Book of Nephi chapter 3

Tijuana_Mexico_Temple_2
The Tijuana Mexico Temple (wikicommons)

Nephi is one who has great faith in the Lord’s plan. In fact, when he was commanded of the Lord to acquire the Golden plates and his brother complained, his faith had him say the following:

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (ver. 7)

1 Nephi 7 is one of the most of quoted scripture in this holy writ. It shows us that we must have faith in Gods plan because he has provided a way for us. Through Christ, we can accomplish all things he commands of us (Philippians 4:13). All we really need is faith in his plan, and confidence that what He commands is true. Christ “will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded the” (D&C 5:34). So have faith in His plan.

John Dehlin: truth_seeker_143

Pluto-01_Stern_03_Pluto_Color_TXT
The NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft captured this color view of Pluto on 14 July 2015. This photo, following the traditions of Daniel Peterson, has nothing to do with my comments below (wikimidia commons).

“I don’t like it when folks call other folks liars…even if the accusation is credible. It’s just not kind. “

– John Dehlin, Facebook, 25 April 2011.

Consistent with his philosophy, Dr. John Dehlin has called out and attacked the “bully” Scott Gordon for being deceitful, and maliciously lying about Dehlin’s personal beliefs about God.

“Scott Gordon,” blogged Dehlin, “and FAIRMORMON literally gave NO effort to be fair or even-handed with [their] comments. I don’t know what else to conclude than that he has the desire to malign, distort, manipulate, deceive, etc.”

Scott Gordon, it seems, was merely mistaken about Dehlin’s beliefs and inaccurately claimed that Dehlin believed that “there is no God” [1]. This mistake is understandable, and was likely made in the light of the fact that Dehlin, in his own words, “certainly expressed doubt about God” in times past (Dehlin). Dehlin also stated in a 2012 interview with John Larsen and Zilpha Larsen that “the probability that God exists is quite low,” the idea of deity is absurd, and that he is “aware that [the probability of God existing] might be completely a product of my imagination” (Smith 39).

It may have been more accurate to state that Dehlin is some sort of agnostic or, at least, that he has atheist leanings (see note 2). But in either case, claiming that Scott Gordon was maliciously deceiving his audience is simply ridiculous and “not kind.”

Will I be labelled an internet bully for criticizing John Dehlin’s views like others have? Probably not. It is likely that Dehlin will never read this and therefore will never have the opportunity to do so. So far, though, Dehlin has labelled Daniel Peterson as a “pathological deceiver,” Scott Gordon as a “deceiving,” “manipulating,” “bully,” Stephen Smoot an “internet thug,” and has even stated that he heard from “50 people” that Thomas S. Monson suffers from “dementia,” a rumor (false) that exist even within the Church. The fact he so viciously attacks Scott Gordon for simply making a descriptive error while he merrily labels those how he pleases is telling.

Notes

1. Scott Gordon isn’t the only one who made this mistake. “Infants and Thrones” has, a little over a month ago, also made a similar claim that Dehlin is a “reluctant atheist.” Interestingly enough, Dehlin didn’t viciously attack “Infants and Thrones” for supposed smear tactics, deception, lying, or anything of the sort, as pointed out by Daniel Peterson. Yet, consistent with his inconsistencies, Dehlin is seemingly unwilling to pardon Scott Gordon for the same mistake.

2.  It’s difficult to understand exactly what John Dehlin believes. On one hand, he has compared not believing in God equivalent to not believing in elves, trolls, and hobbits (as late as 2 June 2016) and refuses to self identify as not believing in those particular things. And, on another hand, one can spot him defending his belief in deity as late as 12 July 2016 in the comments section in his open letter to Gordon stating that “[i]n 5 minutes of searching I was able to find several of my public statements about my belief in God.” He would, it seems, like to be identified as a “truth seeker.” “I don’t think that I will ever identify as atheist or agnostic,” writes Dehlin. “While I have tons of respect for those who do (’tis not an easy lot)….here is my reasoning: If religion is made up/man-made…..then it doesn’t deserve a portion of my identity. After all….I don’t self-identify in reference to hobbits, or elves, or trolls. So why self-identify in terms of religious non-belief? How about truth-seeker as an identity? Your favorite way to self-identify?” John Dehlin, Facebook, 2 June 2016.

Works Cited

Dehlin, John. “A Public Request to Scott Gordon of FAIRMORMON.” Mormon Stories. N.p., 12 July 2016. Web. 14 July 2016.

Smith, Gregory L. “Dubious “Mormon” Stories: A Twenty-First Century Construction of Exit Narratives.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

Kolob

I was on my honeymoon, which, as a side note, was glorious and amazing, and stayed at a Lodge called The Red Rooster. Here, the people were friendly and kind. When they found out we didn’t drink (I actually can’t drink, I’m only 20), they asked us if we were Mormons. “Yes,” we answered. “That’s all you had to tell us,” one of them said, and added, “We’re Mormon too.”

M20_Trifid_Nebula_from_the_Mount_Lemmon_SkyCenter_Schulman_Telescope_courtesy_Adam_Block (1)
(Wikimedia Commons)

The owner of the lodge, who wasn’t Mormon, but said he was a Buddhist, had some rather common questions (and misconceptions) about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He seemed friendly enough, and did not mince words. His first question was “Don’t you believe God lives on a different planet? [or something like that]”

This question is one often asked in Mormonism. I was not prepared, unfortunately, to answer his question in full. But, anyways, this question is oft asked among non-Mormons.

For any of you who have encountered this question, whether or not you are a Mormon, FAIR has provided a short answer:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham/Kolob

Donald makes a hard left

Mushrooms_in_handbasket_Houby_v_košíku (Wikimedia Commons)
Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket? (Wikimedia Commons)

The Donald’s liberal policies have begun, even more, to show itself since he is pretty much guaranteed to be the next Republican nominee.

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/minimum-wage-supporters-might-have-a-friend-in-trump/
It’s also good to point out that former candidate Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney is advising voters to look towards a third party candidate. 
I want readers to know that I will not be voting for the Donald nor will I be voting for Clinton. I was, of course, planning on spending my first vote on an actual conservative.

 

The Blessings of Sacramental Worship

 

LDS Meetinghouse in Jonesboro, Arkansas (Wikimedia Commons)
LDS Meetinghouse in Jonesboro, Arkansas (Wikimedia Commons)

Today, a friend of mine on facebook shared a beautiful article on Washington Post that argues millennials aren’t necessarily looking for a “hip” or “cool” church. He argues that he likes the “weird[ness]” that reminds him of ancient Christianity.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jesus-doesnt-tweet/2015/04/30/fb07ef1a-ed01-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html
I pretty much agree with everything written in it.

But I couldn’t help but remember the blessings of the Temple and the Sacraments of the Priesthood we practice among The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think of my home teaching companion, Brother Larson, who helps me teach members of my ward. I recall visiting the elderly in my ward who were too sick to attend Church once a week. I think of my Institute teacher, Brother Hofeling, reaching out to prisoners in love and guidance. I think of my primary teacher, Sister La Rae Stoker, who taught me and others to listen to the sweet promptings of the Holy Ghost. I think of picking oranges with my father and the deacons quorum for an elderly community who could not pick it for themselves. I think of the cannery, where people gather together to make make food for people who cannot afford it.

This, and many more blessings that have made me into who I am. I love this church. It has brought me peace and love and kindness and the mercy of Christ in my life.

I hope that others can find this same love and peace within their own communities. I hope we can search for answers and declare our Christian peculiarities to the world.