Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Thoughts on “Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians”

I recently listened to a Think interview (10 Jan 2018) where the author of Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics discussed her new book on the history of the sexual revolution in America. In the interview, R Marie Griffith, explained that Protestants and Catholics were both generally opposed to birth control until a Catholic priest took a stand and then Protestants were galvanized to support birth control just because it was opposed by Catholics.

In many ways, the debate in the public square over sexuality and social justice continues to galvanize people. I have observed how same sex marriage has not been an issue people put out of their minds. Instead they take sides and defend their position with very little common decency. There appears to be no middle ground in today’s debate.

If as Marie Griffith has written, that the sexual revolution fractured American Christianity in the 1920’s, than it is amazing that, in contrast, these social changes are unifying American Mormons. Our position on permissible sexual activity limited to heterosexual marriages and chastity before marriage has not changed. In fact, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have strengthened their resolve to defend the position that sexuality is a divinely authorized privilege by which the unborn spirit children of a Heavenly Father are welcomed into this Earthly mortal life. All varieties of sexual deviancy which included adultery, prostitution, pornography, sexual abuse and perversion are unauthorized uses of the physical body and we will be held accountable for our actions in a post-mortem interview with our Father God.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

At Christmas

At Christmas
"A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season is here;
Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.

When it's Christmas, man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he's seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling, and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.

If I had to paint a picture of a man, I think I'd wait
Till he'd fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I'd not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of self,
On the long days and the dreary when he's striving for himself.
I'd not take him when he's sneering, when he's scornful or depressed,
But I'd look for him at Christmas when he's shining at his best.

Man is ever in a struggle and he's oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that's in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas, kindness rules him and he puts himself aside,
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don't know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be."

- by Edgar A Guest

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Father's Words

December is a busy time of year and this post may be all that I get around to writing. The thoughts simmer in my heart but taking them out and organizing them on paper is an extra step. I also think we need to honor the prophets who wrote down the spiritual insights they had with God. It would make more sense to just benefit personally from a spiritual experience and not bother with sharing the experience with others. The act of recording these experiences was a major sacrifice especially if the mode of writing was more of an engravers art. That being said, I want to share with you a prophet’s words where he directly quotes God the Father. There are very few times where the Father speaks. The most memorable might be, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.” (Matt 17:5, variation in 2 Pet 1:17)