We did a family reading of the first part of 4th Nephi. I didn’t expect three things that I found. (more…)
Most Mormons probably do not have a lot of stake patriotism anymore. We move around too much, and the stakes change too much.
So we forget that they aren’t just administrative conveniences or levels in the priesthood hierachy. (more…)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: Cathedral, General Conference, General Conference Odyssey, Great and Spacious Building, LDS, Modern Structure, That Hideous Strength
The bull and his herd mostly ignored the jackrabbit who sometimes also grazed on the meadow. They would not turn aside from him, however, so he sometimes had to scamper out of their way. He resented having to move. “They should move away from me,” he thought, “I consume less and am closer to the earth.”
One day the jack-rabbit began the unnatural practice of digging burrows in the field. They gave him a refuge so he did not have to get out of the way. Best of all, the inconvenienced the cattle and even caused one cow to break her leg and be put down. He was delighted with the outcome, though he was also sure that it was not his fault.
The bull in particular became quite angry about the jackrabbit’s burrows. Though the bull never did any real damage to the agile creature, the jackrabbit still took the scorn personally. Brooding on these wrongs, as he supposed, he quite naturally fell in with the coyote, who also had angered the bull with his sneaking ways and nips at calves.
The parrots also soon took up the cause of the coyote and the jackrabbit. All over the fields and the meadows, they squawked that the bull had an unreasoning hatred for the coyote and the jackrabbit. “Why,” they said, “the bull’s anger has gone so far that it has even led to coyote nips at calves and dangerous jackrabbit burrows. The bull is dangerous.”
One day the coyote killed the jackrabbit and devoured him.
And the parrots squawked louder. They said the bull had caused the jackrabbit’s death, after one fashion or another. “The bull hated the jackrabbit. The jackrabbit was killed hatefully,” they said.
When a hound, sniffing the remains, said the scene smelled of coyote to him, the parrots flew around him beating his face angrily. The coyote was friends to the jackrabbit, they said, and equally hated by the bull. And besides, when killing the jackrabbit, they said, the coyote was acting like a bull.
Moral of the story: The media and memes talk nonsense.
Here is an observation from President Lee that is eloquent and deeper than it first appears: (more…)
However good we may be we should aim continually to improve and become better. We have obeyed a different law and gospel to what other people have obeyed, and we have a different kingdom in view, and our aim should be correspondingly higher before the Lord our God, and we should govern and control ourselves accordingly, and I pray God my Heavenly Father that his Spirit may rest upon us and enable us to do so.
-thus Wilford Woodruff (ht to Gently Hew Stone)
“When I was young,” my wife said, “I thought God would take care of me if I j ust believed in him. It did not work out that way. Some bad things happened to us.” I said nothing. She went on. “But I still feel really blessed.”
I said, “Either Barbara Tuchman wrote it or anyhow I found it in one of her books—‘I found the world to be less just, but more kind, than I expected.’”
It’s true we have more work to do as Mormons because we want all God has to offer. But God helps us do it. If a man stumbles on the broad, easy road—or if Peter stumbles on the water—God reaches down and picks them back up alike.
These two items from President Lee’s talk at the October 1972 Priesthood session seemed to speak to me, by way of laying out a problem and offering a solution: (more…)
I sent my girls to a volleyball camp at the local military institute. The first day I showed up early to retrieve them. So I got a chance to wander the halls of their gym for a little bit.
Interesting stuff, this phenomenon of school pride and sport. Animal mascots, team colors, the whole lot. Lots to think about.
What caught my attention this time was the school’s sports motto.
Victory with Honor. (more…)
C.S. Lewis says that courage is the form all virtues take at the testing point. If he means to imply that courage is not a separate virtue, he is mistaken. It is possible to be virtuously courageous in a bad cause, or in the service of some vice. Courage, once experienced, is known to have a quality all its own.
Obedience is the same. It is not just an instrumental virtue. The justifications we give for obedience do not mean that obedience is only a means to an end. As those who have experienced it know, obedience is a virtue in its own right. There is a quality of holiness in it. When Christ said, “Thy will be done,” he was not just selecting a poetic and gracious way of acknowledging that on reflection he had decided to go through with the Passion. (more…)
His Majesty was playing marbles with the cats this morning.
