Monday, July 14, 2008

An open letter to anonymous

I'm setting some blog ground rules. As of now I've been fairly liberal with the posting of anonymous blog comments. But as of now if you can't attach your name to your comment then it won't be posted. I will read them, but I will consider them the same as e-mail. But since I can't privately respond to them I won't. If you want to write me privately great. But unless you post a name to back up your opinion, don't expect me to allow you to use my blog to serve as your platform.

When I blog I attach my name to what I write. In the right hand column is my e-mail address. I own my statements and I stand by them. The problem with anonymous comments is that they aren't owned. If the writer feels so strongly about something to leave a comment then they need to stand by it. If for whatever reason they feel they can't then honestly I don't really want to read them because what its telling me is that they can say anything they want with the safety of hiding behind the shield of being anonymous. Its a lot like punching someone in the back in the dark.

One more point that I feel I need to clear up. I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a testimony in the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Book of Mormon and in the continual revelation received and given by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I also believe that Christ is at the head of this church and that it is led by His prophet. When the Prophet speaks as the Prophet he is saying the things that the Lord has told him to say.

If the Prophet speaks as the Prophet and asks us to do something. It is the same as when Moses or Lehi or Noah was told to tell the people of their dispensation to do something. Yes they had their agency to follow, and those who did were blessed. Its not a matter of being a sheep blindly following. Its a matter of accepting that I have a Sheppard who is also my Savior. I know he has called a Prophet. I found this out for myself by praying for a confirmation and by putting faith in God.

If my blogs sound like someone who is following the Prophet, well its because thats what I'm trying to do. I am standing for something. I won't be anonymous about that.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Choosing to do what's right

The whole purpose of us being here on the Earth is to test us to see what we will do on our own given the correct principles. Satan's plan would have compelled us to "ACCEPT the right." Agency is a gift that allows us to CHOOSE and show our love to our Heavenly Father in "Choosing the right."

I think you can judge a disciple of Christ by that persons actions when not commanded in all things given a knowledge of right and wrong.

If we accept the that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Church of Christ, led by Christ with a Prophet at the head, then we have to also accept the power and authority that He along with the other prophets and apostles have when speaking "officially" for the Church and therefore the Lord.

Yes, I may not have wanted to flee Babaloyn myself. I may not have wanted to leave Jerusalem, it may have been a fun place to hang out with lots of fun people. I may have not wanted to flee Sodom and Gomorrah, it was probably fun also. I may have been perfectly happy in Egypt. I may have enjoyed myself East and not have wanted to leave the comforts of my home to trek west with the Saints. But in all those cases, following the Prophet, while hard and while I may have not wanted to and even personally disagreeing with the choice to go, following the Prophet was the same as following God. I wonder if I would have been one of those who argued or murmured? Would I have looked back and longed for the things I felt good doing? Would I have resented Moses, or Abraham or Brigham Young?

I also know what the Book of Mormon says about societies that turn their back on God and that turn a blind eye and even accept things that are immoral as natural and even encouraged. These societies eventually went so far as to accept other wicked things such as murder. I wonder if we were to ever vote on the legality of this that if someone would argue that the prohibition against murder comes from the Judeo-Christian law and we should separate church and state. So therefore its not a moral issue it too is a political issue. Sounds ridiculous? One only needs to think about the debate surrounding abortion to see shades of this.

I know that we are ask to be good citizens and help participate in the process of government. This means standing for whats right. I also know that this is a moral issue that has been politicized.

For the most part the Lord doesn't very often "command" us to do anything. When He does we should know He is serious. Yes, we have the Ten Commandments. Yes, because of those who would have us remove them from all public places, we may have to look extra hard to find them, but lets be honest here, We are free to choose to obey them. We aren't free to choose the effects of them or the consequences that follow.

No, the Lord or even the church hasn't "commanded" us to vote or to think a certain way. But we have been taught correct principles, we know the plan. We know what is right and wrong. We know the gospel. We know the end result of what will happen to those who choose not to. If we apply them obedience would be the natural progression, if we honestly have a testimony of the truth of it.

Being faithful to the Lord doesn't make us blind sheep or ignorant. It doesn't make us hateful or bigoted. Yes, when we attach hate and animosity to our actions it does and that isn't being Christlike. Yes, we need to keep it from going that way. We can stand for whats right without hating those who choose what's wrong. But on the other hand those who do fight against the church and its teachings aren't the most tolerant people either when it comes to acceptance of those who disagree with them. Who is normally yielding words "bigot and ignorant" as weapons? We can stand for what's right without being disagreeable. And if we know what the Lord has said is standing for it honestly being ignorant?

I look at it this way. The Prophet has ask us to do something. I know what the Lord has said to be right and wrong. I have faith that if the Prophet in acting as the Prophet AND is directed by the Lord to ask us to do something then its not because he (the Prophet) wants us to do it, its because HE (the Lord), the one who is doing the directing wants us to do it.

I don't know the exact reasons WHY this is such a big deal to them. But it is and that should be a sign no matter how I may personally see it. But like in all other things I have my own agency to choose what I will do and who I will follow and I will be judged accordingly.