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Friday, September 30, 2011

"I'm a Mormon" Campaign Spreads Through Cities - and into Our Lives

The "I'm a Mormon" media campaign by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expanding into fourteen US cities.  According to Friday's Deseret News, the campaign will now open in the following cities:

Austin, TX
San Antonio, TX
Atlanta, GA
Phoenix, AZ
Omaha, NA
Lincoln, NE
Hastings, NE
Spokane, WA
Seattle, WA
Tacoma, WA
Denver, CO
Indianapolis, IN
Fort Wayne, IN
South Bend, IN
("'I'm a Mormon' ad campaign to expand", Deseret News, Friday 30 September 2011, A13)

A article announced Monday 3 October 2011 that, "The campaign is also spreading internationally with ads in Brisbane, Australia."

This campaign is wonderful news, a sign that the Church is "rising up and . . . coming forth . . . out of the wilderness—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 5:14).  The Latter-day Saints must not get ahead of themselves, however.  This publicity will bring hundreds of thousands of new converts into the only true and living Church, but will also bring many watchful eyes upon the individual Latter-day Saint.  Therefore, The Mormon Eagle admonishes all - but especially the Latter-day Saints - to follow the words of President Brigham Young.  Said he, "Every moment of my life must be holiness to the Lord, resulting from equity, justice, mercy and uprightness in all my actions, which is the only course by which I can preserve the Spirit of the Almighty to myself" (Deseret News, 2 April 1862, p. 313).  I know if we do as President Young counsels, the Lord will bless us with the greatest of all blessings both in this life, and in the life to come.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LDS Church buys former Hotel Roberts property

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will purchase the old Hotel Roberts property just south of the Provo Tabernacle.  According to today's Deseret News, "With that sale nearly the entire block of 100 to 200 South and University Avenue to 100 West will be owned by the LDS Church.  Only the post office remains" ("Hotel Roberts property going to LDS Church", Deseret News, Wednesday 28 September 2011, A1). 
Hotel Roberts in the 1970s

The properties also on this block are Los 3 Amigos restaurant and the Provo Travelodge.
Above is a map of the locations.  Where the word "Provo" is located in 100 South.  The LDS Church will own most of the land stretching in between Center Street and 200 South, and University Avenue and 100 West.  As more news on this purchase materializes, The Mormon Eagle will release more on this issue.

Monday, September 26, 2011

From The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


"The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invite all members of the Church to participate in the 181st Semiannual General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, 2011.

"Messages will be given by the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church.

"General sessions will be held on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., followed by the priesthood session at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time.  Two more general sessions will be held on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time; the morning session includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LDS Business College Turns 125

The LDS Business College is now 125 years old.  According to the Deseret News, it was "first known as Salt Lake Academy, the college was founded in 1886 under the direction of LDS Church President John Taylor."

Wall Mansion, the main building of campus

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Angel Moroni's Appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith

The Angel Moroni appears to Joseph Smith
 Today is 21 September 2011 - another Anniversary of the appearing of the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith the Prophet from 1823-27.  The events will be discussed herein.

As Joseph was retiring to bed for the night, he, as all good Christians are taught to do, prayed unto the Lord that evening.  He no doubt gave an account of his activities during the day to the Lord, but also expressed to the Lord a desire for forgiveness of sins, and a willingness that the Lord tell him of his standing before Him.  Joseph writes:

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. . . . He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.  He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang.  He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants. (JS-H 1:30,33-34)

This account brought forth from the ground is now known as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon is true, for the Holy Ghost has borne witness to me that it is so.  However, at this point I feel led to answer critics on the matter of the Angel Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith, using one simple objection I heard thousands of times during my mission to California: namely, the Bible is all we need, and therefore anyone claiming an angelic ministration is deceived by Satan.

