Friday, February 26, 2010

Tender Mercies...

Is the Lord in the details of our lives? Does he carefully watch over our every move? Should we pray when choosing the type of Peanut Butter? Should we thank him when we catch the subway train or when we find our keys or baseball glove or make a shot in basketball (Bri your kids have serious skills though)?

Maybe he doesnt watch our every move, but other angels do? I dont think he is as hands on as we sometimes think. Although I do believe there are tender mercies, it seems like he lets us live. Just like the temple video, he is up there, and occasionally checks in on us. ;)

If he is watching over our every move, is our agency impaired? Does he let us make mistakes and learn and grow? And if he is always there helping, why doesnt he help sometimes? This brings up another interesting dilemma that bothered Ben Franklin, if God knows everything, is our agency in some way impaired? If he knows what we will do, and is all powerful, and can stop things, why doesn't he? Why does he in some cases? And lastly is it morally wrong for God to not act/get involved when he knows someone is going off the path? Would Judas Iscariot have been better not being chosen as a disciple? Who knows.... I guess God. ;)

Bri's Comments

Bri - thanks for commenting. I guess there are a lot of things in the gospel you just need to either ignore/not think about. The Noah's Arc thing just makes no sense to me, so I almost just need to have faith about it and will one day get to know the whole story.

Do you ever wonder if what we "believe" or "think" is true, is actually a misunderstanding? When we get to the other side, we see it for how it really is. I imagine most will stay strong, and that is why we need to be humble/teachable like a child, as opposed to prideful and confident in our own knowledge and ability. Accept that there is a lot we dont know.

Re: Blacks and the Priesthood - you make some good points. There are many instances where only a select few people are blessed with all the gospel and the priesthood (only Levites had priesthood, etc). Timing is an interesting thing. But you know - maybe the Lord just doesnt care in the end - he knows everyone will get their chance and no one will be deprived of blessings and opportunities, so it is not a big deal to him.

Interesting about your sacrament thoughts. I always thought the sacrament actually does wash the slate clean and clear you of sins. I think I taught that last week in YM. But you bring up some good thoughts. I personally think other members can repent - that being a member is not a prerequisite.

I know you can repent every day - so it is not contingent on being in sacrament meeting only. Maybe it is the same theory as Justification vs Santification. Although you can technically be clean of all your sins, you may still not be worthy to be with God/Celestial Kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom people will one day be cleansed of their sins, but they still do not have the qualities of God. So, a non-member can repent, but it is not enough. The baptismal covenant is the first step. It puts you on the path, but you need to continue to improve and purify your life, but that is what enduring to the end is all about. I dont know - just thoughts.

Heavenly Mother

Emily said an interesting comment the other day: said she "Last night, I prayed to heavenly mother. I apologized in the prayer if that was wrong, but I just told HF that I needed to talk to mom, and have a little woman to woman chat." Now, she asked me if it was wrong, and technically, I dont think so. Sometimes you need your mommy.

Has the Sacrament expanded to also washing away Sins now?

“Think for a moment how different our lives could be if through repentance we were made clean each and every Sabbath and could start each week absolutely pure, renewed, refreshed, totally confident of our standing before God. That sounds wonderful to me. It is wonderful. Thank heaven for Sundays and the sacrament.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, D&C & CH Video Presentations #9, 'Upon My Holy Day')

I have heard twice over the pulpit over the last 2 Sundays (and 1 from a High Councilor) how the Sacrament is so great because we erase our slate and start fresh and clean again.

Hmmm. I have been taught that our sins are washed away at Baptism. And that we renew our baptismal covenants weekly with the Sacrament. But I wonder if these statements are incorrect doctrine? Please indulge me to argue ad absurdum: I sure hope I die on Sunday or Monday, because Saturday would be the worst day to die, what with all my sins piled up and my slate full of my sins for the week. But to die on Monday, with a clean slate and no sins committed yet, then I would be assured the *Fast-Pass* No-Line Entrance at St. Peter's Gate. That's also why on my Stake Conferences I sneak over to another Stake to get the Sacrament that day.

