Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Father's Dilemma

Being a first generation Mormon and trying my best to honor my priesthood and wife I failed miserably in my first marriage. The results of which I still suffer in my children.

For me it was too much to change religions, culture and try to adapt to a changing Mormon culture by
following the examples of great priesthood holders of the past.

Like you I now look to the future for the answers we all long for. My present wife enjoys the benefit of my past failings and is sensitive to my own struggles to be a good husband, father and priesthood holder. We are both active in the church.

However, my former wife and many of my children(6) from both marriages are not. Recently at Zelophehad's Daughters I carried on a conversation with my only daughter Emily on "The Role of Women in Heaven" . Her feelings and insights on these issues between men and women reveal the wound that needs healing.

My cure was to look to the future by quoting my Patriarchal Blessing, "where it refers to a day in the future when I shall live with my wife in heaven as a priest and a priestess; a god and a goddess." Emily's wrote, "the ultimate destiny of mankind would be to recognize the greatness of women ... then the world will be a celestial place ... So I guess we can try to focus on this life and what women can do here so as to progress the world to a higher level."

This tells much about the differences between men and women, generations and a father and a daughter.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dad's Response to Emily

Hi Emily,

Thanks for your thoughts. I believe there is a beehive for every exalted women where she rules supreme under the loving eyes of her husband who she may share with other sisters indeed of divine seed. The beehive is only symbolic so no the males don't die, but continue to do the work of God. "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men" with a little help from his wives. Ha, ha!
On another note I think you will like this quote from an old past on apostle:

Zelophehad's Daughters http://zelophehadsdaughters.blogspot.com/
"We are not so much concerned with whether your thoughts are orthodox or heterodox as we are that you shall have thoughts." (Hugh B. Brown)

Go to that site and read your name up in lights.



A Letter From Emily

To My Dad(Emma's Son)

Thanks for thinking of me and of thinking of me when it comes to your favorite subject.

I think you have a good theory at hand, yet the beehive has only one reproducing female queen, all other bees in the hive are workers, and then there's the drone(male) and his life is short and to the point, if you get what I mean.

I think if heaven is like a beehive I don't want any part of it, cause the odds are your not going to be the queen, and it's even worse off if you are a male.

Your concept of this being a mans world and heaven being a women's
world is not a new one. Yeah it's easy to say that if your a man because men in this world don't deal with heaven, that's a nice after thought, just like they'd like to think of women having any real power in this life, yeah
a nice after thought, now honey get back in the kitchen and clean up the dirty children would ya.

That's why men thought that women shouldn't have the right to vote, that there duties where of a higher and heavenly order.

Heres a quote you might get a kick out of written by a physician around the turn of the 20th century.

"Her mind could be employed, but in little and in trivial matters, and her proper place was as, the companion or ornamental appendage to man".

This was taken from an article called "We did not know whether women's health could stand the strain of college education"

Even if that may be the case that women rule in heaven, we still are
a big part of earth life and deserve equality in all things if we are to ever get to a point where earth and heaven are one under Christ. And if it's the case that women "rule" doesn't that mean both heaven and earth

So the ultimate destiny of mankind would be to recognize the greatness of women and to allow her to reign, then the world will be a celestial place once women rule, right dad, going by what you just said?

So I guess we can try to focus on this life and what women can do here so as to progress the world to a higher level. Any way thanks for the chat, talk to you soon.


Your only daughter(good thing for you),Emily

Who Am I?

Reply to: Equality of the Foyer

Thanks Dude no offence taken I enjoy the baptism of fire. By the way "Riders on the Storm" is one of my favorite songs. I guess I'm just that ugly duckling who can't find his flock! Anyway I've learned over the years not to share too much to soon or people get the wrong impression. I follow the old saying, "feed them, but leave them hungry." In any case here is the short version of who I am.