Angels in Unenlightened Times
This claim, however, is silly and false, and I will show it through scripture.  Keep the following question in mind: If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, why would He stop sending angels to give messages to His children?  The answer is He has not stopped sending Angels to speak to His servants, as evidenced by these references in Holy Writ:

1. An angel instructing Adam about the coming Redeemer and Atonement (Moses 5:6)
2. An angel of God coming to Hagar the Egyptian (Gen. 21:17)
3. Angels of God ascending and descending Jacob's Ladder (Gen. 28:12)
4. Angels ministering unto the Savior of the world (Matt. 4:11)
5. An Angel coming to Cornelius (Acts 10:30)
6. An Angel sent by Jesus Himself unto John to reveal the vision known as the Book of Revelation (Rev. 22:16)
7. An Angel protecting Nephi and rebuking Laman and Lemuel (1 Ne. 3:29)
8. An Angel proclaiming Jesus Christ to King Benjamin (Mosiah 3:2)
9. An Angel rebuking Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah (Mosiah 27:11)
10. An Angel instructing Alma the Younger to preach against the city Ammonihah (Alma 8:14-18)

Angels in Enlightened Times
Those are just ten examples proving that God speaks to His children, both in the Old and New World.  If then, why not now?  Why in this age of enlightenment, can we not be privileged to see and converse with Angels?  Who are we to say, "God, thou hast revealed Thyself through thine Angels, but no more; not in this day of enlightenment and technology!  Thou hast enlightened us enough, and for that we thank Thee, but send Thou unto us no more of Thine Angels, for we have had enough!"  I say that Angels still visit God's Authorized servants on this Earth, which Authorized servants, holding the Priesthood of God, are only found within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"The Group" a Conduit for Apostasy

In The Daily Utah Chronicle, an article speaks of an organization, simply called The Group.  The article tells us that Andrew Johnson is the founder of The Group, and a Returned Missionary, he having served his mission in Indiana.  According to The Daily Utah Chronicle he "founded The Group in October 2010 as a safe place for secular humanists, agnostics and freethinkers in Utah County. . . . 'When I returned home, I felt like I was the only non-theist within Utah County as there were no gatherings of people like me'" ("The Group: Utah County's Covert Secular Community", The Daily Utah Chronicle, volume 121, number 16, September 2011, p. 7).

This is disconcerting because so many members of The Group are students at BYU, and so-called "active" members of the Church.  In view of this, The Mormon Eagle feels disposed to warn those who flock to this group and therefore run afoul of the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles.  No good will come of this.  I, Clark LeRay Herlin, warn all to give heed to the Living God and His servants, or suffer the consequences of apostasy.  If one leaves the LDS Church, the Gift of the Holy Ghost leaves also, as do the blessings only found in the House of the Lord.

Open Rebuke to The Group
To begin, Brother Andrew Johnson is on a slippery slope, and will sink himself (and those who ally themselves with The Group) to Hell if he does not desist.  I know this because when one gambles with Satan, one always looses.  To put it another way, I quote President John Taylor.  Said he:

When you hear a man talk against the authorities of this Church and kingdom, you may know he is sliding down hill.  He does not know what spirit influences him; he is ignorant that he is in the dark; and, unless he retraces his steps quickly, he will go overboard.  You may set that down as a fact all the time.  Why?  Because, if this is the Church and kingdom of God, and the President is the elect of God, and his council and the Twelve and others are the elect of God, and you seek to injure them, you run a great risk, and will be found fighting against God; for Jesus says, ‘He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me, and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me.' (Journal of Discourses, 7:325)

There are two fallacies, as mentioned by an anonymous female BYU student who was quoted in The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Fallacy One: No "Pure Good or Pure Evil"
The student says, "There is so much going on in the world that you can't just call pure good and pure evil" ("The Group: Utah County's Covert Secular Community", The Daily Utah Chronicle, volume 121, number 16, September 2011, p. 10).  This is false, because there are absolutes in life.  One absolute is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Source for all good.  Amaleki tells us "there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil" (Omni 1:25).  The prophet Nephi spake of the devil, saying thus, "And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none - and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance" (2 Nephi 28:22).  The Lord Jesus Christ, speaking through Moroni, saith, "And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me.  I am the same that leadeth men to all good" (Ether 4:12).  Even the Scriptures themselves teach of an ultimate good.  Mormon saith, "The preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just - yea, it had a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else" (Alma 31:5).  Thus we see there is a pure Source of good, but also a source of evil.

