JohnsonJones

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Everything posted by JohnsonJones

  1. JohnsonJones

    Are members in your area: Awake or Asleep?

    I'll bite off on this. Saving something does not necessarily mean that the things associated with it are also saved. For example, the ideas of Democracy from Athens and the idea o f a Republic were preserved by Rome through history, but neither that ancient government that was in Athens, nor the Republic or Rome exist today. They are preserved as are the ideas and policies of their time. I hope this nation stands for many decades and centuries from now, but if it should fall for whatever reason, perhaps the Saints would establish a new government and society where the constitution still is the ruling regent of the land.
  2. JohnsonJones

    New Church video - What is Religious Freedom?

    I would agree that he's been blinded somewhat by emotions and taken a clouded view of things. He should not have taken the course of action he did from what I've seen of it. I can also see why there are those who took offense at it, and probably SHOULD have taken offense at it. It WAS offensive to MANY, especially those who do not feel the same way he does about Trump. I don't think that qualifies one to do the same thing back to a larger audience.
  3. JohnsonJones

    New Church video - What is Religious Freedom?

    Fox is a GREAT GUY. I'll defend him, because I actually have met and known him in the past. He is a hard worker, funny and humorous to talk to. Regarding him setting himself up as a prophet (which Fox never has done from what I've seen...ever)...Interesting accusations of Fox trying to be prophet or using church's words from a guy (Darin Southam) who LITERALLY (or at least helped and was involved in doing thus) cast himself as Christ in a movie... A. I am editing this...for once... Instead...I'll simply post a link that can lead you to the video letter that was posted originally...As well as the rest of Fox's videos...a link to where he seems to have become more active over the past few days... Fox's Youtube channel B. On Darin Southam's video itself, tired of this guy preaching to me. At least Fox never preached to me...talk about someone (the video maker). trying to promote their new religion (Trump) and set themselves up as one of it's prophets. I am a solid member of the church. I believe in the gospel. Obviously, as I do not think the same as this guy he says I am not a member of his church...which brings me to question..what church is he a member of? I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...which apparently is NOT the church Darin Southam is a member of from what he states in the video. My church is politically neutral and allows men to think for themselves. His church says if you do not vote for Trump you do not love America and are filled with hate and are disobeying his Deity. Wierd as I thought he was a member of my church, but his own video seems to indicate his is another. And that's it about the video. I think this video is just a guy (Darin Southam) ranting because he has a new religion and someone doesn't worship the same idol he does. Fox made some mistakes...the FIRST is that this letter should not have been sent out to as many as it did in such a general way. I think that's what caused the uproar in the first place. Secondly, to think that it would be accepted kindly by all who received it when, in fact, many found it quite the opposite. Third, connecting his class to the choice I think was also a mistake. He should not have referenced his class or what he taught as it casts it in a bad light for those who do not agree with his political opinions. Fox has many mistakes, but this counter video goes overboard. The video by Darin Southam seems to be to me a Self Righteous guy who has adopted a new religion with a new Deity (Trump) and is trying to preach to everyone else why his way is the right way and everyone else should join his church.
  4. JohnsonJones

    Biden Corruption Emails

    Off topic.. But this is interesting. I would like to know more about this. I've seen this problem up in the Mountains in the Sierra Nevadas when I went camping up there. The Ranger explained to us about the Bugs (and that there was a bounty on them if we killed any) in regards to many of the pine trees that were dying off in the area. I'd be interested in learning more about the cycle and the beetles cycles with it. Yes, among others. They only bit down and voted for Biden because they figured (as he tried to reason with them) that he was far more electable than Sanders, Harris, or Warren in many instances. Biden appeals to the more moderates and conservative sides of the democrat party (who tend to be the older voters), but the younger voters almost all wanted someone far to the left of Biden.
  5. JohnsonJones

