The Hosanna Shout

What is the Hosanna Shout? | LDS Daily

Greetings friends! General Conference is off to a spiritual and exciting start. If you did not have a chance to listen to the Saturday morning session, please go back and listen to Pres. Nelson’s opening remarks. They are important! He let it be known that the Sunday Morning session of Conference will be a Solemn Assembly and that we will have the great opportunity to participate in the Hosanna Shout.

Here are some links to refresh your mind on what these are:

What is the Hosanna Shout?

Viewpoint: Why We Shout “Hosanna” for Holy Temples

From the Deseret News: What a solemn assembly is and why President Nelson said the church will hold a Hosanna Shout on Sunday

This link gives some history on why we do the Hosanna Shout and when it has been done in times past, Temple Dedications and Dedicatory Prayers.

What is a Solemn Assembly?

Some historical context and history about Solemn Assemblies.

A video of the most recent Solemn Assembly which was in 2018, when Pres. Nelson was sustained as the prophet.

It should also be noted that tomorrow is Palm Sunday — the day of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem for the last week of his mortal life — the start of Holy Week. When He entered the people shouted:

“And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, ​​​Hosanna​ to the Son of David: ​​​Blessed​ ​is​ he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21: 9).

Traditionally for the Hosanna Shout you wave a white handkerchief, but if you don’t have one you can wave your hand instead. I’m scouring the drawers this afternoon. I know we have a stash of Grandpa’s handkerchiefs somewhere.

I hope you and your family enjoy Conference and that you will leave your thoughts with us here.

To wear or Not to wear a mask

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Be cool. Wear a mask.

Today my husband read a Washington Post editorial that encouraged all to start wearing masks.

Half of those testing positive for COVID-19 are non-symptomatic (Iceland study). And it’s hayfever season north of the equator, so folks will be coughing and sneezing into hands or onto others, thinking it isn’t serious (since they know they aren’t “sick”).

The Washington Post article shares a Hong Kong website for creating a disposable mask from paper toweling and a page protector. It’s worth noting that Hong Kong has one of the lowest rates of infection in the world.

Those of us with camp bandanas can make like a bandit. Or make something with used clothes (t-shirts) and hot glue. For these fabric masks, you’ll need to wash them between uses.

For those of us with random fabric squares and a sewing machine, here are a couple of videos for how to sew a mask.

Simplest is this DIY mask from Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company. At the least, this mask keeps you from touching your own face. Though not as good as a N95 mask, it still has some value in reducing likelihood that you’ll either inhale or exhale COVID-19 nastiness. This pattern is simple enough that it’s nothing to whip out several so you always can have a clean one on hand for each family member.

Next is a mask from Joanne L. at Craft Passion. She created this design in 2013 to protect her kids from smoke/haze from agricultural burning, and has pdfs for several sizes. This design lets you add additional disposable filtration between the inner and outer layers and lets you add wire to get a better fit on the bridge of your nose. For those wearing glasses, this keeps your glasses from fogging up from breath escaping from the top of a mask – useful for that reason alone (plus further reduces chances of viral nastiness getting in or out). More effort than Jenny Doan’s mask, but worth it for those possessed of both sewing skills and anxiety for health-compromised family members.

If you’re good at sewing and looking for something useful to do, various hospital and medical personnel are short on N95 masks, often having to go the entire day with a single mask (or go without). Wearing simple fabric masks over the N95 masks allows these medical personnel to use a freshly-sanitized mask for each person. Deaconess has a website listing organizations in the United States looking for donations of sewn masks. There are also various Facebook groups popping up to address this medical need.

Freedom and Church membership

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson, who is a friend of the Millennial Star and occasional contributor.  He also blogs at occasionally.

In October 1905, Matthias Foss Cowley and John Whitaker Taylor resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles over their disagreement with the Church’s decision to abandon the practice of polygamy. As the Manifesto was issued in 1890, this was clearly a long time coming, and the historical record makes it clear that Cowley, at least, had persisted in solemnizing plural marriages through 1905 even though he had been instructed to cease the practice and lacked the authority to do so.

