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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Lie About Human Nature

In the 29 June 2011 issue of USA Today, Maggie Gallagher wrote a forthright commentary on the gay marriage issue, and what it all really means.  She wrote, "USA Today's editorial board is bending over backwards to find a way of engaging the marriage debate that escapes the key question: Is there a reason why marriage is the union of husband and wife, not only in our culture, but in almost every known human society?"

I answer that the reason why marriage is only between one man and one woman is because the Holy One of Israel hath spoken it.  In Genesis 2:24-25, we read, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."  Our dearly beloved Brother Paul also hath said, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:26-27).

The above scriptures agree with the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that homosexual relations are grevious sins.  Well did President Boyd K. Packer state,

We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage.  We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. . . . there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature.  A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. ("Cleansing the Inner Vessel", Ensign, November 2010)
Sister Gallagher stated in her article also that "Gay marriage is not an increase in liberty; it is a government takeover of an institution [marriage] that government did not create and should not redefine.
When the government endorses a lie about human nature, there will be consequences."
I say also that there will be consequences when finally the United States sinks into this debouchary known as gay marriage.  The Mormon Eagle warns that unless the Fulness of the Gospel as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is followed in a strict and saintly manner by the people of the United States, God will stand aloof from this nation because of our choice to disregard His words.  He will then cease to protect and help us, for He hath said through His servant Moroni,
And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall b swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them.  And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. . . . Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written. (Ether 2:9, 12)
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

"I'm a Mormon" Campaign Huge Success

2011 is surely the year of the Mormon, with former Governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and John Huntsman of Utah on the ticket for the Republican Presidential nomination, Democratic Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid in the United States Senate, and the Tony Award-winning "Book of Mormon Musical" the talks of the town, as they say.  The "Book of Mormon Musical" being the only blight to a really good publicity-laced year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign has been conceived to stifle prejudice and let the public know who the Latter-day Saints really are.

Tested in nine cities in the summer of 2010 and launched two weeks ago in New York City, people of the United States can now meet the Mormons.  In the 29 June 2011 issue of the Deseret News, the official spokesman for the LDS Church, Scott Trotter, remarked, "Since the launch of the New York campaign, we've noticed a significant increase in visitors to  Most of the recent traffic to the site is coming from mobile devices.  This change suggests people 'on the go' are visiting the site after encountering the ads."  Elder Richard G. Hinckley, son of the late President Gordon B. Hinckley, and current executive director of the Church's missionary department, said, "This is one way to get to know us - through the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It's one thing to read a list of beliefs and to try to determine what it all means.  It is quite another to see those beliefs in action in an individual you know."

We here at The Mormon Eagle agree with Brother Scott and Elder Hinckley.  Our motto says it all: "It is better to represent ourselves than to be represented by others."  Indeed it is.  I, Clark LeRay Herlin, am a Mormon, and proud of it.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and the only true source for mankind to find peace in this life and eternal exaltation in the life to come.  Facebook me or other Mormons you know, and they will be glad to help you find out more.  As President Joseph Smith said, "We don't ask any people to throw away any good they have got; we only ask them to come and get more" (History of the Church 5:259).  So, all ye people of the United States, come and get more Truth - even a fulness, which only the Mormons can offer.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, June 27, 2011

27 June - A Day of Solemnity

Today is 27 June 2011.  Two things of vast interest happened today.  One is the murder of Joseph Smith the Prophet and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch in 1844, and the other is the dedication of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple in 2002.

Joseph and Hyrum
Joseph and Hyrum died for the Truth of God.  Joseph Smith has indeed done more in the world for the salvation of mankind than any other person, Jesus Christ excepted.  Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God into English, that it might stand as a second witness to Jesus Christ the Redeemer, along with the Bible.  The Book of Mormon also stands as a testament to the world that Joseph Smith was in fact a Prophet, because the only way it could have been brought forth is how Joseph Smith said it was - by revelation, nothing more nor less.  Hyrum Smith stood by his brother's testimony of the Book of Mormon no less quietly, for he also knew it is true, for the Holy Ghost told him so.

I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and that the Church he was an instrument in restoring is the only true and living Church upon the face of Earth, for the Lord God hath spoken it: "And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually" (D&C 1:30).  Also, "For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (D&C 115:4).

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple
This House of the Lord was built on the same spot of ground of the original.  This House of the Lord is a second witness (along with the Book of Mormon) to the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, in that the only Church on Earth to teach the fulness of the ordinances of the Priesthood is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The covenants within the Endowment ceremony have not changed since Joseph Smith gave the ordinance in the second story of his Red Brick Store in Nauvoo on 4 May 1842, which building is now owned by a church who believes in Joseph Smith in name only - they have rejected him as a Prophet of God, as has the rest of the the world.