Fallacy Two: Fulfillment and Happiness Found Outside LDS Church
The aforementioned female BYU student says, "Simply because you no longer ascribe to the Mormon faith, or any other organized religion, you can still strive for . . . fulfillment and happiness" ("The Group: Utah County's Covert Secular Community", The Daily Utah Chronicle, volume 121, number 16, September 2011, p.10).  This is also false, in the eternal sense, because to be truly happy in the next life, one must live in a family unit with God the Father, and that can only happen within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I will prove it through the words of God and His prophets. 

The Redeemer says, speaking of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (John 14:26).  President Ezra Taft Benson taught in connection with this, "[Jesus] has power to comfort an anguished heart pierced by sorrow or sin.  He provides a special kind of peace that no human agency can provide" (Ensign, June 1990, p. 2).  Abinadi taught, "O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people" (Mosiah 15:18).  The Lord saith, "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. . . . But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:21, 23).  Thus we see that peace and fulfillment can only be had within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

An Invitation From the Lord
The Lord wills that all His children live with Him again.  However, none can unless they are clean before Him.  The Son Ahmen saith, 

Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?  Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.  Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.  Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. . . . And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh. (3 Nephi 9:13-15,17)

Also, He implores, "Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire" (Alma 5:34-35).  As well, the Savior commands,  

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; ad repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be fille with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be cumbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 29:2)

I know what I have written are bold sayings, but they are true.  I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living Church on Earth, for the Lord God hath spoken it.  I know without doubt that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece upon the earth today.  I know those who keep the commandment of God will have the peace of God and the fulfillment He promises, even eternal life.  Forsake all evil and cleave unto all Good, is my prayer.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 46 - "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism"

The prophet Nephi prophesied of our day, he having seen it in vision.  He prophesied, "And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God" (2 Nephi 28:8).  The Mormon Eagle will examine the correctness of Nephi's prophecy as seen today in the national press.

"After the Image of His Own God . . ."
In the Tuesday 13 September 2011 issue of USA Today, "religion statistics expert George Barna . . . laments, 'People say, 'I believe in God.  I believe the Bible is a good book.  And then I believe whatever I want.''"*

We read the words of Nadine Epstein, an editor and publisher.  Concerning the Jewish magazine Moment, she states, "The September edition of Moment asks, 'Can their be Judaism without God?'  And most say yes.  It's incredibly exciting.  We live in an era where you pick and choose the part of the religion that makes sense to you.  And you can connect through culture and history in a meaningful way without necessarily religiously practicing."*

Lastly, Rusty Steil of Denver, Colorado remarks, "I don't find much comfort in imagining there's an all-powerful God who would allow people starving and all the natural and man-made disasters."*

These opinions of Mr. Steil, Ms. Epstein, and observation by Mr. Barna, although sincere, are wrong, and will garner the hot displeasure of Jehovah.  Speaking of the inhabitants of Earth, He saith, "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall" (D&C 1:16).

"One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism"
We at The Mormon Eagle will address the above three quotations, expose the falsities of religious secularism, and throw open the door to let in some light.  We will address both concerns of George Barna and Nadine Epstein at once.  They both make remarks saying Americans think they can believe in God (or not believe in Him), do what they want, and all will turn out right in the end.  This is a fallacy of the most hellish hue.  Nephi warns, "And others will he [the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell" (2 Nephi 28:21).

There are certain facts, which cannot be wished away, when it comes to religious matters.  We will list those that counter the quotations found herein, which quotations were pulled from USA Today:

1.  God exists as a Personal Being, with a body of flesh and bone.  God loves all His children, no matter the race, political persuasion, sexual orientation, nationality, or creed (or lack thereof).  Heavenly Father loves His children, and wants them to choose for themselves how to act, whether those actions are to help an old lady across the street or to murder and kill one another.  He holds all accountable to Himself for their actions (or lack thereof), yet He will not intervene in the actions of His children, no matter how evil or good they may be.  He has said, "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon" (Abraham 3:25-26).  He wants us to become Gods as He is a God.

2.  The Bible is true, not just a good book.  In it (as well as in the Book of Mormon) we find the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah the Jews have long since hoped for, even the Redeemer of the world.  In the Bible and Book of Mormon, we learn what we must do to gain salvation and exaltation with Christ and God.  The Bible and Book of Mormon are evidences that God has a concrete organization to His kingdom, and that one must join it (through ordinances) or one cannot be saved; that Kingdom is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

3.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's Church, restored as prophesied in Acts: "And he [God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20-21).  To restore means to bring back something in its original state.  Why would Peter say the Church of Christ need be brought back unless the Lord took it away?  Indeed the Lord did take away His Church, but has restored it through His servant Joseph Smith the Prophet.

