Monday, February 26, 2007

Intelligent Matter

The apostle Orson Pratt, presented that matter had intelligence. And that it was made up of particles. Each having intelligence. That it could collect itself into smaller groups of intelligences, or go into large groups. That it had 3 dimensions. These particles are extremely small. Far smaller than anything we are capable of seeing with microscopes. He also presented that intelligences have power within themselves. (Absurdities of Immaterialism, Orson Pratt, Liverpool, 1849).

Abraham 4:18 declares, "And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed." This seems to suggest that those creating had to get the matter to obey, and that this took time.

On 2 occassions I have come across members claiming to have seen these basic parts of matter with their spiritual eyes. And that these have intelligence.

This idea presents a far more rational concept of creation, to me, than a God that is all powerful next to nothing. What is the power of creation? According to Abraham an ability that allows you to order particles. And Orson Pratt is stating that particles have intelligence. Therefore God has mental ability to persuade particles to move. And God trained those creating this earth to use these abilities under the direction of Jesus Christ. All this sounds more accurate than magical powers of creation being passed on by this same magic.

These are just some thoughts to consider.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Genuine are Anti-Mormons?

Many years ago I remember looking through books for sale. Amidst them was a section against certain religions. There were pamphletes written against us, of course. But it was interesting to count the number of different publications. It almost seemed a testimony to the truth for anyone looking. There was one against the Catholics, one against Christian Science, one against the Cristadalphians, one against some others that I can't remember off-hand, three against Seventh Day Advantists, five against Jehovah's Witnesses, and twenty-six against us.

Reading claims against the church in most of the publications I have read or answered, I find that anyone reading a collection of them would recognise how fabricated most of it is. "Joseph Smith's mother was a gypsy", say some. Then they or some other one goes on to explain that they were running a farm. That is an interesting occupation for a gypsy. Then we have it that Joseph Smith's father was a gold digger. Also farming. A busy man. Then there are the ones that quote extremely old stats, while the writer pretends to know what he is talking about.

Then there is the irrational attempts to explain things away. "Joseph Smith had epileptic fits", say some in an attempt to say that his vision was a fit. Yet the same publication will go on to claim that he was a liar. So let's get this straight; he says he had a vision, so it must have been a fit, not a lie, yet he was a liar. Why do they even bother with the epilepsy explanation?

"I came out of Mormonism", says one lady. Then she tells us that she "taught Mormon theology for 2 years". Sounds impressive doesn't it? Why not just admit she taught kids in Junior Sunday School?

Then we have silly things like Joseph Smith's use of French when translating the Book of Mormon. Comments that Moroni wouldn't have used French. Do people actually fall for this nonsense? Moroni didn't use any of the English words Joseph Smith attributed to him either. That is what we call "translation".

Then we have all the attempts to claim the Book of Mormon is proven incorrect by archaeology. Interestingly the Bible is also proven incorrect by archaeology. No one then writes down the endless proven errors and conflicts of archaeologists.

Now we have the latest fad - genes. No significant gene link between the Middle East and the Americas is observable. Are we also supposed to take this seriously? Do we have the remains of a known Israelite from 600BC and a known Nephite from that time? The Lamanites are obviously genetically changed. A dill could work that out.

Then there are the sensationalising ones, that hit with strange doctrine and then quote something about Christ being our Saviour, as if to suggest that our doctrine is somehow in conflict of that concept, and he's just quoted a scripture to prove us in contradiction of the Bible. Whatever one may think of their morals, it is hard for me to believe that these writers are quite that stupid. I find them as genuine as a three-dollar bill.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, Republicanism, Kings, Judges, Church

Excluding the church for a moment, I believe that, in their extreme, these government systems all come out to exactly the same thing. And, interestingly, it is the exact opposite to that which God has established for the church.

Man has had systems of government of some type since Adam arrived. Most governments are made up of bits of these systems. For example left wing governments (Communism, Socialism, Democratic Socialism and National Socialism (Nazis)) are about government control or involvement in industry and providing state services. Yet almost every country has a government providing some service for the people. And then there are defense contracts. Right wing governments (Capitalism, Republicanism, Kings and Judges) are about freedom of commerce and not getting involved in industry or government services. Again, almost every country has some degree of economic independance of the people.

Government Systems:- These are run by a Chairman, President or whatever he may be called. He has a small group around him that have control over industries, police, services etc. Under these are the remainder of a fairly larger council or government body of representatives. From there they branch out to local area leaders.

But what happens when these governments go to their extremes? We have seen what happens in history (some fairly modern).

