President Gordon B. Hinckley's Challenge and Promise
President Gordon B. Hinckley said in a
worldwide leadership training meeting:
“I am convinced there is no other organization anywhere to match the Relief Society of this Church.
If they will be UNITED and speak with ONE VOICE,
Their STRENGTH will be INCALCULABLE!”
10 January 2004, 20
Relief Society - A Restoration of an Ancient Form
“A Restoration of an Ancient Pattern”
Although the name may be modern date,
the institution is of ANCIENT ORIGIN.
We were told by our martyred prophet
that the same organization EXISTED
in the church ANCIENTLY.”
Eliza R. Snow
(Published in: “Daughters in My Kingdom”)
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Thomas S. Monson
"And what are the results of such action? I testify to you today that turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, and crushed hopes. Such a quagmire of quicksand I plead with you to avoid. You are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal" ("Guideposts for Life's Journey," BYU Devotional, November 13, 2007).
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Howard W. Hunter
"They saw us as 'the favored people' upon whom God would shower his full and complete latter-day glory, and I testify that is our destiny. What a privilege! What an honor! What a responsibility! And what joy! We have every reason in time and eternity to rejoice and give thanks for the quality of our lives and the promises we have been given. That we may do so, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen" ("An Anchor to the Souls of Men," BYU Devotional, February 7, 1993).
Monday, January 28, 2013
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY A NON-MEMBER
I’m inspired by this Mormon theological idea: God intended for humans to be free to make our own choices and live with the consequences of those choices.
- Mike Jensen Tuesday, January 22, 2013
People of real intelligence realize that the opposite was probably true: if he had been white, his vote total would have been 20 percent lower. The African-American voting bloc combined with enough whites suffering from liberal guilt guaranteed a higher vote total for Obama.
The truth of the matter is, if Mitt Romney had not been a Mormon, his vote total might very well have been significantly higher.
In fact, according to a Galup poll released in June of last year, while 4 percent of people said they would not vote for a black president, a full 22 percent said they would not vote for a Mormon. In fact, only atheists and gays ranked higher. So Baldwin probably had it backwards, which he usually does, so that comes as no surprise.
What did come as a surprise to me is why people would have such negative views of Mormons. I have known lots of them in my life, and in most cases they have been hard-working, kind, generous, family-oriented people—just the kind of people this country used to value (and maybe that’s the problem right there.)
Mormons have intrigued me ever since Mike Huckabee back in 2007 claimed that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. With the recent election over, I decided to check out Mormons a bit more.
My hope in doing this was to explain to readers who Mormons are and whether or not 22 percent of the people were justified in opposing having a Mormon president.
But instead I’m going to share an intriguing bit of Mormon theology I learned that I think makes them perhaps the most politically wise human beings on the planet. Ironically, this story stems from that Huckabee quote about the relationship between Jesus and the devil, but the lesson to be learned is one that, regardless of our political or religious views, we would all be wise to consider.
So here’s what I learned: Mormons, unlike most other Christian sects, believe that all humans lived a life before mortality. They call this the pre-existence or pre-earth life. At birth a veil is placed over our minds so that we don’t remember it (you’ll see why in a minute).
In this pre-earth life, we were all in the presence of God as His spirit children. Jesus was there—the first-born of God’s spirit children, and a leader in the councils in Heaven. Lucifer was also there, and was another leader among the children of God. He was called a “son of the morning.”
At some point in this existence, the Father called all of His children together to explain how things worked. All of His children would have to leave His presence and come to earth for a period of testing. The goal was to see if we would live a righteous life even when we had to live by faith, as we would no longer be able to remember God or heaven (that’s the reason for the veil).
If we would live a righteous life, we would be given the opportunity to return and live with God forever. Otherwise we would forfeit that chance, because no unclean thing can live in God’s presence. However, God knew that we would all make mistakes, so he would provide a Savior for the world. This Savior would live a sinless life, and because of that, he would qualify to pay for the sins of the world through what would be called the “Atonement.” If people would sincerely repent of their sins, then the Atonement would essentially erase their sins, and they could still return and live with God. The Father called for volunteers to be this savior, and two stepped forward: Jesus and Lucifer.
