Sunday, February 14, 2021

Puppies and Jesus

I've been to a wide variety of fellowships over the 6 years.  In Arizona, I attended one family fellowship whose house was filled with reptiles and lizards.  Their teenage sons had a gift with scaley slimy creatures, always returning from the Sonoran Desert with new and unique creatures. We would spend hours in discussion with our noses deep in scriptures.  At one Arizona fellowship, there was a man who had a Jeep Wrangler.  He taught me about using his Jeep to go into the wilderness to connect with God.   He inspired me to purchase my own lifted, 35-inch tires, Jeep Wrangler.  When the time came for me to leave Arizona I took Jeeping for Jesus to Utah.  In Utah, I met my brother in Christ. and we have had many, many adventures in sand dunes of St. George, to the red rocks of Moab, and deep in the mountains of the Wasatch Front.  Each of those outings has been a form of worship and communion, forging our souls together in brotherly fellowship and knitting our hearts in Christ.  I have participated in much outdoor hiking "church", where Sundays would consist of hiking up a mountain lost in the discussion of Christ.  I've been blessed to caravan with believers in long road trips to conferences and I cherish the deep conversation that would take place in those cars.  

In Orem, I was part of a fellowship where I was the youngest by a couple of generations.  A "Baby Boomer" fellowship- the wisdom they had to share was priceless. I realized how precious of fellowship that was and I wished I had listened more while with them. 

In Provo, I attended a fellowship where I was taught kundalini yoga.  I still incorporate many of those techniques in my prayer life today.  In that same fellowship, I was taught extensively for the first time in my life about Egypt and how they sought to imitate the ancient religion of the fathers. It was mind-boggling deep and has greatly enhanced my understanding of scriptures.  I loved the potlucks they held.  They had such a variety of perspectives as well as good food. I wish I had done more to better serve them instead of always being served.    

I was blessed to attend another fellowship in American fork.  There I was taught about Enoch, as well as the nature of man and God, and deeper ways to engage the heavenly realms in prayer.  I was the only single attendee in that fellowship was made fun of for not being a "dyad".  Perhaps if I have had spent my Friday nights dating and partying instead of wrestling ideas and scriptures with them that would not be so, but the fire in the souls of the men and women in that fellowship was invigorating.  I've never seen so many people gathered in a room who were so passionate about the gospel, yet so different in personalities.    Our discussions would get loud and intense and go on till 2 in the morning, but they inspiring and deeply edifying.  I wished I cared more for the personal relationships formed that fellowship better.  


In Logan I lived with my best friend, my fellowship with him has not diminished during my time of wandering through Utah.  


There was a fellowship I attended in Morgan that came to be known to me as the "backyard church".  Wrestling and Jiujitsu was a major hobby in those "fruitful" families of dozens of boys.  Sunday afternoons after sacrament would often turn into the Sabbath Day smackdown in the grass, which i would be a glad contestant of!   I love those families.  I just wish I could have been a better role model to those younger boys- I made some stupid decisions in life that do not reflect the character and honor a Christian man ought to possess.  I hope that one day I can be a good dad as the fathers in that fellowship I admire so much are.      

COVID in 2020 made fellowship much less frequent.  It was a dark and lonely year, full of trials, and I have missed their community tremendously.  Because I work in the hospital with Corna patients, I allowed fear to prevent me from reaching out to my friends and fellowship families for help when I needed it the most.  I lost my way and allowed shame to keep me in the dark, even from my own family.  I disappeared and avoided my people in that dreary season. I even turned away from my brothers in Christ. My connection with God and my relationship with Jesus was also beginning to dwindle and fray as the flaxen cords of the adversary thickened around me. I was in the darkest loneliest time of my life.

I thank God that He is forgiving, willing to instruct, and willing to guide.  He will guide us through and out of whatever hell we have put ourselves in if we just come to Him.  He eagerly waits for us to come to Him.   However, just because God is forgiving does not mean He takes aways away personal responsibility.  We are still accountable for the damage and stupid choices we make in this life.  We must bear our burdens with honor.  He will guide us in reconciling those mistakes and setting in order our life.  It is a humbling tender mercy to see the Lord's hand in guiding you out of those messy circumstances, however, it is much easier to follow God the first time than the second time.  There is wisdom in growing from the trials He desires to put us through than to have to learn through sad experiences from wallowing in darkness because of our disobedience.      

I am now in a much better place with bright plans.  I currently live in Ogden, Utah and I fellowship with several amazing families.  They have been tremendously kind to me,. The families in this fellowship love their dogs, so each Sunday we bring our puppies and dogs to sacrament! Enjoy some cute puppy photos! 




















