Packing it into the nest

I uploaded another 340 photos for those who are interested.  They cover the remainder of the time we were in England.  They start about Harlech, Wales through London.  I have not named them yet, nor the ones from the last batch.  I will be sure to let you know when I finally do.  Which really means, you shouldn’t look at them until I have them all named!

Another day in paradise.  We keep plugging along.  We finally gathered all our possessions from rented space into the nest today.  At least we have the account closed with U-haul storage now.  They seem like good people.

Our washer was delivered today.  Our large purchases from Lowe’s are now complete.  Frigidaire has reaped some income from our purchase of a refrigerator, washer, and dryer.  (I also learned yesterday I have spelled refrigerator incorrectly all these years.  I spelled it refridgerator.  Darn English language.)  Interestingly, the man who delivered the blessed washer asked where in Utah I was from.  He deducted it from my 801 cell phone number.  I confessed my wife was from Kaysville and he admitted he grew up in Layton.  Small world.  I found out he is now an ordained minister whose sermons go over the trucker radios.  I wouldn’t have thought of a ministry over the radio, but all the best to him.  I found out he wasn’t allowed to attend LDS services growing up, and then did when he could.  He joined the church and then his mother moved to Oklahoma.  He had some questions that he apparently asked the Bishop and the Bishop couldn’t answer them.  I don’t know if he didn’t want to hear the answers or if the Bishop just wouldn’t or didn’t take the time.  He gave me the three main questions and his e-mail address.  I have dropped him an e-mail to confirm the address and then have to start putting together the answers befitting his situation.  Here they are in a nutshell.  If you would like to write with suggestions on how to respond, I would appreciate it.

The end of the new testament states, ‘The End of the Prophets’.  If it is the end, why do we have Joseph Smith or any others afterward?  A typical evangelical question posed.  I will have to establish what a prophet is, what prophecy is, and that even the Savior himself was a prophet.  Then we can build from there.  Certainly cannot forget Revelations stating that to have a testimony of Jesus is to have the spirit of prophecy.

The second question dealt with the old testament stating there was no God before, and no God afterward.  If we believe that, how can we believe in a separate Godhead and other ‘Gods’?  This one is a bit more tricky to build common ground.  I will have to revisit and do homework.  This is another common protestant question designed to create doubt.

Lastly, the question probably most difficult, and one I may not answer as I intend to go in order and discuss them slowly.  For the doctrines really don’t make it clear and it is one of those areas of gray.  I have my thoughts lined out but they are mine and not really to be shared.  Besides, I cannot back them up with doctrine and I don’t think he is interested in statements of latter day prophets.  But, once we become God in our little world elsewhere, is it given to us, or do we create it.  Next, what do we do once we have our own world or universe?

Coming back down to earth.  We found a dead mouse behind some drawers.  Amanda was not happy.  I just laughed.  After all, being a country boy you might as well say I grew up with mice.  But we did work out a deal.  I remove the mice, dead or alive, and she changes the diapers.  I don’t like diapers, she doesn’t like mice.  Boy, am I glad we got that worked out!

