Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interesting Reading



Can our Country's Freedom be Lost by Good Intentions?

Science - Religion - One World Religion?

What is LDS Scripture?

What is Deep Doctrine?

Why doesn't God convert us all by showing Miracles and Appearing (as with Paul)?

How God stays Happy while watching us Sin

Does a Brain Actually Think?

Who is more Romantic, Men or Women?

Solomon Died a Sinner


Can Our Country's Freedom be Lost by Good Intentions?

This that I am telling you here has actually happened in a country claiming itself to be free, while the inhabitants still think they are. I am selecting a particular state within the country that is in the Western World.

They said that children could be damaged by violent parents, so a government department needed to have authority to seize children from their parents without a court order; as death could occur while waiting. And the people said, "yes, we must stop child bashing." So the government passed a law giving them the right to remove anyone's children and it could take a year or more to get them back.

They said that women with violent husbands were too afraid to admit that their husband was beating them, so Police needed authority to arrest these husbands and put them in jail for up to 3 days without any trial. And the people said, "yes, we must stop wife bashing." So the government passed a law saying that the Police can arrest anyone and jail them for 3 days without trial, or any evidence needed.

They said that some sex offenders were known to be a threat to society by the jail system, but they had to release them after their sentence was over. And they wanted power to keep these offenders in jail. The people said, "yes, we have to stop the sex-offenders." So the jail system was given power to keep ANYONE in jail indefinitely, even after their sentence is served, at their whim.

Police said that women who claimed sex offences occurred to them might be afraid to complain if they felt they could be sued if the case didn't go their way. They said they wanted a law passed making it that they couldn't be sued or charged. The people said, "yes, we must protect women making these claims." So the government passed a law saying that even if it were clearly shown that they were lying that they couldn't be charged or sued.

They said that drug dealers would hide their stuff if the drug squad had to get a court order each time they wanted to do a search. So Police wanted power to go into anyone's home and rip it to shreds and need not provide any evidence to explain why they chose to search the premises. They also said that they needed to protect their sources so wanted a law that they didn't have to prove why they conducted the search. The people said, "yes", we must get the drug dealers." So Police were given power to bash anyone's house and furniture to a pulp without accountability.

If you believe in the tooth fairy you will probably believe that people in government departments are some type of super people who won't mostly abuse this power, and that therefore these laws are actually good. D&C 121:39 disagrees with such thinking.

So if you have a wife, children and/or house and furniture or don't have an awfully good lawyer, who knows how to pay off the right people, be careful where you go in the western world.

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Science - Religion - One World Religion?

Cardinal Hisleves said, "In 2004 the Roman Catholic Church had over a Billion baptised members. This doesn't mean they all believed all the doctrines of the church; but were at least baptised".

Ayatollah Jasso says, "93% of Iranians are Shiite Muslims, and 99% of Iranians are Muslim. And the people sort of follow what we say".

Reverend Col R. Bakwards of the St. Moses' Baptist Church says, "although most of our doctrines aren't believed, people still come along to services and say the name of Christ. We tell them they are saved if they do that. I usually make a few brief quotes from the Bible in my sermons; and I did have to read it once to pass ministerial college. So we sort of believe some of it".

Professor of Religion Mynda Yabisness points out; "one religion has far superior numbers to these. Not only that, but its members believe everything their priest tells them without really investigating to see how true it is. It has a following of around 300 million people in the US and around 20 million in Australia. Its world following is staggering. The real number of followers worldwide couldn't possibly be guessed. Except by its priests (who really wouldn't know but would tell you they do; and their figures would be believed). That religion is called 'Modern Science'".

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What is LDS Scripture

Firstly I will quote the following from the prophet Harold B. Lee in regard this point.

"It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they write. I don't care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard church works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelator--please note that one exception--you may immediately say, 'Well, that is his own idea.' And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard church works, you may know by that same token that it is false, REGARDLESS OF THE POSITION OF THE MAN WHO SAYS IT [my emphasis]." ("Stand Ye in Holy Places" by Harold B. Lee 15:162:6).

