Trouble and Passions, Alma 38

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11:46
3 min read

And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Alma 38:5

I think it is significant to note that Alma doesn’t tell his son that he will be protected from trials, troubles, or afflictions, but that he will be delivered out of them and lifted up at the last day.

The righteous are not shielded from all trouble in this world. We are still living in this world even though our minds and hearts might not be of it. Our exemplar, the Savior, was horribly tortured to death and many good people have been persecuted and even burned alive.

It is important to know this about God’s plan. While trouble can befall any of us, we can always trust in God to deliver us from that trouble when it comes.

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The Power of Covenants and Lack of Temple Access

Aug 6, 2020
1 min read

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles makes an essential point that we should always remember but is particularly important considering our current conditions.

Although our access to the temple right now is limited, it doesn’t change the impact that the temple can have on us in our lives. Through our covenants and ordinances, we have access to the power of godliness in our lives—no matter our circumstances.

That power of godliness comes because we’ve entered into a covenant that’s been part of an ordinance. And as we keep that covenant, then the power of godliness can be in our lives.

When we go to the temple, we don’t renew our covenants as we do proxy temple work. Rather, we are reminded of the covenants that we once made. It’s by keeping those covenants that we access the power of godliness in our lives—whether we’re able to physically go to the temple or not. We should not limit the ability of God to invoke the power of godliness in our lives. Our ability to access the power of godliness depends on us keeping the covenants we’ve made with Him.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/how-we-can-access-the-power-of-the-temple-during-covid-19
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There is a Curse Upon This Land

Aug 5, 2020
1 min read

There is a lot of evil in this world from low to high places and it is enough to cause great concern for many. However, the only ones that should fear are those workers of darkness who refuse to change their ways.

For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this people might not be destroyed.

Alma 37:28
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Patterns of 4 in Alma’s sermon to the Zoramites (Alma 32-33)

Jul 23, 2020
4 min read

In a Come Follow Me study session with my family, we pointed out the four aspects of what planting the word/seed would do and how the first letter of each aspect formed the word S-E-E-D.

Most people are aware of this, it is a fun little thing to point out and is helpful in remembering what the good word does within us.

When we were reading about what we should believe concerning the Son of God, I noticed another pattern of four. This immediately brought to mind other patterns in the text. As I lay in bed that night, I started thinking about what would happen if I found multiple sets of four and what that could mean. I thought of some ideas to explore and pursued this line of thought the next day.

I wasn’t disappointed with what I found. There are a variety of patterns at play, but I want to focus on the patterns of 4 which are the most prevalent.

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Avoiding Accumulating Scales of Darkness Over Our Eyes

Jul 7, 2020
2 min read

Nephi prophesies that the seed of his people will one day become a pure and delightsome people “and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes;” (2 Nephi 30:6)

One definition for scale in the The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says this:

Scale, verb intransitive, To separate and come off in thin layers or lamins.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/scale

You can see through a tinted window because it is transparent enough for a sufficient amount of light to pass through. But if you stacked another tinted window in front of it, and another, and another, and another, how long would it be before all you saw was blackness?

I have though of this in terms of how we can allow social media and the gossip merchants we call the “news” laminate our view of the world on a daily basis with layers and layers of darkness and distortion.

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Combating Cancel Culture

Jul 1, 2020
4 min read

More and more, tech companies are actively censoring and canceling people because of their opinions and beliefs. The most important right of a free people, their freedom to speak and express themselves is being attacked.

Now, these tech companies have every right to choose who they want to associate with and who they want to participate on their platforms. I guarantee the church moderates comments on their videos and on any of their own projects.

The issue is that many of these platforms have become so large that losing your ability to speak there makes you practically invisible altogether. On top of that, payment gateways can also cancel your ability to generate revenue and support yourself.

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Ravening Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Jun 24, 2020
14 min read

Above is a window at the London School of Economics, it was commissioned by Bernard Shaw in 1910 in reference to the Fabian Society.

This was an organization created in the 1800s to subvert the existing order and create a Socialist world government that they would control.

Take note their coat of arms:

That’s not a joke, that’s the actual coat of arms so that should tell you something about what team these guys are playing for.

Jesus warned us about people promoting evil things under the banner of innocence and purity.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

3 Nephi 14:15
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Elder Bednar Condemns the Government’s Dangerous Breaching of Religious Liberty

Jun 18, 2020
0 min read
Elder Bednar - BYU Law Conference

The COVID-19 crisis has presented us with a unique opportunity to reaffirm and shore up religious freedom. We have witnessed the government’s swift, well-intentioned, but often dangerous breaching of the boundaries that protect the free exercise of religion.

Do we hear the buzzer on the alarm clock? This is a wake-up call for all of us. Those fundamental boundaries and protections must be healed, renewed, and fortified.

While believers and their religious organizations must be good citizens in a time of crisis, never again can we allow government officials to treat the exercise of religion as simply non-essential. Never again must the fundamental right to worship God be trivialized below the ability to buy gasoline.

BYU Law School Annual Review of Religious Liberty, Elder David A. Bednar, June 17, 2020 – https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/bednar-covid-19-pandemic-religious-freedom

Blessed in Chaos

May 24, 2020
3 min read

Mosiah chapter 26 is packed with a number of great things. It all begins when the younger generation becomes rebellious and refuses to join the church. The dissensions grow, and it becomes a big problem, something the church had never faced.

Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church;

Mosiah 26:10

The people of the church brought those that had committed sins to Alma, but he didn’t know what to do with them, so he had them brought before king Mosiah.

King Mosiah wisely decides that it wasn’t his place to judge them, so he delivers them back into Alma’s hands. Alma was greatly troubled as to what he should do.

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Marriage: That the Earth Might Answer the End of its Creation

Apr 27, 2020
2 min read
Source unknown

This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:23-24

If a husband and wife become one flesh through marriage, then what were they as single and unmarried?

As soon as Eve was created, marriage immediately followed after recognition of who and what she was to Adam.

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Interpreting Symbols and Creating Your Own Meanings

Apr 8, 2020
9 min read

The following image was sent to me by a oneClimbs reader. The request was to help interpret the symbols on her ward meetinghouse steeple. I decided to reply to her in the form of a full post since the information might be helpful to others as well.

First, I want to point out that every symbol, motif, design, or architectural nuance may NOT have a specific meaning; designs may be chosen simply because they look nice.

Now before you get disappointed, I want to try and explain another way that a knowledge of symbolism can turn what may be ordinary into a meaningful or even revelatory experience.

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A Professional Logo Designer’s Analysis of The Church’s New Symbol

Apr 5, 2020
4 min read

Ok, all joking aside, I was really intrigued by this new “symbol” or logo that was introduced at the Saturday evening session of General Conference.

I can see why they did this though. The Moroni statue has become the de facto symbol of our church in many ways and I think it is consistent with our using the full name of the church to make this visual change as well.

As a professional logo designer, and having studied symbolism quite a bit, I want to weigh in on some of the potential meanings that this new symbol implies.

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Home Church: March 29, 2020

Mar 29, 2020
1 min read

We started with a family prayer circle. There are a couple of variations that we do but our favorite is to join hands in a circle.

Someone starts the prayer and when they are finished they squeeze the hand of the person to their right and so on until everyone in the circle has had an opportunity to pray; the last person closes the prayer.

The feeling of unity is strong and even the youngest children are focused and involved; we pray as one.

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Enos is how old?

Mar 26, 2020
2 min read

Near the close of Enos’ record he states:

And it came to pass that I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away from the time that our father Lehi left Jerusalem.

Enos 1:25

He is supposedly the grandson of Lehi, Jacob being his father. Some have supposed that perhaps this Enos is actually the son of another Enos who we don’t have a record of, but Enos being the son of Jacob is absolutely possible and I’ll explain how.

First off, there’s actually a story from 2018 that talks about two men who are the grandsons of a man born in 1790; that’s a 228-year span!

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Vlog #3 – Outward Performances and Inward Transformation

Mar 24, 2020
0 min read

Wrapping up Jacob 7 with understanding scriptures, the doctrine of Christ, hope, anointing our efforts, and inward transformation.

*Sorry for the background noise, there are new houses being built nearby and there is a lot of heavy equipment around.

“Yea, TODAY, if ye will hear his voice…”

Mar 20, 2020
2 min read

These words from Jacob are intense and sobering.

And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.

Jacob 6:2

The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the sign that God would set his hand a second time to recover his people. (See 3 Nephi 21) The servants of the Lord have indeed gone forth and many have heard their message but many, many have not. After this pruning, the end will come soon after.

And how blessed are they who have labored diligently in his vineyard; and how cursed are they who shall be cast out into their own place! And the world shall be burned with fire.

vs.3
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Pixar takes on the afterlife and the premortal life?

Mar 19, 2020
0 min read

A trailer for a new movie called “Soul” dropped recently about a movie where the main character goes to a “spirit world” awaiting the “great beyond” and accidentally wanders into an area that isn’t heaven but is a kind of “premortal” world where spirits are prepared for earth life.

Lots of crossover with our theology and interesting to see these concepts in a movie produced by a major motion picture studio.

Micro, Meso, Macro in Scripture Study

Mar 19, 2020
2 min read

One of the things that I enjoy most about God is how he works in patterns; everything is ultimately connected and part of one eternal round.

You have the macrocosmos, the universe and everything within it and then the microcosmos which is your own personal universe, your body, governed by your mind, and finally the mesocosmos which is somewhere in-between and can be represented by a temple.

The temple is a model of not only the universe, the macrocosmos, but of our own bodies, the microcosmos. The temple allows us to make a connection between everything by bringing it all into one place.

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Were Jacob’s People Engaged in Human Trafficking?

Mar 18, 2020
3 min read

This is just a theory but if there is something to it, then it is another example of how important the Book of Mormon is for our day.

Traditionally, it seems that we interpret the situation among Jacob’s people as men engaging in polygamy without authorization and that’s that, we move on. I think there is a lot more going on and I’ve written about it here and here.

As I have studied Jacob’s sermon in-depth I have wondered if there were other dark aspects to the Nephite’s lust for many wives that are being overlooked.

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He Didn’t Know Until Hours Before

Mar 14, 2020
4 min read

In the day of Nephi, son of Helaman, many had given up on the prophecy of Samuel the Lamanite coming to pass. His prophecy said that in 5 years the sign of the Messiah’s birth would be given.

I’m sure many people were counting down the days and even set apart a day that if the sign wasn’t given, they were going to kill everyone who still believed in these things.

It was coming down to the wire with Nephi, and he was getting worried about their situation.

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