An SFGate article mentioned today that “Romney campaigned Wednesday in Northern Virginia. Obama met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, was holding an in-town fundraiser and hosting an evening South Lawn picnic for lawmakers.”
As the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon or LDS Church) enters the media spotlight more and more, especially surrounding the 2012 election of Mitt Romney, many questions arise concerning the rumors of polygamy. Did the Mormon church practice polygamy before, and does it practice polygamy now?
The short answer is that, yes, the Mormon church did practice polygamy until 1890. Since that time, the Mormons have not practiced polygamy. In fact, even in countries where polygamy is legal, polygamists cannot join the LDS Church. If a member of the LDS church is caught practicing polygamy, they are excommunicated (are no longer members). Continue reading →
In science, we are made aware of potential realities through discovery; studying; experimenting, testing, and observing; checking and interpreting results; drawing conclusions; and sharing the discoveries with others.
Add God to that process, and you have faith. The scientific method is essentially the secular version of faith.
Discovery: I may have a spiritual principle brought to my attention – usually in the form of directions from my church leaders or through my own observations. I formulate a theory about my observations.
Study: As I am made aware of a potential new truth, I can study the topic in my scriptures, find out what past and present church leaders have said on that topic, and can listen to the testimonies of other people. I can ask questions in Sunday school or can bring up the topic with friends. I begin to compile methods for testing my spiritual principle.
Experimenting, Testing, and Observing: This portion of the process is where faith truly is brought to life. In the Book of Mormon (Alma ch. 32, v.28), an ancient-American prophet explains this concept. I can view the effects of the principle in the lives of others, and I can act on the principles myself and observe my own results. Sometimes, I even write about my experiences in my personal journal.
Checking and Interpreting Results: If I’m trying to learn about a principle like the Word of Wisdom, I can check my results from observing the principle, compare my before-and-after results, and can note outside influences that could affect my results (like having type-1 diabetes, for example). I take my results and compare them with the results that I was told that I could expect from following that principle.
Drawing Conclusions: I often take my thoughts, my data, and my results to the Lord. Sometimes I fast during this process; I nearly always pray and ask my Heavenly Father if I’m right; and, when I get confirmation from multiple sources (like my bishop, the scriptures, my actions and the actions that I observed of others, the prophets, and the Spirit), then I conclude that it must be a true principle.
Sharing Discoveries With Others: In LDS language, when we share our conclusions or knowledge about spiritual principles, we call this bearing testimony. Once per month in church (in a meeting that we call Fast and Testimony meeting), we get to learn about spiritual truths that others have discovered or concluded to be true. Many times, we can know that something is truth when people bear their testimonies, and those testimonies are confirmed by the Holy Ghost.
Through faith and works, I have come to know that God truly does exist, that Jehovah and Lucifer are His diametrically opposed sons, that the Word of Wisdom is true, that the Law of Chastity is true, that keeping the Sabbath day holy truly is a commandment of God, that fasting is a true and helpful principle, that tithing is important and a correct principle, that “The Family: a Proclamation to The World” was a document inspired of God. I found that Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and Jesus Christ in a vision, that he truly did reestablish Christ’s true church on the earth, and that I belong to that church.
When I was still a teenager, I was told that every worthy young man should serve a mission. It always flew in one ear and out the other… until one day, for some reason, it stuck in my mind. At that moment, my ears magically opened, and I heard and understood a new commandment.
I spoke with my bishop, spoke with some other people who had served missions, and prayed about it. My girlfriend also noted how important it was to her to marry a man who had served a mission for the church. I wanted to fulfill her expectations, be obedient to the commandment that I had been given, and felt that I had been blessed by God and that I owed Him one. I also thought that God loved me with or without me serving a mission, that I could sweet talk my girlfriend into marrying me anyways, and that maybe the mission requirement and associated/promised blessings weren’t for me. Was this a commandment that I needed to follow?
Well, I decided to go ahead and put it to the test. I made it a goal to serve a mission and started preparing for it.
From the sparks of thought that initially touch our minds and imaginations to the completed scholarly articles containing mind-boggling theories in the scientific journals, the process of discovery can benefit everyone: regardless of field of scientific study or a religious affiliation. Seekers of truth research, experiment and test, observe, check and interpret results, then draw conclusions, and share the resulting discoveries with others. Continue reading →
Companies often jump on board with principles such as “equal opportunity” and environmental initiatives intended to promote a certain brand or reputation among consumers. But are businesses truly obligated to maintain these reputations behind the scenes – not just ensuring a diverse workforce and using products that are biodegradable? At the same time that many companies put energy-star compliant ratings on products, they also use pornography (sex) and appeal of law breaking (speeding, stealing, etc) to excite people to buy these products.
Kaiser Permanente has dedicated substantial advertising efforts into promoting health and well-being. Kaiser also maintains non-profit status, accepts medicare/medicaid patients, and promotes service opportunities among its employees. Continue reading →
On Flickr.com, I saw a picture of a person holding up a sign that claimed that Mormons (the LDS faith) represented 2 percent of California’s population, but constituted 70 percent of donations to the Prop 8 campaign. It surprised me that 2 percent of California’s population appears to be so wealthy in proportion to the anti-Prop 8 campaigners, so I did some math.
If this claim were correct, every Mormon man, woman, and child would have to donate $41.76 each on average. Large stereotypical Mormon families with an average of five children each would be donating an average of $292.33 per family. These numbers are if every single Mormon family donated. This would constitute amazing participation – 100 percent participation! Continue reading →
As a follower of Christ, and as an avid supporter of Proposition 8, I have heard some arguments from both sides that have troubled me, and that have caused me to reflect on my actions and sentiments.
A certain popular Book of Mormon scripture is quoted sometimes by members of my own faith to either justify passivity or to promote tolerance on the subject of homosexuality and homosexual “marriage”. Yet, this same scripture and the entire concept of tolerance, which tends to accompany the scripture, is used as a plea to accept homosexual “marriage” and homosexual activity as a societal norm – it just never sits right in my heart. Usually, I recognize that unsettling feeling as God telling me to look into the statement, and either find the error in my thinking or the error of the opposition’s argument. Continue reading →
I remember being a problem child in church at age five. Luckily, I also had geniuses for teachers and clergy. In my Sunday-school class, my teacher would have me stand at the front of the class and draw the stories and lessons as they taught. All of the children would sit quietly and watch me draw as they listened to the teacher. It kept me from making smart-alec remarks, helped me to improve my art skills, and allowed the teacher to teach everyone more effectively. Continue reading →
This article was written in response to a LinkedIn forum topic entitled “I am curious as to what the thoughts are among Eagle Scouts across the nation about allowing Gays to be members of the Boy Scouts (link here)”.
Although this topic may cover aspects of Boy Scouting, this is a mature-adult topic. As such, more advanced principles of ethics and sexuality will be discussed. In other words, this is an ugly subject but is of dire importance – so, no children allowed.
Some of the arguers in favor of allowing homosexuals into the BSA scouting program mentioned that they didn’t believe sexuality had anything to do with morality, and that professed homosexual boys could be expected to act responsibly within the BSA programs. This article was written to not only explain that sexuality is an important aspect to morality, but why. It also informally presents some aspects of why homosexuals should continue to be banned from BSA.
For preliminary research, scan these Wikipedia topics and links: