Author Archive

Sep 19, 2013
3 min read

Two Must-have Apps for Gospel Study

apps-strongs-kjv-1828

Two of my favorite gospel study tools are the Websters 1828 Dictionary and a Strong’s Concordance. Back before I had a smartphone I used to use website versions of these tools that you can still access under the tools menu here at oneClimbs.

Strong’s KJV

Strongs KJV Free

Strongs KJV Upgrade

For quite a while now I’ve been using app versions of these tools as they are much more convenient and efficient. I have an iPhone but I believe there are Droid versions of similar apps if you look hard enough. The first app is called simply “Strongs KJV” and it’s very simple, free and gets the job done. I used the free one for a while but got tired of the ad at the beginning and just paid the $4.99 for the full app which I felt was worth it.

If you aren’t familiar with a Strong’s Bible, it’s basically Read Full Post

1 Comment
Sep 7, 2013
4 min read

Tolkien’s Eagles, Angels, Intervention, Agency and Grace

eagle-intervention-angels

Eagles and Angels

Now I realize that Tolkien’s trilogy “Lord of the Rings” is fiction, but I remember wondering at the end of Return of the King, “Why couldn’t the eagles have just flown the ring to Mordor and drop it into Mount Doom”? Every now and then I’ll read a similar criticism here and there online or in discussing the topic with friends.

This past Tuesday I was reading in 1 Nephi 3 where after two failed attempts at retrieving the brass plates, an angel intervenes to stop Nephi’s enraged brothers from beating him. The angel appears and says:

“Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.” (vs. 29)

Just for kicks I pondered the question, Read Full Post

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Aug 31, 2013
6 min read

How Prayer, Creation, Returning and Reporting Can Make Life Awesome

spiritual-creation

What if there was a doctrinally-based way to make every single day of your life significant, meaningful and amazing?

Well, there is and it is so simple. I’ve only been doing this for a few days now and am still starting to get the hang of it, but I see the potential and I understand the doctrine. Have you ever started working out only to notice a few days later that your pants are fitting you better and your muscles are feeling more solid? That’s about where I’m at.

First, a little background…

Increase-in-Learning-Cover_detailI’ve been really enjoying Elder Bednar’s book Increase in Learning. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it but this book, which was given to me as a gift from one of the wisest people I know, didn’t really impress me much at first. The title of the book really intrigued me and my expectations were pretty high since I really admire Elder Bednar. In the beginning, it didn’t really grab me and felt really “watered-down” and intended for a novice audience. I grew impatient and skimmed on through finding a couple nuggets and then shelved it about halfway through.

Big mistake.Read Full Post

3 Comments
Aug 16, 2013
12 min read

The Path to Theophany, commentary on 1 Nephi 11

The following is simply a personal commentary on 1 Nephi 11 and how it relates to theophany.

These are my own observations and overlook many, many other important doctrines and principles contained in these verses. My object was to explore only a certain facet of what is here and the conclusions are my own. I’m publishing them here at oneClimbs because I feel that some things might be of use to others and fit the spirit of this site’s purpose: to simply share insights.

Nephis-tree

Nephi’s personal preparation

1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.

Nephi’s preparation includes the following three things:

  • Desire: a wish to possess some gratification or source of happiness which is supposed to be obtainable (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
  • Belief: an assent of the mind to the truth of a declaration, proposition or alleged fact, on the ground of evidence, distinct from personal knowledge (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
  • Pondering: to weight in the mind…to view with deliberation; to examine; (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

Nephi is caught away by the Spirit because in this case, he is almost ready for Theophany.

Theophany: 1630s, from Late Latin theophania, from Greek theophaneia, from theos “god” + phainein “to show” (etymonline.com) a visible manifestation of a deity (merriam-webster.com).

Often, we just study as part of a schedule with no real desire other than to keep that schedule and feel good about checking it off a list as a task completed. Effective study should be driven by Read Full Post

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Aug 9, 2013
3 min read

Karate Kid Perspective on Ordinances

For those who have seen the original Karate Kid movie you’re probably familiar with the famous “wax on, wax off” lesson that Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel. I like the updated version of this lesson presented in the new Karate Kid movie starring Jackie Chan. You might be wondering what this has to do with ordinances – bear with me.