Jewish Jerusalem

There is one subject that always draws the attention of any Christian, well one that knows any Old Testament and New Testament history is the restoration of the Jews.  For the most part, restoration has ceased to be a naughty word in our generation.  While most Christians now use the term ‘revival’ it has a similar meaning.  But the restoration of the Jews is one most Christians are well aware.  They and we know that the Savior’s second coming will come after their restoration to Jerusalem.  It is one of those signs we are supposed to know.  Accordingly, most have watched for the day and have even done what they could to expedite the process.  In that vein, here is a scripture I find revealing in the Book of Mormon.
“But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified.  Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; and they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations” (2 Nephi 10:5-6).
There is little debate this part of the sermon by Jacob has taken place.  They have surely known destruction, famine, pestilence, and the most horrid bloodshed.  The latest of which took place in the past century.  Even before then, the scattering was well under way.  If it were not for the scattering, Hitler probably would not have had so many opportunities to shed their blood.  We see the Crusades and innumerable other attacks on Jerusalem from a variety of people. Christians through the ages have recognized the need of the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land.
Over the centuries attempt after attempt has been made to relocate them back.  The Crimean war is a great example.  The French and Russians claimed it their prerogative to convert them and protect them. The Latter-day Saints recognized a different responsibility upon their shoulders.  They were to gather in Israel.  However, the Jew was to be last.  2 Nephi gives us another twist on the take from normal Christianity.
“But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance” (vs 7).
An interesting question arises here.  Who, or which of their fathers was this covenant made to?  What is more interesting is that this restoration is not supposed to start until they shall believe in Christ.  How much do they have to believe?  How many have to believe to start this gathering?  Who will start this process?  They don’t appear to believe yet, so have we really seen much of a gathering yet?
Then comes something more instructive, “And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.  Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?” (2 Nephi 10:8-9).
They shall be gathered in from their scattering by the nations of the Gentiles.  America and Britain definitely fall into this category.  Indeed, the leaders of these Gentile nations shall nurse them because the Lord has so abundantly blessed these nations.  What an interesting observation.  We certainly know many nations have aided in the return of the Jew to their inheritance lands.  How much has this been completed?  We do not know.
On a tangent, Jacob then goes on to say there will be no kings over this nation or land, and that this land is the decreed land of Zion.  None, Jew or Gentile, shall fight against this land and prosper.  A most interesting light considering the scriptures where different nations may lead this land, but there will be no kings, and nobody will ultimately conquer it.  He also states how the seed of Lehi will be afflicted in the land. Anyhow, back to the Jews, I cannot help but think of some comments by Brigham Young.
“The decree has gone forth from the Almighty that they cannot have the benefit of the atonement until they gather to Jerusalem, for they said, let His blood be upon us and upon our children, consequently, they cannot believe in him until his second coming.  We have a great desire for their welfare, and are looking for the time soon to come when they will gather to Jerusalem, build up the city and the land of Palestine, and prepare for the coming of the Messiah.  When he comes again, he will not come as he did when the Jews rejected him; neither will he appear first at Jerusalem when he makes his second appearance on the earth; but he will appear first on the land where he commenced his work in the beginning, and planted the garden of Eden, and that was done in the land of America.  When the Savior visits Jerusalem, and the Jews look upon him, and see the wounds in his hands and in his side and in his feet, they will then know that they have persecuted and put to death the true Messiah, and then will they acknowledge him, but not till then.  They have confounded his first and second coming, expecting his first coming to be as a mighty prince instead of as a servant.  They will go back by and by to Jerusalem and own their Lord and Master.  We have no feelings against them.  I wish they were all gentlemen, men of heart and brain, and knew precisely how the Lord looks upon them” (JD 11:279).
The restoration of the Jews had not commenced yet when Brigham stated those words.    They will return to rebuild Jerusalem before he will return.  The Gentiles will take them back, but their conversion will not start.
“Jerusalem is not to be redeemed by the by the soft still voice of the Preacher of the Gospel of Peace.  Why?  Because they were once the blessed of the Lord, the Chosen of the Lord, the promised seed.  They were the people from among whom should spring the Messiah; and salvation could only be found through that tribe.  The Messiah came through them, and they killed him; and they will be the last of all the seed of Abraham to have the privilege of receiving the New and Everlasting Covenant.  You may hand out to them gold, you may feed and clothe them, but it is impossible to convert the Jews, until the Lord God Almighty does it” (JD 2:142).
“This American continent will be Zion; for it is so spoken of by the prophets.  Jerusalem will be rebuilt and will be the place of gathering, and the tribe of Judah will gather there; but this continent of America is the land of Zion” (JD 5:4).

Scourging?

I promise I do not have a preconceived idea of what I am trying to do here.  This is not solely meant as a series of political treatises.  Perhaps these topics are on my mind and that is why the are jumping out at me.  Who knows.  Tonight’s will be one somewhat in the same vein.

Yesterday I dealt with a land that was to be one of promise.  If the people who possess the land are not righteous and keep the commandments, then the land would be given to another nation.  While that has some scary implications, I find this scripture to be a bit more troubling.

We find the Nephites have now left the Lamanites.  Of course, they are not called by those names yet, but they will be.  There is something fascinating here.  They were those who followed the Lord, kept the commandments, and had to leave their brethren due to the stress they brought upon them.  As they broke away, they did not take on the name of Jesus, or even that of Christ because these people did not know that yet.  They took on the name of Nephi, prophet.  They did not take on the name of the Almighty, Yahweh, Lord, or even Lord God.  They took Nephi.  Due to the tradition this would start, we know this would cause the disputations that would arise in 3 Nephi.  We take it for granted that the name of the church would be after Jesus Christ, but I can sense what their frustration might have been when they were trying to figure out what to call the church after Christ’s coming.  I can see some of the difficulty even in our day.  Anyhow, I am on a tangent.

Nephi takes his people and teaches them to be industrious.  They build buildings, even a temple, and a host of other occupations.  There are the smiths, the carvers, the carpenters, the miners, and the farmers.  Then they give the contrast of those who are not righteous, those who keep not the covenants/commandments.

“…they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.” (2 Nephi 5:24).  There are other scriptures that give us more explanation of those who keep not the covenants.  “…after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations” (1 Nephi 12:23).  “…their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax.  And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us” (Enos 1:20).  “…after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious…giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God” (Alma 47:36).  “….who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.  Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them…” (Alma 17:24-25).

While I don’t want to give an expose on the characteristics of the ungodly, we do see some of these which are in society and which Latter-day Saints are expressly told to avoid.  The Word of Wisdom is most pronounced.

The contract of the wicked are given to us.  But then comes the clencher.

“And the Lord God said unto me: They (the Lamanites) shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction” (2 Nephi 2:25).

