Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Neil Maxwell on Women

November 21st, 2017 by G.

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November 21st, 2017 06:53:37

Identity Needed

November 07th, 2017 by G.

I want to direct my remarks today to just a portion of this vast congregation. I want to speak to you who bear the great and noble titles of husband and father. I find myself greatly concerned with what I see around me. Man, woman, young adult, youth, and child—all groping to find their identity in a troubled world.

 

-thus L. Tom Perry

No one knows who they are.  Everybody is looking for an identity. (more…)

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November 07th, 2017 06:49:58

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

A Pentecost Story from Modern Church History

October 17th, 2017 by G.

From Brother Grant W. Bangerter.  You will want to read this.

I have in mind a special moment in Church history which has a great bearing on our testimonies and on the progress of the gospel. I hope that it has been duly recorded by those who keep the history. I refer to what happened on the 4th of April, 1974.

The story really begins on the 26th of December, 1973. President Harold B. Lee passed away suddenly on that day. His death was completely unexpected. It is necessary to remember that over a period of twenty-five years, members of the Church had awaited the time when Harold B. Lee would become the president. There had been every reason to think that this would eventually happen, due to his relative youthfulness and because he occupied a position in seniority following Joseph Fielding Smith and David O. McKay, both of whom were of advanced age. In addition, Harold B. Lee had gained more than average prominence. His leadership in the welfare and priesthood programs of the Church, his forceful nature, and his sound judgment had made him one of the apostles most listened to and one whose influence and advice were most respected. He had an evident spiritual stature which commended him to the members of the Church as one of the great men of our time. He possessed an unusual ability to relate as a personal friend to countless people. It was expected that when he became president he would preside for twenty years or more.

Suddenly he was gone!—called elsewhere after only 1 1/2 years. It was the first time since the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith when the president had died before it was time for him to die. In deep sorrow and concern the surging questions arose in the minds of the people, much as they did at the time when Joseph Smith was killed in Carthage, Illinois. “What will we do now? How can we carry on without the prophet? Our great leader has gone. Can the Church survive this emergency?”

Of course we knew that the Church would survive, but it could not possibly be the same. We had never expected Spencer W. Kimball to become the president, and we had not looked to him for the same leadership evident in the life of Harold B. Lee. We knew, of course, that he would manage somehow, until the next great leader arose, but it would not be easy for him, and things would not be the same. “O Lord,” we prayed, “please bless President Kimball. He needs all the help you can give him.” Such seemed to be the attitude in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints during those days of mourning.

We return to the 4th of April, 1974. There were gathered that morning in the Church Office Building, all of the General Authorities as well as the Regional Representatives and other leaders from around the world. We were to be instructed once again, as we had been periodically during the past seven years. On each preceding occasion Harold B. Lee had given us our direction and sounded the trump of leadership. Now he was no longer there, and we all felt his absence deeply. Again came the questions: “How can we proceed without our great leader?” “How can President Kimball fill the empty space?” And again the prayers went forth: “Please bless President Kimball.”

The moment came when President Kimball arose to address the assembled leadership. He noted that he also had never expected to occupy this position and that he missed President Lee equally with the rest of us. Then he reviewed much of the instruction which President Lee had given over the past years, and our prayers in behalf of President Kimball continued.

As he proceeded with his address, however, he had not spoken very long when a new awareness seemed suddenly to fall on the congregation. We became alert to an astonishing spiritual presence, and we realized that we were listening to something unusual, powerful, different from any of our previous meetings. It was as if, spiritually speaking, our hair began to stand on end. Our minds were suddenly vibrant and marveling at the transcendent message that was coming to our ears. With a new perceptiveness we realized that President Kimball was opening spiritual windows and beckoning to us to come and gaze with him on the plans of eternity. It was as if he were drawing back the curtains which covered the purpose of the Almighty and inviting us to view with him the destiny of the gospel and the vision of its ministry.

I doubt that any person present that day will ever forget the occasion. I, myself, have scarcely reread President Kimball’s address since, but the substance of what he said was so vividly impressed upon my mind that I could repeat most of it at this moment from memory.

