Judeo-Christian Culture: Intelligent Design and Fish Facts

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Intelligent Design and Fish Facts

All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. ~Alma 30:44

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. ~Doctrine and Covenants 88:45

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Invite the hand of God into your family

 

US Constitution Series 5: Trust in God

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

The Founders’ Basic Principles: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

Principle # 5

keyoldIn the Anglo-Saxon language, the word for supreme or ultimate good is “God.” (Skousen p. 96)

creationhandsAll things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible

The Founders vigorously affirm throughout their writings that the foundation of all reality is the existence of the Creator, who is the designer of all things in nature and the promulgator of all the laws which govern nature.

The Founders were in harmony with the thinking of John Locke as expressed in his famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In it Locke pointed out that it defies the most elementary aspects of reason and experience to presuppose that everything in existence developed as a result of fortuitous circumstance. The mind, for example, will not accept the proposition that the forces of nature, churning about among themselves, would ever produce a watch, or even a lead pencil, let alone the marvelous intricacies of the human eye, the ear, or even the simplest of the organisms found in nature. All these are the product of intelligent design and high precision engineering. (Skousen, pp.95-96)

How Can One Know There Is a God?

In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke insisted that everyone can know there is a divine Creator. It is simply a case of thinking about it. To begin with, each person knows that he exists.

Furthermore, each person knows that he is something. He also knows that a something could not be produced by a nothing. Therefore, whatever brought man and everything else into existence also had to be something.

This something would therefore have to be superior to e everything which had resulted from this effort. This element of superiority makes this something the ultimate “good” for all that has been organized and arranged. In the Anglo-Saxon language, the word for supreme or ultimate good is “God.” (Skousen p. 96)

So, as John Locke says, there are many things man can know about God. And because any thoughtful person can gain an appreciation and conviction of these many attributes of the Creator, Locke felt that an atheist has failed to apply his divine capacity for reason and observation.

The American Founding Fathers agreed with Locke. They considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying ALL self-evident truth. It will be noted as we proceed through this study that every single self-evident truth enunciated by the Founders is rooted in the presupposition of a divine Creator. (Skousen pp. 97-98)

Concerning God’s Revealed Law Distinguishing Right from Wrong

The Founders considered the whole foundation of a just society to be structured on the basis of God’s revealed law. These laws constituted a moral code clearly distinguishing right from wrong.

William Blackstone, widely read authority on this subject in the Founders era, expounded it in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.

He said the laws for human nature had been revealed by God, whereas the laws of the universe (natural law) must be learned through scientific investigation. (Commentaries, p.64) Blackstone stated that “upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws …” (Ibid., p.65)

[T]he attitude of the Founders toward God’s law (both natural and revealed) gave early Americans a very high regard for the “law” as a social institution. They respected the sanctity of the law in the same way that it was honored among the Anglo-Saxons and by ancient Israel. (Skousen pp.98-99)

The Nearness of God

Days of fasting and prayer were commonplace in early America. most of the Founders continually petitioned God in fervent prayers, both public and private, and looked upon his divine intervention in their daily lives as a singular blessing. They were continually expressing gratitude to God as the nation survived one major crisis after another.

George Washington

George Washington was typical of the Founders in this respect. Charles Bracelen Flood discovered in his research that during the Revolutionary War there were at least sixty-seven desperate moments when Washington acknowledged that he would have suffered disaster had not the hand of God intervened in behalf of the struggle for independence. (Skousen p.99)

trust“In God We Trust”

From all of this it will be seen that the Founders were not indulging in any idle gesture when they adopted the motto, “In God we trust.” Neither was it a matter of superfluous formality when they required that all witnesses who testify in the courts or before Congressional hearings must take an oath and swear or affirm before God that they will tell the truth. As Washington pointed out in his Farewell Address: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?” (Skousen, p.100)

