Personal Online Journal

Monday, September 28, 2015

"Be safe and have a great time in life"

What Should I Do When I See Pornography?

Here are some notes I took as I prepared to teach a lesson based on this video.

7 Things That Still Need to Happen Before the World Ends

This article by Robert L. Millet is knowledge that may be useful to those afraid.

7 Things That Still Need to Happen Before the World Ends

 by Robert L. Millet | Sep 22, 2015 Makes You Think

In recent months there seems to have been an unusual amount of hubbub regarding how close we are to the end of the world. But here are 7 things that still need to happen before the Second Coming. 

This seems to happen in a cycle, about every 30 or 40 years. I remember very well attending the October 1972 general conference and hearing President Harold B. Lee chasten and warn the holders of the priesthood about paying too much attention to what he called “loose writings” among them, cautioning us against jumping on every bandwagon and attaching ourselves to every eschatological craze, assuring us that we did not need to stress over “the coming crash” of our economy or our society.

Only weeks before he died, President Lee spoke to the students at Ricks College (now Brigham Young University Idaho) and said: “Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, . . . and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. . . . This is the place of the New Jerusalem. . . This is the place . . . where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail.” President Lee then beckoned: “I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the location that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may have to pass through” (Ye Are the Light of the World, Deseret Book, 1974, 350-51).

That’s still pretty wise counsel. For some strange reason, however, too many of us too often and too easily have our heads turned and our attention drawn to the sensational. In much the same way that our society tends to flock to movies or other forms of entertainment that are loud or violent or that prey upon the lowest instincts of human nature, so there are Latter-day Saints who are always scurrying about in preparation for some new trauma in society —some feared tragedy that is about to strike the earth. Why do we fall for such stuff when in fact we have prophets and apostles who have been charged to direct the destiny of the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days? It was the prophet Amos who declared that the Lord would do nothing that He would not make known to and through His prophets (Amos 3:7). It was to a small group of men who would be called to the first Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in this dispensation that this significant word came: “And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of Man” (D&C 68:11; emphasis added).

My point is this: if the Lord Jesus Christ will be coming in a short while, wouldn’t His anointed servants be given some divine direction to help prepare the members of the household of faith for that great and terrible day? That the Brethren today seldom talk about this subject is a powerful affirmation that we need not panic about some impending doom or be too excited about the imminent return of the Savior.

There are many, many things that must take place before Jesus Christ returns to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Second Coming will not take place next week or next month! While you and I certainly desire to be ready and fully prepared for His coming, we should not allow ourselves in the meantime to be ensnared by the newest faith-promoting rumor or to be caught up in the next spiritual fad. So what are some things that must take place before Christ begins to reign on planet earth?

1. The gospel needs to be preached to every part of the world.

“This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end [of the world] come, or the destruction of the wicked” (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:31). The Church has made tremendous strides in spreading the message of the restored gospel, but there are many, many untouched areas in the world, and not a few formidable frontiers that will require the hand of divine Providence before we are permitted to preach the restored gospel. President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled us: “If we will go forward, never losing sight of our goal, speaking ill of no one, living the great principles we know to be true, this cause will roll on in majesty and power to fill the earth. Doors now closed to the preaching of the gospel will be opened. The Almighty, if necessary, may have to shake the nations to humble them and cause them to listen to the servants of the living God. Whatever is needed will come to pass” (Conference Report, October 1997, 92).

2. Congregations of saints must be found all over the earth. 

“And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth” (1 Nephi 14:12; emphasis added). “This pertains to a day yet future,” wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie. “The Saints of the Most High are not yet, as a people and with organized congregations, established upon all the face of the earth” (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, Deseret Book, 1983, 55). In a general conference address he observed: “We see the Lord break down the barriers so that the world of Islam and the world of Communism can hear the message of the restoration; and we glory in the fact that Ishmael—as well as Isaac— and Esau—as well as Jacob—shall have an inheritance in the eternal kingdom” (Conference Report, April 1980, 98).

3. Baptisms for the dead need to take place in the Holy Land (Jerusalem). 

“It is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for the dead” (D&C 124:36; emphasis added). At this point in time, we are not even in a position to conduct missionary work in the Holy Land, much less to build a temple and conduct baptisms for the dead. The Lord must first open the doors in that blessed land to the message of salvation, in order that the following prophecy may be fulfilled: “And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb” (Ether 13:11; emphasis added). That is, they must first hear and accept the message, be baptized by proper authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and unite with local Latter-day Saint congregations. In speaking of the Jews, Jacob, brother of Nephi, reminded his people that Jehovah had spoken to the Jews “by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God” (2 Nephi 9:2; emphasis added).

4. Church headquarters must be moved to Missouri. 

“The place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward” (D&C 57:3). Also, “Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered. . . . And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed” (D&C 101:17, 20). The Center Stake of the New Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Church, must be established in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. One need only take a moment and reflect on the enormity of the task of relocating Church headquarters one day in the future to realize that nothing of the sort foretold by “the preparers” of today will come to pass any time soon.

