Friday, December 5, 2014

Historical Changes in the LDS Church Sacrament Service


                      A typical Sacrament cup and pitcher.
                      Photo from the "West Layton/Layton 2nd Wards" history book, 1895-1995; 


THE Sacrament Service in the LDS Church hasn't always been as it is today.

-For a time in the 19th Century, all members of the congregation also kneeled down as the two Sacrament prayers were given.

-Also, for some years, music was often played during the passing of the Sacrament.

-There weren't always Sacrament trays for the water. A pitcher and mug were used for many decades, stretching into the early 1950s in some areas.
It certainly didn't seem very sanitary to share the same cup, but other churches did this too. Members tried to drink at a different spot around the rim of the cup than others, but most used the area opposite the handle.

SOURCES: "West Layton/Layton 2nd Wards" history, 1895-1995; Deseret News Archives.

When the bishop paid young mens' tithing by a loan ...

THE Bishop of the Layton Utah Second Ward, Wayne H. Flint, thought it so important for all Aaronic Priesthood holders to be a full-tithe payer in the Church, that he paid their tithing for them, if they were unable to do so.
From about 1959-1966 this took place.
However, the young men were charged with responsibility of paying the Bishop back. And, according to the book, "West Layton/Layton 2nd Wards, 1895-1995," "All loans were repaid."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

North America for Book of Mormon, not South America?



THERE'S an on-going debate about where the Book of Mormon took place geographically.
The common belief is that it took place in Central or South America.
However, I've been leaning more toward North America in recent years and with good reason.
First, the Golden Plates that the Prophet Joseph found and translated the Book of Mormon from, with divine assistance, were located in North America -- specifically the Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, New York.
I just don't buy into the fact that the Nephites and Lamanites traveled so many thousands of miles between Central, North and/or South America.
For example, the distance between Costa Rica and New York is more than 2,200 miles.


              Snow in the Book of Mormon? A hint of North America in this painting?

North America is the promised land and I'm starting to believe this is where most of the Book of Mormon stories took place.
(There was a great physical upheaval and change in the landscape of North America after the Jesus Christ was killed on the other side of the world too.)
-Anyway, debate away on this subject and here are some LESS COMMON factors to argue in the favor of North America.


  The Wasatch Mountains of the greater Salt Lake area (in the background) as they appear looking west from the Bald Mountain area.

1. Brigham Young taught that the Gadianton Robbers used to flee to and inhabit the Wasatch Mountains on Northern Utah. (See Journal of Discourses 8:344).
How could that be, unless the Book of Mormon did indeed take place in today's area of Utah?



           The Pine Valley Mountains, north of St. George.                               Photo by Liz A. Hafen

2. According to a more contemporary source, the Color County Spectrum newspaper in St. George, Utah, a story on August 13, 1977, there was a 19th Century sawmill in the Pine Valley Mountains north of St. George, that used to experience weird events. For example, saw blades were found broken overnight, tools disappeared and there were other problems -- all with no evidence of thieves or pranksters having visited there overnight.
The story goes that Brigham Young was asked about this problem during one of his visits to St. George.
He told the people that some Gadianton robbers were buried on that property and if the saw mill was just moved, the problems would go away.
(It is about 300 miles between the Wasatch Mountains of Salt Lake and the Pine Valley Mountains -- that I can accept as the Gadianton Robbers traveling between ....)

So, the debate goes on about Book of Mormon location .....

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miracle of the Washington, D.C. Temple Guard Dog

              The original sketch concept of the Washington, D.C. Temple, by Keith W. Wilcox.

By Lynn Arave

SOMETIMES it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.
I'd heard the tale of the miraculous Washington, D.C. LDS Temple "guard dog," but wondered if it was really true, or was it one of those "faith-promoting rumors" -- an urban legend of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
-Finally, on Oct. 27, 2014, I got a chance to visit with and interview Sister Viva May Wilcox, widow of one of the D.C. Temple's four architects, the late Keith W. Wilcox of Ogden, Utah. (Wilcox's sketch was used for the Temple's outside design.)
She said the story was true. She didn't recall what the dog was called, though.
She said a large dog did indeed strangely show up at the temple grounds right when it was needed, to help curb the theft of construction materials at the temple site overnight.
However, unlike the story version I had heard, when the temple was finished, the canine simply disappeared and was never seen again. Sister Wilcox said no one knows where it came from, or what happened to it. The animal simply acted like it was supposed to guard the grounds after the workers left for the night.
(In the story version I heard, the dog died when the temple was finished and was buried at the temple site. That is probably just an embellishment of the original story.)
So, there's the dog miracle of the LDS Church.
And, ALL dogs do go to heaven ...