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

US Constitution Series 3: Benjamin Franklin on the Good Leader

US Constitution Series 4: Church, State, and Religion in American Life

History Timeline of the Nuclear Family in Western Civilization

History Timeline of the Nuclear Family in Western Civilization

Defining the Nuclear Family

key“Shaped as we are by long human experience, we must be all the more careful not to lose what has required so much time and so much effort to accomplish. The modern nuclear family is a rare construct; we tamper with its essentials at our peril. As the long record of human experimentation attests, civilizations, even great civilizations, are more fragile and perishable than we think.” (Bennett, The Broken Hearth, 67, 70)

From The Broken Hearth

By William J. Bennett

family-traditional-nuclear3The modern nuclear family . . .did not appear spontaneously in the long-ago, but, rather, was built up gradually, shaped and molded by human experience. But if both marriage and family life have undergone change over the ages, as indeed they have, this hardly means that the 20th century family is an arbitrary construct.

Just as certain characteristics of the family have been malleable, adjusting to times and trends, other aspects, tethered as they are to deep human realities, have remained largely fixed and timeless. (42)

 

Five Periods in the history of the Western Civilization

 

I.  Old Testament times

JacobRachelThe Jewish people made marriage the sexual ideal. They also elevated the status of women by standing firmly for marriage and the family and firmly against infidelity and homosexuality. “Throughout their history, one of the Jews’ most distinguishing characteristics has been their commitment to family life,” writes Dennis Prager, social critic.

Jewish tradition also placed great emphasis on honoring one’s parents.

Much that was taken for granted about family life in ancient Israel is contrary to present-day belief and, for good reasons, unacceptable to us. But much—especially the very conception of the family as the seedbed of moral refinement and individual growth—is already there, not hidden away but right out in the open, waiting to be further developed. (Bennett, 44-48)

 

II. Early Christian Period

 

Jesus-bcome-disciple-lds-churchWestern civilization has been influenced beyond measure by Christianity, from the ethical teachings of Jesus to the doctrines of patristic and later authorities to the evolving institutional practices of the Church and the community of the faithful. Christianity’s impact on the family, and on our ideas about the family, has been incalculable.

Women were among Jesus’ close followers, playing a major role in his ministry and in the spreading of his gospel, and serving as positive models in his teachings. Jesus praised their faith, and graciously accepted their acts of love and hospitality. It was women who were the first eyewitnesses of his resurrection and who were then told to go and relate the news to the male disciples. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was specially favored by God.

Jesus held men and women alike to the same moral standards. . .and taught that all must follow the same path to salvation.

In sum, the relationship of religious faith to marriage and family life is complex and at times paradoxical. If that reminds us, as it should, of the difficulties in any effort to turn either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament into a straightforward brief for traditional “family values,” it should also remind us of how rich, how demanding, and how endlessly instructive is the moral and spiritual legacy we are heirs to. (Bennett, 48-52)

 

III.  Middle Ages

The Roman Catholic Church was influential in prohibiting incest and the marrying of close relatives, in punishing fornication and adultery.

The Church did champion the role of consent in marriage, marking a historic change from the earlier periods we have examined.

As for the attitude toward children, Lawrence Stone reminds us that during the Middle Ages, two or more living children were often given the same name because it was so common that at least one of them would die. This was particularly true during the Black Death, the epidemic that ravaged Europe and Asia in the fourteenth century, and that is estimated to have killed one-quarter of the populations of Europe, including, no doubt, a disproportionate number of children.

 

IV. 1500-mid-1700s

john-winthrop-quoteThis was the period that saw the rise of the first American families, which, with their roots in English Puritanism, soon came to be considered an American ideal.

Consider the relationship between John Winthrop, the seventeenth-century governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his wife, Margaret.

Margaret states the reasons she loves him: “first because thou lovest God; and, secondly, because that thou lovest me.” Governor Winthrop held his wife in similar esteem.

triangle-marriage-jesus-man-womanDuring the seventeenth century, the position of women in marriage seems to have improved—if only to a point.

Take the attitude toward newborn children in seventeenth-century New England. Many Puritans, adopting the strict Calvinist perspective, considered them products of oritinal sin: inherently corrupt, naturally depraved.

By the late seventeenth century, Puritanism was beginning to decline in England. The English philosopher John Locke—whose ideas did so much to influence the American founding—played a crucial role in altering public attitudes toward children as well. To Locke (who was not alone in this belief), an infant was less a product of the Fall than a blank slate, a tabula rasa. This conception, . . .stimulated the display of parental love and affection.