    Biden Corruption Emails

    There are great many things Carb said that I agree are correct. The reasons I've chosen Biden (early voting and mailing in ballots is something done this election for us) didn't really concern any of that. I agree with the idea that if Trump was impeachable than Biden should doubly be impeachable for the same offense...only thing...I didn't favor impeaching Trump over what they did. It was ridiculous and a witch hunt. Furthermore, I've been of the opinion that it isn't Russia that had it's hand at Trump's throat, but more likely the mafia (which could include, and probably does, the Russian Mafia). That may have given some people leverage, but if you look at donations and other things, Russia also has a hand in the Democrats political process quite heavily as well. Trump SHOULD be impeached, in my opinion...on other items. However, the reasons I am against Trump aren't really talked about by Carb in his post. In order of importance (currently) with me... 1. Trump mocked disabled veterans and at times, veterans themselves. He was open with it early on, has disguised it later, but it still comes out again. His mockery of those that died in war, and other things have GREATLY turned me off about him. People say all the time "thanks for your service" to veterans, but than their actions say they could care less. Trump at least is open that he doesn't care much about veterans unless it is to try to get money. He hated McCain. McCain was a hero for some in my generation. An absolute Hero. He was an ICON for many of us. Sure, he was the son of a Military leader, but his actions spoke louder than any words. He had the chance to go home because of that connection and instead stuck with the others and the men in solidarity. He went to try to rescue those left behind after the war. He suffered as others suffered and endured. Trump's opposition to McCain...not really because of politics, but on principles and foundations of military honor and service put Trump in a BAD light for me. If one boils down to it, that probably is one of the BIGGEST foundations I have against Trump is Trump's attitudes in this arena. Biden has not shown such utter disregard. Biden actually tends to be more conservative in many areas that would surprise people (one reason he is considered more a moderate than from the far left side of the Democrat party). He may not be as respectful as some, but to me, seems miles above that of Trump in this area. 2. Republicans have been hypocrites regarding the Budget. I normally favor a government where neither party has control. One Reason I supported the Republicans was that I was part of the ORIGINAL (before it was hijacked by others who could care less about this type of stuff) Teaparty movement. The idea that we need to balance our budget seems to be a good priority to me. I did not think they should have shut down the government over it in the way they did (not funding the government to pay it's debts), but I think it is an important thing. So...they get control of the government with the House, the Senate, and the Executive...you'd think they'd balance the budget. NOT SO. IN fact, with the way the taxes have gone and the spending, we are in worse shape than when Democrats were in charge! Instead of paying off the debt, or even just balancing the budget...it is waaay out of control. They HAD the power to do something...they did not. I'm NOT in favor of them right now. 3. The ACA. I'm against the ACA. I AM for a single payer healthcare type system...but NOT one which puts the power in the hands of private insurance companies. Biden is for this. Trump says he is not. It's one good thing trump did was to do away with the mandatory taxes element of it, but the Republicans did NOTHING to get rid of it. They had over 100 votes to do away with it when Obama was in power, yet...when they came to power before they lost the house...they couldn't pass that same vote once!!!??? Trump should have focused on this...he didn't. Far more than a wall with Mexico...this was a hot item to me. 4. Trump cannot deal. He says he can...but we've lost prestige and deals with other nations. We went out from the ability to really put pressure on Iran to walking out of that and having NOTHING to really help us in return. We are drawing out of Europe for what I think are dumb reasons and though we may have less drawback from angry Europeans, we also will have less influence on Europe by doing so. He has ignored military advice from military advisors on timelines for withdrawals and other things. China has GROWN in power under Trump's watch...not decreased. Biden at least has some political saavy in these areas that hopefully he can repair our relations and prestige with the rest of the world. Right now we are the laughing stocks of the world. My passport which was one of the most powerful and useful 4 years ago is one of the most useless passports in the world today because it is an American Passport. 5. Biden is actually more conservative than most think he is. Yes, he is racist. He showed he was racist in many past votes, a LOT OF this was from a more conservative background that he has. In fact, many of the things Carb points out is because Biden is a LOT more conservative than a lot of the democrats are today. Many of them are biting down and voting for him...NOT because they think he is going to be who they want, but because he is not Trump. Others are doing so in hopes that he dies or goes out of office so his Vice President gets to be in charge. In fact there is a sizeable chunk out there that hate Biden but are voting for him in hopes that they can get rid of him and have his VP be put as president in charge. Biden is conservative enough that I can live with it, even if he is more liberal than many conservatives would want. Ironically, with monetary policies, Trump actually seems FAR TOO LIBERAL to me. It's not that Biden is going to be better than Trump...but I don't know if he could be worse. 6. A divided government. My best hope for the nation right now is that we have Republicans retain the Senate (I hope so, the only poll I trust shows that this could happen, other polls I do not trust seem to indicate otherwise.) with the Democrats controlling the House and Executive. This means that they will have to work together to pass things. My worst thought is that the Democrats win control of the Executive and Congress (both House and Senate). This would be a loss for me as I think there is an extreme amount of pressure on Biden to try to pack the courts...the ONE reason I debated about NOT voting for Biden. I think if it is divided he will NOT be able to pack the courts and thus why he has been hesitant on his answer. 7. Ah yes, and cannot forget the last item. Trump's handling of the nation and his leadership in the past few months during the pandemic. If anything, he's tried to blame anything and anyone besides himself for the condition in the US right now. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he points fingers and tries to say it's someone or something else. He's supposed to be the most powerful man in the US right now...if ANYONE has the power to change things...HE DOES. The fact that he is trying to blame others rather than actually be in control speaks volumes to me. Even if Biden was as useless in policy, I feel Biden would have at least accepted some responsibility for the situation and expressed unifying statements to unite...rather than divide...our nation in this time. It wouldn't even take much effort (they don't even have to write the speeches, have their speech writers do it, but at least GIVE the unifying speeches). Trump has done anything BUT unite us over these past few months...and that's probably the final nail (but not the ONLY nail if you read the lengthy post above) of why I chose Biden.