My screen name comes from Nauvoo. Old Charley was the favorite horse Joseph rode. My middle name is Charles and my mother's name is Emma. I love the Prophet Joseph Smith and know he is Jesus' best friend. And this is how I know:

Having been raised a Lutheran and always believing in Jesus Christ as a youth I began in my mid-teens to think and feel there had to be something greater to religion than just confessing faith in Jesus Christ. I turned from my church, but not from my Jesus in a quest to find the true meaning of life. However, in taking the risk of throwing off organized religion and seeking truth wherever I could find it I made a vow to my God. This vow was if I died before I found the greater answer I would call upon Jesus Christ to save me and put my simple faith to the ultimate test. This set the stage for my NDE at Woodstock in 1969 and my rebirth (born again) experience leading me into the greater light. This greater light led me to a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church. I was led to WS following the teachings of Jimi Hendrix who sang "have you ever been experienced? Well I have." My life experience started with faith in Jesus Christ and my search through life led me to greater knowledge in Christ and Christ led me to Joseph Smith and this great true Church.

My friends in real life know me as Charlie. When I was a young teen my older cousin (Francis) would tease the life out me calling me by my middle name. My first name is Robert and I went by Bobby. Francis was big and mean and would drive me crazy by calling me Charlie. "Sorry Charlie (tuna) only the best get to be Star Kissed." and there was also a "Good'n Plenty Charlie". I would cry and scream saying my name isn't Charlie to no avail. I pleaded with my parents and Uncle to get him to stop. They kindly told me to learn how to deal with it. It ended the next week when I announced to the whole family my new name is Charlie and has been ever since. My cousin and I became best of friends after that. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "The best way to defeat an enemy is make him a friend."

It is my hope we can all learn to be friends even if we differ in our culture, race, religion, politics or our sexual practices.

A Women Place in Heaven

My only daughter Emily who is attending UVSC is a very independent thinker who has challenged me on this issue. I have therefore pondered the subject and written this:

First knowing God to be just, wise, merciful, kind, loving, all knowing and etc. I have concluded there most be a good reason for this mystery. My conclusion is women rule in heaven. Yes, it might be a man's world, but I think it is a women's heaven. Why? Think of the symbol of Deseret (a beehive). Who is at the head of the hive? Also it is a know fact women in numbers are more righteous than men. Therefore there are a greater number of women are deserving of exaltation. To be exalted and continue the growth of her household she needs a man. Since there are fewer men in heaven and the women being more righteous they are willing to share their husbands with others out of pure charity. Men may preside, but women rule. They rule over their own children in the pre-mortal life and their eternal seed in the eternal worlds to come. They send their husbands out to do the dirty work of dealing with mortal life and they raise their spirit children and glory with their resurrected children, but are always mindfully praying for their mortal children. In my PB it refers to a day in the future when I shall live with my wife in heaven as a priest and a priestess; a god and a goddess. I hope my daughter can get some hope from the things I've written. To know in the end God will make all things clear and fair. Just the thoughts of a father to his only daughter.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Turn Turn Turn

Turn Turn Turn

One of my favorite books in the OT is Ecclesiastes. It appears that King Solomon took all that life had to offer, but in the end after analyzing it all he was at a loss. Saying things like “all is vain and there is nothing new under the sun.” All knowledge and wisdom didn’t make him happy. So he concludes the whole matter with this:

“be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”(Eccl.12:12-14)

On another note the great song “Turn, Turn, Turn” came out of this book. There is a time, season and purpose for everything that happens under heaven.(Eccl.3:1-8)

May we each find that peace in this life of mystery and that greater happiness in the eternal life to come.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Looking Up & All Around

How strange it is that one looks back and another looks forward. Your piece is so timely for me and my family as we look forward to moving to SLC. We visited Utah during GC last April and I drove my family to that very marina and as I viewed the salty sea I thought of NYC the land of my birth and the birth of my forebearers (5 gens). I thought we can live here is if that is what the Lord wants.

I plan to retire in July and take all my assets, my culture and my over 35 years of Mormon experiences to “Happy Valley” and start anew. I’ve taken to heart the scriptures you’ve cited and this other one as well.
There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (Mark 3:3–35)

Thanks so much for your thoughts on this subject of home and family. It seems the Lord calls one and sends another as we crisscross this life weaving a Zion culture which we can’t yet see the end of.