  A stained glass-like rendition of the Washington, D.C. LDS Temple, that the Wilcox home has hanging in the front window.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Oldies" Temple Endowment Night?

ONE of my former missionary companions came up with an intriguing idea the other day ... Why not have an "oldies" or a "throw back in time" night at some LDS Temples once in a while?

These nights could feature endowment films from earlier decades.
There are three new LDS Temple endowment films in use right now, but there are other versions from the '90s and before.

Of course, since there have been some endowment wording changes made over the decades, perhaps some of the older movies would not be appropriate for today's use (without some voice over work anyway).
Some of the acting in the old movies was excellent, though.

I think I saw the LDS Church's first-ever endowment film at the London Temple in 1975. (London and Switzerland had the first-ever endowment movies in use, even before any in the U.S.)

Previously, in 1972, I had watched the first-ever U.S. endowment film in the Ogden Temple. The Ogden Temple was the first in the U.S. to have a temple endowment film in use.

(The Salt Lake and Manti temples remain the only 2 temples that still feature "live" acting for the endowment.)

I think there were at least a couple of endowment films that came out in the 1990s, if not some other ones too.

-Of course, the temple is NOT a place for entertainment, it is for the serious nature of temple work for the dead and living. 
-I'm just talking having a little nostalgia thrown in the mix once in a while, perhaps a few days of the year when temple work has statistically been shown to be slow ... Such a feature could increase attendance then.

-And, seeing some old endowment movies could teach a little about history and change.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back when you could 'Review' LDS Sacrament Meetings ...

I found this intriguing "Sacrament meeting checklist" (copied below) in the September 1961 Improvement Era magazine, page 679 (forerunner to today's Ensign Magazine).
The list wanted members to rate their Sacrament meeting quality, with 340 total points possible. I especially liked question No.15: "Did the speaker(s) ramble?" (worth 0-10 points). 
Nothing like that would fly 53 years later .....
Of course, that was back in the pre-three-hour block time era when Sacrament meetings were 1 1/2 hours or more too.

-What is bothersome about some talks in sacrament meetings?
Speakers who clearly have not timed their talks and have no idea how long it is and/or who can't end on time.


-Another change is that in recent years: most Sacrament meeting talks are plain routine. The LDS Church went from letting speakers talk about pretty much what they wanted to in most of the 20th Century to giving rigid, assigned subjects -- even to returned missionaries -- today.
Many talks today are just recapping what was said at the last General Conference.
Also, "guest" speakers -- those from outside your ward or stake -- pretty much vanished in the 21st Century.
It is somewhat of a balancing act -- teaching basic and correct doctrine while keeping the audience listening. If no one is really listening to a speaker, why are they speaking?
Yes, the LDS Church is a lay Church, without professionals, but having more interesting subjects and speakers would always be a plus.
Hopefully a change in 2015 to have Ward Councils also have input on Sacrament meeting speakers/topics -- with bishopbrics -- could be another future positive.





Monday, October 13, 2014

Is hunting animals OK in a Gospel Sense?

                    Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park, where hunting is outlawed.

Is hunting animals in the modern age OK?

You can decide for yourself after reading material from LDS Church leaders below:

Is it a sin to kill animals wantonly?
That was a question President Joseph Fielding Smith answered in the August 1961 Improvement Era Magazine (forerunner to today's Ensign Magazine).

This was advice on hunting or killing animals 17 years before President Spencer W. Kimball did so in October 1978 General Conference.

President Smith told the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith advocating the brethren on a trip with him not to kill some rattlesnakes.

"I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during my journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger," Joseph Smith said.

On another occasion the Prophet shot a squirrel some of the brethren were watching in a tree and then walked way, leaving the dead animal on the ground.

Brother Orson Hyde picked up the dead animal and said, 'We will cook it that nothing may be lost.'

"I perceived that the brethren understood what I did it for, and in their practice gave more heed to be precept than to my example which was right," the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote.