 

A “silent revolution” had taken place, one that diminished parental control over children’s marriages, differentiated family patterns across social classes, and produced a new conception of childhood in which children were viewed not as embodiments of sin but as innocent and malleable creatures whose characters could be molded into any shape. (Steven Mintz and Susan Kellogg)

By the end of the colonial period, then, currents were astir that would find their full realization by the early part of the next century. (Bennett, 58-61)

 

19th Century

By the 1830s, the free choice of spouse was seen as “a distinctive feature of American family life.”

happymarriagewordsWe contemporaries can also learn something useful from our ancestors. Too many people today believe that once a marriage goes flat—once the early love, affection, and intense attraction are gone—a marriage itself is irretrievably broken. In fact, there is plenty of evidence, from the past and from today, that people can fall in love again with their spouses. It may require time, effort, a conscious commitment of purpose, perhaps even outside counsel; but it can be done, and it is almost always worth the effort.

A woman was declared “God’s appointed agent of Morality, responsible for refining a man’s “human affections and elevating his moral feelings.” (Sarah J. Hale)

While Americans did not believe that “man and woman have either the duty or the right to perform the same offices,” they did show “an equal regard for both their respective parts. ~Alexis de Tocqueville

It would also appear that spouses were quite faithful: For American men, there was not gallantry to be found in a love affair, and women were expected to be chaste. One English visitor, remarking upon the “great charm which surrounds all family relations in the North,” made a point of recording that “compared with Europe, domestic scandals are unknown.”

The Industrial Revolution forced sweeping changes in every sphere, shifting people from agrarian to urban settings, crating smaller and more self-contained family units, and encouraging an unprecedented mobility. It took time, and a fair amount of disruptive agony, to adjust to these changes, and in doing so, people tended to draw closer within their families. Men in particular looked more and more to their wives and their homes for emotional support, nurturance, and affirmation.

Child-rearing ceased to be simply one of many activities and became the central concern—one is tempted to say the central obsession—of family life.” (Christopher Lasch)

family-history-victorian               This entire era—the Victorian era—has often been caricatured as sexually and emotionally repressed, patriarchal, tyrannical, and abusive. In fact, the hallmarks of family life included stability and faithfulness, emotional intimacy, and endurance. Things were not perfect by any means . . .But given the problems that plague contemporary family life—out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families, divorce and cohabitation, abortion on demand and the growing embrace of homosexual unions, to name just a few—a bit of humility, not to say appreciativeness, is surely called for.

The emerging attitudes I have been describing were not rooted in unenlightened, authoritarian, or misogynistic ideals. Rather, they were firmly anchored in the liberal political tradition. This was, after all, an America chiseled and shaped by the ideas of the Enlightenment, in particular by the writings of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. (Bennett,62-66)

 

Modern Nuclear Family

“The bottom line is that not all family structures are equal, and not all variations are compatible with basic social and human needs.”

family-traditional-nuclear1“We desperately need to reestablish marriage as an exclusive arrangement between a man and a woman. Marriage, monogamous and freely chosen, must be the institution through which children are conceived and born, loved and disciplined, nurtured and raised. And marital permanence must once again become the ideal to which individuals commit themselves and which they strive to maintain.”

“Shaped as we are by long human experience, we must be all the more careful not to lose what has required so much time and so much effort to accomplish. The modern nuclear family is a rare construct; we tamper with its essentials at our peril. As the long record of human experimentation attests, civilizations, even great civilizations, are more fragile and perishable than we think.” (Bennett, The Broken Hearth, 67, 70)

Culture Wars: A call to Women of Faith—Teach your Children Judeo-Christian Values

Culture Wars:

A call to Women of Faith—Teach your Children Judeo-Christian Values

Rise Up in Strength, Women in Zion

By Bonnie L. Oscarson

keyI worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles. If we don’t teach our children and youth true doctrine—and teach it clearly—the world will teach them Satan’s lies. ~ Bonnie L. Oscarson

 

covenant2To be converted covenant keepers, we need to study the essential doctrines of the gospel and have an unshakable testimony of their truthfulness.

