Thursday, April 10, 2014

Noah revisited

In light of the new movie, I would like to address the debacle that is the new Noah movie. First creative license is fine but what they did was an abortion to the story. So in light of what has been in the news for the past two weeks and on the internet, here are some things to consider...

Noah and his children and their choices...
Noah had sons and daughters that were both obedient and disobedient. I don’t know what it’s like to have children who reject the gospel but to Noah's credit he had at least three sons that were covenant keeping children. I will never get to be six hundred years old in this life so I have no idea of what his family was like by the time he even hit half of that. It had to be a big family and I am certain that many of the children of Adam had lots of kids in those days. It had been a few years ago (perhaps decades) when Enoch (Noah's great grandfather) and his city had left leaving Noah, his wife and sons (with their families) to fend for themselves. Could you imagine the day that the prophet had received a vision to build a boat? 

Noah was not a young man and had spent all his life defending the truth and preaching the gospel to the wicked children of Adam. While he was doing this entire he was commanded to build a boat. Now he had probably a sizable crew being old with sons, grandsons, great grandsons etc. So getting the ship together would be a task but with a good crew and the Lord the Ark would not be lost. With his children he would be able to collect the order that the Lord commissioned him to do and get all the necessary animals of the earth.

Shutting the door; that did Noah shut out...
Now the scriptures say that Noah had three righteous sons and it makes no mention of the other sons and daughters that were his children. I could imagine that when he was building and gathering that in the beginning that there would be a lot of obedient children and that they obey their father without question but it doesn't stay that way when there is hard times. The persecution had to be brutal. Being a member of the church can be that. It’s easy to be baptized and teach in church but when you are being persecuted by the neighbors and friends who also might have been members of the church it becomes harsh and perhaps unbearable. How easy it would have been to sway good faithful children of Noah from the task at hand. 

I imagine that closing those doors to the good kids who had turned their back on their father was extremely tough, after all these are his kids. Those left behind were the children that let go of the iron rod and had gone off and done their own thing; they started faithful and for whatever reason wavered and joined the wicked. They might have mocked and ridiculed their father/brother/son and laughed when he closed the doors. The rain would come and those same people would bang on the doors begging to return to God; to Noah. However the door was closed and that chapter was closed. It was time to start a new chapter.

Life on the boat...
Life must have been crowded and the family work must have been hard. Weather they were floating or just sitting on a boat in the rain, the life on the boat had its responsibility to the animals and to keeping them all alive. I am certain that it was not an easy task; feeding watering and cleaning the boat had to be a daily task and yet I feel that there were birthdays and anniversaries celebrated so give the Ark some merriment. There might be fights and disputations but when you are all in a crisis, people work fast to get along. Also if it got to heated I bet there was placed in the Ark that you could go where you would not see that one guy/gal that rubbed you wrong so you could cool off.

Our obedience when the sky is clear...
So now I am getting to the point that I think should be made; applying the story to ourselves. The scriptures say that we should liken the scriptures to ourselves. How can this be done when there is no flood, animals, angry mobs trying to kill us etc? The Lord has asked us to do things at a more personal level to levy our spirits and prepare for the floods that will come in all its forms. For some it will be a physical challenge, others spiritual or mental. For some of us it will be a long time before we know normal again. Physical ailments and mental trauma could in fact bang against our Ark and if it is not finished when the trial comes then we will go down with the ship. If it is built we will be asked to stay on the ship for a time till the waters recede and our life will be again new and different. We may not be releasing the animals and family off the ship but perhaps walk after our rehabilitation or communing with people after our mentally debilitating experience. I do not know your experience; only my own. I know that if you are building in the rain it is harder than in the sun. I know that if you act quickly then you are more prepared then when you are idol and wait to the last minute. I know for some of us we look at this life as our probation; a time to prepare to meet God and that could be a time in the boat or before it by how you look at it but none the less we are on that Ark together. We can do great things if we are united in our effort and we can prepare if we trust each other and the Lord in all things. Ours is going to be a unique experience for just us and if we are true to the task then when the rainbow comes and we behold the promise that was for us (and maybe our posterity) we can smile when He says "Well done".

