Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Signs of the Times

Last January 27 was witness to a macabre incident. In an episode worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, as the Pope’s entourage released two white doves, they were violently set upon by a black crow and a seagull, to the horror of onlookers.
Last Sunday, Pope Francis approached the window of the Apostolic Palace accompanied by a boy and a girl belonging to two different Roman parishes, but when the moment came for the traditional launch of the doves, balloons were released instead of the birds.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My one beef with the LDS church

I'm an active card-carrying Mormon. I don't criticize the Brethren. In public, I'm on board with the programs generally. Around the dinner table, in private company, I might have minor issues with various efforts, from the lesson manuals to the latest movie, Meet the Mormons. Anyone paying attention, who is fully engaged in the church will have some private concerns -- let's call them personals preferences -- where I might say, hey, I would have done that differently. That's private.

But here is one issue that I think is worthy of public notice:

41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.

 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

I read the scriptures in reverse order sometimes, which has a way of changing the emphasis.
You will recognize these verses above and below form 3 Nephi, chapter 11.


 39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

 35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Why are we not teaching this doctrine, my brethren? the doctrine of Christ?  Who in the church knows about the baptism of fire -- the second baptism?  

Answer: Almost no one.

This is my gospel; this is my doctrine. Any time you see those words, look around, in context, you will find words about the baptism of fire, or baptism by the Holy Ghost.
I have been quietly talking about this doctrine in quorums and classes for 15 years now, and find almost no recognition of its importance. How can this be?

The doctrine has been hidden in the index for years now under the heading: HOLY GHOST, BAPTISM OF.  That is where all the scriptural references are connected.  

Why do I think this is such a big deal?  Comprehend the doctrine in it's fullness, and you will understand. Receiving the baptism of fire is an essential step up Jacobs ladder.  There are other deeper doctrines; but none of these are we commanded to teach "unto the ends of the earth."  Again, why are we not teaching this doctrine?  

Milk first, of course; but then meat.    Where's the beef?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cartoon of Mohammed heard round the world

"Mohammed overwhelmed by Fundamentalists"

Yea, I'm pissed today, January 7, 2015, because fundamentalists murdered Frenchmen.  The reason I'm really pissed-off is rather complex -- here's the headline, though -- in my understanding of the future, these sons-of-dogs actually prevail for a time, and they destroy nations not a few.

How do I know? Again, it's complicated; but the simple answer is that I'm at least as good a prophet as Mohammed.  I can read, and I can think, and I understand Isaiah, and It is written.  I don't know the timing, exactly; if it's this jack-leg below, or a successor to the title arch-tyrant.  I just know that the movement becomes popular, and succeeds for a variety of complex reasons. 

And I'm not happy when I see the small beginnings of a monstrous role-reversal, wherein the West becomes subjugated. There is good news however; fortunes eventually leave this #@&*##$  without a burial place :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Science -- God on the Ropes?

A recent piece by liberal pundit Paul Rosenberg says that “God is on the Ropes,” thanks to a “brilliant new science” that has the “Christian right terrified.”

The theory has been advanced by a young MIT professor named Jeremy England. According to England, “under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.” In other words, life itself would be a product of evolution from simpler, non-living systems.

Look, this theory by England is as much nonsense as is the science that claims that computers can "model" the complexity of the interactions that predict the climate. Nonsense!  However, England will propose a theory that 97% of liberal-scientists accept.  The truth is that physics has never supported evolution, let alone the emergence of life.
Here is the rub -- its very simple, really. Statistics tell us that the flip of a coin is always a 50/50 proposition; every time. Therefore, a finite probability, however small, exists that you can get a billion heads in a row, if you flip an enough time.
But here's the problem. According to the physics, the more heads the more ordered the system. Increasing entropy (increasing order) is a barrier that prevents the emergence of highly ordered systems (unless an external force orders the system.)
A theory will emerge; and the theory will be so complicated that the common people will not be able to debunk the science; and verdict will be pronounced -- God is dead. And it will be nonsense. Entropy is King; no young scientist can wish it away.

  • Wednesday, December 31, 2014

    CO2 Helps Tropical Forest Grow Faster

    Tropical forests are growing faster than scientists thought due to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As emissions add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, forests worldwide are using it to grow faster.

    Dr Schimel and his colleagues, whose work is published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, used computer models, satellite images, data from forest plots and photosynthetic experiments to build up a picture of how forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.   

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2891432/Carbon-dioxide-emissions-help-tropical-rainforests-grow-faster-Study-shows-trees-absorb-greenhouse-gas-expected.html#ixzz3NV9333JR 
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    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    Racist America: An evolving conspiracy intended to incite civil unrest?