In October 2006, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk entitled “Rise Up, O Men of God,” named after a hymn written in 1911.1 It was a call to action for the men of the Church to rise up and improve themselves. That talk has echoed in my mind as I have prayed to know what to share with you.

Sisters, we live in “perilous times.”2 The conditions of our day should not be a surprise to us. They have been foretold for millennia as a warning and admonition so that we can be prepared. The 8th chapter of Mormon gives a disconcertingly accurate description of the conditions of our day. In this chapter, Moroni says he has seen our day, and it includes wars and rumors of wars, great pollutions, murders, robbing, and people who tell us that moral-relativism-generalthere is no right or wrong in God’s eyes. He describes people who are filled with pride, caught up in the wearing of expensive clothing, and who make fun of religion. He is shown people who are so obsessed with worldly things that they allow “the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by”3 without being noticed.

Moroni asks a soul-searching question of us—we who are living in these times. He says, “Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?”4 This indictment accurately describes the increasingly secular condition of our world.

Joseph Smith—Matthew indicates that in the last days even the “very elect … according to the covenant”5 will be deceived. Those of the covenant include the girls, young women, and sisters of the Church who have been baptized and made covenants with their Heavenly Father. Even we are at risk of being deceived by false teachings.

Sisters, I don’t believe that conditions are going to improve going forward. If current trends are an indication, we need to be prepared for the storms that lie ahead. It would be easy to throw our hands up in despair, but as covenant people we need never despair. As Elder Gary E. Stevenson has said, “Heavenly Father’s generous compensation for living in perilous times is that we also live in the fulness of times.”6 I love the comfort of that statement.

President Russell M. Nelson told us a year ago: “Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.

We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms.

We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.”7

covenant4-true-faithThis message reassures me that despite the conditions of our day, we have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic. I believe with all of my heart that we sisters do have the innate strength and faith that will allow us to meet the challenges of living in the last days. Sister Sheri Dew has written, “I believe that the moment we learn to unleash the full influence of converted, covenant-keeping women, the kingdom of God will change overnight.”8

It will take concerted effort to be converted and to keep our covenants. To do so, we need to be girls and women who study the essential doctrines of the gospel and have an unshakable testimony of their truthfulness. There are three areas I believe are foundational to strong testimonies and that I consider to be essential to our understanding.

JesusChristresizeFirst, we need to acknowledge the centrality of God our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to our faith and salvation. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We need to study and understand His Atonement and how to apply it daily; repentance is one of the greatest blessings each of us has to stay on course. We need to see Jesus Christ as our primary role model and the example of who we need to become. We need to continually teach our families and classes about our Father’s great plan of salvation, which includes the doctrine of Christ.

Second, we need to understand the need for the restoration of the doctrine, organization, and keys of authority in these latter days. We need to have a witness that the Prophet Joseph Smith was divinely chosen and appointed by the Lord to bring about this restoration and recognize that he organized the women of the Church after the organization that existed in Christ’s Church anciently.9

And third, we need to study and understand temple ordinances and covenants. The temple holds a place at the very center of our most sacred beliefs, and the Lord asks that we attend, ponder, study, and find personal meaning and application individually. We will come to understand that through the ordinances of the temple, the power of godliness is manifest in our lives10 and that because of temple ordinances, we can be armed with God’s power, and His name will be upon us, His glory round about us, and His angels have charge over us.11 I wonder if we are fully drawing upon the power of those promises.

Even the very youngest in this audience can rise up in faith and play a significant role in building the kingdom of God. Children begin gaining their own testimonies by reading or listening to the scriptures, praying daily, and partaking of the sacrament in a meaningful way. All children and young women can encourage family home evenings and be full participants. You can be the first one on your knees as your family gathers for family prayer. Even if your homes are less than ideal, your personal examples of faithful gospel living can influence the lives of your family and friends.

Teach your family the Key to Survival in a Difficult World

uchtdorf-light Sometimes we just need to have a greater vision of what is possible.