Image is located at Nothing Wavering.

God gave men the priesthood because...

I want to point the reasons for priesthood to being a men only thing. First I know that it was such a controversy recently and I know that some women could do a better job but there is a key reason why it’s in the hands of men; we, guys, are lazy!

Ok, one of the key things that God has pointed out to us all the time (from Adam on) is that men will be the bearer of the priesthood, providers for our families defenders of truth and right.This comes with a standard of responsibility; namely to bless and edify the whole earth, establish order and to bring all nation tongues and people to Christ through the blessings of the covenants of the priesthood. 

I know it’s the vague answer but have you considered this part of the equation that the priesthood was given to men to get them off their rumps and do something. We guys (as most wives, mothers and sisters know) are inherently lazy. For heaven’s sake, a guy invented the television, remote control and a lot of comfy things that we all enjoy. The Lord in his infinite wisdom told us to work and beyond that gave men the priesthood so that we could get out there and do more than just collect a paycheck and collect action figures (hobbies). 

Imagine for a moment that at the end of the day Brother and Sister Smith are getting into bed after a hard day work, she with the kids and he with the job. At night the Sister Smith is 'asked' by her sick children to take care of them and then the phone rings and it’s a fellow saint asking for a blessing. If women had the priesthood, the husband would ask the sweet wife to do it because he is tired (the poor baby); never mind that she has been busting her hump too. Disputations would erupt and the two would always be at odds as to who should exercise their priesthood keys. Now because the man is the only one with the rights to exercise those keys in our modern day, each members roll is defined and the wife would kick her sweet husband out and have him get dressed give that blessing. He's not arguing about it because he knows that it is his sole responsibility. He calls another brother and they give the blessing. Brother Smith is grateful for the chance to bless the siants life and goes back to bed. 

I know that it’s over simplification but does it really need to be complicated? We each have a roll in life and in the church. Heavenly Father loves each of us and when we have our role or life chore then we know what is expected of us and we can then perform it to the best of our ability. The fact that there is a disputation among the brothers and sisters in our church today is ludicrous. From the very foundation of the world he has defined our role and how we should treat each other and while I empathize with the plight that has been created I am sure that if we are prayerful of our troubles, we will get an answer. We may not like it but if we accept it and obey it, we will be happy. 

Image is found here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Communion with God

Image can be found here.

I learned that Sacrament is not in the Bible Dictionary (go ahead look it up; it’s not there; I'll wait).  The shock of my day was that discovery. When we were learning the lesson about the Sacrament the teacher (who was a Patriarch) was a bit delighted that we were a bit complex about the situation. He then explained that although the act of Sacrament was not in the Bible Dictionary but that Communion was. It was then he asked a question of why? Oh there were several explanations of the situation but one that he displayed was the best one I had heard.

We are blessed to partake of the Sacrament of Christ most every week; to most of us, this most sacred of testaments of our faith. Some would argue that the temple has more sacred events but when it comes to our root and foundation we remember that Article of Faith that says our root pillars are Faith, Repentance, Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost; and what renews those pillars to us every time we fall short of the Glory of God?  The answer is the Sacrament or Communion with God.

The Saints know what the Sacrament is but what is Communion?  I tend to think that it’s a check in with the Godhead (for all of them are involved) and we then check in. We tell Christ what we have done with his name; we tell our Father what we have done to be his son’s representative; we renew our spirit to be in tune with the Holy Ghost.  These are not small tasks.  At times when such thoughts came to me I would leak ‘some coolness’ as I call it as the tears would come and I would realize how little I know of the Atonement or the gift that our Father has given us.  

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t know the secrets of the universe but then I weekly learn about the secrets in plain and simple truths and the Sacrament is one of them. No this secret doesn't move mountains or create worlds or does it? The ties to the Atonement are so tight the Sacrament such a significant fragment of what we are to learn here on Earth. Truly the word Communion is appropriate.