To make real Scripture for the church, a prophet must present all his words as coming to him by revelation in his office as prophet for the church, and that God has said these should become established doctrine. He will then call upon the membership to sustain it as being Scripture. And the sustaining must be unanimous. Upon acceptance it will then be placed in the Standard Works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). There has of recent decades been 3 additions made to our Scriptures by this process (D&C [Doctrine and Covenants] 137 and 138, and Official Declaration 2). The church is a democratic theocracy. Meaning that while it is directed by Christ, it is done by the ACCEPTANCE and to the level of the Saints (members) as a whole. No individual member, regardless of his position, has a right to decide what is true for everyone else. Thus it is called "The Church of Jesus Christ [theocracy] of Latter-Day Saints [democracy]. According to the prophet Harold B. Lee the only real Scripture we have are the Standard Works. If some members regard all sorts of other things as Scripture, be that to them. And if any man propose his words or anyone else's to be Scripture (other than the Standard Works), that is his opinion. I've never heard it presented at conference that I am to sustain all comments by GAs (General Authorities) and/or all manuals as Scripture. Only that I accept GAs as holding certain positions. Scripture for the church is only that written in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. So when we are looking at any statement not declared by the prophet as having come directly from God and to be sustained as Scripture, made by any member, regardless of his or her position, it is purely a speculative theory of a church member, if not supported by Scripture. And if in opposition to Scripture then they are false (as Harold B. Lee also stated concerning ANY person within the church having doctrine opposed to Scripture). Of course the catch 22 is that if Harold B. Lee is incorrect that makes him correct, as he was the prophet when it was quoted in an Institute Manual.

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What is Deep Doctrine?

In my time as a member I have heard many talk of deep mysteries of the gospel. How many angels can you fit on a pin head? Can God scratch his right elbow with his right hand? Does God know how many planets are in existence throughout all eternity? Who was the first God? And the list is endless itself.

Are these "deep doctrine", or just fantasies to intellectualise the gospel into a concept for the learned: To spend time giving silly answers to silly questions, while convincing ones self of ones superior intelligence for being in such a superior discussion? To me, doctrine worth discussing and that has more chance of bringing out truth, must be doctrine that has some good intent in its asking. Abraham stood before Christ and posed the question, "wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked" (Gen 18:23)? Was this an intellectual or heart felt question? In verse 25 Abraham asks Christ, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Plainly Abraham had concern in his questions. He wanted to be assured that God is good. Christ assured Abraham that he was. This is the sort of stuff that deep doctrine is made of. Deep spiritual experiences that give us knowledge about God and ourselves.

The deepest doctrine that I feel that exists within the church is that which is so often discussed, but rarely understood: Faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have met only a few (and I mean a few) who actually perceive the full significance of this message. As you get into the habit of discussing deep, heart-felt, doctrine you will begin to think in wiser ways. And the Holy Ghost will be with you more, to give you greater understanding.

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Why Doesn't God convert us all by showing miracles and appearing (as with Paul)?

Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah were going around corrupting people, and turning them from the teachings of God. An angel appeared to them, and they completely changed. They became great teachers for Christ. Paul (Saul at the time) went about imprisoning members of the church. Christ appeared to him, and he changed to eventually become a very powerful missionary. Many saw Christ's miracles and therefore listened to his words. So why doesn't God just convert everyone like this?

Let's look at the other side of this for a moment. God showed great miracles in Egypt at the hands of Moses. Yet we get the impression that no Egyptians joined Israel. Even the Israelites did nothing but wine. Even when they got out of Egypt they continued to disbelieve and wine. They saw the miracle of water coming after Moses struck a rock. I'm sure you know I could go on and on with the miracles they saw. Did those who saw what happened at the Tower of Babel suddenly repent? And what of Daniel in the lion's den. Did the Babylonians take up following God because of this? The scribes and pharasees saw the miracles of Christ also. Did they believe in him and repent? In spite of all the miracles Christ demonstrated, when he told his followers who he really was many left (John 6:66).

In Luke 16:19-31 Christ gives the parable of Lazareth and the rich man. While there are some interesting concepts in it, the point of the parable was stated in the last verse. "And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." This refutes the idea that if God appeared to someone they would believe.

So how does this fit with Paul and Alma etc? They genuinely believed they were doing the right thing. They went out with fervent effort, to right things with what must have been open minds, just not catching the point. So these appearances opened them up to hear. But people are not normally like this. People convince themselves that they are genuine, but true examination would reveal differently, or God would have them see a miracle.