I recently met a sister in Mexico who understands what it means to magnify her calling with faith. Marffissa Maldonado was called to teach a youth Sunday School class three years ago. She had 7 students attending when she was called, but she now has 20 who attend regularly. I asked her, in amazement, what she had done to bring about such an increase in numbers. She modestly said, “Oh, it wasn’t just me. All the class members helped.” Together, they saw the names of the less-actives on the roll and began to go out together and invite them to come back to church. They have also had a baptism because of their efforts.

Sister Maldonado set up a social media site just for her class members called “I Am a Child of God,” and she posts inspirational thoughts and scriptures several times a week. She regularly texts her students with assignments and encouragement. She feels it is important to communicate in the ways they best relate to, and it is working. She told me simply, “I love my students.” I could feel that love as she told me of their efforts, and her example reminded me of what one person of faith and action can accomplish in this work with the help of the Lord.

tree-of-life-jim-madsenOur youth are being exposed to difficult questions on a daily basis, and many of us have loved ones who are struggling to find answers. The good news is that there are answers to the questions being asked. Listen to the recent messages from our leaders. We are being urged to study and understand our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We have been reminded of the principles in the family proclamation.12 We are encouraged to teach and use these resources as the measuring sticks to keep us on the strait and narrow path.

We need to use Common Sense

teachingfamiaboutchristAbout a year ago, I visited with a mother of young children who decided to take a proactive approach to inoculating her children against the many negative influences they were being exposed to online and at school. She chooses a topic each week, often one that has generated a lot of discussion online, and she initiates meaningful discussions during the week when her children can ask questions and she can make sure they’re getting a balanced and fair perspective on the often-difficult issues. She is making her home a safe place to raise questions and have meaningful gospel instruction.

I worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles. We fail to teach our young women that preparing to be a mother is of utmost importance because we don’t want to offend those who aren’t married or those who can’t have children, or to be seen as stifling future choices. On the other hand, we may also fail to emphasize the importance of education because we don’t want to send the message that it is more important than marriage. We avoid declaring that our Heavenly Father defines marriage as being between a man and woman because we don’t want to offend those who experience same-sex attraction. And we may find it uncomfortable to discuss gender issues or healthy sexuality.

passing-torchCertainly,  we need to use sensitivity, but let us also use our common sense and our understanding of the plan of salvation to be bold and straightforward when it comes to teaching our children and youth the essential gospel principles they must understand to navigate the world in which they live. If we don’t teach our children and youth true doctrine—and teach it clearly—the world will teach them Satan’s lies.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am eternally grateful for the direction, power, and daily help I receive as a covenant daughter of God. I testify that the Lord has blessed us, as women who live in these perilous times, with all of the power, gifts, and strength that are needed in order to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that we may all see our true potential and rise up to become the women of faith and courage our Father in Heaven needs us to be.

Pass on Judeo-Christian values to your family with this engaging and wholesome classic

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Gospel Teachings: Repentance, the Love of God, and Unconditional Love Definition

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Gospel Teachings: Repentance, the Love of God, and Unconditional Love Definition Abide in My Love D. Todd Christofferson God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond … Continue reading

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Jesus, the Fall, and Mercy for the Soul

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Dinner Topics for Good Friday What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Month-Defining Moment See More Defining Moments Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet By  Jeffrey R. Holland He died, a broken law to satisfy . . . How great, how … Continue reading

Gospel Teachings: Easter Story, Plan of Salvation, and 3 gardens

Gospel Teachings:

Easter Story, Plan of Salvation, and 3 gardens

The Three Gardens of God

Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985)

Join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement.

jesus-adam-eve-gethsemane-resurrection-3-gardensI feel, and the Spirit seems to accord, that the most important doctrine I can declare, and the most powerful testimony I can bear, is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His Atonement is the most transcendent event that ever has or ever will occur from Creation’s dawn through all the ages of a never-ending eternity.

It is the supreme act of goodness and grace that only a god could perform. Through it, all of the terms and conditions of the Father’s eternal plan of salvation became operative. …

In speaking of these wondrous things I shall use my own words, though you may think they are the words of scripture, words spoken by other Apostles and prophets.