That gives a scary scenario!  These less than obedient individuals are allowed to remain.  Moreover, they will be the one’s who will afflict the righteous when they become not so righteous.  Even more, they will scourge them unto destruction.  That sounds like a pretty good incentive not to lose your blessed and promised state.  Remember, the Lord promised them this land in safety forever if they would remain faithful.  If not, then the promise is they will be scourged, even to destruction.  We see this take place with the Jaredites, we see it with the Nephites later.  The scenario plays out throughout the Old Testament too.

Like most scriptures in the Book of Mormon, this is not the only instance where this counsel is given.  Here are a few more.  “And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance” (1 Nephi 2:24).  “…the Lord will deliver them up, that thereby they become weak like unto their brethren; and he will no more preserve them by his matchless and marvelous power, as he has hitherto preserved our fathers” (Mosiah 1:13).  “…the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God” (Helaman 4:11).  “…because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of dissensions and intrigue among themselves they were placed in the most dangerous circumstances” (Alma 53:9).  “…for it has been their quarrelings and their contentions, yea, their murderings, and their plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms, and their abominations, which were among themselves, which brought upon them their wars and their destructions” (Alma 50:21).  “…Surely God shall not suffer that we , who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions” (Alma 46:18).  “But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction ;and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord” (Alma 9:18).  “…I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall treat them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people…” (3 Nephi 16:15).

If we should think this is something only Mormon, it is also Biblical.

“Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before  you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you” (Joshua 23:13).  “…he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed” (Judges 2:14-15).  “If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.  But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge” (Job 36:11-12).  “Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.  Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hands of their enemies, who vexed them…they did evil again before thee: therefore lettest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them…yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give year: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands” (Nehemiah 9:26-30).  “Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.  Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far…” (Jeremiah 5:14-15).

You get the picture.  Also take a look at Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy and Chapter 26 of Leviticus.  The Lord even tells of the time he used Israel for the destruction of another nation because of their wickedness in Deuteronomy 9:4-5, “Speak not thou in thine heart, after the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.  Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

We see how yesterday we described how the Lord would supplant a nation with another nation.  A scourge could certainly be so great so as to replace a nation by violence.  It doesn’t seem that would be the plan for this nation, just that other nations are being allowed to scourge us.  It is an entirely different treatise to show that the Lord will protect and fight the battles for the righteous, perhaps I can cover some of those later (See D&C 98 for a good start).  But here we are showing that other nations can scourge us due to not being valiantly obedient.

These promises are also against those who are being allowed to scourge us.  This scripture shows that God is no respecter of persons.  Those doing the scourging can be scourged if they later reject great obedience to eternal law.

“And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land.  Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father” (3 Nephi 20:28).

So we are to be faithful or else have the chances of scourging.  Just how disobedient a people have to be for scourging I am not sure.  After all, one of the scriptures I referenced earlier (Helaman 4:11) stated that just having blatant disobedience AMONG them could bring upon these problems.  A bit of a Lot scenario.  Just because there are a few righteous won’t save the rest of them.

The righteous will have some scourging on no account of their own.  What are we to do then?  “…if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek ye revenge, ye shall be rewarded.  But if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out as a just measure unto you” (D&C 98:23-24).  You go on being obedient and faithful.

I should be wrapping this up.  I cannot help but see what applications this could have to us as a people, a church, and as a nation.  As we are faithful, the Lord will fight our battles for us and keep us from harm.  I do believe this could be by giving us warning and by thwarting the adversary himself or through us.  When we find we are more and more vulnerable, perhaps we should not be so quick to point fingers, find vengeance, but to look inward.  Find out what we are doing that appears to be lessening our promises from heaven.  Does it appear we are being scourged?  9/11 looks like a scourge of some type.  The scriptures don’t say the people who scourge us are always wicked, half the time they are only ignorant of God’s laws.

Remember, if we bear it not patiently, it is meted out as just measure unto us.  Like President Kimball told of the story of the last summer.  When they found out one was going to betray them/Christ they looked inward and asked, “Is it I?”  Perhaps we should do the same.  When we are afflicted and scourged by other nations, however small, we should ask, “Is it I?”  Rather than looking at them who did the scourging with a condescension and looking for revenge, we should look inward and repent.

I know of only one politician currently running for President who subscribes to this idea.  Perhaps we should seek them out and learn more of their ideas.  After all, they appear to be the most Christian.

“But behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed” (Mormon 4:5).

Immigration guided?

