Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yard Sale

There are a lot of things I would like to change about myself!!

Nothing new in that.  In fact, it means I am similar to the vast majority of the world.

Constant effort has eliminated a few of my annoying characteristics but there remain a “grundle” of things that REALLY could use some fixing.

So, in the spirit of spring cleaning and summer yard sales, african daisyI am putting up for bid three of my most glaring weaknesses.  Recognizing that there are innumerable things that could be offered in this auction, I have decided that I am only willing to part with the ones I find most egregious.


1. First on the list is the penchant for finding fault and judging people and things without regard to circumstances:

In many ways, I have succumbed to th e wiles of the world and become one who looks at the outside of a person instead of looking on the heart.  Every time I read Moroni 7:18 I feel a chill that makes my neck hairs stand straight up.  To think that Christ will judge me the same way I look at some of my brothers and sisters in this life creates no small disturbance in my heart.  So, I am willing to part with this “treasure”, which is giving me a vicious heart disease, heart 2for a small price.  Actually, I will give this to the first person who offers a bid, so hurry or you will miss a real deal.

2. My second item up for bid is a long lasting and extremely well polished ability to know everything:  

monster1While there has been some progress on this particular failing, there is such a long ways to go for it to be a non-issue that I believe I will just give up and jettison the whole thing right now.  Anyone who feels like they just don’t have what it takes to be “all-knowing” (at least in a worldly sense) will find this purchase to be a great boon to their self-esteem (or maybe that is EGO that will be boosted).  Let me warn you, though.  There will be times in your life when you find you have been outwitted by what you might consider “lesser mortals” but that really will have no bearing on you because you KNOW-IT-ALL.  Please act fast because this one is very enticing and should probably go quickly.

3. The final part of our sale is given with a little trepidation because it has become such an integral part of my life.  If I am not mistaken, this little gem is really the source of my previous two product lines:walking men

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, gather round and see what we are bringing to the table for your consideration.  YES, I know you are amazed, but this is, by far, the most developed and best kept of all the attitudes priced for your pleasure today.  Before you is laid out the most excellent examples of PRIDE ever seen in this generation.  In many ways, this little pride-fellow has been the benefactor of a judgmental attitude and an ability to know-all.  I would even suggest that you really can’t have any one of these items without taking on the other two.  SO, I am willing to present these as a package to the highest bidder who responds in the next 3 days.  You will find great service in all these things  and you will do wonders for helping a poor, wandering soul who is trying to clean out his house/life.

There are no warranties for any of these products but I promise that I will transfer ownership to the winner of the auction IMMEDIATELY… Even before payment is received…and if payment is not received I will not require you to return your purchase…once it is out of my life, it’s yours forever (unless you can convince someone else to take them off your hands).

So Hurry and get your names in so I can take care of your order.  E-mail, phone, write, or just holler really loud and I will get things rolling.  Don’t delay!!! I really need help!……REALLY!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shy People

As many of you know, I spend my day time with high school students.

Some days they are wonderful folk.

Other days they are folk that just make me wonder!!!

For the past few weeks we have been trying to get pictures of all the seniors so we can create an end of the year slideshow.  Most of the kids are pretty accommodating but from time to time we have a truly shy person who is reluctant to have their image put on camera.  I’m OK with that and will generally find a way to get their picture in a quiet manner.


It’s the people who pretend to be camera shy that are so hard to understand.


For instance, one young man is a star football player who has worked hard to get his image out to the community but refuses to stand still long enough to snap a quick shot.  Or the school singer/comedian/star actor who is suddenly reluctant to allow us the privilege of his photo for our show.


OOO, I’m too embarrassed to let you take my picture!!!

I’m not coming out of the bathroom until you promise not to take my picture.


It’s pretty ridiculous because we all know they would be offended if they weren’t included in the final product of our efforts.  So what did we finally get with these two?  Check it out!! 



Yes, that is a senior boy, cowering in a stall in the men’s room of our building.

