Author Archive

Jun 27, 2013
12 min read

The Gospel and Animals

In an August 1972 article by Gerald E. Jones that I read recently, a powerful case was made for understanding the importance for respecting animal life. I believe that the principles expressed within this article provide valuable insight to the reasons why there are specific requirements about using the flesh of animals as food only under certain circumstances.

Boyd K. Packer has expressed that the Word of Wisdom is “only incidentally to keep us healthy” while the most important promise “is that you will have the key to revelation”. I feel that this article adds another piece to the puzzle. I don’t think we generally respect the stewardship that we have over creation and realize the profound respect that is owed to all life.

Now I don’t go around hugging trees and what not but I’ve had some incidents in my life Read Full Post

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Jun 24, 2013
0 min read

SPECIAL PROJECT: An Open Call for Anyone With Publishing Experience

I need anyone experienced with book publishing, Deseret Book, etc. to assist me on a special project. The purpose of the project has to do with the Book of Mormon and sharing the Gospel. I don’t plan on any monetary return for being involved in this effort, nor do I have the ability to pay anyone for their contributions at the present time.

I’m freely giving my talents to see to the existence of a work that I believe could bless many lives and am putting the call out to see if anyone else is interested in assisting and being part of this project.

If you are interested just contact me here.

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Jun 24, 2013
1 min read

Through the Veil: Pondering the Temple Experience Through Scripture

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I’m excited to announce the official publication of a little temple-related project that I’ve been working on. It all began with this idea: “What would it look like if you reconstructed the temple experience purely from scripture alone?”

As I pondered this idea, I realized how valuable something like this could be for people preparing to receive their endowment the first time. It would essentially be a primer to study both before and after an individual’s temple experience. So much of the temple experience is right there in the scriptures anyway but many people don’t seem to realize it. For some, it takes years of study and searching to make certain connections that give context to the purpose of temple blessings.

The culmination of these thoughts has led to the production of a 14-page document that I have titled: “Through the Veil: Pondering the Temple Experience Through Scripture.” I have done my best to preserve the sacredness of the temple while providing a study tool (with wide margins for making notes) that can serve as a fantastic temple prep resource.

This document, which has existed for a year as just a list of scriptures, has apparently been helpful enough to certain individuals that I think making it available here at oneClimbs could bless the lives of many more people, even those that have attended the temple for years.

I offer this document freely to anyone to use or share however they see fit (no permission necessary).

Click here to Download the .pdf version of “Through the Veil 2.2”

Deutsch (German) “Durch den Schleier” (Translation by Sebastian B.)

6 Comments
Jun 17, 2013
6 min read

Saved by Grace, Judged by Works?

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I was thinking about the whole grace/faith/works debate that seems to endlessly rage between the faiths.

Now we all technically believe in salvation by grace, or in other words, salvation is impossible without grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The disagreement seems mainly around how that grace is applied and what man’s role, if any, is in this process of salvation. All sides of the debate would probably agree that some kind of an acknowledgement of Christ’s atonement and grace on behalf of the individual is necessary in order to receive it, but at what point is one “saved”?

What frustrates me is how people on all sides of the debate seem to Read Full Post

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Jun 15, 2013
7 min read

Understanding the Justice and Mercy of the Degrees of Glory

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Today in church we had a lesson on the doctrine of the “three degrees of glory”. A comment seemed to indicate a feeling that inheriting a particular lower degree of glory as your eternal home with no chance of progression was unjust.

The comments began around a particular verse that describes the inhabitants of the telestial kingdom as  “…they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus” (D&C 76:82). I think a misunderstanding of the word “received” is where the difficulty arises. A few assumed that received meant that the individuals never got a chance to accept Christ because they never had access to the gospel.

However, the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary shows the first definition of receive as: Read Full Post

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Jun 10, 2013
2 min read

Kids and the Temple

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I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday and have been thinking about kids and the temple. According to Val Brinkerhoff in an interview with temple architect Keith Stepan, the Las Vegas and Portland Oregon temples were the first for over 100 years to restore the use of celestial symbolism  on the outside of the buildings. Since then, the level of detail and design on the outside of temples has seemed to increase dramatically.

Today, I have noticed that the symbolism is everywhere, from the fence to the gardens and fountains and it is a joy to explore and discover.

