Sunday, January 31, 2016

The worst single Biblical mistranslation of all time?

MEMBERS of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints only believe the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly" (Eighth Article of Faith).
LDS Church members believe in modern and continual revelation and have additional Scriptures from God.
Yet, perhaps the worst single word mistranslation in the entire Bible is found in the Old Testament.

The Kings James Version, Exodus 22:18 states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

The Prophet Joseph Smith did a partial restoration of the Bible in his "Inspired Version" (also called "Inspired Translation").

Here's what the Joseph Smith version of Exodus 22:18 states:
"Thou shalt not suffer a murderer to live."

-One single wrong word may have prompted the Salem Witch trials and related murders over the centuries.

-One single word, if it had been correct, would have also given more support for capital punishment ... still a hot issue in 2016.

While the Book of Mormon is the best asset to help gain a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and that Joseph Smith was a modern prophet of God, the Inspired Translation also proves its worth as a supplemental testimony builder.


LDS Church Basketball: Christ-like conduct not required?

                   Missionary Elders playing basketball in 1974 in South Wales.


By Lynn Arave

IT IS SIMPLY A PARADOX why some players in stake-organized basketball games for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can leave their morality behind in the locker room and act on the court however badly they want -- and with no penalty outside of perhaps a free throw or two for the other team.
What?
Why after decades of this happening has nothing improved?
This isn't just about sportsmanship, it is about totally inappropriate, violent behavior on the court.
EXAMPLE: My Bishop gave the ward a 10-minute or so sermon on January 31, 2016 on how service to others can help a person be happier and also move them beyond bad feelings that chase the Spirit of the Lord away.
This Bishop said he was playing in a recent church basketball game when a player on the other team simply shoved an opposing player to the floor and on his back after he got mad over a play. The shove was made AFTER the ball was dead.
No mention was made of any action taken against the violent player -- and although he didn't specifically say it, I think that is what bothered my Bishop the most.
(Even though that player's conduct bordered on criminal assault, the violent player "got away with it" BECAUSE "it was in a game and emotions were high.")
The Bishop said that the bad behavior by that player bothered him all day long and he struggled to move past it. Finally with service to others he got past it ...

Yet, the story should not have ended there ...
That violent player should have been kicked out of that game and warned that a future such infraction would ban him totally from playing church sports.
This kind of action probably never happens, but it should.
This kind of incident is why Church basketball is sometimes referred to as "Tackle Basketball" -- and I'm betting they happen periodically church-wide.




  With a basketball court in most every LDS meetinghouse, it is the most popular Mormon sport.


-HERE'S ANOTHER incident of both violent and unsportsmanlike conduct in LDS Church basketball games: A brother of mine had his wrist karate chopped and broken as he went in for a layup in a Church game some years ago. The offender knew karate and was ironically the stake athletic director. My brother claims the player was never held accountable for his excessive actions.

-One of my sisters even had a tale to tell: When playing church softball in the early 1980s, she said her ward sounded defeated the opposing team. However, just after the game ended, a disgruntled member of the losing team threw a softball as hard as she could at my sister's head, knocking her out. And, once again, there was no penalty or any action against that violent player.
So, even women's sports in church play have problems and softball too is not immune to un-Christlike behavior.

-I've heard of other problems over the years too. I'm certain there are numerous more such tales out there ...

Such violent behavior in church basketball is simply an embarrassment to the Church.
In the one true Church of Jesus Christ, members should exhibit better behavior on the court or field. There are no exceptions here.
I've seen sporting events held by other faiths and the LDS Church has some of the worst offenders of them all.
Church youth need to be taught better sportsmanship and that such violent behavior is unacceptable. Then, if there were corresponding and instant penalties for bad behavior in church sports, the problem would diminish significantly.

(Some church members have joked over the decades that the Second Coming/Millennium would have come sooner had it not been for Church Sports.)


-My suggestions: The Church ought to draft a clear policy on violent behavior, profanity and even sportsmanship in church sports. That should be sent as a letter to all leaders, to be read in Sacrament meetings, so everyone will know of the changes.
It should be included in the next new General Handbook of Instructions.
When an incident happens on the court, the referee and any officials confer and decide what action needs to be taken.

(Perhaps there could be an UnChristlike Foul 1 and UnChristlike Foul 2 level of fouls, akin to college's Flagrant 1 and Flagrant 2 fouls ....)

Yes, church referees receive little or no training, but these matters of bad conduct are pretty basic -- no rocket science required.

If the player is kicked out of the game, his or her bishop and the stake president should be notified and he/she clearly should be told that one more incident and he/she could banned from church sports for life.

-Note that full-time missionaries who play basketball are encouraged NOT to keep score, in order to hopefully make the game less intense.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Where the PPI with the Savior doctrine originated from ...



President David O. McKay once taught about a future priesthood 
interview for all Church Brethren with Jesus Christ himself. 
(See it listed far below).
This account is true and has been quoted by numerous General Authorities and church members over the decades. However, what is often left out is where it came from – it was NOT from a General Conference talk or any regular church meeting.
 (It is often quoted on Facebook these days too, more than 50 years later and this is the rest of the story--)
Here’s the true story of where the teachings came from:
In June of 1965, a group of brethren in the Physical Facilities Department of the Church was doing some work outside the Hotel Utah apartment of President David O. McKay. As President McKay stopped to explain to them the importance of the work in which they were engaged, he paused and told them about an interview with the Savior.
                                         Fred A. Baker
Fred A. Baker, the eventual Managing Director, Department of Physical Facilities and at the time a member of the Church’s original 3-member building committee, was the Church employee who wrote this down.
Brother Baker, of Ogden, worked for Church Physical Facilities from 1965-1991.
He was also my former stake president and a friend of my wife’s family, who lived in his same ward, the Ogden 41st Ward (today’s Waterfall Canyon Ward).
Brother Baker often told the story to others. He passed away in December of 2015 and this story was also told at his funeral, which I attended.
    A 1965 photo from the Hotel Utah with Pres. McKay and in his living room with Church Building     Committee and other Church members. Fred Baker is third from the left, top row.

--If you doubt my story, Elder Robert D. Hales repeated it on March 15, 1988 and cited Brother Baker as who wrote it down. Elder Hales’ talk can be found at:
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/robert-d-hales_understandings-heart/

THE TEACHINGS:

--Here's what Brother Baker recorded from President McKay's 
hallway sermon:
"Let me assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.
First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?
Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.
Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.
Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your Church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments.
Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.
Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country and the world."

Technology vs. disruption in church meetings

I felt I had to purchase a mobile device to remain active in my ward.
The bishopric once again missed the deadline for ordering manuals and then decided to not purchase any priesthood/relief society manuals for 2016. Getting one is all on your own and at this writing they are none in stock to purchase anyway.

So, I buy a kindle.

I then tried out my new Kindle in Sacrament meeting, 

needing help to connect to the Wi-Fi, to be ready for 

Priesthood meeting later in the block.


Somehow I  accidentally activated an Arnold 

Schwarzenegger war game, that came up as an ad, the 

second time I turned the device on in Sacrament meeting.

I couldn't switch off the kindle as the game was playing.

My wife and son were greatly amused and finally switched it 

off for me.

(Me, I figured Arnold  probably hasn't been to church for a 

while, so maybe that  helped him ...)

After using the kindle now, it is very handy to have the 

manuals right there, plus all the standard works and the 

Ensign Magazines -- and more resources.

Still, there's a learning curve in knowing how to use such devices and feeling comfortable to do so -- especially for the older crowd.
Their presence also equals occasional disruptions in meetings when things go wrong, cause I'm sure I'm not the only one with a tale like this.