Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery
(joelsmonastery.blogspot.com). He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History.
Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.
My blog post on Come Follow Me: D&C 64-66 Excerpt:The Lord sent Joseph Smith to Independence, Missouri where the Lord would reveal the center city of Zion and the site for its temple complex. Many were excited, including Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. Others, like Ezra Booth was dissatisfied with the land, insisting the saints move to more favorable farm land about 30 miles away. Joseph insisted on establishing Zion exactly where God had told him to do so.
The Colesville saints, who had moved from New York to Kirtland, where lands owned by Leman Copley were consecrated to them long enough for them to make major improvements, only to have them taken away by Copley, as he decided to leave the church and keep his farm. Again homeless, the Lord told them to accompany Joseph to Missouri, as the first saints to settle in Zion.
While there, Joseph laid a stone for the temple and they dedicated the site. The return trip in August 1831 was difficult. In moving down the Missouri River, rapids and debris became difficult. Many of the men were grumbling about Joseph’s lack of leadership and vision. Finally, Joseph ordered everyone off the river and to go on foot back to Kirtland. In Kirtland, the complaining and arguing continued. Finally, Joseph invited all to a meeting, where he apologized along with most in the meeting. Ezra Booth, refused to attend, and began to become one of Joseph’s biggest critics in Kirtland.
Under these troubling conditions, the Lord gave Joseph these three revelations.
Today, the Church and NAACP announced a new initiative. After again denouncing racism, Pres Nelson said the relationship with the NAACP was built upon the two great commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor.
Included in the initiative are:
Humanitarian efforts. The Church has pledged a $2 million per year for the next three years “to encourage service and help to those in need” and promote self-reliance.
Scholarships for Black students. Latter-day Saints have committed to fund a $1 million scholarship donation per year for three years, overseen by the United Negro College Fund.
A fellowship to send up to 50 students to Ghana to learn about history. The Church will donate $250,000 to create the Amos C. Brown Student Fellowship to Ghana — allowing selected students from the United States an opportunity to learn more about their heritage.
This is awesome. African Americans need help to overcome the continuing struggles from Jim Crow, poverty and, yes, slavery.
These efforts will be on top of ongoing self reliance courses and other initiatives.
For decades, the Southern Baptist Convention has been very conservative. Think Jerry Falwell.
Since bonding with Donald Trump, the SBC has lost not only moderately conservative members, but entire congregations, mostly consisting of both white and people of color congregants.
They will be electing a new president this summer, who will determine whether the SBC stays politically pro Trump, or leave behind politics and focus on bringing people’s of all colors and cultures into Christ.
The article discusses both sides. Some insisting Christ wasn’t woke, while the other side confirms hearing racial epithets.
The battle is big and ugly. It will likely lead to a bigger schism.
Contrast this to the Latter-day Saints. No elections. There are no big divisions among the leadership. They stay politically neutral. They warn about abortion and sexual ain, but also insist that “black lives matter is an eternal principle.” Pres Oaks and others teach that a person can prayerfully belong to almost any political party and be in good standing. IOW, abortion is an important issue, but not the only issue.
While the entire SBC is possibly on the verge of secession, our leadership is united, Yes, we have many hyperpolitical members who judge those who vote for/against Trump/immigration/abortion, etc. Hopefully most of our members watch the living prophets and emulate them.
My blog post for Come Follow Me: D&C 63. Excerpt:Joseph wrote in his journal: “In these infant days of the Church, there was a great anxiety to obtain the word of the Lord upon every subject that in any way concerned our salvation; and as the land of Zion was now the most important temporal object in view, I enquired of the Lord for further information upon the gathering of the Saints, and the purchase of the land, and other matters.” This is noted in the preface of section 63. It is such an important comment that I did not want us to overlook it. Many revelations were occurring. About half of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received before the Church was 2 years old! Yet, of all the important revelations thus far, Joseph noted that the most important temporal thing was to build the physical Zion as a gathering place. You will note I’ve mentioned the Gathering many times in the lessons I’ve shared to this point. Why? Because to this day it is still the “most important temporal object in view” for all branches of the Restoration. http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2021/06/come-follow-me-d-63.html
Excerpt:In D&C 58, we continue to see the Lord discussing the Gathering. The Lord explained that the Gathering requires a righteous people, and the Lord prepares a righteous people through tribulation and challenges.
“For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.” (vs 5).
His/ promises here are conditional for those particular saints. But they will come to pass. There will be a center city/place of Zion established in Independence Missouri someday. For this, the Lord often talks about things as if they are near. We just don’t live on the Lord’s timeline. Moroni spoke to us as if we were present, even though we were 1500 years in the future. Alma spoke of the first coming of Christ as if it had already happened. Time, in this instance, is not viewed as linear, but cyclical.
The Lord’s time, while perhaps having a linear dimension of some sort, focuses more on cycles of time, what the scriptures call an “eternal round” (1 Nephi 10:19, Alma 7:20; 37:12, D&C 3:2; 35:1).