Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Holiness has Qualia

October 31st, 2017 by G.

Holiness to the LORD (Typography) | Helaman Gallery

Holiness is not just the act or state of doing and being what is right. That description bears the same relationship to holiness as the wavelength 450-495 nm has to the color blue. It is the material description of it and it is useful for understanding how to generate holiness and it is useful for cutting through a lot of cant about what is and is not holiness. (In this manner, love is not just willing the good of another, although that is the material description of it and useful in the same way). But holiness has qualia. Holiness is an experience. Holiness can be perceptible and overwhelming. I know of no other experience that is as life-changing. (more…)

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October 31st, 2017 07:30:19

Faith

October 31st, 2017 by G.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Elliott

I am beginning to think that in all my recent work on natural prayer and prayer in action and revelation on the move I have managed to rediscover FAITH.

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October 31st, 2017 07:15:42

Memorandum

October 30th, 2017 by Vader

An oldie, but goodie, which I was reminded of today.

The punch line is, as always, at the end.

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October 30th, 2017 12:55:06

Revelation on the Move

October 30th, 2017 by G.

It is no coincidence that we were recently inspired to muse on “prayer by action” (action as a form of prayer for revelation) in advance of my Bishop’s 3rd-hour, 5th-Sunday message today. (more…)

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October 30th, 2017 06:36:13

The Spirit and Walter Mitty

October 30th, 2017 by G.

We daydreamers spend our time imagining everything from vast empires to snappy little pieces of dialogue. The only common theme is the heroic narrative, usually with ourselves in the role of hero.

We daydreamers sometimes get inspiration through our daydreams. Not that our cloudland heroic narratives are inspired, but that the Spirit blends itself into our thoughts and for some of us daydreams are what we are thinking.

On Sunday my daughter took a sacrament cup from the tray and promptly jerked it right onto her dress. While she was taking another, I daydreamed a Catholic friend, shocked, hissing “You spill Christ’s blood?” And me instantly responding, with Walter Mitty hardbitten worldweariness–but still inspired, still true!– “We’ll all spill His blood worse than that before the day is through.”

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October 30th, 2017 05:58:01

In the Synoguard of the Saints

October 30th, 2017 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

It was the Sunday for the children’s program. I spent a good deal a time contemplating my children up their on the stand. It is an eerie experience, to suddenly see the old people that your children will be. Hopefully I live to love them when they reach old age, but if not, I already know that I will have affection for them. (more…)

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October 30th, 2017 05:48:25

The Singing Wasn’t the Same

October 27th, 2017 by John Mansfield

Four years ago when internet streaming of the general priesthood meeting was announced, I wrote a short post with the title “The Singing Won’t be the Same.” It looks like it wasn’t. The latest turn for that meeting leaves me feeling defeated. Reduce and simplify the demands on members and leaders, because we just aren’t up to gathering twice a year anymore. It’s too much for us and of too little value.

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October 27th, 2017 21:32:07

Nephi Plays Chicken and Throws away the Wheel

October 27th, 2017 by G.

Based on his own account, Nephi starts off pretty bullheaded and maybe even arrogant.  (I will look to see if his character changes as the history goes on).  That may just have been the way he was.  I do not believe he realizes it.

Nephi’s first entrance into salvation history is the trip he and his brothers took to get the brass plates.  His older brother properly  made the first attempt but it went bad.  Laban turned out to be murderous (why? the plates were probably a prestige item, but in a region where land ownership was hereditary in family lines based on documentation in the scriptures, a reliable copy of the scriptures may have given its owner lots of opportunities for real estate plays).  Laman and Lemuel decide to give up.

Nephi tries to talk them out of it.

(more…)

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October 27th, 2017 06:26:35

Prayer as Two-way Conversation.

October 26th, 2017 by Bookslinger

G’s post on Natural Prayer, or what might be termed  “prayer by action,” led me to these thoughts. 

Lessons and talks in church tend to focus on the burning-in-the-bosom vs stupor-of-thought type of answers in regards to petitioning with yes/no propositions as described in DC 9:8-9. That, along with the good thing/bad thing judgement in Moroni 7:12-17, might be descibed as “Revelation 101” or “Holy Ghost 101”.  It is the starting point when we initiate a petition or seek to know the Lord’s will.

