An usher at one of the wards that I visit had a few (sort of) funny jokes to share with me when I visited a few weeks ago…
Why are we the only church that sings “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”?
All the rest are non-prophet (profit) organizations.
What was the last thing that Jesus said to his disciples?
If you want to be in the picture, come to this side of the table.
Moses started out his life as a basket case. He was in denial (the Nile), but finally decided to go with the flow
Posted in General Religion and Spirituality
Tagged basket case, denial, disciples, funny jokes, god, jesus, laughs, moses, nile, prophet, usher
My family has had a water cooler for years. We’ve gotten our water from a variety of places, and are currently getting it from a do-it-yourself brewery in town. I guess in order to make your own beer, you need reverse osmosis water. A 5 gallon jug of water is only $1. Not a bad price!
The other day we noticed a t-shirt hanging on the wall:
Beer is proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy!!
We giggled at it, but it got me thinking. First of all, I know the shirt is supposed to be a joke, but I sure hope that the person who would wear that can feel that God loves them because of other “proof”. That then led me to wonder what “proof” I have that God loves me (kind of like a “count your blessings” thing). The list could go on and on, but here is the best “proof” that I have:
- My wife’s love
- My daughter’s laugh
- My son’s innocence
- My other son’s goodness
- The promptings of the Holy Ghost
- The flowers growing in our garden (I don’t spend a lot of time outside, but I love nature)
- How I feel when I do what is right
- The friends I have
As I mentioned, the list could be huge, but those are probably the most important things in my life right now.
I get that some people don’t know which Church is right. There are a lot of competing ideas out there. However, I don’t understand how someone can just not believe. I see God’s hand all around me. As Alma taught Korihor, “all things denote there is a God”!
Posted in General Religion and Spirituality, Mormon Church Doctrine and Teachings
Tagged alma, count your blessings, flowers, god, god's love, goodness, holy ghost, innocence, korihor, love, proof, water cooler
The Belief Blog on CNN.com had a posting recently by someone who talked about how “dirty” Jesus was (apparently he’s written a book about this). The main point of the article was that Jesus lived like a person and gave a couple of examples:
He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.
To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.
What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.
The author then goes on to say:
…the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.
I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.
They could relate to him.
I have no idea if Jesus had to go to the bathroom or if He ended up with diarhea. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that however He lived His life, he understands me. He somehow knows what I am going through. He feels my pain and knows how to relieve it. He can relate to me. I don’t know if I can relate to Him (His perfection, His knowledge), but I want to. I want to learn more about Him. I want to be more like Him.
The author closes with this:
He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.
A very nice thought!
One of the things that critics of the Church often complain about is that we blindly follow our leaders. Iif you’ve ever been to a regular ward or branch, you know that just isn’t true. There are squabbles and disagreements just like any other organization. But when it comes to important things, we rally together and try to be united. As you move further up the hierarchy in the Church, I would say that the average member follows those leaders more. That kind of makes sense. Generally speaking, those who are called to “higher” positions have obviously demonstrated their righteousness and faithfulness to the Church. That helps us to trust them more and have greater faith that they are called of God.
Regardless of how you look at it, following someone you respect and love (whether it be a bishop or the President of the Church), does not make you blind. It shows the love and trust that you have in that person. President Packer said it simply in this way:
Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. There is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.
Boyd K Packer, Ensign, May 1983, p66
Posted in General Religion and Spirituality, Mormon Church Doctrine and Teachings
Tagged blind obedience, Boyd K. Packer, doctrines, ensign, faithfulness, god, hierarchy, love, righteousness, truth
I taught one of the last lessons in High Priest Group at the end of December, and we were discussing judgment and exaltation. Someone asked when the Holy Ghost would get a body? I spoke to this person later, and asked why He needed one, and this person said that we associate exaltation with having a body. Good point.
Anyway, a quick search on the Internet shows that other people have had this question as well. There were two good responses on websites run by FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research).
To summarize the answer, we don’t know when He will get a body. Based on D&C 93: 33, we learn that to have a fulness of joy, we need a body. However, it doesn’t say we have to have one. Godhood is not defined by having a body. The Holy Ghost does not have a body, but He is in the Godhead. Christ was considered a God before he was born, and He didn’t have a body yet.