Of course that's silly. So, maybe our sins are not getting washed away with the Sacrament. Because if we sin on Wednesday and then repent on Thursday or even the next Thursday, the Atonement takes effect in our lives then; not just because we participated in the Sunday ordinance. Which implies that I could participate in the Sacrament with sins and in fact those sins are not cleansed from me immediately afterwards. It seems that repentance is the determining factor in sin-cleansing, and not the Sacrament. So, maybe the baptismal covenants we renew with the Sacrament are more likely brotherhood (Mosiah 18) and dedication to serve God, and not renewing the cleansing effect. So, why do people continue to say they are glad that their sins are washed away after the Sacrament? You can repent of them each day of the week and be cleansed without the Sacrament, not to take away from the importance of the Sacrament. So, maybe these 2 are decoupled and the Sacrament has less to do with sin-cleansing and the Atonement-side of things, and more-so about dedication and commitment?

To follow this through, maybe we were wrong to say that baptism washes away sin. Are your sins, the ones you remember and also the ones you don't remember, really washed away by baptism? So, if you (or a new-convert) forgot to repent of a biggie during your baptism interview, is he cleansed from the effects of that sin by virtue of his baptism? Seems kind of weird, and akin to grace-by-technicality. Maybe the baptism doesn't wash away anything. Maybe for the first time it enables us to fully partake of the Savior's Atonement. And so we still have to repent to be cleansed from sin. So, someone who didn't fully repent but lied or deceived to get baptized is not *fully clean* and still needs the Holy Ghost to bring previous sins to their remembrance at which point they can finally and fully repent of the sin and be cleansed.

But, non-members and those who never heard of the Church can repent too, can't they? Let's say a non-denom Christian reads the Bible to say he must repent through Christ for true forgiveness. So, he prays and asks for forgiveness. The Atonement would still cover his sins, right? Or is it *carried on the books* contingent upon his making gospel covenants ("joining the Church") later on in his life or even in the next Life? Because earthly forgiveness of sin seems to fall under the jurisdiction of Priesthood Authority and Bishops and Prophets. So, maybe there is some link with the Church and true forgiveness of sin.

I'm not really sure. But it just tastes wrong for people to say that the Sacrament is washing away their sins. Regardless, I hope I don't die around Stake Conference, General Conference, or on a Saturday; just to be on the safe-side, of course. ;-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Noah's Ark

Do Mormon's believe in a literal flood? Do they believe water covered the whole earth and all the trees and plant life died? All animals would not fit on Noah's Ark. He would have run out of food and water - and been unable to care for all those animals for 1 year. Plus, once they land, there would be no plant life. Seems far fetched to me - maybe a localized flood?

Blacks and the Priesthood?

Why couldn't Blacks get the priesthood until so late?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Second Coming Questions

1) What state will the earth be in during the Millenium? (I think Terrestial.)
2) What will happen with those righteous still on the earth when Christ comes again? Will they be resurrected? Will they continue to live on the earth during the Millenium? What kind of bodies will they have? (I believe they will be resurrected)
3) If they are resurrected and have perfect bodies, can they have kids? What kind of bodies will their kids have? (I think their kids will have mortal bodies with flesh/blood and will be capable of dieing. But if the earth is Terr, their bodies wont be Tel I dont think).
4) Some latter-day prophets have said that in the Millenium, people will live to be 100 yrs of age, then will be twinkled. I assume that this will be the resurrection for those born during the millenium. But is it possible for them to die before they turn 100? Will there be like car accidents or anything?
5) The resurrection has already begun correct? That started with Christ, and has continued ever since. It wasnt a 1-time resurrection when Christ came, and now at the Second Coming will continue. It is a process that has begun right?
6) OK - so there are different time periods for the resurrection. Morning of first, afternoon of first, morning of second, afternoon of second (we attribute which time you are resurrected determines the kingdom of glory you will go to.) So - will no one who ends up going to the Tel Kingdom be resurrected until the very end of the Millenium? Does that mean super righteous spirits who are born 900 yrs into the Millenium already missed their window of resurrection opportunity?
7) The earth is the spirit world, and will also become the Celestial Kingdom correct? We know the spirits in the Spirit world are still here on the earth, we just cant see them. Where are those people who will make the celestial Kingdom but are resurrected (all the ancient prophets)? They have bodies, and so are they here? Are they in heaven with God?
8) So if we are resurrected and living during the Millenium, we will have perfect bodies and will not age (almost frozen in time, like becoming a Vampire in the Twilight series). Does that mean the kids we raise will age past us?
9) Will women actually carry babies in their stomachs during the Millenium like we do now? Will there be stretch marks? Morning sickness? etc etc?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Common Consent

Why do we have common consent in the church?

