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Nine Moons : 2009 : September » 2009 » September

Ether 12:27 and Revisionist Readings

MCQ - September 25, 2009

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

For some time now, this has been my favorite scripture.  It’s a real eye opener.  It tells us (in God’s own voice!) that God knows and understands that we are weak.  He expects us to be weak, even made sure that we would be.  There is a purpose to our weakness.  And best of all, this passage assures us of the possibility of change, improvement and redemption.  We can not only overcome weakness, weak things can become strong.  Does that give you an enormous outpouring of hope?  It does me.  That’s why I love this chapter and this verse in particular: the hope of one day becoming strong in all the ways that I am now weak.  The possibility of that keeps me going on my worst days. (more…)

Favorite BOM Character

Don -

Who is your favorite BOM character – really?!

I got thinking about this and decided that Laman and Lemuel had to be two of my favorite characters. Not because they were rebels and the problems they caused. They are favorites because they show me that outstanding parent can have wayward kids.

We don’t know about Lehi’s parenting skills – maybe he spanked them too much and spoiled Nephi – maybe he treated all of them the same. What we do know is he was a righteous man (and wife) and they still had problem kids.

They help me to not judge other parents quite so much. Oh and the rebel in me likes to give answers that are a bit off the wall. But they are a good, bad example.

Is God’s Perfection What I want?

Don - September 21, 2009

I was thinking about Matt. 5:48, and how were admonished to become like Jesus. Both are nice goals – but!?

Jesus proclaimed himself and his father perfect to the Nephites and told us to be the same. He, in another place said “if you’ve seen me you’ve seen my father.”

It sounds like Jesus wants me to be a “mini-me” of Him and God.

If I had perfect love, like Jesus then I probably would lose some of – or all of – my sarcasm. How much of my humor would I lose if I was more like Jesus? How much of other “traits” that define me would I lose?

If the goal is to be perfect like Jesus then don’t I just become another “Jesus” in personality, love, patience, service, etc.?

Since I’m not perfect in any trait now, then the traits that define me are all not perfect. If perfection comes then I lose who I am, I become someone else – and I guess that’s what Benjamin was preaching about. But that someone else has become like Jesus, with all of Jesus’s perfect traits – a Jesus “mini-me”

Where is the diversity, or is there any when it come to perfection?

My Tic

Rusty - September 17, 2009

Some people have to crack their knuckles. Others need to rotate their glass before they drink. My close friend always counts stairs. David Sedaris licked mailboxes.

My tic? I step over imaginary lines.

No, not the sidewalk cracks that so many people avoid (seriously, only a lunatic would do that). What I’m talking about are the diagonal lines created by the square patch in which the tree lives (see illustration below): (more…)

God’s Specific Foreknowledge Works Sometimes?

Don - September 8, 2009

God’s specific foreknowledge has been discussed before. First I would ask “Is this a black and white, yes or no question?” Is the answer either He does, or He does not have specific foreknowledge?

The sides, if I remember correctly, seemed to be – if He does then it might/could mess with our agency situation. Or He does have some foreknowledge of some things but not specific. Or He’s very good at figuring out all the alternatives considering who He is dealing with and therefore predicts very accurately.

Whatever, I’m not here to re-hash the previous discussions, I just have a question.

According to the scriptures Isaiah prophecied that a man named Cyrus would deliver the jews from captivity. Isaiah wrote this about 500 years before Cyrus was even born. When Isaiah was read to Cyrus he was amazed to see that God had actually called him by name and what his destiny was to be for the jews. So Cyrus allowed them. even paid them to return to Jerusalem out of captivity.

According to some Bible scholars interpretation Daniel prophecied the exact day that Jesus would enter Jerusalem in His triumphal entry. And the exact day that the nation Israel would be again formed.

More specifically to us, in the Book of Mormon we have the prophecy of Joseph / Joseph (Smith Sr.) and Joseph (Smith Jr.)

I’m sure there are other examples of prophecy that is exact prophecy.

So my questions is: If you can have exact prophecy once (or several times for that matter) then does that show that God has specific foreknowledge? If not how is exact prophecy explained? If so then what does that mean to us…if anything?

It’s Not My Default

Rusty - September 2, 2009

The other day I was having some software problems with my iPhone and had to restore it to its factory settings. The phone had been highly customized (as are most cell phones with contacts, photos, rings, etc.) which were all whisked away at the click of my mouse. For a moment my phone was back to its original earth photo, Apple ringtone and single page of apps. This was ideal because I was then able to customize again according to my particular needs.

Last week I participated in a thread over at FMH in which the post argued that bishops have no place asking women about the Law of Chastity. Naturally there was discussion about patriarchy’s dominance of female sexuality and dozens of examples of creepy/inappropriate bishops/stake presidents. I have no interest in re-hashing that discussion over here, but at one point it occurred to me that we were mostly speaking past each other because we have different church default settings. And by default setting I don’t mean testimony or universal truths, rather it is more a matter of the basic common ground upon which we are having a discussion. If we can wipe away our cultural bias and anecdotal evidence, or wipe our contact list, photos and ringtones, if you will, what is our default setting on a certain issue? (more…)