Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The purpose of Peter's sword

I have been thinking about the fact that Peter had a sword. I find that interesting. They were obviously poor, and typically swords, being large hunks of forged metal, are expensive items. The scriptures speak of men beating their spears into pruning hooks  because forged metal was too expensive to simply buy a replacement for, and a spear has far less metal than a sword.

When Peter struck out against a servant among the group who came to arrest Christ the Savior warned him not to live by the sword. In isolation that sounds like the Savior objected to Peter's sword altogether, but had only just thought to mention it.

But Peter's sword held a purpose the Son of God had no objection to. During his last supper, Christ gave them new counsel that when they went forth to teach the gospel, the should not take purse, scrip, and sell a garment if necessary to buy a sword. They told him they had two swords with them at the time, and he said it was enough.

Luke 22:
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Brigham Young tells us both the Nauvoo and Kirtland temple were built buy himself and others working with a sword or musket in one hand and a trowel or hammer in the other.

The adversary always inspires wicked men against the truth, but wicked men can often be held at bay by a show of potential force. As a rule, they are cowards. 

"... with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them..." Mormon 6:7

Thus Joseph Smith organized the Nauvoo Legion. What did he intend to conquer with such a force? Why absolutely nothing of course. But the existence of an organized and trained defense helped keep their enemies at bay.

The right to bear arms within our country plays a similar critical role. Protecting citizen's right to bear arms isn't about toppling government any more than the Nauvoo legion was about military conquest. But it keeps wicked and conspiring men at bay who would gladly use the force of arms every government has at its disposal to effectively hold our people hostage and play the tyrant.

George Washington showed wisdom about men and nations when speaking of our country:
"There is a rank due the United States among the nations that will be totally lost by the reputation of weakness. If we would avoid insult we must be able to repel it, if we would secure the peace, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."

The armies of Helaman were miraculously spared by God while slaying the Lamanites so fiercely that it scared the Lamanite armies. They were able to do so because:

Alma 36:47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

They said "Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone" (Alma 56:46) 

It was the same God that spared the armies of Helaman in battle and it was the same Christ that told his disciples to sell their garment to buy a sword that shortly thereafter told Peter not to live by the sword.

Give us liberty, or give us free stuff. Preferably free stuff.

I learned something interesting at the grocery store tonight. The guy working at the meat section was rather astonished at how much meat they sold today, even frustrated because they were completely out of chicken and some of their meats were cleaned out. He told me they sold 40 boxes of chicken today, each of which is 40 pounds.

I was musing as he spoke about what could have happened today that made it so that they sold so much? Is there a frenzy for General Conference steaks?

The answer turned out to be food stamps. He said not to go shopping on the 1st, 5th or the 15th. Those are apparently the days food stamps are released and they can't even keep things stocked sufficiently to keep up with the demand on those days.

I know that Obama and other liberals have turned to almost openly offering to give the poor greater amounts of free money if they will keep liberals in office. The words are never said that way, but their meaning is still perfectly clear.

Previous to the revolutionary war one of the arguments against democracy was that it will all be over as soon as the people at large realize that they can simply vote themselves money from the state coffers.

That tragic prediction is exactly how our liberal leaders are getting in office. Many of us remember the woman caught on tape who was excited when Obama was elected because he was going to take care of her mortgage. She overestimated how much she would get, but she clearly understood the liberal ideology when it was still more veiled: "give me the government and I will give you its riches".

I was talking with Diane about a small town outside of Manti that uses, or used to use, a speed trap to bring in town money. The speed changes very quickly near the town and the unwary person is apt to get a ticket. The drivers are the victims, even though they are the one getting a ticket. The law is being used not to prevent crime, but to catch people off guard to take money from them under the guise of law. It is a con run by hoodlums in a back alleyway, but dressed up in uniform and executed in a courthouse.

Now we have the grand scale of that. When taxes don't represent the state collecting money to provide for the legitimate needs of government, but are being repurposed into a deal between the government and the poor by which those without scruples will forcibly redistribute money to the poor in order to get their vote, then yes, indeed, we may have seen the end of our democracy.

