Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unlearned Translation

"A . . . marvel of the translation process is that although he was intensely involved in translating an ancient record, the Prophet Joseph himself was clearly unschooled in things ancient. For example, early in the work he came across words concerning a wall around Jerusalem and asked Emma if the city indeed had walls. She affirmed what Joseph simply hadn't known. (See E. C. Briggs, "Interview with David Whitmer," Saints' Herald, 21 June 1884, 396.)

"He knew nothing, either, of the literary form called chiasmus, which appears in the Bible at various places and, significantly, also appears in the Book of Mormon. . . .

". . . We marvel that the Prophet Joseph Smith worked completely without referring to any other sources. None of the 12 people who either participated or merely observed mentioned Joseph's having any reference materials present. . . . Since the Prophet dictated openly, these individuals would have been aware of any suspicious behavior or procedures. Emma was emphatic on this very point: 'He had neither manuscript nor book to read from, [and] if he had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me' ("Last Testimony of Sister Emma," 289, 290).

"Thus the Book of Mormon came through, but not from, Joseph Smith!"

-- Neal A. Maxwell, "By the Gift and Power of God," Ensign, Jan. 1997, 36

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What are You DOing???

As a missionary I often ask people to read the Book of Mormon.  Missionaries ask people to pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true, and to come to church so they can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit more powerfully, and to learn more about God and His commandments and His kingdom here on the earth.

We are always asking because we know that in order to truly understand something you have to act in faith to see what happens.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true because I have read and prayed about it myself, not because someone else told me a little bit about it and I said 'hey why not'.  My journey to truly knowing what the Book of Mormon was just that, a journey meant for me to be able to understand the gospel, and how it applies in my own life.

So are YOU going to do something about it, or are you just going to sit there and read all about it without ever truly trying to figure it out for yourself??

I hereby invite anyone reading this to Read the Book of Mormon, Pray and ask God if it is a True record, and then to act in Faith.  I know that anyone who follows this course will feel the Spirit, and know what to do to come closer to Jesus Christ.

If you do not have a Book of Mormon, go to this website and request one for free.

Any questions you may have can be answered by reading and praying about this book.  If you would like to learn more, or ask missionaries in your area about the Book of Mormon, please go to one of the following. to talk to the missionaries. to understand what we believe. to locate the nearest meetinghouse to you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

General Confernce October 2011

So....for those of you who don't know it is time for the 181st Semiannual General Conferenceof the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Messages will be given by the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church.

General sessions will be held on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., followed by the priesthood session at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time. Two more general sessions will be held on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time; the morning session includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

Anyone can watch conference in church meetinghouses or in their homes.

For viewing conference at local meetinghouses, check with local leaders on availability of the broadcast by satellite or Internet feed.

Live broadcasts will be available at the following locations:
In addition, many local cable and radio stations make the conference readily available. Visit for broadcast information or check local listings.

The opportunity to listen to a Prophet of God doesn't happen very often.  Everyone is invited to listen as Apostles of the Lord speak and teach.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some of My Favorite Scriptures

"And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?

And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.

Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations?

Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him.

And now thou hast lied before God unto me. Thou saidst unto me—Behold these six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee—when thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me. And now behold, for this great evil thou shalt have thy reward."

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."

"And I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where do we get the Belief that only Authorized Personel can Perform Baptisms??

Two levels of Priesthood.

"11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
13For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)"
-- Hebrews 7:11-15,21

There are two Priesthoods, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. The Law of Moses was under the Aaronic or 'lesser' Priesthood, while the New or Higher Law the Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount is under the Melchizedek or 'Higher' Priesthood. See also Hebrews 5:4.

"1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
-- Acts 19:1-6

Here Apollos had been baptizing without having the authority, and without giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. When they learned that there was more to it, they were each Baptized again by the Proper Authority. This was done by Paul, who had that Priesthood Authority.

If Sacred ordinances are not performed by those to whom God has given the Priesthood, then those ordinances are not recognized by God.

Much like having a Drivers License, you might know how to drive, but without that License that gives you authority to drive you will get a ticket for 'driving without a License'. God works the same way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to Unlearn Things

I want to be a U.S. Marshal.  This means I have a very firm mindset.  I know exactly what I need to do and then I do it.  It leaves very little room for error, and I often tell others what bothers me.   In order to do what I want, I must first become who I want to be.

