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Everything posted by KeithLBrown

  1. Congratulations on the new arrival!
  2. Hello and welcome to the site! We are pleased that you have decided to join us.
  3. If you are both single I don't see anything wrong with dating each other. However, speaking as a High Priest Group Leader, I would counsel that the Home Teacher should bring the fact that he is now dating one of the people that he home teaches to the attention of his Priesthood leaders and suggest that someone else be assigned as your Home Teacher. This will help to prevent any awkward situations from occurring and/or any misconceptions on anyone's part. In any case all things should be done with wisdom and discernment.
  4. When I was a member of the Bishopric, putting together the program for each week's bulletin was one of my responsibilities, so I always tried to make it a practice to ask people the week before if they would be available the following week to give the invocation or the benediction. That way we avoided having "TBD" in the spot where the names of the prayers should be. I also agree with Beefche that it is always best to ask people in advance to give the prayers. May I also add that we should avoid asking for volunteers to give prayers. Everything decent and in order should always be the pattern that we follow for all of our meetings.
  5. I appreciate your honest and sincere questions. I was born and raised as a Baptist. In fact, my heritage is predominently Methodist, my upbringing was Baptist, and in 1998 I became a Mormon. I have heard the argument used over and over again using the passages found in the book of Revelation. I believe that what most people don't understand is that first of all the Bible is not written in chronological order. Second, and there are a lot of Bible scholars who will agree, the passages found in the book of Revelation are referring to that particular situation. There is a similar passage found in the book of Deuteronomy. If we are to follow the thought patterns of the passages found in Revelation that we are not to add to nor take away from Scripture, then would it not logically follow that after reading the passage in Deuteronomy that we should not read any further? The Bible is indeed the Living Word of God. Having read it several times in its entirety, I know it to be true. Having read the Book of Mormon several times in its entirety, I also know it to be true. As Latter-day Saints, we are not in any way preaching any thing that is new. We preach and teach of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. THe Book of Mormon does not take anything away from the teachings of the Bible, but in fact it enhances our understanding of the Sacred Scriptures. Sadly, I have found in some cases that people base a lot of what they think they know about the Book of Mormon from what they have heard not necessarily on what they have actually read from the Book of Mormon. Having been raised as a Baptist, I find this very similar to an atheist who refutes the Bible and what it says based on things he has heard not necessarily on anything that he has read from the Bible. I have read and studied both the Bible and the Book of Mormon and know of a surety that both are the Word of God and both testify of a Savior that loves us all. In my humble opinion, we cannot judge something based on one statement (i.e. one passage of Scripture). We need to read and understand the context in which that Scripture is being used. When I was in Bible college my professors taught us that we should read the verses before a particular passage and sometims the verses after in order to get the full meaning. Many a misconception and wrong teaching has been the result of lifting one passage of Scripture out of context. The Bible is just as much a part of our teaching and preaching as the Book of Mormon is. Both testify of and teach of Jesus Christ. I hope that my response is of some help.
  6. I was blessed during my Naval Career to serve for a period of one year in the country of Iceland. I was stationed in Keflavic Iceland. I was baptized at the LDS Chapel in Reykjavic Iceland on 10 March 1998. At that time the LDS Chapel was an old store front building that was shared by the American LDS service members and the Icelandics. I was also blessed to be the first American in Iceland to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I would truly love to return there some day as a missionary. That would be an awesome, blessed experience. This is an interesting article that I found in the Church News about the country of Iceland.
  7. As the High Priest Group Leader of my Ward, when I have a meeting with my Assistants I always notify them in advance in person or by email as to when I would like to have the meeting and I email them a copy of the agenda for the meeting. In my humble opinion, unless there is a real purpose for having a meeting, then the meeting can become a waste cof everyone's time. So, do not call for a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting. I also try to keep all of my meetings within a 1 hour time frame. I am a firm believer that "Meetings do not have to be everlasting to be eternal." One other thing that I would suggest is to keep all members of your quorum actively engaged. One thing that I am going to be working on for the High Priests is a teaching schedule in order that others besides myself and my Assistants have a chance to teach the lessons. I hope this helps.
  8. Root beer is back. Across the country, people are talking about "craft" root beer and "premium" root beer. Artisan root beer is among the "flavor trends" identified for 2010 by Flavor & The Menu magazine, a publication for chefs and restaurateurs. In 2008, the McCormick spice and flavoring company named root beer as an up-and-coming flavor trend. But in Utah, where a large segment of the population doesn't drink alcoholic beverages due to their LDS faith, it's not a question of people getting "back into" root beer. You can read the full story by going to Root beer renaissance: Old-time soda is back with a bang.
