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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Washington DC Temple Spires Damaged in Earthquake


"A magnitude 5.8 earthquake, which struck Virginia and surrounding areas Aug. 23, caused 'minor damage' to the Washington DC Temple.

"Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the temple's spires and facade were damaged during the earthquake.

"'There was no damage to the temple interior and no injuries were reported,' he said. 'The temple remains operational.'

"Area resident Douglas Wiggins said that the tips broke off of four of the temple's six spires.  The tip on one of the remaining two spires was bent.

"In nearby Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral experienced similar impact, with its four corner spires sustaining damage in the earthquake that was centered 40 miles northwest of Richmond, VA."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BYU Ranked No. 1 as to Most Religious Students

The Princeton Review has again named Brigham Young University as the campus with the most religious students for the 17th time in 20 years, according to Princeton Review's book, The Best 376 Colleges, 2012 Edition.  According to the Deseret News, "BYU has been No. 1 every year [as having the most religious students] since the launch of the Princeton Review books in 1992 except for second-place finishes in 2000 and 2001 . . . and 2009" ("BYU Again No. 1 for Most Religious Students", Deseret News, 30 August 2011, B4). 

This is a fitting tribute to the faith of the Latter-day Saints.  BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons), should indeed always rank number one as having the most religious student body, as the said Church is, according to revelation, the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth.  For thus saith the Christ, "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" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30), and also, "if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.  And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things.  And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock" (3 Nephi 18:11-12).  We also must remember the Great Jehovah's words to the Israelites, when he said, "Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2).

The world looks at The Church of Jesus Christ as strange, socially backwards people, but the Lord looks upon us as a holy, morally upright people, as we should ever be, for He saith, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?  Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:2).

I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church God has ordained, and the He commands His people to be the most religious, the most holy people upon the face of this world, in order that we might prepare it for His millenial reign.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rightness of Governor Rick Perry

In yesterday's Atlanta Jounral-Constitution, Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry is reported to have signed a pact against gay marriage, a pact he says he will uphold if he is elected President of the United States in 2012.  He states, "Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me.  My stance hasn't changed.  Ii believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Saturday 27 August 2011, A3).

Well has Governor Perry spoken, echoing the words of President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve:  

History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish ("Cleansing the Inner Vessel", October 2010 Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

The Mormon Eagle commends the moral courage of Governor Perry, and hopes that more men and women of faith will follow suite, for heterosexual marriage is right and proper in the eyes of God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Groundbreaking on 17 September

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had it's formal grand-breaking on Saturday 17 September 2011.  Official rendering is seen below:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

LDS Church History no. 3 - Brigham Young Home, or "Let Us Be Up and Doing"

In an epistle of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, written in Nauvoo, Illinois, dated 12 October 1841, we read,

Let us be up and doing. . . . Deal gently, love mercy, walk humbly before God, and whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might, keeping all the commandments, and then, whether in life or in death, all things will be yours, whether they be temples or lands, houses or vineyards, baptisms or endowments, revelations or healings, all things will be yours, for you will be Christ's and Christ is God's.

Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball,
Orson Pratt,
Lyman Wight,
John Taylor,
Wilford Woodruff,
George A. Smith,
Willard Richards.
("An Epistle of the Twelve Apostles, to the Brethren Scattered Abroad on the Continent of America", HC 4:438)

President Brigham Young was acutely aware of this counsel and heeded it.  He built the below home after returning home from his mission to England.

President Young lived in this home until he, under direction from the Lord, led the Latter-day Saints on the Exodus to the West.  This is a beautifully furnished home.  If Brother Brigham can "be up and doing" and build a home this beautiful in the midst of poverty, we can do likewise, even to the accomplishment of anything the Lord asks of us, whether temporal or spiritual.  I know this is true, and no true Latter-day Saint will reject this counsel to "be up and doing" without losing the Spirit of the Lord.

Next, we go inside to the Council Room of the Twelve Apostles in the east wing of the home (to the right of the above picture).  Here we see the Council Room as Brigham Young knew it:

I love the way this room is laid out.  It speaks of order, uprightness, and openness to opinion.  President Young would have no doubt been seated at the head of the table, closest to the door.  I imagine, as is customary today in the Church Office Building, the Council of the Twelve would be seated by seniority.  All would be allowed to speak in turn, and express opinions, give counsel or advise, and generally "be up and doing" in the Lord's work, which is only found within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Let us, therefore, as Latter-day Saints, council with the Lord and also take council from His hand, as the prophet Jacob admonishes, when he saith, "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from His hand.  For behold, ye yourselves know that He counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works" (Jacob 4:10).

Lastly, we come to the below picture of President Young's root cellar:

This was the refrigerator of the nineteenth Century.  I, having had the opportunity to enter therein, opine it is of a satisfactory temperature to keep food stuffs cool, and preserve freshness.

