The Consequences Of Repentence

Don - June 30, 2005

There’s a great thread by Geoff at New Cool Thang dealing with “The bicycle parable”. There are several comments about repentence itself and the payment Christ made for our sins.

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Updates

Rusty - June 28, 2005

As you can see the logo above has changed. I think I’m going to change the typeface every week or so. I’m doing this for no other reason than I love type and have a lot of typefaces and I enjoy mixing it up a bit. As always I encourage both positive and negative feedback, but make sure it’s positive.

You will also note that I have updated the Bloggernacle links on the side. If yours isn’t represented and you wish it to be so, submit your entry fee, take the test, FedEx me the results, and then I will consider putting your link up. Or just ask me.

I’ve also put up the Mormon Archipelago logo, but I can’t figure out what the little “> thing is below it. I can’t seem to get rid of it. If anyone knows how to shake it, please let me know.

And as always, thanks for your interest and I hope it continues to be interesting.

A Lost Opportunity

Rusty - June 25, 2005

Yesterday I was talking with a close friend of mine who hasn’t been to church since last fall. He’s never felt a part of a ward, never felt accepted. The fact that he wasn’t able to serve a mission due to emotional/psychological issues adds fuel to that fire. According to him, members haven’t treated him very well.

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Shout Out To Silus Grok

Rusty - June 22, 2005

Our good friend Silus Grok has started up a personal blog and as a result has been given the responsibility of explaining what Mormon peity looks like to a group of less-informed individuals. This is his response, followed by what seems to be an interesting conversation. Go over there and check it out.

Are Sisters Better Missionaries Than Elders?

Rusty -

We all know that elders make fun of sister missionaries while in the mission (Guatemala). I did it. The AP’s did it (Rob…). My companions did it. I even knew some sisters that did it. And this phenomenon was not isolated to my mission. Every mission, all over the world elders celebrate this tradition with fervor and enthusiasm.
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Who will be going to the temple in the Millenium?

Don - June 20, 2005

Someone in SS class told us not to plan on doing proxy temple work during the Millenium.  I hadn’t thought of that before, since the big church service during the Millenium will be temple work.  I did some research and according to Joseph Fielding Smith Temple work is a mortal ordainence and can only be done by those in mortality, not by immortal beings.

That being the case it makes a number of interesting scenarios.

If we are mortal then we could meet the immortal person in the temple lobby, get his name, do the proxy work and come out and get a big hug and move on the the next in line.

If we are immortal then we can’t do proxy work.  Since our work has already been done then the question arises…can we do any temple work?  Will we be prohibited from participating.  We can’t do our own endowment again and again, (like re-baptism in the old days)…so what do we do?

And since immortals can’t do proxy work then what do the immortals do once their work has been done for them?  How do they "learn" the signs, tokens etc?  Repetition is how we learn it, what about them?

Oh, one other thing, there are approximately 8,800,000 hrs. during the Millenium.  For round numbers if we cut the endowment to 1 hour, that means for each temple opened 24 hours a day we can do 8.8million endowments.  I don’t know the exact numbers but something like 12+ billion people have lived on the earth so far.  My guess is that 75%+ will accept the gospel (that’s a whole new post), so if I’m right it will take 100 temples just to do the proxy work.  Consider how many will be born during that 1,000 years who will need their work done too!  Wow we really do need more temples, and temple work will be the work of the Millenium.

I’m just sorry that I won’t be able to do any of that work….unless the Millenium hurrys up and gets here before I die.

Tell Me Why. No, Don’t Tell Me. Yes, Tell Me.

