Category Archives: Mormonism

America “Hangs by a Thread” …Prophetic?

This afternoon to start his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said:

Today, as we start the radio program, America is hanging by a thread.  So we have to see what we can do with a thread.  At the end of the day, our freedom has been assaulted.  This is the kind of change that people did not think they were going to get when they voted for Barack Obama.  Freedom must win the day.

Is this the first indication of a supposed prophetic fulfillment?  Though the Church denied the validity of the claim, many Mormons have heard the prophecy that the constitution would hang by a thread.  Consider the following quotes: (link to article containing these)

Joseph Smith, 10 March 1844:

Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is on the brink of ruin this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.

Joseph Smith, “Found among loose sermons” (Can’t verify the date)

The time would come when the constitution and government would hang by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands but this people the latter-day saints will step forth and save it.

Eliza R. Snow:

“I heard the prophet say, ‘The time will come when the government of these United States will be so nearly overthrown through its corruption, that the Constitution will hang as it were by a single hair, and the Latter-day Saints-the Elders of Israel-will step forward to its rescue and save it.’ “

I can’t say whether or not this current possible constitutional crisis is severe enough to spark the fulfillment of this prophecy.  However, I do believe that our government (probably on both sides of the aisle) has been so corrupted that it is incumbent on good, honorable, and honest people to uphold the Constitution.

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Filed under Health Care, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics

O My Father

Today in Church, we sang the Hymn “O My Father”, a hymn I have sung many times before.  However, I never took the time to read and ponder the lyrics.  I did so today and felt the spirit strongly.  I think the lyrics could be my favorite of all our Hymns .

Lyrics for “O My Father”, LDS Hymnal #292, Eliza R. Snow

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

The personal feeling and conviction in the hymn is inspiring.  It also sends me into deep thoughts and ponderings as it is one of the few published works by the LDS Church that refers to a Heavenly Mother, a belief that I whole heartedly subscribe to.  Here is the wikipedia entry for this hymn.

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An Apostle’s Easter Message

Happy Easter everyone.

Easter is more than just bunnies, chocolate, and Easter dresses.  Like Christmas, Easter has been commercialized.  While I don’t have a huge problem with that, this commercialization has caused many to forget why we celebrate this holiday.  I hope this video will renew or strengthen in you the reason why we have Easter.

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By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Since starting this blog, I have discussed with many people the various theological differences between the LDS Church and Christendom as a whole.  Certainly, the differences are significant and, as has been proven many times, there are many conflicts of belief that seem will never be resolved and we often have to agree to disagree.  For the most part, the comments and conversations I have been party to have been civil and respectful.  Both sides seem to be careful to only discuss doctrinal differences while avoiding criticism of the other person’s faith as a whole and for this I am grateful.  However, there have been many times, both here and on other websites (and, I might add, that I experience just living life in an area where Mormons are few) when people have called the LDS Church the “Church of the Devil” or denigrated our Prophet (more than just question such a reality or the need/doctrinal justification for a Prophet).  We are criticized by many as leading our people to hell and blinding folks from the truth. 

I thought about these views and comments as I watched the General Conference of the LDS Church this past weekend.  It was a weekend of wise and joyous instruction, where we were given the opportunity to hear from those we consider Prophets and other leaders of our faith.  It was the first Conference to which President and Prophet Thomas S. Monson was at the helm and leading up to the Conference I was praying for a confirming feeling or impression that he was indeed called and chosen by God himself, but I will get to that later. 

