Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Nature of the Godhead

In the January 2006 Ensign there is a good article addressing the nature of the Godhead. The introduction says;
The first in a series of article explaining basic beliefs of the restored gospel, doctrines unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have read a few things lately where people a criticizing the Church for trying to be too mainstream. I haven't noticed such a trend, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I wonder if the brethren have heard this criticism and are trying to emphasize a little more that we are a church with unique doctrines with this new series of articles.

I wanted to highlight a few passages in this article. The article opens with a quote from Dallin H. Oaks;

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many beliefs in common with other Christian churches, but we have differences, and those differences explain why we send missionaries to other Christians, why we build temples in addition to churches, and why our beliefs bring us such happiness and strength to deal with the challenges of life and death.

I agree with this emphasis. I think it's important to note that we do have many similar beliefs with other religions. This should be an important part of our dealings with other people. Rather than trying to contend with others regarding our differences, we should embrace our similarities. On the other side of the coin, while sharing similarities, we should always remember that we do have differences. We should not hide these differences, but we should proclaim them.

If Joseph Smith had restored the Gospel on the Earth, but had not received the Book of Mormon, how would we convert new members? If we went door to door with a Bible, people would have nothing to convert to, because they know that the Bible is true already.

The article emphasizes that the Church believes that the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. It also talks about the understanding that God has a body of flesh and bones. This doctrine is key to everything we believe. How can we truly have faith in a being that we don't have at least a rudimentary understanding of?

The last part of the article talks about the nature of man and has this quote;
In the theology of the restored church of Jesus Christ, the purpose of mortal life is to prepare us to realize our destiny as sons and daughters of God -- to become like Him.

Detractors of the church often attack us for the belief that we can become "Gods", fundamentally, this may be true, but this is probably not the most reverent way of talking about it. The important thing to remember is that the purpose of this life is to become "like him".

Monday, December 19, 2005

The three Nephites

I know that thinking about things like the three Nephites and who they were is pretty much a waste of time, but sometimes I like to think about them. I think it's ok to look at these kinds of things enough to be interested in them, but to make it a "hobby" is not such a good idea.

On that note, I wanted to share a theory I came up with as I was reading 3rd Nephi where the 12 desciples are named.

3 Ne. 19: 4
4 And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah—now these were the names of the disciples whom Jesus had chosen—and it came to pass that they went forth and stood in the midst of the multitude.

I noticed that Timothy had been raised from the dead, in my mind that automatically made him a candidate to be one of the three Nephites. Who better to have the desire to not want to taste death than someone who had already been dead? I immediately thought that perhaps Nephi, his brother, and Jonas, Nephi's son, were the other two. Let's keep it in the family right? I read further, and the text does mention Nephi's death, so I guess it wasn't Nephi. I still think that Timothy is a prime candidate.

I guess it doesn't matter anyway does it, if it did, we would be told who they were.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Racism in Church members.

I was reading a comment over at BCC http://www.bycommonconsent.com/ and there is a discussion on race in the church.

This discussion reminds me of my second companion on my mission. He was from Utah and was fairly well off and had a black and white (no pun intended) view of things. I remember that his jaw dropped when I told him that I once hitch hiked when our car broke down. "That's illegal" he said.

Anyway, this one time he told me a racist joke. I can't remember if it was against blacks or mexicans or what, but I said something like "Do you think Jesus would tell that joke." He said something like, "Do you think that Jesus would get his certification?" (for those of you who might not know, missionaries usually memorize scriptures and read specific books to get "certified").

Anyway, I really doubt that he was really racist, but it seems that this attitude is too rampant among people in the church. It makes me sick to my stomach to see people who claim to be so righteous, be so un christlike when it comes to racism. There is nothing funny about racism at all. There is nothing harmless about racist jokes. I suppose that it's ok for someone from that background to tell them. I suppose I could tell a white person joke.

A few months ago, I found out that the church has an organization specifically geared towards blacks in the church. It's really interesting. It is officially sanctioned by the church.


I have also been reading some arguements against the church folklore about the blacks being decendents of Cain and Ham etc. etc., while that is definitely not church doctrine, I have yet to be convinced that it's not true. Even if it were true, I think that in no way justifies racism. It in no way implies that the lord loves the decendents of Cain or Ham any less.

I grew up in Georgia and one of my best friends (because I didn't really have many friends) was very racist. His god father, my neighbor, was in the KKK. We used to buy wood from this family and they showed up on Sally Jessie Raphael because they were in the KKK. (needless to say we quit buying wood from them). I have seen it's evils, I did not like the things I saw growing up there.

The lord will do what he will do, but he does not condone racism or hatred for any of his children.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Man Who May Be 1000th Executed Sees Family


I just saw an article about this guy who may be the 1000th person executed. The whole idea saddens me really. I feel that the death penalty is not the right way to go. There have been numerous studies done that show that the death penalty doesn't deter would be killers.

