Posts Tagged 'LDS'

Reviewing ‘Eternal Man’ Part 3 – Creation and Procreation

The third of a seven part series.  See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Chapter three of Eternal Man is ‘Creation and Procreation’. Madsen begins by providing a poetic writing by Joseph Smith:

And I heard a great voice bearing record from Heav’n,
He’s the Saviour, and Only Begotten of God-
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that career in the heavens so broad.
Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,
Are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons,
By the very same truths, and the very same pow’rs.

Madsen then asks – ‘But is Divine fatherhood in any sense similar to human fatherhood’? He mentions what he feels is the one important similarity. It is that in both Divine and human fatherhood there is a transmission of traits and attributes. He then offers two anticipated objections to this assertion.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing ‘Eternal Man’ Part 3 – Creation and Procreation’

Reviewing ‘Eternal Man’ Part 2 – Identity or Nothing

The second of a seven part series.  See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Chapter two of ‘Eternal Man’ has to do with the our origins. Joseph Smith taught that man as a primal intelligence is eternal. The spirit-elements that compose man’s Divinely-sired spirit and the matter-elements that compose the body are also eternal. The destiny of these elements are to be inseparably connected throughout eternity.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing ‘Eternal Man’ Part 2 – Identity or Nothing’

Um, God? It’s Golf Season Again.

Heavenly Father,

Could you please help me find my golf ball?  I know it is around here somewhere.  I’ve looked everywhere, and it is time to either find the ball, or take a penalty stroke and a drop.  Could you PLEASE help me find the ball?

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Continue reading ‘Um, God? It’s Golf Season Again.’

Patriarchal Blessings and the Foreknowledge of God

 Many members of the church seem to have a contradiction in their beliefs and attitudes when it comes to patriarchal blessings and the foreknowledge of God.

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My oldest son turned sixteen a couple of weeks ago.  This is the age that young men can be ordained as Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood.  This carries with it the authority to baptize, but more frequently the opportunity to bless the sacrament in our weekly worship services.  I was pleased to be able to ordain him to that office.

We live in a small and spread out ward in southern Michigan.  And we frequently will need to scramble to find people to help with the sacrament.  Sometimes we have enough young men, sometimes we don’t.  My son thought that the chances of him being asked to bless the sacrament were pretty high.  Because of this, he read over the sacrament prayers several times during the week.

Sure enough, on his first Sunday as a priest, there were no other priests on time for church.  And he was asked if he would handle the blessing of the sacrament.  He looked as white as a ghost and said that he was not ready.  I offered to go up with him, and we could bless the sacrament as father and son.  He cautiously agreed.

While we were sitting behind the sacrament table, and the announcements were being given, I began explaining how things were usually done in the blessing of the sacrament.  And I pointed out where the cards were that contained the sacrament prayers.  I explained that these prayers need to be word-for-word.  I suggested that he read really slow, and to read every word.  He then asked me what I found a profound question.  He asked, “How am I supposed to read it with my eyes shut?”

This explains why he was so nervous.  He thought that he had to have these prayers memorized perfectly, and that if he didn’t get it right he would have to try it over and over again in front of everybody.

This also explains my oldest boy.  He is a blindly obedient young man.  He has been told that you close your eyes during the prayer, and he does that, every time, without exception.

I am not sure how ‘heroic’ this all is, but when I consider his mindset going into this experience, and his willingness to go up there in spite of this, I am quite proud of him.  Well done, son.

Brain Plasticity and Pornography

There is no more frequent and stern warning given by leaders to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints than to avoid pornography. One only needs to go to and do a General Conference search on pornography to get quite a list of talks on the subject. It seemed to be of particular importance to former president Gordon B. Hinckley.

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Brain Plasticity and Healing

I continue to be fascinated with the topic of brain plasticity. I have purchased and read most of the book ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’, by Norman Doidge, M. D. I have enjoyed the book very much, and it has confirmed and strengthened most of my impressions of this interesting topic. The book lacks statistical data and cool pictures. It is mostly explaining the theory and history behind brain plasticity, and gives several case studies.

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Brain Plasticity, Change, and Repentance

An interesting and recent development in the study of the human mind is known as brain plasticity. There is a fairly good wiki page on it here.

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Eternal Progression

I was able to teach lesson 17 from the Joseph Smith manual to the Elder’s Quorum today. This lesson included the pre mortal existence, and the famous ring analogy of Joseph Smith. Preparing, giving, and reflecting on the lesson has brought some thoughts to mind. I have been questioning how something can be both eternal and progressing. (This was not part of the lesson.)

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Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 4

Part four of McMurrins book addresses Mormon theology and the problem of evil. McMurrin contends that the explanation of moral and natural evil is the most persistent problem that any theistic philosophy must contend. He rightly suggests that this is an area of chief theoretical strength for Mormonism. Here the free will of the uncreated self joins with the non-absolutistic conception of divine power to absolve God of complicity of moral evil. Also, the uncreated impersonal environment provides the explanation of natural evil.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 4′


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