  9. As the sun crept over the Wasatch Front early Tuesday morning, its rays not only fell on a new, 20,000-square-foot LDS Church meetinghouse in Farmington but also powered it. Featuring 158 panels mounted over about a third of the soon-to-be-opened stake center's south roof, the solar power system is one of several innovative uses of energy-efficient construction and utility technologies being tested by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can read the full story at Mormon Church unveils solar powered meeting house
  10. I came across this interesting article this morning in Meridian Magazine and after reading it, I feel that it is something that we all should take time to read and seriously consider what the writer is saying. I believe that some very wise counsel is being given here. I know for myself personally, I am beginning a hous...e cleaning campaign particularly as far as group invitations and application requests. I have already blocked many applications and will be blocking more. I will also be taking a closer inventory of the groups that I am a part of now as well as any future group request. I applaud the author of this article. I would be interested in your responses. Link: Meridian Magazine:: Ideas and Society: Why I’m Wary of Facebook
  11. Hello and welcome to LDS.Net. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I am now one of your followers.
  12. Hello and welcome to the site.
  13. Though I would agree that whatever took place concerning the affair(s) that Tiger Woods had should be between him and his wife and not something for the world to discuss and give their opinions on openly, the fact still remains that he made vows to his wife when they were married. He not only violated those vows, but in turn he violated her trust in him to be a faithful and loyal husband. Not only did he betray her trust, but by his actions, he also violated the trust that his children have put in him as their father. It is a snowball effect. It is admirable of him to want to make things right and for him and his wife to try and stay together. I applaud that. However, saying that one is sorry about something and truly being sorry are two entirely different things. If Tiger only says he is sorry to try and appease his wife, then his apology is nothing more than vanity. Being famous never has, nor will it ever, give a person a poetic license to do as they please. Sin is still sin whether it is committed by a billionaire or by the poorest person who may live on the streets. There has been a lot of criticism towards Tiger and his unfaithfulness, but may I interject a thought here. I was always taught that it takes two people to tango. What about the women that were involved in these affairs knowing full well that Tiger is a married man with children. Their behavior doesn't say a lot for their reputation or character either does it? My dear mother and grandmother would have names for women like them, none of which I dare repeat here. Another thing to think about is how innocent is Tiger's wife in all of this? How long had she known that these affairs were going on without saying or doing anything about it? My friends, remember, there are always two sides to every coin.
  14. Welcome to the site. Glad to have you join us.
  15. Hello and welcome to the site. We are glad to have you join us. All the best with your move to Calgary Canada. I am sure that there is someone here who can fill you in on the area and Church activities there.
  16. Thanks Pam. When it was first discussed in our PEC meeting I brought up the fact that perhaps it should be co-taught. The Bishopric asked for my input as far as who could teach, or would be willing to teach such a class besides myself. I do know names have been submitted to the Stake, but that was a couple of months ago and I have not heard anything more about it. Maybe I will bring it up in PEC this Sunday.
  17. My Stake is actually in the process of starting SA Institute classes which I think is a great ideal not only for the active SA's but it could be used as a way to get some of the less actives back into wanting to be an active part of the Church. Personally I would love the opportunity to teach a class such as this.
  18. That would make two of us as I don't follow the conversation at all.
  19. Thank you Elphaba. I just watched the video and personally I like Joe's version of the song much better than Miley's version. Joe definitely has the better voice for it. Anyway, I think I will use this song as my personal theme song for 2010. Thank you so much for sharing this. It really made my morning.
  20. Well, first of all, I always use my real name. I am 51 years young and loving it. Most people don't believe that I am that old. Perhaps that is a good thing in some ways. In other ways I enjoy being 51 as I can use AARP benefits and a few other benefits. I am looking forward to turning 55 years young to get even more benefits. Isn't life grand?
  21. For those of you who do not like this song for whatever reason, that is certainly your prerogative. But, no matter what you have to say negatively about this song, I still STAND with the few who like it. Personally I applaud the writer of this song for releasing to the world a message of hope, love, kindness, humanity -- those things which make up the true meaning of Christmas, instead of another worldly song that merely focuses on getting, selfishness, material possessions, etc. -- those things which in my humble opinion detract from the true meaning and Spirit of Christmas. Take away the last syllable of the word Christmas and what do you have left? Answer: Christ. Christ is the very central figure of Christmas. Christ is what Christmas is all about. Humbly I submit, that when the world wakes up and finally realizes that IMPORTANT fact, then it will be Christmas all the time. The true meaning of Christmas in my humble opinion is found in the GIVING not the GETTING. It's not about ME. It's about OTHERS. God bless us everyone! Merry Christmas.
