Thursday, May 8, 2014

The LDS Church will never be huge

                                 The LDS Church Office Building.

THE number of full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) increased by 41 percent in 2013.
However, the number of converts to the LDS Church increased by just 4 percent in 2013.
Some church members seem troubled, or worried about this disparity.
However, nowhere in the Scriptures does it indicate that the Church will be "large" in the last days.
In fact, the Book of Mormon indicates that the Church will be world-wide in the last days and yet its members "few" because of the wickedness of the world (1 Nephi 14:12). 
So, this isn't about "failure" in any way.
It may well be that the Lord is doing one last surge in preaching, before conditions really get bad before the Second Coming.
Eventually, the full-time missionaries will be called home and then the Lord preaches his own sermons with natural disasters (Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, 8:123).
Just because a missionary may not convert, or baptize someone on their mission doesn't mean he or she is a failure.
Noah likely converted relatively few in his years of preaching (and any he did left by way of the translated City of Enoch).
The Lord gives everyone a chance to hear the truth, though accepting it is becoming an all-too rare occurrence in these, the last days.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ogden LDS Temple -- The Background Paradox

Many artists do not seem to favor the background of the Ogden Temple -- the original version, or even the new structure.
I saw one of the new Ogden Temple paintings for sale already in stores today (May 5) and it has changed the temple's background dramatically -- and to absolutely pure fiction.
The painting has the new temple sitting right by the Wasatch Mountains and with tall trees all around it -- instead of it sitting in downtown Ogden -- in an urban setting -- that's really the actual background.
This is one of several paintings I've seen over the years, where the different artists prefer a different background setting for Ogden's Temple, including the original version of the Temple.
The Ogden Temple could have been built originally on the mountainside (like the Provo Temple) and such paintings are proving that point ... though it's not like its actual location is really going to ever change.
Historically, Church leaders did plan at first that the Ogden Temple was to be built just south of today's Weber State University Campus.
Then, downtown Ogden business leaders pleaded for the Church to reconsider and to build the Temple downtown, on the Tabernacle site, to help revitalize the area.
Just inspect various paintings of the Provo and Salt Lake Temples and you will discover that their backgrounds are altered only slightly in their many artistic renditions.

     Copy of a drawing by Keith Wilcox of the original Ogden Temple, set far closer to the mountains.

It seems it is ONLY the Ogden Temple where the landscape changes so drastically.
So, there's the paradox. Unlike the Provo or Bountiful temples, where they sit on a lofty mountainside with scenic backgrounds, the Ogden Temple lacks that.
On the other hand, the Ogden Temple sits in the center of town, among the central business district -- and has thus become a part of that city center, something the Provo or Bountiful temples lack.
--If you want to see the new Ogden painting, cut and paste this link and go to: