Week in Faith – October 17, 2010


This Sunday was interesting. After opening the meeting we were greeted with a nice letter from the Brethren™. The letter instructed us to not participate in self help groups. Specifically they instructed is to avoid groups that:

1. Challenge Church™ teachings.

2. Advocate confrontation with spouse as a means for self improvement.

3. Imitate the sacred rites and rituals of the Church™.

4. Involve physical contact with others.

5. Meet late in the evening or early in the morning.

6. Involve confession.

7. Involve pairing of spouses with others.

These points might be a bit generalized, but I was taking notes and fast as my little hands could write, and that’s the gist of what was said. So I ask you are you involved in any groups that meet these qualifications? I must say that I am. My Electronics class meets at 8 AM. Its purpose is to improve myself. I guess I’m going to have to quit.

I guess there goes my plans of starting a group called, “Latter Day Saints United in Jesus Christ.” I’ll talk about this group a bit more at a later date but it was an idea I’ve been inspired to work on. I’ve been involved in its creation for over a year but haven’t made it public yet. I’m still working on finishing a website and online forum for this group. I’ll be officially announcing it later when it is nearer to completion.

The purposes of this group are:

– Reunite the divided Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

– Perfect ourselves in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

– Teach accurately the origins and principles of the Restoration so that the faithful are not surprised, ashamed, or lose faith.

– Learn from and be edified by the righteous teachings of the various sects.

– Preach the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

– Work to gather the Tribes of Israel.

– Build the City of Zion in Jackson County Missouri with its temples.

– Fill the world with Cities of Zion.

– Re-establish the Political Kingdom of God as founded by Joseph Smith.

This group isn’t intended to be a challenge to Priesthood Authority. Rather it is intended as a vehicle wherein those of us who have become aware of the trouble in the last days(within and without the church), can gather and work towards accomplishing God’s purposes(building Zion, etc.). But that’s all for that group right now. I’ll speak more on it later.

Later during Sacrament meeting we were treated to a talk about the all the good things a member of a neighboring ward(I think she might have been in stake Relief Society leadership) has seen members do. The one that stuck out to me, was of a Young men’s leader who kept peeking out the door. Then a young man showed up. The Young men’s leader went out to meet him. Then the Deacon walk in the sacrament hall wearing a tie and sat down in front of the Sacrament Table. The Young Men’s leader entered later and was missing his tie. This Young Men’s leader was so selfless that he sacrificed his tie “to someone who needed more than he did.”

Seriously? I this the kind of example that we should be teaching people? That ties are so important to the priesthood, that it is a sacrifice to give one’s tie to another. Are ties really that important? Read the scriptures pertaining to the sacrament, or even to the responsibilities of a Deacon, and no where will you find a tie mentioned. If Christ were among us today would we require Him to put on a tie before He could administer the sacrament?

That reminds me of a teaching I heard in seminary some years ago. We were told that when Christ returns He wont wear robes but will wear what is common in our culture today; meaning a suit and tie. But anyway I just thought that was funny.

 

In Sunday school we watched a video(Sunday School Video Supplement #2 I believe. Nothing says Holy Spirit like “Sunday School Video Supplement #2″). It showed scenes from Christ’s life and set to a heart warming, warm-fuzzy song. After the video our teacher asked for comments. She called on her husband first. He gave a comment. After which I raised my hand and made a comment(I don’t think I’ve become “that guy” in Sunday School yet, but I think I have in my Institute Class.). My comment was, “While watching I noticed the part when Christ was teaching in the Synagogue and the people there rejected His teachings. I wonder if we are so busy with programs and projects, that if Christ were among us today, we would be blown away by the simplicity of His teachings.”

It was interesting seeing the Sunday School teacher wiggle after that one. But whether my comment was right or wrong, or if it was the best thing to say, I don’t know. But I don’t make comment to be right, or to even be contradictory. I make comments to hopefully cause someone to pause for a moment and think beyond what the Manual™ is telling them. I don’t know. I don’t think what I’m doing could ever really make a difference. One comment during Sunday School isn’t exactly Testimony™ shaking stuff.

Later in Elder’s Quorum(should I add a ™ here? I love using it. Thanks, Tom) we talks about repentance, which was something I needed to hear after having had a “conflict” with my wife the night before. But aside from that we received our Home Teaching™(hahaha!) assignments. I still haven’t received an answer if I should just go along with it or if I should talk to the Elder’s Quorum President and tell him I will only participate if it is done according to Scripture. So I have al lot more study and prayer to do.

Well that’s all for this week.

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15 Responses to Week in Faith – October 17, 2010

  1. That painting had me in stitches.

    Some of the points on that list may be pointing to some of the stuff I’ve written (#’s 1, 3 and 7.) I wonder if my blog is under church surveillance (along with certain other bloggers)?

  2. If given the choice between attending a function where I learn to improve myself, and attendance at a church where I no longer feel the spirit, learn anything new, or even worship the Saviour, I’ll take that self-improvement seminar every time. Even if it goes late into the night.

  3. Chris says:

    That photo of Christ is inaccurate. The beard has to go.

    I like trying to get others to think in class as well. I teach the 15-16 year old class in Sunday school with my wife and love to talk about never trusting anything unless the Holy Spirit reveals it, “proving all things” (questioning everything) and focusing the entire lesson, even one dedicated to prophets, on Jesus. Who knows if they care but it saves me.

    This last Sunday in elder’s quorum in the lesson on faith I asked if God has faith. Boy, did that lead to some dumbfounded looks and (thankfully) real discussion. Then after class I had numerous elders thank me for turning a dry, boring lecture into exciting, thought-provoking conversation. Once you awake and arouse the lesson, I believe most respond to it. They crave that pondering and searching. Whether that changes their view of things, who knows. But week after week of providing a spark helps. Sure, perhaps most will do nothing and not be affected by it. But maybe someone will.