Conditional Salvation For Men in this Age
The only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ the Son of God.  He, and He alone, is the Author of Salvation and Exaltation.  However, for mankind now living, one must accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World and also Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God (whether in this life or the next), or they cannot be saved.  Jesus Christ must be accepted because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Joseph Smith must be accepted because he was the humble instrument Jesus Christ used to restore His Church to Earth again.  Through Joseph Smith the Priesthood Authority was brought from the Heavens and given to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and only to that Church.  All others are pretenders.  This I solemnly proclaim in humility and by the power of the Holy Ghost, for He is my witness that I speak the truth.  Search the revelations and commandments that have been given to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and you will find I speak the truth.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The False Doctrine of "This Is the Way to Go"

Friday, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, made gay-marriage legal in New York.  Of this legalization, he said, "This vote today will send a message across the country. This is the way to go, the time to do it is now, and it is achievable; it's no longer a dream or an aspiration. I think you're going to see a rapid evolution, . . . We reached a new level of social justice" ("New York governor signs law approving gay marriage", Yahoo! News).  The statement of Cuomo that gay-marriage is the way to go is from the Devil, and is not correct.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the only true and living Church upon the earth, teaches, "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan" ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World", General Relief Society Meeting, 23 September 1995, Salt Lake City, Utah).

Gay-marriage is wrong, and evil in the sight of God.  We read in Helaman 13:38 the words of Samuel the Lamanite, that "ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head."  The evils of homosexuality have been elucidated upon in past essays, and will not be spoken of here.  Something else must be addressed, however.

Temptations Overcomeable
All who come into this world have certain temptations they must face.  The Lord has said, "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abraham 3:25).    President Joseph Smith illuminates upon this, in that "[God] never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances" (History of the Church 5:135).  President Smith also taught, "We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the Celestial Kingdom" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 181).

As stated above by the Lord Himself as well as by Joseph Smith the Prophet, we must present our bodies spotless before God in the Celestial Kingdom, and in order for us to do so, the Savior has given commandments for our benefit.  One of these commandments is that homosexual activity is wrong, but like all other vices and evils, can be overcome through a correct understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The Redeemer through Moroni wrote, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).

I know that all weakness the world has, including the evils of homosexual relations, can be overcome through Jesus Christ.  I am not saying that the temptations will go away, but if one asks the Lord in faith to strengthen them with power to resist temptation and do what is right, God will extend His hand for the spiritual strengthening of the individual.  The Lord and His power is real, and the Devil and his satanic evil power is also real.  To whom will we look for deliverance?  Well did Joshua of old say, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and is the only Church acknowledged by God to bear His Holy Priesthood, teach the fulness of His doctrine, and ensure that a man and a woman can be united together as husband and wife throughout the eternities.  The Book of Mormon and the Bible both testify to the truths I have taught, and I defy Earth and Hell to tell me otherwise.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Apostles of the Lord in Asia

Recently Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints toured Asia, along with Elder Jay E. Jenson of the Presidency of the Seventy.  According to the Church News, Elder Holland visited members in Hong Kong, India, and Mongolia.  Elder Bednar traversed the lands of Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan.  While in Indonesia, Elder Bednar organized the Jakarta Indonesia Stake.  According to the Church News, "The Brethren conducted question-and-answer sessions in many meetings, including some that were broadcast to distant congregations.  Such exchanges helped the visiting Brethren learn of the specific challenges facing the Church in each country even as they shared welcome counsel with members and missionaries."

"Area reviews also offer opportunities for the visiting Brethren and area leadership to meet with thousands of members in priesthood leadership conferences, stake conferences, young single adult devotionals and missionary meetings", reported the Church News

This is all good news, especially after the devistating earthquakes in Japan a few short months ago.  The Church takes care of its own, and area reviews such as this are evidence thereto.  All these proceedings are done through revelation.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and is from God.  Jesus is the Christ and Joseph Smith is His prophet, who himself helped establish Christ's Church again on the earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know that we, too, can be instruments in moving forward the work of the Lord, as have Elders Holland and Bednar of the Twelve.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 44 - The Gift of and Interpretation of Tongues

An important doctrine to Latter-day Saint theology is the gift of and interpretation of tongues.  The most famous Biblical instance of this is when the Apostles Peter and John speak to the crowd in Jerusalem in Hebrew, and all the people hear what they say in their own respective languages.  This, then is the key to the gift of and interpretation of tongues - to understand things of God in one's own language.