I have 3 young daughters between the ages of 2 and 7 who I often take on “Daddy-daughter dates” to the temple. The grounds are peaceful and beautiful and as we walk around, we look at the symbols on the temple and the plants and patterns that are all around us. We talk about what things might mean and study different doctrines and principles according to the child’s understanding.

Kids get symbols. They can learn them just like any language and they are really good at it.

In the picture that was drawn by my 7 year old (without any help), she created a temple that had the celestial bodies in the correct order: the moon at the bottom, the sun and then the stars up top. She also drew a fence that features a squared circle motif and what is interesting is that this is different from the Las Vegas temple. She either observed it elsewhere or realized the importance of weaving symbols into the fence design.

I found the temple flanked by two trees interesting because of the consistent patterns of the number 2 associated with trees that is used on many temples (possibly in connection with the two trees in the garden of Eden, man and woman can be symbolized by two trees as well).

The only thing that’s really off is the Moroni statue; if the temple is facing east in this drawing, then Moroni is facing north. Moroni is usually facing east and sometimes south east like on the Las Vegas and a few other temples.

I wanted to share this to point out the value in bringing anyone to the temple, whether they are children, teens or even people not of our faith. The grounds and building itself are filled with teachings, doctrine and principles that all can benefit from. It is a wonderful place, even on the outside, to meditate and receive revelation.

I’m grateful that such a place exists.

7 Comments
Jun 7, 2013
0 min read

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

Awesome Mormon Messages video. I’m constantly impressed with the fantastic media put out by the church nowadays. I really enjoy these short videos with really powerful and touching messages and how they touch on very rich subjects in such abstract ways.

This one comparing earthly fathers to Heavenly Father does a great job at bringing perspective to our relationship with God.

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Jun 4, 2013
5 min read

I know the _______ is true.

Fill in the blank.

Say it back to yourself.

What does it mean?

Traditions are things we repeat; sometimes they’re great, other times they aren’t. It seems to me that as Latter-day Saints, we have a settled into a tradition of using a phrase that has come to embody everything from a blazing witness of truth to an assuring affirmation of belief. On any given 1st Sunday of the month at an LDS Sacrament meeting, you might hear a dozen small children courageously march up to the stand and all say “I know the church is true” – whether they do or not.

We don’t intentionally train them to do this, it just seems to be something that gets passed on. They mimic adults and other kids because they like what they see and want to participate. Maybe because we are unsure of how to explain to children the difference between belief and knowledge, so we just cross our fingers and Read Full Post

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Jun 2, 2013
5 min read

The Impatient Build a Calf, the Patient Receive The Lamb

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Freshly led out of Egypt, the children of Israel were delivered by a series of miracles that seem like they must have been incredible to witness. Camped at the base of mount Sinai, they were left alone without their leader, Moses. During this time they could have lived by the memory of what they had seen, they could have remembered and been true to what was shown to them. Instead, in a matter of days they were building new gods to worship. How quickly they had forgotten, how unable they were to walk when left alone.

Walking alone is part of the process

The following is a few excerpts from a paper written by Terryl L. Givens called “Letter to a Doubter” which I read recently on Mormon Interpreter. He illustrates this principle of patience when walking alone and the importance of remembering.

I have experienced this phenomenon often in my life where I have these incredible revelatory and enlightening experiences followed by silence and a sense of spiritual isolation. I’ve often wondered if I was being rejected by God or if I had done something to offend him by my actions or not being true enough to his commandments. I’ve talked to others that Read Full Post

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May 26, 2013
16 min read

When church leaders speak, is the thinking done?

There are so many levels that this subject can be explored on but I will only be addressing the few that I think are the most interesting at the moment. The drama begins when a particular article was published in the old “Improvement Era” magazine back in June of 1945. The repercussions of this article seem to have survive to this day with those who are against the LDS Church and with those who are IN the LDS Church who still believe the false aspects that were presented in the article.

The article is very heavy-handed in its approach to the subject of sustaining, so much so that it advocates blind, unthinking obedience, a way of behavior directly opposed to the doctrine of agency. A concerned Unitarian minister wrote then President George Albert Smith who Read Full Post

4 Comments
May 21, 2013
0 min read

The size of your faith is not the issue…

“The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.” (Lord, I Believe, April 2013 General Conference)

What a great line from Jeffery Holland! I have often erroneously thought to myself, “I can’t wait until I have greater faith so that I can do greater things!”

Maybe this is what the Lord meant when speaking of faith as small as a grain of mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). It isn’t the size of the faith but the degree of integrity toward your current faith where all sufficient power is found.