  4. zo-ma-rah says:

    Yes. Christ would shave his beard to fit in with the business executive look, and uniform of the priesthood, today. I thought about that but then i might aswell have posted a picture of any random guy in a suit. Hahaha.

    I didn’t notice before but is that an american flag pin on his lapel?

  5. Yep. Jesus is an American. Totally hillarious. Where did this painting come from?

  6. zo-ma-rah says:

    I just searched, Jesus Christ Business Suit, on google. It was a few pages back.

  7. Justin says:

    starting a group called, “Latter Day Saints United in Jesus Christ.” I’ll talk about this group a bit more at a later date but it was an idea I’ve been inspired to work on. I’ve been involved in its creation for over a year but haven’t made it public yet. I’m still working on finishing a website and online forum for this group.

    If you have been inspired, then I wish you success and I will be sure to participate when you get your site/forum up — however, considering that LDSA started the EOZ think-tank in 2004, I don’t know that you may see much action.

    I personally feel that most of the problem is that we are all too spread out. You in your state, me in mine, etc. There are a good 9 or 10 agents of change participating at LDSA for example. My focus lately has been on what I can do with the people around me. Thru anonymous letter campaigns, spicing up your church experience suggestions, etc. I think we can grow to change things within one congregation at a time.

  8. dyc4557 says:

    Now come on LDSA surely you don’t think that the church would have a surveillance team, I mean they would have to pay them money which means they would have to use tithing funds to try and censure or counter what someone might be saying. Surely the Lord would not approve of that.
    I am writing another post and as I check out exactly what the Lord has said and what the church leaders have been saying for years on the same subject I must admit my first sentence is all sarcasm.
    I keep telling myself, “Jesus attended a church that was so apostate that the leaders of the church authorized a budget item to kill the Son of God. So I can keep attending this church.”
    I think the best that can be done is to exchange information and then each tribe (your family etc) set about in their own way to prepare for the events between here and Zion. And you Zion think tank is a great place to do that.

  9. Great post. I laughed, I cried. But seriously yo! This is really somethin hearing about this letter from the “brethren”. Who all can attest to that? Not that I am doubting you at all Zo’, but was it like an area thing or what? We have not heard anything of that nature down here south of the border. Of course since Jesus is “American” then even He must have forgot as most other gringos do that Mexico is still North America and everyone from Canada to Chile is American.
    My wife just commented that it totally has everything to do with the awakening starting just as the last restoration in the U.S. and among englitch speakers would be their reasoning for only releasing such warnings in certain geographical areas. Why even give the Lamanites any ideas? Well we shall see how long this “sleeping dog” (a very common sight here in MX) will lie.
    Looks like I’ll be seein you on EoZ Think Tank soon.

    Peace.

  10. zo-ma-rah says:

    Yeah, I don’t know if it was an area thing or what. But I wouldn’t be surprised. I often seems that letters from the Brethren will be read in one ward and people in the next ward never heard about it.

    Maybe the Brethren used their abilities as prophets to know that they needed to send a message specific to me. So it was only read in my ward. It was to ward me away from my ideas and places like the Establishment of Zion Think Tank. So sorry everyone I have to follow the prophet and stop all of this.

  11. Justin says:

    Zo-ma-rah,

    I see you got the message that they were trying to get across this October — follow the prophet, don’t worry about your own feelings and promptings.

  12. Mark says:

    The same letter was read in Eastern Idaho about the time of this post.

    What’s even more interesting for me is that Brother Russell T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School General President for the church, was here speaking to area Sunday School Presidencies in September.

    One comment of his, in particular, would be of great interest Zo-ma-rah in regards to the Sunday School lesson he commented in. Brother Osguthorpe’s comment, as I have it written down, was: “Perhaps the number one sin in teaching the adults is ‘Fasten your seat-belts, I have so much to teach(show) you guys.'”

    Another recurring theme in his talk was the importance of personal revelation and testimony when teaching. Without first attaining that personal revelation and testimony, the teaching that follows is not going to accomplish much as the spirit isn’t likely to be present.

  13. Mark says:

    Though hitting on the 7 points mentioned, I think some of that was church leadership being rather discrete as to the mentioning what they were talking about.

    I won’t try to justify #1, although there are some valid and less valid reasons for them to bring it up.
    #2 is probably addressing domestic violence/abuse where “confronting your spouse” means doing so in an (normally physically, but not always) abusive manner.
    #3 is likely addressing making a mockery of sacred things.

    Numbers 4, 5, and 7 likely are tied together, as I can think of one (sexual) practice in particular that would meet all 3 of those criteria. I could also easily see why the church would actively discourage it, and also may not want to “give people ideas” by discussing it more openly. One of those “if people don’t know about it, and don’t know that people actually do that, they’re less likely to do it” type things. Rather than pique people’s curiosity as to what those practices are by naming them, they’ll just mention some of what they entail doing.

    So #4 is a question where the “kind of touching” is likely the issue they’re referring to.

    #5 Is probably more of a “they meet at those hours because they’re less likely to get caught, or the time is much more conducive to the atmosphere of what they’re doing” type situation.

    #6 Just kind of baffles me, unless they’ve decided there is a significant problem with Mormon’s playing “Truth or Dare” type games and taking them to levels they shouldn’t(going back to #4, and possibly #5). As that is the best I can come up with.

    #7 I think is alluding to a bit more than just doing a simple benign activity with another person. (see comment about 4, 5, and 7 likely being related to each other)

    Basically their message is one of those “If you are involved in these activities, you know what we’re talking about, and stop doing it. If you aren’t involved in these activities, you don’t know what we’re talking about and will simply be left wondering about the whole thing.”

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