  6. I recently ran across some people, when seeing the current situation at the university and around the US, that were of the opinion that the fasts called by the Prophet in the April Conference were not successful and thus were proof of some nonsense they had in mind. I tried to tell them my opinion on this, but they were not in the mood to listen...and so...I'm here to gripe (well, not really gripe, but to write down my thoughts on it). The FASTS WERE successful. If you look at the numbers, after the fasts occurred, the numbers of infections and deaths both went down rather soon after those fasts. However, the Lord will not preserve men from their own intentions to destroy themselves. There have been suggestions on how to mitigate (and several nations, even non-christian and Non-LDS ones have done these measures, and even while they are much more dense, have more successfully navigated the pandemic WITHOUT ALMOST ANY SHUTDOWNS...at least when looking at some of the Asian nations). In the US, they have not been successful in this for the most part, and ignoring the precautions...finally, our cases and the deaths are rising again at an exponential rate and gaining momentum. The Lord put out a preserving hand to us, but instead of accepting it, we took pride in ourselves and slapped it back. One of the problems I think is that there is too much idolatry in the US currently (and perhaps the world). When we read about idolatry in the Bible and wonder how people could worship things like that. I see it in the world today. I asked my daughter about it, and she said...they worship what they can see. Most people do not see the heavens open and physically see the body of our Lord. They DO see Trump (and this is just one example, not the ONLY example). It isn't conservatives or liberals, it literally is that whatever Trump tells some people...they believe. My wife tried to tell me it was Fox News today, but I pointed out I read Fox News and Fox News actually says quite the opposite of some of the things those who worship the church of Trump will tell you. It promotes wearing masks, it gives both sides of the story in many instances (both from Trumps point of view and his opposition), and is for many of the precautions out there. It's not a Fox News or conserative thing, as many of them are saying the exact opposite of what Trump is teaching...it is worshipping their new Deity...Trump. However, it's not just those who worship at Trumps Church, you have the exact opposite of the spectrum as well. Those who worship at the Church of Obama, or Biden, or MSNBC, or any number of other outlets. Instead of looking for a more balanced approach, they obey what they hear...and then go out in large groups and protest, or try to put out businesses out of operations...and many other things. Each side is teaching the other to NOT respect each other, that the other is their enemy (Rather than the idea that we are all Americans and thus all have this in common, that we are ALL in this together). In our conflict, we all get different ideas and standards and thus, in the worship of the deities they can see (just like they could see the golden calf or other fixed idols of their day) our society has devolved into fighting with each other. We are so much at each other's throats (at least from what I'm seeing in general these days) that we are hurting ourselves. The fact that the Lord blessed us with a downturn of cases and deaths for so long should be seen as a massive deal of his grace to us, and that it took so long for us to refute his aid should show us how much mercy he has towards us and our situations! I saw such a display of idolatry in class recently (and another reason class is now suspended for another few weeks). We found out about the cases WHILE in class. The student who brazenly came had already been tested and told to stay at their quarters until the test came back. They had symptoms. Instead...they came to class. They had no mask. They decided to sit next to others. This individual was from the Church of Trump, and of course, has touted many of the things he has learned from his deity (though he would never say it is his idol and instead state that he doesn't worship Trump, worship is exhibited in actions just as much as words). We found out in class...from a phone call that disrupted us (also something I do not appreciate in class). Near him, was a girl that had decided to move away when he sat near her. SHE is from the church of Alarmist news. When she found out, she was outraged (and I can actually understand that). His Trumpisms of it not being really that bad of an illness and she had nothing to worry about did NOT help. Instead, it infuriated her. Within a few seconds she literally attacked him (violence in class...in class...what have we gotten too!!! I've never had violence in class before...not like this!!). She was so set in her worship and what she's been told she felt he had already murdered her!!! She accused him of murder right there and physically attacked him (I suppose in an effort to hurt him like she felt he hurt her??). It was insane! We got them apart, had the campus police come, and here we are...once again out of class. I reflected on this, and think that people are doing these insane things because this has become more than just something we are trying to make it through. They have married this disease to politics, and rather than God being worshipped, their political deities are the ones they worship now. They listen more to what these deities say...than what the Lord says and would have us do! There's a lot more that's going on, but I think idolatry, pride, and the lust for money and power are what are driving men today rather than the Lord, and because of these things, rather than accept the Lord and look to him in faith to try to help each other overcome the current situation, men have ignored him and turned to their idols instead. Which is why I think it is getting worse. Some may say I sound like a religious fanatic, but that's what I think is happening. After the girl had her breakdown she said she didn't know who she could rely on anymore. Everyone who she thought should be good seemed to be evil in regards to how they treated others and respected others in trying to stay safe. She felt she couldn't turn to family, the school, or other students. I couldn't tell her this (in my capacity as a professor) but I yearned to tell her that there IS a foundation we can still rely on...it is the LORD. HE is the foundation we can still turn to in these troubled times. Going full circle then...I think it was evident that the Fasts worked. At least, to me, the numbers seemed to be reduced after the fast. There were still numbers, but they declined in many areas over the summer (and there is science that also explains it, but I think much of it had to do with our fast). There are miracles at work (the speed of the vaccine being created for one). However, the Lord cannot help those who are so determined to turn away from him and his aid (in my thoughts). This is why I think the disease is becoming worse, because men instead of turning to him and practicing the principles which he has told us to do (Love him, and Love our neighbor), the people in the US and Europe and many other parts of the world have decided to worship idols of power, greed, pride, or even individuals we see rather than him. This is NOT just something for one side of a political spectrum (it's not just a liberal or conservative thing, nor is it anything to do with that), but people from all walks and spectrums are participating in these things rather than turning to the Lord or doing what he would have us do. Which, is really what I wanted to say to the individual that was spouting off to me about the Fasts recently...I DO think they worked and that it was a successful fast...but many people, even many in the Church, have turned to idolatry these days, and are relying more on the hands of men...rather than that of the LORD. And now...that's off my chest.
  7. JohnsonJones