The above three verities the world must accept or they cannot be saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God; they must accept the above or they cannot be united as families for eternity.  This I know, through careful study and prayer, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

*Quoted in "More Americans customize religion to fit their personal needs", USA Today, 2A

Mormon Tabernacle Choir 9/11 Tribute Digital Release

From the Deseret News, Tuesday 13 September 2011.  The article is written by Trent Toone:

"The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s special Sunday telecast, “9/11: Rising Above,” narrated by veteran newsman Tom Brokaw, was significant for three reasons.

"The broadcast was a stirring salute to the American spirit on the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

"The program aired on more than 900 radio, television and cable networks and Internet stations across the United States.
"The event also opened new doors of digital innovation for the choir to share its music with the world.
For the first time, the choir is releasing a digital-only album of the tribute’s music on iTunes and

“'What usually happens on the Monday following a broadcast of this special nature, our phones and the phones at Bonneville (Communications) are flooded with people saying, ‘How can I get a copy (of the music)?'’” said Scott Barrick, the choir’s general manager.  'The stars aligned for us.  We were able to put this music out there digitally, a lot faster than a physical piece, and have it out there for people to enjoy the next day.  iTunes was a great idea.  It will be a really neat thing to see the response we get.'

"When word leaked to network affiliates in major markets that Brokaw had accepted an invitation to join the world-famous choir in a special 9/11 performance, Deseret Book, a division of Deseret Management Corp. that operates the choir’s record label, was informed.

"'Man, we are going to get phone calls like crazy about where you can get the music that’s in the program,' said Bob Ahlander, director of music and film for Deseret Book.  'We went to the choir and said we wanted to build an iTunes digital album that features music from the program.  They said go for it.'

"In a matter of weeks, the music was pulled together and art was created, Ahlander said.  Deseret Book approached iTunes, and their people loved the idea.

"'They were excited about it and jumped on board right away,' Ahlander said.

"Music from '9/11: Rising Above' will receive iTunes banner ad placement on both the Gospel/Christian and Classical home pages for the next two weeks.  The downloadable six-track album will cost $4.99 and includes popular songs such as “Shenandoah,” “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America.” Brokaw’s narration is not included.

“'This is the first time we’ve created an album to be sold exclusively in the digital domain,' Ahlander said.

“'This project opened some doors we haven’t been able to get through before.'

"Choir president Mac Christensen said this performance will impact listeners for years to come.

“'We know that many people will be moved by the choir’s 9/11 tribute,' Christensen said.  'We know from experience that many people will want to hear the music over and over.  This digital-only album will enable our listeners to have this music so they can experience the feelings of the broadcast again.'

"The tribute performance Sunday was part of the choir’s weekly series, 'Music and the Spoken Word.'  It originated from Temple Square in Salt Lake City and featured the Orchestra at Temple Square.

"Barrick said it was fitting for the choir to have a special program Sunday because the choir performed a special concert on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.

"'They had planned to do a mini concert for a group of financial executives who were in Salt Lake City,' Barrick said.  'As the events of the day unfolded . . . a request came from the First Presidency to change the program to an impromptu memorial concert.  That night the concert, broadcast over KSL Radio, became one of the first musical memorials for the victims of 9/11.'

“'So it’s appropriately fitting that the choir would do a commemoration concert on the anniversary because their music has been providing solace for memories associated with 9/11 from the very beginning.'

"Brokaw and his wife relished their chance to spend time with the choir, Barrick said.  During a taping session on Aug. 21, Barrick said Brokaw stood in front of the choir and related how he first heard the choir perform as a young man when his family passed through Salt Lake City on a trip.

“'It was his highlight of that trip, so he was very pleased to have this opportunity,' Barrick said.  'He talked about what an honor it was for him to be able to be with the choir.'

“'Shenandoah' is Brokaw’s all-time favorite song, Barrick said.

