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Joel Chandler Harris and Br'er Rabbit cartoon.

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English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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Daily News cover illustrated by Ed Murawinski

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Br'er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby, drawing by E.W....

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Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear from Uncle Remus, His...

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Normally speaking, an election campaign keeps it’s strategy

information to itself so as to prevent the other guys campaign from countering it’s logic; but, isn’t it funny how a campaign memo from President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters (largely the same information as was available from before Iowa‘s caucus) suddenly surfaces that suggests that Mitt Romney would be easy to beat

just as Newt Gingrich is hitting his stride coming out of South Carolina?  Now why would they do that?

The only logical answer is because they are trying to influence the primary voters to pick the other guy;

the guy the Democratic Presidential campaign would rather run against.  Basically they are hoping and praying that we will fall for this sleight of hand.  Don’t fall for it Florida primary voters. Don’t fall for it Republican voters.  It’s a “…please, don’t throw me in the brier patch…” ploy.

Excuse me if I repeat known information for some of my readers, but just in case there are some who haven’t read or heard the tales of Br’er Rabbit, I’ll elaborate just a little.

Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear hated Br’er Rabbit because they had been tricked by him so many times.  They plotted together to find ways of catching Br’er Rabbit, and when they did, they wanted to do away with him in the cruelest manner possible.  When they finally thought they had a chance to catch and kill Br’er rabbit, they argued with each other about what the best method to punish him would be.

Listening to all this argument Br’er Rabbit got an idea. He told Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox in a shaky voice ” You can boil me or bake me, fry me or fricassee me…” and then he pleaded with them, “…but Please, please, please don’t throw me in the briar patch.”  And because Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox thought he meant that for real (he pleaded so convincingly), of course they threw him in the briar patch, because they thought that was the cruelest thing they could do to him.

Br’er Rabbit laughed all the way through to the other side of the briar patch.  “I was born and raised in the briar patch.” he called as he waltzed out the other side.

So in this scenario, Mitt Romney is the stove to bake the rabbit (the rabbit being Pres. Obama) in, that the Br’er Rabbit claims to favor over the alternative of being thrown in the brier patch.

Newt Gingrich is, for all intents and purposes, a briar patch to the Democrats Br’er Rabbit.  He has so much dirt in his background that most

Newt Gingrich

Image by Talk Radio News Service via Flickr

people would rather stay at home than vote for him.  This would definitely play in favor of a win for the Democrats, who will be working hard to mobilize their base to get out their voters as much this time as they did last time.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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English: Al Gore and Newt Gingrich applaud to ...

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I’m sure I’m not the only one following the Republican primary season, or it’s attendant shenanigans.  We’ve only just gotten started but I believe the dirty tricks are well begun.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but South Carolina doesn’t connect people’s party with their registration to vote.  In order to participate in the voting on the Republican contenders, all you had to do was be registered to vote.

So, given that coming into South Carolina, Romney and Gingrich were closer to neck and neck, does anybody else have the feeling that the rather larger than expected margin of win might have something to do with Democratic voters turning up and voting on the candidate that they would Most like their Democratic candidate to run against?

Honestly.  Newt Gingrich has a Huge target painted on him.  Sure he’s a fire in the belly debater, but he’s got to withstand 9 more months of intense Democratic attacks, and he has So many ways of being attacked.  He’s Not a good choice for a Republican candidate; but if you think his winning in South Carolina is a harbinger of his chances against a sitting President, be my guest, and follow right along with the current press craze.  Either way, They’ll love reporting on this race.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

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Moses with the Ten Commandments

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This post a direct result of reading Two other blogger’s posts.  Both of them had something to say that I wanted to respond to, and did in comments, but I would like to expand on those comments here.  Rob Slavens Post was an agnostic’s view of  the Ten commandments , and the other one, was from a link in the post below that, about On Tebow, written by Grant Dawson in Remotely Nowhere.

Rob Slaven was complaining that the Ten Commandments seemed sort of Vain and common sense if not trivial, with the exception of one or two pretty decent ones.  He’s right, if you think of the Ten Commandments as the end all and be all of what God wants and expects of us; however, remember that the Ten Commandments were the Second set of plates that came down the mountain.

The children of Israel were partying pretty hard by the time Moses came down the first time. That  first set, the one that got all smashed up, were the higher law, that Moses and God decided the then current crop of children of Israel weren’t ready for yet, and so they were given the kindergarten version.  The lower law.