The immigration issue has been a topic of importance lately.  What is the proper decision, policy, and attitude we should take?  Open borders?  Closed borders?  Monitored immigration?  Initially when the nation was founded, immigration was open.  Any and all were welcome.  Slowly we began to regulate and require certain things of those who came into the nation.  Citizenship requirements have changed.  By the 1880′s we were numbering and giving minimums for those coming into the country.
What is the proper way to administer immigration?  If we go for the Founder’s view, it would be a pretty loose interpretation.  Basically, anything goes (or anything comes).  That certainly doesn’t seem to be anything the majority of American’s would be willing to accept at present.  Anyone’s opinion is really valid now when it comes to historical pretext.  We have covered the entire field.
What is the role of immigration with regards to what God would prefer?  I am not entirely sure.  Here is our scripture for thought.
2 Nephi 1:6
“Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.”
This scripture seems to be pretty straight forward.  NONE shall come UNLESS the Lord has brought them.  This is a Prophet speaking.  What is more, it is another Prophet who is recording the comments of another.  In a sense, we have two witnesses of this statement.  Moreover, Lehi himself states it is a prophecy.
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for play.  Two prophets state, in positive terms, ALL who come to this nation will be brought by the Lord.  The question is then, what about our immigration policy?  If we try to limit it, are we acting against God’s will?  For all these who come in still, even illegally, should we hold such a vindictive attitude towards them?  Are we in a sense an Uzza reaching forth to steady the ark?
The statement seems like it would be still in effect?  There doesn’t appear to be anything in the previous or following verses that would limit it to 1492 to 1827.  Certainly, the LDS would not hold such a view.  The LDS would hold this immigration lead by the hand of the Lord continued en mass at least through 1910.  Why the change?
The gathering is to Stakes of Zion rather than to a central location now.  But this doesn’t appear to be talking about a gathering, or even the covenant people.  NONE seem so be a pretty exclusive statement for those who are covenant or not.
I suppose the real question is should we open the borders and allow all to come?  Or is the Lord inspiring our politicians to limit the immigration while at the same time inspiring others to break that limiting?
LDS are expected to keep the laws of the land, but will the Lord inspire others to break those laws the Saints are expected to uphold?  We hear cries all over against the Hispanic influx.  Is this inspired and is man putting forth his puny arm to stop the flow that God has decreed?  None shall come save it be by the hand of the Lord.
I really don’t know.  But it certainly makes me think.  Personally America is the idea of a tent of charity and of good will.  To me it seems that all are welcome and we will welcome them with open arms.
In the Old Testament, the immigrant went by another name; stranger.  Reminds me of the old western movies.  Do a search of the Old Testament and you shall see quite a few laws and regulations concerning strangers.  They were expected to hold the rest of Israel’s laws faithfully.  Those out of the covenant were treated equally, but were restricted from covenant promises and practices.
One of the first scriptures that come to mind is the reminder the Lord gives to Israel.  Strangers are to be treated well, after all, all Israel was a stranger in the land of Egypt.  It is the old golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  “Also, thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex 23:9).
Strangers could buy and sell unfettered.  They could even take some of those under the covenant as slaves (Lev 25).
Strangers were to be given the same laws as the covenant folk.  Additionally, they were to be treated equally before the law.  Even in breaking the law, the stranger was to be treated the same as the children of Israel (Num 15).
Strangers could even offer up burnt offerings.  They were expected to live the same law of health (Lev 22).
Remember, Israel after wandering went into Canaan to take possession of the Land.  The Lord even told them they were being given a land wherein they were going to be the stranger.  The Lord was going to give them the land, despite what the residents thought.  It was when the current residents fought back, and the residents along the way, that they lost their lives (Gen 17:8)  They could very well have assimilated as many other societies have done.
This always brings new meaning to the stranger referenced Matthew 25.  Whatsoever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.  But he uses the phrase ‘Stranger’ several times.  “I was a stranger and ye took me in” (vs 35).  “When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?” (vs 38).  “I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?” (vs 43-44).
“Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the Land of Egypt” (Deut 10:19).
“And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.  When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou has commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:” (Deut 26:11-13).
Indeed, the stranger is even classified among the widows and orphans in a requirement for Israel to reach out to them (Deut 24).
Strangers could not take part of temple worship or passover.  Unless, they were willing to be circumcised, then they were no more strangers (similar to citizenship??) (Ex 12).
I will leave it there.  I have turned from the degree of immigration to how we should treat the immigrant.  There doesn’t seem to be a qualification of whether they were living among Israel legally or not.  God seems no respecter of persons.  Why would we treat with harshness the stranger in our midst, legal or not?
Turning back to the original question, I would definitely lean towards open borders and open communication.  It seems most arguments against open borders are for selfish reasons.  Our jobs, our land, our territory and more.  Perhaps we should re-evaluate.

The offering of sacrifices

Being thankful seems to be a crux of most of the gospel.  One of the scriptures I gave you said that they who are thankful will be made glorious.  I certainly believe that is true.  As ole Terry McCombs likes to repeat, “to be thankful, you have to remember; remember, remember, remember!”

I like your train of thought on how to be thankful.  But I think you might be missing a very important part of sacrifices and burnt offerings.  Brad, I am a bit shocked you did not remember this.  After all, we had a string of e-mails last year discussing sacrifice.

“And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord.  And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.  And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?  And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me” (Moses 5:5-6).