The other ‘victim’ was even less cooperative so I won’t post his efforts.  But it was considerably worse than this photo I took of a “shy” girl in the same class.


This young lady finally gave in and we have a nice shot of her for the show.


Teresa often accuses me of not looking good in pictures (what do you expect for an old guy?) because I don’t smile right but at least I am willing to have my face recorded for posterity.  Sure hope these young people open up and stop acting like something they are not.  Especially when it is only themselves they are hurting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hateful Ranting—City Stuff—Epiphany?

I know it is not nice to hate things but…
Some things deserve all the hate we can muster.

Eggs (taste like sulphur)
Eggplant (bad experience as a youth)
Liver ( like chewing sand)
Duck/Goose (too greasy)
roast duck
Okra (food of the devil)
And a few other things that I won’t mention right now.
This past week I also discovered that I really don’t like (notice no hate) something else:
These are the people who have no life except to wander around neighborhoods and make things miserable for residents.
Before anyone accuses me of wanting our area to become a mess, I understand what a Code Inspector does and why they are hired. And I agree that they are a necessary part of life.
What I don’t understand is why they can’t be civil when they perform their tasks.
And while I’m at it!!!
Why isn’t the city held to the same standard as the residents.
We have to keep our yards neat and comely but the sidewalks (owned by our city) are a mess.  We have tried for more than 7 years to get our sidewalks fixed and the only answer we receive is:
“You’re on your own.  We don’t have time to fix sidewalks.”
If my driveway looked like the city’s sidewalks, I would have a visit from my favorite Code Officer and would  be required to have things repaired in 14 days.
Maybe someday it will be clear to me why this is so and I can do another post about the epiphany I received.  But my guess is that things will continue on as they are and someone will eventually have an accident and sue the city.  Then maybe they will have time to fix things.  And then my taxes will go up because….well, you know what I mean.
Enough rantings for today!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Maybe It's “Evil Christians”

Just a little follow-up to my last post.  Follow this link and read how others with values and standards have survived in the world.  Is this some of what we have to look forward to in the coming years?  Probably but we are confident in the Savior and His promises. 
First Vision
(I should also note that when I first promised my "What Makes Mormons Evil" message I intended it to be sarcastic.  Upon further consideration, it was decided that sarcasm is only a tool to create contention and I certainly didn't want to be lost in that realm.  Therefore, the blog on beliefs was done serious and without much (or any) humor.  To those looking for light-heartedness, I am sorry and will try to do something funnier later.) 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finally, the failings of Mormons

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was working on my “EVIL MORMON” paper. 


Well, I have my top ten items prepared and I present them to you for your perusal and approval. 


I recognize that some of you will find this boring and long but……….DEAL WITH IT!!!  Have fun and remember this is just my own personal opinion.

10 Things that make Mormons “Evil”

This little treatise has come about because I keep hearing how “Evil” the Mormons are for their beliefs. It annoys me, a little, that some of our detractors presume to tell me what I believe as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But even worse, it is destructive when they tell others that my beliefs are not founded in the teachings of Christ. My goal is to help those who don’t know what we (LDS) believe understand the things we teach and practice in our effort to become more like Christ. He is, after all, the Great Ideal who should lead all of us to improvement.

I am not an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Church has no connection with this message. These are my own words, as best I can give them, concerning my beliefs in the Church.

1. Mormons are often ridiculed because they teach that they belong to the “One True Church”. The contention, by many not of the Church, is that all Christian religions lead to the same place and so it doesn’t matter which church you join. When Joseph Smith declared that he had received revelation setting up the True religion of Christ he was persecuted and eventually murdered. Joseph is dead but the Church he restored continues in strength and truth for all to receive. We do not speak ill of any other religion but declare that whatever good they have will be enhanced by their coming to be with us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our missionaries are not sent out to prove any other religion ‘wrong’ but they are sent to offer the “Fullness of the Everlasting Gospel” to those who are interested in hearing.