5. The Savior needs to appear in His temple. 

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1). This ancient prophecy, repeated in modern revelation (D&C 36:8; 42:36; 133:2), refers to one of the Savior’s preliminary appearances, a coming to his temple in Independence, Missouri, that takes place prior to His coming in glory. Elder Orson Pratt pointed out the Savior “will suddenly come to his Temple, and he will purify the sons of Moses and of Aaron, until they shall be prepared to offer in that Temple an offering that shall be acceptable in the sight of the Lord [see Malachi 3:3; D&C 13; 84:31]” (Journal of Discourses 15:365-66).

6. The great council/sacrament meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman needs to take place.

“Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (D&C 116; see Daniel 7:9-14). This is another preliminary appearance of the Savior, a great priesthood council, the occasion for a large sacrament meeting, a time when the Son of Man will partake of the fruit of the vine once more with his earthly friends. And who will be in attendance? The revelations specify Moroni, Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Adam, Peter, James, John, “and also,” the Savior clarifies, “all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world” (D&C 27:5-14), multitudes of faithful Saints from the beginning of time to the end. It will be a leadership meeting, a time of accounting, an accounting for priesthood stewardships.

President Joseph Fielding Smith observed: “This . . . will be one of the greatest events this troubled earth has ever seen. At this conference, or council, all who have held keys of dispensations will render a report for their stewardship. . . . We do not know how long a time this gathering will be in session, or how many sessions will be held at this grand council. It is sufficient to know that it is a gathering of the Priesthood of God from the beginning of this earth down to the present, in which reports will be made and all who have been given dispensations (talents) will declare their keys and ministry and make report of their stewardship” (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1964], 481-82; compare McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 582-84).

7. The sun must be darkened, the moon turned to blood, and the stars fall from the sky. 

“Before this great day shall come [before the Savior returns and the first resurrection resumes] the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and there shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath” (D&C 29:14; see also 34:9; 45:42). The astral phenomena so often spoken of in apocalyptic literature (in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, and the book of Revelation) has not taken place, nor will it until it is time for the Bridegroom to return and take his Bride, the sanctified Church of Jesus Christ.

We could go on and on, enumerating signs of the times and prophetic events that have not as yet come to pass or been fulfilled. While we are certainly closer to the Second Coming than we were a year ago, and although many of the signs of the times have indeed been fulfilled, there is yet a great deal for the Lord to accomplish on this earth before Zion will be redeemed, the Saints have been sanctified, the work of the restored Church brought to fruition, and Zion communities established throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

To be sure, we have work to do to prepare ourselves for the end of the world, the destruction of the wicked at the time of the Lord’s Second Coming in glory (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:4, 31). Part of that work of preparation, however, is not to either create or spread an emotional frenzy or to frighten the Saints. It is not to assume an authority or presume to hold a stewardship that is reserved for the apostles and prophets. Such tactics are foreign to the Master’s way of operating His kingdom and in this case properly readying His people for that which is to come. Our task is to live a sane and balanced life, to proceed on the gospel path in a dignified and determined manner, to be active and involved and always in the mainstream of the Church. Therein is our safety. If we do these things, we have no need whatsoever to be alarmed.

Robert L. Millet is Professor Emeritus of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. In addition to Living in theEleventh Hour, you might also enjoy reading his book Living in the Millennium. Now available at Deseret Book stores and

Saved to ensure future reference from the article on, retrieved Sep 28, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Stand for Families

Twenty years ago today, President Gordon B. Hinckley read a proclamation to the world on the family. I stand with the Apostles of Jesus for families.

I love how Lilo and Stitch put it.
Ohana means family. 
Family means no one gets left behind... or forgotten

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Faith Journey

I just had a FB friend request from Randall Bowen, the author of Church is True. Here is his faith journey. I am excited to have found a friend with such a similar story.

My parents are from Provo and Orem. They moved down to Phoenix in 1969. I was born here. We have a faithful family. Our lives were filled with love and service and gospel study.

I married into a family that joined the church in the late 70s. They are dynamic and committed in their testimony and service to God through the LDS structure.

My faith journey has been dangerous and thrilling and enlightening. I am grateful for my wife, who has been such a stabilizing influence to me.

I feel so excited about the truth the gospel sheds. It truly is futile for any person to pretend that they can stop the work of God. It is as if they were to try to stop the Missouri river with their hand.

God is working in the humans here on earth. In the LDS faith, its servants are authorized by God to offer the ordinances necessary to bind us to God. He is also working in so many people and communities throughout the earth. In ways critical to and in connection to the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In so many ways, the work will go forth.