President Joseph Fielding Smith said there are times when killing animals is necessary when it is the survival of the fittest, or when animals may become a plague to mankind.


                  A water snake on a rock by the South Fork of the Ogden River.

(For example, during the construction of the Manti Temple, some 300 rattlesnakes had to be killed, since they infested the ground underneath the temple building site.)

President Joseph F. Smith stated: "I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life ... I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food."

President Joseph F. Smith then said it is wrong to hunt deer, antelope, elk, just for the fun of it, or just because a person likes to shoot and destroy life.

President Spencer W. Kimball's 1978 sermon was:
"Our Father in Heaven was gracious enough to give to us for our pleasure and convenience all life on earth. Let me read to you from his personal statement:
'And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
'And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
'And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
'And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.' (Gen. 1:20, 29–31.)
"I read at the priesthood meeting at the last conference the words to the verse of the song years ago, “Don’t Kill the Little Birds,” with which I was familiar when I was a child growing up in Arizona. I found many young boys around my age who, with their flippers and their slings, destroyed many birds.
"In Primary and Sunday School we sang the song:
Don’t kill the little birds
That sing on bush and tree,
All thro’ the summer days,
Their sweetest melody.
"As I was talking to the young men at that time all over the world, I felt that I should say something more along this line.
"I suppose in every country in the world there are beautiful little birds with their beautiful plumage and their attractive songs.
"I remember that my predecessor, President Joseph Fielding Smith, was a protector of these feathered and other wild life creatures.
"While President Smith at one time was in the Wasatch Mountain Area, he befriended the creatures from the hill and forest. He composed four little verses as follows, and opposite each he drew a little picture. Of the mountain squirrel first, he wrote:
This is little Chopper Squirrel
Up in the mountains high.
He begs us for some grains of corn,
With thanks he says goodbye.
And then the bat was next:
This is little Tommy Bat
Who flies around at night.
He eats the bugs and ‘skeeters’ too,
Which is a thing quite right.
Then he came to the deer:
This is little Bambi Deer
Who comes to the cabin homes.
She licks the salt we feed to her,
And on the mountain roams.
And then the birds:
This, our little feathered friend
Who sings for us all day.
When comes the winter and the cold,
He wisely flies away.
"Now, I also would like to add some of my feelings concerning the unnecessary shedding of blood and destruction of life. I think that every soul should be impressed by the sentiments that have been expressed here by the prophets.
"And not less with reference to the killing of innocent birds is the wildlife of our country that live upon the vermin that are indeed enemies to the farmer and to mankind. It is not only wicked to destroy them, it is a shame, in my opinion. I think that this principle should extend not only to the bird life but to the life of all animals. For that purpose I read the scripture where the Lord gave us all the animals. Seemingly, he thought it was important that all these animals be on the earth for our use and encouragement."
"President Joseph F. Smith said, 'When I visited, a few years ago, the Yellowstone National Park, and saw in the streams and the beautiful lakes, birds swimming quite fearless of man, allowing passers-by to approach them as closely almost as tame birds, and apprehending no fear of them, and when I saw droves of beautiful deer [feeding] along the side of the road, as fearless of the presence of men as any domestic animal, it filled my heart with a degree of peace and joy that seemed to be almost a foretaste of that period hoped for when there shall be none to hurt and none to molest in all the land, especially among all the inhabitants of Zion. These same birds, if they were to visit other regions, inhabited by man, would, on account of their tameness, doubtless become more easily a prey to the gunner. The same may be said of those beautiful creatures—the deer and the antelope. If they should wander out of the park, beyond the protection that is established there for these animals, they would become, of course, an easy prey to those who were seeking their lives. I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on.
'I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood.'" (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66.)
-"Is it not an excellent time for man to set the example as the Prophet has said?" President Joseph Fielding Smith asked in 1961.
-Every Fall I watch as thousands of men and women along the Wasatch Front of Northern Utah -- including many active church members -- go to the hills to hunt deer; or pheasants.
I'd say the "why" they do it is the key question.
"And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands," Genesis 9:11, in the Joseph Smith Biblical translation states.

-First and foremost, the meat hunters secure must be 
used.
Secondly, I'd advise hunters to examine their hearts for 
their true motivations. 
Personally I regret killing a few birds and a rockchuck 
as a teenager -- and if I had to kill for my own meat, I 
likely couldn't even bring myself to kill cattle -- unless 

I was starving and so I might be a vegetarian under 

ideal circumstances.