2. There are some who would have the world believe that the Church teaches man must ‘earn’ their way into heaven. Mormons teach that God was not making an idle suggestion when He commanded men to “become Perfect”. Any who study the doctrines of the Gospel understand that salvation and exaltation are not available to those who try to do things on their own (works only). The only way an individual can progress from the state of mortality, with all its foibles and struggles, to the place of Perfection that is promised by God to all who believe in Christ, is by the power and gift of Christ called the Atonement. Does that mean we believe only in faith? No, we also believe that we must do all in our power to be as good as possible, and THEN call upon the blessings of the Savior to finish the job (faith and works working in concert). None can be saved alone—not by their own works, nor by the works of the Savior—it takes both to finish the job!! Being saved without the efforts of our hearts and souls AND hands is nothing more than a satanic twisting of God’s plan. Becoming perfect is a long, struggling process that will only be complete when both sides of the equation have been filled.

3. The Latter-day Saint view of marriage and family takes a lot of criticism from those who would let the world and popular opinion make the rules of family and marital relationships. LDS folks do not view marriage as something that is short term or limited to mortality. Marriage is to continue on throughout the eternities, providing the couple remains faithful to the covenants they make. This gives the marriage relationship a different perspective when entered into faithfully. It also affects the way LDS members look at their responsibilities to family and children. Here are three areas where LDS beliefs differ from much of the world:

a. Sexual relationships between a man and a woman are to be kept within the bonds of marriage. A good portion of mankind have few qualms about participating in the sex act outside marriage. It is often seen as an expression of love between two people and is reduced to the level of a kiss on the doorstep. And if this dalliance results in the creation of a child, the ‘problem’ is addressed by taking the life of the unborn individual.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are held to a standard that prohibits having sexual relations with anyone except their husband or wife, to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded. Does this limit their relationships? Yes, it does, but it also improves their commitment to their spouse and family and eliminates the challenges brought on by infidelity, divorce and other moral failings.

b. Men and women are taught to love and respect each other as equal partners in the marriage relationship. This does not mean they are equal in their responsibilities but they both carry the load that is best suited for their characteristics. Fathers are counseled to lead their families in righteousness and provide the necessary temporal needs of the home and family. Mothers are, by design, nurturing and should have primary responsibility to be with the children in the home. Both mother and father are responsible to see that children are taught right from wrong, guided in making difficult life choices, and raised up in a loving, caring environment. The upbringing of children is not to be delegated to other individuals, organizations, or government entities.

The bonding of man and woman as equal partners eliminates all other forms of relationships in the marriage contract. For families to be successful there is a need for both mother and father to be present and involved in the raising of children.

c. Marriage is for the purpose of perpetuating the family. It is ordained of God that a man and a woman should be joined in marriage for the purpose of bringing God’s children into this world. Latter-day Saints are counseled to have children and join with God in the raising of those children to a level of righteousness. Marriage is for the purpose of joining a man and woman who love each other AND having children and learning to love and support them as part of a unified family.

4. There are many accusations made that members of the LDS Church are exclusionary and unwilling to accept others in their lives. Those of the Mormon persuasion are constantly reminded and encouraged to reach out and bless the lives of other people. It is a serious charge to be followers of Jesus Christ. He has mandated that we learn to love all other of His people and serve them with our whole hearts. Latter-day Saints have been taught and encouraged to give of themselves for the benefit of all those in the world. One of the prophets in the Book of Mormon taught it like this:

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn the when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)

Jesus spent His days doing good to all men. A faithful member of the Church will also spend much of his/her life following that Perfect Example.

