LDS church members respond in a variety of was after reading the CES Letter. The question is: how are you going to respond?
Most deal with a rush of emotional pain after reading from the CES Letter. Some even say it takes your breath away like being on an amusement park ride, except it is not fun.
What you do next is important. There are basically only two choices for most, 1. Turn to Heavenly Father or 2. Turn to others. Your family, friends, church leaders, the internet, etc. Continue reading →
In my opinion, there are many kinds of testimonies held by church members. But at some point church members need to acquire a testimony in the Lord’s way. This is done by calling on the Lord in prayer, even mighty prayer, to acquire a true and living testimony of the Book of Mormon as described in the following verses:
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Moroni 10:4-5
When a member of the church receives this kind of testimony it will survive all the challenges of mortality. Including all the challenges associated with church history.Continue reading →
I haven’t always been a sincere follower of Christ. As a boy, holidays recognizing the Savior were just another holiday, like Halloween or Presidents day. The joy of being out of school, receiving gifts, and eating all the goodies at Christmas and Easter were at the top of my list. The significance of the holiday didn’t matter; a fun time with a lot of goodies was the important thing.
Later, as a worldly teenager, I still enjoyed holidays because of the “goodies”—however my definition of goodies had changed from food and candy to “partying.”
Nowadays, as a follower of Christ, I travel memory lane, thinking of the events that took me from a boyhood fascination with holiday goodies, to teenage keg parties, and lastly to an abiding appreciation of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. The transition from a worldly teenager to a follower of Christ was, and continues to be, an incredible journey. I’d like to share a few things I’ve leaned on this journey with the hope that it will help others who are making transitions in their lives.
Hugh Nibley (1910-2005). There may be some reading this who don’t know much about Hugh Nibley. I got acquainted with him in the 1970’s, attended his class, lectures and had the opportunity to talk with him on a few occasions. For anyone interested in knowing more about him I suggest reading “Hugh Nibley A Consecrated Life” (The Wikipedia piece on Nibley just doesn’t give the reader even the slightest idea of who he was). Those who knew Nibley the best say that there will never be another Nibley. He was a unique personality and faithful follower of Christ.
When Nibley was 26 years old the depression was in full bloom and creating economic challenges for him. In addition he was having questions about the gospel, we might say it was a faith crisis. From his biography: Continue reading →
The Savior warned His followers about the power and influence of Satan saying:
Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 3 Nephi 18:18
Sifting wheat or winnowing is accomplished by throwing wheat into the air and allowing chaff to be blown away, leaving just the grain. From Satan’s perspective, he’d like the good, that is, the spiritual part of men winnowed out leaving just the evil, fallen part of us. That way he can have full power over the hearts of men and women.
The Book of Mormon tells of just such a time. A time when the Jaredites had become so wicked that Satan had full power over the hearts of the people.Continue reading →
Many of those who have been in military combat have experienced or seen things that they describe as miraculous. I’ve been in combat an experienced a miracle, so I know something about it.
Recently a friend sent me a link to the history of a military battle that took place during the Korean War. I think anyone who reads the history will say, “that is a miracle” because of the odds involved where 4,000 Chinese/North Koreans soldiers were defeated by 240 US soldiers from southern Utah.Continue reading →
During my lifetime it seems that every year or two there is sensational news about the Mormon church in the national press.
I remember when President David O McKay died one of the leading news magazine quipped that the Mormon Church had lost touch with God because their prophet died. They reassured their readers this was only temporary because another prophet would soon replace President McKay.
A few years later news about the church’s revelation extending the Priesthood to all worthy males was headline news. For years, the church was both praised and ridiculed in the news media.
Next came Mark Hoffman’s forgeries. Some wondered if the church could survive the implications of the salamander letter. This was followed by news that Mark Hoffman was a master forger and murderer. Continue reading →
I have a friend who suffered a series of heart attacks resulting in two near-death experiences. He told me about his experience meeting the Savior and being shown a comprehensive view of the Savior’s life.
He said that the Savior stood by his side as the events we’re familiar with from the scriptures unfolded in real time. He said it was a three-dimensional view of things as they took place. He stood in the stable when the Savior was born and saw all that occurred there. He was observing events as they happened. He couldn’t interact with others, but he was actually there observing and hearing all that transpired.
NDE (near death experiences) can’t be ignored, especially by people of faith, there are just too many of them. The NDE I am familiar with can be backed-up by hospital records of a health crisis resulting in “death”. This of course adds to there validity.
This will be the first time I’ve discussed NDE on my blog. I’ve tried to keep my focus on subjects that build faith in Jesus Christ. After talking with Ralph V. Jensen, I decided that discussing his NDE is a legitimate means of increasing faith. That said, I am aware that church leaders don’t discuss NDE in General Conference or the Ensign magazine—with one important exception. In Oct 1989 General Conference, Elder David B. Haight related his health crisis and apparent NDE and the “panoramic view” of the Saviors life he was shown (Another apostle, Elder Jedidiah M. Grant related his NDE from the 1850’s). Continue reading →
Moroni wrote: “the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing” (Ether 12:23). I am aware of my weakness in writing. Nevertheless, I am persuaded by an undeniable desire to testify of the necessity of “repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (3 Nephi 7:16) to do what I can to increase faith.
My reason for writing is not academic, a church calling, or monetary. I am writing because of the tender mercies of the Lord that I’ve experienced. I’ve learned God is no respecter of persons, answers prayer, forgives sin, provides the gift of the Holy Ghost with the attending gifts of the spirit to all those who love him and keep his commandments, and those that seeketh so to do.
The apostle Peter said, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15. With Paul’s admonition in mind, I desire to do what I can (with the hope that is in me) to encourage church members in their efforts to heed the counsel of Moroni when he declared, “I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written…” Ether 12:41.
The purpose of nearly every talk in General Conference, every talk in sacrament meeting, and every gospel doctrine class we attend is to help us come unto Christ and be perfected in him.
The prophet Joseph Smith said:
“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation”.
In the 4th Article of Faith Joseph Smith enumerated the first four principles of the gospel:Continue reading →