Personal Online Journal

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Abortion, Birth Control and the Sexual Economy

Unwanted pregnancies are caused by men and by women. The truth is that the contraceptive pill has radically changed how men and women relate to sex and marriage. (See “The Economics of Sex”,

I think we should look at what the pro-life and pro-choice movements have in common.

When a man and a woman create a child, they are both responsible for their action. The woman certainly has an immediate and physical, emotional and possibly social cost. The man should be held accountable as well.

The best situation is where the woman and man are already married and choose to have children. We do not always have that situation. We should do what we can to persuade those closest to us to relate to sex in this way. It creates the least harm.

What do we do when it is less than ideal? Pray. Seek guidance and compassion.

From my perspective once a couple is pregnant, the choice as to whether to have the child is over, except in rare cases.


From President Faust Nov 1995

During a prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C., on 3 February 1994, Mother Teresa gave the most honest and powerful proclamation of truth on this subject I have ever heard. ..., “If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? … Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.”

Friday, September 14, 2018

Elizabeth Smart - Overcoming Trauma: Forgiveness is not for the other person. It's for yourself

"Forgiveness is not for the other person. It's for yourself "

"Today, one of her captors was released from jail. This is Elizabeth Smart’s message about being at peace with her past and finding her power back."

From a FB post from Goalcast

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Expound and Exhort

From seminary lesson "Doctrine and Covenants 20:38–67"

Expound means to teach something in greater detail
Exhort means to strongly encourage someone to do something


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Distinction Between Justification and Sanctification

From Seminary lesson "Doctrine and Covenants 20:1–36" and D&C 20:30-31

Justification (verse 30) means to be forgiven, pardoned, and declared not guilty. Sanctification (verse 31) means to become clean, pure, holy, and Christlike.

More from D. Todd Christofferson:
“Because of ‘the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice,’ Jesus Christ can satisfy or ‘answer the ends of the law’ on our behalf. Pardon comes by the grace of Him who has satisfied the demands of justice by His own suffering, ‘the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God’ (1 Pet. 3:18). He removes our condemnation without removing the law. We are pardoned and placed in a condition of righteousness with Him. We become, like Him, without sin. We are sustained and protected by the law, by justice. We are, in a word, justified. 
“Thus, we may appropriately speak of one who is justified as pardoned, without sin, or guiltless. For example, ‘Whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world’ (3 Ne. 27:16; emphasis added). Yet glorious as the remission of sins is, the Atonement accomplishes even more. That ‘more’ is expressed by Moroni: 
“‘And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot’ (Moro. 10:33; emphasis added). 
“To be sanctified through the blood of Christ is to become clean, pure, and holy. If justification removes the punishment for past sin, then sanctification removes the stain or effects of sin. The Prophet Joseph Smith testified: 
“‘And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us— 
“‘That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear [justify] the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness’ (D&C 76:40–41)” 
(“Justification and Sanctification,” D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, June 2001, 20–22).

Monday, September 03, 2018

Gospel Topics, Essays, and Other Resources

There are many great resources available to "enhance gospel learning and help provide answers to doctrinal, historical, and social questions." Gospel Topics, Essays, and Other Resources is a collection of many of them.

I prepared a lesson for Seminary focusing on how we can seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources.

Here is a picture take from this video that addresses how Joseph Smith used a Seer Stone to translate the Book of Mormon.

A great video on how creating a stone wall is like building our faith
Act in Faith: The Stonemason 

A slide presentation I prepared for a Seminary class.

FairMormon: Well-reasoned and faithful responses to doctrinal, historical, and social questions.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Three Church History Films

There are three church history films that have captured my imagination recently. Part of it is from the visits I had this summer in Nauvoo IL, Kirtland OH, Palmyra, NY and Fayette NY.

I highly recommend them
Days of Harmony (2016)
A Day for the Eternities (2016)
Kirtland: America's Sacred Ground (2017)

"Mary Whitmer Sees the Gold Plates" LDS Church History, YouTube, Aug 22, 2018