5. Despite the mandates/programs of government, members of the Mormon Church find their leaders constantly reminding them to develop self-sufficiency in their own homes. This includes things like:

a. Staying out of debt except in the case of a modest home and possibly education loans. This is a huge conflict with what has been taught by much of the world. The bondage of debt is insidious and is one of the greatest causes of the decay in the family. Getting something without working for it is another doctrine of the adversary.

b. Improving education levels so that the family has income to provide for all. They also advocate that the MAN be the breadwinner so the WIFE can stay home and care for the children. When a family is well educated and both parents are capable of helping with the needs of the family (spiritual and temporal) there is more likelihood for peace in the home. And when the father takes his duties to provide and allows the mother the option to be home with the children, there is more success in raising righteous posterity.

c. Setting aside food, supplies, and money for those times when there is a special need. Some may call it hording but preparedness is a commandment from God to His children.

d. Working for what they get rather than expect handouts from others. Government would have us believe that handouts are the way to solve poverty problems. Members are encouraged to be self-sustaining in their lives so they are not a burden on society. Work is the means of receiving sustenance in this world.

6. From time to time, there are accusations made that Mormons are bigoted and prejudiced against portions of society. Leaders of Mormon society are well known for encouraging their members to become involved in the local, state and national political issues. Some of these issues are so volatile that they incur the wrath of groups who disagree with the Church and result in unfounded charges of bigotry. Latter-day Saints are counseled to stand up and speak clearly and loudly in support of principles of truth and right. All of this is done with the intent to protect the rights of belief and truth as seen by LDS members. Responding to matters of moral and civil righteousness is not bigotry or prejudice: it is preserving a level of societal values that will provide for long-term happiness in the world.

7. Closely aligned with #6 (above) is the charge that Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are intolerant of the beliefs and practices of other religious, political or social groups. When Latter-day Saints are challenged in their beliefs, they are counseled to respond with love. Hate-mongering is not acceptable to members of the Church and those who truly understand the principles and doctrines of the Gospel will have no difficulty abiding by these precepts. Sadly, some who see the Church and its members take a stand on important issues interpret holding to truth as hate. We love and accept all people but we cannot abide the practices that are steeped in sinfulness. And when we do not fold under the pressure to change our beliefs, we are branded as intolerant and haters.

8. Some people outside the Church wonder why an organization, such as the Mormon Church, make such efforts to proselyte new individuals and families to their flocks? I have heard some comment that the LDS missionaries are a waste of time because much of the world is already Christian and doesn’t need to be taught. I suppose the Jewish leaders in the days of Christ felt much the same way about His teachings. We take it as a calling to share the truths and teachings we have received with all who would hear. And if some choose not to listen, we will still love them and bless them any way we can.

9. One of the really “hard to understand” practices of Mormons is temple ordinances for the dead. Why would a people take uncountable hours of their own personal time and perform vicarious ordinances for people who are dead. Because we believe that these people (our ancestors and others) deserve the right to make a choice as to whether they would like to participate in the blessings offered. Temple ordinances for the dead are not forced on anyone but if the deceased wishes to accept, the blessings are there waiting.

I struggle a little bit with individuals who try to make something sinister out of our providing opportunities for deceased individuals. No one is “forced” into becoming a Mormon because that is not how Heavenly Father does His work. But if they are willing to accept what is provided, why should they not have that chance. In effect, those who oppose this work are doing just what they accuse the Church of doing: taking away the right to choose.

10. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take great care to teach their children the doctrines and principles of the Gospel of Christ. The LDS Church is very concerned that all its members know the truths and doctrines that Christ has revealed. We start at a very young age to share these beliefs with our children and continue to share more detailed understanding as they become mature and able to bear the knowledge. To many, this seems to be “indoctrination” and I guess, in a way, it is. Indoctrination means to put the doctrine into someone and that is exactly what we intend to do…put the doctrine into our children so they have the safety of the truth to guide their lives. We do not equivocate in our desire to bless the lives of all with the truth of Christ’s Gospel and so it makes sense that we would work hard to teach our children.

When some of our children choose to follow another path, there is great sorrow but the love of a parent remains and hopes for a return to the fold.

I hope this has been enlightening for some who may have questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons are good people, by and large, and are in this world to bring as much joy as possible to those who live with them. This is not a religion of destruction (tearing down others) but one based on helping others find more about Jesus Christ and His doctrines. For any who wish to learn more, please visit one of the many websites the Church has developed. If you have comments about this treatise, please direct them to me through the comments section.