Hurricanes and week

It has been another long week of slaving away at work. I actually quite enjoy it. It will surely be a relief when we recover from taking a month
off and working. We dipped into our savings and spent nearly all of in in this endeavor. The move itself took half of it, and then I had the time in
training and licensing for work. This week I made over $500. Which I think is doing pretty darn well seeing I only worked 4 days. Today was a complete loss for work. There was no way I could reasonably drive all day, and be in and out of the car to homes. I was a soaked puppy after just going into the office. I figured out we probably got more rain from Ernesto than the Paul, Idaho gets in an entire year. Anyhow, if I can work consistently like this the rest of the year, we should have our savings back in place and saving more for future rainy days (literally!).

We are fortunate enough to live in a neighbornhood where we don’t have to worry about flooding. However, there are others in the area who definitely were not so lucky. There were a bunch of homes evacuated in northern Richmond. All day the rained has seemed to just pour. There is this constant roaring in the distance which is unfamiliar to me. I assume it is the wind of what is taking place elsewhere. It is a strange noise. The
wind has been gusty, but nothing too much where we are. Driving earlier it was a fit at times with the wind and rain. It was hard to even drive 30 at a couple of points.

I have been forwarded an article several times about President Bush meeting with President Hinckley for some breakfast. There is a picture of President Bush with the First Presidency. I really found the picture captivating. I wonder what they were talking about. I wonder why he was visiting with them. I could hope that it had to do with a President seeking counsel from a Prophet, but I seem to not think that was what was taking place. Sure would give great hope to this nation if such were the case.

Another thing I wanted to toss in.  I have been conversing with a co-worker about the church.  I have really enjoyed it.  What a great missionary opportunity and more, it refreshes my mind on being a missionary.  From his questions, I basically gave him the old first discussion this morning.  I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  It was great.  When he asked me about what the prophet had to say, I told him about General Conference.  He said he wants to watch it with us, but made it clear we would have loads of questions from him.  I told him that was completely fine and I welcomed it.  Now, we need to find out how we are going to get General Conference in the house and watch it.  He has some pretty big issues about revelation.  He says he cannot believe everything is coincidence and there must be a God.  But is confused as whither is truth.  I keep telling him about revelation and how the Lord will answer.  He keeps asking me that if he prays if Moroni will come to visit him.  He seems to want a big answer.  I keep warning him that isn’t what he wants as that usually entails a pretty big responsibility.  He also wants to know why President Hinckley can get revelation for him and I cannot.  I suppose our next conversation will be about the order of heaven and priesthood.  He keeps asking me why the Lord has so many conflicting reports.  Budda, Muslim, and others.  He queries me about Mohammad and if he was really a prophet.  I never have had that question before.  I remembered the First Presidency Statement from like the 70′s about all religions having good and whole principles.  I told him it was possible Mohammad was a prophet, but so far the Lord had not seen fit to tie him into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He asked me if he would.  I said it was likely we would some day know the exact accuracy of Mohammad being a prophet, but for now, the Lord had not spoken on that matter.  That was the best I could come up with.  But in the entailing conversating, it was easy to show that none of these religions out there, excepting the Pope, had any claim to revelation or a prophet.  He is struggling to get his head around what official doctrines are of a religion and how they are different from what the people might believe.  I took him on a walk through Calvin, Wesley, Luther, and other important people in preparing for the work.  He found that most fascinating.  It was rather enlightening to myself as well!  He was impressed by Wesley and his methodical approach and temperance in preparing for the Lord’s church to return.  It did drive the point home how much of Wesley did is no longer practiced, like the no drinking of alcohol.  Marc’s questions take us all over the religious spectrum.  We discussed the 3 kingdoms of glory the other day.  He really struggled with that, and then almost panicked that only in the celestial kingdom would we get our family.  Today though, he announced that was completely logical but wanted to know how in the world heaven and hell, which was two worlds, was confused with three.  We walked through the delineation between heaven and hell, prison and paradise.  We did not get to complete it as we ran out of time.  He did ask about those who didn’t hear the gospel and if they would go to hell.  Guess we will move onto temple work and redeeming the dead next.  He keeps emphasizing how expansive this all is, and how impressive that we have answers to all these questions.  He is amazed at the time it must take to learn all these things.  I tell him it is an ongoing thing our religion requires of us.  To learn and encompass all truth.  We shall see what he asks next.  I went through and highlighted probably 100 different passages in the Book of Mormon and Bible.  He said he would glance through it.  I am sure he will have more questions.  It has really been loads of fun and quite the adventure.  I surely hope it will take his soul elsewhere.  If he were to join the church and go to the temple, I would feel it was more successful than the entire mission.  After all, I know of no souls who I helped teach who are active, other than children.  All converts I can keep track of are not active, which very much pains me.  I surely hope one day they will return.  This experience is giving me hope that I might declare with Alma, “and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.”