I am stuck with such thoughts of whether or not I have really have Communed with God to report my progress. Have I done any good in the world today as the song says?  Have we become complacent, perhaps judgmental because we thought we were on a better path then our brothers and sisters on this ship we have called home for so long? I thought about the times that I judge the homeless or the sister that was twerking on the internet/television.  Some would justify our behavior because we have not done these things and for a moment we become the very people we do not want to become pointing and standing in our own personal great and spacious building. We want to so desperately say that we are on the side of Christ who even he himself had a blow up and threw out people who sold goods at the temple. He used a whip, threw over tables and shouted; so we point mock and chastise and when we come to Communion/Sacrament we forget our shortsightedness and forget that we are all travelers and will all go back to that God that created us.
Let us all, brothers and sisters, remember who we are and why we’re here; let us glorify and magnify our Fathers name and the gift of his precious Son; let us not forget that not one of us is not a son or daughter of the greatest parents.  I hope that we will make an effort to lift and edify the children of God and perhaps we will be better examples of our Savior.

And I do so in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ


Image is located here

I have seen some recent pictures of Muslims display their religion by praying on set times or dates in very public places and I wondered if I am that courageous. I could excuse that political correctness chastises my use of God in public places but those same hypocrites allow others to praise Allah. 

So I wondered if it was me and I had created in myself a false fear of what the Atheists and Muslims were going to say if I prayed at a Wendy's or alone in a hotel with no one to look upon me save God himself. Is faith or Christianity slowly being eradicated by law or social stigma? I knew that Alma was brought to the same forefront when he was confronted by the priests of Noah a second time and they at the time had political clout. Are we under the similar spiritual punches in the gut or are we doing it to ourselves because we have surrendered our power to something imaginary (that could end up the law if we are not careful)? 

Thinking of this I have made some effort to counter the effects by praying more in public. Sure I do not utter a word to reverence others faith (or lack thereof) but I pour my heart out to my make so that I like Alma can be heard in my heart. I pray that even the action of a prayer like jester doesn't become against the like Alma's story. 

Have a great day and as Alma said "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."

Do you want to meet Jesus?

A couple of weeks ago friends and I who had been playing games and laughing, everything was normal till one of them had got serious by asking me and another LDS fellow of mine a serious question. Do you want to meet Jesus?

At first we were a bit taken back and the room had got quiet; said my friend continuing his thought, "Because everyone seems to want to meet Jesus".

My LDS friend (I'll call him Tim) and I almost simultaneously said no. This other friend of mine (we'll call him Charlie) was surprised. "Why?” Charlie followed up. We then took an hour explaining that our innocence of faith would be removed and we would then be living by knowledge and the weight that would bear. 

We then explained that it’s like when you are learning about the flowers when you were five. Mom took you to a field and said "Child this is a flower". You would hold it and admire the color and laugh and run holding the flower. Then sometime later would go to school and learn about the flower and the science of its cellular structure and the way that it gains food. Now you could deny photosynthesis because you have never seen it or felt it. Once you have learned it you can say whatever you want. Discovery and learning continues.

Now compare that to meeting Jesus. Meeting God's son has a great weight. Once you have gone down this road you can never go back. I suppose that you could deny that you ever saw him to his face but let’s face it; I think that God would hold us accountable for that. See the difference of walking by faith and walking by knowledge is that one has a greater level of reward and damnation. Those that walk by faith would gain a little here and there and if they slipped they could then just get up and continue while those that walked by knowledge if they fell the gravity of the fall would weigh them terribly and getting back up would be longer and harder.

I think of that moment and realize that I could possibly not be ready to meet God. It’s an awkward revelation. Here I thought that there was nothing to fear and like a child I was stunned by the experience. I know that God will be on his throne and with countless courses of angels but what happens when he comes to your face and says 'Hi'. Do I fall to my knees and beg never to behold his face again. Beg him to leave because I am an unworthy person to be in such glory. Do I weep for joy? Really, what do I do? 