    Presidential Debate - Tomorrow

    ON political stuff, though I was not sure where to put this...I'm feeling many of the polls are really off. Several of them say that Georgia is at the tipping point and is leaning towards Biden and the Democrats. Not in a BLUE MOON...I'm going to say. If they are saying Georgia is going Democrat...I instantly suspect that Poll is inaccurate. I could be wrong...but Georgia going Democrat??? Only in a Blue Moon (and, to be clear, Blue moons are not as RARE as it actually sounds like they are, they actually occur more often, it's just several years between them sometimes). With so many of them claiming this, I've only seen one that thus far hasn't said Georgia is going Democrat...and thus the only one I trust at this point that may be somewhat accurate. That poll doesn't say that Trump will win, but he actually shows that he has a shot at winning (not by popular vote, but by electoral vote). Which means, he could lose easily, but it's not set in stone. When polls are saying Georgia is going to vote by Biden as much as they are...my instincts cut in and I REALLY have my doubts (if it does go to Biden though, I guess I'll have been wrong...but I just don't see Georgia voting that way despite all that's happened).
  8. JohnsonJones

    Trump COVID19 positive

    Well, Ideally, from my perspective (not pro-trump) I would hope that they get the Executive, but NOT the Senate at this point. That should lock things up for a bit (and things seem to be better when we have a split government rather than one party dominating it...in my opinion).
  9. JohnsonJones

    COVID update

    Small update on my situation, I've gotten to pick up some things at the school. We are in class for a day, and then once again, have to go back home because more students are infected and didn't pay heed to what the university protocols are. At this rate, they should have just left everyone at home. Had a slight cough recently, but turned up negative...probably just allergies acting up. Hoping everything stays healthy, thank you for your prayers thus far. I'm needing all the prayers I can get at this point. Wife also got a COVID test recently as she said she lost her sense of smell, but her test turned up negative. I can only hope I stay healthy at this point because the students definitely don't seem to be taking any precautions (actually, that's too broad of a generalization, some are, but many are not).
  10. Just a thought. I hadn't seen a thread on it, but just around the corner (in a little over a week) is General Conference (Oct 3-4) starting at 10 AM MST. Events - October 2020 General Conference
  11. JohnsonJones