President Joseph Smith taught, "As to the gift of tongues, all we can say is, that in this place, we have received it as the ancients did: we wish you, however, to be careful lest in this you be deceived. . . . Satan will no doubt trouble you about the gift of tongues, unless you are careful; you cannot watch him too closely, nor pray too much. (History of the Church, 1:369)"  The Prophet goes on to state the purpose for the Gift of Tongues as, "given for the purpose of preaching among those whose language is not understood. (History of the Church 3:379)"  However, the Prophet Joseph gives this warning, "Be not so curious about tongues, do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners, and if persons are very anxious to display their intelligence, let them speak to such in their own tongues. The gifts of God are all useful in their place, but when they are applied to that which God does not intend, they prove an injury, a snare and a curse instead of a blessing. (History of the Church 5:31-32)"

To put in simply, when a person preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a different language than their own, they are using the Gift of Tongues.  There is, however, a false manifestation of this gift we must be wary of.

False Manifestations of the Gift of Tongues
President Joseph Smith also taught, "We have also had brethren and sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely; they would speak in a muttering, unnatural voice, and their bodies be distorted … ; whereas, there is nothing unnatural in the Spirit of God. (History of the Church 4:580)"  Lastly, the Prophet says, "If you have a matter to reveal, let it be in your own tongue; do not indulge too much in the exercise of the gift of tongues, or the devil will take advantage of the innocent and unwary. You may speak in tongues for your own comfort, but I lay this down for a rule, that if anything is taught by the gift of tongues, it is not to be received for doctrine. (History of the Church 4:607)"  Thus those called "Holy Rollers" are left in the dark, because their version of the Gift of Tongues is a false variation, so saith the Prophet Joseph.

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and that it is the only Church to correctly teach the Gift of Tongues and interpretation of tongues.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

President Packer Faints, Rests at Hospital

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was in Cambridge, Massachusets on Sunday with President Henrey B. Eyring of the First Presidency to rededicate the rebuilt Longfellow Park Chapel, which burned down two years ago due to an electrical fire.  Just after President Packer finished speaking at the pulpit, he collapsed to the floor.  The Deseret News of 20 June 2011 said, "LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said President Packer had 'a brief fainting spell' and that he 'was taken to a local hospital for observation and is resting comfortably.'"

According to the Saturday 25 June 2011 edition of the Deseret News, President Packer has been given a pace-maker implant in his heart.

This begs the question of how long President Packer has left until he is taken home to his eternal rest?  I presonally give it four more year (when he turns 90 year old), seeing now he is 86.  The Lord might have other plans in mind for him, but I don't think he'll be made President of the Church.  President Thomas S. Monson was 80 years old in 2008 (when he became President of the Church), and is now almost 84, and, I think, quite robust and full of vigor.  Now don't get me wrong, I love President Packer and have been a fan of his forthright speaking abilities and general wisdom for a long time and would hate to see him go.

Nevertheless, whatever the mind of the Lord, He will do it right, because He knows who will become the Prophet.  I hope President Packer makes a full recovery and has many more years of service left in him.  I know he is a true Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Manti Tabernacle

The Manti Tabernacle was built from 1878-1882.  It technically isn't a Tabernacle anymore, because of the additions on the west of the buildings, and modern Church offices on the ground floor.  The Chapel, however, is the real reason for this posting.  But first, to the outside stone carving, seen below.
If you cannot read it, the inscription above the date (1879) says "Glory to God".  Also, notice the hand-clasp, which is a prominent symbol on the exterior of the Salt Lake Temple.  I think it is a fitting motif, because we do make covenants with God at Church through the ordinance of the Sacrament, as well as in the Temple through the ordinance of the Endowment of the Holy Priesthood.  Now, we go upstairs.

The Chapel as seen from the main floor.
The Chapel of the Tabernacle is actually the entirety of the second story of the building.  Those from Provo will notice the mural on the wall.  It is the exact same mural which hangs on the wall of the Lobby of the Provo Utah Temple.  I like that, for it feels to me that there is a piece of Pioneer history now within the modern Provo Utah Temple.
The Chapel as seen from the balcony level.
This is the Chapel as seen from the rostrum, looking to the back.  The woman in blue with her arms outstretched on the balcony is my wife, Alicia.  The woman sitting in the pew in the lower level is my sister, Kara Goodrum.