In the first scene, Dre (updated Daniel) enthusiastically approaches Mr. Han (updated Miyagi) and begins by trying to show Mr. Han how “good” he is and what “skills” he already possesses. Go ahead and watch this first clip:

Do we approach God thinking that we have it all figured out? Are we overly-impressed with our own wisdom and skill like Dre who felt like he had to validate himself somehow to Mr. Han? There is a verse in the Book of Mormon that I think is related to this idea:

“And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:42)

It is easier to fill an empty vessel than a full one. Are we willing to make ourselves that vulnerable? Are we willing to sell all that we have acquired for the pearl of great price?

Dre thinks that Mr. Han is going to show him all these incredible kung fu moves, but Mr. Han has him do a seemly mundane task over and over again. Dre responds almost immediately with frustration, “Can you just tell me why I’m doing this?” while Mr. Han just keeps ordering him to continue through his routine.

Read Full Post 4 Comments
Aug 9, 2013
6 min read

Basic Rules for Keeping “Small Plates” From Jacob

A few years back I wrote an article about how to keep your own “small plates” and why it is important. I even started posting excerpts of my own “small plates” that I deemed appropriate for the public to offer suggestions and ideas on possible applications of the principle.

The Basic Rules for Small Plates From Jacob 1:1-4

“For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.” (1:1)

  1. Write only what is considered to be most precious, keep personal histories elsewhere
  2. Find ways to preserve the records from generation to generation
  3. Record the following and touch upon the following things “as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people” (1:4)
  • Preaching that is sacred
  • Revelation that is great
  • Prophesying

1. What is Most Precious and What is History

Typically, I keep my personal history journal in another place like Evernote (I’ll come back to this later) while that which I deem “most precious” for my “small plates” constitutes preaching, revelation or prophecy that comes through the Holy Spirit.

2. Preservation

This one has been pretty tricky for me to deal with over time. Read Full Post

2 Comments
Aug 8, 2013
1 min read

Elder Bednar Wishes We Would Get Rid of the Word “Meeting” And I Agree

no-meetings

Bednar_medium

The following is a really interesting excerpt from a 2010 Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting panel discussion. I really like Elder Bednar for his very clear approach to gospel doctrines and efforts to force out useless traditions from the Church while he reorients us to a higher standard.

The challenge is to take his words and figure out how to apply them in our individual situations.

“If I had the wish of my heart, I would remove from the vocabulary of the Latter-day Saints the word meeting.

“We have not been talking about a ward council meeting. We’ve been talking about a revelatory experience with the members of the ward council. And if members of councils, if members of families, as they come together, would think in terms of “I’m preparing to participate in a revelatory experience with my family” instead of going to a meeting—a revelatory experience with the members of the ward council—I think we would prepare and act much differently.

“In these latter days, given the forces of the adversary and the darkness, no one person in the family and no one person in a ward is going to be the conduit through which all of the answers come.” (Excerpt from a panel discussion, 2010 Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 2010, emphasis added)

What do you think?

  • How can we make our “meetings” revelatory experiences?
  • How can we make our Family Home Evenings revelatory experiences?
2 Comments
Aug 6, 2013
0 min read

“Enoch And The Temple” Conference Videos Now Available (via TempleStudy.com)

The following article was originally published on Bryce Haymond’s TempleStudy.com

The conference “Enoch and the Temple,” which took place on February 19 and 22, 2013, in Logan, Utah, and Provo, Utah, respectively, was filmed. The videos are now available for free viewing in 1080p HD resolution, on the Academy for Temple Studies YouTube channel, the Academy’s website TempleStudies.org, as well as embedded below.Read Full Post

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Aug 1, 2013
3 min read

What are Doctrines, Principles & Applications?

doctrines-principles-applications

Ever find yourself thinking “I’m not quite sure I really know the definition of that word”? If not, then you are amazing and I applaud you.

I’ve found it to be valuable to quiz yourself continually as to your knowledge concerning the meanings of words. Here on oneClimbs, I’ve written a few articles trying to clarify common misconceptions about the meanings of certain words. Don’t even get me started on Latter-day Saints use of the word “peculiar“. Understanding the true meanings of words will often bring refreshing insights that are hidden behind a veil of misconception.