But if ideas, pictures and words can come to us via unbidden promptings and whisperings of the Spirit, could they not come to us during prayer? (more…)

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October 26th, 2017 19:47:37

Ay Yi Yi

October 26th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

Census data: People who “do not speak English at home”

Nationally: 21.6%
Texas: 35.6%
California: 44.6%

The famously extremely and indissolubly American Puerto Rico is at 94%.

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October 26th, 2017 19:24:21

Corporate Virtues

October 26th, 2017 by G.

There are some virtues that are not individual. The virtue is a product.

When we talk about corporate virtues, we usually mean the qualities that an institution displays. Its “core values,” except the real ones, not the brainstormed ones from the managers’ meeting.

But real corporate values are the ones that take a group of people to live them.

The insight that some values require a virtuous community makes sense of much of the Restoration. (more…)

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October 26th, 2017 10:17:12

Your Prayers don’t get Answered until You Need Them Answered

October 26th, 2017 by G.

God usually waits until you are in trouble to answer your prayers. God does not give you an answer until you need the answer.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

(more…)

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October 26th, 2017 07:02:08

Natural Prayer

October 25th, 2017 by G.

Image result for lehi vision

God answers our prayers in many ways.  Yes, no, maybe, wait . . . and sometimes He answers through the natural world.  If you pray to find keys and you sit down to think and sit on your keys, you have had your answer.  On a more high-falutin’ plain, they call this “natural revelation.”  God’s will and plan as expressed through the world he has created.  This could be his specific will for a person or group as expressed through homely events like the sitting on the keys, or through the rise and fall of nations.  It can also be his general will as expressed through natural laws.  The existence of limits, consequences for choice, and suffering all point to aspects of God’s plan and have to be incorporated into any understanding of agency and growth.

We also pray in many ways.  There is such a thing as natural prayer.  What we do expresses our desires to God  just as much as formulating those desires does.  What we do is also a petition.

(more…)

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October 25th, 2017 06:04:30

The Doctrine of the Family, and the Family

October 24th, 2017 by G.

Put out chairs for a good palaver on the doctrine of the family and you’ll find me there with my feet up, settling in for a good long stretch.  But understanding why families work is less important than having a working family. (more…)

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October 24th, 2017 07:30:58

What is virtue? Jesus versus Lucifer

October 24th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

Following on from a previous post by G and Vader’s discussions of freedom, and from the passage in Moses on God’s choice between Jesus and Lucifer (in The Pearl of Great Price); it strikes me that this event may be about the nature of virtue – that is, about the definition of what it is to be Good.

When Lucifer asked to become The Christ, he promised to ‘redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost’. Since agency (free will) is intrinsic to Men, and could not be removed by Lucifer – this amounts to a redefinition of what it is to be Good and what is necessary to be saved. Only by such a redefinition of what is needed for salvation could Lucifer deliver on his promise.

In short, I think Lucifer is proposing that a Man’s virtue should (in future) be judged by actions, and not by motivation. Because actions can, in principle, be controlled (by a sufficiently effective totalitarian regime) then Life could be engineered such that all Men are (by this definition) Good, hence all Men could be saved.

By contrast, my understanding of the Gospels is that Jesus emphasises motivations as being primary; indeed repentance is based upon this. While actions are also important, ultimately motivations carry-the-day – and Jesus’s repeated fulminations against Pharisees and the like make clear that actions regarded as intrinsically-good without proper motivations are abhorrent.

Perhaps this, then, was the beginning and basis of the spiritual warfare which still continues?

Because, in this world, and since Jesus – there has been dispute between the party of Jesus who regard motivation as primary and stress repentance as the essence of Christianity; and the party of Lucifer (quite often active within Christian Churches, but absolutely dominant in mainstream modern secularism) who measure goodness essetially in terms of ‘good’-actions; and are happy to use ‘whatever means necessary’ to ensure that people always do what is defined as good (and only do what is defined as good).

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October 24th, 2017 05:15:58