Rusty - June 16, 2005

A couple months ago I wrote my feelings on President Hinckley’s conference talk about gambling. Before his talk I understood why I didn’t gamble:
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Difficult Answers

Rusty - June 14, 2005

I’d say I’m pretty good at explaining my religion on the level of the person with which I’m speaking. However, over time there are questions that inevitably rear their ugly heads and require a succinct explanation. What have you said in response to any of these questions?
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The Other Side Of The Word Of Wisdom

Rusty - June 13, 2005

Today in Elders Quorum we had the Word of Wisdom lesson. I was secretly hoping the teacher’s first words would be, “Today we’re going to talk about the Word of Wisdom, but we are not going to say a thing about alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea.” Alas, it was not to be. The first 30 minutes were taken up by stories about how smoking is addictive, alcoholics are bad, there are studies that say coffee shortens life by 3 months… blah, blah, blah. Okay, fine, those things are true. Of course we’re going to latch on to studies and stories about how the Lord knew all along, that those substances are bad for us, etc. Funny how we don’t say much of those who drink in moderation and never have any problems whatsoever. (I had to step out for a moment and from what I gather this last point was brought up in class and sparked an interesting back-and-forth, which I regret missing)

We then read the following verse (D&C 89:4):

“Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—”

The wording on this is interesting. It says, “In consequence of…” in other words, “what follows is the REASON I’m giving the Word of Wisdom…” What are those words? Because of the evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men. He doesn’t say, “because of all the health benefits…” or “because of tanic acid/caffeine…” or “because second-hand smoke…” He said it was because of the conspiring men.

Interesting.

So anyway, the teacher asked the class what this might refer to and someone suggested the tobacco industry, that it was a conspiracy how they deceived the population about tobacco’s health risks. I agree with this. I personally believe that this is part of what this verse is talking about.

But in my “annoyed that we always talk about the don’ts of the WofW and never the do’s” mind frame I tried to apply this scripture to the do’s of the WofW. And for some reason it seemed to make just as much sense, if not more. There are conspiring men in the beef industry, there are conspiring men in the grain industry, there are conspiring men in the fast food industry, there are conspiring men in the sugar/high fructose corn syrup industry. The whole idea of artificial/natural flavoring smacks of conspiracy to me. (Do a quick Google search on any of these industries and you’ll quickly see the overwhelming power and influence they have to determine what we eat and how little we know about it).

Is this a conspiracy though? Am I seeing connections where there aren’t any? What say ye?

Welcome To The New Nine Moons

Rusty - June 11, 2005

Hi all. Welcome to the new Nine Moons. As you can see there are a few changes. The biggest and most obvious one is that I’ve switched from Blogger to TypePad. So far it’s been pretty good, though I’m still going to be updating and tweeking things for the next little while. I would appreciate any advice on how to make it better. I might actually use the comments section of this post to ask how to fix things as well.

Other changes include the colors and header. I played around with a bunch of different solutions and decided that I wanted to keep it simple and clean. The purpose of a blog is the reading so I’ve tried to make everything else fade into the background. Another change is the fact that the URL is now www.nine-moons.com (no more .blogspot stuff). Also, being in TypePad I now have recent comments, a feature I enjoy.

One of the most important changes is that I am going to start having more guest posts. I am in discussions with a few different people that can bring some interesting insight and will ask some good questions. I’m looking forward to it.

I hope this change isn’t too much of an inconvenience to anyone that will have to update their links or browser favorites. Thanks for your participation in these wonderful discussions we have over here.

The Most Like Christ

Rusty - June 9, 2005

In our American culture we like to rank things. Top 100 small businesses, top 5 greatest movies, New York’s best doctors, all-time worst sci-fi movies, etc. I think that even within our Mormon culture we rank things. Top 5 scriptures on faith, favorite three mission companions, worst bishop, etc. I’ll bet some of us even rank each other on such silliness as arrogance or humility. “He’s the most arrogant person I’ve ever known.” has often left my lips.

If the ultimate goal is to become Christ-like, then wouldn’t it follow that that characteristic could be ranked as well? I would imagine the first name that we think of is President Hinckley. But is that the case? Is he really the person most like Christ that is living on this earth?

I don’t think so for two reasons.

First of all these men are called because that’s who God wants in those positions, not because they are the most righteous in the world. This same principle is applied to our home wards, the bishop is often not the humblest, most faithful, or most loving person in the ward, but he’s called because God wants him there. And lemme tell ya, administration skills are a valued asset in this Church, and there are some devilish people with incredible admin skills.