My father used to love pheasant hunting and many of 

my uncles were avid deer hunters, but none of that 

ever appealed to me  ...

-There' s no evidence that meat was eaten before Noah's time -- that is after the Great Flood, so I'm certain there will be no meat eating in the Millennium, when the world returns to Garden of Eden conditions.

Only the Lord will judge us in this regard -- and that's wise as only he knows the intent of a hunter's heart -- and that seems to be the key factor here.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sometimes Temple Work can be simply miraculous, when you least expect it ....

    My wife and son walking to the Rexburg Temple before experiencing a simple "miracle."

IT is October 8, 2014.
I'm heading back from Yellowstone National Park with two family members and we have a plan and the time to visit two temples on the way home for some temple work.
My original plan is to go to the Idaho Falls Temple and then Logan, Utah Temple.
However, as I approach Rexburg, I feel prompted to go there first.
"Why?" I thought. The other two temples are historic.
A strong feeling to go to the Rexburg Temple persists and I finally ask my wife about it. She and then my son agree to do just that.
We enter the temple and inquire if any sealing work is needed. Go upstairs and ask was the reply.
We dress and go upstairs.
A sealing session is in progress. An older woman, who can't hear well, has a list of family names being done. We are quickly invited in -- not a second of waiting here!
We go in and the temple sealer not only pronounces our last name correctly (very rare), but takes particular interest in my son, who leaves on a mission to Hawaii in 5 weeks.
(Also, talking is done very loud for the elderly woman's benefit, another rarity inside any temple.) 
We do some sealing work, marriage and family sealings.
The spiritual feeling was so strong and uplifting that this family wanted ALL their work done as quickly as possible.
Some of the temple patrons in the room had to leave for other commitments. The work only proceeds because we are there.



We were there for a reason, I felt we were called off the freeway to go there and help finish that family's work.
I felt if I would have had the gift of the spirit that involves seeing through the earthly veil that day, that I would have seen happy people around. (Two of my family members not present that day do have that spiritual gift.)
I left the sealing and temple so uplifted and joyous for having done simple work that these deceased people could not do for themselves. Less than an hour commitment in time was all this took.
Yes, visiting Yellowstone on that trip was a treasure, but only of the eye candy variety -- something you could see and appreciate.
At the Rexburg Temple that day, it was what I could NOT see that was so monumental and everlasting though.
Yes, this was a very simply kind of miracle. Nothing earth-shattering, but makes you wonder what other promptings can and should be heard that you don't pick up on because of worldly conflicts and interference?
I should work hard to include temple visits in future vacations and trips.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 3 Most Unique LDS Temples of All ...


WHAT are the three most unique LDS Temples to be found?
They are the Salt Lake Temple, the Jordan River Temple and the Ogden Temple

Why?




1. The Salt Lake Temple is the flagship temple in the church. 
It required the longest time to be built (40 years) and includes far more symbolism on its exterior than any other temple.






                  The Richard Flygare wedding in the Jordan River Temple.

2. The Jordan River Temple is the ONLY church temple ever built that didn't use any church funds for its construction.
Besides land being donated for its construction to the church (representing the only exception since the 1960s where the church accepted donated land with conditions attached -- that a temple would be build there) -- area members donated $15 million (a price estimated before any plans were drawn up).
The temple actually cost less than that to build (probably $9-10 million)  and so the unused money funded the temple's complete operating costs for several years.
Also, the Jordan River Temple has six endowment ordinance rooms that can seat 125 church members -- the highest capacity endowment temple in the church.



                     A painting of the original Ogden Temple by Keith Wilcox.


3. The Ogden Temple was the first temple in the church to feature six ordinance rooms.
In its first month of operation in 1971, the temple did more endowment work than all other Utah temples combined.
It was also the first temple in the U.S. to feature a film to present the endowment, instead of having to move, room-to-room.
In addition, this is the only temple to be torn down and rebuilt, with just the cornerstone left of the original structure.


                           The "new" Ogden Temple from the west side.