As the poor recognize that liberalism will liberally give them free housing, free money, free food, free phones, free health care many of them unscrupulously vote for lifestyle without any regard to who or what they are putting in office. They sell their birthright of a free nation for a mess of pottage and feel self satisfied pride in their savvy as they chow down.

When our people want free money over freedom, they are no longer deserving of either prosperity or freedom. Whether we demand liberty or death isn't even worthy of discussion when liberty or free stuff becomes the only bone of contention.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heber J Grant and the song "Just as I am"

Great quote pointed out online
Heber J. Grant: "We who know the gospel to be true know that it is a falsehood that sinners will be received and pardoned and forgiven who have not taken the time to rid themselves of 'one vile blot.' Salvation will come only to those who repent and have their sins washed away by baptism, and who thereafter show by a godly life that their repentance is genuine. . . . For falsehoods, pure and simple, I believe that the poem, 'Just as I am,' deserves a premium. While in the European Mission, I gave three years of as faithful labor as it was possible for me to give, endeavoring to eradicate from the minds of the people just such false teachings as are contained in this song."

Here is the song Heber J Grant is referring to in his quote
1. Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

2. Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

3. Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

6. Just as I am, thy love unknown
hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Heber J Grant first Presidency message October 1942 excerpt - chastity, limiting children, motherhood

From Message of the First Presidency
President Heber J. Grant
Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, October 1942, pp. 7-17

Upon the heels of the demon drink, tread the demons of unchastity—harlotry, fornication, adultery, while murder itself lurks not far behind. From Adam until now, God has commanded that His children be sexually clean.

Here again we extend gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the great body of the Saints who have kept the moral law. To the Corinthians, Paul said:

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are

And again:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

You who have observed the law of chastity have kept the temples of God undefiled. You can stand unabashed before the Lord. He loves you. He will bestow honor and reward upon you. Every overcoming of temptation brings strength and glory to the soul. May the Lord continue to bless and prosper you in all your works of righteousness.

But some of us have forgotten what the Lord has said about these sins. Some of us have failed to teach our children the need for sexual purity. Some teachers have tried to lay bare to our youth the mysteries of life, and so have robbed the creative act of all the sanctity with which from the beginning God has enshrouded it. These have given no restraining righteous principle in its place. So, with too many, modesty has become a derided virtue, and the sex desire has been degraded to the level of hunger and thirst. From Sodom and Gomorrah until now, sex immorality, with its attendant evils of drink and corruption, has brought low the mightiest of nations, has destroyed powerful peoples, has reduced erring man almost to the level of the beasts of the field.

That we may be reminded of the enormity of the sin of unchastity, it is well that we recall some of the things which the Lord and His prophets have said concerning it.

One of the ten basic principles of Christian society, and accepted by all worshipers of the true God, came to men at Sinai when God wrote with His own finger: "Thou shalt not commit adultery"

By the laws of Moses, adulterers were stoned to death. God said to Israel: "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel"  When God, through Jeremiah, chastened Israel for apostasy, He pictured her loathsomeness by calling her a harlot  Paul declared to the Ephesians:

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person . . . hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God

The Revelator declared that whoremongers "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death"  And when he wished to condemn the great false church and its iniquities that had led the world into apostasy and wickedness, the Revelator called her "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth"  Jacob, teaching the Nephites, declared:

Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell"

To us of this Church, the Lord has declared that adulterers should not be admitted to membership that adulterers in the Church, if unrepentant, should be cast out but if repentant should be permitted to remain and, He said, "By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them"

In the great revelation on the three heavenly glories, the Lord said, speaking of those who will inherit the lowest of these, or the telestial glory:

These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie

The doctrine of this Church is that sexual sin—the illicit sexual relations of men and women—stands, in its enormity, next to murder

The Lord has drawn no essential distinctions between fornication, adultery, and harlotry or prostitution. Each has fallen under His solemn and awful condemnation.