“'After we finished recording Mr. Brokaw’s narration, he and his wife went to the back of the hall with a host and sat there while the choir and orchestra played the full arrangement of ‘Shenandoah.’  He just sat there with tears in his eyes.  At the end of the playing, he just jumped to his feet and yelled, ‘Bravo,’ from the back of the Conference Center.  It was a treat to know it had reached him so meaningfully.'”

Monday, September 12, 2011

LDS Church History no. 5 - Loss of the 116 Manuscript Pages

The loss of the 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Lehi by Brother Martin Harris are a tragedy of untold heights and depths.  What the circumstances are surrounding these events are examined herein.

President Joseph Smith, Jun. states,

Some time after Mr.Harris had begun to write for me [in 1828], he began to importune me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and show them; and desired of me that I would inquire of the Lord. . . . The answer was that he must not.  However, he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should inquire again.  I did so, and the answer was as before.  Still he could not be contented, but insisted that I should inquire once more.  After much solicitation I again inquired of the Lord, and premission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions; which were, that he show them only to his brother, Preserved Harris, his own wife, his father and his mother, and a Mrs. Cobb, a sister to his wife. (HC 1:21)

Brother Harris bound himself by solemn covenant with President Smith that he would abide by the instructions set down by the Lord.  But alas, Brother Harris showed them to others, who then used cunning devices to get the papers away from him, and they are lost unto this day.   

At a breakfast prepared by Joseph Smith, Sen. and his wife Lucy Mack in New York, where Joseph Smith the Prophet had gone in search of Martin, Martin Harris came, hours late, and without the manuscript pages.  The account reads thus, from the pen of Lucy Mack Smith:

He [Brother Harris] took up his knife and fork as if he were going to use them, but immediately dropped them.  Hyrum, observing this, said "Martin, why do you not eat; are you sick"  Upon which Mr. Harris pressed his hands upon his temples, and cried out in a tone of deep anguish, "Oh, I have lost my soul!  I have lost my soul!"

“Joseph who had not expressed his fears till now, sprang from the table, exclaiming, "Martin, have you lost that manuscript?  Have you broken your oath, and brought down condemnation upon my head as well as your own?"

“Yes; it is gone," replied Martin, "and I know not where."

[Joseph cried,] “All is lost! all is lost!  What shall I do?  I have sinned—it is I who tempted the wrath of God.  I should have been satisfied with the first answer which I received from the Lord; for he told me that it was not safe to let the writing go out of my possession."  He wept and groaned, and walked the floor continually.

At length he told Martin to go back and search again.

“No; said Martin, "it is all in vain; for I have ripped open beds and pillows [looking for the manuscript]; and I know it is not there."

“Then must I", said Joseph, "return with such a tale as this?  I dare not do it.  And how shall I appear before the Lord?  Of what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the Most High?" . . .

The next morning, he set out for home.  We parted with heavy hearts, for it now appeared that all which we had so fondly anticipated, and which had been the source of so much secret gratification, had in a moment fled, and fled forever.
(History of Joseph Smith, p. 128–29)

Because of the loss of the 116 pages, President Smith was commanded by the Angel Moroni to give back the plates and the Urim and Thummim.  This he did, and after sincere repentance, the Angel returned them to him.  Joseph later remarked about receiving the Plates again, "The angel seemed pleased with me . . . and he told me that the Lord loved me, for my faithfulness and humility" (History of Joseph Smith, p. 135).  Later on, President Smith said, "I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it"  (History of the Church, 2:170).

We can learn a lot from Martin Harris and Joseph Smith.  We can learn that the Lord has strict commands, which must be obeyed without question; also that the Lord's wisdom and knowledge and foresight is better than man's.  Let the Latter-day Saints, therefore, always follow the Lord and His Prophet, which at this time is President Thomas S. Monson.  I know this as fact, for I have asked the Lord in prayer.  All who likewise ask Him in faith with receive a like answer.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Payson Utah Temple Groundbreaking Anncouned


"The Church announced Sept. 7 that the Payson Utah Temple groundbreaking will take place on Oct. 8, with Elder Dallin H. Oaks presiding at the 9 a.m. ceremony.