The first half of the Lower law lays out things you Should do.  The be good stuff.  The Second half of the Ten Commandments lays out all the Shouldn’ts.  Basically, if you can’t handle doing the good things, then for Heaven’s sake, and your soul’s sake, don’t do these other, bad things.

The Higher law is available, but people still have a hard time with the lower law, so….    Well, if you’re the sort who can handle the lower law, then maybe you’re ready for the higher one.

Remember in Matthew, chapter 22, verses 36 – 40, the pharisees asking Christ what was the Greatest law? And Christ responded, “To Love God with all your heart might, mind, and strength, and the second was like unto it; To love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these hang all the law and the prophets.”

Somewhere in there is the key to the higher law.  If we can do these things successfully…… everything else is covered.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Let Me Help You

The Nature of Repentance

Ford Motor Company facts about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

merry christmas every one

Bearing Witness To a Truth

Mormon Cult – It Ain’t Necessarily So

Dear Ford Motors,
Thank you for your candor in reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It isn’t often I see the decency that you have displayed in your summation of this faith.  You have given me another reason to shop Ford in the future.  If I were a betting person, I’d buy Ford stock about now 🙂  What the heck, it’s a sucker bet.  Buying Ford stock after the publication of this article isn’t a gamble at all.  You’re gonna get some Great business in the coming years from members of this faith.

I wrote this as a comment on another blog published by Alan Osmond (Alan, I hope you don’t mind my re-posting it here – it’s going to show up twice in my Facebook page now, as that is where I saw it first) who posted the following article:

Following is an interesting article written by Ford Motor Company for its employees. It was presented by the ‘Ford Interfaith’ group as a message about the LDS Church .

The Ford Interfaith group promotes unity by sharing information about all faiths and features these types of articles about various religions and faiths.

QUICK FACTS & INTERESTING TIDBITS about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fleeing continued mob attacks 158 years ago, the first Mormon
pioneers desperately started their Westward trek from Illinois in the dead of winter. Of the 70,000 who began this 1300-mile journey, 6,000 were buried along the way, including many children. The following are quick facts and interesting tidbits about this now flourishing church.

OVERVIEW

* Named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”; informal
nicknames are “LDS” or “Mormon” -named after the prophet-historian

* Believes it is the Lord’s restoration of original Christianity as
foretold to occur before Christ’s Second Coming.

* Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in this
life and exaltation in the next.

HISTORY

* In 1820 14-yr-old Joseph Smith told of a vision of God and Christ
foretelling a church restoration.

* Organized in New York in 1830, the church moved to near Cleveland, then near Kansas City, then Illinois .

* Fleeing Illinois , Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City in Utah and over 600 other Western communities.

SALT LAKE CITY

* Temple Square in Salt Lake has over 5 million annual visitors, more
than the Grand Canyon .

* The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the world’s most famous choir and has the world’s oldest radio program.

* The Salt Lake Temple is the most famous, but there are 128 other
temples built here and around the world while
others are under construction.

* Home of the world’s largest genealogy database; visit it online or
through 3,700 free branch libraries.

ACTIVE CONGREGATIONS

* Sunday services entail a three-hour block of three meetings; about
27,000 congregations exist worldwide.

* Highly vibrant programs exist for youth, children, singles, men, and women; very strong family focus.

* Everyone has a calling; some surveys show LDS have the highest U.S. attendance and service rates.

* Families receive personal fellowship visits at home from other members on a monthly basis.

FINANCES

* Members tithe 10 percent, plus donate generously to the needy the first Sunday of each month.

* Clergy and all other congregational positions are unpaid (however, much of the janitorial is paid).

* The church has no debt; all buildings are paid for in cash (average of two new congregations a day).

* The paid positions in Salt Lake are famously low-salaried; funds are frugally used and tightly audited.

HEALTH CODE

* With a health code from 1833, LDS avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegal
drugs, coffee, and tea (herbal tea is ok).

* This 1833 code also teaches grains (especially wheat), fresh fruits and vegetables, and sparing use of meat.

* A UCLA study showed that active LDS live longer than most Americans, men by 11 years, women by 8.

* Utah is 50th in smoking, alcohol consumption, drunk driving, heart disease, cancer, and sick days.

EDUCATION

* With four colleges, Utah ‘s BYU with 30,000 students is the largest
single-campus private college.

* BYU Independent Study with 130,000 students is North America (340 web courses, 530 via mail).

* Seminary, a daily class usually held around 6:00 A.M., serves 376,000 high school students.