Comment by Emma's Son — January 23, 2006 @ 3:17 pm
Emma’s Son–Mmmm…. nice addition. In some ways our brothers and sisters in the gospel do serve as surrogates when our biological families are not of our faith, or even just when they are far away. May the dessert blossom as a rose for you and yours.
Comment by LisaB — January 23, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

Monday, January 23, 2006

Listening to Historical Polygamy

I just finished listening to the whole series and I enjoyed hearing history as it was. I agree with TC on having authentic faith and growing in truth as one can bear it. Testimonies are as different as snowflakes and can come and go on different subjects depending on our own personal state of mind and heart on any given day with what facts or truths we have been given. However, a testimony gained by personal revelation can both trump and alienate others. My mission president once told me the following, "It is good to tell the truth, but sometimes it is better when all the truth is left unsaid."

Perhaps that is why milk is so often given to us by our leaders. I think God did the same with ancient Israel when they rejected the higher laws that Moses first gave them. We each have to learn line upon line until we can hear, bear and see all things like the Savior. Remember as teenagers most of us thought we knew more and better than our parents. Sometimes the greater light can blind instead of enlighten depending on the spiritual maturity of the person.

The other thought that comes to mind concerning some of the strange practices in early church history is the way God always seems to test his servants with things that seem to contradict the gospel standards of that day. You know the “Test of Abraham”. The big final God gives to test your ultimate faith. Giving your wife to the prophet would fall in that category.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

An Age Old Problem

This is an age old problem the children of men have dealt with since the days of Moses. They refused to rise up and meet God face to face and deferred that responsibility to Moses. “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you …” (Exodus 20:18-20)

Others misunderstood what Moses was trying to do:

“And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” (Num. 11:24-29)

Joseph Smith not only tried to share his experiences with others, but he has tried for others including us to have similar experiences or greater ones. However, most refuse to climb the mountain either out of fear, doubt, ignorance or the knowledge that such experiences will bring on greater tests.

There is something in the gospel called the tests of Abraham. If you follow his life and his encounters with God you will see that the Lord tried his faith and tested his worship in a way which seemed to contradict the gospel. However, in the end Abraham chose God over his family and received them and all of us as an eternal reward. Remember all is not as it appears to be for a purpose. This life is a maze; a puzzle and a scavenger hunt which we must figure out with a little help from our friends the prophets. The tests keep coming and they don’t seem fair, but like it or not you are in it to win it.

My heart and prayers go out to your friend and his family. Our lives are riddled with sorrows and joys, but in the end if we endure well the power of the Savior’s atonement will wash away all our sins, wipe away all our tears and heal all our wounds. This I know to be true.

Intellect vs Faith

I agree with this quote from Joseph F. Smith:

“God has revealed to us a simple and effectual way of serving Him, and we should regret very much to see the simplicity of those revelations involved in all sorts of philosophical speculations. If we encouraged them it would not be long before we should have a theological scholastic aristocracy in the Church, and we should therefore not enjoy the brotherhood that now is, or should be common to rich and poor, learned and unlearned among the Saints.”

For Joseph Smith said:

"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prohets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven: and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” (History of the Church,3:30.)

I think sometimes simple faith reveals greater knowledge than higher intellect. Remember Lucifer was a brilliant son in heaven, but this higher knowledge allowed his ego to feed his pride into false reasoning. It is a trap that is very inviting in intellectual circles to enter in, but once your ego is fatten the hole is often to small for many to get back out.

In June 1972 while in the Mission home in SLC I had the honor of receiving my Endowment in the Salt Lake Temple. Following that event our missionary group was invite to the 5th floor of the Temple in the Priesthood assembly area to hear President Lee give a short talk and do some Q&A. During the Q&A time I got to ask President Lee a question. I asked how Adam & Eve were literally created. It was quiet in the Temple before I asked that question, but a greater hush went through the crowd after I asked. To me it was an honest humble sincere request, but to the majority of the missionaries they thought I was out of line. President Lee saw my heart and answered it was a scripture as he answered all the questions that day by opening the books before us. The answer was we learn that answer in the future. What happened after the meeting is more important. I stayed behind with a few other Elders to shake hands with President Lee. He was very friendly and asked us to walk out with him. As we entered the hallway he stopped and put his arm around my shoulders and said, “Elder ‘Old Charley’ I want you always to remember this.” He turned me around and point to a spot in the Temple and said, ” This is the very spot that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the Prophet Lorrenso Snow while he was praying in this Temple.” He then announced to those around us that the Lord Jesus Christ has walked and does walk the halls of this Temple.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Open Letters on My Life

Just read your book, most inspiring. I got the link by reading a review
of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling on theTimes and Seasons site. We
are of the same generation, much I could relate to.

