13.2.17

A Trump from the Mouths of Babes


My daughter, our daughter, Samantha (Sami is how she addresses herself) finally got ahold of a toy recorder that she walks around the house blasting and which my wife will secretly dispose of if that continues for much longer, and she calls it, "a trumpet", which it isn't.  She loves to go to the temple and touch the side of the temple.  She loves to admire the glowing golden angel Moroni who blows a trumpet from the East.

She blows the trumpet a bunch of times and shouts-out, "THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!"

From the mouths of babes we hear pure testimony given: "THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!"

JPS

Causing Him further Grief


"We developed an intense desire to stop causing him further grief'" - Elder Dale G. Renlund said in his April 2016 talk, "That I Might Draw All Men unto Me".

There are no "neutral moves" in life...  you are either moving away from God or towards Him!  We are only causing him or adding to His and our Heavenly Father's joy.  By so, adding to Christ's joy, we are also not "causing Him further grief".

I remember having a serious conversation when I was in my teens, where my mom came to tears as she was explaining to me this same exact concept: not only when I did something "wrong" was I likely to get "in trouble" with my mom or dad or bishop, but, more importantly, when I sinned, I was adding to Jesus Christ's pain and suffering in Gethsemane.

Since God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and Christ suffered the consequences of every sin that you or I or anyone ever does (that isn't repented of....  mind you, that is a very important caveat!), when I sinned knowingly (and didn't repent of it), I was adding to the pain and sorrow and even the spilled blood that Christ freely spilt in the Garden of Gethsemene for every one of our Heavenly Father's children.

I will remember that chat and my mom's tears forever!

I will not "cause Him further grief"!

JPS

1.12.16

Light the World! #LightTheWorld


https://www.mormon.org/
#LightTheWorld 

Church Launches 'Light the World' Christmas Initiative


A global effort to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and encourage people to serve others during the Christmas season is being launched by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The “Light the World” Christmas initiative will reach worldwide audiences from Friday, November 25, 2016, through January 1, 2017.


The initiative focuses on celebrating and sharing the light of Jesus Christ, the “light of the world” (John 8:12).
“As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived and as He taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others,” said President Thomas S. Monsonin a general conference address in October 2015.
“It's the Christmas season,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We have lights — all kinds of lights on our houses, on our trees, on our dining tables. So if we link those wonderful traditions with the source of truth, even Christ as the source of light, it just made great sense to all of us that that would be the theme that we would employ this year.”
Sharable online content is available at mormon.org beginning November 25, including a video that invites the public to perform acts of service following Christ’s example during the Christmas season. The service effort will kick off Thursday, December 1, with a Worldwide Day of Service.
Elder Bednar explained, “The whole purpose of this initiative is to celebrate and share the Light of Christ. What we hope people will do is not simply think about the Savior during this Christmas season, or even just learn more about Him. What we hope is that they will come to know Him by doing what He did.” 
A playable/downloadable version of the main video is also available on the Church’s Gospel Library app. In addition, 25 short videos offering daily ideas for service can be shared on social media during the initiative.
Elder Bednar said the Church is not trying to overwhelm people with ideas for service during the Christmas season. “These are very simple things that the Savior has provided the example. And we, in a very appropriate, simple way during this Christmas season, can do the same things that He did. He healed the blind. We can help the blind to see. We might, for example, read a story to someone in a nursing home who cannot see. Doesn't take a lot of time, but a small, simple act of service that exemplifies the Light of Christ.”
The shareable content is being posted on the social media pages of mormon.org such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Those on social media are encouraged to share their experiences by using the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD.
The website, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, features a downloadable advent calendar, “In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days.” A web landing page is provided for 26 other languages. The calendar provides daily ideas for planning service opportunities in December leading up to Christmas Day.
In addition, the initiative is offered via internet sites, displays in English-speaking Church visitors’ centers worldwide and the Mexico City Visitors’ Center, member and missionary tools and outdoor advertising, including billboards in New York City’s Times Square; Salt Lake City; Los Angeles; Johannesburg, South Africa; Philippines; and Mexico.  
The video was produced in 33 languages. It will be available in AlbanianArmenian, Cebuano, ChineseCroatianCzech, Danish, Dutch, EnglishFijian, Finnish, FrenchGermanGreekHungarianIndonesianItalianJapaneseKoreanLatvianMongolianNorwegianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSamoanSpanishSwedishTagalogThaiTongan and Ukrainian.
The Church’s Missionary Department has been sponsoring Christmas and Easter initiatives for the past several years to reach broader audiences with the Church’s message that Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and was resurrected to save all mankind.
Last December, the “A Savior Is Born”Christmas initiative reached millions of people around the world. The video had more than 50 million views. Millions were also reached last spring with the “Follow Him” Easter initiative. 