Unlearning a way of thinking is often very difficult, possibly the most difficult thing anyone would ever do.  With something that is hard physically, you simply go work out and build up strength until you can accomplish the task.  But when your obstacle is Mental you must be able to break it down, and yet not remove the wall.

Black Wall

I have wondered . . . How is it possible to build a Blue wall in the place of a Black wall without removing the Black wall?

Blue Wall

Then a good friend helped me to see that the wall doesn't have to be all one color.  Both colors can be part of the wall.  So all I have to do is figure out which bricks need replaced from the Black, and then remove it and insert a Blue brick.

"And according to his faith 
there was a mighty change wrought in his heart
Behold I say unto you that this is all true."

Knowing what to do is only the beginning, the actually doing it takes time and effort to change not only the way you act, but also the way you think.  Rethinking things and changing your mind is usually not all that difficult, but having a permanent change in how you see things is often a very hard struggle.

Black Wall with Blue Brick 'upgrades'

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, 
if ye have experienced a change of heart
and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, 
I would ask, can ye feel so now?"

I have one year left on my Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In that time I hope to assimilate all the Blue bricks I need to in order to make my wall balanced as it should be.

"And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, 
have ye spiritually been born of God? 
Have ye received his image in your countenances? 
Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"

"The bricks are fallen down, 
but we will build with hewn stones; 
the sycamores are cut down, 
but we will change them into cedars."

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Book of Mormon in a Nut Shell - Moroni

Moroni writes for the benefit of the Lamanites—The Nephites who will not deny Christ are put to death. About A.D. 401–21.

Jesus gave the twelve Nephite disciples power to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. About A.D. 401–21.

Elders ordain priests and teachers by the laying on of hands. About A.D.401–21.

How elders and priests administer the sacramental bread is explained. About A.D. 401–21.

The mode of administering the sacramental wine is set forth. About A.D.401–21.

Repentant persons are baptized and fellowshipped—Church members who repent are forgiven—Meetings are conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost. About A.D. 401–21.

An invitation is given to enter into the rest of the Lord—Pray with real intent—The Spirit of Christ enables men to know good from evil—Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil—The prophets manifest the coming of Christ—By faith, miracles are wrought and angels minister—Men should hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity. About A.D. 401–21.

The baptism of little children is an evil abomination—Little children are alive in Christ because of the Atonement—Faith, repentance, meekness and lowliness of heart, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end lead to salvation. About A.D. 401–21.

The second epistle of Mormon to his son Moroni.
Comprising chapter 9.

Both the Nephites and the Lamanites are depraved and degenerate—They torture and murder each other—Mormon prays that grace and goodness may rest upon Moroni forever. About A.D. 401–21.

A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by the power of the Holy Ghost—The gifts of the Spirit are dispensed to the faithful—Spiritual gifts always accompany faith—Moroni’s words speak from the dust—Come unto Christ, be perfected in him, and sanctify your souls. About A.D. 421.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Book of Mormon in a Nut Shell - Ether

The record of the Jaredites, taken from the twenty-four plates found by the people of Limhi in the days of king Mosiah.

Moroni abridges the writings of Ether—Ether’s genealogy is set forth—The language of the Jaredites is not confounded at the Tower of Babel—The Lord promises to lead them to a choice land and make them a great nation.

The Jaredites prepare for their journey to a promised land—It is a choice land whereon men must serve Christ or be swept off—The Lord talks to the brother of Jared for three hours—The Jaredites build barges—The Lord asks the brother of Jared to propose how the barges will be lighted.

The brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord as he touches sixteen stones—Christ shows his spirit body to the brother of Jared—Those who have a perfect knowledge cannot be kept from within the veil—Interpreters are provided to bring the Jaredite record to light.

Moroni is commanded to seal up the writings of the brother of Jared—They will not be revealed until men have faith even as the brother of Jared—Christ commands men to believe his words and those of his disciples—Men are commanded to repent, believe the gospel, and be saved.

Three witnesses and the work itself will stand as a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

The Jaredite barges are driven by the winds to the promised land—The people praise the Lord for his goodness—Orihah is appointed king over them—Jared and his brother die.

Orihah reigns in righteousness—Amid usurpation and strife, the rival kingdoms of Shule and Cohor are set up—Prophets condemn the wickedness and idolatry of the people, who then repent.