True it is they were first proclaimed by others, but they are now mine, for the Holy Spirit of God has borne witness to me that they are true, and it is now as though the Lord had revealed them to me in the first instance. I have thereby heard His voice and know His word. …

May I invite you to join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement.

We must cast aside the philosophies of men and the wisdom of the wise and hearken to that Spirit which is given to us to guide us into all truth.

We must search the scriptures, accepting them as the mind and will and voice of the Lord and the very power of God unto salvation.

As we read, ponder, and pray, there will come into our minds a view of the three gardens of God—the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of the Empty Tomb where Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene.

In Eden we will see all things created in a paradisiacal state—without death, without procreation, without probationary experiences.

We will come to know that such a creation, now unknown to man, was the only way to provide for the Fall.

We will then see Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, step down from their state of immortal and paradisiacal glory to become the first mortal flesh on earth.

Mortality, including as it does procreation and death, will enter the world. And because of transgression a probationary estate of trial and testing will begin.

Then in Gethsemane we will see the Son of God ransom man from the temporal and spiritual death that came to us because of the Fall.

And finally, before an empty tomb, we will come to know that Christ our Lord has burst the bands of death and stands forever triumphant over the grave.

Thus, Creation is father to the Fall; and by the Fall came mortality and death; and by Christ came immortality and eternal life.

If there had been no Fall of Adam, by which cometh death, there could have been no Atonement of Christ, by which cometh life.

jesus-repentanceAnd now, as pertaining to this perfect Atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that He is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

I am one of His witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in His hands and in His feet and shall wet His feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that He is God’s Almighty Son, that He is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through His atoning blood and in no other way.

God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son will cleanse us from all sin.

Easter Messages: The Living Christ

Easter Messages:

The Living Christ

The Testimony of the Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , 2000

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Eph. 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isa. 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Science Facts, Science Fiction, Darwin Evolution, and Academic Freedom

Science Facts, Science Fiction, Darwin Evolution, and Academic Freedom

Unexpected Results From A Poll About Teaching Science

Their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and . . .the people . . .could not understand them. ~Omni 1:17

Dr. Carolyn Reeves

http://www.undergroundparadigm.com

A 2016 national poll of a cross-section of American adults revealed unexpected results. The participants included representative numbers of men, women, Democrats, Republicans, Theists, Atheists, Agnostics, and four age groups from 18-60+. According to the poll, 94% believe students, teachers, and scientists should have the academic freedom to objectively discuss both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution. Another finding in the poll was that 94% think “It is important for policymakers and the public to hear from scientists with differing views.”

 

False news has been a reoccurring topic in today’s culture for some time. A near relative to false news is ignored news. News worthy stories can be selectively ignored by the media or they can be twisted until the meaning is altered. There are two areas that are reported in these two categories more than their share of the time. These are Darwinian evolution and climate change.

There is a general assumption among the media that Darwinian evolution and climate change are now established facts and should be taught in classes as the only accurate scientific explanations for origins and climate. The fact is, there have been a number of news -worthy stories about these topics that have been ignored or given an altering twist.

Stories that oppose traditional positions about evolution and climate change are routinely passed over as religiously based, illegal in public schools, material that is flawed and biased, or not worthy of mainstream reputable news. When they are given time in news media, the articles often contain misrepresented information. This article is being written to challenge the false news and ignored news that is prevalent in articles that do not agree with mainstream science.

What do the majority of ordinary citizens think about the right to discuss dissenting scientific views on such topics? Readers may find the answer surprising!

A 2016 national poll of a cross-section of American adults revealed unexpected results. The participants included representative numbers of men, women, Democrats, Republicans, Theists, Atheists, Agnostics, and four age groups from 18-60+. According to the poll, 94% believe students, teachers, and scientists should have the academic freedom to objectively discuss both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution. Another finding in the poll was that 94% think “It is important for policymakers and the public to hear from scientists with differing views.”