Lastly, a couple of scriptures on the immigration subject that I threw together last night for a friend. Hope it might be of some value to someone.

Exo 22:21
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Lev 19:33-34
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Exo 23:9
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Lev 24:22
Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

Deut 10:19
Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deut 24:14
Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy
gates.

Gen 17:8
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and there I will be their God.

Josh 8:35
There was not a work of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.

Capitalism

You sure have a way of sending a good variety of subjects in your e-mails don’t you?  A couple of these I have to sit and think for a minute before I answer. 

Thought I would make a comment before I go on too much. Remember, it is not so much capitalism that is a bad thing, it is the lack of morals within a system.  We believe that an individual should not be inhibited by bondage, chains, or government, but only by their conscience and their own inner moral compass.  A man is to be able to choose their life and path in life and be amenable to God. The hard fisted, strong willed governments, who rule with iron force are those we are against.  Therefore, capitalism is the system to which we look. The thing is though, that we believe that a man should be restrained by morals, the will of God.  Obedience due to love and meekness, not by force. So that changes some of the face of what you wrote in your e-mail.

Alma 30:17
Korihor was teaching that since there was not a Christ, therefore no atonement, that there was not to be a curtailing or limiting of personal
action (freedom). We believe that men prosper by community, not by individual exertion. We are not for people profiting and gaining by using
their gifts (genius) and strength to the putting down of other men. They are to be used for the benefit of all.

Proverbs 16:25
The children of men are to follow the way of God, not what a man believes is right. We are to follow the commandments and way of God, not whatever a man things is right, for that is surely death.

Does that change the view and look on those scriptures? It completely changes the light of them.

Remember, the limits of men making money, also limits men who are doing good. Remember that government intervention itself takes time and money, and pulls resources away from those who are being regulated. Regardless of the laws of the land, a man cannot get away from crimes against God or humanity. They still have to answer to the great lawgiver of eternity. If we build a government, we should mimick his laws for anything more is to elevate ourselves above what God has determined. The classic saying, whatsoever is more or less is of the devil. I most surely believe there is a need for laws. Just for organization and management of a people there has to be law. Take for example the church’s law that a person must have been a member for a year before going to the temple. There are a host of laws, but there needs to be a purpose.

Anyhow, that is my thoughts on your e-mail. I will try and find your quote on bridled capitalism.

 

Future of Government?

Mr. S,A government officer elected or filling a position in the government has no more authority in acting in the name of God than a priest who derives his authority from the Bible. The Bible and Constitution are both inspired and divine documents. But neither gives authority.

Having said that, just as in the world of religion, I too believe God will inspire good men. However, we are not just supposed to be good men. We are to strive for that order set up and ordained under Adam and Christ. I just cannot be content with the current system when I know there is another.

Not that we have to completely throw off the current system and try a new. I am definitely a believer in working through the system as opposed to  it. But, how can I possibly think this is the way God will do it when that is not the way he restored the gospel? He did not go through another church.