1) The Lord's Kingdom is a theocracy, not a democracy. There is 1 King, and if you don't agree or like the terms, you are literally kicked out.
2) If we oppose someone being appointed to a calling, will anything change? Will the person not be put in?
3) If the person is not worthy, why did the Lord inspire and confirm the calling to the Bishop/Church leader anyway?
4) If it is more just to say I support, then why even ask for a dissenting opinion? If I dissent, does that mean I do not need to support?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mom, I'm hungry. No, you're fasting.

While we're concerned about The Letter vs The Spirit, does that play into Fasting? I'm not talking about a sip of water or even chewing gum or breath mint, but rather the duration of the fast. We're told "2 meals" which some have interpreted and preached "24 hours". How concerned is God over the time limit, that we go the distance?

Let's say you just completed hour 23 of your 24-hour fast. Your wife is making salsa for dinner and asks you to try it. Do you say, I'll need to wait 1 more hour? Do you run into the other room, pray and break your fast and return to sample said salsa? Or do you just try it on 1 chip while your kids gasp that you just ruined your fast? (I did option "C" BTW) So, did I blow it and that's why I didn't receive the extra spiritual strength to reject Krispy Kreme doughnuts this week?

Is God a stickler or not? If He didn't mean 2-meals or 24-hours, then why did He say it? Tithing is pretty much 10%, not 9.5% nor 12%. 10% will get you into the temple while 8% or 9% will not. Sounds pretty Letter of the Law to me.

The Word of Wisdom says No Tea, No Coffee, No Tobacco; as proper Letter of the Law laws should. But it also has a bunch of other stuff, eat healthily and take care of your body that we skim over. So, maybe the WoW is more Spirit of the Law? Hunh?

When one receives the Aaronic Priesthood, the bishop asks them, Will you try to live these laws? When one receives the Melchizedek Priesthood, the bishop asks them, Do you live these laws? Maybe there is a pattern there of increasing sanctification. It's almost like the law (or letter of the law) is to get us started in the way with the hope and expectation that the spirit will take root and become the teacher and motivator. (Sounds like a scripture)

In the middle of one's fast, one partakes of the sacrament. Technically one has broken one's fast because one partook of bread and water violating the whole "no food nor water" part. But that's silly because renewing one's baptismal covenant is of greater importance, and probably doesn't nullify one's fast. But, still, I'm just saying, technically....

So, are we saying it's possible for someone with a medical condition to maybe fast 12-hours and gain just as much, if not more, spirituality and self-control over the body than someone from a 24-hour fast?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Almost Heaven, West Virgina

The late, great, John Denver once sang, "Almost Heaven, West Virginia." So that begs the question:

What will heaven (Celestial Kingdom) be like? What do you imagine? Will it be fun? How much laughter constitutes loud laughter?

Appreciate your thoughts....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

YM Question

So one of my young men, Gabe (the 15 year old from Brazil), asked on Sunday, who is Heavenly Father's Father? How do you answer?

Not to belabor the Point...

But I will. I really like Rick's and Brian's and Rob's comments. They are deep, thorough, and provide excellent perspective. A couple of thoughts I had.

1) Although I agree that a steady cash flow every month from tithe payers is much better than one lump sum, I do not think that paying all at once is really that difficult. The church has so much money (roughly $12 Billion per year in Tithes/Offerings), that they know how to manage their cash flow. 1 person's lump sum is insignificant on the overall tithes (unless the last name is Huntsman or Marriott). Even so, with the church's emphasis on being smart with your money, I doubt this would cause concern.

2) By the way, does anyone know who comprises the church auditing committee? I think I am going to call and find out.

