Sunday, July 5, 2015

Another Reason Only Men Hold the Priesthood?

So I'm just wondering....

If women held the priesthood, in our world would it unite or divide the church?

Would people see the priesthood blessings and directions given by women as more meaningful than those given by men?

Just thinking. 

Seems like Stan would really use this to split the church and take our minds off the things we're supposed to focus on.



Saturday, July 4, 2015

The More The Merrier Old Land of Zion

Isaiah 4:1 hasn't been fulfilled yet:

 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

It never was possible for this to be fulfilled before our day, because women couldn't provide for themselves and live independently as they do in Isaiah 4:1.

Now....it appears that things are about to change in our world regarding at least the secular allowance of plural marriage, as same-gender-marriage has now been approved in the USA.

But  I have wondered why plural marriage wasn't practiced in other parts of the world by church members where it is legal?

Well...if you haven't noticed, blacks in Africa were free compared to their brethren here in the United States about 50 years ago - and yet....they couldn't hold the priesthood and the gospel wasn't being sent to Africa.

Here we had Jim Crow and segregation, thanks to the Democrat Party (which also rounded up the Japanese in internment camps in wartime and a billion other immoral things on everything it seems to touch), making it illegal for blacks to do a lot of things in the US, and were they given the priesthood, not only would it have been illegal so-to-speak in many ways, it would have been used to harm the church in that era of those laws (who are we kidding to think that it wouldn't? Duh! Look what was being done!) and so - just as the Lord told his apostles when they could and couldn't preach to the gentiles, so it was done here regarding the priesthood and marriage.  But why not practice plural marriage outside the US and give the priesthood to blacks outside the US even if it was illegal in the US?

Well....one.....polygamy was - until recently  - illegal in Utah and so to even give a church commandment for it elsewhere would have been against state law, and therefore in the spirit of honoring, obeying and sustaining the law, it would have violated church doctrine. 

But more than that - the scriptures say: 3 ...for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2).

Well.....the law has gone forth from Zion (America).  Our constitution is one of our biggest exports, more nations have been modeled on the American Constitution than any other form of government - but also - as is the law in the United States - so also is the law of the gospel gone forth into the world.  Blacks couldn't hold the priesthood in America - they couldn't hold it in the world.  As Polygamy became illegal in Zion (The United States) it was stopped through the rest of the world in the church. 

My testimony? 

The church is true and the Lord is following his own scriptures.

Now I know that the practice of plural marriage is going to be restored - and it couldn't be if the laws of the United States (land of Zion) didn't allow it.

Well....the way this last supreme court ruling was written.....it would be able to happen soon - whether it will or not is to be declared by the Lord and isn't anyone's place but the Prophet's and the Lord's to say.

But while I know many Latter Day Saints have balked at the latest ruling - if I might differ from the "balkers" and share my testimony:

We aren't to be compelled to be righteous.  That was Satan's plan.  Our constitution -when you read it - has nothing to do with marriage - neither prohibiting nor proscribing it.  I am not in favor of gay-marriage, and I would rather people choose rightly, but freedom and responsibility and accountability are at the central part of the Savior's plan - and a nation that endures in righteousness only because it is compelled.....would be a tyrannical nightmare that would descend into debauchery as it has everywhere and anytime compulsion is used so liberally in any nation....and would probably not be much different in some ways than a nation that descends into amoral licentiousness of its own free-will-and-choice. 

But just as Eve was permitted to partake of the fruit to bring about the purposes of the Lord, my testimony is - so also are seemingly wrong things being permitted - as everything that happens is because the Lord permits it - to further his work in our behalf eternally.

Think about that for a moment - all the things the Lord allows, and not all of it he wants, but as part of the eternal purposes and his word, he allows it. 

I do have a testimony of  plural marriage just as I do have a testimony of regular marriage (I am in a "regular" marriage right this second as I'm typing this actually) as I learned about plural marriage reading "The Work and the Glory"; it shook my Catholic sensibilities so hard that I had to kneel in prayer to understand it - and I saw the glorious blessings, earthly, eternal, temporal and spiritual, that come to those who can and do enter that union - but when it will happen?  I do not know precisely.  But I know it is of the Lord. Just as regular marriage has it's challenges but it's supernal, eternal blessings, so does the plural marriage doctrine.

Many will fall away over it, but many many more will be blessed, the saints will be refined, and the Lord's people will be prepared for his return through this and other doctrines that are of him.

When will it happen?  I don't know. 