Mustard-Seed-Faith-by-CRI

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May 19, 2013
5 min read

“And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh?”

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“And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh?”

This sentence is from 2 Nephi 4:27, part of what is known as “Nephi’s Psalm”. I’ve been studying it for a few weeks now off and on and it seems that every time I look at it, I find a new little gem. This particular sentence is an interesting one to ponder and it brings many thoughts to mind.

Nephi is asking this question to himself in this particular instance. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed that I had been glossing over the comma in this sentence. Now the original Book of Mormon did not have punctuation, so this comma was added at some point along the process (that would be interesting to study). When you read it, try pausing for a moment after the comma and then read the rest.

“And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh?”

Today, I hear many justify sin because of weaknesses or defects in the flesh, but Nephi isn’t having any of it. In asking the question “why should I yield to sin,” he immediately disqualifies Read Full Post

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May 16, 2013
2 min read

God’s Plan is Only Messy From Our Perspective

I don’t know who wrote the following story but I remembered hearing it a long time ago and it has always been a powerful metaphor for helping me through rough times. I was thinking about it the other day when I used it to illustrate a point to a group of people and decided to look up the original, or at least whatever I could find that was closest to the original (apparently the author is unknown).

My mom used to cross-stitch so I know exactly what the kid in the story is talking about when he sees the tangled mess; amazing what perspective and trust can do.

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The Story:

When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat. She would smile at me, look down and gently say, “My son, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side.”

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Son, come and sit on my knee.”

This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.

Then Mother would say to me, “My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing.”

Many times through the years I have looked up to my Heavenly Father and said, “Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?”

The Father seems to tell me, “My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side.”

Author Unknown

rose

2 Comments
May 15, 2013
0 min read

Follow oneClimbs on Instagram!

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Throughout my day I come across interesting motifs and symbols and usually take pictures of them. It didn’t occur to me until yesterday to use something like Instagram to document and share the things I come across. Since this is just really brand new, I put some images up that I already had on my phone and made a few comments and insights on the images.

If you’d like you can follow oneClimbs and share in the discovery of interesting things all around us in plain sight!

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May 12, 2013
1 min read

The Heavenly Gift

second-comforter

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and puthim to an open shame.” – Hebrews 6:4-6

“And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.” – 4 Nephi 1:3

“For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world. But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.” – Ether 12:7-9

2 Comments
May 5, 2013
1 min read

Notes From the Climb: April 2013

  • “The Savior wants us to understand his willingness to forgive” – Craig A. Cardon
  • “Procreative power & priesthood power are shared by husband & wife” – M. Russell Ballard
  • “I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road. I know that He lives as surely as did Joseph Smith when he saw the Father and the Son in the light of a brilliant morning in a grove of trees in Palmyra.” – Henry B. Eyring
  • “As home teachers, we are healers. As priesthood leaders, we are healers. As fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands, we should be committed and dedicated healers. We carry in one hand a vial of consecrated oil for blessing the sick; in the other we carry a loaf of bread to feed the hungry; and in our hearts we carry the peaceable word of God, “which healeth the wounded soul.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • “accept that darkness exists—but not to dwell there” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • “humility is the essence of repentance” – L. Whitney Clayton
  • “he hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh” – 2 Ne 4:21
  • “why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh?” – 2 Ne. 4:27
  • The priesthood enables intelligence to influence all things according to the will of God.
  • True sacrifice never involves the loss of what is essential.
  • Finding yourself in darkness is inevitable, it is also necessary.
2 Comments
Apr 28, 2013
4 min read

Nephi’s Psalm, a Life Preserver to Drowning Souls

The following is taken from 2 Nephi 4:16-35, with some headings that I inserted to identify four key steps of transformation and if I were as awesome as President Monson I’m sure I could make them rhyme somehow ;)

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Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.

It is easy to find fault in yourself and become overwhelmed

Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.Read Full Post

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Apr 22, 2013
4 min read

How Will Governs the Cosmos

I like to understand how things work. I do this by trying to see relationships and patterns between things to see if they make any sense. I’ve been pondering the subject of desire for quite a bit now and in doing so the subject of “will” has entered the scene over the past several weeks.

As I pondered these things and discovered a few interesting little nuggets of wisdom, I think I’ve been able to piece a few things together that have really helped me personally.

