This is my last post. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience writing about religion, principles of the gospel, the scriptures, current events, and sustaining and defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I would like thank Doug Gibson at the Standard Examiner for giving me the opportunity. After 125 posts it’s time to be done. Work and personal projects, along with family and church responsibilities are demanding closer attention. I would also like to thank Jeremy Lott with Real Clear Religion for posting several of my blogs over the past two years.
I have always been amazed that the posts which drew the most comments were ones that talked of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith is heralded as a modern prophet by some and held in contempt by others. But still, the vast majority of people today know nothing about him. His name is had for both good and evil. Loyal members of the Church, historians, and his most vehement critics can at least agree on one thing: He was murdered in cold blood. His assassination is relatively unknown in American history. It is unknown because in large measure it is untold outside of the world of Mormonism. But current political, cultural, and religious winds warrant its attention. Joseph Smith is a prophet and his mortal labors (1805-1844) will prove a blessing in time and eternity.
True religion will establish the correct nature of God, His characteristics, and His attributes. He is a glorified, resurrected, and exalted being. “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another. God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and … God … (were) to make himself visible … if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form — like yourselves in all the person, image, and the very form as a man” (Joseph Smith). Good doctrine. We must start with the first rung of the gospel ladder and patiently climb to further appreciate who God is and what He is all about.
True religion boldly declares that the heavens are open. Personal revelation is to be prized above all the riches of the earth. Institutional revelation occurs through the Lords servants, the prophets and apostles. Local leaders of His Church can receive revelation concerning matters in which they have jurisdiction. There is order in in God’s kingdom. God can minister through visions, dreams, messengers, and most importantly Holy Ghost. The Spirit of Jesus Christ has been given to everyone born into mortality, but not all heed that spirit nor perceive the light. Nevertheless it permeates our existence and gives all a chance to choose light, truth, and goodness rather darkness, falsities, and wickedness.
True religion will always promote dependency upon God and self-reliance. Big government, bureaucratic government, destroys dependency upon God. The current branches of our federal government are failing miserably.
Above all, true religion is “pure religion…undefiled before God… [It] is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep [ourselves] unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Often it is easy to look after the fatherless and offer a hand to the widow, but to keep ourselves unspotted from the world is proving very difficult. We all need the Savior’s help to dismiss and overcome the world.
I appreciate that Salt Lake City Temple icon that designated this blog. The temple represents the House of the Lord and His holiness. Temples built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the best place on earth to learn the higher ways of God and to gain strength to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
“Truth is a knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” In the end, truth will prevail. Everyone can come to know of eternal truths. Our God is good and will extend such knowledge to every honest seeker.