Well, then again he did. We know that the great upheaval and torment in religious tides only seemed to ferment Joseph’s mind more caldron like than anything else. He even admits he thought the Methodist religion was most like what he sought. So it was through organized religion that things  were prepared.

So too, I try to look for those principles which are given to us whereby government is to be founded. As far as I can see, I do not know of a government founded upon these principles. For what to do about this, all I can do is hope. After all, these principles have already been restored in these latter days. It is just a matter of when the Lord decrees that the kingdom will come out of the wilderness. What a glorious day that will be!

Perhaps I am too hopeful or something. Sometimes what I think seems so foreign to the current way we live that I wonder if I haven’t fallen off my rocker.

Most assuredly the United States has a foundation which is inspired. I am more prone to think that the principles of the Constitution are inspired, rather than the actual set up of the government. While the set up helps to safeguard the principles, it is easily seen that other governments can be just as enduring. Britain still has us beat by at least 500 years if you are looking only at our form of government and a form of democracy. Don’t forget we have been taught the Magna Carta was inspired. Never mind all that though, the Lord has still decreed a consummated end of all nations. Even our current beloved nation will some day give way to the Kingdom of God. But alas, the real question is how will these things come to be? Will it be through, or completely separate? I think it will be separate. After all, can you put new wine in old bottles. It just doesn’t work.

As for the current system, I tend to think that the nation could have progressed and improved far beyond where we could be. However, at some point we started to rest upon our laurels, and are at a slipping point. Perhaps even past that teetering point. Who knows, I don’t stand on a watch tower.

When it comes to the Latter-day Saint position on some topics, particularly the redemption of Zion, the law of consecration, redeeming of Zion, and  our position towards government; I wonder if 1 Sam 8 doesn’t apply to a certain degree.

(3) “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.” We are warned again and again on debt. Far too many of us worry about money rather than the kingdom. I know I fight it constantly. (5) “And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and they sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” The cry is often now that we must look to other nations in how they do things. We must follow their lead. Rather than looking to God, the revealed word, we worry about what others are doing. We want socialized medicine like they have. We want to bond and live in debt like they do. We want to have luxury and raise the income of all. We want to live up to the Jones’ not for the sake of keeping gain, but so we can intimidate them into not getting more. What a hoax. We keep comparing ourselves to others, rather than living as we know we should. (7) “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for  they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” The Lord comes right out and tells the leaders to follow  what the people want. After all, they are following themselves. They don’t care about what the Lord is doing, so why is he going to fight it. Let them  have their debt. Let them have their battles and seeking out wars. Let them lull themselves into carnal security. Let them think they are better than  other nations because they have power or wealth. Let them go a whoring (one of my favorite Jeremiah lines) after other nations and forget their  own. (8) “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have  forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.”

Let them go. The Lord understand what they desire, and he lets us have according to our desires. (9) “Now therefore hearken unto their voice:  howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.” Samuel takes all the different vices that  will come upon the people. Just as Joseph, Brigham, John, Wilford and the prophets have warned us since. And now that we see it coming upon us, because of our falling from the Lord, we think that a great return will happen? That isn’t what happens every single incident I can think of in the scriptures. The whole government has to be rebuilt from scratch. The one rises while the other falls. That is all I can think of in history too. Somehow his phenomenon that we can give birth to another just doesn’t seem to jive with history. (18) “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and herehearsed them in the ears of the Lord, And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto  their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”

So, after the incident of Samuel, leading to the great gains and losses, especially with the likes of Saul, David, and Solomon. Even this past weeks lesson was about Solomon; Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness. For all the good Solomon did, he also got the Israelites into most of the wickedness that Samuel warned about. It was all because of the breaking point with Samuel and going to a king. The Lord still lead them to some degree when David, Saul, and others were fervently trying to give heed. But you know the record, the prophets fall further and further into the background. I remember as a kid, somehow I thought Saul, David, and Solomon were the prophets of their day. Ha, what a false statement.