"The property for the temple is located at approximately 930 West and 1550 South on the southwest side of Payson, a mile from the 800 South I-15 interchange.  The new temple will help meet the needs of a growing Church membership in the area and will ease the heavy use of the Provo Utah Temple, which is one of the busiest in the Church.  The Payson temple will bring to 15 the number of operating and announced temples in Utah.

"The new temple will serve approximately 22 stakes from Spanish Fork to Nephi comprising approximately 78,000 Church members.  Temple-going members have been driving 14 miles to Provo or 66 miles Manti for temple services.

"President Thomas S. Monson announced on Jan. 25 that a new temple will be built in Payson, a once agrarian area located in southern Utah County."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

LDS Church History no. 4 - The Seventies Hall

Seventies Hall in Nauvoo, Illinois
The Seventies occupy a special place in Church hierarchy, namely firstly and foremost as missionaries.  As such, it is the only Priesthood office to have it's own specific building in any city in any era of Church history.  For example, both the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency have offices in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, but the Quorums of the Seventy are the only Quorums to have a building specifically for them.

This building - the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo, IL - was completed in July 1844, and was dedicated in December of that same year by President Brigham Young.  It is also interesting to note that it was in this building that the famous meeting on 8 August 1844 took place, where Sidney Rigdon, devoid of the Spirit of the Lord, claimed guardianship of the Church, but was rejected (see Stanley B. Kimball, "Heber C. Kimball and Family, the Nauvoo Years," BYU Studies, Vol. 15, Number 4, Summer 1975, p. 471).

The main floor was used as a lecture hall and Chapel for Church meetings, as it is still used today.  The pulpit is curved, you will notice, because in those days it was more common for speakers to speak off-the-cuff, whereas today one needs a place for notes; hence today's rectangular pulpits.

The upper floor housed a library and museum containing artifacts brought back by missionaries returning from their missions, but now houses a museum of artifacts found during archeological digs.

During the dedicatory prayer, President Brigham Young stated,

We ask thee, our Father, to accept the dedication of our hearts this morning, and may we feel the prelude of that power and authority with which thy servants shall be clothed, when they shall go forth and open the door of salvation to the nations and kingdoms of the earth; even thy servants, the Seventies, upon whom the burden of thy kingdom does rest, and to whom the keys of the same shall be committed from time to time. (Dean C. Jessee, “The John Taylor Nauvoo Journal: January 1845–September 1845” (1983), BYU Studies, Vol. 23, Summer 1983, 7-9). 

As I read this, I feel a twinge of guilt because I only listen to the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency during General Conference, but I feel to repent of all my sins.  I will make it a habit to listen to all the Brethren, including and especially the Seventies, because they are they key to this work; it is they to whom the Twelve and First Presidency go to for ministerial help, and none else.  They, therefore, hold a special place within the Lord's Church and in His sight.

President Young also said, "Help us, O Lord to separate ourselves from all iniquity, that evil doers may
not exist in our midst, but may this people become a holy people, peculiar to thyself, to show forth thy praise in all the world" (Ibid.).  This is my prayer.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

9/11 Destruction Allowed Us to Spiritually Rebuild

From the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog, we read the words of the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow.  Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts.  It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world.  This week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with Tom Brokaw, will pay its own homage to the unforgettable events of September 11, 2001.

"There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy.  People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding.  Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it.   Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.
Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed.  Healing has come with time, but so has indifference.  We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt.  Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives.  The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment.  But we are forgetful.   When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

"Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering.  Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers.  Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

"But we are less faithful than He is.  By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish.  We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy.  Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer.  Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children.  And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.

"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us.  We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives.  It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.

"The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day.  We truly 'need Him every hour,' not just in hours of devastation.  We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him.  If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men.  We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.

"It is constancy that God would have from us.  Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness.  Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were.  We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow.  We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mormon Marriages and Divorce

This essay is not necessarily a doctrinal exposition, but rather a statement of the facts as they are, and a few remarks on the subject therein elucidated.

According to the United States Census Bureau in their "Marital Events of Americans: 2009", Utah's marriage rate during that year was a full 9% and 7 % higher among men and women, respectfully, than compared with other states in the survey.  However, the divorce rate of Utahns is roughly the same as the national average.  This says a lot about marriage, The Church of Jesus Christ, and Satan.  Let me elucidate further.

