Life’s Quick Start Guide

Elder Dieter Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf spoke with Young Adults in the North America NorthEast Area of the Church tonight. They are both such energetic and positive individuals!

In that vein, Elder Uchtdorf shared a suggested Quick Start Guide To Mortal Life:

Elder Uchtdorf his own recent experience, getting a new phone. There was a link to an detailed manual and a simple “Quick Start” guide. While there was much an expansive study of the full manual could impart, Elder Uchtdorf used the Quick Start guide to get his phone working in a matter of minutes.

  1. Do not as so many in the world do, making a god in our own image. Instead, seek to know God, to learn of God’s ways, and follow God’s ways.
  2. Knowledge, while good, is not sufficient. Reach out and do. Love and serve God and love and serve God’s children.
  3. Life has always been challenging, since the time of Father Adam and Mother Eve. But while we learn from the pain and sorrow that comes into our own lives, let us cherish the moments of joy that also come.
  4. In all things, give thanks to God. Let your heart overflow with gratitude.
  5. Finally, let your life be filled with light and new information to guide your walk in life. Act to bless others in that purpose which is unique to your time and to your particular circumstances. Look at what you are doing with your time and fill your time with activities that will bring light and goodness to your life and the lives of others.

As always, the words of God and God’s prophets are available for us to study in more depth as our need dictates. But we need not wait until we have full mastery of every detail to start on a journey of love, faith, and hope. As Elder Uchtdorf concluded, may we find that we have lived a life that, while perhaps not perfect, was good enough.

Come Follow Me: Mormon 7-9

My blog post on Come Follow Me: Mormon 7-9

Excerpt:

The Nephites are destroyed as a people.  They have been killed or absorbed into the Lamanite culture.  Mormon and a handful survive for the moment.  He has more to say.
“…I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel…” (Mormon 7:1).
The only one who is spared that will read his words is Moroni. The only other remnant will not read the words for 1400 years, when Joseph Smith translates and publishes the Book of Mormon. Mormon then shares the most important things he can share with them. “Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel.”
They are a part of the covenant people of God.  This is something they cannot escape, only run away from…

http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2020/11/come-follow-me-mormon-7-9.html

Mike Lee compares Pres. Trump to Captain Moroni

Mike Lee, Senator from Utah, posted the following on his Facebook page earlier today (Thursday):

Yesterday I made a comparison between Captain Moroni, a military leader whose story is chronicled in the Book of Mormon, and President Donald J. Trump. Some people found that comparison upsetting, blasphemous, and otherwise wrong. I respect their right to feel that way, and realize that my impromptu comments may not have been the best forum for drawing a novel analogy from scripture. I doubt this will change the minds of those who disliked my comments, but I’d like to explain my use of the comparison to make my (perhaps awkward) point clearer.

First, I did not suggest and do not believe that President Trump is a prophet or that he should he revered as a religious leader. I did not argue that faithful, fair-minded members of my Church (or of any belief system) couldn’t reach a different conclusion as to whether to vote for President Trump. Nor did I mean to imply that I agree with everything he has ever said or done, either while serving as president or otherwise. Finally, in no way did I suggest that people should seek to emulate President Trump in the same way they might pattern their lives after Captain Moroni.

The point I was trying to make (however awkwardly) was far simpler: after working with and getting to know President Trump over the last four years, I now see him in a very different light than I did in 2016. In addition to the fact that I genuinely like him on a personal level, I have come to the conclusion that he has “s[ought] not for power, but to pull it down.” Translating Captain Moroni’s language into Donald Trump’s, he has relentlessly tried to “drain the swamp”—for example, by avoiding new wars while winding down existing ones, reducing federal regulations, relieving the federal tax burden on working families, and reforming the criminal-justice system. By so doing, and with his abrupt and often brash style, he has threatened the established political order in a way that—far from bringing him the “honor of the world”—has subjected him and his family to constant ridicule and scorn. He has nonetheless persisted in this effort for pursuit of the “freedom and welfare of [his] country.” In short, Donald Trump has far exceeded my expectations by sticking to his effort to reform the federal government even when it’s hard and unpopular.

Maybe the comparison I made was more distracting or offensive to you than helpful. That was not my intent. I do my best to say what I think in open and forthright ways at all times. I hope you will respect my right to do my best at that, even when my words come across in ways that offend you.