In Biblcal times, the lord sanctioned capitol punishment (sometimes for seemingly lame things). I feel that capitol punishment is fine when it is sanctioned by the Lord, and is performed by the church. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is what we will find in the Bible.

I think that while the Government is still ran by men not being directed by the lord, we should quit performing capitol punishment. There has been too much innocent blood shed to continue the practice in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mormon Republicans, Mormon Democrats...

I always find it strange that members of the church who are Republican are alway trashing Democrats. Somehow they assume that all Mormons are Republicans. I am always amused by this when president Hinckly himself said that members of the church can belong to any political party.

Here is President Hinckley himself;

"Q. It says, Given the platform and positions taken by the Democratic Party, can you be a good church member and a Democrat?

A. Yes, I think so. I don't know why you couldn't. It depends on what you believe as a Democrat in terms of some things. There are some things we don't subscribe to. We've got lots of Democrats in the church, lots of them, and they are good people. I don't worry about that too much. This is Washington. I better be careful of what I say. Well, we've got a Democratic presidency and another candidate marked out for the future."
I don't think there is much wiggle room in this statement. There are lots of us :-)

Also, one of the men I respect the most, Harry Reid. He gives a good interview where he answers questions about his beliefs and his party afiliation.

I mean, I can see why some people get on their high horse and say that democrats are evil because they are for abortion and gays. Well, I am against any form of on demand abortion, and I am not pro-gay for sure, but there are other ethical issues that are far more important to me than the personal life of some people I have yet to meet. The illegal war in Iraq for instance.

That is something i'm worried about.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

BYU. professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC

My Dad (an inactive member of the church, long story for another post) showed me this link on www.rense.com . I have read many web sites and theories claiming that the world trade centers were actually destroyed by explosives coming from the interior of the buildings. I have never been sure wether or not to beleive them. This article on Deseret News is the first that I have seen in a reputable source. Here is the article.


My Father has a theory that this guy will soon be excommunicated because he thinks that the church and the republican party are as thick as theives. Anyway, I am curious as to see what happens to one Steven E. Jones. I hope he gets the evidence he is looking for and we can answer this question once and for all. And, for me, it is deep irony that the one guy that has the guts to stand up and demand the truth is a card carrying Mormon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As of late...

Recently, my wife decided that we should read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I am glad that she did. Honestly it's been a while since I have regularly read the Book of Mormon (or any scriptures for that matter.) I keep going over in my mind the experiences that occur in the book and how intricate it is. It's no wonder what we have is mainly spiritual in nature. There would be an enormous amount of history to tell! What is most important is the spiritual nature of the book anyway.

I have also been reading some material online regarding the church. Recently I have been reading Jeff Lindsay’s blog http://mormanity.blogspot.com/ I am amazed at Jeff’s humanity and his intelligent posts. I have been reading from his website for while http://www.jefflindsay.com/. There is a lot of good information on there, not just Mormon apologetics.

I was amazed to find posting on Jeff’s blog none other than one Daniel C. Peterson. Daniel came to my mission in Arcadia California sometime in 96 I think. I remember that he gave a really interesting talk. After his talk, he opened up to allow for doctrinal questions. I at the time was not much into doctrine other than a few things. There were a couple of missionaries in my Zone that were having these "deep doctrine" discussions, which they wouldn't let me in on due to the fact that I was a greenie.

One particular missionary, I can't think of his name, had come up with this theory that the statement "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess" found in Romans and Mosiah (or perhaps elsewhere) was referring to an actual ordinance. He had all these scriptures to back up his claims. I remember Daniel basically shot the idea down without much of a thought. I found the whole thing amusing really. I gained a lot of respect for Daniel that day.

Anyway, as I read more and more online from the critics of the Church, I keep thinking about people who are doing their best to discredit the church. They spend hours and hours studying church history, doctrines and anything they can get their hands on. I met a guy one time on my mission that had read the entire standard works and had a whole library of both anti books and books written by General Authorities. He spent so much time trying to debunk what we believe that I think that he may have forgotten to do any studying of his own church.

People should really spend more time reading the Bible and less time trying to discredit other people. You can find fault in anything if you look for it. You can also find good things in anything if you look for it.
At the end of the day, we can do as much study as we would like but it will amount to nil unless we go to the ultimate source for truth, God. He can teach us all truth.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A new beginning

As I read the other blogs out there, I feel inadequite compared to some of these bloggers. The purpose of my blog is to share some of my ideas and thoughts regarding the spiritual realm, for the most part.

This is not going to be the place to debate deep doctrine, mainly because I am not a scriptorian. If you want that sort of thing, there are other blogs out there with bloggers that are much more intellegent than I.

I hope somone out there can benefit from what is here, but most likely, no one will ever read this.