You youths of Zion, you cannot associate in non-marital, illicit sex relationships, which is fornication, and escape the punishments and the judgments which the Lord has declared against this sin. The day of reckoning will come just as certainly as night follows day. They who would palliate this crime and say that such indulgence is but a sinless gratification of a normal desire, like appeasing hunger and thirst, speak filthiness with their lips. Their counsel leads to destruction; their wisdom comes from the Father of Lies

You husbands and wives who have taken on solemn obligations of chastity in the holy temples of the Lord and who violate those sacred vows by illicit sexual relations with others, you not only commit the vile and loathsome sin of adultery, but you break the oath you yourselves made with the Lord Himself before you went to the altar for your sealing. You become subject to the penalties which the Lord has prescribed for those who breach their covenants with Him.

Of the harlots and those who visit them, God speaks in terms of divine contempt. They are they who have bargained away an eternity of bliss for the momentary pleasures of the flesh.

The Lord will have only a clean people. He has said, "I, the Lord, will contend with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her until she overcomes and is clean before me"

But they who sin may repent, and, they repenting, God will forgive them, for the Lord has said, "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more"

By virtue of the authority in us vested as the First Presidency of the Church, we warn our people who are offending, of the degradation, the wickedness, the punishment that attend upon unchastity; we urge you to remember the blessings which flow from the living of the clean life: we call upon you to keep, day in and day out, the way of strictest chastity, through which only can God's choice gifts come to you and His Spirit abide with you.

How glorious is he who lives the chaste life. He walks unfearful in the full glare of the noonday sun, for he is without moral infirmity. He can be reached by no shafts of base calumny, for his armor is without flaw. His virtue cannot be challenged by any just accuser, for he lives above reproach. His cheek is never blotched with shame, for he is without hidden sin. He is honored and respected by all mankind, for he is beyond their censure. He is loved by the Lord, for he stands without blemish. The exaltations of eternities await his coming.


Amongst His earliest commands to Adam and Eve, the Lord said: "Multiply and replenish the earth" He has repeated that command in our day. He has again revealed in this, the last dispensation, the principle of the eternity of the marriage covenant. He has restored to earth the authority for entering into that covenant, and has declared that it is the only due and proper way of joining husband and wife, and the only means by which the sacred family relationship may be carried beyond the grave and through eternity. He has declared that this eternal relationship may be created only by the ordinances which are administered in the holy temples of the Lord, and therefore that His people should marry only in His temple in accordance with such ordinances.

The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God's great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal covenant.

By bringing these choice spirits to earth, each father and each mother assume towards the tabernacled spirit and towards the Lord Himself by having taken advantage of the opportunity He offered, an obligation of the most sacred kind, because the fate of that spirit in the eternities to come, the blessings or punishments which shall await it in the hereafter, depend, in great part, upon the care, the teachings, the training which the parents shall give to that spirit.

No parent can escape that obligation and that responsibility, and for the proper meeting thereof, the Lord will hold us to a strict accountability. No loftier duty than this can be assumed by mortals.

Motherhood thus becomes a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord's plans, a consecration of devotion to the uprearing and fostering, the nurturing in body, mind, and spirit, of those who kept their first estate and who come to this earth for their second estate "to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" To lead them to keep their second estate is the work of motherhood and "they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever"

This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it; hired help cannot do it—only mother, aided as much as may be by the loving hands of father, brothers, and sisters, can give the full needed measure of watchful care.

The mother who entrusts her child to the care of others, that she may do non-motherly work, whether for gold, for fame, or for civic service, should remember that "a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame"  In our day the Lord has said that unless parents teach their children the doctrines of the Church "the sin be upon the heads of the parents"  

Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels. To you mothers in Israel we say God bless and protect you, and give you the strength and courage, the faith and knowledge, the holy love and consecration to duty, that shall enable you to fill to the fullest measure the sacred calling which is yours. To you mothers and mothers-to-be we say: Be chaste, keep pure, live righteously, that your posterity to the last generation may call you blessed.

