Thursday, March 19, 2009

Missionaries with Tattoos

Recently there has been a decree that every eligible male and female righteous and worthy, serve a mission, with conditions... First they must be among the unrepentant, pure unadulterated humans without sin. Ok, you can see where I am going with this.

I have had a problem with the atonement damning the youth who wish to serve, while unrepentant and unworthy to serve the Lord because they hide their transgressions from a younger and more inexperienced age. I served before that rule was in effect and served with many righteous men and women who, although never told me of their past, shined in their imperfection and taught with the spirit of the Holy Ghost. I also served with those that were 'perfect' who carried no scars of mortal or moral transgression and were so dark-hearten that they truly were wolves in sheep's' clothing.

I then thought what was the reason why the Lord called for his chosen to make the rules as they are currently today and how does it apply to the newly converted to the Lord.

First, the reason for the change of the Lords rules is to make the path narrower and straighter then its ever been before. While before men and women could waltz into their Bishop and Stake President and repent, (don't get me wrong repentance is vitally important and forgive me for using 'waltz'), it failed to emphasis that the Lord wanted pure vessels to begin with. That cut down the number of candidates eligible for the call. This left the more pure in heart and the grossly unrepentant as candidates. So how does the Lords anointed sift out the righteous from the wicked like the wheat from the tares? I can only say that the Lords servants are inspired and can see through the wicked like a silk cloth. Nothing is hidden from the Lord or his anointed.

We must remember the sons of Mosiah were quite a wicked group and in their repentance converted thousands and they lead away those that would be great members of the church. So the question remains again let the wicked with out outward scar preach the gospel or teach repentance to our young and send those that repent out into the white field?

Second, what of those that learn of the gospel late and embrace it with all their outward scars of moral depravity and sin? I have not heard any new rules for those that have embraced the Father and wanted to serve a mission. I would hope that the example of Amulek's conversion would stand in ones mind when they realize that this man lived with the sinners and new of the gospel of Jesus Christ and by inspiration of the spirit joined the church and became the missionary that he was as told by the scriptures. His conversion story and example brought hundreds to the gospel as Alma did who was a ruffian brought to God through the spirit.

I would encourage each of you to listen to the prophets closely in this matter as it will have to be addressed and the Lord will inspire his servants to speak with the power of the Priesthood and Holy Ghost in this matter. To say the least it should be interesting.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Clubs

Its odd that there is a growing number of book clubs among the Mormon faith. It is unusual however that there has been a glowing decline in extracurricular activities among the saints. Thus the development of book clubs.

Now it would not bother me that there has been an increase growth in social circles except that now the church has grown to a global scale and has (it would seem) a continual disconnection with the individual to keep up with the whole. This has lead to the saints creating new outlets that now even the church leaders are attempting to control what the members read and discuss in their little groups.

I appreciate a good book but let the spirit guide what material the saints read. Most of the saints have kept it to LDS authors but some have followed the prophets (and I would agree that this is important) but I also think that following the scriptures and spirit are a bit more important. After all the scriptures say that that if we rely on the "arm of the flesh" to make our decision we are good as dross.

I was encouraged in my Patriarchal Blessing to see good things out of every good book, but there is nothing there that says that the prophets will make a call on those books. Many Gentiles have written great books and have even been quoted in Conference but I wonder if those books are on their list? No book clubs are a social activity and it supposed to be fun and build friendships that will last a life time no matter the book. The saints in the early 19th century used social activities to build friendship (brotherhood), charity and give the saints a means of keeping in touch.

It is my opinion that we have become so separated from one another that in some cases we only have religion and nothing else. That's sad real sad. I have watched social networks in other faiths attempt to build on things as watching each others children, social car washes, to simple coffee after service. I know that we too have our own programs but it has been duly noted that we fail to do home teaching and visiting teaching. Disturbing. We don't want to get to know the inactive, less active or assume that the active are doing great that we do nothing to see truly how they are doing. I have been around this great country and in one such ward that I visited the Elders Quorum President got up and when announcing the visiting noted that no one had visited anyone. How sad.

Now the saints are attempting to rectify the situation by creating clubs that invite the inactive, less active, active and even non-members to group together and talk about books that uplift, edify and sometimes entertain us. I hope that the saints will not loose this great avenue that could temporarily if not permanently build brotherhood and friendships that will last a lifetime and build the church as it was intended to grow.