The one thing that struck me about all the messages delivered this weekend was the humility, wisdom, and optimism the leaders of the Church have.  This was most apparent to me as I attended Priesthood session on Saturday night.  The concluding three speakers, taking up all of the last hour, consisted of the First Presidency.  They all spoke about staying on course and repentence, yet they all took it from very different perspectives.  Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about the need to stay on direct course and how even a one degree deviation off course can lead to us being extremely lost, President Henry B. Eyring spoke about the doctrine of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood and the need for we Priesthood members to be faithful in fulfilling that covenant, and President Monson spoke on obedience to duty and the need for more faithfulness.  In each of these talks we were essentially called to repentance.  But it was not a call in vanity or rebuke, but a call in love and encouragement.  It was readily apparent that one of the greatest concerns the First Presidency has is the increased prevalence of sexual sin (President Monson had an incredible quote about tolerance, but I don’t have it with me, I will do a post on a few of my favorite quotes later).   As I listened to these fine men speak, I realized that the image that critics of the Church try to paint about our Prophet is in no way accurate.  These men who lead the Church do not do so in a quest for power or to feed their vanity. One just needs to watch and listen to their speeches to understand this.  They lead because they were called by God and out of an unbending faith and dedication to him. 

The phrase “By their Fruits ye Shall Know Them” resounded regularly in my mind.  Indeed, people may criticize our faith and our leaders all they want, but they do so blindly and in vain.  I can understand one choosing not to believe our doctrines or that we are the true Church; I will not criticize one who came to such a conclusion after study and prayer.  However the childish and irrational name calling and denigration of the Church is inaccurate and contrary to all evidence readily available to one who takes the time to study and research.  Indeed, the fruits of our leaders are good and sweet.   I encourage all to take the time to read and consider the words of the Apostles and Prophets, especially if you are not of our faith.  Come and see what truths have been restored and know that Christ’s church with the same organization that existed in his time is again restored to the earth.

Now allow me to close with my testimony of President Monson.   As I said above, I came into Conference praying for a confirmation of his divine calling.  This was the first transfer of authority in the leadership of the Church that I can really remember.  President Hinckley was a giant among men and one whom I loved deeply.  I also had a great affinity for President Monson, but oddly I found it difficult to hold him up to the same pedastal that I put President Hinckley on.  Saturday night was the first talk he delivered in Conference as the head of the Church.  As soon as he stood and started speaking I felt that still small voice and confirming feeling that he was called of God and leads this Church through direct revelation. 

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D. Todd Christofferson Called as New Apostle in LDS Church; New First Presidency Sustained

Interesting, to start General Conference, following the hymn and prayer, President Uchtdorf explained how and why we sustain Church officers and the Church seems to have changed the way in which sustainings occur.   They had the First Presidency stand and sustain the President, First Presidency, and Quorum of the Twelve.  Once that was conculded they had the Twelve arise and sustain the same, then had the first and second quorum of the Seventy stand and sustain, then had the all area seventies, patriarchs, HP and Elders throughout the world stand and sustain the same, following that they had the Aaronic Priesthood arise and sustain, followed by the Relief Society, then Young Women and all other members of the Church stand and sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as previously consitituted.  It was very interesting and the first time they have done that as I recall.   Funny how things change with the changing of a President.

D. Todd Christofferson was called and sustained as the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Elder Christofferson was born on January 24, 1945 in American Fork, Utah.  He was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy at the April General Conference, 1993 and in August 1998 he was called to the Presidency of the Seventy.  His latest assignment was presiding over the North America Northwest and North America West areas of the Church.  In his personal life he supported himself and his family as a lawyer.

Here is an interview Reuters did with Elder Christofersson in 2007.

The members of the Church sustained President Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf as Prophets, Seers and Revelators for the first time

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LDS Church Leader Urges Caution on Immigration

It appears that the LDS Church is slowly unveiling its position on Illegal Immigration and it appears to somewhat break from the common GOP consensus.  Which consensus, I should explain, is also firmer than mine.  It seems that most GOPers (especially the average voter) is pretty hardcore in their view of illegal immigration; generally they feel that ALL illegal immigrants should be deported, often without consideration of extenuating circumstances. 

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time now, may remember that I broke with this common view in a piece I wrote last year.   Basically, I think deporting 12 million people is utterly ridiculous, it is an economic and logistical nightmare.  Additionally, we need to consider the impact such a move (deportation) would have on families, especially children born in the U.S. who are now citizens.