19.11.16

Satan's plan compared to World History Politics


This post will borrow much from Elder Dallin H. Oaks April 2016 talkOpposition in All Things as well as many websites that I will reference in the post for Worldwide political philosophies.

Elder Oaks encapsulates the fourth chapter of the Book of Moses and cites, "From the beginning, agency and opposition were central to the Father’s plan and to Satan’s rebellion against it. As the Lord revealed to Moses, in the council of heaven Satan 'sought to destroy the agency of man' (Moses 4:3). That destruction was inherent in the terms of Satan’s offer. He came before the Father and said, 'Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor' (Moses 4:1).  Thus, Satan proposed to carry out the Father’s plan in a way that would prevent the accomplishment of the Father’s purpose and give Satan His glory."

Not just that, but Satan's hatred for and against Jehovah (who was named Jesus when he was born into this life) absolutely and totally and completely tried to usurp Jesus the Christ's role in the plan or rather negated it...  There would be no reason for this planet to be atoned for and no place for mankind's healing or empathy for or especially no reason to have a Messiah!  Satan would annihilate a need or purpose for Christ and all that He stands for.


"Satan’s proposal would have ensured perfect equality: [here we start to remember the Communism of the former Soviet Union, no?] it would “redeem all mankind,” that not one soul would be lost. ("The contention in heaven was—Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favor of Jesus Christ. So the devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down, with all who put up their heads for him Book of Moses—Pearl of Great Price 4:1-4; Book of Abraham 3:23-28]." TPJS, 357)

There would be no agency or choice by anyone and, therefore, no need for opposition. There would be no test, no failure, and no success. There would be no growth to attain the purpose the Father desired for His children. The scriptures record that Satan’s opposition resulted in a “war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7), in which two-thirds of the children of God earned the right to experience mortal life by choosing the Father’s plan and rejecting Satan’s rebellion.
"Satan’s purpose was to gain for himself the Father’s honor and power" (see Isaiah 14:12–15Moses 4:1, 3). “Wherefore,” the Father said, “because that Satan rebelled against me, … I caused that he should be cast down” (Moses 4:3) with all the spirits who had exercised their agency to follow him (see Jude 1:6Revelation 12:8–9D&C 29:36–37). Cast down as unembodied spirits in mortality, Satan and his followers tempt and seek to deceive and captivate the children of God (see Moses 4:4). So it is that the evil one, who opposed and sought to destroy the Father’s plan, actually facilitated it, because it is opposition that enables choice and it is the opportunity of making the right choices that leads to the growth that is the purpose of the Father’s plan."

Satan is THE GREAT LIAR, the original liar, and President Barrack Obama says to a group of Argentinian students that: there was no great difference between communism and capitalism and that they should just 'choose from what works'.  “So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said.  “Those are interesting intellectual arguments (communism and capitalism...), but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works,” he added.

Does communism ever work?  Didn't for the Soviet Union, and the USSR was America's and all American's greatest threat for 50 years!  It's not that the Russians didn't carry-out Karl Marx' theories well enough--they are flawed and corrupt!  Communism is corrupt!  It will never work.  It is a counterfeit to the Law of Consecration, and Satan is the founder of it (and any other philosophy that is anti-Christ).