3) On one of the posts, someone mentioned dying prior to paying the 4 months worth of tithing. But just because it is not paid, does that really make one not a full-tithe payer? Let's say that you get paid on Friday (and normally pay tithing the Sunday after the paycheck comes in), but catch the flu and cannot make it church. Instead of mailing it to the Bishop, you simply wait until Sunday to pay? So are you for the week not worthy to enter the temple? I dont think the Lord is an accountant (sorry Rob). Do you think he is really counting to the penny? Does he really care? Isnt it more about where your heart is anyway?

4) I agree - just wait until the money is ready to write the tithing check. Do you really need to past-date it? But then again, do you only receive the blessings after you pay? I dont think so. The next question to this reasoning would be: how long does your tithing check qualify you for blessings? If you only pay 1x per month, are you only good for 2 of the 4 weeks for blessings? Are you covered until the next paycheck comes? This just seems too Pharisaical to me. I lean way too much on the spirit of the law.

5) Do you get more blessings if you pay 15% tithing?

The overall message is this: tithing is a preparatory law. Let's not get caught up in all the nitty gritty. Do your best, and then leave the rest to the Lord. He does not even need your money anway. And in actuality, anyone who has gone through the temple should live the law of consecration. We should be willing to give all, not just 10% (or 5% after Rob's all tax loopholes). Tithing is the lesser law. Why are we splitting hairs on this? Where is your heart - that is what God wants anyway. Is our wealth and money getting in the way? Are we camels trying to go through the eye of the needle?

Tithing Complexities

As I sat in Sunday School last Sunday, a comment was made about General Conference and church meetings how most of them are of the basic and simple church topics like Faith and Repentance. I thought to myself, those are the easy topics? I dont even understand them. There is so much to them and I can always learn more.

Another complex issue is tithing. As a primary child, they say, if you make 10 pennies, you pay 1 to the church and you keep 9. Although simple on the surface, it is a little more complex.

There is the obvious issue of net vs. gross. But if you probe a little deeper, here are some questions.

1) If I participate in my company's 401K matching program, do I need to pay tithing on what my company contributes?
2) Once I am retired, do I need to pay tithing? What if I only live off of what I contributed?
3) What if I own my own company receive many benefits from it: I have a company car, they pay for my computer, gas, trips, vacations, etc? Do I need to pay on their health care coverage? (I recently went to the dentist and the bill was $400, and I only had to pay $67).
4) If I buy a house for $100K and sell it for $200K (obviously not a realistic current example), but do I need to pay tithing on the $100K increase?

There are more, but I will save the agony. That one simple word "annual increase" is actually pretty complex. It is not only cash, property, things, cant it also be considered a cancellation of debt or obligation? If I file for bankruptcy and have $100K in debt relieved, is that an increase?


Math Problem

I just want to let you all know that it is mathematically possible for 5% = 10% when tithing is concerned. Maybe for my GFTH I can share a lesson I learned in a BYU tax class how you can get your net tithing % down to 5% while still paying a full 10% of your gross. Really cool stuff.

Hint: Use the tax laws in your favor, by itemizing your charitable contribution to reduce your tax liability. Additionally, instead of paying your tithing in cash, try donating appeciated art, stock, or property. By doing this, you avoid the taxes (e.g. Long Term Capital Gains tax for Stocks of 15%). You still get the full value as part of you tithing, but save the 15%. And the church wins, because it can sell stock and not have to pay taxes since it is non-profit organization. Have you ever wondered why so many "rich" LDS members donate land to temples and church buildings. Besides their desire to see the church grow, they also avoid the taxes and can pay their tithing this way.

Glad I'm Not a Sinner

I began to agree with this method more than the Captain Qualified the First, when I determined that both of these peeps are attempting to work the system. No worries, because Thomas B. Marsh’s wife, Ananias and Sapphira all figured that the local authorities couldn’t quite grasp their “special circumstances” and nothing bad happened to them as a result of their working the system!

My main problem with this is that it technically is correct, in that the funds have been committed, in the mind of the payer, to the church, but the church is not able to depend upon these funds for budgeting and expenditure purposes.