Lucifer said that he would be the savior and he would force everybody to live righteously, thus guaranteeing that all of God’s spirit children would return to Him in heaven. Jesus said that He would follow the Father’s plan and allow God’s children their free agency. They could choose for themselves whether to live righteously and take advantage of the Atonement or whether to live in sin and forfeit the opportunity to return and live with God.
God rejected Lucifer’s plan, causing Lucifer to rebel and declare war on God. One-third of God’s spirit children joined Lucifer in this rebellion. In the end, the rebellion failed and Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven. They came to earth without bodies and now, continuing the war they started in heaven, they tempt men to do evil to one another and lose out on the chance to return to God.
PAY ATTENTION HERE; THIS IS THE GOOD PART
Now, any traditional Christians reading this will see similarities to their own belief system. Most traditional Christians believe that Lucifer lived in heaven as an angel, but then declared war on God and was cast out. However, the causes for that war are not necessarily clear in traditional Christian theology.
That is where Mormon theology is so intriguing. For Mormons, the greatest of all battles, the war in heaven, was fought over LIBERTY—or as they call it, “free agency.” Lucifer wanted to take it away, while God demanded that humans have it.
Although a Mormon might balk at my making comparisons between their religious beliefs and modern politics (and as I said earlier, every Mormon I’ve ever known was a very good person, so I apologize to any I offend), I see a direct correlation here. For a Mormon, the battle for liberty is not unique to this life; it is the core battle of the ages. Lucifer lost the war in heaven (he really thought he could beat God?), but the war continues on earth. So seeing the government become more and more tyrannical is not just a political concern; it’s a fundamental, eternal concern.
I’m inspired by this Mormon theological idea: God intended for humans to be free to make our own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. The Founding Fathers of this country said essentially the same thing in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
My study of Mormonism has not only given me newfound respect for this people and their religion; it has also made me evaluate my own attitude towards the liberty that seems to be slipping through all of our fingers. Is this just something that is nice to have, and for which I thank the Founding Fathers? Or is it really something that is endowed by God, and that He expects me to fight for. According to Mormon theology, I already fought for this once. The fact that I’m here says that I was on God’s side in the war in heaven, and fought for liberty.
A Mormon might ask, why should any of us be less willing to fight for it here than we were there?
Mike Jensen is a freelance writer living in Colorado. He received his M.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he wrote his first book, Alaska’s Wilderness Highway. He has since published Skier’s Guide to Utah along with humor, travel, and political articles for various magazines and newspapers. He is married with five sons, and spends his free time at a remote cabin in the Colorado Rockies.
Friday, January 18, 2013
"What have I done...today...
to Seek the Kingdom of God"
Diane Groves made a cake representing
the "3" degrees of Glory - each
level representing one of the
glories...She MADE the "Idaho Falls" TEMPLE
out of sugar cubes - (smile)
Each table had a scripture emphasizing our theme:
"Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33)
"Choose You this day whom ye shall serve..." (Joshua 24:15)
"Love One Another" (John 13:34)
"But Whom Say Ye that I Am" "Thou are the Christ, the Son
of the living God." (Matthew 16:15-16)
"I Will Go and Do" (1 Nephi 3:7)
"If Ye have experienced a change of heart...can Ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26)
"Look to God and Live" (Alma 37:47)
"For I am NOT ashamed of the gospel of Christ!" (Romans 1:16)
Brenda Hardy holding one of the "Cisnaros" twins
The Relief Society Board members made the
dinner - lasagna was the main course
Got to spend some time talking
with one another
ecorations were done by Heidi Stott
I was trying to avoid the camera
Julie Denney and Susan Robison laughing at me...
Susan and I