I hope you liked this tour of the Manti Tabernacle.  It helps me appreciate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' history and pioneer spirit that much more.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Kingdom of God, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Kingdom of God has come, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This we boldly proclaim without equivocation.

To Constitute a Kingdom
To have a Kingdom one must first have a King to govern that Kingdom.  This King is none other than Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, as Isaiah hath said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsilor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)", and also "mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. (Isaiah 6:5)"  David also saith in another place, "For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (Psalms 95:3)"  The Kingship of Christ is attested to by Nathaniel the Apostle when he says that "thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)"  Lastly, Joseph Smith exclaims, "Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel. . . . Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! (D&C 128:22-23)"

The Dwelling Place of the King
To be a proper king, one must have a palace, built with the best things money can buy, and crafted with the most meticulous care and ability.  Indeed the King of Heaven has had palaces, as it were, or in other words Temples, to call His own.  God (or Jesus Christ, however you will it phrased) is a truly benevolent King, in that He invites us to enter His House and partake of His majesty.  He is so benevolent, He "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathan; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)"  He also "will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)"

Delegation of Kingly Authority (Priesthood)
As all kings do, our King delegates His Authority and His proclamations to His servants.  "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets (Amso 3:7)", and also "it is impossible that man should find out all his ways.  And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him. (Jacob 4:8)"  Some of His servants may include, but are certainly not limited to: The Twelve Apostles, both ancient and modern (Matt 10); the Seventy (Luke 10); the seven Presidency of the Seventy (Acts 6); etc.

Proclamations of the Heavenly King
His word He has disseminated through the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the magazines known as The Ensign, The New Era, and The Friend.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed that Kingdom, spoken of by Daniel, which should be established without hands (that is, established by God) never again to be thrown down.  May all come unto this knowledge and join the Kingdom and become subject to the Eternal King!  In the name of Jesus Christ amen

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Album Hits #1

Truly it is that "if any man serve [Jesus Christ], him will [His] Father honor. (John 12:26)"  The Lord and His Heavenly Father have done that to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The Choir's album "This is the Christ" has just hit number 1 on the Billboard's Classical Overall charts this week, according the the 17 June 2011 issue of the Deseret News.  The album even beat out His Majesty Prince William's and his bride's Wedding Album, "The Royal Wedding: The Official Album".

According to the Deseret News, "Over the past 100 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has recorded nearly 200 albums, with five gold records, two platinum records and a Grammy."

Eyes the Window to the Soul

I was reading Mosiah 18 this morning and found verse 21: "And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another."  I find the phrase "look forward with one eye" neat.  As I read that this morning, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me, and I wrote down the following words: "The eye is the window to the soul.  Do people  see Christ when they look into your eyes?"  Just a simple thought that all could ask themselves.

I know the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.  I also know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world, and that He has called a Prophet on the earth today, even President Thomas S. Monson.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

United States Colleges Finally Get It . . . Or Do They?

In the 15 June 2011 issue of the Deseret News appears an article which says Colleges and Universities across America are wrestling with the problems of binge-drinking and the culture of "hooking-up".  The article states,

Earlier this year, a 19-year old University of Florida student died from alcohol poisoning over spring break, a fraternity at Cornell was suspended after a student was found dead at his frat house in an apparent alcohol-related death and the Tufts University president nixed a decade-long ritual that involved drinking and streaking, saying the blood-alcohol levels of students were at dangerous levels.  A CNN columnist reported last month . . . that sexually active teen girls are more than twice as likely to be depressed than those who are not sexually active and nearly three times more likely to commit suicide.  College students who have been sexually active also have a harder time when they decide they want to spend the rest of their life with one person, the columnist reported.

Now, I know that the majority of the world (let alone the United States of America) has never heard the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but nevertheless, how are the people of this great nation so naive in thinking they can sin and be happy at the same time?  This fulfills the words of Samuel the Lamanite and Alma to the contrary, who both respectively state, "Ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head. (Helaman 13:38)" and "Do not suppose . . . that ye shall be restored [resurrected] from sin to happiness.  Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10)"

The Lord Himself has told us plainly that alcoholic beverages are not good.  Says He,  

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. (D&C 89:4-5)

There are many things Brigham Young University is known for.  Among them are stone-cold sober students and single-sex dorms.  Why is BYU the envy of the world of higher learning if not for these things?  To make the point, from the aforesaid Deseret News article we read again, 

Loyola Marymount University professor Christopher Kaczor wrote, . . . 'Many parents would prefer to have single-sex residences for their children.  Single-sex residences lead to the perception and the reality of a safer campus, especially for female students.  Lower levels of binge drinking and participation in the hookup culture may also lead to higher graduation rates and a more academic atmosphere on campus, increasing prestige, wich boosts enrollment.'