    COVID update

    Thank you. Still don't know all the procedures of what will happen, but they don't want me at the university the rest of this week (isolating from the school) and for about 2 weeks as long as I don't test positive or show symptoms, so I'll have to do all the classes from home. I HOPE that I don't have it (or if I had it earlier in the year that I can't catch it again, or that I am immune to it...don't know). Most help any can do is to pray I don't actually have it and pray for the students that they are either safe, or will recover rapidly. I just know that Monday supposedly one of the students started to have symptoms and still came to school. They went in for a test that evening and they got the results yesterday. I was notified this morning, early. I just hope students (and they probably are rejoicing that classes are cancelled today, at least my classes, until we get things set up for them to see me later this week via zoom on Friday) take it seriously. Had time to kill while everything is getting ready, so taking one last visit to the forums before I'm banished to my room (well, not exactly MY room, but a room we set apart for me to be in while I am isolating, it's actually our library so I'll have plenty of reading material in my spare time at least!).
  12. JohnsonJones

    It is time...

    I hear the Vampires are more scared. Skeletons are just bones...not too much to have inflammation affect...but Vampires. They get killed with just a stake through the heart...the corona through the heart...man...they don't want any of that! Harry Potter ghosts (is that what the picture on the top is of) probably aren't scared of anything, but I hear Voldemort was one of the first victims. He didn't take any precautions and died a pretty gruesome death pretty quick in the pandemic (either that or he was murdered by some glasses wearing student with a scar on his forehead...at least that's the rumor going around. Either way, students going around killing people with magic wands probably match the Halloween topic...maybe...???)
  13. JohnsonJones

    COVID update

    Update before I am gone for a little while. I don't think the election is going to change the state of the world or how the world views the pandemic...BUT... Pfizer just submitted a vaccine candidate to the FDA for approval. I think they are also gearing up manufacturing of the vaccine right now. All it takes now is the FDA to rubber stamp it. We could have it, not just before the election, but within the next few weeks. Maybe not 100 million doses, or enough for everyone, but at least the vaccine coming out. If it IS delayed, it's ALL on the FDA, and from what I've been hearing from the FDA recently in the news... It COULD be that the Vaccine will be held up and "miraculously approved" depending on the election or results of the election. PS: Also, it looks like I may be absent from the forums for a little bit. Incident at the university (mine is not the first class). Students are supposed to wear masks, social distance, and not come to class if they are feeling symptoms or ill and get tested. Unfortunately, it appears that we just had several students break these rules and then tested positive for Covid-19. Not sure if they will test me and all the other students (they didn't before with the other classes, just sent people to isolation/quarantine and if they felt symptoms are supposed to get tested, though I think there is a 15 minute test open to students if they wish). Stinks. Got a room in our house where I'll isolate myself from the wife and the rest of the family and HOPE I don't have it, and that if I do staying in that room will be enough to keep them safe.
  14. JohnsonJones

    Trump COVID19 positive

    Well, not the President, but just informed 3 of my students had it in class (at least two had symptoms but chose not to be tested prior and to still come to class). Unsure of what's happening next, but most likely I'm going into isolation (will see everyone in a few weeks I suppose) and finding out if they are going to test everyone in the class (they've done it with others) within the next two days. It seems many of the students who came (they had the choice to not attend in person this semester) have not taken it seriously. I HOPE I don't have it this time around. I'm not sure how the President is doing in truth. He's been doped up on a steroid known to make people manic. He's probably feeling pretty awesome right now, but it also suppresses the immune system, so he might be worse off than he actually feels. He was breathing rather hard on a video yesterday, which could indicate that he doesn't realize how far it's progressing (or he could be doing just fine and it was just the appearance of the video). If it's just the drug making him feel good at this point, and he's worse off than he actually feels, he could be heading into a very serious case within the next few days as well. Anyways, say prayers that I'm not infected and/or that most of the class tests negative if they get us all tested.
  15. JohnsonJones

    Virtual Sacrament Meeting

    There is a Meetinghouse Webcast program? Tell me more about it? Is this for a replacement for Zoom (currently all our meetings when broadcast are done over Zoom), or is it thought to be utilized in that manner?
  16. JohnsonJones

    Confirming an New Supreme Court Judge

    One key point I think in Biden will be a response I did NOT hear tonight. Will the Democrats want to stack the courts or raise the number of justices if he becomes President. There are some heavy pushes by some on the Left to do so, and if he decided that was what he would do, I would be opposed to it. I think I lean heavily to Biden (he's a pretty centrist character in his political leanings) but that could be a make it or break it issue to me.
  17. JohnsonJones