A proverb is usually a truth whose opposite is also true.
Forewarned is forearmed. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Many hands make light work.
I had a proverb experience the other day. One truth was in a dream, the other was in a reverie. (more…)
Lately I’ve been having arguments in my sleep. Yes, I am as disturbed by this as you are. In the last few days I had an argument with my sister about whether some incident from our youth had happened or not (curiously, I was arguing that it had not, but in my dream was worried that it had because it reflected discredit on me. When I finally woke up, I realized that the whole incident was imaginary). Last night I also had an argument with John Derbyshire about Mormonism. He pooh-poohed religion. I testified that someone would be much better off as a Mormon than raised with his beliefs. He conceded the point, but then argued that the same would be true of any belief system other than secularism, that there was a hole in the human operating system that just needed something plugged into it other than malign progressivism, and that practically anything would do. The discussion went on from there.
Worse than the fact that I am having arguments in my sleep is that I am not always winning them decisively.
Perhaps our understanding of priesthood genealogy is so broad that we expect all Church members to think of priesthood genealogy as we do. In our understanding it includes the whole plan of salvation, in which, through righteous living and revealed sacred ordinances, families are bound together eternally, worthy to live in the celestial kingdom in the very presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost in an exalted, resurrected state. Perhaps we have been too subtle.
Stated, then, in simple words, I say to every member of the Church that you have a personal, individual responsibility to become engaged in priesthood genealogical activity. The real impact of the priesthood genealogy program is one of individual responsibility. The actual work must be performed by individuals, not by organizations. What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business, so I must say that this work is your individual responsibility.
Last week last General Conference inspired me with a concept of how impressive and important one of us, just one of us, raised to Godhood would be. It would justify the universe. It would be enough for God to make it his work.
A few days later in that opening from being asleep to being awake, I half dreamed about that one God, son or daughter of God, and his attitude to the people who got him there. He would dance with the ones that brung ’em. He would make ever effort, having ascended, to reach down and lift those further down.
Then, coincidentally, I got up to read the next talk on my list from the October 1972 General Conference. It was Elder Ashton’s talk, quoted above. Coincidentally. Ha!
No one can be made perfect until their life is perfected. All things are before our face in heaven, they say. We ourselves are not perfect–we lack sufficient love or forgiveness or gratitude or delight for the people and places and events of our lives–until we have done all we can to make them perfect also. This may not mean deification. The utter ability and endles time and means of that divine person means they can perfect everyone up to the point their free will can possibly bear. But not beyond. A shattered will is also imperfection.
Those loved ones who themselves ascend to heaven will turn and do the same to their own lives. For those who do not, their perfecters will. Would a loving Father in Heaven neglect his children? Never. Neither would a loving earthly father in heaven, or a mother, or son, or great aunt.
So from that one deified soul ascension and perfection moves out in a spreading, mounting wave. The rock cut out without hands has created a splash that will roll over the whole earth.
That is genealogy work.
Other Posts from the October 1972 General Conference, Friday Afternoon
|Nathaniel Givens||A Grand Fundamental Principle||http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2016/05/10/a-grand-fundamental-principle|
|G.||Making Ourselves Perfect||http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/05/10/making-ourselves-perfect/|
|J. Max Wilson|
|Daniel Ortner||God Will Let You Know||https://symphonyofdissent.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/god-will-let-you-know/|
|Jan Tolman||Rise Above “Normal”||http://www.ldswomenofgod.com/rise-above-normal/|
Last Sunday I listened to the session of General Conference that I had missed. I came to this passage from Elder Renlund’s talk:
When a friend of ours in South Africa, Diane, was a new convert, she attended a branch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of the chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane was disappointed but said nothing. Another member noted the omission and mentioned it to the branch president after the meeting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.
A priesthood holder came in. He knelt down, blessed some bread, and handed her a piece. She ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and handed her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, “Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me.” And then, “Oh, He [the Savior] did this just for me.”
I did not hear the rest of the talk. I fell into a reverie.
11 years ago my first daughter died of cancer. This is what I wrote on her birthday that year, with slight updates since. Today would be Betsey’s 15th birthday. Happy Birthday, sweetheart, it’s been a long time and always getting longer.