    I'm not typically focused on conspiracy theories; but this particular round "civil unrest" appears to include elements of the far-left, other wise known as Marxist-Leninists, etc.  Its out of vogue to call people communist these days; but I have to say that the dots are not difficult to connect, if you pay attention to the players and the crazy acquisitions about racist-america, etc.

    A recent posting at New America is very informative if you are willing to read, and think a bit:

    The same “news” organizations that invent a vast right-wing conspiracy of racists amongst Tea Party groups, have remained obstinately blind to the overwhelming influence of the Marxist-Leninists, Maoists, Trotskyists, and others of the far-Left in the escalating racial conflict. The same media outlets have also failed to mention the salient fact that many of the groups most actively involved on the front lines of the demonstrations and riots around the country, far from being genuine grassroots, are completely synthetic Astroturf, funded by the big tax-exempt foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Soros, et al) that have been funding revolution for decades. Most of these groups would not even exist, let alone be able to provide boots on the ground in Ferguson, without that steady transfusion of foundation funding. They can count on those funding transfusions to continue as long as they keep agitating for more federal intervention and control over local communities, as well as more United Nations intervention and control over the United States.
    That’s what the globalists at the big foundations have always been about: creating and exploiting crises to justify breaking down our constitutional separation of powers so that power can be concentrated and centralized, first at the national level and then at the global level.

    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"

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Climate change 'nothing but a lie'

    Climate change PROVED to be 'nothing but a lie', claims top meteorologist

    THE debate about climate change is finished - because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world's leading meteorologists has claimed. 

    climate-changeClimate change has been 'disproved' and polar ice is 'increasing' [ AP]
    John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible. 
    Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.
    In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: "The ocean is not rising significantly.
    "The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.
    "Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).
    "I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid."
    climate change global warming mythMan made climate change is a myth according to Coleman, inset [AP]
    I have studied climate change seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid 
    John Coleman, co-founder of the Weather Channel 
    Mr Coleman said he based many of his views on the findings of the NIPCC, a non-governmental international body of scientists aimed at offering an 'independent second opinion of the evidence reviewed by the IPCC.'
    He added: "There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future.
    "Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed.
    "There has been no warming over 18 years." 
    The IPCC argue their research shows that man-made global warming will lead to extreme weather events becoming more frequent and unpredictable.
    US News and World Report noted that many of the world’s largest businesses, including Coke, Pepsi, Walmart, Nestle, Mars, Monsanto, Kellogg, General Mills, Microsoft, and IBM, "are now engaged and actively responding to climate science and data."
    Mr Coleman's comments come as President Barack Obama came under fire from climatologists as federal data revealed The United State's energy-related carbon pollution rose 2.5 per cent despite the President's pledges to decrease it.
    President Obama told 120 world leaders at the United Nations climate summit last month that America had done more under his watch in cutting greenhouse gases than any other country.
    Despite this, the Energy Information Administration's Monthly Energy Review showed an increase in the use of energy from coal.
    World leaders have pledged to keep the global average temperature from rising two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.
    The US, along with the UK and other developed countries, is expected to pledge further actions on climate change early next year.
    Global warming climate change lieThere has been no recorded global warming for 18 years [GETTY]
    Climate expert William Happer, from Princeton University, supported Mr Coleman's claims.
    He added: "No chemical compound in the atmosphere has a worse reputation than CO2, thanks to the single-minded demonisation of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control and energy production.
    "The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science."
    In 2010 a high-level inquiry by the InterAcademy Council found there was "little evidence" to support the IPCC's claims about global warming.
    It also said the panel had purposely emphasised the negative impacts of climate change and made "substantive findings" based on little proof.

    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.

    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.  

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Obama Least Approved by Mormons; Popular with Muslim

    According to a Gallup poll released Friday that tracked responses for the first six months of 2014, 72 percent of Muslims said they approve of the president, compared with just 20 percent who disapprove.

    Mormons were the least approving religious group, with 18 percent of Mormons approving and 78 percent disapproving of the president. Mormons in the past have ranked as the most conservative major religious group in the U.S.  The survey underscores a religious divide when it comes to presidential approval — Obama is more popular among non-Christians and less popular among Christians.

    Those who classify as “Other non-Christian” gave the president a 59 percent approval rating, while Jewish Americans gave Obama a 55 percent approval rating and atheists or those who subscribe to no religion have a 54 percent approval rating.

    The survey was conducted January-June 2014 with a random sample of 88,801 adults from all 50 states

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/poll-obama-approval-muslims-highest-108797.html#ixzz37A3x2oiW