How Goes Same Sex Marriage in California?

September 23, 2005

I really enjoyed this editorial entitled “Arnold Schwarzenegger Hates Gay People.” Like the prophets of God, I believe that legalizing same sex marriage is a serious threat to the institution of marriage and public morality. Apparently, an overwhelming majority of Californians agree, notwithstanding the disgusting performance of their state legislators and judges. I am especially pleased to learn the information in this column because I have never had much respect of Governor Schwarzenegger. I consider him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and he is far too liberal to suit me. But he has gained some stature in my eyes for using his veto in this case. Three cheers for the Terminator! Maybe we should send some missionaries to preach the gospel to him.


Is Astrology a Sin?

September 22, 2005

In this short but interesting piece about the occult arts, Mormon scholar Robert J. Matthews reviews the scriptures in which the Lord gives us his Word about astrology, spiritualism, witchcraft and other black arts. We are often prone to think of astrology and spirit mediums as harmless superstition, but that is not how the Lord feels about it. A false prophet teaching false doctrine leads us away from God and is hence evil and therefore dangerous. What do you think?


Big Problems on the Church Website

September 22, 2005

I have big problems with the Church website because of flaws in the search functions. Many times I search for something that I know for a fact is there, but it doesn’t show up in the search results even when I use the exact “string” to search for it. Often when I limit my search to a specific author, it produces a huge number of hits that include many other authors. There does not seem to be a very effective ranking according to “relevance.” And Google “advanced” search, which I use constantly from my Firefox context menu using a Firefox extension, cannot do a site: search for some reason. Boolean operators are poorly implemented on the Church website, and the search inadequacies frustrate me no end. I love the Church website for what I can do with it, but the search frustrations ruin much of the site’s usefulness, in my opinion.

Have any of you had similar frustrations? How can the LDS online community make a big enough issue with this to get the Church to do something about it? The search technology is available to do a much better job than is currently being done. Maybe the Church needs to get some help from one of the major search engines or consult with tech people in the search industry that know the technology better than those currently in charge of searching on the official Church website. What do you think?


Condemning the Righteous and Letting the Wicked Go Unpunished

September 21, 2005

In Helaman 7:5 there is a scripture that has always fascinated me because it seems to describe our own day so well:

“Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills.”—

What do you think? Are we seeing any of this in our own day? Do the guilty go unpunished because of their money? Do our government leaders commit adultery, steal and kill to get gain and glory? What about wars fought for profit rather than for national defense? Is any of that going on today? If so, isn’t that killing for “gain and glory?” Perhaps I’m being paranoid, do you think? Tell me I’m wrong. Convince me it isn’t so. I would be a lot happier with the world I’m leaving to my children and grandchildren if I could be disabused of this negativity which I hope is just a paranoid delusion.


Is Jesus a God of Vengeance?

September 20, 2005

Call me bloodthirsty, but this is one of my favorite scriptures:

“And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat. And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places. And his voice shall be heard: I have trodden the wine-press alone, and have brought judgment upon all people; and none were with me; And I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled upon my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart.”

Is Jesus a God of vengeance? Will he right the wrongs that we see daily around us throughout our lives? Will the abusers get their just desserts? I know that God is love, and that he forgives those who repent of their sins. But will he see that justice is done for those who have been abused? Are the wicked going to get their comeuppance? Can those who refuse to seek revenge against their enemies count on the Lord to settle their scores? I love the God of mercy. But I also derive great satisfaction from all those scriptures that assure me he is also a God of justice. I have to forgive everyone, the repentant and unrepentant alike. But God can forgive whomever he pleases to forgive. And without repentance, there is no forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Is part of heaven seeing justice done?


Seek Not For Riches But For Wisdom

September 15, 2005

For me, one of the most comforting scriptures is D&C 6:7 which reads:

Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

I guess one of the reasons I find this verse so comforting is that it seems to let me off the hook when it comes to being financially successful, something that I have never had a gift for. If I had to stroke my own ego by pointing to my great financial or business success, I would be in sore need of an ego boost.

But how does one go about effectively seeking wisdom? Is it just a matter of keeping the commandments and practicing ones religion? Or is there more to it than that? I recently read a short introduction to philosophy at this website. Among other things it suggests

The word philosophy has meant different things at different times, often reflecting the culture of the day. Usually we understand the term to denote the love of wisdom, from the Greek; in this sense, as it was apparently used by Socrates, it gives the impression of someone who is seeking wisdom, not one who has found it. Thus we would only call someone a physicist, say, if he or she actually had some knowledge of physics; but we call by philosopher someone who is aiming at wisdom without necessarily achieving it.

Is this true? Is a study of philosophy necessary to a search for wisdom? If not, is it helpful? Can it be counterproductive? If a study of philosophy is useful, are all philosophies equally so? If not, how does one go about judging among them?

I would really like to answer some of these questions, but I don’t know how to begin. I have a few maxims that have always been among my favorites, but they hardly constitute a philosophy.

When you have a good thing, don’t mess it up.

The greatest of all ignorance is the ignorance of ignorance.

Try not to say things that will permanently damage your most important relationships.

Very little is actually what it seems to be.

Religion is more important than politics.


The Apostate Cat by Tom Matkin

September 15, 2005

He prowls around
His Master’s yard.
Searching
In the
Dark
and Dismal
Spots.

His prey is not
what a cat can eat.
But
Anything
That
Rots!

Proudly
to the Master’s Home
he drags his
Useless
Prize.

The Master
Always
Disapproves.
The Cat,
He
feigns
Surprise.