Showing posts from 2008

Service in the Mormon Church

I recently wrote this profile on the topic "Service in the Mormon Church" for my writing class at school.
Service in the Mormon Church - July, 2008

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, is unique in many ways. From its American founding to its doctrine as a restoration of the original church of Jesus Christ, one of the most unique characteristics of the Mormon Church can be easily observed on any given Sunday. The characteristic of which I refer to is its organization comprised of a lay ministry, that is, a voluntary ministry performed by members both young and old; members who have no formal training and may serve in very different capacities throughout their lives. In the words of Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion at Virginia's Richmond University, "The value of [this] system is that it prevents religion from ever becoming a spectator sport. One doesn't go to church to be ministered to, but to minis…

Polygamy Then & Now

Church Historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Elder Marlin K. Jensen responds to an insidious article by New York Times writer Timothy Egan who claims that the modern day practice of polygamy by the FLDS church mirrors that of the 19th-century LDS church, on May 5, 2008:

"In the April 23, 2008 online-edition of The New York Times, Timothy Egan wrote a post on the Outposts blog claiming that the way polygamy is practiced today by members of the FLDS sect in Eldorado, Texas is the same as it was practiced by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in the 19th century. While most people know that Mormons abandoned the practice of polygamy at the end of the 19th century, it's also important to understand that the conditions surrounding the practice of polygamy in Texas today bear little resemblance to the plural marriage practiced by Mormons more than a century ago. In fact, a closer look at history contradicts the simple reduct…

Hunting Season for the Saints

Hunting Season for the SaintsI wrote the below two and half years ago and have decided to post it here. What I wrote is my opinion on the spiritual legitimacy of recreational hunting. As big a supporter as I am of our right to bear arms, as I've recently posted here and here, I consider recreational hunting a sin against nature. I should warn you, what you will read below may be considered controversial for a true-believing Mormon, and it includes statements by a man we Mormons consider a prophet of God. Take them for what they are, and enjoy!--
Hunting Season for the Saints – September 9th, 2005"When I visited, a few years ago, the Yellowstone National Park, and saw in the streams and the beautiful lakes, birds swimming quite fearless of man, allowing passers-by to approach them as closely almost as tame birds, and apprehending no fear of them, and when I saw droves of beautiful deer herding along the side of the road, as fearless of the presence of men as any domestic animal…

God's Two Options

I've recently been wrestling with a concept I've heard many times from those who don't believe in or are undecided about the existence of God. I'm sure many have heard this argument as it is commonly used by atheists and agnostics. It's a logical argument that goes something like this:If God exists, and wants me to worship him, and wants me to obey his commandments, how can he expect me to have faith in him enough to do those things, and at the same time give me intelligence, and logic, and reason and not expect me to consider these my best qualities that I should expect an omniscient God to appeal to first? The only way God can logically expect me to worship him and obey his commandments is if he makes his existence obvious, and not through the supposed "testimony" of others, but to me.Of course, I've heard this argument stated in different ways but the point is the same: How can an omniscient god expect me to worship him and obey his commandments if…

What’s So Great About Christianity, Final Thoughts

I don't believe that what makes someone a Christian is what church has on its records their membership. I also don't believe that what makes someone not a Christian is whether or not their name is on any church's membership records at all. Being a Christian is about character and behavior; character whose content includes loving our neighbor and striving for peace, at the same time standing on a firm foundation of true principles. And even though a Christian must stand firm, it's not his place to forcefully interfere with another's freedom of choice in behaving un-Christian-like. It's also not a Christian's place to hate or to show hate to others. Jesus Christ, while on Earth, had among his company both saints and sinners. He said, "a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." This is what it mea…

Orson Scott Card on President Hinckley

Fiction author and Mormon Times columnist Orson Scott Card gives unique insight into the roles and responsibilities of late LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley:

Orson Scott Card - A Vote of Thanks For a Powerful Individual

"During the first years of his presidency, sometimes [President Hinckley] traveled so much that it seemed he was determined to speak personally to every member of the church before he died. After so many years of seeing presidents of the church only on television, suddenly the prophet was everywhere! ... Because the Lord had blessed him with robust health and clear speech, unlike his predecessors as president, he might have felt he had a duty to let the Saints hear the prophet's voice and see his face in person."

How Christians Ended Slavery

In his latest column, Dinesh D'Souza points out that the end of slavery began with Christians. In his book What's So Great About Christianity he goes into this claim in even more detail. Now, while it may be common knowledge that Americans justified their belief that blacks were inferior with the Bible, slavery was not and is not peculiar to America. And as shocking as it sounds, slavery still exists today in Africa, India, Sudan, and the Dominican Republic, see Slavery in the Modern World by Rico Villanueva Siasoco. D'Souza's column can be found here.

My Blog on Faith

Because my mind is constantly wandering around the spiritual aspects of my humanity, I've decided to create this blog as a separation of thought from my other blog.I will use the space here for various posts related to my faith, from expounding on principles of the Gospel to the defense of my beliefs and my faith from attacks that have been directed either to me or to the Church of which I'm proud to be a member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will also share gospel scholarship that I encounter from time to time.
As is my style, some posts may be mere redirections to thoughts by others of which I place my endorsement. I hope that this blog will be a source of good, as the world could use more good.