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Apparently there is a deepening connection and tie between the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter  Day Saints and those of the Muslim faith.

I mean the real Muslims, not the extremist ones that seem to be getting all of the press as of late.

According to an article in the Deseret News by way of the Los Angeles Times, nationwide there is an increasing feeling of brotherhood and common ties between these two faiths.

I was not aware until recently that Muslims had/have a familiarity or friendliness with the LDS faith.

Apparently there is a statement from a cabinet minister of Egypt according to Howard W. Hunter.  “A cabinet minister of Egypt once told me that if a bridge is ever built between Christianity and Islam it must be built by the Mormon Church. In making inquiry as to the reason for his statement I was impressed by his recitation of the similarities and the common bonds of brotherhood.”

The web page that quote comes from does not cite a source, but it does claim to quote other LDS prophets and general authorities regarding our mission to reach out to those of the Muslim faith and the similarities between our religion and theirs.

The quotes do seem to be authentic.

I hope for all of our sakes that missionary work will go forth and we will be blessed for reaching out to more of our brethren, even the unpopular ones.

Comments Welcome

What do you think of the Constitution?  Is it a heaven inspired document or something that is now outdated and is not that  important when compared to the other issues we have to face?  How important is it for Latter Day Saints to try and support the Constitution?

Here are some quotes you may find illuminating.

“You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread. I do not know whether it is a thread, or a small rope by which it now hangs, but I do know that whether it shall live or die is now in the balance.

I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes, and, as one of the brethren said today, set up so that this Church might be established, because under no other government in the world could the Church have been established as it has been established under this Government.

. . .

I suppose you brethren will all know, but I will recall it to your attention, that the Constitution of the United States is the basic law for all of the Americas, or Zion, as it has been defined by the Lord.

You brethren from Canada know that, your great British North America Act, in its fundamental principles, is based upon our Constitution, and you know that in the courts of Canada, the reports of our Supreme Court, and our Federal courts generally, are just as persuasive as the decisions of the courts of England, and even more so, where questions of constitutional law and constitutional interpretation are involved.

You brethren also know that from the Rio Grande down to the Horn there is no constitutional government except those that are rounded primarily upon our own Constitution. In Mexico the revolutionary party which more than a century and a quarter ago rebelled against the king of Spain and established a republic, copied almost verbatim, and practically overnight, our Constitution, and made it their own. Neither Mexico nor the others to the South interpret their Constitutions as we interpret ours. They have different standards and different canons of interpretation, for their fundamental system is the civil law, while ours is the common law. But the great essentials of that document, the Constitution of the United States, which God Himself inspired, is the law of Zion, the Americas.

So, brethren, I wish you to understand that when we begin to tamper with the Constitution we begin to tamper with the law of Zion which God Himself set up, and no one may trifle with the word of God with impunity.”

J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1942, Evening Meeting pp. 58-59

I have often been taught that the Constitution was heaven inspired, but I have never really heard it taught that it is part of our religion and that it is also the “word of God”.

“President David O. McKay said on more than one occasion that the maintenance of constitutional principles was one of the most important tasks that members of the Church had before them. In an editorial in The Instructor in 1956, he said: ‘Next to being one in worshiping God there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.'”

Gerald N. Lund, The Coming of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971], 59.

The Church is unfortunately so very far from being united in “upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States”.  Perhaps the first thing would be to study it and learn what it means.

“If those who so carefully drafted the checks and balances into our Constitution could have looked into the future and seen what the Supreme Court of the United States would do to their masterpiece, they would have been dismayed. Through the process of supposedly “interpreting” the Constitution, the Court has twisted beyond recognition just about every conceivable clause to justify the transfer of all sovereignty from the states to the federal government, to broaden the powers of the federal government beyond any definable limit, and then to make it possible for all such powers to fall into the hands of the executive branch of government. We may still give lip service to the checks and balances of our constitutional republic, but the phrase is now quite hollow. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 265-67.)

We, the people, have allowed the government to ignore one of the most fundamental stipulations of the Constitution-namely, the separation of powers. In recent years, we have allowed Congress to fund numerous federal agencies. While these agencies may provide some needed services and protection of rights, they also encroach significantly on our constitutional rights. The number of agencies seems to grow continually to regulate and control the lives of millions of citizens.

What many fail to realize is that most of these federal agencies are unconstitutional. Why are they unconstitutional? They are unconstitutional because they concentrate the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches under one head. They have, in other words, power to make rulings, enforce rulings, and adjudicate penalties when rulings are violated. They are unconstitutional because they represent an assumption of power not delegated to the executive branch by the people. They are also unconstitutional because the people have no power to recall administrative agency personnel by their vote. (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, pp. 25-26.)”