What would you do? I know that there will come a day that you will meet the Messiah but what will you do? It’s something to think about this week.

The Message for You

Image is located here.

I love how so many times I have gone to church and I got that message that was just for me and even though I was just a visitor so no one knew me (well I had been there the week before so some of them knew me) but the message while sitting in the foyer it seemed was just for me.

One of the speakers began talking about the meek. Now I had some limited understanding of the meek mainly that they would inherit the earth. This sister though thought of a new way of putting it and presented a thought that told us that perhaps that God in his infinite wisdom had in fact changed our course so that we would always find happiness in His choice (a choice that was not clear or direct; something that we would enjoy as well, as his children). As I was sitting in the foyer it hit me. When I was young I wanted so badly to be a church leader and felt put off because I was always the student and when the opportunity arose to be something of a leader I would again be put in situations that called for my other talents in a new direction. For instance, when I was a missionary, I wanted to be a leader of some kind but I didn't develop fast enough through my experience and I probably would of been a poor leader. During that time I was very upset with the leadership and God because as a man-child I thought I was prepared but a missionary that could just spit out scripture and not with the spirit was not ready to be a leader. Perhaps President knew that and on the same breath he new that (through the spirit) that I was not good with change so he kept me in only three areas my whole mission.

I have wondered sometimes if I have been a stubborn child to God and in fact have been compelled to be meek because I want to be obedient but I cant get over my thick skull. Its like being compelled to be humble (and perhaps they are more related then I think).

I know that I am not humble nor meek enough to be a leader some days. It shows in my work effort. I want to be the boss but forget that with great power comes great responsibility. In my life I have been steward of several cars that I have crashed in fender benders and I forgot I had responsibility over that too so I am not sure if I truly know power and responsibility. I also know very little of sacrifice as God has been generous with giving of his substance (yes that means I am a full tithe payer). While I am gone from my wife and four children for months at a time (no I am not a soldier) I am blessed to be in this wonderful country and I am not more then a thousand miles from home and if ever it was needed the company would be willing to fly me for an emergency (as they have done once or twice).

I honestly believe that this has been a great training ground for understanding sacrifice and compelled humility as I spend nights alone and the only human contact is those hands that I shake sparsely. I have also been privileged to know some great people and traveled across this whole land seeing 47 states in the Union. Something that I am certain that most will not be able to say in their lifetime. I have learned about myself in a way that perhaps I would of never have.

So am I one of the meek? Perhaps. My struggles have been alone and worded only to my wife and this blog. I have found that I must challenge myself in a new and different way so that I can find my purpose (and I am certain that its not just working 60 hours a week). Is that what the meek do. They take what they have and push themselves to be something that they were meant to be? I wonder.

A few weeks (perhaps it was months) Glenn Beck extended a challenge that was similar. What was our purpose and to whom were we going to make a difference? He said that we were not made to do a 9 to 5 job and then die but to rise above that and be something. I believe that he was talking about Nielsen Mandela when he was talking about it and while I detest with every fiber of my being the putrid thought of communism and all its forms and the poison that it does to the good minds of men, women and children I could not help appreciate that Glenn was pointing that Nielsen found his purpose and seized the day; made his life his own.

All of us need to find our moment and recognize our humility, see what we are made of and the experiences that we have been in and make our lives our own.

That's my lesson to you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My own arogence arrogance

Recently it has been brought to my attention that my blogs have been sloppy and lacking in grammar. That's what I get for writing at midnight. I have taken some time to clean up the posts so that they cause less eye bleeding and the content of the message is more palatable.

At first I was extremely angry as I thought that the message was better than my grammar but when you have had enough sleep and can think straight you can see the work and its need to improve. So with that new knowledge I repented of my anger and took the comments to heart and have for the past few days been working on improving my work. Please forgive my short sightedness.

Enjoy and I hope that you take the chance to reread some of the posts and look for my personal improvement.