Let’s examine a case study: Mr. S. Young determines that he will only pay his tithing when his grossly inflated NFL contract of $50 M over 4 years has been completely paid, as opposed to paying tithing on each paycheck he receives. Maria Juana Lopez and her brother Maria Juan Lopez living in Machu Picchu Peru have been paying their tithing faithfully for over 15 years, but unfortunately their tithing over that time period has amounted to $74.33 (US), which hasn’t been enough for those bureaucrats in the Wasatch Front to commit to building a Temple in their region. Obviously Maria Juana and Maria Juan do not have the fundage to travel, and so are at the mercy of Bro. Young’s $5M (US) tithing payment to fund the Urubamba Valley Temple.

Mr Young can assume that as long as he doesn’t die before he gets that tithing check in, they he will be good to go, but I would argue that he had better hope that the Lopez family’s community isn’t decimated by the next animal-named flu, as San Pedro would be a little disappointed in Mr. Young if the Lopez’ weren’t able to complete their temple work in this lifetime.

En fin: paying tithing as it is received is probably the best approach to take.

One final point: I would contend that those who pay their annual tithing in one big lump sum advance, do the church auditors and budget committee a disservice, as the church inflows are inflated for the beginning of the year, causing a discrepancy for the annual expenditures of said funds. The individual thumps his chest and declares that he is justified by the law, while creating additional work for the church auditors (which in turn might cause the auditors to work overtime, increasing their expense and payment of valuable tithing funds as well). Of course, this hinges largely on how the church budget is determined, and if it is examined holistically on the annual, perhaps it’s all a wash anyway.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The "Qualified" Tither Strikes Back

Further ruminations on this topic revealed that apparently the issue is not quite settled.

Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that a brother works and get paid every 2 weeks. He dutifully writes out the check paying his tithes and offerings. He then fills out a white tithing slip and places that along with the check in an envelope kept on the fridge by a ladybug magnet, with a company slogan, "If your plumbing bugs you, call Ladybug Plumbing." (OK, I made up the ladybug magnet part)

Four (4) months later, he seals the aforementioned envelope and brings it to a member of the bishopric to pay his tithing. A bishopric counselor would then, theoretically, open said envelope and count 12 white slips and 12 checks; 8 tithing checks and 4 fast offering checks. There is nothing wrong with that. I don't think there is any difference between doing this, and people that pay their tithes once a quarter or once a year.

So, maybe it's just the fussy obsessive-compulsive in me that is irked by this inefficiency and waste of 11 perfectly good "Tinkerbell" checks and dealing with checks dated 4 months earlier. Here's a tip: why not just write on a slip of paper the amount of tithing "paid" instead of the actual check and place that in the envelope? Then, in 4 months hence, add up the amount and write 1 grand check?

Back in the heady, good old financial days of 2007, a retired friend told me of a recent auto purchase he made. Since he was "paying cash in full" for his Cadillac Escalade, the dealer gave him a deal of 0%-down, 0%-required for the 1st year. So, he took his $65k or however much it cost, put it into a 1-year bank CD, and made money. Pretty slick deal.

Maybe it's the paranoid conspiracy-theorist in me, but I wonder if this theoretical donor may be holding his tithing, earning interest for the 4-months, and then paying the tithing. Granted, this is very small-scale we're talking here. But why else would you hold an envelope of 12 checks for 4-months?

And let's hope you don't die before the 4-months are up! Pretty awkward having to explain to St. Peter, "Well, you see it's right on my fridge. Send an angel-messenger down and tell him to look for a ladybug magnet."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Qualified" Full-Tithe Payer

Here's a fun scenario:

You receive your paycheck Saturday from picking turnips in the field or selling turnip futures in the office, but the bank places a 3-day hold on your funds. Oh, drat, Monday is also closed for the MLK holiday . You *really* want to pay your tithing to the bishop at Church, because ... well ... that's what we do. So, you write your tithing check and give it to the bishop, but you request that he not cash it until after Thursday. Whew, glad to get that off my chest! Those funds would have been burning a hole in my pocket, I mean, of course after the MLK holiday and the 3-day bank hold. But I am a full-tithe payer! I an entitled to *all* of the blessings of the faithful [tithe-payers]!

So the "10%-of-your-increase" question of the day: are you really a full-tithe payer? I contend that you are not a full-tithe payer. Or rather, that you are a "qualified" full-tithe payer. Yes, you meet the letter of the law. But if you are placing restrictions on when the Lord can access said monies, I think you are "qualifying" yourself in the blessings department.