A few days ago, I was discussing a particular study method with a friend and one step in the process wasRead Full Post

9 Comments
Jul 26, 2013
9 min read

The Lord’s People Receive Revelation by Bruce R. McConkie

The following talk is from an April 1971 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bruce R. McConkie. A commenter named “Thomas” at TempleStudy.com mentioned this article and I have reposted here for oneClimbs readers.

When I was a mission president in Australia, I once said to those of my missionaries in Tasmania: “Tomorrow we shall climb Mt. Wellington and hold our missionary meeting on the top. We shall there seek to commune with the Lord and partake of his Spirit.”

We made the climb, and while on top of the peak we visited a television broadcasting station. A bright young man explained to us in words I had never heard, and using principles I could not and do not understand, how the sounds and scenes of television were broadcast into the valley below.

That night, back in the city of Hobart, my two young sons and I sat before a television set that was tuned to the proper wave band, and we saw and heard and experienced what had been described to us in words.

Now I think this illustrates perfectly what is involved in the receipt of revelation and the seeing of visions. We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves.

This Tabernacle is now full of words and music. Handel’s Messiah is being sung, and the world’s statesmen are propagandizing their people. But we do not hear any of it.

This Tabernacle is full of scenes from Vietnam and Washington. There is even a picture of men walking on the surface of the moon. But we are not seeing these things. The minute, however, in which we tune Read Full Post

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Jul 22, 2013
19 min read

The Tomb and the Grove

the-tomb-and-the-grove

The Tomb

In the what is today the first book of the New Testament we have an interesting account at the very end of Matthew. Here, it appears that Matthew is attempting to debunk an anti-Christian rumor that was going around concerning the resurrection of Christ.

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:11-15)

According to Matthew a common explanation for the missing body of Christ was attributed to fraud committed by his followers.

Is it really that far of a stretch to believe that among Jesus’ closest confidants and hundreds of followers that someone might have stolen his body in an attempt to somehow “prove” the resurrection? Or that the remaining apostles could have fabricated the story of the resurrection in order to keep the movement going and save face? Isn’t this the simplest explanation if you don’t accept the reality of miracles or the existence of God?

In the case of the Latter-day Saint claim that God restored his Church to the earth, a skeptic might ask Read Full Post

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Jul 18, 2013
12 min read

“Have You Been Saved?” by Dallin H. Oaks

By Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, May 1998

What do we say when someone asks us, “Have you been saved?” This question, so common in the conversation of some Christians, can be puzzling to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is not our usual way of speaking. We tend to speak of “saved” or “salvation” as a future event rather than something that has already been realized.

Good Christian people sometimes attach different meanings to some key gospel terms like saved or salvation. If we answer according to what our questioner probably means in asking if we have been “saved,” our answer must be “yes.” If we answer according to the various meanings we attach to the terms saved or salvation, our answer will be either “yes” or “yes, but with conditions.”

I.

As I understand what is meant by the good Christians who speak in these terms, we are “saved” when we sincerely declare or confess that we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. This meaning relies on words the Apostle Paul taught the Christians of his day:

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10).

To Latter-day Saints, the words saved and salvation in this teaching signify a present covenant relationship with Jesus Christ in which we are assured salvation from the consequences of sin if we are obedient. Every sincere Latter-day Saint is “saved” according to this meaning. We have been converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we have experienced Read Full Post

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Jul 18, 2013
14 min read

What Does “Saved by Grace After All We Can Do” Mean?

I’d like to thank my good friend Mike King for being the catalyst that inspired this article. The Bible verses are all from the New American Standard Version just for kicks, thanks, Andrew T. 

jesus-and-john-the-baptist

There’s a verse in the Book of Mormon that I have seen get plenty of criticism from some who think that the verse teaches some kind of “works-based salvation” that diminishes the role of Christ’s grace.

On the other hand, however, I’ve seen Latter-day Saints misunderstand this verse as well. Read the following verse and ponder what you think it is getting at:

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

At first glance, it might seem like this verse is saying that our efforts actually make up a portion of our salvation. That us “doing things” makes up the first part of our salvation and that Jesus Christ’s atonement kicks in to cover whatever is left over. That is just one way that it can be interpreted, but there’s a glaring problem with that interpretation Read Full Post

4 Comments
Jul 12, 2013
2 min read

Thoughts on the Five Core Sacramental Symbols

There are at least five core elements that are used in the ordinance of the sacrament. Back on June 16th of this year I took down some ideas in my notebook concerning them so here they are. I will also be placing any number that I think is numerically significant next to the title.