The leader obtains great control by giving lots of power to his small group of aides. To make their power great he has to increase the power of his council. To make their power greater he must increase the power on the local level. Whether right or left wing, people will act exactly the same with power. The powerful people will live in better areas and better buildings, with far more access to provisions. They will have the power to exercise injustice. And this won't bother them in doing so. These powers are obtained because the people are weak through sin. They have little power of conscience. They seek revenge above repentance on those who offend them. And on criminals. Interestingly, a wise man once said that you can tell the strength of a people by how well they treat their prisoners. And these government systems show less and less interest for human life.

Now let's look at how the church should be run according to Scripture. It is an exact opposite of this system. The church has exactly the same as the "Government Systems" paragraph shown above. But the difference is that Christ taught that he came to serve, not to be served. Paul said that he made himself servant to all that he might gain more (1 Cor 9:19). D&C 121:37 tells us that leaders have no authority to use their position to attempt to have power over others. The church should be seen exactly the opposite of how we see governments outside of God's Kingdom. We see governments as a pyramid. The President at the top, his 12 leaders as the next section down and so on. But the church should be understood as an upside down pyramid, with the President down the bottom serving the whole (as any good government should be - as demonstrated by King Benjamin) and the members at the top being served the most. What we term "church leaders" should be called "church servants". This is the thinking Christ demonstrated.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doing Greater Works than Christ

John 14:12 states, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

Jesus Christ healed the sick, even those with leprosy. He made the blind see and the lame walk. Even those with life long illnesses and disabilities were cured.

He commanded the storm to stop and it stopped. He commanded a tree to die, and it did. He had nets so full of fish that they had trouble bringing them in. He had a fish give a coin to pay taxes. And to top off his visible miracles, he brought back Lazareth from the dead. And how can we even equal his work of the atonement, let alone do a greater work?

Why then did Jesus say to his apostles that they shall do greater works than him?

I believe the answer lies in a better examination of the statement. He has stated that the reason why they shall do greater works than him is, "because I go unto my Father". So how does him going to the Father make it that the apostles could do greater works? The answer must surely be that when he said "greater" he didn't mean the greatness of each individual work, but greater in number. Because he was only doing works for three and a half years, and then was going to the Father, the apostles would have opportunity to do a greater amount of works, having decades to do them in.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Can Our Country's Freedom be Lost by Good Intentions?

This that I am telling you here has actually happened in a country claiming itself to be free, while the inhabitants still think they are. I am selecting a particular state within the country that is in the Western World.

They said that children could be damaged by violent parents, so a government department needed to have authority to seize children from their parents without a court order. As death could occur while waiting. And the people said, "yes, we must stop child bashing." So the government passed a law giving them the right to remove anyone's children and it could take a year or more to get them back.

They said that women with violent husbands were too afraid to admit that their husband was beating them, so Police needed authority to arrest these husbands and put them in jail for up to 3 days without any trial. And the people said, "yes, we must stop wife bashing." So the government passed a law saying that the Police can arrest anyone and jail them for 3 days without trial, or any evidence needed. There is no reason why upon release the Police couldn't just take them out the front and then back in for another 3 days, etc.

They said that some sex offenders were known to be a threat to society by the jail system, but they had to release them after their sentence was over. And they wanted power to keep these offenders in jail. The people said, "yes, we have to stop the sex-offenders." So the jail system was given power to keep anyone in jail indefinately, even after their sentence is served, at their whim.

They said that drug dealers would hide their stuff if the drug squad had to get a court order each time they wanted to do a search. So Police wanted power to go into anyone's home and rip it to shreads and need not provide any evidence to explain why they chose to search the premises. They also said that they needed to protect their sources so wanted a law that they didn't have to prove why they conducted the search. The people said, "yes", we must get the drug dealers." So Police were given power to bash anyone's house and furniture to a pulp without accountability.

So if you have a wife, children and/or house and furniture or don't have an awfully good lawyer, who knows how to pay off the right people, be careful where you go in the western world.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Our Lives Should be one Continual Advancement.

I was just looking at the picture of Christ's visit to the Americas, where some are standing on steps in the front. A child to his right-front. And most are standing in the background.

I often think about how wonderful it would have been to have been there for that visit. It isn't that I want to leave this time and go back to live then instead. But what an experience. How could anything in life second this?

When I was young (4-years-old) I went to a missionary revival meeting (having been brought up a Protestant). I determined to become a missionary for the rest of my life. Upon joining the church at 15 I had to be content with a 2 year mission. So when I went on my mission this was the ultimate life experience to me. But I soon began to feel strange in that all my life I had this large future ambition. Suddenly my future was empty of such a heavy divine purpose. The Holy Ghost said to me that my mission was God preparing me for marriage and other things. And that what he had ahead was greater than what I was then doing. This required a bit of adjustment of thinking.

When we were going home from our missions we all gave the traditional last testimony at the mission home. I remember saying that if at the end of my life I felt that my mission was the greatest spiritual experience of my life that would suggest that the rest of my life thereafter was a failure, as we should grow spiritually.