The Spirit of the Lord was upon President Kimball and it proceeded from him to us as a tangible presence, which was at once both moving and shocking. He unrolled to our view a glorious vision. He told us of the ministry performed by the apostles in the day of the Savior, and how the same mission was conferred on the apostles under Joseph Smith. He demonstrated how these men had gone forth in faith and devotion and were clothed with great power, by which they had carried the gospel to the ends of the earth, reaching further, in some ways, than we with the strength of this modern church are doing at the present time. He showed us how the Church was not fully living in the faithfulness that the Lord expects of His people, and that, to a certain degree, we had settled into a spirit of complacency and satisfaction with things as they were. It was at that moment that he sounded the now famous slogan, “We must lengthen our stride.” (See Ensign, Oct. 1974, p. 5.) I doubt that everyone fully understands that directive even now. If it were put into the vernacular it would sound much more like: “Let’s get off our dime!” “Get going!” “Move!”

President Kimball bespoke other messages: “We must go to all the world.” “Every boy should go on a mission.” “Open the door to new nations.” “Send missionaries from It’s a Young Church in … Mexico, South America, Japan, Great Britain, and Europe.” (See “When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, pp. 2–14.) This was a new vision, disturbing and exciting, added to the old.

The thought came to me: “Imagine! At any moment the president might call any or all of us to go to distant lands or otherwise extend the preaching of the gospel.” I little realized that within six months I would be en route to Portugal for that very purpose.

President Kimball spoke under this special influence for an hour and ten minutes. It was a message totally unlike any other in my experience. I realized that it was similar to the occasion on the 8th of August, 1844, when Brigham Young spoke to the Saints in Nauvoo following the death of the Prophet Joseph. . . . [T]he occasion of April 4, 1974, is parallel.

When President Kimball concluded, President Ezra Taft Benson arose and with a voice filled with emotion, echoing the feeling of all present, said, in substance: “President Kimball, through all the years that these meetings have been held, we have never heard such an address as you have just given. Truly, there is a prophet in Israel.”

Now I affirm that since April 1974 things have indeed not been the same. This is no attempt to eulogize President Kimball into a figure greater than other presidents of the Church, but to point out the continuing spiritual power which attends the prophet of the Lord, whoever he may be.

He told this story in the Saturday afternoon session of the October 1977 General Conference.  The Church did enter a period of remarkably high growth that lasted two or three decades.

In the same session, Elder Richards quoted Paul saying that the things of God are understood by the Spirit of God, and the things of man are understood by the spirit of man.  Real scholarship must proceed through the Spirit to reach conclusions of ultimate worth.  Material expectations–ordinary mortal calculation–as in the story above, are like trying to understand a book by only reading the first half.

Other Posts from the Saturday afternoon session of the October 1977 General Conference

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October 17th, 2017 07:30:52

Social Media in General Conference

October 03rd, 2017 by G.

 

This post summarizes each General Conference talk which touched on social media use.  It’s based on the notes of a father with lots of children, who was also ironing shirts and shelling pecans during a few sessions, so please suggest corrections and additions in the comments. (more…)

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October 03rd, 2017 07:30:03

Rendering Assistance in the Lord’s Way

September 26th, 2017 by G.

Missionary

I really enjoyed Bishop Brown’s discussion of how the Church welfare system worked in the 1977 welfare session of General Conference.  Those are still the basic elements, although relying more on general social services outside of Utah.

In the spirit of the last post on sharing basic Mormon practices that may be of interest to followers of the Way, I thought I’d share a couple of basic experiences with the Church welfare system from the inside.

(more…)

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September 26th, 2017 05:30:06

Proud of Joseph

September 19th, 2017 by G.

Image result for joseph smith first vision statue

We are rightly proud of Joseph Smith.

(more…)

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September 19th, 2017 07:26:06

That Kind of Trust

September 12th, 2017 by G.