                     The S.E. corner of the rebuilt Ogden Temple.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meat Eating and the Gospel

IS it OK to eat meat as an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Yes, in moderation.
The Church’s “Word of Wisdom” states:
“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.”
“And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:12-13).
It is interesting to note that there was no comma in verse 12, after the word “used” until the 1920s.
I have a copy of a D&C published in 1918 and there is not comma there. Presumably, B.H. Roberts added the comma, when he added footnotes in later editions.
Since the word “only” basically used to mean “except” in the 1800s, the comma was probably warranted, because substituting the word “except” for “only” would have the verse read like this:
“And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, except in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”
Still, the fact the Lord placed the word “not” into verse 12 is intriguing. Take the word “not” out and the verse pretty much reads with the meaning that the Lord is pleased when you eat meats only in winter, cold or times of famine.
So, one could argue that in today’s world of refrigeration, the winter, cold or famine references may not apply. It did in Joseph Smith’s time for sure, though …
Notwithstanding, the accent on the entire verse is on “sparingly” usage for eating meats.
What does “sparingly” mean?
The Cambridge Dictionary states the meaning of the word is  “using very little of something.”
Indeed, the very day I decided to write this blog, I found this timely tidbit out there:
In an article, “What Science Has to Say About Red Meat,” from Yahoo Health News, Aug. 19, 2014, it advised consumers practice moderation in eating meat.
From increased cancer risk or a higher possibility of heart attack, too much meat is not a good thing,
However, the Lord does not advise being a vegetarian either, at least in the context of preaching publicly NOT to eat meats:
“Any whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God.” (D&C 49:18).
And, the Lord also cautioned against wasting meat or killing for pleasure only:
“And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:21).
So, hunting for sport ONLY is not favored by the Lord.
The “Word of Wisdom” itself was originally given as a “greeting” and as a principle with the promise and NOT as a commandment.
Yet, the avoidance of alcohol, coffee, tea, or tobacco is now accepted as a commandment to the Saints, from Brigham Young’s time as prophet to today.
The rest of the Word of Wisdom, including eating meat sparingly, is likely still just good advice from the Lord.
I can find no General Authority discourses where eating meat is discouraged and all official LDS-sponsored dinners I've been to over the decades have included meat on the menu.
(One must also understand that the "Word of Wisdom" isn't purely about health matters. It is also a way the Lord separates his people from the world, by openly have them act differently, by not drinking coffee, for example.)



-In the Millennium, I don’t believe anyone will be eating meats. At the terrestrial world level, animals like the lion will not be meat-eaters, but will lay down with the lamb, safely together. Isaiah 11:7 states that the lion shall eat straw, like the ox, in the millennium.
So, why won’t man too be a vegetarian then?
Man will eat only what he raises in the field for his terrestrial world diet (see Isaiah 65:18-23).
(Myself, if I had to kill game or beasts for my own meat now; that prospect alone would make me a hasty vegetarian.)






Saturday, August 9, 2014

An LDS Temple Ship on the Seven Seas?

By Lynn Arave

During a recent visit for official LDS Church research on the second floor of the LDS History Building, one of the church employees assisting me stumbled across a rare find --- something that I had never heard of before ...
The Church at one time considered creating a temple on a large ship.
It could sail to countries where there was no temple and offer the blessings of the sacred structure to church members who could reach the coastline ports.
The special ship would feature a celestial room in its center, where normally the large dining room on a cruise ship is. With lodging, water, dining facilities, etc., this idea had merit, as self-contained traveling temple, complete with hotel rooms for temple patrons.
This was a proposal made in the late 1960s.
It never happened, but it was studied. In fact, a suitable ship was available for purchase for $2 million and another $2 million could have made it temple worthy.
Now days, temples are scattered all over the world. So, a sailing temple would likely not be needed today.
A temple on the seven seas ... who knew?
-What doomed this unique idea?
None other than boundary issues.
According to LDS Church policy, temples have to be located inside a stake's boundaries.
Since the temple was roving and could not be tied to any specific stake of the Church, the project was considered not doctrinally correct.
Could they not have made the sailing ship an exception to the stake boundary policy? Yes, but again that didn't happen either.
President Joseph Fielding Smith was said to have studied the idea for a temple ship, but could find no precedent where it could be exempt from the policy of a temple having to be inside a stake. So, he said no to the idea in 1970 and that was it.
So, the "USS Celestial" never set sail.
-For me, there was already a precedent set -- that the Israelites had a roving temple for many decades in the past. They were technically a stake on wheels and that worked way back then.

