About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

From Harold B. Lee

There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?”

Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church.

There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.”

Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said:

“The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. … He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. …

“It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.”

And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.)

Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.”

How comforting it would be to those who are the restless in the intellectual world, when such questions arise as to how the earth was formed and how man came to be, if they could answer as did an eminent scientist and devoted Church member. A sister had asked: “Why didn’t the Lord tell us plainly about these things?” The scientist answered: “It is likely we would not understand if he did. It might be like trying to explain the theory of atomic energy to an eight-year-old child.”

Source: 1971 Conference: “The Iron Rod.”

A few more details on the Church and the Scouts

This Salt Lake Tribune article is the typical garbage spewed by that rag of a newspaper.

Still, every once in a while you can find something interesting in the sewage. Here are a few details that may interest M* readers:

That could have dire financial consequences for BSA. The LDS Church is far and away the nation’s largest Scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops.

In 2013, more than a third (37 percent) of troops were LDS sponsored, accounting for 18 percent of the BSA’s 2.4 million total membership (Mormon troops, while more numerous, tend to be smaller in size).

An LDS Church withdrawal also could ruin the three Scout councils in Utah, which say between 96 percent and 99 percent of their members are in Mormon units.

And importantly:

The policy change approved Monday evening by the BSA’s 80-member National Executive Board to allow “openly gay leaders” to serve in Scout troops “is inconsistent with the doctrines of the church,” the release added, “and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.”

Although the LDS Church has allowed — and does allow — openly gay Mormons to serve in church assignments, including the Boy Scouts, these members are deemed to be living the faith’s standards. This means they are not acting on their same-sex attractions.

The BSA’s new policy, however, makes no such distinction between “openly gay” and “sexually active gay leaders.” So a gay Scout leader could have a partner or a same-sex spouse — and that troubles the Mormon brass.

While the BSA insists that religiously affiliated troops, including those sponsored by the LDS Church, can continue to ban gay leaders, many observers doubt such an exemption can be legally defended.

Of course the Tribune being the Tribune, the reporters and editors felt it necessary to quote only people opposed to the Church’s position as the story continued. Are Tribune reporters too lazy to actually call people who support the Church or are they simply uninterested in even trying to appear close to objective? I am guessing the latter.

Church reevaluating Scouting program

The Church released the following today:

Church Re-evaluating Scouting Program
Concern expressed over BSA policy change, lack of global reach

SALT LAKE CITY —
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement today after a vote on a policy change by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board to admit openly gay leaders:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.

As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available. Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the Church in the weeks ahead.”

Here is a link to the release.

From the July 2015 Ensign

This article.

It is true that not everyone has the opportunity to marry in this life, nor is every couple blessed with children in mortality. Latter-day prophets have assured us that those who are faithful will eventually be given these blessings, either in this life or the next. Nevertheless, just because not everyone achieves the ideal does not mean we should stop holding it up as the standard to seek. Eternal marriage and family relationships should be a desire and priority for every Latter-day Saint, regardless of circumstances.

As has always been the case, Satan proposes alternatives to our Heavenly Father’s plan, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the family. In contrast to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness through righteousness in marriage and family life, Satan proposes alternative lifestyles that are rooted in sinfulness and selfishness. He is cursed to never marry or have a family, and he entices us to live like him instead of like our Heavenly Father. He lies to us, telling us that marriage and family are an inconvenience and a bondage. He promises us that we will find greater joy and fulfillment in some other way or through some other arrangement. He tempts us not to marry and, if we do marry, to not have children.

The deviations the adversary proposes include premarital sexual relations, pornography, abuse of spouse and children, elective abortion for personal or social convenience, marital infidelity, unjustified divorce, cohabitation, homosexual relations, and unwarranted sterilization. If he cannot convince us to do these things, he tempts us to support and encourage others to do them. But these alternative lifestyles will not bring the true happiness we seek in this life, nor will they bring the full blessings of salvation in the next. Out of loyalty to our Heavenly Father’s plan and out of love for mankind, we must discourage and oppose measures that are not designed to maintain and strengthen marriage between a man and a woman and “the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

Discussing the Church’s letter on same-sex marriage in a conservative ward

On Sunday during the third hour of Sacrament meeting, the bishop of our ward held a joint meeting to discuss the Church’s letter on same-sex marriage. As you may know, that letter responds to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, reaffirming the Church’s stance opposed to gay marriage but also emphasizing the importance of reaching out to neighbors and friends in love and fellowship.

At my ward, Priesthood and Relief Society, as well as the young men and young women, were in the meeting. So we had about 100 people in the cultural hall. The bishop read the letter, and then there was about a half-hour discussion.

It was truly amazing. There was not a single comment — not one, bloggernaclites! — criticizing gay people in any way. There were no comments saying this was a sign of the end of the world. There were no comments even criticizing the Supreme Court.

The overwhelming theme coming from more than 30 comments from adult and youth members was: love your neighbor. Be Christ-like. Avoid contention. Show charity to all people.
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