Personal Online Journal

Monday, December 30, 2019

Mountain Meadows Massacre

The missionaries in our ward tracked into people that asked them about the book "Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith"

This is from the concluding paragraph of the review of Robert L. Millet. A previous professor at BYU reviewing the book.
Under the Banner of Heaven is not only a slap in the face of modern Latter-day Saints but also a misrepresentation of religion in general. It is an insult to those “unreasonable” beings out there who rely upon the “murky sectors of the heart and head that prompt most of us to believe in God — and compel an impassioned few, predictably, to carry that irrational belief to its logical end” (xxi). We should not be surprised that an author who begins his work with the statement that “faith is the very antithesis of reason” (xxiii) should thereafter proceed to grossly stereotype and thereby marginalize Mormonism.

I would not trust the book as unbiased. Here is the gospel topic essay on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Made White in the Blood of the Lamb

In Revelation 7:9, John describes "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"

Verse 13 says, "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?"

Verse 14 answers, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

See Revelation 7:9, 13-14

It is good to know that if we follow God, we will have tribulation. And that our robes will be made white in the blood of the Lamb.

We have the promise that God's Spirit can be with us always as we repent, as we continue on the covenant path.

We also have good people available to us for fellowship, for friendship, for support.
Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen. (D&C 88:133)

When we are in trouble, we have the opportunity to seek out to serve others around us. As we do, God will bless us. He will make our burdens be light.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

To Cleanse and Perfect

I have been listening to "A Case for the Book of Mormon" by Tad R. Callister. I recommend the whole book. There is a particular part that has stood out to me.

The power to overcome our weaknesses and perfect us

Starting near 21:41 of chapter nine, Tad Callister says that "The Savior can not only cleanse us. He can also perfect us. The doctrine that we can become Christlike because of Christ's atonement, is considered blasphemous by some Christians."

He goes on to make a persuasive case:
Suppose you were to ask one of your Christian friends if all Christians should be striving to become more like Christ? No doubt your friend would respond, 'yes'; since to say no would destroy the principle reason for the existence of Christianity.
To what extent can you become like Christ? [Your friend] might respond, 'to a very small degree'
Let's assume it is 1%. But if it is 1%, why not 5%? If 5%, why not 10%?
When we are dealing with a God with an infinite atonement, and a child willing to apply it, our weaknesses are no match. We seek His grace. His enabling power to overcome our weaknesses. We do it falteringly, inconsistently. As we try, try again. God promises us to forgive and forgive again. We only need to strive to become as God is. To "come and follow" the perfect example of Jesus of Nazareth.

What hope this brings me. My job is to remain in my covenant relationship with God. Day by day, week by week, decade by decade. I continue to strive to become what he has asked me to become.