I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christian in Word or Deed?

I went to Church today. Unfortunately, I didn't actually get to attend. Why? Church got cancelled. It's not like we knew this ahead of time. When my husband and I got to the meetinghouse we discovered the parking lot to be empty.

Since there had been some ice, we assumed that must be the reason. Disappointed, we headed back home. We only got a few yards before we slid down the top of the little hill on the street the Church is on. None of my husband's maneuverings helped. We don't have 4-wheel drive but we do have limited slip differential on our truck. No luck. We had to simply stop trying. We nearly hit a mailbox of one of the residents.

The residents in question came out to help but with their driveway a sheet of ice the only thing they could do was speak loudly from from their garage door.

My husband ordered me to not get out of the truck because of the ice. He punctuated this by slipping and falling down hard himself. Luckily, he doesn't seem to have sustained any permanent injury.

Only having resided in the area a little over six months we didn't know who or what to call. A lady, one of the local residents couldn't find the names of our Home Teachers, a local member or anyone else in the local phone directory. Finally, we asked her to call our Bishop's home. After doing so,  she reported that they lived in the country and hadn't been able to get out themselves for two days and couldn't help us.

Not having cell phones and not having our Trak phone with us, we were helpless to call anyone ourselves. Just having someone recommend, or look up contact information, for a local towing truck would have been nice. The local resident did do that for us.

We asked her if she could call our Bishop back and ask if any local members could possibly help us or recommend someone, or something, that could. She reported back, and get this, the Bishop refused to come to the phone.

Meanwhile, a woman driving a 4-wheel drive SUV came over the hill, past us and into the Church parking lot. She obviously knew no more than we did about Church being cancelled. When she angled back, my husband flagged her down and stopped her. She turned out to be a relative of the Bishop. She promised to call some local members to come help us. She left and was able to make it over the hill we had slid down.

She eventually came back and reported that some local church members would be coming out to see what they could do for us and then left.

As we sat in our vehicle discussing options, we saw a Sheriff's department cruiser atop the hill. A deputy got out and carefully made his way down to us over all the ice. On his suggestions and assistance, and some salt from a local resident, we got unstuck and were able to make it over the hill. Before leaving, we stopped to convey our thanks to the officer.

When we got home, we called the Church people to report that we were home safe and to thank them for their willingness to help us. One of the women was astonished that no one from Church had called us to tell us about Church being cancelled. She reported that she and her husband had received "12-15 calls" themselves.

I've complained about being out of the information loop before. This experience has reinforced it.

One email could have alerted us that Church was cancelled and it could have been so effortless if done through the Church's web site/email network. I'm not suggesting that the phone tree should be replaced, just augmented. Obviously, it didn't work for us this time.

I keep screaming about people on the information fringe being ignored and/or overlooked. I have to wonder if anyone is listening.

Should we have known Church was cancelled? Should we have guessed?

How could we? We went shopping last night and drove all over Mooresville and Plainfield. We had no trouble driving. The streets were clear. We had no trouble driving to Church except for the street the Church is located on.

Since then, we've discovered some interesting things. The entrance to that street marks the end of city boundaries. That's why the road had not been salted or sanded. That is why it was so slippery.

Our ward just celebrated it's 50th year of being in existence. Many people have been in it for that length of time. If we had, or had at least spent a winter here, we may have known about the peculiarities of the street the Church resides on.

But we didn't. We're new.

Being new also prevents us from knowing a lot of names in the ward or knowing about tow truck services. This hampered our ability to help ourselves.

If we were old timers in the ward maybe we would have received 12-15 calls about church being cancelled. But, we didn't receive one. Not one.

We haven't received any calls or contact since we made it home after our harrowing morning either. Nothing.

This is horribly alienating and isolating.

During this election year, Evangelicals keep claiming that Mormons aren't Christian. Today, I'm a bit inclined to agree with them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 10: A New Theory of Sherem

This is a new theory of Sherem. 

I have carefully researched all references to Sherem in Church publications, gospel commentary, Conference addresses and more and, to my knowledge, this theory has never been proffered before.

Remember, I'm telling you this up front. It is new and it is a theory.