I have since had times that have exceeded my mission for spiritual growth. But I think we spend a lot of our lives waiting for something to happen: Christ's visit to the Americas re-enacted. Perhaps not quite so increadible, but we are waiting none the less. It is us who must lay the ground for the great things to happen. We have to learn to keep thinking big. And remember the statement "faith proceeds the miracle".

Monday, February 05, 2007

Why Negroes didn't get the Priesthood

I was asked to explain this situation in my questions site (the link being at the top of the page). And having done so, I felt it important enough to be presented here. Even though what I am about to say was given to me by inspiration, I can demonstrate it to be true, from scripture and church doctrine.

Having stated that, I must declare that the things I say are purely as a church member, not an authority of the church. And I have never heard or read a general authority of the church, living or past, make these comments. Or any other member. So I must declare them as only those things of which I have been informed by the Holy Ghost as one person. Not established church doctrine.

My purpose in placing this here was primarily in consideration of any negro who may be searching for understanding. Secondly for any other seeker of truth.

In the pre-existence Satan presented a plan that was impossible, but appealed to many. One third of all spirits present, in fact. Of the other two thirds many were not certain who to go with. They had concerns. Being loving, Heavenly Father made a deal with them that if they went down he would make sure that they couldn't go to outer darkness - which, apparently councerned them. To go there requires the priesthood. So he promised them that a mark would be put on them that no one would put them in the position they feared. In his love God placed a dark skin upon them to distinguish them from those wishing the priesthood. He made sure that these spirits were born to negro parents. Of more recent years there seems to have been reached a point where these have all come down already, or aren't in a position to receive that which concerned them. Consequently the priesthood has also been given to negros since that time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Is it time we Updated the Book of Mormon etc?

The church is basically conservative, and keen to hold on to the "good old" rather than move to radical new ideas. I fully support this thinking overall. Generally, fads come and go. They often seem good at first glance, but time proves them wrong. Along with this, the church has held to using the good old KJV (King James Version of the Bible) (a version Joseph Smith supported in the early 1800s). Contrary to popular belief, and that stated at the front of the book, the KJV isn't the original 1600's version, but an update done in the 1770's. And our Book of Mormon English has remained as first published. It seems that the attitude has gone to the idea that we have learnt this language, so everyone can. Yet a few flaws exist in this philosophy.

Firstly a Russian Book of Mormon isn't written in old Russian. And a Romanian Book of Mormon isn't written in old Romanian. So it seems that speaking English is a disadvantage if you have difficulty learning an old version of your language.

Secondly, having worked with adults who have difficulty reading, it is straight out proposterous getting them to read a Book of Mormon. I ended up translating part of 1st Nephi, into English that they could read Click here to read it. It still has some very difficult words, as I didn't want to take risks of wrong translation. But at least it is understandable.

Thirdly, I quote things from the KJV when I really don't know the meaning of some words in them. I have always just made an assumption. "I trow not" (Luke 1:9). What average person would know what "trow" means? We just assume from the flow of converstation. Then there is the word "let", which to us means to allow. But then it meant to stop, or not allow.

Also a philosophy exists that by learning old English we can pray in a special language. That is true. But I would question how Nephi got past not praying in some ancient Hebrew dialect? And how does everyone who isn't speaking English get by? Were Jesus' prayers in ancient Hebrew?
I like being able to impress people outside the church by my ability to rattle off old English, too (not that I do that often, but it happens). But in the interest of spreading the gospel, and delivering it to all mankind equally, I think it time we started making a transition to understandable English.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Ability to Heal

In Hebrews 5:5-6 we are told that Jesus Christ received the Melchizedek Priesthood. Jesus gave this authority to his apostles and they eventually performed many mighty miracles. Male members eventually receive this priesthood. So how come Jesus could heal more effectively than we seem to? After all, it is the same priesthood. Doesn't God's power to heal just come zipping down that line of authority into our hands?

Healing takes spiritual effort and faith. Jesus noticed something go out of him when the woman touched his clothes to be healed (Mark 5:30). Luke 6:19 makes this same statement: "...for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all".

Scattered throughout the D&C we find many virtues that we must have for an effective use of the priesthood. It also states that if used for wrong reasons you have no priesthood authority (D&C 121:37).

Of the many virtues necessary to use priesthood, many relate to love. We must have love for the person we are healing. Love is so important in regard having heavenly type powers. The apostle John said, "God is love". How can a statement more plainly express how much love God has? This love is a driving power that helps us heal.

Receiving the priesthood gives us the authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ. Then we must add the ingredients to ourselves to make it effective, in such situations as healing. Heavenly Father is there to lend a hand to help us to fully bring out our latent abilities. The priesthood gives us the opportunities to develop ourselves to become more like our Heavenly Father.