In my studies, I have come to some conclusions about the power of will. The first step came by understanding will in a way that was somewhat new to me. It is summed up in this simple definition of faith: “Faith is intelligence exercising will”.  This thought took me along another line of thinking that suggested that “the faith of any intelligence is only as strong as its will”.

So how do this all fit together? I put together a simple graphic that illustrates where I’m going with all of this.

reason-judge-will-action

The function of will

In pondering will, I turned to the good old Webster’s 1828 Dictionary for enlightenment. Concerning will, Noah Webster wrote:Read Full Post

2 Comments
Apr 14, 2013
18 min read

“The Gospel” by Elder John M. Madsen

My dad contacted me today about a quote that mentioned something about the atonement not being a part of the gospel but the gospel itself. I Googled the phrase and found this talk by Elder Madsen.

Now I had first heard this quote from Elder Madsen himself when he came to a zone conference while I was in the mission field and gave a sermon very similar to this one. I remember being very impacted by his words and took a ton of notes! I’m glad that there is a version of this online so here it is!

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“The Gospel” by Elder John M. Madsen

Listen to the Audio

It is a sacred privilege for Sister Madsen and me to join with you for a devotional on this beautiful campus, crowned with a holy temple, and to be in this magnificent hall, so recently dedicated to the Lord for His purposes. Especially, in light of His words recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 6:32, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, …  behold, there will I be in the midst of them–even so am I in the midst of you.”

I am humbled and honored to be invited to address you, because I know something of who you are and what lies ahead of you! I know this through the words of living prophets. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Our young people are … the nobility of heaven, a choice and chosen generation who have a divine destiny.”1Read Full Post

2 Comments
Apr 8, 2013
2 min read

The Relationship Between The Ancient Israelite Temple And The Endowment via TempleStudy.com

The following article is from TempleStudy.com


Ancient Israelite temple vestiture and ritual. The High Priest wears his special linen garments, sash and turban during his once per year entry into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. He approaches the Ark of the Covenant beyond the veil with the incense shovel in one hand, the smoke representing the prayers of the Israelites, and small vessel of bull’s blood in the other hand, the sin offering (atonement) on behalf of all the Israelites. Image based on Leviticus 16 and Exodus 25-31 and Exodus 35-40.

Ancient Israelite temple vestiture and ritual. The High Priest wears his special linen garments, sash and turban during his once per year entry into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. He approaches the Ark of the Covenant beyond the veil with the incense shovel in one hand, the smoke representing the prayers of the Israelites, and small vessel of bull’s blood in the other hand, the sin offering (atonement) on behalf of all the Israelites. Image based on Leviticus 16 and Exodus 25-31 and Exodus 35-40.

Professor William J. Hamblin has offered some good starting points in considering the relationship between the ancient Israelite temple ritual and the modern day LDS temple endowment.  It is from this vantage point that we should approach trying to understand these ancient ritual systems and the connections they might have with the Latter-day Saints temple ritual.

“When considering the possible relationship between ancient Israelite temple system and the LDS Endowment, the first thing to note is the basic purpose of the ancient temple was to reconcile Israel with God and bring all Israel (represented by the twelve stones inscribed with the tribal names) back into the presence of God (that is recapitulating the Sinai theophany), symbolically represented by the Holy Place and Holy of Holies within the veil.

“The second thing to note is that Israel had exoteric rituals in the outer courtyard of the temple which could be witnessed by all (though only priests officiated). Esoteric rituals performed inside the temple itself could only be performed and witnessed by priests. LDS Endowment broadly corresponds to the esoteric rituals performed inside the temple, not the exoteric rituals performed outside. The ancient exoteric Israelite temple rituals correspond with the LDS weekly sacrament (the bread/wine offering of the Israelite temple).” (William Hamblin, Mormon Scripture Explorations)

Another important point to realize is that Christ was the last great blood sacrifice when He came in the meridian of time and offered the Atonement, which ended sacrifice by the shedding of blood (3 Ne. 9:19; cf.Mosiah 13:27Alma 34:133 Ne. 15:2–10). Since Christ was the last blood sacrifice (all precursors pointing to Him), from that point onward the outward nature of sacrificial ritual changed, but still pointing towards Christ, and still a sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit (3 Ne. 9:20–22Psalms 51:16–17;Psalms 34:18).

See the gallery below for various artists’ depictions of the rituals inside the ancient Israelite temple. Click each image to enlarge.

 

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