At the end of my row was a Navajo man without much temple experience. The workers were helping him through the ceremony. Meanwhile I was going through the ritual motions in a particularly brusque fashion. I caught myself doing it. I realized I had unconsciously decided to affect being the old hand who has seen it all before. I laughed at myself. (more…)
Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal.
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: atonement, council in heaven, free agency, Freedom, LDS, liberty, Mormon, Mormonism, pre-existence, Responsibility and meaning, Satan's plan, sorrow, war in heaven
A Northwest tribe pooled money to fertilize the nearby ocean with iron sulfate. They hoped to boost plankton, giving wild salmon more to eat.
They succeeded in spades. The salmon catch quadrupled.
This year, the number of salmon caught in the northeast Pacific more than quadrupled, going from 50 million to 226 million. In the Fraser River, which only once before in history had a salmon run greater than 25 million fish (about 45 million in 2010), the number of salmon increased to 72 million.
I deeply respect the tribe’s initiative and self-help in the service of the common good and of their customs. This is how people should live. (more…)
Adam and Eve were created from the dust, the scriptures tell us. We haven’t escaped that lowly origin. Dust is where we come from, dust is who we are, and dust is where we are headed. (more…)
Patriarchy is the theory that men should be the primary bearers of risks. Risk of death or injury, risk of bankruptcy and failure. In marriage the wife shares much of the risk, but even then the risk is disproportioned. If a man dies his family’s prospects will be badly damaged, but they will at least still be alive. If a man fails at business, his whole family shares his poverty, but only a part of his shame. (more…)
Evolution implies eschatology. (more…)
Friend of the blog SPDI wrote a post recently that starts with political science and ends with stirring the blood:
The answer is: everything is doomed, but the more interesting question is: “And then what?” And the surprising answer is, “Well, then they get un-doomed.” And what’s more: all the work put in before is not for naught:
The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
So: it is good that you’ve noticed a downward slide in society. But that should not make you despair that it’s unrecoverable, or applies to every individual, and nor should it make you despair from seeing the far ending, because you haven’t looked far enough.
For mortal human life to have meaning it seems that there must be both permanence and personal relevance for some things in that life.
If everything is washed away at death, then there can be no meaning – everything is just a momentary spark of sensation – a brief sensation, which might well be a delusion.
If all that is left is located in biological memory, then this depends on brains which are fragile and temporary, and memories are fallible and may be false.
So (for mortal life to have meaning) there must be some realm or place or time in which at least some thing are ‘stored’ permanently (some kind of ‘Platonic’ realm of true reality, beyond the changes and decays of mortal life).
And this must have memories which are true, real, accurate and valid – which means that there must be a possibility of direct, unmediated transmission of information or knowledge.
(Because any ‘normal’ material processes – working by means of the usual perceptions and senses and the usual modalities such as light, sound and touch – must be incomplete and distorted, and indeed may be wholly illusory.)
But an accurate and true reality ‘somewhere’ is not enough – that reality must also be linked to us as individuals, and to our specific mortal lives – or else mortal life is meaningless.
-thus Bruce Charlton
Absolutely right. We know from experience that our actions are meaningful. We experience the meaningfulness directly. But from that fact, eternal life or the existence of a God who cares, or both, inevitably follow.
If death is the end, over the long run, people’s acts can cease to be meaningful. Hundreds of years ago, many, many, many faceless masses of people lived who no one now remembers, not even vaguely. They do not live on in anyone’s hearts. Any effects their actions may have had have been swamped by time and change. If one more or less of them had never been born, it would make no difference. It is as if they never were. That they once may have existed has become meaningless. And what is meaningless in the end is meaningless all along. The apparent meaningfulness in the short term is only apparent. What is true of Groundhog Day is also true of Groundhog Week and Groundhog Month and Groundhog Life. Decisions that converge on nothing mean nothing: the rate of convergence is irrelevant.
But if the soul lives on . . .
I just cannot understand how they could read the Bible and yet not believe, and how marriages could be performed in the churches all over the world until death do you part. What a flimsy concept! Why don’t they go back to the time when God had finished the creation of this earth, and looked upon it and found it good, and placed Adam here, at which time he said: “It is not good that the man should be alone. …” (Gen. 2:18.) He made a helpmeet for him, saying, “… and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24.) Now what God joins together and makes one flesh, you couldn’t separate without having two halves instead of two wholes. Jesus repeated that statement when he said:
“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
“… what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:5–6.)
On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)
Sex selection is a big thing in evolution. Why does the peacock have a gaudy, useless tail? The only reason we can think of is that drab little peahens like the macho display. The tail says, “look at me! I’m (bird)man enough to survive and thrive while carrying all this useless junk around.” So generation after generation the drab little peahens flock around the guys with the biggest tail and cluck over his eggs, and so generation after generation the little male peachicks are the ones with the genes for the biggest tails. So every generation the pea race gets bigger tails, tempered only by the fact that, you know, a lot of the peacocks sporting big tails probably get eaten.
That’s the theory anyway. It’s the best explanation we can come up with for features that otherwise don’t make sense. (more…)
I like the old, weird Mormonism. The quirky doctrines that float out there like driftwood, but that tie in profoundly to the gospel when rightly understood. Things like the three degrees of glory, immortal bodies having flesh but not blood, the devil’s dominion over the waters, the two atonements on the cross and at Gethsemane.
But the author of Mormonism is also the author of mere Christianity. There’s plenty of quirks there too. (more…)
In the grove in the evening, the lion heard a great racket from a father Robin and his brood and went to investigate.
“Friend Robin,” the lion said, “why do you make a fuss?”
“Look at this nest, O Lion. All my work on it is ruined.” The nest was a ring of thorns the robin had woven to keep the young away from the edge. But in the middle of the ring at the bottom of the nest there was little. The pine needles and other such stuff the robin put here had mostly fallen away.
“Do not fret, friend Robin,” the lion said. “As I walked here, I saw several empty nests. I will lead you to one. Then it will be as if your mistake never happened.”
“O Lion,” the robin replied, “what a piteous state would be mine if all my work for my brood were meaningless. I cannot bear that they go to another nest as if all my day’s work had never happened.”
“Then you will have your brood sleep in this nest?” the lion asked.
“No,” said the robin, “they would fall. It is not fair to them to suffer for my mistakes.”
“And you see no way for the nest to be repaired?” the lion asked.
“Oh no,” said the robin, “it was a bad idea from the start.”
Then the king of beasts took the ring of thorns and placed it on his own head. “Let your brood nest in my mane, walled in by you’ve the ring you made.”
Someone must bear the consequences.