So, concerning whether the President is inspired or not. I believe when he is diligently seeking out the inspiration of the Lord, that he can be inspired. Just as David and Solomon were. However, for every good that he does, and is even inspired to, there were many wrongs in the  background that only continued the nation to destruction. It came right after Solomon’s rule. Again, the President doesn’t have authority, and while  inspired, will not change the order of things.

I agree, anyone in their position cannot be a usurper. But without the authority, we cannot expect that the order will work for long.

You comment about you don’t know anyone that is trying to determine the righteousness of nations. A big famous quote comes to mind about the axis of evil. That is calling nations evil, judging them, and we put them as bad, while we are on the other. I definitely think there is a judgment which  the current administration seems to operate. Again, I don’t know if the scripture relates in all things or not, but if it does, we sure are in trouble. Anyhow, I think that will close for now. I hope I don’t come off too direct. Just rolling through some thoughts. I greatly appreciate your thoughts  and look forward to your response.

Yours ever,
Paul

Oh the Greatness of God

Well, we are about at the ending of another week.  Nevertheless, I am still feeling the influence of the last weekend.  How wonderful it is to have prophets upon the earth.  What a wonderous day we live in.  We are blessed so exceedingly!  We have prophets, apostles, and the priesthood.  I guess it is more the other way around, we have the priesthood, which gives us prophets, apostles, and all the church.  Everything is governed under the authority and power of the Father and Son.  What a wonderful and magnificent thing it is to behold.
This weekend I had the privilege of standing in on a blessing.  It was great, what an honour.  Even better, we have the capacity and capability of doing these things.  I stood in on a baby blessing a few weeks ago.  How wonderful.  I sat in General Conference in the presence of the Lord’s called Apostles and Prophets.  Again, I saw our dearly beloved prophet stand up, waddle to the stand, and speak.  My heart swells with joy and gratitude.  We can hear the Lord’s direction for us, for me, for you, for us individually.  How unique and personal that makes the Atonement, the Church, and God.
In reading the scriptures, I find myself ever shaking my head.  Can we be wiser?  Can we learn from the teachings and mistakes?  We are finishing 2 Samuel tomorrow night.  We have read of Saul, and David, and Absalom, and even Samuel.  Each were amazing men, but made some horrible mistakes.  Even Samuel’s own children would not follow the Lord.  We finished Mosiah last night in the Book of Mormon.  There are some individuals who turned to the Lord, the sons of Alma and Mosiah.  Mosiah instructed the people about proper government and how to do things.  I find it amazing that people say what is the proper way of government, even in the church, yet they obviously know not the scriptures.  I hold the Book of Mormon of being of great worth in bringing much light and truth to our generation.  It is the applicator of the Bible.  I would declare that without reading and being familiar with the Old and New Testament, you will not understand the full import and value of the Book of Mormon.  Without the Bible and Book of Mormon, one will not understand the Doctrine and Covenants.  So many tell me that the law of consecration is vague and not clear.  I say to those people read Deuteronomy and the Doctrine and Covenants again.  If they can say that then, they have not understood what they read.  It is so stark and clear!  Without prophets and apostles, we would not have the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants.  Even then, I fear most of the Christian world do not know their own Bible.  If they do, they do not believe it or live its teachings.
Prayer is such an amazing thing.  My experiences are so valued to me.  I would not trade them for anything.  But for people who tell me I do not know these things are true, I say they have not experienced prayer.  They know not heaven or how to communicate with it (or don’t wish to).  Our blessings are amazing.  The counsel comes to us as the dews from heaven.  They descend, and some allow them to run on by, others lap them up and hold tightly to what falls upon our heads.  We don’t have the option, they are coming.  What will we do with them?
Well, I close for now.  I love you, I know the church is true!