1. Altar or Table (4, 1, 2)

  • Used for sacrifices and offerings and for sacred ordinances of the gospel (LDS BD). A place where heaven and earth are bridged via covenants.
  • Altar: Zabach (Hebrew) – “to slaughter an animal”.
  • The life of the animal is represented by its blood. (Leviticus 17:11)
  • Altars are temples in their most simple form, and the covenants made at them can vary.
  • We place things on the altar to be completely consumed, we do not expect to see them again. It is expected that all ungodliness is treated this way.Read Full Post
11 Comments
Jul 8, 2013
0 min read

oneClimbs Turns 3 Years old!

happy-bday-oc

July is the month that oneClimbs was born into the world wide web!

The first ever post was a video about sugar (yeah, how random). The first ever real “article” that was put together was called “Cut a Covenant“. It’s been a crazy 3 years with 0ver 200 posts on a wide variety of subjects with an emphasis of temples, symbolism, gospel principles and the atonement. Study and research done since the launch of oneClimbs led to the creation of ldsSymbols.com, an online resource for exploring symbols within a Latter-day Saint doctrinal context.

This site was created to help my organize my thoughts, assist in my personal study and to share the things that I have found with anyone who is interested. Your comments, feedback and additional insights have helped my in my personal study and pursuit of truth and I hope that someone out there has been equally blessed.

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Jul 7, 2013
8 min read

Goliath, Laban and the New World Order

What do Goliath, Laban and global, latter-day secret combinations often referred to as the “New World Order” all have in common?

Their stories all end the same way and the scriptures show us exactly how.

Goliath

The Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, fell to a shepherd boy named David who stood in front of him and prophesied:

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee;” 1 Samuel 17:46

Moments later the prophecy was fulfilled when David dropped Goliath with a single blow to the head with a stone and then:

“…David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith.” 1 Samuel 17:51

Goliath, a nine foot “giant” whose presence caused every Israelite soldier to tremble lay there in the dirt, beheaded by his own sword.

Laban

The sons of Lehi who were charged with securing plates of brass that contained the holy scriptures which were intended to instruct countless millions over 1000 years in a new land.  Laban, also a military man of sorts was a Goliath-like threat that stood between them and this sacred record. After threatening to murder Lehi’s sons twice and violently robbing them of their wealth, Read Full Post

5 Comments
Jul 7, 2013
4 min read

An Experience With Homemade Sacrament Bread by Sandra Clark Jergensen

By Sandra Clark Jergensen, originally posted under the title “Bread” at Segullah.org.

bread

Last Sunday, as I was sliding into a pew in time for sacrament meeting, one of the ward leaders motioned me over. Did I have any bread at home? Well, do they say ya’ll in Texas? Of course I did, I always do. There was no bread for the sacrament, and could I run home and get some? I did. I rushed home, grabbed the loaf in the cupboard and got back to the church with my bread. That loaf was one of my prized recipes, a 100% whole wheat loaf made with wheat that I ground and buttermilk I cultured myself. And because I don’t have a grinder, I am currently using my blender and sieve; it takes a little extra time, but how else am I to use the small silo of wheat in my house? It is good bread. And good bread is worth it to me. And oh, I do so love good bread. The crackly crust and chewy crumb of a perfect loaf is heaven to me.

I can’t extend that same love to all bread. It may seem sacrilege that even think of it, but the often cheap, plastic-sleeved bread typically brought in each week for the sacrament at church is hard for me to swallow. The token to remember Christ is most often chemically preserved, bleached and bromated bread, and a bit of a distraction for me. I have to choose to stop thinking about it—is that bad? I know what D&C 27:2 says, but I still feel that when it is something that has substance in my life, shouldn’t the bread that symbolized it have some as well? Should the bread we use for the sacrament matter; or am I overthinking this one?

Back to that Sabbath morning. I got back to church Read Full Post

1 Comment
Jul 3, 2013
9 min read

“Let Them Govern Themselves” by Boyd K. Packer

I’m a fan of Boyd K. Packer. Behind that gravely-sounding voice is a fascinating mind that has provided some powerful insights and refreshing commentary on the latter-day work and Church. Currently, I’m serving as an elders quorum president in my ward and one of the biggest challenges I have been facing is how to bless the lives of families without burdening them with well-intentioned programs and what not.

