Sunday, March 4, 2018

Salt Lake Tribune Tripe #3

            The Tribune and Peggy Stack are at it again, as we have come to expect, this time with more extremist feminism rubbish. In an article titled, “Mormon church has taken ‘baby steps’ toward greater gender equity, but LDS feminists say it’s time to lengthen that stride,” she again rashly uses her public platform to seek to push extremist feminism on the Church.

The first question that immediately arises is this: is this actually, really, news? True it is that what often passes as news today has changed over the last few decades. Legitimate news used to be just the facts of the story—no making things up to suit a reporter’s fancy or pushing personal ideologies. Now news has become filled with opinion and viewpoints. Even in that broad and generalized sense, this piece still struggles to resemble any kind of news. It is really what today is often labelled “fake news.” (I have found that pretty much any story the Tribune prints/posts about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has elements of fake news in it.) This Stack article is really trumped-up (pun intended) extremist feminist propaganda, meant to act as both a rallying cry for feminists and to criticize the Church for not heeding the suggestions of its dissident feminist members.

The larger secondary question is, should a newspaper that bills itself as legitimate be running opinion propaganda disguised as real news? And because they do run such items, they forfeit any pretext to solid accurate journalism in their Mormon-related coverage. Hence my occasional efforts to do some watchdogging on an alleged news outlet that calls itself a watchdog. Peggy Stack is a glowing example of a yellow journalist—negative and personal bias, criticism, lack of balance, inaccurate facts and statements, sophistry, and manipulation abound in her work. The Tribune needs to clean their own house before they show others how to. Why can’t they get rid of the propagandist and hire a reporter without a liberal social agenda? Someone that won’t use their position and pulpit to push their personal causes. But the Tribune has a long and infamous history of using its pages for nefarious purposes on matters Mormon.

Who are the 144,000 elect?

by Christopher R. Greenwood
and Spiritual Atrophy

Who are the 144,000 elect who will accompany the Savior when He returns to the earth as discussed in Revelations?  There has been much speculation discussed about it, but I have tried to limit my answers to recognized authorities, prophets and apostles.  I have tried faithfully to assemble answers that address who, what, where, and why.  For obvious reasons, it is impossible to answer when.  Each of these has been addressed, by section, from recognized sources:

A.    Who are the 144,000?:
(The 144,000 are) a select group of individuals. John foretells of 144,000 righteous high priests, all of whom have honored the law of chastity, who will receive a special ordinance. (See Rev. 7:3-4; 14:3-4; D&C 77:11.) These 144,000 will be organized into groups or quorums of twelve thousand each according to the twelve tribes of Israel. (See Rev. 7:4-8.) As of the middle of 1992, there were over two hundred and fifty thousand ordained high priests within the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is uncertain, however, how many of them would spiritually qualify for this ordinance and be physically able to fulfill the tasks and callings that await this group when they are called to administer the everlasting gospel throughout the earth. (See D&C 77:11.)  Also, it appears that these 144,000 might be gathered from the actual scattered Israelite tribes. (See D&C 77:9.)

        B.  How will they administer to the people of the Earth?:
Depending upon the earth's population when the Millennium is established, each of these 144,000 high priests could have responsibility for many thousands of people. For example, if the earth population were only three billion, there would be over twenty thousand people for each of the 144,000.  In other words, they could be like Regional Representatives (or Area Authority Seventies) today, with responsibility over a number of stakes and the nonmembers living in that region. With the dramatic change of political and social events in eastern Europe and Asia, perhaps great numbers of converts and priesthood holders in these areas will help supply this body of leaders needed to help the Messiah govern his kingdom on earth. (See D&C 133:18.) (emphasis added)
Excerpts from:  Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel
Victor L. Ludlow  Chapter 37, The Signs of the Times

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Salt Lake Tribune Tripe #2

            It looks like if I can keep up the energy to do it, these exposés of the Salt Lake Tribune’s long-standing miserable reporting record on things Mormon could well become a series. Sometimes it simply comes down to how aggravated I get at the false or misleading information contained in one of their sorry stories. Most long-time Utah LDS residents are aware of the Tribune’s critical bias against the Church, and many others besides me have noted and been annoyed by it.

In doing a little online surfing I came across this fine piece on another website: “Of 'MormonLeaks,' intellectual property and The Salt Lake Tribune – recipe for bias?” by a former Deseret News reporter that keeps an eye on things and evidently knows what he is talking about. The blog reviews a little history of the two Salt Lake City newspapers, then names some of its more prominent current reporters (such as Peggy Stack), and rightly concludes that “This newspaper has often run pieces critical of, if not hostile to, the LDS Church, mostly in the opinion pages, but occasionally elsewhere.” “Elsewhere” is, of course, the religion section or the front page, where Stack runs amuck with her activist agenda critical of the Church she purports to be a member of.

In the case of the commentary found in the linked blog about the Tribune’s bias against the Church, a different Tribune reporter is rightly taken to task for bungling and slanting the story he covered—strongly favoring an anti-Mormon copyright-infringing organization to the detriment of the LDS Church. A fine example of the Tribune’s recipe for bias coming through load and clear. “The journalistic issue is balance – the latest Trib story is heavily weighted towards [the anti-Mormon’s] perspective and downplays the church's viewpoint….”

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Salt Lake Tribune Tripe

             The Salt Lake Tribune calls itself Utah’s “Independent Voice”. Correctly translated, what that means is “criticize the LDS Church continually, especially regarding so-called social issues.” It has been disappointing and sad to me to see it continue bashing the Church under its new Huntsman family ownership. If the Huntsman family wants to retain an honorable name and reputation, some firings need to take place.