Communism is a counterfeit to the Gospel plan, says, Marion G. Romney, an apostle and member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ("Communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and . . . it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. (Marion G. Romney as quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1979; Ensign, Nov 1979, pgs. 43-47)" ) and President Ezra Taft Benson also said:

  1. Whenever the God of Heaven reveals His gospel to mankind, Satan, the archenemy to Christ, introduces a counterfeit. . . Communism introduced into the world a substitute for true religion, It is a counterfeit of the gospel plan . . . Today, we are in the battle for the bodies and souls of man. It is a battle between two opposing systems: freedom and slavery, Christ and AntiChrist... (Ezra Taft Benson, “A Witness and a Warning,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 31).
Karl Marx, the original and revolutionary socialist, states are run in the interests of the ruling class but are nonetheless represented as being in favor of the common interest of all.[8]Socialism was designed by Marx to be an interim point to work toward the perfection (communism). Marx believed that Socialism was better than capitalism, and the next step upward for humankind on its way to the perfect society, which Marx believed was communism.  Obama's legacy would have been to turn the United States into a communist state, and Bernie Sanders deceived himself into thinking that his democratic socialism wouldn't be turned into communism.  Or maybe he knew it would!

JPS

16.10.16

Why rebel against God?


Jacob, the brother of Nephi and son of Lehi, in The Book of Mormon, wrote he and others wished that, "...we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi."

My question is, why should we rebel against God?  We've already accepted His Plan of Salvation , received our precious bodies, and know of Him and His goodness--why would we ever rebel against that Loving Parent?  Why would we ever choose to disobey that Perfect Father who loves us Perfectly and provides for us?  Maybe we are pissed because of the inequity in the world?  Maybe we think of that homeless person we avoided on the street or just wished we wouldn't run into, and we are mad at God for them?  It's just not fair that bad things happen to good people?  Even good people trying their best to serve God have bad things happen to them...

The real question, however, is: why do YOU do things that you know you shouldn't?

A better question, and one a trifle less judgmental is: why am I not experiencing the joy that this life was designed to be?  President Russell M. Nelson answered just that question in his General Conference talk in October of 2016 called, Joy and Spiritual Survival.  This life, offerers experiences For our Spiritual Development and Learning.

All I have to do is not rebel against God and live my life helping others.  Love God and my neighbor, right?

JPS

14.10.16

The Lost Sheep and Agency


Presidemt Dieter Friederich Uchtdorf proclaimed, in his talk in April 2016 talk, "He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home", that God will force no man to heaven, in his discussion about how Christ's mercy will seek-out and rescue those (specifically talking about the one who is lost out of 100 sheep) who are but who will but ask for His help.  No payment is needed or even accepted; nothing due; no pre-requisite waited for.  All of this in direct and painful contrast to Lucifer's bold claim that "he would save ALL of God's children" if only God would grant him His honor (that the universe's intelligences would bow to his commands).

One who paid the debt to be able to save, with blood dripping from every poor as He chose to feel the pain, anguish, fear, worry, stress, sickness, and horror that anyone oils ever feel in this life, versus one  who makes empty promises that could literally never come to pass but who asks for all of the glory in return.  Yet, somehow, one third of the host of heaven were fooled or beguiled into choosing an eternity of living with and as this sad serpent indtead of inheriting a kingdom of gory with a resurrected and immortal body.  How?  And that's not even the saddest part--his lies are fooling so many people today to not follow their conscience and act on the truth that they know to be the right thing to do!

The joyful irony at the end of the day (or the end of this mortal life as well...), is that Christ did what Satan only purported to be able to do (but would not have been able to do in the slightest way)--Save those rare sons of perdition, there is no life so shattered it cannot be restored--everyone will be raised to a kingdom of glory because of Jesus Christ's atonement!

Dare to do right!  Dare to be true!  You have a work that no other can do!

JPS

7.6.16

Ponderize Alma 3:27


Book of Mormon, Book of Alma, chapter 3, verse 27 says: "For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy; therefore let it be according to the truth..."

If you are not familiar with the word, "ponderize" you should really see/hear to this talk.

Now that we know what ponderizing is and we have the verse of scripture, let's discuss and ponderize, shall we?

With what should we start-off?  "Receiveth wages"-- Who would pay you?  Your employer/he whom you obey.  Who do you obey: God or Satan?  Whoever it is, that's who is going to pay you: you are either going to receive Eternal Life or suffer with the devil and all those who follow him (ever thought of that before?  If you are sinning and following Satan you are laying your sleeping-bag next to Cain, Judas, and even Hitler--maybe that's enough to shake you out of your sleep; Hitler!  Sometimes we need to bring our thoughts back home--back to our own person/mind and deal with a subject that we can feel in our own chest or mind--most human beings have negative feelings towards Adolf Hitler and consequently consider him a bad guy and so to be compared to him might arouse a feeling that might make you shudder or squirm or vomit.  Then again, you might just disregard it altogether, just as you would with Satan or Cain or Judas, in which case, praying or reading scriptures or an angelic visit might be all that could wake you up!).