This root cellar of Brigham Young may also have a spiritual undertone.  Notice in the above picture that one must step down to go inside and procure needed food to nourish the body.  It is thus and so also with things of the Spirit - when one is malnourished spiritually, or if the heat of the world causes us to loose our temper, or to become overwhelmed in our daily tasks, let bring ourselves lower in humility, cool off and take nourishment, and then the Lord will lift us out of the mire of our troubles.  Indeed, the Holy Ghost is the greatest nourishment one might receive in this wonderful world we live in.  God be praised for His giving us His Spirit.

I, Clark LeRay Herlin, know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and that President Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God, even His mouthpiece on Earth today.  If we heed his counsel as the Saints in Nauvoo heeded President Young, we will be led aright, and the fiery darts of the adversary shall not overcome us.  We must counsel with the Lord and take counsel from His hand, enter into our "root cellar" and cool off, and "be up and doing", and I know the Lord will give His approbation, guidance, and strength.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Financial Crises and the Fulfillment of Prophecy

From the Deseret News of Tuesday 9 August 2011, we read:

"The stock market buckled Monday under the weight of a cirsis in Europe and danger of recession at home.  Reeling from a downgrade of American debt, the Dow Jones industrials plunged 634 points.

It was the worst day for the market since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008 and extended Wall Street's sudden, sharp decline.  Stocks have lost 15 percent of their value in just 2 1/2 weeks."

Pay the above no mind, for this is just fulfillment of prophecy.  President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed" ("To the Boys and to the Men", October 1998 General Conference, Priesthood Session).

We read President Hinckley's words, and look forth to behold a world, nigh thirteen years since his giving us this prophecy.  Are we not in the midst of a raging storm?  Indeed we are.  We must, as Latter-day Saints and as God's chosen people, be better in finding our years supply of food and water.  I pledge now to do better myself, that I and my wife may profit from the words of the Prophets and Apostles.  I pray the reader does likewise.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Emeritus General Authority Elder Marion D. Hanks Passes Away

From the Deseret News, published Friday, 5 August 2011:

"SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Marion Duff Hanks, 89, a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1953, died Friday, according to the church's Public Affairs Department.  He had been an emeritus General Authority since Oct. 3, 1992.

"Elder Hanks was called as a member of the First Council of the Seventy on Oct. 4, 1953, a little more than a week before his 32nd birthday, making him one of the youngest General Authorities ever called in the latter half of the 20th Century.

"He also served as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve from 1968 to 1976.  He served twice served in the presidency of the Seventy,  from 1976 to 1980, and from 1984 until his release in 1992.  In his last conference address, he said that God wants his "offspring" and "heirs" to become all that they can be, to qualify for their inheritance, but they must choose to do so."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd

Much is said nowadays concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Mormon Eagle knows "it is better to represent ourselves than to be represented by others", but nevertheless, others sometimes (mis)represent Mormonism, whether through ignorance, apathy, or willful disobedience of God's laws.  Hymn number 221, second verse, states:

Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the lambs of his fold;
Some from the pastures are straying,
Hungry and helpless and cold.
See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost,
Bringing them in with rejoicing,
Saved at such infinite cost.

(Hymn #221, "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd")

Indeed, it is a solemn and saddening thought of the Latter-day Saints who have fallen away through either outright apostasy, inactivity, or transgression.  To all those who stand aloof from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Eagle implores all to come back.  The Church stands with open arms to receive all those poor, lost, sad, angry, or wandering Saints who once cherished the life of a Mormon.  Indeed, saith the Isaiah of God's mercy, "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still" (Isaiah 9:12).  Also the Shepherd saith upon conditions of repentance, "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer" (Isaiah 54:7-8).

The Redeemer of the world, even Jesus Christ the Son of God, has atoned for your sins.  But this Atonement will only be efficacious upon those who obey the laws of God, which are only found within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Mormon Eagle humbly warns that those who die in their sins cannot live with God, nor with their families, in the Celestial Kingdom.  Only those faithful Latter-day Saints, those who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, taken up His cross and despised the shame of it, can ever hope to enter the Celestial Kingdom and attain the status of a God.

May all those lost and wayward Latter-day Saints, whether they are still members or former Mormons, come back into The Church of Jesus Christ, and partake at the table of the Lord of His bounteous blessings and infinite Atonement.  Then, and only then, will the power of the Lord, as obtained only in the House of he Lord, rest upon you and cause you to exclaim, as does the Hymn, "praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!"  The Lord is waiting, and will be with the sincere son or daughter of God during the upward, rocky journey back to the Sheepfold.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jerusalem in Goshen, UT

From the Deseret News:

"GOSHEN, UTAH — A little slice of ancient Israel is being created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Utah County, in a vast, open agricultural area that is dotted with communities like Goshen, Elberta, Genola and Eureka.