Certainly there is much more than you are now saying, and it is shorter
than the topic deserves, but the length was very inviting. So though I
am sure I missed out on much of the details you left out, I am elevated
by what I did read. A New Friend.

My Response:
Thank you for your kind words. Yes many things are not written because our language can not do justice to the things the Lord has shared with me. They fall under the category of "forbidden or unspeakable". I tried the best I could to write about things I couldn't speak. Many think Isaiah is difficult to read or understand, however from what I've experienced Isaiah writes it the clearest. With that in mind my writing style falls somewhere in between Nephi's plainness and Isaish's symbols.

It is difficult to be a normal member having experienced the things I wrote about as a nonmember and the many things that have happened since. As you have read you can see how I can really relate to Joseph Smith. I many times feel like David of old who was anointed in his youth to be king, but spend years in the wilderness until his time arrived. I write openly to you as I continue to reflect upon all the Lord has told and shown me.

In life there is something called the test of Abraham. When the Lord walks with you he also talks with you and continues to test you. The test aren't always fair by our standards nor do they always follow gospel standards as we see them. Such was the case when the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son and Joseph was sold into Egypt. Where more is given the tests are greater.

The movie, "The Game" starring Michael Douglas is a good example of this strange paradox.

I'm in the game of the gospel and the Lord is calling the shots, but like you I'm never quite know for sure what's behind the next door in my mortal life. The tests never end until the end and yet I've been blessed to see that end. The fact still remains I must endure to the end. I love the Lord, his Church and his people, but all is not well in Zion. People like me must hide our greater light and live in the shadows to a certain degree lease our greater light blind the unbelievers. That is not my desire. I desire to bring people to Christ into the greater light. The web gives me a great outlet to speak the greater things of my heart more openly than I can at Church. You can see I fly around from site to site dropping a bread crumb here and there in hopes that others will grow in faith so they too can see into the greater light.

On another note I'm pretty good at playing normal and quietly doing the basic things in life to keep food on the table and the local branch growing in the programs of the Church. I'm the Branch President of a very small unite of a very diverse group of NY saints. We are a mix of humble people that have gathered from Jamaica, Peru, the Philippines and Manhattan. We are small in numbers, but rich in heart and the Lord has blest us with his Spirit of Love.

It does me good to write and reflect and count my many blessings as I prepare for that future which shall surely come. Thanks so much for reading and believing the things I wrote. They are true as sure as the sun shines in the heavens and the waves of the oceans break upon the sea shores. God shall bless you with greater things than eyes can see or ears can hear because you have a believing heart.

Moroni 7:
[27] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
[29] And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
[35] And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
[37] Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

I plan to retire in July after my youngest son graduates HS the Lord willing. I say that because two years ago when my company offered early out and I was ready to go the Good Lord in Heaven stopped me. I'll take any extra few moments to tell you this story because it is just as unbelievable as most stories in my life. We love Florida and vacation there when we can. As soon as I realized I could retire we started to focus our goals on moving to Florida. We are beach people and love the salty sea. So I told the Lord I've had enough of NY, the endless traffic, the high taxes, the $WK mortgage and the hard hearted stiff neck people and that I was going to retire and move to Florida unless he stopped me. I wrote my friends (Mar. 04) telling them my new goal: "We are moving to Florida if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise."

In April of 2004 we went on vacation to the Keys. During our first day down there I got a phone call from my District President in NY to come to his office for an interview the following week. I than began to pray to the Lord that this wasn't one of those calling that I couldn't refuse. I began to bargain and I told the Lord if you let me go I'll live in Orlando near the Temple and do missionary work by the Theme Parks. However, when we got back to NY and I had the interview nothing was mentioned about a calling. I felt relieved and continued to make plans to sell the house and retire. A week later I was called in for another interview in which the President probed me more about my plans. Again nothing was asked and I hoped I was free. No such luck. A few days later I got called in his office again and this time he talked about the calling and how the Lord keeps telling him I'm the one he wants to be Branch President in the Long Beach Branch. He asked what I thought of this. I said, President I want to retire and move to Florida, but I'll do what the Lord wants. I shared the e mail I had sent my friends a month earlier, "We are moving to Florida if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise." He than told me he would go back and pray about with his counselors to be sure. A week later he came back to me and said they all got the same answer the Lord wants you. Than he asked if I want to pray about. I said no. I know the answer. I challenged the Lord and he stopped me. I'll obey the Lord and serve where he wants me to. I was set apart as the Branch President of the Long Beach, June 27, 2004 and am grateful the Lord stopped me.