But "thus saith the Lord" - it hasn't happened yet and if the scriptures are true - it has yet to again - and the way they read, it appears it may happen before things get*really* bad in the world which for as fast as things are happening, it may have to happen soon. (See the verses following Isaiah 4:1).

I just know that the last several general conferences the prophet has looked like he has had a massive burden on his shoulders, and many directions have been announced that we're about to be tried, and we're going to be asked to do things of the Lord by his prophet, and it won't be by his will.

Now I know if it happens soon people will cry that the church is just being an opportunist by announcing the doctrine on the heels of another court ruling, and therefore the church isn't inspired and isn't led by God. 

But again.....doesn't even the sun itsself rise and set by the Lord's decree?   Doesn't the rain fall by his very direction?

Look through the scriptures - how many nations have risen and fallen by the Lord's decree and prophesy?

Is not his hand in these things as well?

The Lord isn't proscribing immoral behavior no more than he compelled Eve to partake of the fruit!

 24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. (2 Nephi 2)

So while many Latter Day Saints may look forward with apprehension towards certain aspects of the Restoration - and I don't blame them - I am a Latter Day Saint, too with my own questions, fears and issues concerning the last days and some of it I don't look forward to particularly - I look at all these things as steps closer to returning to my Father in Heaven and the fulness of this gospel that I love.

I just pray that he's merciful and that we, his saints, may be spared, if anything, these things that are coming....but if not?  Well, then let me quote Moroni and Ether:  34 Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen. (Ether 15). 

I pray that I may be that faithful and fearless in the Lord's doctrines and my life.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another Good Reason Women Don't Have the Priesthood

We make a mistake, spiritually, when we begin to compare callings and whose calling is greater.

Unfortunately, in our society, this is too common a practice.

It seems I can't even attend a church class where the topic of men holding the priesthood comes up, without people striving to make sure that women are regarded as superior to men, have more important roles, and all that rigamarole.

I get it - but man was placed on the earth before woman.  Woman was created from man before any woman ever gave birth.  Man was placed at the head. Man stands at the head of the Godhead.  A man atoned for our sins.  A man made the decision (and wasn't fooled) to choose to die so humankind could be born and God's plans could be completed. And so on and son on and so on.  So.....make of it what you will.

But while there is this tremendous expense (and in my opinion, "waste", please forgive me) of energy to make sure we are all feeling comfortable in our own skins with the reality of the gospel and our eternal identity and gender roles, there is a benefit and another purpose to women not holding the priesthood.

Were I in a calling in the church presiding over something, and I left my wife and children at home, to head to the church, to meet alone in a room with my female counselors, who would kneel with me in prayer in helping direct the affairs of the church.....that would cause a lot of problems.

It would place another woman over my wife and actually - in essence - rob her of her place as my counsel - my helpmeet.

My MOST important work in this life is my family.  No matter my calling.  What more important place could a woman be at than by my side in helping me with that?  So to speak, there is a woman who stands with and beside and counsels the head of the church!  And only a woman can fill that role.

So, whatever the calling of the priesthood, woman will always serve as counsel to it - and that - is the calling of woman as a helpmeet - and I can't really think of anything more sacred in terms of a calling than to be a helpmeet to every single priesthood calling in the church.

Sacred enough, that the Lord does not ever intend woman to be robbed of what is hers, and for her husband to have his helpmeet, such that women aren't given the priesthood, and instead, are counsel and helpmeet to every priesthood calling in the church.  Not only that, were women given the priesthood, it would distract them from their callings as helpmeets - and that calling is too important to be usurped by being distracted by the priesthood.  Instead, women's eternal calling is as a helpmeet to the priesthood.

Sounds like a pretty important calling to me...and the way things are set up, it looks like the Lord doesn't want anything messing it up or trampling on it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Good Enough

As I pondered my worthiness before the Lord today, I had an epiphany.

I'm not so sure that we're going to be judged on what percentage good we are.  And if we cross the 50% line that we're going to be "in." 

I think what Heavenly Father is looking for is something far different.

We stand to inherit things.  Things of his.  Things he's created.  Things he is going to give us simply because he loves us.

Our worthiness to inherit them isn't going to be because we pass some magical, imaginary threshold of goodness (and given all the perfections of the Lord, I'm not sure that I am even capable of measuring up to 10% let alone 50% of his goodness at this point).

We get to inherit it based on how much we love, and care for the things he has given us that are his.

Some things will require extraordinary care and stewardship and a demonstration of that capability in this life.  Other things, our intent will be what counts, more than our ability. 

This life is a test of love and care and stewardship.

Just a thought. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Perfect Record

It is interesting as you slow down and read the Book of Mormon just how much detail is in there.

For example, Moroni and Mormon did not speak the same language as Nephi.

Did you know this? 

Check this out:

32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
 33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.
 34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof. (Mormon 9). 

Meaning they no longer wrote as the Jews wrote - and that means that they now spoke a different language than what Nephi spoke (who had the learning of the Jews and the Language of the Egyptians - 1 Nephi 1:2).

But then there was another language of another record in the Book of Mormon - the language of the Jaredites - we know this because in Mosiah 28, they came into possession of the records of the Jaredites and had to use the Urim and Thummim to translate it.   I don't know if they wrote a translation / transcription into their language when they first received it - quite possible, and would make sense.

But what's interesting to me is both Mormon and Moroni's laments about their language/writing being so weak that they couldn't communicate what they wanted to the people reading it - and yet Moroni marvels at the Brother of Jared's writing - which was in a different language and was.....a language that wasn't confounded.....

 24 And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.(Ether 12). 

So Moroni translated the writings of the Brother of Jared via the Urim and Thummim (unless he was using a transcription)- and then abridged it into Moroni's language (which was different than Nephi's language) - and then Joseph Smith translated the translation of Moroni of the Brother of Jared (Mahonri Moriancumer) into English.

Just...interesting things we find studying the scriptures that fascinate me. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Warning of King Morianton

You've heard of King Morianton, in the Book of Mormon, haven't you?

Of course you have!   Because you read your scriptures diligently and faithfully!   And you would remember that he was in the Book of Ether, written about by Moroni, and that there was a whopping 7 (seven) verses written about him in Ether 10.

But of all that is written about him, his state inspired me the most - because he was a very good king - he ended a very very sorry state of affairs in a formerly corrupt kingdom that was very grievous to live in, and he did do justice to the people.  But he didn't do justice to himself.  He was unrighteous personally with his harlots and concubines. 

So despite his goodness in the public sphere, he was cut off from the presence of the Lord.

We read:  11 And he did do justice unto the people, but not unto himself because of his many whoredoms; wherefore he was cut off from the presence of the Lord. (Ether 10).

Wow....makes you think, doesn't it?

Like, what if I'm good at my church callings but don't repent of my personal sins?   I'll be cut off.

What about public servants like politicians who do wonderful service to the public, but who are lecherous philanderers in their personal life...do we know of any of those?  American history seems full of them.

But they too, shall be and are, and have been, cut off.

I can think of more than a couple in my lifetime who fit in this category.  And now I know what has  happened to them.

This is a wakeup call to me to guard more carefully my soul as I do excellent work at work, but perhaps not as great a job in my personal life - perhaps it should be the other way around?  Or perhaps I should be zealous in them both, equally?

At any rate, Morianton is a warning to me and is a real-life, historical, scriptural example of the mantra: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home" (David O McKay).

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Tools of War

I am a combatant veteran of the United States Navy.  I served in a combat role, and have been in harm's way in the service of my country.  My father is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran.  My grandfather is a highly decorated World War Two Veteran. 

As I look back on their wars and my own service....as I contemplate the sides of war - this side and that - our side and theirs....one time as I looked at the enemy across no-man's land, across a minefield and at their guns pointed at us...as I watched the things that happen across a minefield between two opposing forces...I one day realized, that if those guys on the other side believed the gospel....we might not be at war on each side.

As I contemplate the fallen, and look at what destruction is being done at the head of my country in the White House and Congress - the massive destruction being done without weapons - by cold, corrupt hearts and lying tongues....I began to realize, the tools of war, aren't guns. 

We could have had peace a long time ago in the middle east if we would repent.  We could have peace now if we would repent.  The tools of war are lies and fear.

Interesting another tool of a different kind of warfare is kindness.  And it can take courage - bravery! - to be kind in the face of fear - to an enemy who may kill you.  So many virtues that threaten to unravel the snares of war and twists of conflict are brought about by home and visiting teaching....by church service....by kindness....forgiveness....repentance....

But the power of it.....wow....

I think if we used these tools more often....think of what we could bring about and how quickly.....wow....

Just musing....

When I look at war, I don't see "our side" and "their side" anymore, I see mankind in need of repentance all around.  Oh, that's not to say that we are always wrong for going to war - we read that there is a time for fighting and a time for peace.  But I know if we repent, wars would be far fewer in between, we would become an unstoppable force, and there would be truly peace - rather than desolate lands ravaged by warfare leaving women and children to mourn when it is over, and no real....anything to build on.  Except to prepare for the next war....

Just musing....