunday

Precision. That's what I want. More precision in the use of language.  During the Saturday sessions, I found occasions to respond with a hardy "Amen" to a number of speakers, including elders Uchtdorf, Holland, and D. Todd Christofferson.   I heard inspired analogies that open our understanding, and wise council about personal responsibility, and bold teachings about our responsibilities to the poor and needy.  Great stuff. Amen, and Amen!

Sunday sessions I don't always find as inspiring.  Are the talks directed more to the masses of Sunday-going Mormons, and typically contain less "heavyosity?"  Maybe.

Issue #1:

Our leader have to start being more precise, or more correct about how they use words to describe sacred saving doctrines.  The discussion of the "sealing" ordinance have to be handled better. For example, it has become common knowledge -- among anyone who reads anything about doctrine -- that the temple sealing of husband and wife has to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.  The temple "sealer" recorded the names in the book of life, so to speak, but there is no actually sealing performed by the temple sealer, who I would call a "temple recorder." I would not make a big deal about calling sealers by revelation, etc.  Let us be more precise; otherwise, the misleading promises will come back to bite the church. Exaggerating the impact (power) of the sealing authority that is accomplished in the temple is problematic.  We have to disclose the fine print in the contract in D&C 132:7 or don't bring it up.
https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/holy-spirit-of-promise?lang=eng

Issue #2:

The church will never go astray.  In my opinion, that assertion is just not doctrinally correct, according to Isaiah and others of the "old" prophets.  Leaders teach what they believe. I don't think there is any intent to mislead the people.  Its just that, eventually -- not in Wilford Woodruff's day, and not today -- but eventually that message is probably not true.  The eventual apostasy is what it is; its recorded everywhere, and its still future.  There will come a falling away first; we all know that one; but we don't acknowledge that its clearly an end-times scenario. (In that day...) In a perfect world, our leaders wold have more "heavyosity," so that they don't contradict the sacred text. There's no need to tell everything. The stone cut out of the mountains without hands rolls forth.

However, I don't expect perfection in my leaders. I expect a great heart surgeon to be an expert with the knife -- but not necessarily an expert in understanding the deeper doctrines of the church.  Getting the called to serve in the highest quorums of the church does not automatically open one's understanding.  That's an individual thing; and much of what I heard during the Saturday session.

Note:  If you happen to be cognizant of recent events and opinions in the LDS-bloggisphere, then you may consider that many of the talks respond directly and indirectly to current events -- and the responses vary quite significantly, in my opinion; ranging from more personal responsibility to asserting lasting authority.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Solar Cycle 24 -- Decending


I have backed-off blogging on Global Warming and Climate Change.  From the graph above it is apparent that we are coming off another 11-year peak, which is lower than the previous two peaks:
Cycle 22 and Cycle 23.  The solar cycles move slowly.  If cycle-25 is lower -- in 11 or 12 years from now -- don't expect any Global Warming.  We are likely moving into a mini-ice age first.

For more details see the summary below:

 If history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.
Outlook  The increasingly likely outcome for an historically weak solar cycle continues the recent downward trend in sunspot cycle strength that began over twenty years ago during solar cycle 22. If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles, then there would likely be more talk of another “grand minimum” for the sun. Some solar scientists are already predicting that the next solar cycle, #25, will be even weaker than this current one. However, it is just too early for high confidence in these predictions since some solar scientists believe that the best predictor of future solar cycle strength involves activity at the sun’s poles during a solar minimum and the next solar minimum is still likely several years away.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Denver Snuffer -- Over the Top Criticism of Church Leaders

Boo, I have been thinking about your comments for a week now, considering the issues more carefully.  When I read Denver's blog-posts now -- since his excommunication -- there always seems to be a jab in there that is over the top -- and not exactly true; there's always one down right unfriendly accusation against the leadership of the LDS Church.  For example, from Denver's post on July 23, 2014.

"This is a personal message for one of the men on the High Council who advocated my excommunication. He is a friend."
"There are many good people in the LDS Church. There is also some considerable good done by the LDS Church. But when adulterers, liars, idolaters and the ignorant who preside in wards, stakes and areas of the church insist their personal unworthiness is excused because they are loyal to a priesthood line of authority, as we presently find in the church, then someone needs to proclaim faith in Christ and repentance. Even if only one voice will speak up, God will vindicate faith in Him in the end."
"The Great Whore will always outnumber the few who are Christ's sheep. But that cannot detract from Christ's affection for those who hear His voice and defend His religion."

Look, I have excused a lot of Denver's rhetoric as attorney-speak that is meant to be understood as hyperbole. But he continues to go to far. I can "feel" the hard-edge in his message. Denver is not Lehi. The Church is not the apostate priesthood in Lehi's day.  Yes, Jesus used harsh words against the leadership of his day: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." 