First, let's review the pertinent facts, all from Jacob, chapter 7. Sherem sought a conversation with Jacob who was presumably considered a prophet and/or a church leader (verses 3, 6). Sherem addressed Jacob as "Brother Jacob" (verse 6). Sherem believed in the Law of Moses just not the doctrine of Christ (verse 7). Sherem also claimed to believe in the scriptures (verse 10) but seemed to have his own peculiar interpretation of them. Sherem was afraid he had committed the "unpardonable sin" (verse 19).

I think Sherem was a member of the Church.

Is this why the story of Sherem was included in the Book of Mormon? Is it so that we can be alert to the antichrists that can be found within our own ranks?

Why else would Sherem address Jacob as "Brother"? Also, he wasn't trying to build his own Church like Nehor or shift people to secularism like Korihor. He professed to be a believer and a righteous one. He was ostensibly worried that false doctrine was being taught in the Church.

How could Sherem possibly know about the "unpardonable sin," or fear committing it, unless he was a member?

The Book of Mormon was written for our day. It contains instruction for us. The story of Sherem must have modern relevance or it wouldn't have been included in that sacred book.

Do we have antichrists in the Church now? If so, who are they and where are they?

We have to go back to the story of Sherem in order to find our answers.

Sherem does not appear to be trying to set up his own Church or overtly deflect people away from it. He was operating from inside it although he obviously wasn't a true believer or, more likely, had ceased to be one at some point.

He was teaching his own interpretation of the scriptures which did not coincide with scriptures, Church leaders or Church teachings. Sherem's teachings served to deflect people away from Christ and His gospel. He perverted the actual gospel by teaching his own views.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 9: Sherem and Jacob

Sherem, the last antichrist I'll discuss, was actually the first one to appear in the Book of Mormon. I'll paraphrase from Jacob 7 where the story of Sherem is found. See the video above or at this link.

Sherem was highly learned and skilled in all aspects of language, speech and flattery. He taught that there was no Christ. He believed in the scriptures, or so he said, but insisted that the Law of Moses was the true gospel which had nothing to do with Christ. Teaching Christ was blasphemy.

He convinced a lot of people and worked very hard at countering what he though was incorrect doctrine.

Sherem had the misfortune to contend with the prophet Jacob who did him in. Jacob countered all of Sherem's teachings and refuted his desire for a sign, much the way Alma did later when Koriohor demanded one.

Sherem was struck dumb, repudiated his former teachings and died.

Next week, I'll present a new and novel theory about Sherem.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 8: "Signs Enough"

In Alma 30: 43-44 it says:
And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.
But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
Alma does a wonderful job of countering Korihor's philosophy. Elder Gerald Lund explains it further:
Alma takes Korihor’s own philosophy and catches him in a trap of his own making. Korihor teaches that we can know only what we can see. (See Alma 30:15.) But when questioned, Korihor categorically denies that he believes there is a God. Alma then asks, “What evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.” (Alma 30:40.)
It is an inspired insight on Alma’s part. Korihor is not consistent in his own thinking. If we truly can know only those things for which we have empirical evidence, then we cannot teach there is no God unless we have evidence for that belief. And Korihor has no evidence.
Korihor will consider only evidence that can be gathered through the senses. In such a system, it is much easier to prove there is a God than to prove there is not a God. To prove there is a God, all it takes is for one person to see, hear, or otherwise have an experience with God, and thereafter the existence of God cannot be disproved.
Anybody who seeks a sign is immediately suspect as Joseph Smith taught:
When I was preaching in Philadelphia, a Quaker called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous person. “It is true,” cried one, “for I caught him in the very act,” which the man afterwards confessed when he was baptized. (Feb. 9, 1843.) DHC 5:268.
Signs have been present since the dawn of time. Numerous people had signs who never heeded them or ultimately rejected them. Cain, followers of Moses, followers of Christ, Signey Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery. Go ahead, add yourself to the list.

You've had signs. We've all had signs. We have all had "signs enough." We may choose to forget them or ignore them but we have all had them.

If you say you haven't, then you are a liar like Korihor.