Sealing Room in the Salt Lake Temple

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, "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."  This mandate the Church is keeping, as evidenced by the higher marriage rate of Utah men and women than the national average.  We Latter-day Saints know that marriage is not a mere earthly contract, but an eternal bind that stretches forth millennium upon millennium.  The Lord hath said, 

 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever (D&C 132:19).

Now, covenants entered into in the Holy Temple must be kept with vigilance and courage, for Satan, as is evident by Utah's divorce rate roughly at the national average, is destroying the family.  How, then, might we nurture the family and the relationships therein sanctified?  Elder Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord, taught, "Because it is ordained of God, the intimate physical expressions of married love are sacred. Yet all too commonly, these divine gifts are desecrated.  If a couple allows lewd language or pornography to corrupt their intimacy, they offend their Creator while they degrade and diminish their own divine gifts. True happiness is predicated upon personal purity" ("Nurturing Marriage", April 2006 General Conference).  Let us stay pure, for the Lord saith, "Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2).

President Ezra Taft Benson, a Prophet, taught, "It is time to awaken to the fact that there are deliberate efforts to restructure the family along the lines of humanistic values.  Images of the family and of love as depicted in television and film often portray a philosophy contrary to the commandments of God" ("Fundamentals of Enduring Family Relationships", October 1982 General Conference).  We must defend the institution of marriage, both within our home and in the media, for Satan wills it destroyed.  The prophet Moses wrote that, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25).  God created Adam and Eve, one man and one woman, and, as evident by the foregoing scripture, married them for eternity, for at this time death had not entered the world - thus showing that marriage is an eternal institution, and not to be entered into outside the House of the Lord, lest that relationship not last forever.  God created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve, thus also showing that homosexual marriage is not marriage at all, but an evil social contract condoning sin.

Lastly, Elder David B. Haight, another Apostle, said, "Scripture reveals that, after the earth was developed, God created man in His own image and gave him dominion over the earth.  By the side of man stood the woman, sharing with him the divinely bestowed honor and dignity of supremacy over all other creations" ("Marriage and Divorce", April 1984 General Conference).  I love how Elder Haight speaks of Adam as having Eve by his side, then stating they two are granted "honor and dignity of supremacy over all other creations".  This means, in my view, that Adam has the honor of nurturing and taking care of all creations - the flowers, fish, fowls, animals, and his wife Eve.  Likewise, Eve has the honor of nurturing and taking care of all creations of God - the flowers, fish, fowls, animals, and her husband Adam.

I know what I have spoken is true.  I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only institution on Earth with the Authority and Power to make marriages last forever, and that if not entered into within the walls of a House of the Lord, will not be forever.  I know marriage is an holy institution, given of God that we might become like him - even progress to a God as He is.  I know if we, as led by the Holy Spirit, nurture our marriages, making sure our eternal partner is happy, all will be peace, no matter what the circumstances otherwise.  In the mane of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

LDS Church Buys Property Just South of Provo Tabernacle

The following is inserted into The Mormon Eagle, via the Daily Herald of Provo.  The article is written by Genelle Pugmire.

"PROVO -- A flurry of rumors surrounding what the LDS Church might do with the burned out Provo Tabernacle, Tabernacle park and properties to the south became more solidified after a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

"The status indicated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had purchased the Provo Travelodge Motel and the Los 3 Amigos Restaurant on the west block of University Avenue between 100 and 200 South streets.  The city of Provo currently owns the corner lot on which the former Hotel Roberts sat, on the 200 South northwest corner.

"The Travelodge and Los 3 Amigos are across 100 South from the Provo Tabernacle, which was gutted by a fire late last year.  The LDS Church has not yet announced what it plans to do with the Tabernacle building.

"'We have sold, but I am under contract to not say who I have sold to, that Facebook wasn't from me,' said Stuart Smith, owner of the Travelodge.

"Wednesday evening the LDS Church issued a statement about the purchases.

"'The church is still evaluating plans for the Provo Tabernacle and surrounding area and will share details as they become available.  To provide options moving forward we have acquired the hotel and restaurant immediately south of the Tabernacle,' said Scott Trotter, LDS Church spokesman.