February’s ending

Life continues to go on.  Things are going very well here in Provo, Utah.  Amanda and I are enjoying life and keeping busy.  I am working full time at Meier and Frank and enjoying my time there.  I look forward to each day and every day is different.  Amanda has just switched from DownEast Outfitters to Dillards.  I agree with many things at Dillards but admit we are much more human at Meier and Frank.  Macy’s Regional Representatives visited the store yesterday and they were very kind, willing to listen, and easy to get along with.  It was an enjoyable experience.  Things are laid back and good at M&F.  Dillards has this rule that if you are tardy 8 times in 6 months, you are fired.  Ouch!  Aren’t we humans? not machines?  Amanda keeps busy with school.  She had a chemistry test today that she was not very excited about.  On the way home, she doesn’t feel she did very well.  I am continuing with my LSAT Course.  I am feeling more confident in the possibilities with the test, but still am not showing the improvements I would like to see.  Soon enough, I hope.  We finished Numbers just a day or two ago.  We are now reading on in Deuteronomy, which is one of my favorite books of the entire Bible.  I love how personable Moses is and feel like I am sitting in a General Conference talk with it.  We are ahead of the reading for Sunday School, but will lose ground as the year goes on.  We will finish in November, but at some points will even be behind where the Gospel Doctrine class is.  Oh well.  Tonight we finish 2 Nephi.  We will finish the Book of Mormon in September.  It will be good to finish that early.  We will have an opportunity to read some other books that we agree on.  I would like to read the history of Joseph Smith by his mother together.  We will see what books Amanda has in mind.  Jesus the Christ sounds good, or Articles of Faith, or perhaps some of the manuals for Priesthood/Relief Society.
Anyhow, I am rambling on about what is happening in life.  Thought you would all like to know a few things and what is going on in my head and with Amanda.
One question that I am researching lately is this.  In a conversation with a friend, we had talked about capital punishment and the comment was brought up, “That is part of the Mosaic Law” and no longer applies.  Ringing in my mind was the line about the savior fulfilling, not destroying or removing.  The whole law was to point us to Christ, so is it all bad.  Is the entire Spirit of the Law void?  I do not believe so.  It seems to me that if the Mosaic Law were all void and null, then the 10 commandments would not have been repeated over and over in every other book of scripture.  Other than their performances and ordinances, it seems that it all still applies.  I keep reading and wondering.  That is one thing I am pondering about.  We shall see.  If it is still applicable, then that changes my view of government in a couple of ways.  The setup and functioning of government is changed in some ways.  It does not change or alter anything in the church, in fact, to me it seems to fortify it a great number of times.  I believe the Book of Mormon is vital to the church, but I believe the same of the Bible.  One is a restoration scripture, and vital to our times, but the other is vital to providing background and foundation on which the Book of Mormon builds.  Knowing and reading the Old Testament fortifies the teachings and application of the Book of Mormon.  Anyhow, this is one current subject of learning.
Lately I have also been wondering about family history.  There are many aspects of it that seem to strike me a little more forcefully.  Especially as I stumbled upon several albums which belonged to my Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother.  It has been very revealing.  It is amazing the power of a picture.  I have gone around and visited a load of family members, especially older members, to find out who some of the photos are.  There are probably two dozen photos which nobody is old enough to recognize.  Which I find is really sad.  These are interesting photos.  I have gone through and scanned all of them and have been e-mailing them out to family members.  I hope they are valuing what I am sending.  I may at some later point when I am done with them, post them all here on the blog.  We will see.  There are quite a few and it may take too much time.  We will see.
Well, I have to be going.  Life is great.  We are very abundantly blessed.  We are very fortunate.  I hope it continues.  Oh, Amanda has been accepted to University of Maryland-Baltimore.  We await word from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Also, Amanda and I have accepted a calling to team teach in primary.  The 5-6 years old if I remember right.