Secondly, if this were the case then you could effectively say that no woman has ever been the most Christ-like person living, an idea which I wholly reject. As far as Christ-like attributes, I’d say I know many more women who posses these than men (though I think generally men are better at administrating).

I believe President Hinckley is the Prophet and I believe his words. I do not, however, believe that we can project our man-made ranking system on something such as our likeness to our Savior. Besides, I know too many wonderfully righteous people to automatically put him above them.

To shave or not to shave, is that the question?

Don - June 7, 2005

In priesthood meeting we were discussing various “doctrine” when facial hair came up….again.

Just three weeks ago the Stake President gave a talk at the Single Ward’s conference telling them that they were to be clean shaven. Something to the effect that just because they are home from their missions didn’t mean they were to change or let down their standards. It has been the policy in some Stakes at least to not allow men with facial hair to serve in certain callings. (I guess women with facial hair, it’s ok).

A member of the Stake high council from our ward was in our priesthood meeting. He told us that our Stake President just receive a letter from Salt Lake telling them that facial hair is ok. They are not to keep someone from serving because of facial hair.

Sometimes well intentioned Stake Presidents – Bishops etc. prove the divinity of D&C 121. Every once and a while the Brethern have to step in and straighten things out.

I for one, say it’s about time!

Whining About Wine

Rusty - June 2, 2005

A couple days ago my wife and I returned from Italy, where we were celebrating our 5th anniversary and my finishing grad school. Rome was cool, Florence was nice, but nothing came close to the countryside of Tuscany. We rented a car and took day trips to the little medieval towns that dot the landscape. The views were gorgeous. The houses and hillsides were straight from fairy tales. But the vineyards, it was the vineyards that took our breath away. We pulled the car over right as the sun was setting and hiked down through an olive grove into a vineyard and just sat there taking in the beauty that God has created. It was wonderful.

I’ve never in my life had a difficult time with the Word of Wisdom… until then. We were in the absolute heart of one of, if not the greatest wine-making region in the world. Wine is a way of life for these people. It’s almost a religion. Wine is not just something to quench thirst, rather it interacts with the food that is served. Its taste depends on what was in the soil and air of that particular year and how it reacted to the barrels it was aged in. I am having a difficult time thinking of any other food that is more poetic and has been treated with as much reverence as wine. I have a feeling that God is saddened by the fact that He’s had to prohibit us from enjoying it.

I told my wife that the minute the Word of Wisdom is repealed we’d buy tickets to go back and fully experience one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Anyone else wanna join us?

Your Neighbors Have Been Seeing The Cockroaches…

Rusty - June 1, 2005

Over at the BCC Bob has posted about a humorous run-in he had with a home security salesman. This doesn’t surprise me as all the home security and pest control salesmen of the world hail from Provo, Utah. What is it about door-to-door and pyramid selling schemes that attracts the LDS populace? I’ll tell you: the sexy combo of polo shirt and khakis.

And money.

I must confess, I sold pest control for a summer and a half. Eclipse Marketing selling for Orkin Pest Control. My first summer (’99) was in Phoenix and my second (’00) was in Spokane, Washington.

Did I make good money? Sure.

Did I make good friends? Yes.

Did I learn a lot? Yes.

So why did I hate it so much? Because I didn’t really believe in the product, I hated knowing how much BS salesmen shovel, it was too dang hot, and I hated bothering people at their homes (I also hated tracting. Just because I’m selling the Gospel doesn’t mean I enjoyed the method of finding people).

What did I learn? The subtleties of selling. That Phoenix is no place to spend a summer. That gift incentives really do work as a form of motivation (even thought they are stupid). That when a salesman tells you his truck is going to be in the area (so is willing to give you a discount) that he’s full of crap. And most importantly, that it’s much more important to do what you like to do and make a little bit of money than do what you loath to make a little bit more than a little bit of money.

Is anyone else out there willing to confess their lost summers to sales? How was your experience? What did you learn?