That's my point; the Church leadership is not full of "adulterers, liars, idolaters and the ignorant who preside in wards, stakes and areas of the church (who) insist their personal unworthiness is excused because they are loyal to a priesthood line of authority."  And maybe Denver would defend his statement by saying that he is only referring to the one or two bad apples. But his statement reads as a blanket accusation against the priesthood leadership, as if it the whole bunch comprise a den of thieves.

That's just not true, which makes the statement by Denver a lie. Sure, there are a few jerks that make it into church leadership; and that power goes to their head.  And there are a lot of leaders (a whole lot) who are not heavy in doctrine, and there are all kinds of complaints that can flow from that deficit.  I have (on more than occasionally, I suppose) had "the great big elders" speak to me in a condescending manner, when and because they really don't know what I'm talking about, because they know very little about the weightier matters of the kingdom. 

But Denver continues to go over top in his rhetoric, to the point that his accusations against the church amount to a pack of lies, not just hyperbole. As much as I appreciate a lot of Denver's message, I would have voted with "his friend" to recommend excommunication.  Why? Because of this juxtaposition: Read the late-great John Pontius, "The Triumph Zion," for example.  His message is as much or more Christ-focused, when compared to Denver's writings; and yet he characterizes the Church as preaching "the preparatory gospel."   According to Nibley, "we are free to go as far as we want."  

That's how I see the church presently. There is nothing holding a person back -- from pursuing "the fullness" of the promises and blessing that Joseph restored.  Just keep your mouth shut in public forums.  As to the future, that's a different matter.  

Yes, I have to repent, because I did walk out of HP Quorum last week after someone said, "can't we just keep to the basic everyday stuff." And that is a problem, because eventually there isn't anyone left-standing in leadership positions who has read "The Words Of Joseph Smith" for example. 

Where's the beef?  "Milk before meat, but meat...  (see Robert Millet on this subject.)

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age"—or in other words are mature—"even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

"I think I would be correct in suggesting that the institutional Church is not responsible to teach very much meat; the Church teaches largely the milk of the gospel. Thus, it's foolish for members of the Church to become either disenchanted or discouraged because they aren't hearing deep doctrine preached in sacrament meeting or receiving new historical or doctrinal truth in Sunday School each week. The Church is, in many ways, like a university, a place where a person should learn to learn. We need not find fault with the Church if things are too simply presented or if matters seem repetitious. The gaining of meat becomes an individual responsibility, a personal quest. "God's earthly kingdom is a school in which his saints learn the doctrines of salvation. Some members of the Church are being taught elementary courses; others are approaching graduation and can do independent research where the deep and hidden things are concerned. All must learn line upon line and precept upon precept."  

D&C 19:22 For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.  (what things?) 

In conclusion though, regarding Denver, according to my "feeling" about his words -- I feel that Denver has gone over the top (too many time) in his rants against church leadership, based on the claim that he is the real thing, and the leader are a pack of wolves in sheep clothing.

The thing is, Denver is not the only voice crying in the wilderness. For example, from within the Church, even Bruce McConkie, in his last book, "A New Witness for the Articles of Faith" is hard on the priesthood from not pursuing the fullness, etc.  See his chapter on Personal Revelation, which is rather amazing.  Unfortunately, no one in the Church has read that book; nor have we read Nibley and taken his message seriously.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Polar Vortex -- Arrives in July?


The summer-time version of the Polar Vortex is about to arrive next week, bringing unusually cold air to the Great Lakes and much of central North America.

Many of the cold weather outbreaks this past winter were attributed to something called a Polar Vortex. This is where a flow pattern establishes in the upper atmosphere that draws cold arctic air down across the Canadian Prairies and down into the American mid-west and the Great Lakes region. 

When you average the temperatures we have seen for the first 9 days of July we are already 3°C below normal. Adding on this upcoming cold outbreak will likely cause the entire month to end up below average. This would mean that six of the first seven months of 2014 have brought below normal temperatures in Northern Ontario - with only June being near normal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Greenpeace Founder -- Warmer Temperature Far Better


‘Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species…It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.’

Dr. Patrick Moore, a pioneer environmental activist and co-founder of Greenpeace. Dr. Moore, who led some of Greenpeace’s most famous direct action campaigns against whaling and seal hunts, is the author of Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. Moore told the conference he left Greenpeace when it “went anti-human.” Greenpeace, as well as much of the rest of the radical environmental establishment, he notes, regard humans not as part of the environment, but as enemies of the environment. Greenpeace claims to be for “renewables,” Moore pointed out, “but it is against the two best renewables: hydropower and trees.”

‘The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming…When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.’


Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Southern Sea-Ice Record


Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, responded to e-mail questions and also spoke by telephone about the new record sea ice growth in the Southern Hemisphere, indicating that, somewhat counter-intuitively, the sea ice growth was specifically due to global warming.

The new record is 2.112 million square kilometers above normal. Until the weekend just past, the previous record had been 1.840 million square kilometers above normal, a mark hit on December 20, 2007.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

CO2 Follows the Global Temperature


CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is an indicator that follows global temperature.
CO2 does not lead -- CO2 follows -- Look at the ice core data!

Below please see the link which shows conclusively -- from ice core data over geologic time -- that CO2 follows the global temperature.  This short presentation proves that Obama and the climate destruction herd are telling a huge lie.  Not a mistake, or a disagreement, or a misunderstanding.

Its all propaganda; and it makes me both sad and mad that seemingly nice people are willing to perpetrate such an untruth.

http://globalweatherlogistics.com/seaiceforecasting/gfs.850mb.temps.arctic.html


The link below is even more compelling if you can sit still for a few more minutes;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq4Bc2WCsdE&feature=em-share_video_user

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Respected Scientists Forced to Conform on Climate Change


News that Lennart Bengtsson, the respected former director of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, had joined the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), sent shockwaves through the climate research community. GWPF is most notable for its skepticism about climate change and its efforts to undermine the position of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The tremors his decision sent through the scientific community shocked Bengtsson.

Bengtsson said colleagues placed so much pressure on him after joining GWPF that he withdrew from the group out of fear for his own health.  Bengtsson insists that even close colleagues shunned him. He says that one research partner, apparently fearing damage to his reputation, withdrew from a study they had been conducting together. Bengtsson added no further details other than to state that the incident had been hurtful.

In February, Bengtsson weathered a significant setback. The scientific journal Environmental Research Letters declined to publish a study he had authored predicting a milder greenhouse effect. Peer reviewers described the report's findings as "less than helpful" and added, "actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of 'errors' and worse from the climate-skeptic media side."

Climate researchers are now engaged in a debate about whether their science is being crippled by a compulsion to conform. They wonder if pressure to reach a consensus is too great. They ask if criticism is being suppressed. No less is at stake than the credibility of research evidence for climate change and the very question of whether climate research is still reliable.

Bengtsson said in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE that he wanted to open up the climate change debate by joining GWPF. He said that in view of large gaps in knowledge, the pressure to reach a consensus in climate research "does not make sense".

Heinrich Miller of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research says, "I find the way his colleagues reacted shocking. Apparently there is now pervasive disappointment because a shining scientific example is making his scientific doubts public," he says. Miller adds that the Bengtsson case reminds him when politicians use "dirty tricks" to muzzle opponents.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mormon Women & The Priesthood


My wife/queen gave me the link to the monograph by D. Michael Quinn that makes the case for women of Mormondom having had the Priesthood since 1843.  He makes a compelling argument that others have used to suggest that the Church adopt this stance and publish it abroad to resolve the issue with the women who are most recently agitating for priesthood authority.

http://signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=1171

So I've been thinking...., if I was in charge, how would I do it?

I think that when a man is called to serve as a Stake President or as a Bishop, he is being trained (and tested) to serve as a righteous King; he is being trained to serve in the similitude of God's form of Government.  Therefore, it makes sense to me that a woman, likewise, should be instructed to serve as a righteous Queen in similitude of the highest order of the Priesthood, wherein a King & Priest is not without the Queen & Priestess. As Stake President, I would want to invite my wife to sit on the stand with me to preside in my kingdom; and, as convenient to her needs, to serve in decision making responsibilities, as we share in the family sphere.


As I have said elsewhere, women have the authority to use the priesthood to climb Jacob's ladder and enter the presence of the Lord -- one of the great purposes for which the Priesthood is employed.

The fact that women don't hold the authority to manage the affairs of the Corporate Church in this world -- I don't think is so much of an issue.  In the "real world," well above and beyond this Telestial kingdom, we may find that the women are in many regards in higher authority than the men. Mother Eve ranks far far above me now, and I have no trouble acquiescing to her power and wisdom and authority.

We are participants in an eternal drama that is played out in a never ending cycle; the sets include world's without number. We play different roles at different times, as we progress through time and through eternity, cycling between these two states of being.  Maybe the women rule in eternity, and the men in time.

Yes, in my world-view, I would give women more power and authority; but I would do it in the context of teaching the higher doctrine; the King and the Queen must learn to rule a kingdom in righteousness, and look ahead to both time and eternity; both are required to perfect our powers and dominion.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why?


Why do bad (terrible, horrible, awful) things happen to good people?

First, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book, "Corelli's Mandolin," and then I burned it. Yes. I burned it -- as a symbol of my disagreement with the author's premise that bad things happen randomly, inexplicably, without reason, and without purpose.