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 How God stays happy while watching us sin

I often wondered about the dilemma of God's love for sinners VS God's happiness. As God loves us as much as he does, how could he have all this joy while seeing people sin? First and foremost is that the person committing the sin is increasing their hell. Secondly the victim suffers some physical and or emotional problem.

While on my mission this dilemma hit me quite strongly, at one point. At that time we had been sent out to a smallish town. One of our jobs was to assist the local branch, which only had one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. There were several families without member husbands. One had 2 females (18 and 16). The 18-year-old had been romantically interested in a missionary who went home and hadn't written to her since. She chose an interest in me, but I discourage it. She got upset and left the church, along with her sister. This made me very saddened, as she had been quite enthusiastic. I felt a deep love for her as a person. In the process of this something happened that amazed me. While feeling all this sadness and love, my heart swelled within me by the love I felt. It raised me to a greater level than I had ever experienced. I felt almost guilty that amidst all my sorrow for her I felt so wonderful. The more I felt the sorrow and concern, the greater the wonderful feeling.

This answered my question. I had come to understand how God can have joy inside, in spite of all he has to put up with from us. In fact it is having us, and helping us through, that increases his joy.

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Our Brain - Does it Actually Think?

Much research and theory has come of recent years in regard to what happens with the brain. But much of this research appears to be focused in a particular concept, rather than considering the whole point. It has been found that electrical activity occurs in certain parts of the brain (generally speaking) for particular actions or thoughts. From this some scientists have concluded that the brain is causing and processing thoughts.

I remember some years back watching a special on Television about some scientists in Europe doing research on all these people that had less than the normal amount of brain _ people who were born with brain missing. Some of these had almost no brain at all (some the size of a coin), and MANY were missing the so-called "human part" that apes don't have. After years of research, and studying their social and intellectual habits they found absolutely no difference between them and anyone else. They had only found them by referral from hospitals that had done a brain scan for whatever reason and found the person to have less brain matter than normal. Apart from this these people were perfectly normal _ some were street sweepers, some were businessmen and women, some university professors, some unemployed etc, just like everyone else. In regard social habits, again they found no difference in percentage of smokers, alcoholics, numbers of children they had, housewives, shopping habits, spirituality, etc.

These are facts that certain scientists don’t mention as they have built up this great dogma of brain theory that gives them funding and fame.

If a person suddenly loses a part of the brain then there is a problem because our intelligence (that part that thinks, has emotions and decides) may not adapt to the change. Some intelligences adapt better than others to the same amount of sudden brain loss. Thus we find that two different people can suffer the same amount of brain loss and one recovers better than the other, for no medically explainable reason.

The next point I'd like to present relative to this is that our brain cannot possibly store the huge amounts of information we have stored. It is far too small. Under pressure people are able to remember any particular part of their life in complete detail _ Three-dimensional images into which they can project their view, and audio (sound). Even a 1,000 Gigabyte computer hard drive wouldn't be able to store a week of your life, if a day. So can the brain? The obvious answer is NO! The brain hasn't been proven to store anything. All that is proven is that most people have certain brain activity for certain actions.

We have been brought up to believe that a bit of matter shaped the right way can actually think because of how it is shaped. If this is true then why is it that scientists simulated a brain decades ago but couldn’t get any thinking out of it? And how do people with almost no brain think just as normally as those with a full brain?

It is plain that our intelligence uses the brain to get the body to do things by creating electrical impulses in it, and therefore our intelligence is more focused there. Our intelligence stores all our memories, and appears to have no limits, other than those we place upon it by disobedience to God. Thus our brain responds to the feelings of our intelligence.

The reason I present this is to point out that it isn't the body that is the source of our thinking. We have an intelligence and spirit that can stretch out to feel the feelings of others, and our feelings can be felt by others who are sensitive.

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Who is more Romantic - Men or Women?

While I was having a chuckle here and there while writing this, the main point that I am expressing, I do believe.

I often hear women say how unromantic men are. They whine of how men spend their time out fixing the car, or watching sport etc. On the other hand, women say how romantic they are. After all, they enjoy moonlit (or candle lit) dinners, soft music, flowers and an evening out. So obviously they are more romantic.

Men are conned into believing this one sided propaganda. This is very irrational thinking. It is like me suggesting that if other people don't watch the tennis and I do they can't be interested in sport. Who says cutting lovely flowers off a bush, growing them to reproduce (as God has commanded them to) is romantic? And who decided that eating food you can't see properly is romantic either?