-Some believe that the "Satan has power over the water" concept in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 61) is what stopped the creation of the temple ship. I disagree, since that's also a myth of why full-time missionaries can't go swimming. It is a prophecy for the future, yet to be fulfilled and not pertinent to either swimming or the temple ship.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ogden Utah Temple Tour

                      The west side of the Ogden Temple, with its reflecting pool.


I went on a tour through the newly renovated Ogden Utah Temple.
Here are my observations/thoughts:

-Fabulous marble floors and lots of dark interior wood. It is like waking inside some heavenly mansion. Seems far more elaborate than the original Ogden Temple. 
(This contrast may also mean the Provo Temple will someday be redone like the Ogden Temple. Both the inside and outside of the Ogden Temple were lacking compared to most other temples.)

-The west lobby of the Ogden Temple is very similar to the lobby at the Bountiful Temple.

-Oodles of stained glass windows everywhere (whereas the former Ogden Temple relied on narrow windows and drapes.

-At least 2 of the 6 ordinance/endowment rooms are very, very tiny. Seems like that shortcoming could equal a longer wait for an endowment session, though. Sure, the former Ogden Temple also had six ordinance rooms, but none were undersized.

-This temple has 7 sealing rooms, with some again very, very small ones.


                                    The main, or east entrance to the Ogden Temple.

-This Temple looks to have 2 operating entrances, an east side and a west side. If you enter from the east side, there is a pullout/drop off half-circle off Washington Boulevard at center block. The west entrance will be by far the busier entrance, with all the parking nearest.

-The reflecting pool on the west side of the temple is likely to be a popular photo op.

-We didn't see the regular dressing rooms on the tour. You went through the bridal dressing areas and got a glimpse of the cafeteria, though.



-The cornerstone is now on the southeast side, (I know for a fact the actual cornerstone and time capsule of the original temple were kept intact.) However, the original Ogden Temple's cornerstone was on the NORTHEAST side and so it was moved. Also, the plaque now has the same wording, but is NOT the original plaque from the old temple.

-One BIG disappointment for me was a lack of artwork of any LOCAL scenes. I know the Calgary, Canada Temple has some paintings of area scenes, so does the Brigham City Temple, the Idaho Falls Temple and others.
The Ogden Temple contains at least one waterfall painting, but it is NOT of Waterfall Canyon or the mouth of Ogden Canyon. There may be several paintings of the local Weber or Ogden River, but they were poorly defined, so who can tell for sure? (Ben Lomond Peak would have made a great inside painting, for example.) 

Query: Why do some temples rate local paintings and others don't?

-Since much of downtown Ogden around the temple has been revitalized, the entire area has a much brighter look and feel.

-The remodeled Ogden Temple looks MORE like a temple than the previous version, that was like something out of a Star Trek scene. This new Temple looks more like a stately monument pointing to heaven, than one that could blast off (previous version of the temple). 
Even non-church members have told me the new version looks like a temple, whereas the former one was simply odd.



                     The temporary tent to host visitors to the Temple Open House.

-The OGDEN TABERNACLE was also refurbished at the same time as the temple. It has nice blue seats now and the walls in general and especially the balcony walls look redone. Looks more like a 21st Century Tabernacle inside than the previous version.
-Also, the weird Tabernacle seating space at the southwest corner, where pillars blocked views, has been totally deleted, so there is likely LESS seating in the Tabernacle than before, say 50-100 seats less.
-A steeple-less Tabernacle still looks odd -- and not as stately or striking as it could be ...







Monday, June 23, 2014

10 Things You Need to Know about the “Ordain Women” movement

 --Here are ten important parameters about the "Ordain Women" group, that is challenging The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

1.  The group’s very title runs counter to LDS Church doctrine and teachings. (Any truly devout LDS Church member will stay away from Ordain Women.)
2.  The group is operating in total fantasy land, as there is zero, absolutely no chance of the group getting the Church to ever ordain women to the priesthood.

3.  The group is a classic example of worldly beliefs infecting some LDS Church members and overriding Gospel Principles. The group has adopted the unholy worldly definition of equality for men and women, instead of the divine, eternal roles of men and women that the Gospel teaches.