If you remember that was the summer the Lord hit Florida with 4 hurricanes one was named Charlie and another Francis. They crisscrossed Florida in an X. The creek did rise! I might be slow, but I'm not stupid. The Good Lord has crossed off Florida from my happy retirement list. So where am I heading after June? SLC and Happy Valley like it or not. We went to GC last April and the Lord whispered in my ear this valley will be your new home. I'm ready, but I don't know if SLC is.

Writing all this helps me to deal with the unreality of my life and I thank you again for showing interest in the things that are near and dear to my heart.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Who Me? Self Serving?

Russell & Jim seem to put it in the right light and Nephi himself wrestles with this whole thing in 2 Ne. 4:16-35.

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

[17] 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.

[34] O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

[35] Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.”

Is not this the answer we all seek in finding the way away from the little self serving people we all are?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I love this book and both Joseph the man and Joseph the prophet. Joseph taught that a prophet is not always a prophet:
"he is only a prophet when he acting as such" (HC 5:265).

It is interesting to note that Bushman concluded at the end of his book (JSRSR) the key driving force behind all that he did was "his experience"! "Contact" touched me in the same way helping not only to validate Joseph's experience, but my own. Like others before me I have wrestled with the darkness of life trying to find the greater light. However, in trying to share my own experience with others, many seem to miss the witness and focus on what they think is a confused soul (me). I have learned to appreciate the words of JS which I will paraphrase:
No man knows my history and if I hadn't experienced these things myself I wouldn't have believed it.

So as a young man in the 60s I listened to Jimi Hendrix and sought to become experienced. "Are you experienced?" was his big question or "have you ever been experience?" And his answer was "well I have!" This lit the desire in my heart to find the true answer to the meaning of peace and love. My search led me to Woodstock and Woodstock led me to Christ and Christ led me to Joseph Smith and Joseph Smith has led me to you! Now the important point is it is not about me or JS, but it is about the witness that God gives to each one of us concerning his Son Jesus Christ and this great latter day work. Our experiences and testimonies cement us to the rock which is both Christ and the personal revelation we each can receive from the Father in Heaven to know the truth. In this we build a firm foundation against the storms, doubts and fears of this world. Together we stand with Peter whose witness we should emulate:
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:13-19)

I found the debate on faith vs science in "Contact" very even handed compared to most movies now days. However, you are right on the way some of the more religious characters appear to be either crazy or deceitful. In truth many of the religious people in the world actually act this way giving religion a bad name. I believe true religion and true science are one, but the world is full of false religions and false sciences clouding the issues. We are given our agency, hearts and minds along with our spirits to test the things of this world to figure out the truth with a little help from our friends the prophets. JS said, "I trust an honest cursing man more than a long smooth faced hypocrite."

Teaching Children

The words of Moroni in Ether 12 have always struck home with me. My children live in either the light or shadow of my conversion depending on their own faith on any given day. They are BIC being raised by two first generation Mormons in a NY environment. It isn’t easy and I believe it is harder for them. I rebelled against my parents and culture as a youth in hope of finding a better way. The Lord led me to the Church. I’ve written my story so my children can understand, but my own weakness in writing and my own human weaknesses in life seem to speak louder than my words. However, I take great comfort in these words:

And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.(Ether 12:23-27)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What Say Ye?

I am a product of the ”peace and love” generation of the 1960s and the Lord led me to the Mormons. In my story there is a strange pattern of renewal between the two worlds. I wrote my book in cloaked language so only those with eyes to see and ears to hear could understand. Riddles and threads can lead to places few would believe. Joseph said, ”no man knows my history.” I say, ”few men will read or believe my history.” I guess the future will tell us the truth! What say ye?

