This morning you look at your whole crop of kids, laughing and chattering, eating apple pie for breakfast. (more…)
Why? Because it’s fun.
Inspired by a recent post by Dr. Bruce Charlton, here are three possibilities for some kind of reincarnation compatible with what we know about reality. In other words, at least possibly compatible with the truth that the spirit does not merely ride the body like a waldo. As Dr. Charlton says, “once a spirit has had a body, the body cannot afterwards be detached from that spirit without some maiming, some irreparable damage.”
None of these speculations are guaranteed to be true, or even ultimately possible. (more…)
I like going through the formal logic of the gospel in clear, simple terms. Not because the formal logic is the real gospel. The way the gospel is expressed is the real gospel. Formal logic is like bones. Bones are not the body. But learning the skeleton tells you a lot about bodies work.
The analogy to bones misleads in one sense. A body has only one set of bones. The gospel, on the other hand, can have more than one formal logic. The gospel is deep and varied. The “body” of the gospel is different from different points of view.
Finally, what I call formal logic is not what a philosopher would call formal logic. No As and Bs, I’m afraid.
Good. Throat well and truly cleared, lets get to it.
Today’s General Conference talk is To be in the World, but not of the World, by Brother James Cullimore. It is a topic of repeated need.
May we appreciate the privilege that is ours in living in this time, in the beautiful, wonderful world in which we live. May we let the gospel light guide us that we may be in the world and yet not partake of the evil of the world.
The world is a constant attractor. The default state–entropy–is that we slip into worldliness. In the world naturally becomes of the world. It requires conscious effort to resist. (more…)
C.S. Lewis said that writing Screwtape was a strain. It was spiritually dry, like writing with dust in his mouth.
Well, I just go asked to portray the Devil for a bit, and I had a blast. (more…)
A tiny flock of lambs and their guard llama were kept in a small, fenced pasture. A coyote in the neighborhood hungered after the lambs and made it his business to find some means of effecting an entrance. (more…)
A traveler on a long journey came to a ford. Due to recent rains, the stream was swollen to a flood. The traveler was perplexed to know what to do and exercised his mind for a solution. (more…)
Certainly the day is here when, if we are to follow in his paths, we must take the weary, lonely, depressed, the troubled soul, and the gospel-hungry by the hand and lift and help.
By their fruits ye shall know them.
Knowing the fruits is easy enough at the extremes. Mitt Romney is rich, smart, handsome, blessed with many children & grandchildren, married lifelong, earnest, service-minded, possessed of character … those fruits are good. The malevolent, muttering, alcoholic bum you meet has bad fruits. (more…)
The story of Adam and Eve, Mormonly understood, makes a mockery of the idea of salvation under the Law.
The standard Christian view is that Adam and Eve were given a strict commandment not to eat the fruit, the Serpent tricked them into eating it, so God in his anger cast them out of Eden. The Mormon view is that Adam and Eve were given two commandments which could not both be fulfilled, so one (don’t eat the fruit), had to give way to the higher one (multiply and replenish the Earth). Adam fell that men might be.
Elder Oaks explained, more clearly than I can ever hope to, the Mormon belief that what Adam and Eve did was a “transgression,” not a “sin”:
For reasons that have not been revealed, this transition, or “fall,” could not happen without a transgression—an exercise of moral agency amounting to a willful breaking of a law (see Moses 6:59). This would be a planned offense, a formality to serve an eternal purpose.
The obvious theological objection to our doctrine would be: “God is perfect and perfectly just, so why would he give a commandment knowing that it could not be fulfilled? How is that fair?” As Elder Oaks says, the need for such a transgression has never been fully explained, and I admit that this one used to bug me a little when I was younger. Eventually I shrugged it off; it was a one-off deal, so why think too hard about it?
Then I served a mission, got married, had kids, and realized that God gives impossible commandments all the time. (more…)
Glory is merited praise. Glory is the love we offer God, that He deserves. Glory is also the love God offers us because of what we have done. “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Glory is conditional love, as opposed to unconditional love. God offers both.
Glory is righteous pride. (more…)
Some young cattle were boasting about their exploits to each other. One mentioned that she had snuck into the neighboring pasture and mentioned how green the grass had been there. A parrot heard. Later the parrot told another cow, “did you know the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?” “My, how interesting,” the cow replied, and went back to grazing. She later mentioned it to another member of the herd in off-hand conversation. Between parrot chatter and the lighter talk of the cattle, soon it was a common, casual belief among the herd that the grass was greener in the other pasture. The animals’ behavior, however, was barely affected. They continued to graze as before. (more…)
On the sweetness of Mormon life.
One testimony meeting. Three weeping women. One somber man. A shy man. You–brief, bluff, manly—you have affected this style so often that now it comes natural. Another man, genial, laughing about the spiritual advice his dad used to give him, always concluding with, “and believe me, son, you need it.” A cheery, beaming sister.
You reflect that all these moods and modes of being are pleasing to God.
A certain swarm of bees was led by a foolish queen to a location just on the side of small waterfall. One bee argued that early next spring when the waters swelled, the hive would be washed away. But most of the swarm shared the queen’s folly. Accordingly the bees built the hive alongside the falling water. (more…)