 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Socialist Media

Get off socialist media platforms. Cut out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, most of its content is mind-numbing nonsense that will degrade your intellect. With the amount of time young people spend on social media, I fear the degree of darkness that will fog the minds of the masses in years to come. It will look like a scene from Huxley's "Brave New World" or Orwell's "1984".
Read good books, get lost in novels, learn a hobby or skill. Spend quality face to face time with your loved ones without the need to photograph and share every moment. Explore the world without having to validate your every adventure to the world. You can be taught many things from countless of teachers on the web, but the most important lessons in life can only be learned through the medium of personal relationships. Connect with authentic people, not with strangers who care little about your wellbeing. You don’t need hundreds of friends online; you just need a few friends who love you and who want the best for you. Your ability to give something your attention is sacred energy allotted to you by God, don't waste it by casting it before swine. It is far more important to be a profound and positive influence in the lives of your family and close friends than to be a “social media” influencer to thousands.
Continue to engage in political discussions but do so in a place where you are not censored or repressed. Big Tech companies make money off your usages of their platforms. Don’t support their wickedness just because it is convenient.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Grateful To Be In Healthcare

When he (the Lord) shall appear, the saints will be like him; and if they are not holy, as he is holy, and perfect, as he is perfect, they cannot be like him; for no being can enjoy his glory without possessing his perfections and holiness, no more than they could reign in his kingdom without his power.”

(Lectures on Faith 7:10)


When He appears, you need to be like Him. Lay down the burden of guilt, lay down the burden of sin, stop focusing on that stuff, and become like Him. You become like Him by doing His works. And you do His works by serving other; by ministering to the needs of others. When you do that, it is a natural by-product of that process, ordained by laws established before the foundation of the world that light and truth will grow within you. You will have compassion when you minister to the needs of others with compassion. Your heart will open too and receive within it light and truth, when your conduct reflects the same conduct as a merciful, holy and just God, whom you claim to worship. Worship Him by imitating Him. Worship Him by doing His works. Worship Him by making a living sacrifice. Set aside the junk that occupies you and go do something that is holy for someone else.  However mundane and trivial it may seem to you, when you relieve the suffering of other people something changes in you. You become different. You become better. You become more like our Lord, because when you give whatever it is you give away, you get more in return. But make sure that what you give goes to relieve the suffering of others.


(40 Years in Mormonism talk 3, Repentance

                    


 

I left engineering school in 2018 and have been working in healthcare ever since.  Working in an industry where I am constantly helping to relieve the suffering of others has made me a much different person.  Grateful to be a healthcare worker during these times- to be burdened and privileged to be part of a work that has broken and grown my heart.   

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Beloved Bridegroom, Spiritual Dynamite

 


I just finished this book my friend Parker gave me.  It is an easy yet beautiful read and full of many gems! Written by an LDS scholar.  I would highly suggest this to anyone who wants to learn more about the Messiah through ancient Jewish marriage and family customs. ]By better understanding the cultural context of marriage in Judaism my adoration for Christ the Bridegroom has deepened.  

 

For many years I have been seeking to better understand the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ's roles as the first and second Comforters.  I found this insight from the book very enlightening.  

The Holy Spirit is the person through whom there comes to us the strength and grace of God to enable us to cope with life.  Certainly, part of this work is to comfort, but only part.  To call the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and to stop there, is to have a limited and rather sentimental view of the Spirit, whereas in the Greek the word is full of power and of the promise of the God-given ability to face and to master any situation in life. 

How then did this word Comforter get into the English translation of the Bible?  It came in with Wycliffe about 1386, and it has stayed ever since.  But in the days of Wycliffe it was a perfect translation.  The word “comfort” is derived from the Latin word “fortis”, which means “brave”, and orginally the word meant someone who puts courage into you.  Let us take two other examples of it in Wycliffe.  Wycliffe translates Ephesians 6:10 as “be ye comforted in the Lord.”  And he translates 1 Timothy 1:12, “I do thanksgiving to him who comforted me.”  In both cases the word in the Greek is “endunamoun”, whose root is “dunams”, power, from which the word dynamite comes.  In Wycliffe’s day to comfort a person was to fill that person with a power like spiritual dynamite.  The Holy Spirit does not simply come and wipe our tears away; he gives us a dynamic power to cope with life. 




Thursday, December 31, 2020

Sitting on the Fence


 


Analysis paralysis is not righteousness nor will it produce faith.

Below is an excerpt from a recent family email thread about news media sources. I feel it is fitting with some of what Peterson is writing.