    Presidential Debate - Tomorrow

    It sounded like an all out brawl (well, speaking brawl) with a full on argument going between two people who came to argue rather than discuss. It wasn't a debate, it was basically them yelling at each other. I found it rather absurd. I was listening to it via the radio and there were times that I couldn't tell who was talking, Trump or Biden. Both were so argumentative that they sort of meshed together when you couldn't see which one was actually doing the talking.
  18. JohnsonJones

    The Law of Consecration and Stewardship

    This is a good point. Very often we look more at the economic aspects of the Law of Consecration, but the Law of Consecration is FAR MORE than just an economic thing, it is a way of life. It is everything, our soul, or feelings, our hearts, are all consecrated to the Lord. There is far more to it than just the economic side. There are political, theological, emotional, social, spiritual, and many more aspects on which we consecrate ourselves in that fashion to the Lord's intents and designs for us and his Kingdom.
  19. JohnsonJones

    JohnsonJones Gospel Topics thread

    It will be a very busy week for me. I'm still doing my Come Follow me scripture study, but my read through of the Book of Mormon and commentary probably will be put on pause until next week. It looks like it may be a little longer. I'm going into isolation for a few days/weeks due to an unexpected situation with one of my classes (for which all the classes will be effected, though this forum is not one of the classes, it means I won't have access to the usual machine I access these forums from). I apologize.
  20. So, though I'll revisit my other thread on culture and traditions which cover some gospel topics, this thread covers more straightforward topics and ideas. Rather than deviating into what could be called speculation, I'll try to center more specifically on the more basic ideas and thoughts concerning gospel topics and ideas. Basically, this will reflect what I'm reading or studying each week...and it makes a good period to start with as I'll be starting the Book of Mormon over again this week. This could also prompt me to continue further into other books of scripture and read them more often. Thus starting with 1st Nephi...and some impressions... 1. It's always interesting that the very start of his writing (though this is the small plates rather than the large plates, who knows how the large plates was started) he mentions he was raised by goodly parents. This is in line with the 5th commandment, to honor your Father and your Mother. This could be expanded to all of our thoughts and even beyond our mortal parents to our eternal parents (though at this time we really only know our eternal father). We should also honor our eternal or Heavenly Father in all we do, and have him foremost in our thoughts along with his son Jesus Christ. In some ways, the families we have on Earth are modeled on an eternal model of family in the heavens. 2. Later on in Chapter 4 I thought about Nephi's comparison of them and Moses. Here he is relating on the power the Lord showed to Moses in dividing the Red Sea and saving them from Captivity. I wonder if there is more in his thought than it seems on the surface. I can see parallels between what the family of Lehi and what Moses and the Children of Israel went through. Both were fleeing capture, though the Children of Israel were escaping, and Lehi was evading it in the present before it could occur in the future. At the time, though unknown to Nephi, they would spend many years in the wilderness, though not as long as the Children of Israel, long enough in their wanderings that it would be many years before they would settle down permanently. 3. Chapter 4 also covers one of the more controversial items that some people have trouble with, which is Nephi slaying Laban. I think this comes to the core of whether we believe Nephi is able to recieve revelation. Can someone recieve revelation of that sort that has such deep implications on their's and other's lives. Nephi's revelation had ramifications for his family, and he needed that revelation at that time to make a critical decision. It is important to note that though the spirit talking to him affected his family and those who were descended from them, that revelation from the spirit was NOT for the entirety of Israel. It was not like his father or the other prophets who were prophesying to Israel and Jerusalem at that time. Instead it dealt more personally. In this, I think we can see some things about the seriousness of revelation and personal revelation.. If we have heard the Holy Spirit and can testify that it has told us the Book of Mormon is true, this is actually because the Holy Ghost has revealed or told us that it is true.. We are NOT prophets as the Prophet of the Church, or the one who leads the rest of the Church, but in regards to personal revelation we are able to receive such things that help us personally, or those within our areas of authority (for example, a father for his family, or mother for her children). This does not make us prophets as we understand the prophets of the scriptures AT ALL. I'm simply saying that we can receive PERSONAL revelation which sometimes can be of vital importance to us and our situations at the time. I see Nephi's situation as him receiving personal revelation. Of course, there are those who question whether Nephi's choice was actually due to the spirit, or his own personal bias. I think this reflects our own doubts in our own lives regarding how to tell when something is revelation, when we hear something from the spirit, vs. that of our own feelings on the matter. How many times are our own personal feelings confused with being revelation, and how can one tell the difference. I think Nephi also questions this in his mind in chapter 4. He does not act immediately, instead verifying if what he is being told is actually correct. It is then that the spirit talks more explicitly to him. I know in my life I have had times where I have had feelings or promptings...but there are also other times when you actually hear a small voice that is a literal voice talking to you as the Holy Ghost. I think Nephi had one of these moments, where the Holy Ghost wasn't just a feeling, but was actually talking to him at that time. However, he goes both into what it talks to him about and tells him, and his own impressions that it is relaying to him...showing that it is not just the voice talking to him, but the spirit moving upon him. Nevertheless, it is a serious choice and one not easily made. I think it shows the importance of being able to recognize the spirit, and even moreso, perhaps hearing the spirit in our day. President Nelson has told us that in these perilous times we need to specifically tuned to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, that it will become a very important ability to have. I think Nephi's story can help us understand more on reflecting on our own need for personal revelation, as well as the need to be able to be clean and pure enough to hear it when it talks to us. (PS: this is not saying you should go out and slay someone to preserve the gospel...I hope we never have that choice and I don't think this happens all that often. In fact, I think things like this happen very infrequently and HIGHLY DOUBT any of us will ever get something like that happening to us. More likely it may be promptings to perhaps buy something in the store (perhaps toilet paper a few months back before the rush went on and it disappeared from the shelves for a few weeks/months), or to build something or talk to our children about something. It may not be that it seems important at the time, but if we listen to the spirit and heed it's promptings, sometimes we will find what we thought was unimportant originally was a major thing or a major influence in the future.
  21. JohnsonJones

