The soul of the SBC

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.

Come Follow Me: D&C 63

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.

A Harvard professor of medicine explains why he spoke out against the lockdowns

Please read this article from Harvard Prof. of Medicine Martin Kulldorff, who followed the science and began speaking out against the COVID-19 lockdowns soon after the pandemic began. Here are some key excerpts:

Two key Covid facts were quickly obvious to me. First, with the early outbreaks in Italy and Iran, this was a severe pandemic that would eventually spread to the rest of the world, resulting in many deaths. That made me nervous. Second, based on the data from Wuhan, in China, there was a dramatic difference in mortality by age, with over a thousand-fold difference between the young and the old. That was a huge relief. I am a single father with a teenager and five-year-old twins. Like most parents, I care more about my children than myself. Unlike the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, children had much less to fear from Covid than from annual influenza or traffic accidents. They could get on with life unharmed — or so I thought.

For society at large, the conclusion was obvious. We had to protect older, high-risk people while younger low-risk adults kept society moving.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, schools closed while nursing homes went unprotected. Why? It made no sense. So, I picked up a pen. To my surprise, I could not interest any US media in my thoughts, despite my knowledge and experience with infectious-disease outbreaks. I had more success in my native Sweden, with op-eds in the major daily newspapers, and, eventually, a piece in spiked. Other like-minded scientists faced similar hurdles.

Instead of understanding the pandemic, we were encouraged to fear it. Instead of life, we got lockdowns and death. We got delayed cancer diagnoses, worse cardiovascular-disease outcomes, deteriorating mental health, and a lot more collateral public-health damage from lockdown. Children, the elderly and the working class were the hardest hit by what can only be described as the biggest public-health fiasco in history.

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The coming population bust

A growing number of media sources are beginning to note that the world is no longer in danger of overpopulation. Instead, the trends show the primary danger is the opposite: too few babies.

Check out this story:

In Japan, people buy more diapers for the elderly than babies. China, which long enforced a one-child policy, recently raised its child limit to three; the nation expects its population to peak and then decline in 2030. And the population growth rate in the U.S. is at historic lows, reminiscent of the Great Depression era.

A new study published in npj Urban Sustainability explores the future of underpopulation and how it’s likely to affect sustainability goals. Using demographic data from United Nations reports, the study argues that the underpopulation problem is dynamic and twofold: Populations are simultaneously shrinking and ageing.

“Globally, people above 65 years old are the fastest-growing segments of the population and in 2019, for the first time in human history, they outnumbered children younger than 5 years old,” the researchers wrote. “In 2020, 9% of the global population was above 65 years old, accounting for 728 million people. This population is projected to increase more than twofold, reaching 1.55 billion in 2050 and accounting to 16% of global population, at medium fertility rates.”

Or how about this from the New York Times:

All over the world, countries are confronting population stagnation and a fertility bust, a dizzying reversal unmatched in human history that will make first birthday parties a rarer sight than funerals, and empty homes a common eyesore.

Maternity wards are shutting down in Italy. Ghost cities are appearing in northeastern China. Universities in South Korea cannot find enough students, and in Germany, hundreds of thousands of properties are being razed, with the land turned into parks.

Like an avalanche, the demographic forces — pushing toward more deaths than births — seems to be expanding and accelerating. Although some countries continue to see their populations grow, especially in Africa, fertility rates are falling nearly everywhere else. Demographers now predict that by the latter half of the century or possibly earlier, the global population will enter a sustained decline for the first time.

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Going back to the temple

Our local temple in Fort Collins, Colorado will be open for appointment-only baptisms this month for the first time in 16 months or so. As soon as I got the email, I immediately signed up, and dozens of others had already made their appointments. I imagine there will be pent up demand to return to the temple for months, if not years.

I will be heading there in two weeks with my wife and two teenage sons. I can’t wait. I find myself thinking about it all of the time — when I first wake up I remind myself I will be able to go back to the temple again soon.

Sometimes we don’t realize the blessings of the restored gospel until we are reminded how important the ordinances and rituals really are. I find that the temple glow lasts several days after i go to the temple, and I am a calmer and happier person.

And, yes, we will be wearing masks to the temple, even though it may be one of the last places in northern Colorado where a mask is needed these days.