Yesterday, LDS Church historian and seventy, Marlin K. Jensen, urged that Utah’s legislature (practically all Mormon) “slow down, step back and carefully study and assess the implications and human costs involved” when confronting the issue of illegal immigration.  He added that such decisions have “significant consequences, (and) I believe a more thoughtful . . . not to mention humane, approach is warranted.” 

I couldn’t agree more.  We need to consider the human implication. 

It is important to point out that Elder Jensen is not advocating one way or another any specific legislation or even point of view regarding illegal immigration.  He is simply urging reflection and serious, realistic contemplation on the impact of various possibilities.  This is a wise course of action. 

I fear that people are so embroiled with emotion regarding this issue, that is clouds sound judgement and realistic/pragmatic thought.   Many right wingers, especially, are verging on pure racism and starting to even allow their hatred for illegal immigration with criticism of all immigration.   This is a dangerous trend.

The best antidote for such irrational movement is simply to take a deep breath, pull back from the problem, and move cautiously; all the while utilizing deliberate and realistic thought and analysis.

For the Church it will be interesting to see what kind of response is received.  There are going to be huge swaths of LDS members, especially throughout AZ, CA, and the rest of the Southwest that are going to be annoyed at best by this, others will likely be outraged.   But I urge all of you who may be upset by this move to remember the role of religion.  Religions in general (should) focus on individuals, not governments.  Thus, the LDS Church is concerned about the impact such legislation will have on individuals, and this includes illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, even all U.S. citizens.   Rational and pragmatic thought, even stepping away from the issue to get an overall view, is nearly always the wisest course.  When we move to fast and are swayed by the emotional upswell of public opinion we more often than not make poor decisions that have more dire effects in the long run.

UPDATE: Further down in the SL Trib article I read the following bit and think it is essential to add to this piece.: “Jensen noted that immigration was not strictly a political issue but a moral and ethical one. And as such, he said, he was not simply speaking for himself or even for the Quorum, a group of Mormon leaders who act as church emissaries. ‘I was assigned to come here by the First Presidency of the Church.’

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Filed under Christian, Christianity, Election 2008, Illegal immigration, Immigration, LDS, Mormon, Mormonism, People, Politics, Race, Religion, Republicans

Mitt’s Out, What now?

What a fun and exciting Presidential campaign this has been.  The GOP had a solid group of strong candidates running for the nomination this year. For me Mitt Romney was the best candidate for President in a long time, he just wasn’t able to pull it through.  When I started this blog I did not intend it to be as Mitt and election heavy as it ended up being.  Now that Mitt is out I have two questions that need to be answered: Where does Mitt go from here?  Where does this blog from here.

Well, the first question is the more difficult one.  Mitt is going to stay involved in politics in some way or another and I ultimately think that he will run again in 2012 if a Democrat wins the Presidency.  Between now and then I could see Mitt becoming head of the RNC or going to work for a conservative think tank.  But most importantly, he will devote a lot of time to his family.  Undoubtedly, he missed a lot with them over the last year and a half, he will want to make that up. 

So where does Dry Fly go.  Well, we are going back to the original idea for this site in the first place, with a few modifications.  One thing I learned working on this blog was that people don’t care about non-U.S. issues, not one bit.  However, that is where my passion lies, I love international affairs and politics, so I am going to write about issues of great importance or that are just interesting that are international in nature.  Also, I am going to follow closely the Presidential race, but I am not endorsing a candidate yet.  Obviously, I lean towards McCain, but he has a lot of convincing to do and some will depend on his running mate (it better not be Huckabee!).   Finally, we will write about general U.S. political issues.   The hope is that it will continue to be a place where those of you who check it out regularly will continue to come and also that we will provide interesting writing on a variety of subjects.  To this end, I am looking for 2-4 more people who would be interested in blogging here.  If you are interested in what it entails, email me at dryflypolitics@gmail.com and send along a writing sample.

One more thing, we will keep you up to date on Mitt and his doings, especially if he stays involved in politics.  Personally, I am praying that he runs in 2012. (By the way, you don’t need to be a Mitt fan to blog here. I am taking down the Mitt banner next week, I am keeping it up through the weekend as my own personal tribute).

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Religion, Republicans, Romney