"At the center of the development is a thoroughly researched, painstakingly designed movie set that replicates various elements of the ancient city of Jerusalem. In the immediate area surrounding the set there are locations that can, with just a touch of movie-making magic, serve nicely as the site of the garden tomb, the Garden of Gethsemane, the hill Calvary, the Judean desert, the Jordan River and other places that are important in telling the story of the life of Jesus Christ.
"'It's an incredible spot, with so many possibilities located so close to each other,' said John Uibel, director of creative story development in the LDS Church's Media Services Department. 'We looked all over Utah, from St. George to Logan, for a place that had hills and mountains and gullies and grass and desert. Miraculously, we found this place, literally just sitting here, not being used for anything — just waiting for us.'

"What the unused hilltop farmland was apparently waiting for is to be turned into the primary filming location for the LDS Church's upcoming effort to provide a movie version of 35 different stories or vignettes from the King James version of the Bible on the life of Christ. These vignettes will be used in LDS Sunday School, missionary efforts, visitors' centers and in the Church Educational System.
'These are not 'dramatizations' in the classic sense,' said Uibel, who will also serve as executive producer of the film series. 'We're not adding a lot of extraneous dialogue or anything like that. These vignettes will be lifted directly from the pages of the Bible, and we will stay as close to the scriptures as we possibly can.'
Actors and extras are being cast in the vignettes largely according to their Mediterranean looks. Egyptian sheep, Old World goats and grey donkeys have been acquired so even the animals have a real, true to life look and feeling about them.

"'We're doing everything we can to get this right,' Uibel said. 'Of course, our primary focus is on the scriptural message, and the spirit we are trying to communicate. But we don't want there to be any visual distractions that get in the way of what we're trying to say.'

"That is why such care has been taken to find the right location, and to design and build this elaborate — and permanent — set.

"'We expect this to be in place for at least 20 years,' Uibel said. 'So we wanted to build something that would last and be useful through many film projects.'

"They also wanted to build a set that would be as compact and utilitarian as possible. So rather than simply reconstruct the ancient city of Jerusalem, Uibel designed a set that has important elements that are combined in such a way that the same spot can serve as many different places, depending on camera angles and set dressings.

"'If you stand right here and point your camera in one direction, this is the Pool of Bethesda,' the producer/designer said, standing in the center of a large plaza area completely surrounded by two- and three-story structures. He indicated different areas surrounding the plaza as he continued: 'Point the camera over there, and it's the balcony where Pilate stood and told the Jews he could find no fault in Jesus. Point the camera over there, and it's the arch through which Christ passes as he makes his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Point it over there, and it's the home where Jesus raised Jairus' daughter from the dead.'

"Walking through the set, one can't help but notice the careful craftsmanship being used to create this re-creation. Although most of the structures are built of fiber-reinforced Styrofoam blocks, they have been carved and sculpted to look like stone. Then they are covered with five micro-layers of stucco, with each layer textured by skilled artisans.

"'You have no idea what it took to get the Jerusalem white limestone color right,' Uibel said.
The result is stunning, with walls and columns that are lined and cracked, detailed rosettes with carved patterns ('straight out of research,' Uibel said) that look appropriately time-worn, and steps made of 'stones' that are perfectly imperfect – rough and uneven – just as they would have been in Jesus' Jerusalem.

"'We've had a lot of people working very hard for a long time, through all kinds of weather, to make this facility truly realistic, and worthy of the message of the life of Jesus Christ,' Uibel said.

"Although the set is not scheduled for completion until later this fall, enough of the facility is complete that shooting can begin on the life of Christ vignettes next week.

"'We've been planning for this for so long, it's a little overwhelming to think that we're almost ready to start shooting,' Uibel said. 'Our cast is set, the extras have been lined up, the director and cinematographer are here on-site looking at locations. This is really going to happen.'

"Uibel said shooting on the 35 vignettes should wrap by the first of October. Then next year production focus will shift to another series of vignettes on the life and mission of the New Testament apostle Paul.
'There's so much that we can do here,' Uibel said as he stood on a hill overlooking the set. 'With just a few little tweaks we can do Old Testament stories, Book of Mormon stories, anything that needs this ancient look and feel.'

"With this set in place, 'even a short Mormon Message can be shot here inexpensively.' And what if Hollywood hears about this unique new film-making facility?

"'They've heard,' Uibel said. 'Word has leaked. And there has been interest. But right now we have only one mission here: to create a body of work that we can draw from that absolutely speaks to every aspect of Jesus' life.'

"'We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ,' said Elder Lynn G. Robbins, an LDS Church general authority and executive director of the Media Services Department. 'One of the main purposes for constructing the Jerusalem Motion Picture Set is to help the world better understand the life and ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ.'"