"I naturally, and yes, intentionally seek news and news commentary and opinion from those who appear to share common morals, principles, and ideology as I have. I prefer to see the world through the lens that I believe God has given us. After all, society and nations are formed and built upon beliefs and ideology...so I choose to promote and perpetuate those that I feel best reflect the world that I believe God intends and that I want my posterity to inherit. I am frustrated with a society that believes that all sides are valid and worth considering. Trying to teach my children that there is true evil and wrong in this world is very difficult in a world that teaches them that different isn't wrong, it is just...different. God did not come to the world to unite us all in love and harmony. Agency will not allow that. He will come again to separate the wheat from the chaff. God's plan necessarily divides his children. So I would add that while we must think clearly, it is dangerously easy to let intellect and our ability to think rationally force us into analysis paralysis, or to feel false confidence and security as we sit on the fence endlessly rationalizing and debating all sides of an issue instead of choosing a side and taking a stand. Some issues are so repulsive and full of the stench of evil that no debate or consideration is neceasary. Having firm, God-given principles and standards and morals allows us to spot and quickly dismiss so much of the evil and corruption and lies and falsehoods that we would otherwise spend hours ponering and debating and rationalizing - especially when we seek the guidance and renewal of the of the spirit through prayer and sacrament and righteous living, always with compassion and charity and forgiveness. As I see it, there are only two sides. I do not believe that what we are experiencing now as a nation is foreshadowing some distant, future evil and downfall. We are as much in the thick of it as any nation in the Book of Mormon ever was. I believe that the battle lines have been clearly drawn and that it is obvious to those willing and courageous enough to see it. Where do we stand? What do we stand for? Who among our leaders and what among our laws and policies and ideologies support our stand?

Blantant, oppressive, evil censorship in the media is real...and it is happening on ALL media sites and platforms.

All the conservative sites that were reporting the Dominion software issues have been forced to redact and correct clarify their reporting on Dominion..not because it isn't true or worth investigating or reporting, but because they can't afford the impending lawsuits from Dominion and those in the opposition that fund them. That is censorship

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Divided Nation

The first chapter in the book of Helaman is a very interesting read.  It begins with the Nephites in the land of Zarahemla holding an election that caused great division among the people and a power struggle between two candidates (Pahoran and Paanchi) for the highest office of the land.  It ends with a foreign attack from the Lamanites- seizing the capital city and possessing many cities and strongholds, resulting in a great slaughter of both men, women, and children. (Helaman 1:27) The Nephites were able to save their nation at the leadership of Moroni, but not without an exceedingly bloody battle. (Helaman 1:30)

How could this have happened to such a great nation?  

And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government, that they had not kept sufficient guards in the land of Zarahemla; for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla.

(Helaman 1:18)


Are there any foreign powers that would benefit from so much contention and so much difficulty in our American government? 

 


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Undoing Creation Covenants

I am taking an online Lectures on Faith class right now, many of the things I may publish on my blog are my attempt to write out and better comprehend what I am learning. I have Glen to thank for many of the insights I will share.  I may quickly jot down ideas on this blog to share with my family, but have no intentions of sharing this with a wide group of people.  

The Hebrew word "binding" and "covenant" are directly related.  The Hebrew creation verbs "create/make/form/bring forth" are linked to the words "binding/covenant" in both sound and meaning.  

So, creation itself is a covenant, the law of nature are bounded and upheld by covenants made by God.  Everything we can see in this natural world, the laws of physics, the rotation of the earth, the coming and passing of seasons, etc... are upheld by God through those covenants because God works through covenants.  

How are covenants upheld? 

Through faith.  When two parties make a binding agreement or covenant, they are placing their faith in that covenant.  In other words, a covenant enables us to have faith because it gives us the surety and confidence that what has been promised will be fulfilled according to the terms of the covenant.  

Faith then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it, there is no power, and without power there could be no creation, nor existence! (Lectures on Faith 1:24) 

Can covenants be broken? How do we break those covenants? Can we lose faith in them and likewise lose their protection and benefits God's covenants offer?  Can we break the covenants that brought about creation?  

I speculate that when we act against the principles on which this world was founded upon, (ie life, liberty), we degrade those covenants and may lose the binding protection we enjoy from them. How does that look on a societal scale?  I think Jerimiah foresaw it as revert to a pre-creation state- waste, and void- because people were only skilled in doing evil. Lets read Jeremiah 4:22–27


For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are foolish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

Do people "know God" today?  Is our society "wise" at justifying evil, yet ignorant in common sense and basic morality? Interesting to note that many of the German that supported Hitler were not uneducated.  Many had college degrees.  What institutions perpetuate twisted ideologies today?  

 

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

Here things are reverting to a pre-creation state.  A time void of life.  

 

I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.

Observe the voting pattern into today election, how polarized things are between urban and rural america.  Where are the fruit? How has the Lord preserved fruit thoughout the rise and fall of past civilazations? 

 

For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

   What does "desolate" mean?  What behaviors produce desloation instead of life?  To engage and support behaviors that produce desloation is to go against the principles of the covenants which creation was made for.  What happened to cities in the scriptures whose cultures value deslolation over life?  Did the Lord not make a full end  to them?  Do we live in culture that relentless attacks the family, the single social unit ordained by God to produce life in this world? Has our culture made deslate behaior and practices a virtue?  

I hope we can awaken to the covenants of God, have faith in them, and fight for what this world was originally created for!