Ezra Taft Bensen, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Bensen [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 613.

Are you listening?  What should we be doing about this?  The Church very clearly observes political neutrality and encourages people to get involved in the political process.

There are mass meetings on March 25th this year for both the Democratic and Republican parties.  There are other parties as well such as the Constitution Party.

There has been a lot of criticism by members of the Church of one party or another that a “good” member of the church should not be a member of one party or the other.  This is garbage.  The party platform of any party is a collective vote of the party members.  How can you change the direction of any party if you categorically refuse to be involved with it?  If millions of Latter Day Saints or the Christian Coalition or other groups chose to join the Democratic party, it might be possible to change the party’s position on abortion or some other moral issue that people feel strongly about.

The important thing is to get involved and do what you can to uphold the Constitution.

Comments Welcome

On Sunday, the Priesthood Quorum lesson was about putting God first and getting rid of our other competing interests.

Some of the material was taken from a June 1976 First Presidency Message from Pres. Spencer W. Kimball. You can read the whole message here.

The lesson addressed our reliance and desire for money and more creature comforts and how they get in the way of our relationship with God. Part of the address spoke of other matters.

After describing how monkeys were captured by their own greed for a tasty nut, Pres. Kimball had this to say:

And so it often seems to be with people, having such a firm grasp on things of the world—that which is telestial—that no amount of urging and no degree of emergency can persuade them to let go in favor of that which is celestial. Satan gets them in his grip easily. If we insist on spending all our time and resources building up for ourselves a worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit.

In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had—in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people—a condition most repugnant to the Lord.

This is all true, but the part that may be hard to swallow is this:

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)

So, going to war at the expense of seeking to build up the Kingdom of God is the problem. So what do you do when under attack? If we were living right, we wouldn’t be under attack and God would do the fighting for us.

We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53.) We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chr. 20), and when Elisha’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:17.)

Enoch, too, was a man of great faith who would not be distracted from his duties by the enemy: “And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch.” (Moses 7:13.)

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the “arm of flesh,” for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.” (D&C 64:24.)

And THAT is the rub. As this discussion mentioned, sometimes the answer is self defense, but only when moved upon by the spirit. Nephi did not kill Laban until prompted by the spirit three times. The Saviour drove people out of the temple with a whip. The biggest problem is our reliance on such measures instead of our reliance on God.

Comments Welcome

This is part 2 of 2 about Homosexuality. Specifically about the particular perniciousness of homosexual acts and what they mean.

It should be clear from the start that it is inappropriate to categorize or define people by their sinful acts. We are all children of God who should be encouraged to repent and become better people. We should love all of God’s children no matter what sinful acts they may have done and invite them to come unto Christ.

This is part of the problem with the Gay activists, they simply chose to and embrace defining themselves by their sinful acts.

Because of the subject matter, mature language will be used in as tactful a way as possible without avoiding the issues.

First, some scriptures.
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Matt. 19:5-6: “. . . For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Mark 10:7-8: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Similar statements are found in Gen. 2:24, Moses 3:24, Abr. 5:18, and D&C 42:22.

There are commands to “multiply and replenish the earth” and related statements in Gen. 1:28, Gen. 9:1, Moses 2:28, Moses 5:2, and Abr. 4:28.

Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,” Gen. 4:1
“And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch” Gen. 4:17
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth” Gen. 4:25
See also Moses 5:2, 16, 42, and 6:2

And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD bremembered her.
Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

1 Samuel 1:19-20.

Judah impregnated his daughter in law, Tamar (thinking she was a harlot), and when it became public knowledge, it says that “he knew her again no more“. Gen. 38:26.

Speaking of Jephthah’s daughter’s virginity, it states “she knew no man“. Judges 11:39.

In reference to a gang rape of a concubine, it stated “and they knew her, and abused her”. Judges 19:25. She was later cut up into 12 pieces (hopefully she was dead already).

King David was getting old and was not warming up and in an effort to warm him up they found a young and fair damsel to lie in his bosom that he may get heat, “but the king knew her not.” 1 Kings 1:1-4.

People are also familiar with the phrase “carnal knowledge” as a substitute for “sexual intercourse”.

The Law of Chastity states that men and women should have no sexual relations except with the person to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded.”

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

Moroni 7:17
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It is clear that from the beginning down until now, sexual relations are to only be between male and female and only when they are married. The purpose is to bond husband and wife together and to have children. Just because some married couples are infertile does not invalidate these commands nor does it lessen the importance of their marriage.