* There are Institutes of Religion at 1,950 colleges worldwide that serve 367,000 college students.

* The church operates schools in parts of the Pacific Ocean and Mexico for 10,000 students.

* Utah is 50th in spending per pupil, but first in adults that graduated from high school and attended college.

WOMEN

* In 1842 the “Relief Society” was organized; it’s the largest women’s
organization in the world.

* Wyoming was first to allow women to vote; Utah was second, two months later, in 1870.

* Women preach from the pulpit and serve as organization presidents, teachers, committee chairs, etc.

SHARING CHRIST’S GOOD NEWS

* 61,000 missionaries serve in 165 countries; 93 percent are college-age; 22 percent are female.

* Unpaid and paying their own way, most work 65 hours a week for two years, often in a new language.

MEMBERSHIP DISTRIBUTION

* LDS are 70 percent of Utah, 30 percent of Idaho; after Catholics, LDS are the largest sect in 10 states.

* The church has 5.5 million members in the U.S., making it the fourth largest individual U.S. denomination.

* Some memberships: New Zealand 95k, Japan 115k, UK 175k, Philippines 500k, Brazil 900k, Mexico 925k.

* Worldwide 51 percent are female; about 55 percent are not Caucasian; about 70 percent are converts.

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

* For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwide joined the LDS church.

* Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth is
highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.

* Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50 years.

* In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; so far growth has been faster.

* As this growth has been steady, it will be the next major world religion since Islam.”

CHARITY/SERVICE

* Members in need obtain welfare from the LDS Church (thus Utah
government welfare spending is very low).

* LDS donate time at 220 welfare storehouses or canneries and about 400 farms.

* There are 210 employment centers placing over 175,000 people annually, and 64 family service centers.

* The church operates 46 thrift stores, in part to provide employment for the disadvantaged.

* The 61,000 missionaries spend half a day each week doing

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

* Over 200 million pounds of food, clothing, and medicine were donated in the last 20 years in 147 countries.

* Almost all of this help is to non-LDS; LDS charities also work with and donate to many non-LDS charities.

* Very rapid disaster relief has been given in 144 major disasters since 1986.

* Almost 3,000 welfare “missionaries” work without pay in 55 countries (farm instructors, doctors, teachers, etc…).

* LDS charities fund a wide variety of projects like drilling water wells or funding small business startup loans.

* New in 2001, members in poor areas can get low-rate college loans;
10,000 loans have been made to date.

GRAB BAG

* Utah is first in: charitable giving, producing scientists, household computers, children with two parents, and birth rate.

* Noted LDS included five senators, and other famous dignitaries
(click on link)
the Osmonds, Gladys Knight, Steve
Young, and the inventor of TV -Philo T. Farnsworth.

* LDS played a key role in the 2002 Winter Olympics; the chair was the former governor of Massachusetts .

* Hawaii ‘s #1 tourist site is the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center ( Tonga and the Samoas are one-third LDS).

* LDS have sponsored Boy Scout troops since 1913; 23 percent of all Scout troops are LDS.

* The BYU Women’s Cross Country were national champions or in second place each of the last seven years.

DETROIT AREA

* The Detroit metro area has 30 congregations; the Dearborn chapel is on Rotunda by Ford’s Building #5.

* Detroit has a temple, storehouse, cannery, employment and family
service office, and family history libraries.

* LDS include former Governor Romney, three former Lions quarterbacks,
and hundreds of Ford employees.

A member of Ford’s Interfaith Network,
the author of this note sends out monthly interfaith notes to thousands of Ford employees who have asked to receive them.

Watching the debates was, as always, educational.  Each of the candidates has been tested in this kind of forum before.  Each of them were prepared for most of the questions, and each of them had their shiny moments.  As always, each of them also revealed their weaknesses.

All candidates have weaknesses.  Most candidates who have made it this far, have strengths.  Our job is to decide which of them has:

1)  the best ideas, or the most feasible ideas, to aid our country in surviving and growing,

2) the most likely to succeed in getting those ideas to work,

3) can carry enough votes to win the race.

It’s a tough choice.

Given that I don’t think the current occupant of the position is, or has been doing a good job, he is not on my radar for getting voted for.  That leaves looking at the other runners in the field.  There have been quite a few to choose from.  Many of them have really good ideas.  Some of them have some hare brained schemes that sound catchy, but in reality would hurt more people than it would help.  Some of them are dead right about a number of things, but the feasibility of some of their solutions is impossible.

Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to choose one that says everything that you want to hear, and/or whose ideas would work if elected. So choosing is based on best possible scenario.

For me, that best possible scenario would be a match with Mitt Romney running for President and Ron Paul as Vice President.

Between them, there could be some real, effective change in Washington.   And that’s a ticket worth a 10K bet.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is a blog an appropriate place to express ones religious beliefs?  If not here, than where would be more appropriate?

I’ll not burden my reader with any expectations of agreement.  I’m not so insecure that I need your affirmation of my beliefs to shore them up.  I believe because I feel it in my heart, because I have seen His hand at work in my life, not always pleasantly.
I tell you these things that you may know where I stand.; where my faith is, where my heart is, and in what direction my efforts lie.  I struggle here with the inexactness of my ability to communicate to you what I believe.  Or of the inability to convey the scope of this belief.  Or the utterly inconceivable scale of what  I believe God is.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am not a member simply because my parents were.  I have had more than enough time and experience, both in and out of The Church, to have opportunity to question and explore on my own.  My experiences with faith, and doubt, and re-newed faith are my own.  My questions were my own, but the answers I finally learned to accept were always there.  God loves me, and is aware of me, and cares about what happens to me.  He cares enough to chastise me, betimes sharply when it’s needed, but like the loving God He is,  shows forth more love again after, lest I esteem him my enemy.

God doesn’t just love me, He loves all his children alike, but not all his children are listening, or recognizing His hand in their lives.  Some, like I did, believe they are not worth enough for an all wise God to take notice of them.  They don’t give Him enough credit for His abilities, His love, or His reach.  Because the concept of a God so powerful bothering to take notice of any of us, who are so Not good, or powerful, or pure, or  whatever, is so foreign to our understanding, we fail to give Him credit, and we turn away from what He has to offer us.

He loves and has loved all His children throughout history, so much so that he has visited all of them, throughout all the isles of the seas; and left with each peoples instructions on how they should live with  and treat each other.  As he stated to His apostles in Jerusalem , John 10:16 And other sheep I have, not of this fold: Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  One of these accounts of his instructions is contained within the Book of Mormon which is an excerpt of a history of a people spanning a thousand years and more.

I can’t convey to you properly how well this book explains the Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Nor how clearly it explains gospel truths.  I can tell you that I find in it’s pages such a profound oneness with the Bible, that I cannot even imaging one without the other.  They are a complimentary set.  Beautiful truths contained within each one, and tragedies recounted in each, all proclaiming the sameness of God, and His certain  and unchangeable promises.

What I believe is that God and His Divine son,  Jesus Christ, have worked out a plan so complete, so intricately woven through our lives, so all encompassing, that we could not begin to fathom it all; but every once in a while, a few of the details concerning our own place in it are revealed to us, if we ask in faith.  Just enough for us to know we matter to Him, insignificant though we may seem to ourselves. and yet he notices us.  This knowledge is breathtakingly humbling.  Such joy as can be had among people will be had when it is understood how much He loves us.  We have only to turn to Him, to`a ask in faith, believing that He will answer, and listen with all our heart.  When we are willing to follow his example,; When we understand that willing and happy service to our fellow men and women is the only way to follow in his footsteps, when we fianlly understand that working for the welfare of others Is working for ourselves, and we do it because we love them, and want their joy and happiness as much as we want our own, this then is the way, the truth and the light that Christ taught.  To love God with all our heart, might, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Mine is not the only testimony of the truth of this gospel.  There are Other testimonies from many places, and many voices, all understanding that the Book Of Mormon is a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ, and a clear set of instructions to assist in filling in the gaps of knowledge not contained any more within the pages of the Bible.  A book such as this could only have been preserved and brought forth again through the gift and power of an unchanging God, and the raising up again of a Prophet in the latter days, like unto old times.  That there are doubters…. that is like unto old times too.  That there is confusion,  likewise.  Where truth lies there also lies Satan, that deciever, waiting to trip you up, so that you cannot tell the truth from the lie; therefore, you will be needing a personal revelation from God, to affirm the truth  of His holy word, wherever it is found.  Fear not that you are not worthy of His telling you of it.  His word is worthy enough.  His desire that the truth should be made known, that the accomplishments of His son should be accepted and proclaimed throughout the world.  This is enough reason alone for Him to reveal the truth of any of His works unto even such as yourself.  That you should know the truth of a thing, and the truth shall set you free.  Free to embrace the gospel in all it’s enlightened latter day sentiment.  Free to believe His son died for your sins, that if you are willing to follow Him, and take His name upon you, that you might havehis spirit to be with you in this life, and everlasting and eternal life with Him hereafter.