"The Travelodge has been one of the Provo downtown mainstays since 1959.  Smith purchased it in 1987.  He said he has no idea what the new owners will be doing with the property. 'No one has told me.'

"Faustino Gonzalez, owner of Los 3 Amigos Restaurant, said he signed papers on the sale to the LDS Church on Wednesday.

"'We have been working on this for over a month,' Gonzalez said. 'We have been open for about 20 years.  Our first day was in May of 1992.  The restaurant will close on Sunday.'

"Faustino said Los 3 Amigos will relocate to 2291 N. University Parkway and will reopen within the next two months.  Most of the nine employees will continue working at the new location.

"When asked what will be done with the existing building, Gonzalez said, 'I believe it's going to be torn down.'

"Smith said he has already liquidated much of the motel property like furniture, televisions, towels, etc., to a motel in Richfield and to some other local motels."

"'I might hold a big yard sale in a few weeks,' Smith said.  He also said the Travelodge would not be relocated, but will close for good.

"Mayor John Curtis said he is constantly being asked what the LDS Church will do with the Tabernacle.

"'I have been asked in meetings, at the grocery store, and I was even asked when I was visiting in Des Moines, Iowa, what the church would do.  This shows how important it is to our community.'

"As late as last year and just prior to the fire, city representatives had approached the church about some improvements to the Tabernacle park area.

"Curtis added, 'It's clear from the church's activity that they are invested.  It's one more validation the church considers it an important piece of property.'

"Rumors about plans for the Tabernacle property have been running rampant for months.  They range from the LDS Church putting in a walking garden like the City Creek project in Salt Lake, to a parking facility of some kind with a shopping center on the Hotel Roberts property that would include Deseret Book, an LDS Distribution Center and all things LDS, to museums.

"Rumors also include ideas about the inside of the Tabernacle building, including everything from what country the new organ is being purchased from, to the Tabernacle featuring a center spire like it had in the early 1900s.  All these rumors have kept residents waiting with great anticipation on an LDS Church announcement.

"The city block south of the Tabernacle also is the home of Provo's downtown post office.  Recent announcements of postal locations being closed throughout the nation also raised rumors about Provo's downtown post office.

"U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, acknowledged that he had been a conduit for the city in discussions about the Provo post office.

"'To the best of my knowledge there has not been a formal offer made, but there could be things behind the scenes going on that I'm not aware of,' Chaffetz said.  'The post office is open to considering an offer.'
"Chaffetz said the post office is trying to downsize its offices, so it wouldn't be out of the question that the Provo downtown office would sell.

"Last year the city purchased the Hotel Roberts property with no particular purpose in mind, according to Paul Glauser, Provo Redevelopment Agency director.  To his knowledge the church has not purchased that property and he doesn't know what its involvement might be.

"'I had heard they were working on Travelodge and possibly Los 3 Amigos,' Glauser said.  'What I'm hearing is pretty exciting if it's true.  Whatever the church does it will be first class."

Mormon Missionary Killed in Car Crash in Upstate New York

A Sister Missionary, Sister Vanessa Bentley, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) was killed in a tragic car accident Tuesday while serving in the Utica New York Mission.  According to the 1 September 2011 issue of the Deseret News, "the accident occurred when the car carrying the two missionaries . . . attempted to make a left-hand turn.  the other vehicle hit the passenger's side of the missionary vehicle directly.  Sister Bentley was sitting in the passenger's seat" ("LDS Sister Missionary Killed in Accident", Deseret News, 1 September 2011, B2).

This is a tragic accident, but nothing with which we need trouble ourselves.  As Sister Bentley was where she was supposed to be, preaching the Gospel of the Son of God, we can be assured that Sister Bentley is doing the Lord's will, having received the eternal transfer which makes any missionary's mother proud.  As it was said of Elder David W. Patten of the Twelve, so it can be said of Sister Vanessa Bentley, "when [Elder Patten] shall finish his work I may receive him unto myself, even as I did my servant David Patten, who is with me at this time. . . . David Patten I have taken unto myself" (D&C 124:19, 130).

At this tragic time, I, Clark LeRay Herlin, leave my condolences with the Bentley family, knowing that the Son of the True and Living God watches over His Saints, and that His Atonement will console all at this time of mourning, giving the needed hope and strength and knowledge of a glorious resurrection.