    Stopping COVID

    In the US...not as much. There have been a few references to Asian nations, but not a ton overall. Elsewhere, there have been notes on how it is being tackled in other nations...which also includes Taiwan. Taiwan was VERY aggressive in it's approach, taking the science seriously and enforcing quarantines and other measures. I'm not certain the mandated quarantines would go over so well in the US, and mask wearing obviously has not gone over in the US as it did and still does in Taiwan (at least thus far). Taiwan (unlike much of Europe) looks like it has a minimal impact on it's GDP (and even hopes for growth). In the US, I think New Zealand and Australia along with Canada are mentioned more than many other nations, along with the UK (originally Sweden as well, until they deviated from the course they were on to a more cautionary route...now I think they are still mentioned but not as much).
  22. JohnsonJones

    Who has gone back to church at the building?

    It's a tough thing as a parent to see it. For myself, I deal with being high risk but also risking getting the virus daily via the university. It's a wierd mix there where we have many of the students that have chosen to take classes via an online university program this year (which I also have to utilize in trying to educate students in that fashion for our department) while at the same time having a few on campus as well. In that way, I figure I am already exposed somewhat, though I'd feel a LOT more comfortable (at least while weather has still been nice) if they would be doing meetings outside rather than inside (they have singing, which was shown as a key way to spread the virus). We've had an uptick of cases in our area recently as well. I hope I do not get it. I wear a mask, I try to social distance (and there are many at the ward that want to shake hands and such), but it is a personal risk. Thus far, (as I said, I hope and pray I do not get it, we have had at least one ward member that possibly got it at church as it was the only place they were going...die recently from Covid) I have been blessed and hope to stay that way, but it is MY choice to do so. My ward also has other options (thus far) if I choose to take them at a later time (for example, think it is too risky to go to the ward meetings with the spike in Covid cases)...but it is MY choice currently. One that I am grateful is available and that I am allowed to make. However, as a Father, I have other feelings. I understand my daughter's reasons for wanting to avoid going to church currently. As a parent, I want to go off to Utah and wring her Bishop's neck (not very Christlike of me, which is a sin). NO ONE should have that type of power and the ability to hurt others in such a way as I understand it (at least as it was portrayed by my daughter, but I will admit that is a one sided view as I have only heard her and her husband's side of the story). I know our ward still has zoom for their meetings for those who choose not to attend, and have extended the invitation that they can view our zoom meetings if they wish (I'm not sure on the legality in the church on that, though I know anyone can go to any meeting, they technically are not in our ward or ward boundaries...and thus the Bishop could not authorize them to take the sacrament currently). I'm not sure how or if that will help. She was incredibly frustrated. As a parent, I feel...so helpless. If anything, I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hope and pray that the prophet will help those in her situation. As a parent, I feel very unchristlike towards her ward leadership (mine is great thus far) the more I think about it, but I know that's not the proper way to think or do things. However, without some greater authority to help my daughter and people in her situation right now, I don't know where help will come or what can be done. As I said, nothing stinks so much as being a parent and seeing your child in a situation which you can't help and feeling absolutely helpless.
  23. JohnsonJones

