The Truth that is Pain

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Recently I had a death in family. As with any death, it can be heart wrenching. With tears in my eyes, I cuddled my kids, and we encircled this family member as they passed on, I had to step back and remember simpler times. The times when I was a Mormon. 

It has been some time since I left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I miss knowing without a doubt where I came from and where I was going. I had to stay silent as my wife explained to my kids how this family member wasn’t in pain any longer, and how they were enjoying the afterlife with other relatives that had already passed on.
Sometimes I wish the church was still true.

A Miracle in the Temple

Salt Lake Temple

The first time I went through the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) temple endowment ceremony, it was an amazing experience. In fact it was a miracle! I didn’t understand everything that went on or the covenants I had made, but as I approached the veil, an older gentlemen knocked three times, and said “Adam, having been true and faithful in all things, desires further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil.” I immediately started crying. I felt the spirit, and I knew my Dad was there with me. You see, my Father had died a few years earlier and I missed him very much. I knew the temple was the closest place I could be to my Dad. I had heard stories of people being visited by dead relatives in the temple, but I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.

The temple worker had called me “Adam”. Nobody ever called me Adam… except for my Dad. My brother’s name is Adam, and for some reason my Dad always accidently called me by my brother’s name. It happened all the time, including other important milestones in my life. Strangely, my Dad never did this with anyone else, and never called my brother by my name. It became a family joke that I was “Adam”.

While at the veil, they called me Adam a couple more times, and I knew that I wasn’t just hearing things. This was my Dad’s way of letting me know that he was there with me, as I passed through the veil.  I knew without a doubt that the church was true, and from that point forward I could never deny it. This little miracle was the only proof I needed.

Some time later, I went through the endowment for a second time. I was excited to learn more and hopefully understand its teaching better. After it was over, I approached the veil, and again they called me Adam. I was shocked! This couldn’t possibly happen again? So I listened to the patrons next to me. They called everyone Adam!?!? How could this be? My heart sank, as I realized my little miracle was just a figment of my imagination. I had based a portion of my testimony on the special feelings I had during that first temple experience, but I learned the truth. My special experience wasn’t that special after all. 

I never told Adam about my experience.

Many years later, I sat my brother down to tell him that I was leaving the Church. As any good brother would, he bore his testimony about the gospel. He also shared his most faith promoting miracle with me. After Adam & his wife were sealed in the temple, they were at their wedding reception. Our great aunt pulled Adam aside, and with tearful eyes, she told him that she had felt my Dad sitting next to her during the sealing. My brother accepted this as fact. My Dad was alive and well in the spirit world, and had been in the temple on that special day.

I couldn’t help but think back to my own little temple miracle, and the sadness I felt when I realized it didn’t actually happen.

So my question to you is… What is your temple miracle? Was it real?

Ray Dawn

Post Your Testimony Day! #faithbook

You have been invited to share your testimony! Your personal testimony can change someones life. Anything from a one-liner to a whole novel or even share a post. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #faithbook. Please invite 10 others to this event and share this with everyone!

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/735515823138846/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

The Book of Mormon is the Anti-Masonic Bible

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The Book of Mormon scribe and financier Martin Harris fought against what he saw as the evils of freemasonry. In October of 1827 Martin was elected to the anti-mason committee in Palmyra, New York. [1] There is no doubt that as He read the pages of the Book of Mormon, he found many similarities to his fight against freemasonry. The Book of Mormon is filled with stories of the Gadianton robbers, their secret combinations, and God’s condemnation of their actions. In 1831 As one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon,  Martin Harris even declared that the Book of Mormon was the “anti-masonic Bible.” [2]

 

According to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Secret combinations are an “organization of people bound together by oaths to carry out the evil purposes of the group”. [3]

The following are a few examples of the Book of Mormon’s teachings about secret combinations.

The father of lies… stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. 2 Nephi 9:9 [4]

I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness 2 Ne. 10:15 [5]

Judgments of God did come upon these workers of secret combinations: Alma 37:30; [6]

Gadianton did prove almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi with their secret plan and combination: Hel. 2:4–13 [7]

Satan put it into the hearts of the people to form secret oaths and covenants: Hel. 6:21–31 [8]

The Lord worketh not in secret combinations… but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man : Ether 8:19 [9]

Nations that uphold secret combinations shall be destroyed: Ether 8:22–23 [10]

They did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society:Ether 11:22 [11]

So what is Freemasonry and how does it does it relate to the stories of secret combinations in the Book of Mormon? Much like the Gadianton robbers, Freemasons are a secret organization. As a Mason you learn secret handshakes, passwords, oaths, and are sworn under penalty of death not to reveal the secrets of freemasonry. Because of the secrecy around freemasonry, there is much speculation from outsiders that there are dark purposes behind the organization.