Notice what comes before the offerings to the Lord, it is worshiping the Lord.  Your sacrifices are of no value without the prayers.  Just like fasting with out prayer is just starving you.  Tithing without the prayer is just putting your money in the coffer.  Offerings without prayer is just burning a piece of perfectly good meat!

Think of the temple.  When Adam is offering sacrifice before the Lord, if you notice there is something missing on the altar.  I think that is very telling.  It is certainly more than just trying to save those who could not stomach a piece of burning meat or produce from the garden.

“Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (Moses 5:8).

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Sam 15:22-23).

So thankfulness is manifest in sacrifice, but don’t forget the most important part of sacrifice.  The law of obedience comes first, then the law of sacrifice.  Obedience is that you are to do all things in the name of the Lord.

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faith; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate they performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul” (2 Ne 32:9).

This thing seemed so obvious to Nephi that he grieved that the people were missing it.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb 13:15-16).

“And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father.  And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him” (1 Ne 7:22).

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his delight” (Prov 15:8).

Why do we offer prayers?  It is so that our heart might be contrite.  That is our sacrifice after the obedience.  First our heart, then comes the rest.  Our will, our ego, our all, then comes the physical.

“And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not” (3 Ne 9:20).

“Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (D&C 59:8).

So, there is some more backing on what goes into sacrifices.  Before the sacrifices of meat, or any other type whatsoever (fasting or tithing) it should be preceded by prayer.  All things should be done by prayer.

These sacrifices enable us to come unto the Father, the activate more fully the atonement in our lives, to allow the Spirit a stronger influence, and the whole host of blessings that follow.

As with your examples of David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Thomas B Marsh.  It is not enough to know, but to continually be seeking the Spirit.  One cannot rest on your laurels, or you will be left behind.  Then you will fight to regain your place and it will have been lost.  Whether eternally, or callings within the present.  Do not delay.  Be ever diligent in keeping the commandments every day.  The Spirit helps us see, understand, know as we are known, and not allow those blasted beams in our eyes to block our vision.

I would like to visit Thomas’ grave in Ogden.  We will have to make a trek.  I have some more of my own family to find.

Lastly, to comment on your thoughts in relation to Alma 4:19.  In bearing down in pure testimony, the only way is by the word of God.  First, to have the Spirit (prayer facilitates this greatly) and the advice of Alma, “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just – yea, it had a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them – wherefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5).  Have the Spirit (which gives you the power of the word) and then use the written word.  It has a more powerful effect than anything else.

That is what President Wightman taught us very diligently.  That is what I try to do.  That is what you try to do.  Let us help others understand it.  We don’t want to be another slap on the back, feel happy church.  We believe in keeping the doctrine pure, and sometimes charity and love hurts, but is always for our best.

One more question…

As I was reading through this e-mail I could not help but think, “Man, I sure do a lot of counseling!”  My next though, “Am I really such a prideful know it all to presume to know all things?”  I sure hope I don’t come off as prideful and arrogant in the things I write and say Brad.  If I do, I am sorry.  I don’t think I do.  If you forwarded my thoughts on to the niece of Uncle, she must think I am an arrogant, prideful fool to say such things without knowing Uncle.

You asked what if people are not humble and accept the truth.  The first scripture that comes to mind, “And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts:” (D&C 29:7).  “And a commandment I give unto thee – that thou shalt write for him; and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect: for they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure” (D&C 35:20-21).

It is our job to be messengers.  It is up to them to be not asleep and seeking.  They will recognize the Spirit when it comes upon them.  “And even so will I gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice” (D&C 33:6).  “And even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, wo, is their doom” (D&C 38:6).  The Lord makes it clear.  We are to be instruments I his hands and carry his Spirit to others, but what happens on the other side has little or nothing to do with us.  We can be prompted to plant a seed, to testify, but the rest happens in the heart and mind of that person.  “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them” (Ezek 2:5).  “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice of by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).  “…but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:30-31).

I wanted to correct one point you made in reference to Adam and Eve.  The man does represent the Lord has husband and father.  He must act in faithfulness and righteousness, otherwise he is not to be respected or obeyed (all according to the Spirit, not personal whims).  The Lord’s way has always been in counseling and working through that means.  All husbands have much to learn from this pattern.  Even the revelations which came to us appear to be very dictatorial of the Lord, but not if you understand under what circumstances they came.  Joseph always sought the answer, counseled with friends, sought the answer and then petitioned the Lord.  Sometimes the Lord answered, other times he did not.  We do not ever see the example of a dictating God, nor should any husband thing that his wife’s obedience should come from his own dictates.  Love, persuasion, and loving kindness are the keys.  We have our ultimate exemplar in Christ.