The wisdom of the world indeed is foolishness in the eyes of the Lord, who gives to His children as much as they need.  We need the revelations of the Lord given through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We need, as a Church and as a people, to stick with virtue always.  Aristotle said it best when he said that "virtue makes us aim in the right mark, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means. (Deseret News, 15 June 2011, p. A8)"  In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lies of Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and "The Book of Mormon Musical"

The Tony awards were Sunday night, and "The Book of Mormon Musical" won nine, including Best Musical.  It was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the profanity-laced South Park, which takes great pains in lampooning and defacing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all connected thereto.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone must remember the words of the Lord through Jacob, "Wo unto the lair, for he shall be thrust down to Hell" (2 Nephi 9:34).  The Deseret News wrote a great expose' called "Is This Musical Accurate Satire?" about the lies of these two liars and their "Book of Mormon Musical".  We will here examine the lines from the musical quoted within the Deseret News article, and set the record straight concerning what Mormons actually believe.  We will be proceeding from the beginning of the Deseret News article to the end.  No man need err when searching for the truth, especially when searching for the only correct Truth known as Mormonism.

"All American Prophet"
In the song "All American Prophet", the Angel Moroni sings, "Don't let anybody see these plates except for you (Joseph)."  This is nothing close to what the Angel told Joseph Smith.  President Joseph Smith said, "[The Angel Moroni] told me, that when I got those plates of which he had spoken—for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled—I should not show them to any person; neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed" (JS-H 1:42, emphasis added).  Now, this is clear enough to illustrate one lie of the wicked twosome known as Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Near the end of the same song, wherein the Prophet's death is depicted, the Prophet Joseph sings, "Oh God, why are you letting me die without having me show people the plates?  They'll have no proof I was telling the truth or not they'll have to believe it just 'cuz.  Oh, I guess that's kind of what you were going for."  Now, this is not only a bold-faced lie, but an easily refutable one at that.  Joseph Smith was allowed by the Lord to show the plates to eleven other men.  We will include their testimonies herein in full, in order that the lies of Matt Stone and Trey Parker might be more fully exposed:

The Testimony of Three Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken.  And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.  And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man.  And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true.  And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things.  And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens.  And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God.  Amen.
Oliver Cowdery
David Whitmer
Martin Harris

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
Christian Whitmer
Jacob Whitmer
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
John Whitmer
Hiram Page
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Hyrum Smith
Samuel H. Smith

"I Believe"
In this song, the missionary Elder Price sings, "I'm a Mormon and a Mormon just believes."  This also isn't true, and is a misconstruing of Latter-day Saints saying, as I say, that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet; that the Book of Mormon is true; that Jesus is the Christ; and that I know these things without doubt.  They misconstrue those words into thinking that we Latter-day Saints aren't allowed (or aren't able) to think for ourselves.  This is not only a misinterpretation of Mormonism's doctrines, but the doctrine Christ Himself taught when he said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).  The Book of Mormon also admonished one to think for himself, and this in many instances.  Alma testifies, 
Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself?  Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true.  And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?  Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God.  Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself.  And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.  And moreover, I say unto you that it has thus been revealed unto me, that the words which have been spoken by our fathers are true, even so according to the spirit of prophecy which is in me, which is also by the manifestation of the Spirit of God. (Alma 5:45-47)

Moroni also admonishes critical thinking (yes, it is possible to do that through scriptures, correct historical evidence, and revelation).  He writes, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:4-5).

The Lord explains how this knowledge is truly made manifest to the sincere reader of the Book of Mormon, "But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record.  For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good" (Ether 4:11).

And thus we see . . .
And thus we see the liars (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) are brought into the open naked, as it were, and their lies as well as their secret parts are made manifest to all, male and female, both the wicked and the righteous.  I, Clark LeRay Herlin, know for a surety that the Book of Mormon is true and was translated by the Gift and Power of God by Joseph Smith.  I also know by the power of the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, and my Savior.  I know that only the sincere will take Mormonism for what it is - truth.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I say now boldly as a warning - the Latter-day Saint that sees "The Book of Mormon Musical" is flirting with damnation because Satan is in it.  I also warn that the so-called active Latter-day Saint who sees "The Book of Mormon Musical" and says he likes it, that person is on the road to apostasy, and entrapped in the chords of sin.  I say this boldly and humbly, being led by the Spirit of the Lord, in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 43 - "Called of God by prophecy"

The fifth Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads, "We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."  We will discuss this claim in expanded detail herein.