Knowledge & Light

As I have expressed in other posts I thank you for openning portals of light where we can test our thoughts and words in a peaceful environment.

I am a seeker of greater true and light though I’ve been a member of the Church for over 35 years. I enjoy the freedom to share and receive as well as to be challenged by those with lesser or greater faith.

Knowledge is power and true power brings light and greater light brings greater truths.

I thank you all my fellow seeker for openning new portals each and everyday. Our day is coming.

For in the end this is true:

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

Faith & Reason

I enjoyed this piece and your insights on faith and reason. You touch a subject many fear to near. It often takes pain and suffering to bring the best out in some people. You are on that road and realize the price it may cost you. Drink deeply for only those who do will truly taste that manna of heaven. Most avoid the fire of refinement which merges reason and faith together. Remember this story:

Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.(Matt20:20-23)


Family: The Real Game?

This confusion on family has led to something I call
Family Worship
Meaning some Saints put their family before their God. This may in the long run stunt the individual’s personal spiritual eternal growth. How is that? In the OT the the very first commandment of the Ten is:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:(Exodus 20:3&5)

Then in the NT the Lord Jesus Christ said the following:

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.(Matthew 12:46-50)

There is something in the gospel called the tests of Abraham. If you follow his life and his encounters with God you will see that the Lord tried his faith and tested his worship in a way which seemed to contradict the gospel. However, in the end Abraham chose God over his family and received all of us as an eternal reward. Remember all is not as it appears to be for a purpose. This life is a maze, a puzzle and a scavenger hunt which we must figure out with a little help from our friends. The tests keep coming and they don’t seem fair, but like it or not you are in it to win it. You might want to watch the movie

The Game

starring Michael Douglas to better understand what I’m talking about.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just Another Subway Ride

The other day I was riding the subway home from the Temple and a strange thing happened? I guess that is an oxymoron. Strange things always happen in the belly of the beast. This was astonishing to me because whenever I use the Priesthood and something happens beyond human understanding I still stand in wonder as a child. So what happen? A crazy guy got on the train and sat a few sits away from me on the opposite side of the car. He was all full of jerky motions and talking gibberish freighting everybody in the car. People were being stoic New Yorkers. Being silent, looking the other way or moving down the car. Meanwhile he was getting more wild and louder. I sat there reading a book when the spirit said,” Do something!”
I thought what can I do? “Use your Priesthood!” So I said a silent prayer stating the authority of my Priesthood and commended the evil spirit to leave the man in the name of Jesus Christ. He instantly got quiet and than fell asleep to my own amazement. No one knew what I did, but it worked and my little faith has grown again in the wonders of the Lord. This is just another man’s experience for whatever its worth.

Works and Faith

Action speaks louder than words and these words are mightier than the sword. Ones works speak volumes of ones faith whether they believe or not. God knows the heart and we are to judge not:
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”(Matt. 25:31-46)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

True Experience

True experience is what gave Joseph Smith his gift to see. However, words alone cannot express or give justice to the finer things of the spirit. I believe because our language is so weak our words tend to degrade the greater knowledge of the cosmos. For that reason I believe the 3 Nephites were forbidden to speak of what they had seen or heard in heaven. Either they couldn't speak it clearly or we wouldn't understand it clearly. Thus "don't throw your pearls before swine." However, being a seeker most of my life I've found it true, "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you and ask and ye shall receive." This has driven my life into greater light and in that greater light I've seen felt and heard the unspeakable. In fact the very language is light and within that light the life of all things lives. Skousen speaks well from my point of view, but I'm sure I'll fall on your list of suspects. Follow the bread crumbs to Emma's Son "Into the Greater Light".

Children Teaching Children

Emotions rule the heart, but visions can open the mind. King David was a noble bloody man who allowed his emotions to rule his heart. Though his warring did great good to secure the peace of Israel his own soul was lost to a great degree because of his heart. At one point in his life he cried more over the death of his treasonous son than the lives of the men who gave their lives for him and his kingdom. Emotions can blind the mind.