There is strife and contention over the kingdom—Akish forms an oath-bound secret combination to slay the king—Secret combinations are of the devil and result in the destruction of nations—Modern Gentiles are warned against the secret combination that will seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.

The kingdom passes from one to another by descent, intrigue, and murder—Emer saw the Son of Righteousness—Many prophets cry repentance—A famine and poisonous serpents plague the people.

One king succeeds another—Some of the kings are righteous; others are wicked—When righteousness prevails, the people are blessed and prospered by the Lord.

Wars, dissensions, and wickedness dominate Jaredite life—Prophets predict the utter destruction of the Jaredites unless they repent—The people reject the words of the prophets.

The prophet Ether exhorts the people to believe in God—Moroni recounts the wonders and marvels done by faith—Faith enabled the brother of Jared to see Christ—The Lord gives men weakness that they may be humble—The brother of Jared moved Mount Zerin by faith—Faith, hope, and charity are essential to salvation—Moroni saw Jesus face to face.

Ether speaks of a New Jerusalem to be built in America by the seed of Joseph—He prophesies, is cast out, writes the Jaredite history, and foretells the destruction of the Jaredites—War rages over all the land.

The iniquity of the people brings a curse upon the land—Coriantumr engages in warfare against Gilead, then Lib, and then Shiz—Blood and carnage cover the land.

Millions of the Jaredites are slain in battle—Shiz and Coriantumr assemble all the people to mortal combat—The Spirit of the Lord ceases to strive with them—The Jaredite nation is utterly destroyed—Only Coriantumr remains.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Book of Mormon in a Nut Shell - Mormon

Ammaron instructs Mormon concerning the sacred records—War commences between the Nephites and the Lamanites—The Three Nephites are taken away—Wickedness, unbelief, sorceries, and witchcraft prevail. About A.D. 321–26.

Mormon leads the Nephite armies—Blood and carnage sweep the land—The Nephites lament and mourn with the sorrowing of the damned—Their day of grace is passed—Mormon obtains the plates of Nephi—Wars continue. About A.D. 327–50.

Mormon cries repentance unto the Nephites—They gain a great victory and glory in their own strength—Mormon refuses to lead them, and his prayers for them are without faith—The Book of Mormon invites the twelve tribes of Israel to believe the gospel. About A.D. 360–62.

War and carnage continue—The wicked punish the wicked—Greater wickedness prevails than ever before in all Israel—Women and children are sacrificed to idols—The Lamanites begin to sweep the Nephites before them. About A.D. 363–75.

Mormon again leads the Nephite armies in battles of blood and carnage—The Book of Mormon will come forth to convince all Israel that Jesus is the Christ—Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scattered, and the Spirit will cease to strive with them—They will receive the gospel from the Gentiles in the latter days. About A.D. 375–84.

The Nephites gather to the land of Cumorah for the final battles—Mormon hides the sacred records in the hill Cumorah—The Lamanites are victorious, and the Nephite nation is destroyed—Hundreds of thousands are slain with the sword. About A.D. 385.

Mormon invites the Lamanites of the latter days to believe in Christ, accept his gospel, and be saved—All who believe the Bible will also believe the Book of Mormon. About A.D. 385.

The Lamanites seek out and destroy the Nephites—The Book of Mormon will come forth by the power of God—Woes pronounced upon those who breathe out wrath and strife against the work of the Lord—The Nephite record will come forth in a day of wickedness, degeneracy, and apostasy. About A.D. 400–421.

Moroni calls upon those who do not believe in Christ to repent—He proclaims a God of miracles, who gives revelations and pours out gifts and signs upon the faithful—Miracles cease because of unbelief—Signs follow those who believe—Men are exhorted to be wise and keep the commandments. About A.D. 401–21.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Book of Mormon in a Nut Shell- 4th Nephi

Who Is the Son of Nephi—One of the Disciples of Jesus Christ

An account of the people of Nephi, according to his record.

The Nephites and the Lamanites are all converted unto the Lord—They have all things in common, work miracles, and prosper in the land—After two centuries, divisions, evils, false churches, and persecutions arise—After three hundred years, both the Nephites and the Lamanites are wicked—Ammaron hides up the sacred records. About A.D. 35–321.