Many a street preacher has gone to and fro around the United States and the world preaching what he termed to be the gospel of Christ.  However, when one looks at those preachers in light of the Restored Gospel, one finds that said preachers are in error, because they have not been called of God.  Indeed, Paul said it best when he wrote, "And no man taketh this honor [the Priesthood or Authority of God to preach the Gospel] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)"  How was Aaron called?  Why, through a prophet of the Lord, even his brother Moses (Ex. 28:1).
Also, through the Prophet Joseph Smith are given these words to his brother Hyrum Smith, which read, "Behold, I command you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called.  Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my Church, and my Gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine. (D&C 11:15-16)"

It follows then that no man nor woman is authorized to preach the Gospel of Christ unless called by revelation through a prophet.  Elder Orson Pratt said, "No person was ever authorized to act in the name of the Lord, unless called by new revelation. (The Essential Orson Pratt, p. 55)"  In order for anyone, then, to be called to preach the Gospel in any capacity, it must be done through living prophets which said prophets are only found within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

An example from former days is the calling of Matthias to be ordained as one of the Twelve Apostles.  This calling was directed by Peter (the President of the Church) in a speech given to the rest of the Eleven, as seen in Acts 1:15-26.

An example in these latter days of one being called to preach the Gospel of Christ by the Lord through a prophet of God is my own missionary call.  It reads:

12 October 2004

Dear Elder Herlin:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the California Carlsbad Mission. . . . 

[Signed] Gordon B. Hinckley

I hope this essay is sufficient to explain the need of one to be called of God through a prophet, in order to preach the Gospel.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and the only Church Authorized by God to appropriately call men and women to preach the Gospel of Salvation.  I know that both the Bible and Book of Mormon teach of the necessity of being called of God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday to the Hotel Utah!

The Hotel Utah, built from 1909-1911, was considered the grandest hotel west of the Mississippi River, and truly it was.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built the hotel in conformity to a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, IL.  It reads,

Let my servant George, and my servant Lyman, and my servant John Snider, and others, build a house unto my name, such a one as my servant Joseph shall show unto them, upon the place which he shall show unto them also.  And it shall be for a house for boarding, a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein; therefore let it be a good house, worthy of all acceptation, that the weary traveler may find health and safety while he shall contemplate the word of the Lord; and the cornerstone I have appointed for Zion. (D&C 124:22-23)

The house built was the Nauvoo House.  When they Saints fled to the Great Basin, they felt they needed to comply with the revelation a second time, and thus came the Hotel Utah.  In this post, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building will be shown as it existed as the Hotel Utah.

Steel frame of the Hotel Utah in 1910, a year before completion

The Hotel Utah in 1911, when it opened.  Notice the trolley and the horse and buggy in the lower-right corner

The grandest Hotel west of the Mississippi.  The House of the Lord can be seen at left

The Beehive was placed atop the Hotel to symbolize industry, not only of the Latter-day Saints, but of Utah as a whole

A suite in the Hotel Utah.  Most suites had either a queen-sized bed or two double beds

The sitting area in one of the suites

The Lobby on 2 June 1967

The Deseret Store graced the site of where the Hotel Utah stands today.  The Spanish wall in twelve feet high

Monday, June 6, 2011

Scientific Evidence Corroborates Horses in the Book of Mormon

Since the Book of Mormon's first printing in 1830, anti-Mormons have taken main issue with 1 Nephi 18:25, which reads, "And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise [the Americas], as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse . . ."  The anti-Mormons claim that horses were brought over by the European explorers and did not exist here before that time.  Science, however, fully vindicates the Truth of God.  From the 6 June 2011 issue of the Daily Herald, we read concerning the Mustang breed of horses,

The group In Defense of Animals and others are pressing a case in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that maintains wild horses roamed the West about 1.5 million years ago and didn't disappear until as recently as 7,600 years ago.  More importantly, they say, a growing stockpile of DNA evidence shows conclusively that today's horses are genetically linked to those ancient ancestors. . . . Rachel Fazio, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told a three-judge appellate panel in San Francisco earlier this year that the horses are "an integral part of the environment.  As much as the B[ureau of] L[and] M[anagement] would like to see them as not, they are actually a native species.  They are tied to this land.  There would not be a horse but for North America.  Every single evolutionary iteration of the horse is found here and only here." . . . Jay F. Kirkpatrick, a leader in horse reproduction research who directs ZooMontana's Science and Conservation Center is Billings, MT, is among those who say BLM's view is outdated.  "On the face of the science, it is just absolutely incorrect.  It wasn't the predominant horse on the continent, but it was here.  It is native to North America."