Then there is the guy doing the supposedly unromantic act of fixing the car so he can take his wife shopping. Or fixing the lawn mower so he can have her house area looking good during the day when he is at work.

Women say they love to be surprised with flowers. Yet do they surprise their husbands and go and do something romantic to him like watch the sport with him? Or go out and help him fix the car? Even GAs suggest that male members take their wives out. I think the one they missed was wives being romantic and going out to help their husbands.

In spite of what I have written there, I actually do find moonlight romantic. And I do enjoy romantic music. I have the drive to give a woman flowers, because I know what they mean to her, and I want to say that, if I feel that way. I almost never watch sport, personally.

But what I am really trying to get over is that men will see some things differently. And I have watched guys fixing a car and saying they need to get it done because their wife needs to go shopping. When the guy comes in the wife hasn't appreciated his act of love toward her. She isn't even aware of it. So I think it would be helpful to relationships if women widened their expressed view on what is romantic.

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Solomon Died a Sinner

Contrary to popular belief, the Scriptures say nothing of Solomon repenting before he died (in spite of the movies). Not only don't they say that he repented, but seem to say that he didn't. Some find this difficult to accept: That after receiving so much wisdom, and writing wise proverbs, that he could fail. However the Scriptures state that he did fail after receiving his wisdom. But the impression has been that he repented eventually, and made it right with God. A look at the Scriptures should make the truth clear.

Deuteronomy 17:17 says regarding the Kings of Israel _ "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself."

So Kings were not to have a great collection of wives. David was requested of God (by Nathan the prophet) to take two wives beyond those that he had, but this didn't make a great multiplicity of wives as God was forbidding. But let's look at Solomon's collection.

1 Kings 11:3 _ "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart."

I feel sure that a thousand women would be classified as multiplying women to himself. He certainly couldn't be a good husband to that many women. It also mentions that the wives (I doubt that it actually means all of them, but obviously some) turned away his heart, as warned in Deuteronomy 17:17 above. So this was one law of God, given to Moses, that Solomon broke.

Deuteronomy 7:3 - 6 says regarding non-Israelites (Gentiles) _ "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth."

This is saying that no Israelite is to marry any Gentiles. It's also saying that they are to destroy any carved images that they can lay their hands on. So let's look at what Solomon did.

1 Kings 11:1-2 _ "But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites - From the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods'. Solomon clung to these in love."

Here again Solomon broke the law given to Moses by marrying Gentiles. So let's look at what happened.

1 Kings 11:4 - 10 _ "For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded."

So having broken the law to marry Gentiles and collect many wives, he went on to allow carved images to be built, rather than obeying Gods' command to destroy such things. He also was following these images to some extent. Note also that it says this happened "When Solomon was old". So did he repent of this when even older? The Scriptures not only don't claim that he did, but show that he didn't.

1 Kings 11:11 - 13 _ "Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, 'Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen."

Solomon has been informed that because he is sinning the kingdom of Israel will be divided into two kingdoms with his son ruling only one tribe, and the other tribes will be ruled by someone else, when Solomon dies. This is a prophecy against Solomon. The Scriptures show us Gods' rules concerning such prophecies. First let's look at the story of Jonah, who was commanded by God to go and tell the people of Nineveh that they were going to be destroyed because of their wickedness.

Jonah 3:4 - 10 _ "And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, 'Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown'. So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his thrown and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it."

So even after stating that He would destroy them God didn't because they repented. So if God prophesies evil against anyone for their evil ways, it can be changed by the person repenting and changing their ways. The Scriptures declare this plainly in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 33:14 - 15 _ "Again, when I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die', if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die."

So had Solomon repented and changed God would not have continued on to do that which He had prophesied against him. However God did go on to do that which was prophesied against Solomon.

1 Kings 12:15 & 19 - 20 _ "So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfil His word, which the LORD had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jereboam the son of Nebat."

"So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jereboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only."

The kingdom of Israel was taken from Solomon's son other than the tribe of Judah, as was prophesied. This is the time that Israel split into Israel in the North and Judah (the Jews) in the South. Israel was destroyed (scattered) in around 722BC, but Judah remained, in spite of some difficulties, until scattered by the Romans in around 70AD. Had Solomon repented this split wouldn't have occurred.

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