In my study this morning, I was reading the remarks made by the Pres. Joseph F. Smith in the October 1903 General Conference, as he was getting ready to present the General Authorities and General Officers of the Church for a sustaining vote.  Elders Cowley and Taylor were among those to be sustained that day, two years before their resignations.  I can’t help but wonder if Pres. Smith had these two men in mind when he said the following:

“The freedom of the Latter-day Saints has never been curtailed or lessened one whit by their becoming members of the Church of Christ. Rather has it been enlarged. There are no freer people upon the face of the earth today than the Latter-day Saints. They are bound to the Church by no ties or strings, but their own conviction of the truth. And whenever a man makes up his mind that he has had enough of what is called “Mormonism,” all he has to do is to make it known and we will sever the bond that unites him with the body, and let him go his own way, only bearing toward him the feeling of sympathy and of true brotherly kindness, and wishing him still the mercies of God. We will cry, Father, have mercy upon him, because he knows not what he is doing. For when a man denies the truth, when he departs from the right way, when he rejects the right of God to counsel in the affairs of men, he is either ignorant or wilfully wicked, and it only excites our pity for him. As the Savior cried upon the cross, so will we cry in the same spirit, Father, forgive him; have mercy upon him; for he knows not what he does. Therefore, we expect only those to vote at this time who are members of the Church in good standing; but all such we do expect to vote, according to their own free will, whether it be yea or nay.” (a PDF of this talk can be found here)

I found myself wondering about what must have been going through the minds of these two men sitting on the stand and listening to the President of the Church say these words.  No doubt these men chafed under the direction given by the First Presidency on the matter of plural marriage and they clearly couldn’t be said to be one with the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve.  I suspect that they felt that their freedom to do as they wished was very restricted and that perhaps unrighteous dominion was being exercised over them.

As I consider this, it occurs that not much has changed.  There are some in the Church today that feel like it controls their lives, that feel constricted in their freedom.  Many, too many, of these individuals cut themselves off from the Church, either in name or just in deed, and gleefully proclaim their newfound freedom.  This exercise, by itself, merely indicates that they were never in bondage because they are always free to go.  I feel to echo Pres. Smith’s thoughts in this, as my heart goes out to these people in ways that they would not accept, and likely would not understand.

But, it is true that there are consequences to actions and words and thoughts.  Those that choose to take a path contrary to the doctrines of the Church; contrary to he warnings and admonitions of the prophets and apostles; will find themselves cutting themselves off from the blessings of the Church and the Gospel, irrespective of whether they are still on the earthly membership rolls of the Church.

Movie Review: Heart of Africa

Movie Review: Heart of Africa

In 1899, Joseph Conrad published his serialized novel, “Heart of Darkness.” It is the tale of British entrepreneurs  who go up the Congo River seeking to expand the ivory trade. Instead, they find disillusionment and death.

In this new film, written by my friend Margaret Blair Young* and produced by her husband, Bruce, we get a Latter-day Saint recreation of Conrad’s novel. In this film, entirely filmed in DR Congo, we find a young Congolese man, Gabriel, who runs away from the destiny thrust upon him by his foster father, a tribal leader who seeks revenge from Belgians, Rwandans, whites, and others who enslaved and brutalized their people.

In running from his home, Gabriel encounters missionaries, who take him to their home and feed him. Soon, he is baptized, though the conflict of his former life and the life he is entering in cause giant conflicts in his life. The mission president, who knew him as a child, sends him on a six month mission back to his village to build an orphanage.

Conflicts occur, as he immediately hates his white American missionary companion, and his foster father and older brother come on the scene to stir the pot. We get a real feel for modern African tribal tensions that still exist because of colonialism and tribal feuding over the past centuries. At the same time, we see how distrust and conflict can turn to forgiveness, understanding and love.

In Conrad’s novel,  in Africa we only find darkness and despair. Heart of Africa shows us the continued struggles and hardships seen by Conrad a century ago, but offers us another ending, one of love, hope, healing and redemption.

The film has received excellent reviews at the festivals where it has been presented, and in the theaters over the few weeks it was seen, until the Corona virus pandemic shut theaters down.

Fortunately, Living Scriptures quickly offered to provide its streaming service for us to see this marvelous film in the comfort and safety of our quarantined homes. 24 hour rental is only $5, and you can own it for $16.

It is mostly in French and Congolese, still it was a marvelous film, even reading the English subtitles.

* I met Margaret, along with Darius Gray, at the 2004 FairMormon Conference, when my dear friend, Renee Olson (who informally adopted me as her brother), introduced us. Young and Gray are the co-authors of a series of historical novels on early LDS black members: Standing on the Promises