    JohnsonJones Gospel Topics thread

    Alma Chapter 1 talks about Korihor. 1. One thing that is mentioned is Priestcraft, or the practice where men are set up by others and supported by the money of others to teach the gospel. It was a thing when I was younger and newly in the church to point out this practice among other religions while our laity, or the leaders of our Wards and Stakes recieved no money for their adminstrations to the ward members, but instead labored with their own hands. On the surface, especially as I was raised Catholic, I did not understand why this was a bad thing. Afterall, some of the best people I thought I knew were priests (though undoubtedly, there were those who also knew some of the worst people as priests, as history now shows). However, there are times you take things on faith, and as such, it is taught to be a bad thing in the Book of Mormon and thus something we should not practice. Instead, those who teach the gospel furnish their living through the labor of their own hands or however they can, rather than take the money from those they teach to. Salvation is a free gift and not something one needs to pay for. 2. Korihor taught something that is reminiscent of some (not all of the Protestant churches teach it in this manner or this way, not even close) of the Protestant teachings (though his teaching goes further, some Protestant teachings are that those who accept the Lord and his atonement are saved by his grace...period, no works or at least anything showing that you accept him and his grave are necessary...though one could counter with James I suppose to a degree on that). He teaches that all will be saved (and in truth, this is true for salvation, or almost, though it ignores many crucial aspects that we need to know, and want to know), but also extends it to eternal life rather than just salvation. There are many today that do go further than even the Protestant teachings and basically believe all will be saved, or granted eternal life in heaven no matter what they do for the most part. They teach that as long as you are good, what type of Holy Being would not grant you such. I see it as a common idea among many young people, and I think it is getting greater. They lack the idea of the belief in the Lord and that we need to believe in the Lord and be baptized in his name. We also need repentance and the ordinances of the gospel. In many ways, this chapter talks to those in our day and one of the many teachings that are going around that we deal with on a daily basis.
  24. JohnsonJones

    JohnsonJones Gospel Topics thread

    1. Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah go around persecuting the Saints. They are visited by an Angel and Alma is struck down. He has a deep and absolute soul wrenching experience in which he repents and is forgiven. He describes his situation and his yearning for repentance at that time, and how great the mercy he has received was. I wonder if we realize how wonderful the atonement is. I am grateful I have not had the experience Alma did in which I was struck down by an Angel (at least in a way) but I wonder if I should be more sorrowful by far when I repent. Alma was dormant for days in his agony, something which I have not experienced. It signifies how terrible our sins are though, any of our sins, as any of them separate us from the Lord. More gratefulness should be exhibited by me to the Lord for the atonement and for the forgiveness of my sins. 2. It talks about a Seer in chapter 28 and having a Urim and Thummim. We know today they have Seer Stones, but not necessarily the Urim and Thummim of Book of Mormon Translation fame. 3. In chapter 29 of Mosiah, a new system of Government is chosen, that of Judges. It is similar to that of the Old Testament form with Judges. It is not quite the same as we have today, but with the power of the Judiciary today, we are getting closer. Judges now determine MANY things for us, and we, as a society in the US have become very litigious and rely on the judicial in much of our every day lives, from the granting of business license and various other licensing, to the simple patrol of our streets and legal jurisdictions. Of interest, as it appears their judges were elected, it gives a stark warning to us in our time. While a majority choose good, we are preserved, but when the times come when the majority starts choosing wicked leaders, they are ripe in iniquity. I fear that we are in the latter stages of this today.
  25. JohnsonJones

    The Plan of Salvation - the Fall

    The above replies are excellent, and not much I could add to it, but will comment none the less. Because of the fall, each of us are susceptible to sin. AS such, most of us sin quite regularly despite our best attempts to be better. It is likely that as sin was introduced into the world, Adam and Eve did not just stop at the one transgression. In fact, one could probably assume they started to lie to the Lord and to do other sorts of actions which were against the commandments of the Lord. Each one of those would separate them spiritually from the Lord (and the same applies to us). The Fall was what initially caused them to be separated from the Lord, but even if that was forgiven, their continued sins (if they did so) would cause them to once again be separated. You can look at it literally (as many of the members of the Church look at it as a literal story) but, as many things in the scriptures, is also figurative, having multiple meanings. One of these is that Adam and Eve also are representative of mankind (Adam meaning man according to some). As such, we each are separated from the Lord by our sins, and by our breaking of the commandments. Most of us do not just break it one time, but break it continously, meaning that we break the commandments throughout our lives which also separate us spiritually.