Back to Geoff B’s opinion: I think Mike Lee makes some decent points, but Capt. Moroni is definitely not the first person I think of when I think of the president. In my opinion, President Trump is a very flawed character, more like a governor of Zarahemla that you might support because all of the other available politicians are Gadianton Robbers. I only agree with Trump about half of the time, but he has been very, very good on a few issues, including foreign policy, proposing good federal judges, cutting federal regulations and supporting sound energy policies. In any case, Senator Mike Lee is one of my favorite politicians, and I would happily vote for him if I lived in Utah.

Vote!

2020 celebrates the 150th anniversary of Utah women exercising the right to vote, the first time since ratification of the US Constitution that women in the United States were explicitly and intentionally allowed to participate in this important civic activity. 1

The most recent issue of BYU Studies covers this important history, which significantly contributed to the 1920 amendment that would give women the vote throughout the United States. The issue can be downloaded for free here.

Some fun tidbits:

  1. The first woman to cast her vote in the United States 2 was Seraph Young, Brigham Young’s grandniece. She voted early so she would be able to do so and still arrive on time to her teaching job at the University of Deseret.
  2. When Utah Territory legalized female suffrage and held the first election in the country where women were allowed to participate, there were roughly 17,000 women in Utah eligible to vote. Though Wyoming Territory had also legalized female suffrage, there were only ~1,500 women in Wyoming eligible to vote at the time and no election had been held where women were able to vote.
  3. After 1870, Utah women were able to testify that their participation in the vote had not led to the various ills rabid opponents had asserted would follow allowing women to vote. This helped debunk opposition to the vote in other parts of the United States.
  4. The United States revoked the right of Utah women to vote in 1887 with passage of the anti-polygamy Edmunds-Tucker Act. This opposition helped forge powerful unity.
  5. In 1895, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles voted unanimously to support restoration of female suffrage. As articulated by Franklin S. Richards during the convention to draft a Utah State constitution, “if the price of statehood is the disfranchisement of one-half of the people . . . , it is not worth the price demanded.”
  6. 96% of all eligible women (and 94% of all eligible men) participated in the first Utah election held after Utah was made a state in 1896.
  7. In 1909 Utah women provided 40,000 signatures to a petition seeking the vote for all U.S. women, fully 10% of all the signatures gained from across the entire nation. This was 200% more signatures than had been expected out of Utah.
  8. Though Blacks gained the right to vote 3 in 1870, Native Americans and Asian immigrants were still federally barred from citizenship and voting rights. Native Americans only began to gain access to the vote in 1920. Asians were not permitted to vote until the 1950s.

As one article concludes, “work for suffrage was predicated on a belief that God had created women and men to be equal. Latter-day Saint women believed this, and they worked to open opportunities for women across the country to participate in government and public life.” 4

Cherish the right to vote, a right that a majority of individuals did not have at the time of the Civil War. Exercise that right this November.

Notes:

  1. Wyoming legalized female suffrage in 1869, but the women of Wyoming were not allowed to actually vote until after Utah women had already participated in elections.
  2. The U.S. Constitutional Convention put voting qualifications in the hands of the states in 1787. Women in all states except New Jersey lost the right to vote at that time. In New Jersey, women were barred from voting as of 1807.
  3. Blacks often faced barriers to voting, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which weren’t outlawed at the national level until 1965 with the Voting Rights Act.
  4. Katherine Kitterman, “First to Vote”, BYU Studies 59:3, 2020, p. 43.

The 38 times Donald Trump condemned racism and white supremacy

What? Is it possible that Donald Trump has condemned racism and white supremacy? Yes, it is. Just look at the evidence here:

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has been endorsed by leading white supremacist Richard Spencer and has made many racist comments during his long career as a politician.

Look at the links. Yes, Richard Spencer did indeed endorse Joe Biden and did indeed disavow the Republican party, and yes indeed Joe Biden has made many racist comments during his political career.

See how easy it is to smear other people as racists? What is the reality? Both Biden and Trump are white men in their 70s. They grew up in a different America than we live in today regarding racial prejudice. It is likely they both will say things that are not politically correct today. Most readers probably know people in their wards who are like them.

Have some charity for both presidential candidates — and for the old guy in your ward who may say unfortunate things but meanwhile serves at the temple twice a week and is the first guy to show up for service projects. God loves Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and Kamala Harris and Mike Pence — and He also loves the people in your ward who are not politically correct. That is something to ponder as the election comes next week.