Come Follow Me: D&C 81-83

My blog post on Come Follow Me: D&C 81-83


D&C 81
This revelation was originally given to Jesse Gause, calling him to be a counselor to Joseph Smith. Not much is known about Gause, but the Joseph Smith Papers Project notes a few things about him. First, he moved around a lot. He first joined the Quakers in his early adult life. After the death of his first wife, he joined the Shakers in 1829 and married again. He possibly joined the Shakers, because many of his in-laws were of that faith, and he needed assistance caring for his children from his first marriage. Moving to Ohio, he heard of Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints, and was baptized sometime before his appointment as counselor in 1832. Gause served for about a month as a scribe on the Joseph Smith Translation, and was sent on a mission, including to the Shakers, where he unsuccessfully attempted to convince his wife to join the Church. He left his mission companion, Zebedee Coltrin, in August 1832 – supposedly to return to his wife and the Shakers.

Frederick Williams would soon be called to replace Gause in the First Presidency.

Three Other COVID-19 Matters That Could Unite All Believers

Even if we continued to disagree on the reality of what was happening, I proposed last week that the attempt to better hear each other’s fears might be a way to draw our hearts together. 

By comparison, the vast majority of high-profile, public efforts to bring unity in our nation this last six months have focus on mostly one thing: encouraging agreement around coming together to receive one of the various COVID-19 vaccinations. 

I really do get it:  If you believe (a) COVID-19 has killed exactly as many people as officially reported and remains extremely dangerous to many people, and (b) these vaccinations are THE answer to stopping these deaths and as “safe and effective” (short and long-term) as officially reported, THEN, of course you should be advocating everyone to come together around this. 

The reality, however, is that many Americans don’t believe either (a) or (b). Despite the relentless, seemingly unending persuasion efforts that continue, these Americans have not embraced either of these points as self-evident.

The dominant response to those people as I’ve detailed elsewhere, has been to disparage, shame, mock, and call for increasing limitations on their freedom. I even heard one doctor I respect last week suggest that mockery was “effective” according to some research he had reviewed.

Which brings me to this follow-up article.  If disciples of Christ and other thoughtful decent people aren’t going to agree on vaccination as a unifying point (as seems likely), what WILL bring us together? 

Continue reading

BYU-Hawaii gets attention for not allowing unvaccinated student with special medical situation to attend

BYU-Hawaii has decided not to allow LDS student Olivia Sandor to attend because she cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19. Sandor’s case has gone viral — especially in the conservative on-line world — because she was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), an auto-immune disease that temporarily paralyzed her from the waist down. She has been warned by all of her medical providers to refrain from getting the COVID vaccine as it could cause permanent paralysis or even death. Olivia says BYU-H was her dream school. 

Olivia’s story spread on TikTok and Instagram and was picked up by several conservative web sites, including Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA. Kirk called BYU-H’s policy “anti-science and anti-student.”

It is difficult not to feel sympathy for Olivia’s situation. I encourage all people who read this post to at least watch her three-minute take on TikTok (here is the link again). She is stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. She wants to go to BYU-H, but she cannot go unless she is vaccinated, and if she is vaccinated she might suffer severe health consequences. She did everything possible to get a health exemption, but her health exemption was denied. She (rightly in my opinion) points out that if everybody else at BYU-H is vaccinated, why should they fear one person not vaccinated?

There is another side to the story, so please keep on reading to see more.

Continue reading

Free money!!

If you are a US citizen, and you have children, and you file your taxes electronically, you may find some free money in your bank account today. If you don’t file electronically, and you have children, you may get a check mailed to you in the coming days from the IRS.


Well, free money is always good, but as usual, and to with all due respect to Hugh Nibley, there really is no free lunch.

But first, the details:

This is a result of some of the federal stimulus plans that were approved earlier this year. There will be monthly checks disbursed on the 15th every month in 2021. Ninety percent of kids and their families will benefit from the newly expanded CTC credit. Middle-class families and families working to join the middle class are all eligible to receive the full credit of $3,600 per child under age 6, and up to $3,000 per child ages 6 through 17. Families will receive up to $250 a month for each child, and $300 a month for every child under 6.

To be clear, I am against all taxes in principle. Poverty should be handled by churches and other charitable institutions, and taxes should be eliminated until we get as close to zero taxes as possible. But of course this is a chimera in our days of ever-expanding government, where citizens increasingly look to bureaucrats and politicians for “free” checks.

If we are going to be forced to pay taxes, I am in favor of child tax credits. A permanent expansion of tax credits aimed at children encourages more children, which is overwhelmingly a good thing.

Continue reading

The Twitter thread that competently explains Trump supporters’ response to the 2020 election

I think it’s safe to say that most people in the United States, especially Latter-day Saints, understand and can explain the ideology and politics of the modern-day left and traditional establishment Republicans. Our culture has done a very good job of promoting these ideologies and making them mainstream.

But I am constantly amazed at how many people have no clue of the ideology and ideas of Trump supporters, who are usually portrayed as racists, ignorant hicks, etc. Now to be clear, I am not a typical Trump supporter — I am a liberty Republican and I disagree with about half of the positions of Trump supporters. To see what I mean, please read this post.

But I can explain the positions of the typical Trump supporter, unlike most intellectual latter-day Saints who it seems really do not have a clue.

In the spirit of trying to explain Trump supporters’ response to the 2020 election from a charitable position, I link this series of Twitter posts, which does the best job I have ever seen of providing important details. Note to readers: this post is intended to provide another point of view to most readers here. This post is not yet another chance for you to virtue signal about how much you hate Trump, how much he has ruined the Republican party, etc, etc. I am encouraging people to read this so they can understand what other people believe. Once you have an understanding, perhaps you will have more charity. If you are not interested in understanding what Trump voters believe, I would encourage you to go read something else and ignore this post.

The Twitter feed starts here:

I think I’ve had discussions w/enough Boomer-tier Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself. 1/x

Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they’ll defend those positions w/info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they’re not particularly attached to them. 2/x

Continue reading