  22. First of all, prisonchaplain, thank you for posting this poll. There are some really interesting replies here, but then we are all entitled to our thoughts and opinions. For those who have not heard the song or watched the video of it, I have posted it here: Videos » Christmas Shoes » LDS Mormon Network My vote in this poll is that I have to agree with the few and disagree with the majority. I have absolutely loved this song from the first time that I heard it. Perhaps it is because when I listen to a song, especially one like this, I listen to the message in the words. I do not honestly think that this is a song about some cute little kid trying to scam a complete stranger out of buying a pair of shoes that his mother likes for Christmas. Nor do I think that the writer of this song is simply trying to play on the emotions of the listening audience in hopes that he will make lots of money from its sales. When I listen to this song and listen to the words, I put myself in the place of the main characters of the song. First, there is the little boy. His mother is sick and dying. He loves his mother dearly and wants to buy her one last gift as an expression of a son's love for his mother. It has nothing to do with what the mother can or cannot take with her, but one thing that she can take with her is the smile on her little boy's face as he presents her his gift of love. This is a great Gospel lesson on what it means to go beyond oneself and give from the heart. As I watch the video I picture that little boy being me and his mother being my dear mother who had breast cancer and spent her last Christmas with us 12 short years ago. She could not work and had no money to buy us gifts like she loved to do. She did not even really have the strength to decorate our home the way she loved to do. But, in spite of all of that, the final Christmas was extra special for her and for all of us because we had a blessed opportunity to give back to the one who had given us all so much. Whether it was a gift of Christmas shoes or whatever, it was our love for her that was wrapped in each of those gifts that made that Christmas so very special. Then, there is the stranger. He generously offers to buy the shoes for the little boy. Did he have to do it? Absolutely not. Why did he do it? I believe that he did it out of his love and compassion for a fellow human being. I picture myself as this man in a similar situation being reminded of the words of the Savior as recorded in Matthew 25:40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Certainly, if I were in this same type of scenario and had the means to do so, I would have done, and have done in the past, exactly as this stranger did for this little boy. For those who are concerned about what this little boy actually did with the shoes after the stranger bought them for him, may I remind you of the words recorded in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 4:16-19: 16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. 17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just— 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. 19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? Just call me a sentimental fool, but I perhaps see this song in a whole different light than some of you. I made a comment last evening on my Facebook page that says, "Getting is good. Giving is better. Once you understand that, it's always Christmas." This song/story is not about getting or taking anything. I see it as a wonderful demonstration of what true GIVING is all about, both on the behalf of the little boy and of the stranger. May God bless us every one! Merry Christmas to all.
  23. Absolutely loved this story! Oftentimes what we think are mistakes are not mistakes at all. As in this case, the little girl's upside down "M" helped to display the message of Christmas that the audience needed to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing. This was an excellent way to start my cold wintry morning.
  24. You are absolutely correct in that many slaves did indeed take on the last name of their slave owners which does make genealogy work a little more challenging unless one can find out the slave owner who owned their ancestors and where they were located would be of help as well. One of the big problems that I am having in findinding information about my paternal great grandmother, Amanda F. Bell, is that it is believed that she had a Black mother and that her father was a White slave trader. Fortunately, I do know where she is buried. In most cases, those with slave ancestry have a difficult time because most graves of slaves were unmarked. On a personal note. Thus far, I have not traced any of my "roots" back to Africa or to slavery. From what I have been able to gather, most of my ancesters, even as far back as 1792 with my great great great grandfather were free Blacks. Some of them even owned their own homesteads. In fact, the family has copies of some of the land records. Also in my lineage is some White blood,Indian blood, and at least some Jamaican (my great great great grandfather being of Jamaican descent) blood. So, in all actuality, I do not consider myself to be African-American or even 100% Black, but accept Black American as a label as that is what is on my birth certificate of 17 October 1958. In fact, I have a young second cousin that you would think is White, but he has a Black father (my cousin) and a White mother. If by chance my family line ties me back to Africa in some way that is great. If it does not, that is great as well. I know that my Heavenly Father knew exactly what he was doing in putting me in the family line that he placed me in at His time and for His purpose. I plan to have the DNA swab test done to see what other information I can find out about my heritage. Very interesting stuff that I am starting to find as I continue my research.
  25. Actually having a common last name like Brown can be pretty challenging, but the real challenge that I have is lining all of the children up with the right set of parents. Fortunately, before my father passed in November 2006, he was able to help set the record straight on some things as it were. You see, his father, my grandfather, was married 3 times. His mother, my grandmother, was also married 3 times. So, some of my aunts and uncles are/were actually my father's half brothers and sisters. I was able to trace my paternal family line all the way back to 1792 and my great great great grandparents with the help of a missionary couple that was here a few years ago. Actually we found information about my great great great grandfather in a book at the archives building here in Annapolis. I learned about the history of my great great great grandparents grave sites and location from a cousin who lives in New Jersey. So, I have been able to find quite a bit of information about the paternal side of my family. My mother was a Harmon. Another common name. Finding information on her side of the family has been a little more challenging.