Most Americans do not realize there has been a long history of punishing and censoring scientists who criticize or express doubts about the official versions of evolution and climate change. Many scientists have been demoted, fired, or harassed for expressing such ideas, even though many of their ideas were based on well-researched scientific principles. This is not something of which most Americans approve. The poll found that 84% agreed with this statement: “ Attempts to censor or punish scientists for holding dissenting views on issues such as evolution or climate change are not appropriate in a free society. “

Two states have proposed and are debating academic freedom bills—SB 55 in South Dakota and HB 1485 in Texas. These bills will give teachers the academic freedom to teach both the strengths and weaknesses of controversial scientific standards that are already in the approved curricula. Texas is in the middle of streamlining their science standards, which already contains some provisions for considering scientific strengths and weaknesses of scientific topics. If parent in these states are representative of this poll, their legislators should already know that this is a bill that parents will approve. Parents in other states that do not already have similar bills might want to consider talking to their legislators about introducing academic freedom bills in their states.

When scientists disagree about some issue or idea and are free to openly debate the weaknesses and strengths of the issue, real science is being done. When only one side of an issue is allowed to be taught and discussed, especially in schools, this is no more than indoctrination.

It will be interesting to see how media cover a new movie documentary entitled “Is Genesis History?” The project was put together by Del Tackett,who interviewed thirteen PhD scientists with a variety of scientific specialties. It is chock full of scientific information taken from the research of these scientists.

The information may be ignored; it may be twisted. It’s always possible the information will be given a fair hearing by the scientific experts, but if past history is an indicator, this is not like to happen.

What if both sides of the Darwinian evolution controversy and both sides of the climate change controversy presented their evidence for their favored theory to a competent, well qualified group of scientists? What if it were set up like a jury trial with evidence from both sides of the issue discussed openly and fairly and with an unbiased judge to oversee the presentations?

Even more, I would like to see this kind of situation in science classrooms with students free to discuss the issues and the evidence. This is what South Dakota and Texas how to see also.

Teach your Young Adults about the Creation with this engaging and wholesome classic

 

 

American Family Association Issues at Hand: Planned Parenthood closings; Social Media linked to Depression

American Family Association Issues at Hand:

Planned Parenthood closings; Social Media linked to Depression

Planned Parenthood closes more centers

March 2017 – The American Life League annual survey shows that in 2016, 27 Planned Parenthood locations closed. The closings were offset with eight new centers, resulting in a net loss of 19.

“They’re now down to 624 facilities across the country from a high of 938,” said ALL executive director Jim Sedlak. “So they’ve lost one-third of the facilities.”

Although figures related to services provided by the abortion giant are not yet available for 2015 and 2016, the number of services provided in the six previous years (from 2009 to 2014) decreased significantly: 63% fewer cancer screenings, 56% fewer breast exams, 70% fewer Pap smear tests, and 30% fewer abortions.

In 2016, Planned Parenthood received over $553 million of taxpayer money from the federal government.

onenewsnow, 12/28/16; lifenews.com, 12/28/16

Fastest growing churches hold to literal interpretation of the Scripture

 

March 2017 – According to a five-year study published in Review of Religious Research, an internationally respected journal, the fastest growing churches are those that hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible, including teachings on heaven and hell.

“If we are talking solely about what belief system is more likely to lead to numerical growth among Protestant churches,” said David Haskell, lead researcher of the Canadian study, “the evidence suggests conservative Protestant theology is the clear winner.”

Clergy and worshippers in growing churches experienced greater participation in regular Bible reading and prayer.

Additionally, with respect to outsiders, an unwavering message with clear boundaries is a drawing factor.

theguardian.com, 11/17/16

Social media linked to depression

March 2017 –It has become cliché to see young people staring at their phones scrolling social media pages. But all that scrolling can have a negative effect on the way they see the world and themselves.

According to a 2016 study sponsored by the National Institute for Mental Health, social media can have a detrimental impact on the mental and emotional well-being of young adults.

The study polled 1,787 adults ages 19 to 32. Researchers inquired about time spent on social media, number of visits per week, and other related issues.

“It is human nature to compare ourselves to others,” said Mark Widdowson, a writer for the website Mashable. “Sometimes comparisons can be a way to inspire ourselves to improve in some way, but, more often than not – especially when someone is feeling down or is prone to depression – the comparisons become negative and erode self-esteem.”

onlinelibrary.wiley.com, 1/19/16; freeportpress.com, 5/4/16