About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

Ezra Taft Benson’s testimony from 1988 reads like today’s news

Watching and reading President Ezra Taft Benson’s testimony from 1988 is like reading today’s new. The prophet said:

I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18–25.)

I testify that the church and kingdom of God is increasing in strength. Its numbers are growing, as is the faithfulness of its faithful members. It has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission.

I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. (See JS—H 1:45D&C 1:9.) But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph. (See 1 Ne. 22:15–23.)

I testify that it is time for every man to set in order his own house both temporally and spiritually. It is time for the unbeliever to learn for himself that this work is true, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom which Daniel prophesied God would set up in the latter days, never to be destroyed, a stone that would eventually fill the whole earth and stand forever. (See Dan. 2:34–45D&C 65:2.) It is time for us, as members of the Church, to walk in all the ways of the Lord, to use our influence to make popular that which is sound and to make unpopular that which is unsound. We have the scriptures, the prophets, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now we need eyes that will see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will hearken to God’s direction.

And of course here is the good news:

I testify that not many years hence the earth will be cleansed. (See D&C 76:41.) Jesus the Christ will come again, this time in power and great glory to vanquish His foes and to rule and reign on the earth. (See D&C 43:26–33.) In due time all men will gain a resurrection and then will face the Master in a final judgment. (See 2 Ne. 9:15, 41.) God will give rewards to each according to the deeds done in the flesh. (See Alma 5:15.)

Is this the behavior of Saints?

A friend reports these signs are popping up in Utah after area authorities urged Latter-day Saints to wear masks in public.

This is exactly the reason I wrote this post. Creating a sign like this — and claiming that you are only a follower of Jesus if you follow certain worldly conditions — is exactly the opposite of what Latter-day Saints should be doing. This sign does nothing but try to exclude other people. One commenter pointed out that people who put up signs like this are like the Zoramites. I see some similarities.

What does Alma say about the Zoramites?

Alma 38: 13: Do not apray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of men, and to be praised for their wisdom.

14 Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are abetter than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my bunworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy—yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.

Should you wear a mask in Utah in public? Yes, unless you have a health condition or some other legitimate reason not to wear a mask. Should you try to follow the advice of area authorities? Yes. Obviously. Should you go around telling other people that they are apostates if they don’t wear a mask? NO. Such attacks only bring contention, which is of the devil.

As President Nelson wrote in May 1994:

Our Creator decreed “that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.”15

Intolerance seeds contention; tolerance supersedes contention. Tolerance is the key that opens the door to mutual understanding and love.

Stop with the masking shaming! Please.

On masks and obedience

Two months ago my stake presidency in Colorado sent out an email to the members of our stake requesting that all members sign a petition so that an initiative could get on the 2020 ballot banning late term abortion. I happily signed the petition, and this initiative will be on the ballot in 2020, and I plan to vote for a ban on late term abortion.

This post is not about abortion, but instead the issue of obedience to Church leaders. As a general rule, I try really hard to follow the counsel of my local leaders. When we go to stake conference, we are urged to go to the temple regularly, to take our callings seriously, to help minister to those around us. I could go on and on, but you get the drift: I really do try to do what local Church leaders ask us to do.

Now, what are we to think of the people who did not sign this initiative? Are they all apostates? Could it be they did not have time or were working? Perhaps they are in favor of late term abortion because they are generally pro-choice. Are pro-choice people all apostates?

I think we would agree that the people who ignored the stake presidency’s guidance had their reasons. I know people who did not sign these petitions for a variety of reasons, and I guarantee you the people I know are NOT apostates.

Last week the area presidency in Utah sent out a letter urging people to wear masks in public because of COVID-19. I know dozens of people, good friends and family members, who will ignore this request. I also know several people, including people I like and trust, who have argued that this is a wheat and tares moment and that the people who refuse to wear masks in public are apostates. I think this is crazy, and the people making these claims should be ashamed of themselves.

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Protesters fire into car in Provo, Utah, wound driver

Protesters in Provo, Utah blocked traffic last night. When a white SUV tried to get through the traffic, the protesters fired at the car. You can see the videos below.

This video clearly shows at least one protesters firing into the SUV, and at least one more shot is heard.

The Deseret News has more on the protests here.

UPDATE: the man in the vehicle was shot in the altercation and drove himself to the hospital. His wounds do not appear life-threatening. More here.