Just because Eve partook of the fruit first does not mean she was demoted in any fashion whatsoever.  Adam was made Lord over the whole earth and Eve the mother of all living.  Lord did not mean the ruling tyrant who ruled with blood and horror.  But the good Lord, one who watched over, protected, and prepared for the well being and felicity of those under his stewardship.  He was our physical facilities maintenance and overseer.  Even on the other hand was the nurturer, the one who keeps things operating smoothly.  These seem like very noble roles, for both of them to me.  Where do we ever get the idea that being the mother of all is something less.  Like the kingdom would be of any value without its occupants, human, animal, or plant kingdoms.  Wives are for much more than just having children.  She is a helpmeet in meeting the needs of the entire kingdom.  Not just in expanding the kingdom, but in helping the already existing kingdom.  These feminists which are in our midst are so very short sighted and narrow in their views. 

One last thought in regards to the temple from your e-mail.  I don’t know where the notion that we go to the temple for revelation comes up.  I have not researched this one in the scriptures as much, but it seems to have some problems.  Why isn’t there a room in the temple where you can write down your thoughts?  Why can’t you really even take anything with you into the temple?  That is not the purpose of the temple.  It is the Lord’s house.  We are invited to come there as often as we would like and to participate in the work.  We are guests there.  First, we go there for ourselves.  Then we take others with us every time we return.  Also important is that this is the Lord’s house.  He is our exemplar and the one to who we are to look for everything.  It is not enough for us to follow his example, but we need to make his surroundings as his are.  We are taught there the true order of heaven.  We are taught how to receive inspiration.  We are taught how to pray.  We are taught the proper order of houses of God, of families, and how to put them in order.  Should not we take these things away?  Should not we follow the example and do the same with our lives?  Should not our homes have a sanctuary of sorts, a holy of holies, for receiving inspiration?  It is to teach us how to be godly and how to organize our homes.  You don’t go to your neighbors to speak with them and learn of their ways, to go into one of their side rooms to take notes.  How absurd is that?  Go home, and do in your own home what is good and right.  You hit it right on the head.  The temple classroom should be happening at home with the scriptures.  Our homes should be temples away from the temple.

Tribulations contemplated….

An excerpt of an e-mail with friends about tribulation and the different ways people deal with it.

After thinking about excommunicated Bishop Young, your Steve, and Uncle (that is what I will call him, your friend’s uncle) this is what I have come up with.  I think I hinted at some of it.

“And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father.  And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” (1 Ne 2:12).

People murmur because they know not God.

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” (Philip 2:14).

“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; belessed be the name of the Lord.  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21-22).

The Lord gives, and he takes away.  Nowhere am I aware that the promise is given that our family will not wander.  It is not given that they have not their agency or the natural course of events don’t take place.  All people get sick, all have sufferings, all have difficulties; no matter how faithful they are.  Look at Christ, look at Joseph Smith, look at Joseph of old, look at Job, and the list goes on.

So I have been thinking about this quite a bit, obviously as I e-mailed you about it.

“And when the people complained it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp” (Num 11:1).

In reading the whole eleventh chapter of Numbers I think of these people I know.  They want meat, they want water, they want this, and they want that.  It just never is good enough for them.  Then when something goes wrong, they are the first ones to point a finger.  It doesn’t seem like it is God to me.  Seems like it is the person.  I mean, we are talking of Israel here, keeping the law of Moses here and very strict.  Even they in the midst of obedience seems to have something awry and still struggle.

I have come to personally believe that being righteous does not remove bad things from happening.  It in a sense takes you above the low, mean, and doggerel.  It gives the buena vista, the grand picture.  Bad things still happen.  Not that I am righteous by any means, but look at my life.  Look at my family.  Not that we are saints, but we are no more sinners than the rest, but we have our share of woes.  Don’t we all.  It is all how we view them.  Do we live by faith?

If we don’t know or understand the Lord’s way, then we complain and murmur.  It is just a given.  When we seek the Lord and his ways, then we live by the comforter, and knowing all will workout.  Peace innervates our lives.

This hit home tonight in reading the scriptures.  “His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.  From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.  For thus saith the Lord – I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.  Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.”

So, those who are faithful and serve God, they will have their reward, and will be filled with peace and light.  What is more is how the Lord continues.  “And to them shall I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.  Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.  And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.  For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will – yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man” (D&C 76:3-10).

I think that is easily applicable to Bishop Young, Brother Steve, and Uncle.  Those who are faithful and serve God (faithful and serve!) will be filled with peace and light.  They will know the mysteries, and I think that includes the mysteries of their family.  FOR MANY GENERATIONS, their wisdom shall be great.

Remember, those who know the dealings of that God who created them will not murmur.  So, if they were living the above, not only would they know concerning their family, but they would know the mysteries of God and not be murmuring and complaining to begin with.  Their family’s apostasy/inadequacies would be viewed in the proper perspective.

What is more, don’t forget this promise, “Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance” (Alma 26:22).

It seems to me that if we are faithful, repenting, and praying continually without ceasing, our family would not go astray.  However, if they did, we would have the mysteries revealed unto us, at least that all would be well and we are doing what we can.