4.  The group is also a classic example of fanatical behavior by LDS Church members who “exalt one principle at the expense of all others,” and to the point of even giving up their Church membership, because of their excessive beliefs in one incorrect doctrine.

5. Aside from any possible disciplinary council action to Ordain Women members, none of its members/supporters should ultimately have a temple recommend, since they cannot correctly answer question No. 7 in the interview process for a temple recommend. (Hence, no Ordain Women members/supporters can fit the definition of “devout” LDS Church members.)

6.  The group is a “shame” unto the LDS Church, in the language of the Apostle Paul, as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith in his Inspired Version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Those "restored" verses state that women are not permitted to rule in the Church and if they were to seek to do so, it would be a shame.
The group gives the Church bad publicity world-wide that detracts from its message of the Restoration. Group members are not evil, they are just severely off track of divine guidance.

7.   The group seems to falsely operate under the premise that the LDS Church is a democracy, with unlimited free speech. (In reality, the Church is a theocracy and its members must adhere to certain standards.)

8.   Ordain Women members have twisted LDS Church history (or have relied on fringe sources for doctrine) with their incorrect beliefs that some women performed priesthood blessings in the early days of the church. (They did not. Some women healed the sick, though, but by the power of faith, not by the priesthood.) Joseph Smith also never taught that women would receive the priesthood, at least not in mortal life.

9.    Group members delude themselves with an “apples to oranges” comparison in believing that it was “doctrine” until 1978 that Blacks could not hold the priesthood. The historical reality is that was only “policy,” something indefinite that can change over time. Women not holding the priesthood is doctrine.

10.                   Ordain Women members/supporters do not belong in the LDS Church, because their very premise challenges a core foundation, that the church is led by revelation and an inspired prophet of Jesus Christ. The group’s very message implies the Church is wrong and needs correcting.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fresh water seas in the Millennium?


This is just my personal opinion, with no real supporting doctrine  -- But ....

As I visited and enjoyed the Pacific Ocean recently, I could not help but wonder if the ocean and all the seas will not change to fresh water in the millennium.
I'm just not seeing salt water as a component on a terrestrial world.

I think all sea creatures could be transformed to handle fresh water in a Garden of Eden type environment, just as a lamb and lion can lie down together in peace.




(--Also, on a related note, when the biggest earthquake of all time hits, just before the Second Coming of Christ, I wouldn't want to be on a beach or live anywhere near one. Tidal waves will occur all over the planet when this world-wide earthquake hits.)



Friday, June 13, 2014

How 'Worldly' are You?

ONE of the biggest dangers for members of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today is becoming tainted deeply by the world and not even knowing it.
KEY EXAMPLE:
Believing the world's view/definition of "equality."
This is one of Satan's biggest lies today or ever.
If you believe it, you think that men and women are equal and can should do all the same things and that the roles of men and women are interchangeable.
Also, you may think the LDS Church is too harsh on gay marriage or homosexuality, meaning the Church should not consider acting on being gay, or gays being married as sins.
I absolutely guarantee the LDS Church will never, ever change their stance on gay marriage, or of women not being able to hold the priesthood.

Those are doctrines.
Anyone who teaches otherwise is in false doctrine territory.
Blacks and the priesthood was policy only and that's where members get confused. Policy can and does often change.
 Also, the basis of the LDS Church is that it has a prophet, inspired leaders and is the only true Church of Christ on earth. So, why do  LDS Church members who openly support gay marriage and/or ordaining women, believe they can tell the Church what to believe? That’s inconsistent and proves they don’t have a testimony that the LDS Church is indeed true. Furthermore, since many of this type apparently DO NOT believe their Church membership is worth more than their rogue beliefs, that are also contrary to LDS Church doctrine, they clearly don’t belong in the LDS Church. 
You can argue all you want about free speech/democracy, but the LDS Church is a theocracy and different things apply. You have to abide by certain principles to be a member in good standing, one being not to lead other astray with false doctrine. If such members  keep refusing to change, that’s clearly a sign of apostasy. They are not victims, martyrs or even reformers, they are in apostate territory plain and simple.
-An irony to all this is that one nano-second after a person regains the memory of their life before birth, absolutely all of these worldly beliefs will be realized and accepted as being wrong -- since eternity will dictate otherwise -- without any argument whatsoever!