I’m not a fan of programs and meetings. Although I believe that they can be necessary at times, I also believe that we create monsters that do the opposite of help. I see a similarity between how a country drifts into tyranny because of a bunch of well-intentioned politicians who try to solve every problem with new programs and tons of money and well-intentioned church leaders who dream up bloated programs that burden families and almost never work.

So I really appreciated this rather frank and sensible talk from Elder Packer that was given at a Regional Representatives Seminar Friday, March 30, 1990 (original source). What I did was pull out some of the highlights that I found most interesting and included them below. If you serve in any leadership capacity in the church, this address is an important read, so here it is…Read Full Post

1 Comment
Jul 3, 2013
1 min read

How to Get Focused and Clear Brain Fog: Meditation

Man, I’m on a video kick right now. I’ve been coming across some pretty intriguing things in the last few days. I’m starting to like this guy, Emil Ihsan-Alexander Torabi and this particular video that addresses simple, practical approaches to meditation is very well done. Meditation is something that few people that I know do and something that I typically only use periodically because of the difficulty I find in staying focused.

I’m going to try some of the things that Emil recommends and feel free to post your own experiences and insights in the comments below.

The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity — thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1938], p.137)

Steps to meditation, or stilling the soul:

  1. Be consistent
  2. Don’t worry about doing it right
  3. Dont fight your thoughts, as they arise, observe them and let them be and pass
  4. Make it a habit or routine; set time aside
  5. Stick with it – be mercifiul to yourself when you fail, start again

Physical position:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position
  2. Begin to relax
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Focus on your breathing, become aware of tense spots in your body and release the tension
  5. After you are done, give thanks.

Time

  1. 5 minutes is perfect to begin
  2. Consistensy and not length is what is important
  3. You will learn by experience the rest, follow your instincts
0 Comments
Jul 1, 2013
1 min read

Symbols, Images, Types, Metaphors, Similes, Parables, Motifs, Archetypes and more!

2012-11-24 15.32.37-1

Perhaps most of us throw around the word “symbolism” without understanding the various nuances of the subject.

I created ldsSymbols.com with reference to the word “symbols’ because that is what most people understand. Alonzo Gaskill’s book “The Lost Language of Symbolism” defines symbols, images, types, metaphors, similes, parables, motifs and archetypes. He also mentions other categories such as analogies, comparisons, emblems, figures, hallmarks, insignias, models, seals, signs and tokens.

Here is a list of definitions from the book along with the page number for reference:

  1. Symbol: Something that represents another thing (p. 11).
  2. Image: A word or action that names a concrete thing (p. 11).
  3. Type: A symbol that looks forward to an antitype for future fulfillment (p. 11).
  4. Metaphor: An implied comparison (p. 13).
  5. Similes: Compare one thing to another by using the formula like or as (p. 13).
  6. Parable: Brief stories that employ familiar situations, events, characteristics, or elements in order to teach important spiritual truths (p. 14).
  7. Motif: A recurring theme or a “structurally unified verbal whole” (p. 14).
  8. Archetype: An image or pattern that recurs…the universal elements of human experience (p. 15).

The next set of definitions are from various sources online:

  1. Analogy: A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification. Google Definition
  2. Comparison: an examination of two or more items to establish similarities and dissimilarities. Merriam Webster
  3. Emblem: A heraldic device or symbolic object as a distinctive badge of a nation, organization, or family. Google Definition
  4. Figure: A person, animal, or object that symbolizes something. A pictorial or sculptural representation, especially of the human body. The Free Dictionary
  5. Hallmark: Any mark or symbol of genuineness or high quality. Your Dictionary
  6. Insignia: A symbol or token of personal power, status or office, or of an official body of government or jurisdiction. Wikipedia
  7. Model: A three-dimensional representation of a person or thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original. Google Definition
  8. Seal: An embossed emblem, figure, symbol, word, letter, etc., used as attestation or evidence of authenticity. Dictionary.com
  9. Sign: A token; something by which another thing is shown or represented; any visible thing, any motion, appearance or event which indicates the existence or approach of something else. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
  10. Token: A sign; something intended to represent or indicate another thing or an event. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
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