If it's just a technicality, then why don't you keep your own tithing envelope until the funds are available? When I, I mean a friend of mine in a bishopric, asked these people to just keep it themselves, they told me, I mean him, that they didn't want to lose the envelope, or they wanted to make sure they could say they are full-tithe payers, or that they really needed the Lord's blessings this week, or some just stared at him like he was daft or something for even asking that or questioning their obedience.?.

I guess we'll never know in this life. But to be on the safe-side, better be sure not to die before the bank clears the tithing cheque on Thursday. I'm not sure how open for "clarifying explanations" St. Peter is at the Pearly Gates.

Comments, disagreements?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Prop 8 in CA and Prop 102 in AZ

Now, I know this has been in the news a lot lately, but I wanted everyone to maybe put down there thoughts and ideas regarding the marriage amendment.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1) I understand that the church is kind of secretive about supporting the bills. They have their tax exempt status to keep. I am an accountant - I understand the tax laws and what needs to be kept in place for this benefit to remain. The church will do everything necessary to keep that. It saves the church hundreds of millions per year. This is a no brainer. Be smart with the Lord's money.

That being said - I don't understand how members can say or think "How dare the church tell me how to vote or get involved in politics!" I personally think such a statement is ignorant and foolish. Obviously they dont understand the history of the church and gospel. Have they ever read the Old Testament? Have they read Church History? Of course the church should get involved. The gospel is everything to us. It is our lives. Depending on how we live here determines how we will live in eternity. This is the Lord's kingdom. He can tell us whatever he wants. There is nothing that he is exempt from. He knows best. We should put our trust in him, and follow him in everything that he tells us. The phrase everything's politics should be rephrased to everything's spiritual.

2) The church did not donate money to this cause. The sacred tithing funds or fast offering or other funds were NOT used (at least to my knowledge and please correct me if I am wrong.) The church strongly encouraged it's members to support the bill through monetary donations. I dont think that there was any punishment if someone did not support the bill. They could still take the sacrament and go to the temple. This is fine. Members can spend their money how they want. That is their decision. The church should encourage worthy objectives.

3) As sad as it is, I think this will eventually be overturned and it is only a matter of time before homosexual marriages are legal. I think we fought a good fight and should continue to fight, but it is ok where this ends up because the world knows where we stand and we have been a light set up on a hill.

4) We hate the sin but love the sinner. This is hard to do. I have a hard time separating this. I personally think that defining marriage is strictly a political move. It is only for the Government. It will always be wrong to the church. But once the Government accepts it, it will be hard for the church to speak up against it. Right now the church is against immorality. We are against people living together and having sex if they are not married. We can say this and it currently encompases both sides. But once homosexuals are legally able to get married, we need to speak against immorality but also against this marriage union. It just gets messier. There should be no difference in our mind right now that whether 2 men or a man/woman living together is a major sin against the law of Chastity. The sin is the same.

5) As far as I can tell, the main consequence of this is teaching homosexual marriages equal to marriage between a man and woman. Once this is recognized as main stream - we are ripe for destruction - just like Soddom and Gomhorrah.

6) The news is so liberal and biased. The media is horrible. But, I think all this attention is good. Those conservative with traditional values will see the church as a good thing. We need some persecution. The church has been too comfortable for too long. If Satan and wickedness is not fighting hard against us, we are probably doing something wrong anyway.

Any thoughts? Thanks for reading my rantings and ravings.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

I am really sad to see Elder Wirthlin pass on. I think it is good for him since his cousin Gordon B Hinckley passed on a few years ago and so did his life. Although he has kids, I think it would be lonely without his wife. But he sure gave amazing talks! I loved it when he got up to speak because his talks always move me the most. He was the most amazing man, and although I never met him personally, he was my hero. I could listen to him talk forever. You will be dearly missed.

Here is a little biography from Grandpa Bill's General Authority website. I love this website because it has the Bio of every GA in the history of the church.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin was ordained an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 9, 1986. He was sustained and set apart as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 4 April 1975 and served in that capacity until he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1976. He was set apart in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy on August 28,1986, where he was serving when called to be an Apostle in October of 1986.

Elder Wirthlin was born in Salt Lake City to Joseph L. Wirthlin and Madeline Bitner Wirthlin. His father served as the Presiding Bishop of the Church.