My dear sister Sharon gave me that book, and I still appreciate the gift; as I said, I enjoyed reading it, and I enjoyed burning it, which I did with passion because the author was so powerful in planting the seed; like the movie "Inception," the idea itself, once implanted can grow to faith-killing magnitude.  Ideas have power, as words have power.  I have to disagree strongly with the idea that our lives are randomly ordered.  In college, my dear sister Diane gave me the book "Candid" as a quick-read on my must-read list.  The premise is the random nature of misfortune and the assertion that redemption is not found in suffering -- this is not the best possible world.


I have been considering this issue for a lifetime now;  observing, and testing, and weighing the evidence. In due corse of time, I have come to personally observe the intelligence that infuses this life, the materials and all the working thereof. Moreover, I have seen order put into my life's course. "Aye, there's the rub."  Do you see the workings of an unseen hand? Or do you deny the workings of that unseen hand.  That is the crux of the matter, because of the implications: if an intelligent power (the Fathers) can and do intervene, then the election to not intervene is a type of approval.  (Or maybe God was just busy somewhere else when that bad thing happened. Maybe God intervenes randomly.)

I don't say that its easy to convince someone that the unseen hand of God is present, even in terrible occurrences.  One can't get there easily with reason alone. Reason gave us Voltaire and Candid. Louis de Bernieres is telling the same story in "Corelli's Mandolin."  Suffering is all for naught.

However, in my opinion, understanding of the nature, character, and personality of God is the best way to understand why God lets bad things happen to good people. Its God's nature to help us progress.  There are cleansing and enlightening effects upon good people when the bad thing happens to them.  Listen to the testimony of people who have survived terrible-horrible experiences.  Enlightenment is achieved through suffering.

And that's why I conclude that God not only allows bad things to happen -- through enabling freewill -- he approves, for our personal benefit.  Synergism is a secret of God's intelligence; its fitting the hand in the glove; the yen and the yang fit together.

Voltaire asserts that there is no big picture; the big picture, where pain is balanced out by progress, is said to be a fiction of Christendom -- the cloud has no silver lining.

Contrary to that view, every particle of my being stands to disagree with that dangerous idea that has been aggressively inserted into our culture -- that there is no Devine plan, for you or for humanity in general.  No. I see the unseen hand, even when disaster is visited on good people.
Terrible adversity enables those people to enter an exclusive circle; the circle of those who have suffered.

This is not the best possible world; certainly not for experiencing uninterrupted happiness. To sojourn here is to pass through a veil of tears.  But its the best possible world for gaining wisdom, for pursuing personal progression.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Story of Rick Meyers -- The Mighty Change


I don't know where Brother Meyers is now; I last ran into to him up in Hobble Creek, Utah, where he and his wife Alma were busy doing good, as has been their habit, especially after Rick experienced the Mighty Change.  Like the Book of Mormon characters, his father prayed and fasted for his son to come back into full activity in the Church; in response to a humble father with the power faith in his reach, the Lord reached out to immerse his son in that heavenly element, and he was thereby Born of the Spirit, cleansed as if by fire.

The details are not mine to give. But I can speak to the results. Brother Meyers was legendary in his Church service. For example, I served with him in the young mens program. Everything we did with Brother Meyers was top notch; as good as modest means could get.  And then, there was always something extra, because Brother Meyers always put some skin in the game; he always added something extra -- frequently covering the expense -- to make the experience the best ever. That was the result. The young men had the best experiences ever.

However, Brother Meyers actually slept through some of the best experiences. Part of his wisdom was to know when to put in the ear-plugs and let the campfire burn low, and young men were allowed to stay up late into the night.  Meyers is out there somewhere now, busy doing good -- all in, holding back nothing to make the experience the best ever -- partly as a result of a spitural conversion instigated by the power and petitions of a faithful father.

So Rick knew something happened to him; unlike the Lamanites, who were Baptized by Fire and they knew it not, Brother Meyers gave me a monograph written by a man telling about his Born Again experience, which he calls the "Mighty Change," also known as sactification; the story is written anonymously to discourage personal attention.

Now, remember that I was -- at this very time -- studying the path to the second comforter, and looking very specifically at the confusing terms surrounding the "Baptism of Fire" experience.

The book provided by Meyers was a good catalyst for me, as I read it very carefully, and found some new information, some agrees, and some disagrees.  And it caused me to go back over the LDS sources, to look more closely, to understand which terms were synonyms, and to find out what was really going on. I was looking for the specific path and the milestones necessarily accomplished before entering into the Lord's presence.


In the course of studying and praying, while in my office in Irvine, California, I had the experience of becoming immersed in spirit.  See my post -- Holy Ghost, Baptism of.