We also have this encyclopedia article as more evidence of horses in ancient America, and why the Spanish did not find horses in South America when they arrived:

Fossil remains of true horses, differing but very slightly from the smaller and inferior breeds of those now existing, are found abundantly in deposits of the most recent geological age, in almost every part of America, from Escholz Bay in the north to Patagonia in the South. In that continent however, they became quite extinct, and no horses, either wild or domesticated, existed there at the time of the Spanish conquest, which is the most remarkable as, when introduced from Europe the horses that ran wild proved by their rapid multiplication in the plains of South America and Texas that the climate, food, and other circumstances were highly favorable for their existence. The former great abundance of Equidae in America, their complete extinction, and their perfect acclimatization when reintroduced by man, form curious but as yet unsolved problems in geographical
distribution.’ (New Americanized Encyclopedia, Vol. 5
, p. 3197)

These evidences are good enough for me, fulfilling the scripture which saith, "God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words. (2 Nephi 11:3)"  I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that this scientific finding corroborates the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  Truly science and theology agree.  This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Official Organization of the Moscow Russia Stake Announced

From the 6 June 2011 issue of the Deseret News, it has been announced that Elder Russell M. Nelson organized the Moscow Russia Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday 5 June 2011.  I feel not to discuss this announcement any further than informing The Mormon Eagle's readers who the Stake Presidency is over there: Yakov Mikhaylovich Boyko, President; Vladimir Nkolaivich Astashov, First Councilor; and Viktor Mikhaylovich Kremenchuk, Second Councilor, with Vyacheslav Viktorovich Protopopov the new Stake Patriarch.  I will now talk about the history of the Church in Russia.

As early as 1 October 1843, Joseph Smith called Elder Orson Hyde of the Twelve Apostles and George J. Adams on a mission to St. Petersburg, Russia.  The Prophet Joseph Smith said for Elders Hyde and Adams "to introduce the fullness of the gospel to the people of that vast empire . . . to which is attached some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the Kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time. (James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Volume 1, p. 190)"  This mission never materialized, however, because of the Prophet's martyrdom in June of the next year.

Not until 1895 was another missionary sent to Russia, an Elder August Joel Hoglund.  He arrived 9 June 1895, and two days later (11 June) baptized two converts in the river Neva.  In 1903, President Francis M. Lyman, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, came to St. Petersburg to dedicate Russia for the preaching of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He repeated the prayer again in Moscow.  In between 1903 and the end of World War 1 in 1918, the missionary work continued.  Andre Anastasion joined the Church in 1917 and became instrumental in translating the Book of Mormon into the Russian language. In 1915, the first baptism was performed in Siberia in a lake near Vladivostok. (Russia Novosibirsk Mission website).  Unfortunately, not until the early 1990s, with the collapse of the former Soviet Union, were Mormon Missionaries again allowed in Russia.  On 26 April 1990 Elder Russell M. Nelson rededicated Russia in the Summer Gardens, the same place President Lyman had knelt in 97 years earlier.

As of 2005, Russia has 19,946 members, eight Missions, fifteen Districts, and 129 Branches,

I cannot find which Apostle rededicated Russia after the collapse of the USSR, so if anyone knows, let me know.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 42 - The Apostleship

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (as shown in previous posts) is the only Church to hold the Priesthood Keys, delivered under the direction of the Lord by Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, and Elias.  In this essay, we will discuss the meaning, power, and authority of the Apostleship in this dispensation.

Since  14 February 1835, the Apostleship has been at work promulgating the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So what is the meaning of the word "Apostleship", or what is the nature of that calling?

Current Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Back Row, R-L: Neil L. Andersen, D. Todd Christofferson, Quentin L. Cook, David A. Bednar, Jeffrey R. Holland, Robert D. Hales, and Richard G. Scott.  Front Row, R-L: M. Russell Ballard, Dallin H. Oaks, Russell M. Nelson, L. Tom Perry, and Boyd K. Packer