Divorces take two, so it may not have been his fault he was divorced.  It may not have been his fault that his children divorced.  But if he really had a burning testimony, his covenants would have kept him from leaving the church.  Perhaps this was his trial to test his faith.  “Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son” (D&C 101:4).  It seems Uncle lost his chastening and trying, for when he came to offer up his family on the altar, he fell away into forbidden paths and was lost.

I am surprised how many people seem to be outwardly doing what they are supposed to, but then don’t do the basics.  Like the whole praying and scripture study.  “They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble” (D&C 101:7).

Your friend recited off his accomplishments like they were credits to be raked in for the redemption when needed.  That is not the way it works.  It is what we become, not what we have done.  The Lord tests us when we have nothing to rest on.  The church exacerbated the problems, that shows he and her family were not viewing this with an eye to faith.  Doesn’t matter which church for that matter.  “Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men” (D&C 3:3).  He seems a little frustrated in his work, who was he working for?  If he was working for God, he obviously wasn’t in constant communication otherwise he would have known for what purpose, or that this was the Lord’s purpose.  How narrow sighted to blame the loss of his own eternity on the church or his family.  The Lord giveth and he taketh away.  The promise is that we may have these things in eternity, I know nowhere the promise is that we have the promise to keep them while in this life.  “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matt 19:29).  We have to be willing to give them all up at any time.

So, now that I have thoroughly torn the person apart, what does an outsider say?  Well this seems the given of missionary work.  What do we say to anyone anywhere?  “And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers.  And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost” (D&C 19:30-31).  “And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father.  Amen” (D&C 15:6).

Why is it that we feel we have to convince people of the truth?  Why do we feel we need to coax people into repentance?  Isn’t that the Spirit’s job?  Aren’t we to work by the patterns of the spirit?  Just tell it like it is?  He needs to repent and come back to the Savior.  Back to the Lord’s supper table, the Sacrament.  He needs to return and keep the covenants he made, or make them.  He needs to believe the gospel and walk in its light.  Who cares if his wife and family go to hell.  That is their choice.  We can only do so much.  We can warn them and carry the spirit to them as well.  That is between the Lord and them.

“Verily, I say unto you that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump.  Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom” (D&C 29:4-5).  We are to raise our voice and declare it.  How many missionaries ruined a convert by trying to convince them?  Get the Spirit to manifest to them, then you have got something.  Then the fun things happen.  “If it be some other way it is not of God”

Anyhow, it seems obvious what it is we must do.  Live and continue to be examples of the Savior.  That is it.  The issue is on his side.  The church, the prophets, the scriptures, the word (Spirit, revelation, even Christ) have been neglected in these individual’s lives.  “And all they who receive the oracles (this is more than just a person, it is the instruments, the wisdom, the whole apparatus of the church) of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house (and the family in the house)” (D&C 90:5).

Let our friends be our lesson.  Let us learn from their example.  Let us do what they have not done, “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness, shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more” (D&C 78:19).

“Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering out of the hands of their enemies (which he has promised to some extent); softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.  And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him” (Hel 12:2-3).

Not so much that the difficulties don’t come and go, but more our recognition of their passing.  Are we Teflon individuals spiritually, or do they increase and increase our drag until we fall to the earth from our lofty spheres of flying with angels?  The rugged terrain is always there, just how we endure it.

So what must we all do?  Live the gospel.  Read daily.  Pray morning, noon, and night.  Attend our church meetings.  Keep the Sabbath.  Maintain and keep the Spirit.

The old cry comes up incessantly, “it is so hard to do!”  Well, as long as we are that weak in faith, that is how long we will continue with the struggles and not have the mysteries continually lain before our eyes.  It is our decision.

One last thought that just popped in.  Uncle needs to be careful that he is doing his part with the Lord, and not just leaving the rest to family, friends, and ward members.  Perhaps part of the problem is he left the Lord out too much in his dealings.  “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; and enquired not of the Lord; therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse” (1 Chr 10:13-14).

We must be careful we do not do the same thing.  We can discuss this all the day long, but we must make sure we are keeping the word of the Lord, and seeking our counsel first to the Lord.  Then to our friends.  This applies to us, and to Uncle.

Good night.