With that said, my heart goes out to all those who have lost children in this war. I have two sons serving in the Army now. David is a gunner on a HV in the 109th Trans. and has survived a IED up close without a scratch in Iraq. Guy is in the 10th Mountain and headed to Afghanistan next week. Either of my sons could come home in a body bag, but they are doing what they want and I know now that God will accept of their noble offering whether this war is right or wrong.

The life of a true warrior is never wasted. Their spirits go on into glory for they have given their lives for something lesser or greater than self. It is said, in the good book "the people perish where there is no vision." Even the Native American Indians ran off into war against impossible odds crying, "Today is a good day to die." Why? Because they were a visionary people and knew the other side of life.

No cause is worthy if the people aren't willing to die for it. Our enemies know this all to well and terrorize us with death. I think our children are teaching us a lesson we are to weak to learn.

I ran from war in the sixties hiding behind my beliefs as a CO and later 4F. However, at Woodstock God opened my mind to a great vision which has forever changed my heart, mind and spirit. May we all find the peace to face death for what it is and not play the blame game as children.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Slice of Life

Yes I'm new here and different from most in my own way. My issues come from being in the Church for over 35 years and still being a convert and to many an outsider. Many of you would cause problems in your life (with family & friends) if you left the Church. I experienced that when I joined the Church and yet I have experienced many cliques within the Church that have turned their noses up at me and quickly moved away. If it wasn't for my own personal spiritual experiences with my God I would of dusted my feet on "this people" and left this Church a long time ago.

Within the first 6 months of being a member I had the senior member of the SHC get me alone at Church one night and grab my and tell me how he does it all the time with his HS students. I gently turned him down and asked him about his TM. He told me his marriage was just an act. What did I do ? Nothing! I was 21 and a reformed hippie. He was in his 40s a good friend of the SP and a HS teacher. I might of been new, but I wasn't dumb. I would wait my time. About 5 years later after having served an HM I heard a rumor concerning this HP. He was caught peeping into the windows of the YW at girls camp. I called the SP and requested a meeting. I spilled my guts. He looked at me in disbelief and only asked why I didn't tell him when it had happened. If I had I'm sure I would of never survived the "he said 'she' said thing" to serve a mission. Nothing ever happened to that HC other than he was called to be a Bishop in another ward 5 years later.

Another story that happened on my mission will help you see what a convert is up against. Late in my mission (last 6 months) I was finally called to leadership. Then when I had but 3 months left a stranger thing happened. The Mission President called a special mission conference (Mar.1974) for half the mission near Alburn, Ca for all the missionaries in Neveda and the Sacramento area. During this conference he announced his two mission assistances (APs) would be going home in a few days. Then to everybodies surprise he announced his two new APs and asked for a sustaining vote from the missionaries. I was one of the names he announced and had sustained without any foreknowledge save a few seconds before when the Holy Ghost spoke quietly in my ear saying you are one of them. It was an honor, but I was also humbled. I thanked the President and he told me to thank the Lord and get on my knees and pray for help. I shortly found his counsel very important. After being congratulated by many Elders, Sisters and former companions a Elder I didn't know came up to me and asked if he could talk to me privately. I agreed and we went a little ways off from the people. This Utah Elder said the following to me: "Elder Mystery we might of sustained you publicly here today, but we will never sustain you privately. That calling (AP) is reserved for those of us born in the church, who have come from good Mormon families and lived good Mormon lives. Not for some dirty, hippie, eastern, NY convert like yourself!" I never told anyone about this while I was on my mission.

So what is the moral of these stories: don't throw stones, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile or forgive others they know not what they do ? During 1970 both my brother and I got drafted he ran and I fought. What I mean is he became a DD and I stayed and fought the system as a CO. He won and under JC got forgiven. I lost and got drafted, but failed the physical and became 4F. I joined the Church and served a mission. Remember you can't win it if your not in it.

I read a story about President DOM and a Pioneer Day Parade. I guess it was the early 50s and the Prophet and his friends were watching the parade when a SR sister pointed out how shameful it was that the YW leading the parade was in a bathing suit. The President turned to this sister and said, I see nothing shameful. I see a beautiful YW with a beautiful God given body.

I thank you all for this forum and the hope you inspire and for the welcome I have received. Special thanks to GDTeacher, Nanna P & Mayan Elephant.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Who am I?