Quotes on drinking from the fountainhead

“I do not concern myself much with reading long commentary volumes designed to enlarge at length upon that which is found in the scriptures. Rather, I prefer to dwell with the source, tasting of the unadulterated waters of the fountain of truth—the word of God as he gave it and as it has been recorded in the books we accept as scripture” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Dec. 1985, 45).

“President Marion G. Romney declared: ‘I don’t know much about the gospel other than what I’ve learned from the standard works. When I drink from a spring I like to get the water where it comes out of the ground, not down stream after the cattle have waded in it. . . . I appreciate other people’s interpretation, but when it comes to the gospel we ought to be acquainted with what the Lord says . . . You ought to read the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants; and . . . all the scriptures with the idea of finding out what’s in them and what the meaning is and not to prove some idea of your own. Just read them and plead with the Lord to let you understand what he had in mind when he wrote them” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, Finding Peace in Our Lives [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1995], 165;

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Religion is opposed by those whose own zealous beliefs are merely the echos of their television sets

We live in a country where religion is frowned upon as being arbitrary by those whose beliefs are nothing more than the fads of the moment. They cheer for anything the popular people are cheering for: feminism, abortion, homosexuality. They will cheer for pedophilia someday. They fight for their beliefs with zeal almost unknown among those of us who have the truth. They despise religious conviction while their convictions are nothing more than the dictates of their television sets.
Can't those of us with the truth fight a harder for it? Can't we stop apologizing and start standing firmly? Our religious freedoms are slipping away like the receding tide and we seem mostly unconcerned or unwilling to do more that fret.
Those who created a free nation were allowed to visit the prophet in vision and request that their temple work be done. Who else in history has been granted the right by God to visit the prophet after death to make such a request? Can we not see by the glory they won, that we stand at the brink of eternal shame if we stand idly by as the freedom they won is vanquished?
We were called to prepare the earth for the second coming, not to just hunker down and wait for it. John the baptist was called to prepare the earth for Christ's first coming - did he just hunker down and wait? No - he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He cried so and the spirit accompanied his boldness so that, though he lived in the wilderness King Herod himself could not ignore his words.
John the Baptist unflinchingly testifed that Herod's marriage was immoral. Are we too ashamed now to state that some marriages are immoral? And that fornication and pornography are immoral? Not just "addicting" or that they destroy families, but that they are both immoral and offensive to God.
Will we prepare the world for the second coming by hiding our candle? Those we live around and work with and talk to and those who read what we write about ourselves need to hear a voice crying out in the wilderness. It needs to be a voice for right and freedom. It needs to be a voice confident in the truth, not laced with apologies for truth and right.
Those who oppose us will never make peace with us because immorality can never be comfortable with the truth. Having taken up a war against religious freedom (which we should have known that they would) we should know they will never drop it. It is not a matter of simply having conversations with them. It is not matter of simply discussing and celebrating differences. They will use every compromise we make against us because it is the power of the devil opposing the power of God, and the adversary will never tire, flag nor stagger to destroy us, nor is there any victory he will be satisfied with short of total, absolute victory.
Immorality is serious sin. And those involved in it are the servants of him who they list to obey. They will never drop the fight against us, so we need to fight like we mean it. If we won't fight for our own religious freedoms, will we at least fight for our children's.
Our enemies show a zeal and devotion to their cause that is an embarrassment to us because by comparison we are unconcerned. We have the real truth while they are nothing more than echoes of their television sets. Yet many, many of us sympathize and even publicly argue for them.
Must the children of damnation always be wiser in their generation than the children of light?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The world wants acceptance just as it is, but the natural man is an enemy to God

The world wants acceptance exactly as it is. It is the same teaching as Nehor - since God created man then all men need to be accepted as they are for they are innately worthy "just as they are":
Alma 1:4 And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
But God's message is essentially the opposite
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

It is worth nothing in Alma 1:4 that when Nehor teaches that "they need not fear nor tremble" he is not intentionally directly contradicting the scriptures, which teach that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.