Are you following Christ or Hitler?  Whomever it is, is going to pay your wages: Christ will give you everything that The Father is giving Him, or Hitler/Satan/Judas/Cain will drag you down to be ruled-over by Cain in Outer Darkness.

The spirit of prophecy is telling you that whomever you choose to obey, by them you will be rewarded!  Every man, that is, chooses whom to obey with every choice he or she makes.  Every man will receive either a blessing or a damnation, depending on who was followed or chosen.

Next, "listeth"?  I thought it might give me more insight into the passage if I looked it up:

From Middle English liste, from Old English list ‎(“art, cleverness, cunning, experience, skill, craft”), from Proto-Germanic *listiz ‎(“craft, art”), from Proto-Indo-European *leys-, *leyǝs- ‎(“track, furrow, trace, trail”). Cognate with Scots list ‎(“art, skill, craft, cunning”), Saterland Frisian list ‎(“cunning, knowledge”), Dutch list ‎(“ruse, strategem, guile, artifice, sleight”), Low German list ‎(“wisdom, prudence, cunning, artifice”), German List ‎(“cunning, ruse, trick, guile, ploy”), Swedish list ‎(“cunning, art, trick, ruse, wile, guile, stealth”), Icelandic list ‎(“art”). Related to lore, lere, learn. (Wiktionary)

The wind blows where it goes in its experience of skill and cleverness (and cunningly gets to places it shouldn't otherwise go...).

It is also found in John 3:8:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

In John, "listeth" seems to mean: must go or decrees, as in the wind blow where it is commanded to blow as the Spirit follows where it decrees or has been decreed to go.

Synthesizing the two conclusions: For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth (or goes according to his experience and skill or is commanded to go) to obey


Let it be according to the truth!

JPS

30.5.16

Feeling God's Love


1) God wants us to have Joy!

It is, after all His Eternal Work & Glory to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of man (the Book of Moses 1:39)

2) Nothing unclean can enter God's kingdom (D&C 109:20; 94:9; 1 Nephi 10:21; Alma 11:37; & 3 Nephi 27:19)

+

God's kingdom is a kingdom of order (D&C 132:8), which means that we can't just do whatever we want and whatever makes us feel good

3) Therefore, man must obey God's commandments and repent if he or she is going to be able to enter into God's kingdom and inherit Eternal Life!

... But ...

Let's face it...  This is not probable...that is...until men and women know and feel God's LOVE for them!

I mean, it already flies in the face of man's nature (Mosiah 3:19) to do good and repent--it's just not what we like to do!  But...  If a child (and we are all God's children--every single person to be born on this Earth!) feels that love from his/His father, he will do anything that he is told by his father/Father.

JPS

20.5.16

I would rather have nothing than have everyone be equal to me!


Satan, or rather, Lucifer, wanted to have God the Father's (my Heavenly Father and your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's Heavenly Father and Lucifer's) glory and wanted to take away our agency or force us to follow him, as well as hated Jesus Christ and His being chosen to carry-out our Heavenly Father's eternal plan.

There is a reason why the scriptures attest that in nothing is God offended but in our ingratitude.  Lucifer was a son of the morning and held some authority among God's children, but was so ungrateful that he wanted ALL of Our Father's glory--all of it!  Just so happened that he couldn't stand the thought of every one of His children having an equal opportunity to inherit all that the Father hath.  The irony of it is, that he tempts us to be ungrateful and inherit nothing--the same as he receives--so, all of Lucifer's or Satan's followers will receive the exact same thing.  NOTHING!  In the end, his plan is carried out (by those who follow him).  Only, every damned soul that came to Earth will be resurrected and therefore have an Eternal body, which Satan will never have.  Ever.   I understand that Pride is the gateway sin to all other sins, but isn't ingratitude also?

JPS

19.5.16

God's Love & Commandments


Until we, as human beings and, more importantly, as children of God, understand and allow ourselves to feel Our Heavenly Father's love and Our Savior's love for us, we are NOT likely to follow Their commandments!

As was said in General Conference:

God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do!
- Carol M. Stevens

JPS