Meaning of "Apostleship"
President Brigham Young taught, "All the keys . . . and everything preparatory to entering into the presence of the Father and of the Son . . . are incorporated within . . . the Apostleship. (Millennial Star, 23 July 1853, p. 489)"  Apostles ordain Apostles - that is how the Church of Jesus Christ works.  I say boldly as a warning that no man can be ordained an Apostle of the Lord unless specifically called by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints personally.  If one says he was ordained an Apostle by one in the LDS Church who does not hold that office - or by one outside the LDS Church - then that man is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  All those off-shoots of the LDS Church - even if they claim to be Apostles, or to have been given a special ordination - unless they are ordained by the body of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency and then sustained publicly in a General Conference assembled, they are not true apostles.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1944): Front (left to right): George Albert Smith, George F. Richards, Joseph Fielding Smith, Stephen L. Richards, John A. Widtsoe, Joseph F. Merrill. Back (left to right): Charles A. Callis, Albert E. Bowen, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen

Power and Authority of "Apostleship"
The first power anyone gets in the Apostleship is received by diligent, hard work.  In a letter printed in the Deseret News on 30 April 1853, we read:

"Elder O. Pratt has been indefatigable in his exertions in prosecuting the business entrusted to his charge. . . . Elder Pratt is faithful, useful, and true; he has got the run of matters here very well, and is with me in all my deliberations, visitings, etc.
[signed] Orson Hyde"

Secondly (but actually firstly, in regards to building up the Kingdom of God), the Power and Authority of the Apostleship was discussed by President Young during the cornerstone laying of the Salt Lake Temple in 1853.  Said he, "We will now commence with the Apostleship—where Joseph commenced.  Joseph was ordained an Apostle, that you can read and understand.  After he was ordained to this office, then he had the right to organize, build up the kingdom of God, for he had committed unto him the keys of the Priesthood, which is after the order of Melchizedek, the High priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God.  And this, remember, by being ordained an Apostle. (Journal History, April 6, 1853, 6–8)"

Elder Orson Pratt further commented,

This Church never could have arisen had the Lord stopped with the mere translation of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the lesser priesthood.  It is true that with the latter we could baptize, but it does not impart the power to confer the Holy Ghost; and that this Church might have the power to administer in every ordinance of the Gospel, the apostleship was again restored, which holds all the keys, authorities and powers to administer, not only in the outward ordinances, but also to confer the spirit of the living God. (Journal of Discourses, 12:361)

Thus we can behold the nature, power, and authority vested within the Apostleship, which Apostleship is fully exercised only within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1 Nephi 15: A Commentary

1 Nephi 15 will be herein commented on.  We will see what other Prophets and Apostles have said to corroborate the Book of Mormon's admonitions.

Rod of Iron
In verses 23-24, we read, "And [Laman and Lemuel] said unto [Nephi]: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?  And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction."

The word of God is the scriptures.  Nephi here states that if we cleave unto the scriptures, we will never perish.  I take him at his word, but how is this so?  Presidents Joseph Smith, Junior, and Ezra Taft Benson have the answer.  President Joseph Smith said, "“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. (Book of Mormon: Introduction)"  President Smith was here talking about the correctness of the Book's doctrine - that it would lead the humble follower of Christ to the truth.

President Ezra Taft Benson also elaborated on the power of the word of God, specifically the Book of Mormon, when he said, "Its testimony of the Master is clear, undiluted, and full of power.  But it does even more.  Much of the Christian world today rejects the divinity of the Savior.  They question His miraculous birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His glorious resurrection.  The Book of Mormon teaches in plain and unmistakable terms about the truth of all of those.  It also provides the most complete explanation of the Atonement.("The Keystone of Our Religion", Ensign, January 1992)"

River of Water
Verses 26-30 read as follows:
And they said unto me: What meaneth the river of water which our father saw?  And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water.  And I said unto them that it was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God.  And I said unto them that it was a representation of that awful hell, which the angel said unto me was prepared for the wicked.  And I said unto them that our father also saw that the justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous; and the brightness thereof was like unto the brightness of a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end.

The gulf mentioned by Nephi is what divides the spirits in Spirit Prison from those in Spirit Paradise.  Nephi then goes on to mention that the justice of God also separates the wicked from the righteous; this is not to say that they cannot pass out of Hell (or Spirit Prison).  The Lord through Peter has stated that the Gospel is preached to the dead, 

 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:18-21)

Our beloved Apostle Paul also alludes to the fact that the Gospel is preached unto the dead, when he uses the doctrine of baptism for the dead (which the ancient Saints practiced) to prove the Resurrection.  Said he, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Cor. 15:29)"  The words of Nephi in concert with Peter and Paul's words, give extra proof to the validity of the doctrine of baptism for the dead.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and the only true and living Church upon the earth.  I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that if we give heed to His words, we will be led aright.  I know the Lord had provided the scriptures for us to learn of Him and His teachings.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.