Here is the next Gospel Doctrine lesson. It includes a link to my in depth study of Abraham and Melchizedek (including Nag Hammadi, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc), and a discussion on Sodom and Gomorrah.
The message? Flee away from Sodom and go to the New Jerusalem.
Read there/comment here.
Stop Hunger Now has recently opened a Utah location.
On a recent flight out of Salt Lake City, I had the chance to chat with the President of Stop Hunger Now, who had just been in Utah and visited the Church Welfare facilities. We chatted about Church history, hunger, and aquaponics. Various governments, think tanks, and the United Nations are becoming concerned about the likelihood of absolute global food shortages in 2030.
And we thought 2008 was bad.
We have a reason to care particularly about these issues. After all, we believe that mankind is charged with a stewardship of this wonderful world, a fact of which we are reminded (if subtly) each time we attend the temple. Continue reading
President Obama famously said “the government is us.”
I don’t think anybody believes this.
Some people might say they believe this when one policy they favor is approved by voters. If you are a tea party supporter, you might have been temporarily cheered during the 2010 elections, or if you wanted Obama to win in 2012, you might say to yourself, “the people have spoken.”
But nobody really believes the government is “us.” The government is almost always “them.”
Skeptical? Think back to World War II. The government (“them”) rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in concentration camps. Was that a government of “us?” How about the many governments of the South that enforced segregation or turned a blind eye to lynchings or fought civil rights in general? Many individual white people in the South, especially business owners who wanted new business, favored integration, but the governments (“them”) prevented it.
Ancient history, you say? What about the NSA spying on all Americans’ phone calls, texts and internet communications? I literally do not know anybody in real life who defends this policy. Everybody I know, from conservative to liberal and all shades of politics in between, finds this extremely alarming. Yet nobody feels like we can do anything about it. “They” are in control. “We” are helpless. This is not a government of “us.”
Here is an easy test to see if you feel like you are in control of your government: how would you feel if you got a call from the IRS? Would you feel uneasy? Would you imagine a painful audit or a pleasant experience? How about being molested by the TSA as you do nothing but take the voluntary action of boarding an airplane? Is that a government of “them” or of “us?”
On a local level, do you really think your local police are concerned about “you” when they set up speed traps? Or are they concerned about raising revenue for “them” and “their” concerns? Speed traps have nothing to do with “protect and serve;” speed traps about about “them” getting away with fleecing you out of $150 (or more) of your hard-earned money.
Now, compare this to your experience at Church.
If your criteria is following the Constitution and promoting liberty and prosperity, the five best are:
The five worst are:
36. Jimmy Carter
37. George W. Bush
38. Richard M. Nixon
39. Woodrow Wilson
40. Lyndon B. Johnson
Note: Obama was not in the survey. FDR was number 35.
As something of an amateur historian, I agree wholeheartedly with these results, although I might quibble here and there with some placements. For example, I am not convinced Reagan should be rated above Thomas Jefferson. But in general, yes, this is the way I see things.
[This post is seventh in a series. To read from the beginning, go to A Faithful Joseph.]
Joseph Smith, Sr.
When discussing Joseph Smith’s plural marriages, many have simply presumed that Joseph initiated marriages whenever there was a plausible opportunity for Joseph to be in the same town or house or room as a putative wife. This seems to be the rationale behind Compton’s assertion that Joseph married Lucinda Pendleton in 1838 or the belief that Joseph fathered children with Hannah Dubois in the early 1830s.
I propose that instead of looking for possible trysts, we look at the deaths the ripped Joseph’s cautious soul enough to open a path for the restoration of eternal marriage, including plural marriage. The deaths of which I speak are in the historical record, though largely unknown. There may be more than the six I enumerate here: brother, son, friend, wife & mother, daughter, and father. But I believe these six were sufficient to open Joseph’s mind and heart to the meaning of God’s promise to the fathers and children stated in Malachi and quoted by the Angel Moroni.