One of my Google Alerts the other day linked to a New York Times article called Does God Want You to Be Bankrupt? where the reporter quotes N. Elden Tanner. As far as I could find, the author, Ron Leiber is not a Mormon, and so it is interesting that he would quote someone from the Church.
The article is about debt and bankruptcy, and mentions how many churches have doctrine that compares them to slavery. Here is the main quote that mentions the Church:
Still, the notion of enslavement, albeit of the psychological sort, survived to modern times. N. Eldon Tanner, a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote: “Those who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage.”
We had planned on going to the Church to watch the first session of conference, but two of our children are sick, so we stayed at home. On the one hand, it’s nice relaxing at home, but on the other hand, it can be very distracting. However, given a choice, I’d probably rather watch at home.
It was reported to me that we had about 40 people attend the session at Church.
President Thomas S. Monson conducted
President Thomas S. Monson
- opened the conference
- noted the absence of Joseph B. Wirthlin
- Announced Neil L. Anderson as new apostle
- He said to him it would be “the longest walk you’ll ever take!”
- They rededicated the Mexico temple
- 87000 there for cultural night
- also dedicated the Draper Utah temple
- The Church is doing very well
- We have 53,000 missionaries in 348 missions
- Perpetual Education Fund is moving forward. 35,600 young men and women enrolled. 18,900 finished.
Elder Robert D. Hales
- children growing up in time of uncertainty
- excess debt and addiction have caused problems, undermined family relationships
- our success is never measured by how strong the temptation, but how faithful the response
- need to be provident providers
- joyfully live within our means
- keep basic command of “thou shalt not covet”
- pay tithing
- donate fast offerings
- evaluate whether something has temporary or eternal value
Margaret S. Lifferth
- respect one another
- learn it at home, in sports, when discussing religion
- each of us is a child of God and are brothers and sisters
- respect for others is close to reverence for God
- address leaders properly
Brother Michael A. Neider
- commended YW for adding virtue to their values
- don’t underestimate the youth and their abilities
Elder Alan F. Packer
- tough times, but still a great time to be a live
- learn to recognize the Spirit
- we will receive answers and learn how the Spirit works in us
- we will know, and know that we know
D. Todd Christofferson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **
- told story of earthquake in Chile and the commitment of a branch president and his wife
- we need strong Christians who can persevere and sustain hope
- we need strong Christians who make important things happen because of their faith
- we need to protect against militant atheism
- follow the covenant path
President Eyring ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **
- How could this happen?
- we have opportunities to face affliction
- Remember, the Savior suffered as well
Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:
Posted in Mormon Church Doctrine and Teachings, Mormon Church Hierarchy, Mormon General Conference
Tagged alan f packer, apostle, apostles, brother neider, christian, D. Todd Christofferson, draper utah, elder anderson, elder christofferson, elder hales, elder packer, excess debt, general conference, god, Joseph B. Wirthlin, margaret s lifferth, michael a neider, missionaries, Neil L. Anderson, perpetual education fund, president monson, Robert D. Hales, sister lifferth, temples, thomas s. monson
The title of this post certainly is not meant to be blasphemous. It’s a serious question I have. Of course I know the scriptures about how God knows all and counts/gathers his people. But what about the daily things. On second thought, maybe my question is more about the wording and purpose of our prayers.
- Someone’s car is dying a slow death. Should they pray that the car will keep working or should they pray that whatever happens they will have transportation available
- We are looking to buy another house. Should we be praying that we can buy this house, or should we be praying that we have a house to stay in. To expand on this, I know people who have been in this situation and said that if it’s God’s will, it will happen (they will sell their house or buy a new one). Does God really have a “will” for 6 billion people and where they live? Does he have a “will” for some of us where we live.
- A person hates their job. Should they be praying for a new job or the patience to deal with the issues they face in their current job
I understand there are no right or wrong answers here. Ultimately, I’m curious if God really cares about some of the little things we pray for, or are we “burdening” him with things that we should be dealing with on our own. On the other hand, as a father, I talk to my children about anything and everything, and so I suppose we should be doing the same with our Father in Heaven.
I’m certainly not having a crisis of faith, or having troubles with my own prayers, but this was just a thought I’d been having recently.