            The Tribune’s main religion reporter, Peggy Stack, obviously has an agenda of extremist liberal social activism. Whether it is extremist feminism (ordaining women to the priesthood), or LGBT issues (gay marriage/sex), or some other false or wrong-headed liberal cause, she uses her considerably-sized pulpit to push her activist propaganda. The fact that she constantly misinterprets and misunderstands LDS doctrine while doing so doesn’t seem to bother her. And I am informed she is a member of the Church! Well…if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and your employment causes you to write things that are not honest and honorable and accurate, perhaps that person should rethink their method of earning a living. But in this case, Stack seems to feel it is better to try to change the doctrine than to report it accurately—extremist activism at work, doing great harm instead of helping. She has the pulpit and by darn she is going to use it to seek to affect public sympathy for liberal change in the Church, and, it would seem, if she has to criticize and distort and misinterpret and so forth, so be it.

            A recent example. A pro-evolution story covering a pro-evolution biologist’s pro-evolution speech at a symposium, where the biologist incorrectly stated that church members should believe in evolution—a blatant falsehood. Peggy falsely states: “The Utah-based faith takes no official stand on the question.” This is utter nonsense and I bet Peggy knows it. An apostle directly addressed her false statement three decades ago:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Veil of Forgetfulness

by Christopher R. Greenwood
and Spiritual Atrophy

So... When We Will Remember Everything?

Sometime ago, my Dad asked me the question, “When we die, will we remember our pre-mortal existence?  If not, when will that happen?”.  The following quotes and narrative is to provide insight into that wonderful topic.  I would encourage you, however, that like all doctrine, we need to study this out, pray about it, and determine for ourselves what we believe and what we need to do additional research on.  The following paragraphs encapsulate what I have been able to find on the subject copied from a variety of resources.

We are told that we are to function in this life by faith.  If the gospel is preached in the spirit world as it is here and one remembers everything there, they could not very well exercise faith because when one has sure knowledge, it excludes the need for faith.

There is sometimes an expectation that the veil is removed when we die, an assumption that may have originated some decades ago with the landmark film, Man’s Search for Happiness. Near its conclusion, the grandfather in the film dies and his spirit is depicted emerging into a circle of loved ones who pre-deceased him. Juxtaposed over this scene the commentary mentions that the veil over our memories will be removed and that we will recall our pre-mortal existence. While it is true that we will eventually have the veil of forgetfulness removed, that does not take place when we leave mortality. Not until the day of our resurrection, when our physical and spirit bodies are inseparably joined, will our pre-existent memories be restored. And that agency seems to be necessary after death if those in spirit prison are to freely choose and accept their proxy temple work.

On October 25, 1831, during a general conference, Joseph Smith taught,

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Repost: Mormon Book Bits #1: Russell M. Nelson, From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography

Editor's note: With Russell M. Nelson becoming the new president of the Church, it seems appropriate to repost the first installment of "Mormon Book Bits" by Dennis Horne.

Mormon Book Bits


 Russell M. Nelson, From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography

            One of the most desirable Mormon books today is this autobiography of Russell M. Nelson (not to be confused with his biography, published years later). No one seems to know how many were printed, but the prevailing notion is around 2-300, though that number could be high. In 1989, in reply to a letter from a collector that had read a copy and found it highly enjoyable, Elder Nelson wrote the following: “I am amazed you were able to acquire a copy of From Heart to Heart. This book I prepared for the family. There are a few extra copies about, but it has been out of print for quite some time.”

It should be realized that this book was written before Russell Nelson became Elder (now President) Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1979), and therefore contains no information about his service as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Without his call to this position in the Church, the book would likely have remained a wonderful but obscure personal biography of a prominent heart surgeon and mid-level church leader, but would not have attained the status and desirability it now carries, especially for collectors of LDS biography. The lack of apostolic status at the time of publication seems to have been both a positive and a negative. Positive because the book did not have to be censored and therefore contains marvelous information only meant for family and friends. Negative because his unquestionably many edifying apostolic experiences are absent.

            One need only peruse the following sample of highlights to realize the quality of the gems found within its pages:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

by Christopher R. Greenwood

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter and unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever (D&C 121: 46).
     During the summer of 2005, my two oldest sons, Conrad and Caleb, were on a Young Men’s white-water river trip adventure in Moab, Utah.  While they were going down the fast currents of the Colorado River, a strong storm stopped them from continuing on.  As many people know, the weather in southern Utah can become very extreme and dangerous at times.  The party soon became separated.  The leaders were further up the river and out of sight, but Conrad and Caleb, as some of the oldest of the young men, “felt” that they needed to take it upon themselves at that time to bring up the tail end of the group and to ensure all were okay.  The boys made the decision to beach the rafts and take cover from the hail under a tree nearby, close to shore.  While they were under this tree, the sky got darker, the hail got worse, and the wind significantly increased.  The young men that were with Conrad and Caleb in this adventure were getting a little frightened at this awesome display of nature and began to question if they were safe or not.  At this exact point, Caleb “felt” that a prayer would be appropriate and Conrad volunteered to say it on behalf of all present.  According to Conrad, during the prayer, the memory of our most recent Family Home Evening came to his mind with the added thought to put into practice what they had been taught during that particular Family Home Evening.  As a result, Conrad “felt” to voice in his prayer that they “would be able to adapt to their individual circumstances”. Shortly afterwards, the storm was over, and they were able to rejoin their group further up river with no injuries or trauma, but only an interesting memory.