Newport News

A few more updates for those faithful souls who still check up on me.
We just returned from a weekend in Newport News.  That is on the other side of Jamestown and Williamsburg from us.  We did not make a stop to those historic places, but hope someday in the future.
Amanda and I went out to go to church with a friend from her class.  She is a Southern Baptist and agreed to go to church with us if we would go to church with her.  So it was a deal.  We made the trek out to Newport News and spend Saturday night.  It was good to visit her home and get to know her in her own environment.  It was a little weird for me being the extra on hand, but I did okay.  Today we went to church with her.  Sunday School was about spiritual maturity.  Which I really liked, but it was like an hour on only three verses, and the guy was becoming a little redundant.  He did comment next weeks lesson was on Melchezidek and I sure did want to be there for that one.  The Bible is very lean on its teachings of that good man, and would like to see what type of whistling in the dark they would do there.  But we will not be around for that.  The main meeting was good, it was about greed.  The church made it very evident they are not meeting their budget financially.  But the talk was still very good coming from Luke 12.
Afterward, we made our way to the Denbigh ward of the Newport News Stake.  It is one of those 80′s buildings that are a bit darker with some strange designs inside.  Oh well.  We sat down and waited for Sacrament to start.  It was fast and testimony meeting, one of those meetings you came to dread and love as a missionary.  I wondered which one it was.  Well, it was one in which you had to spend considerable time with the investigator insisting we let anyone get up.  There were some powerful testimonies, and then there was the senile old lady.  One never knows what the Lord can do with adversity.  If he really wants Amanda’s friend, Jen, to come around to seeing the light, he is going to have to overcome the attending of the Denbigh Ward Sacrament Meeting.  Sunday School went pretty well.  It was from Isaiah and the teacher did a good job.  How prepared she was I do not know as she just seemed to go through the lesson without much insight.  Even the parallels which were to be drawn, or the segue between scriptures was not present.  But, I have to admit, the spirit was present and that is what is most important.  Sacrament we just squeamed for some of the talks.  Saying all that, there was a Brother Saxton who spoke directly to Jen.  Hopefully that makes all the difference.  I had a good relaxing time in Priesthood just reading the manual in class on Redeeming the Dead from Brother Wilford.  I hear that Relief Society was about the need for Living Prophets, which seems perfect for the situation and the students.  Perhaps it will have the needed influence.  Miss Jen took all types of notes in Sunday School.  I hope these things bring up questions for her that she will realize typical Christianity cannot answer.  Afterward eating dinner, she asked what happens when we die.  It was hard to tell someone who does not believe in angels, who does not believe in a Spirit World, and who believes you go directly the presence of God (What is the point of a body and resurrection if we can go directly to God?)  Anyhow, I enjoyed the Baptist Church.  Not sure I liked the worship service, the music definitely caters to emotion.  But I liked Sunday School, except for my short squatty chair that made my bottom hurt.
We came home and Amanda and I chatted.  Jen was asking what we considered election.  Amanda started explaining our definition of being born again when I realized we needed to chat about that some.  So all the way home we discussed the doctrine of election, calling and election made sure, the more sure word of prophesy, and more of those eternal, deep, mysteries of the kingdom.  It was a good chat.  I think she realized there was a whole other side to the gospel she had not even considered.  When we got home and we talked about the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, I think she about fell off her chair.  She insisted nobody knows about these things.  I told her as far as I knew, most missionaries did.  I think she was surprised when I showed her a few of the many scriptures that talk about these things.  Even a few in the old testament seem so vague, but taken in this light are very enlightening.
Anyhow, it was a good Sabbath Day.  If nothing else, we have come to appreciate another religion a little more.  They are good people.  We also came to realize all is not well in Zion and every ward has things they can work on.
I thought I might share a little bit from Friday night.  Amanda and I went to a company party at the Holiday Inn down Staples Mill from us.  We went in and the first person I ran into was Neil who was very happy to see me.  He started boasting about how wonderful I was doing and what great things I was going to do.  I think he sensed I had lost some of my zeal for the company.  He asked if everything was okay.  I told him pretty clearly I did not think it was all coming up roses.  He was definitely shocked by my blow to him.  The meal was more hors oeuvres (whatever) and they gave us two tickets for drinks.  The bartender thought we were a bit weird in asking for orange juice and a sprite.  Oh well.  The music was loud, a guy who was selling me Quixtar besides us, and people trying to get us to dance.  I visited with Nicole, a girl I graduated sales school with in Raleigh.  She is in the same boat I am in right now as well.  I heard that she is doing really well from Neil.  Well, things were not as peachy coming from her.  I am glad I am not the only one who struggles here.  Andy is gone.  Monica is gone.  David is gone.  Larry is gone.  I am one of the last few.  I was actually surprised Nicole made it this far.
I went to do my check in with Ted and I caught him and Neil talking in the hall about me.  They asked for my concerns and I unloaded them.  Then Neil started to tell me I just needed to take responsibility.  Somehow I thought working in the field for two months was a certain taking of responsibility.  Especially where I have done so without training.  But now it was my responsibility to do more?  Oh well.  I did my check in and Marc gave me my route for the upcoming week.  He was oblivious to the discussions and concerns I had shared with Ted and Neil.  Who knows what tomorrow morning shall bring for me?  Will they try and train me on everything in the morning?  Will Marc be upset with me because I did not tell him?  (I honestly tried, but he just ignores me and goes on talking about whatever he wants me to do)  Will I end up walking out without starting the day.  I don’t know.  We will just have to see what comes out tomorrow.
Time for me to say good night.  I think I may send out another resume or two before I crash tonight.