Excerpt:Kirtland, Ohio. It was the first gathering place for the Saints in these last days. Joseph Smith was promised in revelation that if the Saints gathered there, they would receive the Law and an endowment of power. In this lesson, we see the fulfillment of the first.
When Joseph Smith arrived, Kirtland was the wild west. Many members did not understand revelation, the workings of the Spirit, or the rules by which to live. In the Church’s new history book, Saints, we read the following:
“Some of the Saints in Kirtland took their beliefs to wild extremes, reveling in what they took to be gifts of the Spirit. Several people claimed to have visions they could not explain. Others believed the Holy Ghost made them slide or scoot across the ground. One man bounced around rooms or swung from ceiling joists whenever he thought he felt the Spirit. Another acted like a baboon.” (Saints, chapter 10, Gathered In)
Hey there, just coming up for air from the homeschool/crisis schooling/pandemic trenches to fill everyone in on this year’s BYU Women’s Conference.
This year’s Conference will be fully online. There are sessions that are “complementary” meaning you do not have to register to watch them, and sessions that will be behind a paywall. The keynote speaker this year is our favorite and most loved Sherri Dew. Right now her talk is available to be viewed in front of the paywall until April 29th, after which, you have to have a Conference ticket to view.
Click over to the BYU Women’s Conference site HERE, to see Sister Dew’s talk (on the right sidebar in a very tiny player), and to find out more about this year’s Conference.
I know you are praying as much as me that next our faces will be free, the Covid Wars will be over, and we can all enjoy a BYU brownie on campus and enjoy Women’s Conference together, in person.
This post will look at a few quick takes from recent events. We start with Elder Oaks’ inspiring talk on the Constitution, which can be read or watched here.
Some key paragraphs:
Despite the divinely inspired principles of the United States Constitution, when exercised by imperfect mortals their intended effects have not always been achieved. Important subjects of lawmaking, such as some laws governing family relationships, have been taken from the states by the federal government. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech has sometimes been diluted by suppression of unpopular speech. The principle of separation of powers has always been under pressure with the ebb and flow of one branch of government exercising or inhibiting the powers delegated to another.
There are other threats that undermine the inspired principles of the United States Constitution. The stature of the Constitution is diminished by efforts to substitute current societal trends as the reason for its founding, instead of liberty and self-government. The authority of the Constitution is trivialized when candidates or officials ignore its principles. The dignity and force of the Constitution is reduced by those who refer to it like a loyalty test or a political slogan, instead of its lofty status as a source of authorization for and limits on government authority.
Please re-read or listen again to Elder Oaks’ very important talk. There have been many good talks by Church leaders on the Constitution, but this is one of the best.
For Joseph and many of the saints, the restoration initially meant just building up a small little set of congregations. Never did any of them consider the vast work that was ahead. In D&C 37, the saints, most living in New York prior to the missionary work to the Lamanites by Oliver Cowdery, were called to the Gathering.
The concept of Gathering partially came from Joseph reworking the book of Genesis, as part of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. While we call it a “translation,” it really isn’t. Joseph didn’t use ancient Hebrew and Greek documents in his rework of the Bible. Instead, he used an English Bible purchased at the Grandin book store. Joseph was less concerned with the language and grammar, and more focused on finding the “plain and precious” things that had been lost out of the Bible. Rather than a translation, it would be a series of refining revelations.
This past month my family endured something of an emergency. My autistic daughter had decided to send inappropriate video links to various family members. In response, my husband decided that my daughter would have to give up her phone for 4 days.
Now, my daughter already suffers from a lack of understanding of the universe, due to her autism. Plus she has Graves Disease, which at times makes her highly emotional, irrational, and paranoid. For example, my daughter will start screaming at us that we are not her real parents, that we kidnapped her a birth. When I remind her (often calmly) that I know she is my child because I was there when she entered mortality, she will wail, “Are you sure?!?!?!?! How do you know!?!?!?!”
For the first two days of phone restrictions, my daughter was rabidly angry and paranoid. Which prompted numerous efforts to correct the errors in her thinking. By the weekend, the oppositional paranoia increased to fever pitch, then gave way to waves of non-specific anxiety. By the last day of the phone restrictions, my daughter was in a constant state of panic: weeping, hyperventilating, afraid my husband was going to die.
Then she got the phone back, and it was like she’d received a calming drug. Now she’s back to only frequent paranoid behavior.
It was in light of this recent experience that I watched /the social dilemma, a documentary mixed with drama that rings a warning bell (if rather faint) regarding how social media companies benefit from algorithms that maximize our screen time, no matter what the consequence.