As a 21st century reader of the Book of Mormon the term “Secret Combinations” may seem a bit foreign. However in 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published, this term was much more common. In fact the term “secret combinations” was commonly used in reference to the Freemasons.

The are many anti-masonic publications of the time that reference secret combinations. Here is just a small sampling from around 1830.

The Anti-masonic Review and Magazine, Volumes 1-2, 1828 New York [13]

antimasonic review

The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1830 Philadelphia [14]

convention 1

The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1831 Baltimore [15]

convention 2

 

As a modern day Apostle, M. Russard Ballard explained the Book of Mormon teachings about the of the dangers of Secret Combinations [16]

The Book of Mormon teaches that secret combinations engaged in crime present a serious challenge, not just to individuals and families but to entire civilizations. Among today’s secret combinations are gangs, drug cartels, and organized crime families. The secret combinations of our day function much like the Gadianton robbers of the Book of Mormon times. They have secret signs and code words. They participate in secret rites and initiation ceremonies. Among their purposes are to “murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God.”

If we are not careful, today’s secret combinations can obtain power and influence just as quickly and just as completely as they did in Book of Mormon times. Do you remember the pattern? The secret combinations began among the “more wicked part” of society, but eventually “seduced the more part of the righteous” until the whole society was polluted.

The Book of Mormon teaches that the devil is the “author of all sin” and the founder of these secret combinations. He uses secret combinations, including gangs, “from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.” His purpose is to destroy individuals, families, communities, and nations. To a degree, he was successful during Book of Mormon times. And he is having far too much success today. That’s why it is so important for us as priesthood holders to take a firm stand for truth and right by doing what we can to help keep our communities safe.

It is clear that Book of Mormon teaches against the wickedness of secret combinations. Martin Harris thought this evil was found in the lodges of freemasonry. And as we have seen from anti-masonic publications of his time, the secret combinations of freemasonry was a common concern.

 Ray Dawn

References

  1. The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 http://books.google.com/books?id=eyvftt-1F_kC&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=Martin+Harris+anti-masonic+commity&source=bl&ots=GIdQXhnRZB&sig=3R9lw3nbhipRxVOv4BTt0rnqpkw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TrIKU82JCI61kQeP6oAg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Martin%20Harris%20anti-masonic%20commity&f=false
  2. Geauga Gazette 3 (15 March 1831), Painesville, Oh – Via: Martin Harris: The Kirtland Years, 1831-1870 H. Michael Marquardt http://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V35N03_9.pdf
  3. The Guide to the Scriptures: Secret Combinations http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/secret-combinations
  4. 2 Ne. 9:9; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/9.9?lang=eng#8
  5. 2 Ne. 10:15; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/10.15?lang=eng#14
  6. Alma 37:30; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/37.30?lang=eng#29
  7. Hel. 2:4–13; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/2.4-13?lang=eng#3
  8. Hel. 6:21–31; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/6.21-31?lang=eng#20
  9. Ether 8:19; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/8.19?lang=eng#18
  10. Ether 8:22–23; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/8.22-23?lang=eng#21
  11. Ether 11:22; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/11.22?lang=eng#21
  12. American Masonick Record; http://books.google.com/books?id=EGwgAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA57&dq=masonic+%22secret+combinations%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BdgIU7uPHYTtkQfk-oGoCA&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=masonic%20%22secret%20combinations%22&f=false
  13. The Anti-masonic Review and Magazine http://books.google.com/books?id=bOs-AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
  14. The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1830 Philadelphia http://books.google.com/books?id=CYFJAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
  15. The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1831 Baltimore http://books.google.com/books?id=SvAxAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
  16. Standing for Truth and Right http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/10/standing-for-truth-and-right?lang=eng#4-

“Is creation a viable model of origins?” – Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

“Is creation a viable model of origins?” Creation Museum Founder and AiG President/CEO Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye at the Creation Museum on Tuesday, February 4, at 7 PM EST. Bill Nye is the former host of the popular Bill Nye the Science Guy TV program for children, current Executive Director of the Planetary Society, and frequent pro-evolution guest on TV interview programs.

Watch on
http://debatelive.org/

Or directly on YouTube