Today I wrote this for an inquiring soul:

I'm constantly evolving into that which I yet know what I will be. To most I'm abnormal and fit into no camp. You could call me a feel spirit (in the 60s they called me a freak), but like light and knowledge I hope to be always expanding into greater truth. What I bring is who I am and what I write as I continue to explore the worlds around us. I hope to see as a child and walk as a man not limiting my choices by what others may think of me. In the church people and leaders are to often to quick to judged and defined you into a box. I hope to find those have who not set their thinking in concrete and can live and let live without drawing a line in the sand. Perhaps I desire to be like Paul to be all things to all people or more like the Lord and learn to love my enemies. However, I know the old saying "I have met the enemy and he is me." I come to learn and share as the words come to my mind and I hope I can learn to love others as I love myself. One of my favorite songs is "ALL You Need is Love". May we each find that everlasting Love as we journey together through out this life and all eternity. Yes, the great mystery will continue ...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Why I'm a Mormon Christian

Having been raised a Lutheran and always believing in Jesus Christ as a youth I began in my mid-teens to think and feel there had to be something greater to religion than just confessing faith in Jesus Christ. I turned from my church, but not from my Jesus in a quest to find the true meaning of life. However, in taking the risk of throwing off organized religion and seeking truth wherever I could find it I made a vow to my God. This vow was if I died before I found the greater answer I would call upon Jesus Christ to save me and put my simple faith to the ultimate test. This set the stage for my NDE at Woodstock in 1969 and my rebirth (born again) experience leading me into the greater light. This greater light led me to a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church. I was led to WS following the teachings of Jimi Hendrix who sang “have you ever been experienced? Well I have.” My life experience started with faith in Jesus Christ and my search through life led me to greater knowledge in Christ and Christ led me to Joseph Smith.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Counsel to a Friend

When I joined the Church in 1970 at 20 I was already engaged to my soulmate. However, her mother thought differently and sent her away. It only took 6 months and our relationship ended in heartache and flames.
I had joined the Church hoping and trusting the Lord to bring my relationship to my Beloved Robin together forever. It didn’t happen and I wanted to die, but my mother (a non-member) sweetly counseled me to now live for my Church.
I followed her counsel and end up serving a mission which did me a world of good. It was a bitter cup to drink, but in what I lost in mortal life I now feel I gained in spiritual insight.
On another note I have 5 sons and none have served Church missions. One did a tour in the Marines in the mid 90s. One is in Iraq today in the Army (109th Trans.). One is going to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain (Army) in two weeks. One is working and another is still in HS. I don’t always agree with my sons, but I always love them. I believe the heart of the war in heaven was over agency. I believe God will force no one into heaven. I also believe Joseph Smith said, ” I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” I say keep to your good principles and govern yourself well and God will bless you with the light you need.

Emily My Daughter

First in knowledge (to know good & evil), first in love and first to witness the resurrected Lord, women are also first in my life next to my Lord. I first knew my mother as we all have known our mothers first in birth. I then knew my wife and together we brought forth life in our children. This great oneness between men and women, mothers and children is at the heart of the great work and glory of Our God. If it wasn’t for Eve I would still be a distance twinkle in Adam’s innocent eye. “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”(2Ne.2:22-25) I can honestly say my greatest joy and sorrow has come at the hand of a women. Some men shrink from the pain women can both bear and share. However, it is in the pain of knowing great love and sorrow that we begin to see with the eyes Christ: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” The world for far to long have spoken evil of Mother Eve and despised her daughters and abused them. We should honor our mothers, wives and daughters and always remember the great lesson Eve first learned and taught the family of men: “And in that day the Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will. And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” (Moses 5:9-12) We are the very heirs of their knowledge and blessing and with faith in Christ we can overcome this world by casting out all doubt and fear. I salute brave sisters for their courage to speakout in the light of day for all is not well in Zion! However, this day I shall not forget for I have blessed my own daughter Emily with a father’s blessing as she leaves on a journey to be a junior at UVSC. She is 22 and world wise as most native New Yorkers have to be, but she is my only daughter of 6 children and my heart goes with her as she flies into the heartland of Zion today. I pray she will gain knowledge like Eve and find a man like Adam to continue the circle of life in a never ending way!