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."


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