Elder Wirthlin graduated from the University of Utah in business administration. He is an Eagle Scout. He was active in athletics in high school and played football at the University of Utah.

Before his call as a General Authority, he was a prominent business leader in Salt Lake City. He was also president of a trade association in Utah.

Elder Wirthlin served a mission in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the late 1930s. He served in stake and ward auxiliary positions, as a counselor in the Bonneville Ward bishopric for seven years, and as bishop of the same ward for nearly 10 years. He was a member of the Bonneville Stake high council and then served as a member of the stake presidency until he was called, on June 27, 1971, to be first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. He served there until April 1975, when he was called as an Assistant to the Twelve.

Elder Wirthlin served as General Authority area supervisor for the Europe Area from July 1975 to April 1978 and executive administrator for the Southeast Area of the United States and the Caribbean Islands from 1978–1982. He then served as the executive administrator for Brazil from 1 July 1982–1984. He was the managing director of the Melchizedek Priesthood Committee, the Relief Society, and the Military Relations Committee from 1978–1984.

From July 1984 to August 1986 Elder Wirthlin served as President of the Europe Area of the Church, directing Church affairs in Continental Europe, the British Isles, Ireland, and Africa. From August 1986 until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he served as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, executive director of the Curriculum Department, and editor of Church magazines. He is presently serving as a member of the Missionary Executive Council, the General Welfare Services Committee, the Church Board of Education and Boards of Trustees, the Leadership Training Committee, and First Contact of the Quorum of the Twelve for the Australia/New Zealand, Asia, Asia North, Pacific, and Philippines Areas.

He married Elisa Young Rogers on May 26, 1941 in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of eight children and forty-six grandchildren.

Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, wife of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away on August 16, 2006, of causes incident to age. Elder Wirthlin commented on his eternal companion in the Saturday afternoon session of October 2006 General Conference “She was my strength and my joy. Because of her, I am a better man, husband, and father. … I owe more to my wife than I can possibly express. I don’t know if there ever was a perfect marriage, but, from my perspective, I think ours was. … As Elisa was my greatest joy, now her passing is my greatest sorrow.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Monday night December 1, 2008, age 91.

Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.

He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday.

Funeral services were held at noon on Friday, December 5, at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Questions about Pre-Earth Life...

How do dinosaurs fit into the picture?
Did they live on the earth?
Did they live after Adam/Eve?
How come the earth is billions of years old but from Adam it is only 6,000 years?
How could Adam/Seth/ other Biblical people live to be 900 years old? Does that make sense?

Well, here is my understanding and postulation. These are only my thoughts.

There was no death before the Fall of Adam because the world and Adam and Eve were in Terrestrial world. Adam has a belly button because HF and HM had him and Eve - they are his literal and physical descendants. Sorry - I don't believe that evolution led to mankind. Also, I believe there are animals in heaven, in a perfect form who had the animals in the Garden.

I think the Garden was in a different place than where our earth is now. It was closer to God/Kolob. The fall is actually just the Garden moving away from God and onto the earth where we are now.

This earth is billions of years old. There was evolution here, wild animals, and yes, even the dinosaurs. But, 6,000 years ago, Adam and Eve came and began inhabiting the world. The rest is history and we know the story.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

This life is about people

I was thinking today about the final judgment, and what it would be like. I have heard people say that you will watch a movie of your life. I personally doubt that. I imagine a gathering, where you stand before Heavenly Father, and people come and talk about you. They say what good or ill things that you did to them.

I think that the whole purpose in this life is about how we interact and treat others. I personally think that is why life is unfair, and why bad things happen to good people. Life is tough. I think that is the test, what are we doing to help alleviate the pains of others. Do we truly love others? Do we care more about their well-being than our own?

I was thinking how difficult it would be to be Heavenly Father. He is perfect. He loves every one of his children. That baffles me as I walk the streets of New York. How do you keep that kind of perspective? This life is about people ... that is the test.

New Thornock Doctrine Blog

I have created a new blog that is the place where we can write down ideas, thoughts, doctrinal questions, political insights, etc.

I hope you all enjoy, and come here often to provide a different perspective and insight into the fascinating topic at the time.