It should also be clear that “knew” is a common substitute for “sexual intercourse” as well as being used in the common vernacular in scripture.

So what makes homosexual acts so pernicious? Why are they so bad?

Imagine if you were Satan, the enemy of all righteousness. Of course you want people to break the commandments, but what would really be cool would be if you could get people to actively listen to you (not in a yielding to temptation sort of way, but seeking to obey you sort of way) and then to have them do the exact opposite of a commandment from God.

One of the first commandments was for Adam and Eve to be married, to have intercourse as a married couple, and to have kids. A deviation from this command might be adultery, but to do the opposite would be to have sexual relations not just with someone not your spouse, but with someone of your same gender. Homosexual acts are the opposite of the command of God to obey the law of chastity.

There is a certain amount of disturbing symbolism in male homosexual acts. Men have been blessed with a body with male parts. The male parts are there as part of the power to procreate (and for elimination of bodily waste). A male homosexual act is done for the purpose of gratifying lust, and it involves placing the symbol of the male power to procreate in excrement. This is like you are saying that the power to procreate, a gift from God, is only worth sticking in excrement. It is a shameful and evil act.

Most people who engage in these acts probably haven’t really thought through it all and probably don’t really have a testimony of God and His Plan of Happiness and may not really know what they are doing. It is somewhat like kids in foreign countries that have memorized the sounds of some American music and can repeat the lyrics quite well but have no concept of the meaning of those words, but it’s cool to do.

Satan first introduced these deviant acts to Cain. From Moses Chapter 5:

Cain hearkened not unto the Lord(v. 16). Cain loved Satan more than God and made an offering to God at the command of Satan(v. 18). Cain’s offering was not accepted because he did it to obey Satan and Cain was upset that God did not accept the offering (v. 21). Cain was warned by God that he could either listen and do well, or not listen and forever be bound to Satan and would rule over Satan (v. 23-25). Satan approached Cain and proposed a Secret Combination and Cain accepted it, saying “Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain.” (v. 29-31). Five generations later, Lamech killed someone for the sake of the secret combination instead of run of the mill murder for gain (v. 42-50)

51 For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.
52 Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God, and he ministered not unto them, and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the sons of men. And it was among the sons of men.
53 And among the daughters of men these things were not spoken, because that Lamech had spoken the secret unto his wives, and they rebelled against him, and declared these things abroad, and had not compassion;
54 Wherefore Lamech was despised, and cast out, and came not among the sons of men, lest he should die.
55 And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.
56 And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made;

These scriptures indicate that homosexual acts wer
e part of the secret combination and their covenants. Because Satan perverts and imitates everything good, it would make sense that in addition to promising to be secretive and to murder for gain (instead of helping each other), that Satan’s counterfeit “Law of Chastity” would be a “law of homosexuality”.

It would seem obvious that the serious followers of Satan would know each other by a secret handshake or something (Hel. 2:7) but to add that they “knew every man his brother” in v. 52 when just ten verses before it talks about Cain having “knew his wife”. How else would an Old Testament author have described homosexual acts?

The LDS Church agrees with this reading of Moses Chapter 5. It ties Moses 5:51-53 to Genesis 19:1-11 which is about Sodom and Gomorrah, under the Homosexuality entry in the Guide to the Scriptures.
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So there’s the problem. Homosexual acts are Satan’s counterfeit to God’s Law of Chastity.

Most of the people who engage in such acts are probably not aware of its’ origins or what it may mean symbolically.

We should not just stand by and let this pernicious evil continue to infiltrate our society. What exactly we should do about it is up to you. Remember that in moving forward we need to invite people to repentance in a loving and kind way. We need to stand firm that people should not be defined by their sinful acts and differentiate between the sins and the sinner. God paid for all of our sins and loves all of us. We should try to share that love.

Comments Welcome

http://kutv.com/local/local_story_046163444.html

“Man Pleads Guilty in Naked Snowmobiling Case”

Actual Headline. It seems that this is irresponsible journalism. The guilty party is a 62 year old man taking teenage boys for rides on a snowmobile. Naked. The last two paragraphs state:

He will not receive jail time but must undergo a mental evaluation and complete any recommended treatment. He must write letters of apology and avoid unsupervised contact with minors.

The two counts of lewdness could be erased if he meets the conditions. Lamb was a bishop of a Mormon church ward in Hyde Park from 1991 to 1997.

I guess if you want to paint a religion with a broad brush, that is the way to do it. What the article failed to mention is that he will probably also be a former member of the church if he isn’t already relieved of those covenants.

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