... Christ: Do you know the way to Emmaus? - The United Methodist Church

Elder Packer refers to “that kind of trust which makes it possible to talk of serious, even sacred things.” (more…)

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September 12th, 2017 07:30:29

The Labor of Love

August 15th, 2017 by G.

A man just moved into the ward.  26-foot trailer, second-story apartment.  Eight men showed up ranging from 14 to 60 and we had it unloaded in 1 hour and 15 minutes.  It was hard work.  It was also fun work.  We did a lot of chatting with the new guy about who he was and what his life was about.  And we did a lot of joshing each other.  One guy came straight from his work at a gym and was still wearing his tight little exercise shorts, so he came in for his fair share.  It was all good natured.  Work was done with brotherly love.

That was President Kimball’s theme at one of the Church’s welfare conferences, back in October 1976.  Labor, and love.  Charity is a thing of the spirit, and like all things of the spirit, for true happiness it needs flesh.  Work is that flesh. (more…)

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August 15th, 2017 06:45:38

Collective Covenants

August 01st, 2017 by G.

“We are a covenant-making people,” said Brother Joseph Andersen at the Sunday morning session of the October 1976 General Conference.

He talked about the national covenant that Israel made with God, and then the individual covenants we make now. Quite a contrast! Are there no more collective covenants outside of marriage? It would be interesting to read the D&C looking for promises made to and expected from the Church as a whole. Does our country have an implied covenant of some kind? (more…)

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August 01st, 2017 07:05:29

They the Builders of the Nation

July 04th, 2017 by G.

At one of the bicentennial general conferences, President Benson was full of the red, white, and blue . . . and the beehive.

I pay fervent tribute to the forebears who made this possible—the Founding Fathers of this republic and our Mormon pioneers. I pay tribute to their faithful deeds, their noble lives, and their lasting lessons of faith in God, courage, industry, self-reliance, and integrity.

My emphasis.  We Mormons are the heirs of a twice-founded nation.

Image result for flag beehive

from lunarmotion.com

And to a surprising extent, President Benson seemed to see the American founding as more of a moral and spiritual founding, like the Pioneer one. (more…)

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July 04th, 2017 07:30:27

Are We There Yet?

June 27th, 2017 by G.

No.

Now may I speak, not to the slackers in the Kingdom, but to those who carry their own load and more; not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short.

Earlier disciples who heard Jesus preach some exacting doctrines were also anxious and said, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26.)

The first thing to be said of this feeling of inadequacy is that it is normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance.

-thus Elder Maxwell. (more…)

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June 27th, 2017 07:30:57

Family Preparedness

June 20th, 2017 by G.

Reading an old Welfare session of General Conference is an interesting experience. It’s very temporal and in a petit bourgeois way. Class instincts you didn’t even know you had rebel.

So it was a relief to see a talk by Spencer W. Kimball about “Family Preparedness.” At last, something about strengthening the family, instead of about food storage! (more…)

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June 20th, 2017 07:12:41

The Grace of Consequences

May 31st, 2017 by G.

There’s a talk by L. Tom Perry in the Sunday afternoon session of the April 1976 general conference that anyone who is interested in our recent posts on freedom and agency should also be interested in. We’ve been saying that consequences are keys to agency. No consequences, no agency. Brother Perry taught that too, but as one having authority.

Brother Perry spends a lot of time talking about the orderliness of creation and the predictability of divine law, without which meaningful choice of meaningful consequences would be impossible. He teaches that our choices ultimately have to be anchored or oriented towards that divine order, because it is only that order that makes them possible in the first place. To choose against that order is to embrace self-contradiction.

Here’s a line relevant to some of our recent discussions on educating for freedom:

Because all that they would ever need had been supplied them, it was now possible to hold them accountable for their mortal performance.

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May 31st, 2017 07:30:17

The Honest Man

May 23rd, 2017 by G.

More and more, honesty is not a virtue our society prizes but fails to live.  More and more, it is a virtue that we reject as for dupes.  And more and more, it is.

What I failed to realize when I was younger is that honesty is a societal virtue.  It is a virtue whose purpose and sense is in relation to society at large. (more…)

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May 23rd, 2017 07:30:10