Here is a critical part of my faith journey. Here is another, more recent one. I look forward to discovering more of your journey, my friend.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Defending the Rights of a Muslim

Joseph Smith said,
The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. 
It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. Love of liberty was diffused into my soul by my grandfathers while they dandled me on their knees. … 
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 339–48 )
I think Joseph Smith would be just as adamant in defending the religious rights of Muslims as he would any Christian sect.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Damn is a curse word. We say it because we want someone to stop. Or for emphasis. In Sunday School on Sunday, I saw a physical reaction when it was spoken. What does this word mean?
"Damnation" is a term derived from the Latin damnum, meaning "injury" and "loss," and often connotes deprivation of what should have been possessed. Just as there are varying degrees and types of salvation, coupled with eternal progression in some areas (D&C 76:96-98;131:1-4), so are there varying degrees and types of damnation. In LDS doctrine, to be damned means to be stopped, blocked, or limited in one's progress. ("Damnation", Holzapfel, Richard Neitzel, The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1992)
I am not sure how a water damn relates to it. There is so much power here in symbols. A water damn literally holds back water. Water is a symbol of life. Life as we know it on earth requires water. Jesus is spoken of as being the living waters. To be damned is to be stopped in our progression. It is to have withheld from us the living waters.

What does the living waters do for us? It allows us to grow, to become more that we were. To live and if we are willing, to evolve.

Who damns us? I suggest that we damn ourselves. The only one holding ourselves back from more living more life. More growth and joy and freedom and power to be whatever good we want to be, is us. Now it is possible to not be aware of our own damning choices. We can have the results of damnation because it is how surviving is modeled to us. We learn it from our parents or society. We can be damned because of our neighbors.

We are free from damnation by first becoming aware that there is an escape. Jesus is that escape. he demonstrated that we need not be limited by our self-destructive behavior. Our limited way of being. He showed us and by so doing, gave us hope and faith that we might be and do as he did.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Key to Unmessable

I was promised in my Landmark Advanced Course that I would become unmessable. I would not ever be permanently stopped in my progress to what I want.

We is the key to unmessable. It is in we that we get the support, intimacy, vulnerability and all their power in our lives. We are no longer stymied by shame. Our connections and our courage diminishes our shame to insignificance. I am for you. You are for me. They are for us. We are for them.

Perfect love casteth out fear. As we love each other. Listen with whole hearts and fight for our dreams. No power can stop us. We are in the divine. We are a force of nature. We are the beauty that is astonishing in its power to wake us. We see the divine in our neighbor. We become one. And all is possible.

Short URL

Give them Flowers

My Landmark Forum leader told me this little analogy that has stuck with me.
Joey and Janice fought like cats and dogs. They threw verbal knives at each other. Joey had a transformation from dark to light. He decided to stop throwing knives and give flowers instead.  
Janice was suspicious at the flowers and even more so when they didn't stop coming. It was so out of character. Joey just kept at it. Once Janice believed that Joey was genuine, she gave up her knives for ever. 

Why things are on your mind?

This is a FB post from my friend John from his coach Ken. 
Why things are on your mind? 
Most often, the reason something is on your mind is that you want it to be different than it currently is, and yet:
-You haven’t clarified exactly what the intended outcome is;
-You haven’t decided what the very next physical action step is; and/or
-You haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust.
-The consistent, unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy. –Kerry Gleeson
Duh! And that’s why it’s on your mind. 
Until those thoughts have been clarified and those decisions made and the resulting data has been stored in a system that you absolutely know you will access and think about when you need to, your brain can’t give up the job. 
You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind machine. “It” (the mind machine) knows if you’ve come to a conclusion or not, If you haven’t done these things, it won’t quit working overtime. 
Even if you’ve already decided on the next step, your mind can not let go until and unless you park a reminder in a place it knows you will,without fail, look. It will keep pressuring you about it, which will just add to the drain of your energy and ability to be present.
This post reminds me so much of when Richard Scott said,
Have you noticed that when you have determined to accomplish a very important task, many other good ideas for other things to do seem to come to your mind? If they are allowed to interfere, they will distract you from the more important objective. I have found help by writing down those thoughts as they come, promising myself that as soon as I finish the important task, I will attend to them in priority. That practice helps me stay focused on those matters which are essential. 
I believe there are times in your life when, because of your righteousness and your determination to do what is right, Satan will not be able to deflect you into serious transgression. He will switch then to the strategy of placing before you a banquet of good and worthwhile things to do, meant to distract you from those that are the most important and essential to accomplish in your life. 
Fortunately, as you pray for guidance, the Holy Ghost will help you identify those matters that are vital and necessary to accomplish above others. That means that at times you may have to set aside things that would be worthwhile and enjoyable to pursue--for those that are most vitally important for that period of your life. ("Have No Regrets" Richard G. Scott. CES Fireside, September 1999)
I am starting to create a system that is working for me today. It is a list of people that I want to be in my life. It started out as only their names. Today, I have been moving their names to the top of the list and why I want them in my life. Or what I want in relation to them, and what I am going to do about it.

According to Their Needs and Wants

We must be careful be generous with the means the Lord has given us. Here are some passages that speak to me.
And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just— (D&C 82:17)

they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants. (Mosiah 18:29)
Wherefore, let my servant Edward Partridge, and those whom he has chosen, in whom I am well pleased, appoint unto this people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs. (D&C 51:3)
What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 3:15)
Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. (Jacob 2:17)
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. (Mosiah 4:16)

I also love this quote
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. ("Born of God", Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign Jul 1989)