And now I sound like a fanatic, but it is not so. I am just another human like yourself.  I am not perfect, far from it.  I have need daily of repentance, fighting against my nature which is indeed an enemy to God.  I am entirely too likely to want to sit and be comfortable when I should be doing something else.  Too immersed in my everyday world to take note of things that need attending to. Too caught up in my own fantasy of what I want the world to be to make room for other view points.  Too idealistic to understand that what I consider an ideal may not be the best way to handle something.  Too human to understand that not all things come in a time and a place of my choosing, but rather that of God’s choosing, for He has understanding of all things that have an impact on our lives.

I have had enough time here in this world to finally see that what I think I understand is only shadows of what is, and what I think I know is only one facet of the whole.  As was mentioned in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

I will wait and trust in the Lord, that all things in the end will be revealed, and I will understand and know finally, what I do not understand and know now.

My brothers and sisters, for you are all my brothers and sisters, I tell you these things, my feelings, and my knowledge; such that it is, in all honesty, in the name of the only begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ, Amen.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Once again I find that irrational hatred gets top billing.  Well, I hope that it doesn’t stay that way.  Christopher Hitchens posted a piece pretending to be an expert on Mormons and their cultish ways. All he really managed to do was to prove himself to be ridiculous.

Point one of his ridiculous rant was that the church’s supreme leader was the President/Prophet.  Wrong.  The Leader of The Church is now and has always been Jesus Christ; hence the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Point two of the tirade was that members could be ordered to shun someone.   Ahem…  not so.  We are not ordered by anyone.  The choice for Free agency (free will) is the paramount feature of being here in this world.  We might be asked not to pay any attention to the sad ravings of an obviously frustrated and unhappy individual, but nobody is ordered to shun anyone.  In fact, there will be efforts to address the unhappy persons needs as long as that person is willing to tolerate the visits from members.  As soon as a person tells his visitors that he or she does Not want any more visits, the members will stop bothering him or her.

As for underwear, whose business is it what underwear anyone wears but the wearer?  Frankly, Christopher sounds a little jealous there.  Does he wish that he could wear the distinctive underwear too?   I’m sure there’s some underwear out there somewhere that is special enough for him to enjoy wearing instead.

Point four seemed to suggest that members of the church are somehow superhuman in their adherence to moral and health codes.  Would that it were actually so.  Any adherence to moral or healthy food restrictions is strictly done by personal will power.  Abstinence from any practice is a personal choice, not a built-in feature.  Temptations are every bit as hard for any member of the church to resist as it is for the average Jill or Joe.  Repentance is a very real and welcome feature in the gospel.

Point five claimed that there was some word  (not indicated from where) that said leaving the church was harder than joining it.  Well, I haven’t found either one to be difficult.  I have been both in and out of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) and back in again.  I had the privilege of being raised inside the church where I was reminded frequently that I was a worthwhile individual, and that God cared about what happened to me.

When I made the mistake of believing that just because the Doctrine was excellent, that meant that the people were supposed to always do what I expected them to do, I walked away from the church for a while, looking for a more perfect group of people to associate with.  In five years of looking, I did not find a more perfect group of people.  The doctrines I encountered outside the church were sadly, much less perfect.  Eventually I went back to the church and was welcomed with open arms.

Point six had to do with Tithing.  Tithing is one tenth of your yearly increase.  It’s a flat tax that works, but it’s voluntary, and private.  There is no passing the plate around for anyone to see you make a contribution of any kind.  Any other monies you wish to donate for various causes is also voluntary.  In the case of those with more than enough, a Bishop may ask if you would be willing to assist a little more in something that needs more assistance, but it’s never an amount that the giver can’t afford to give even if it might be difficult. Sacrifice sanctifies the individual who makes it.  And again, it’s voluntary.

Point seven:  Hmmm….  how to answer such rubbish.  It would be more dignified Not to answer it, but this person has a rather large platform to spread his hatred with, so I’ll make the effort anyway.  Christopher claims to Know that Joseph Smith was a fraud and a conjurer.  He bases this on someone else’s book, another hater who also did not live in the same place, or time as Joseph Smith, Jr., and whose information all came from others who also hated.   I’d like to point out that a complaint against someone does not mean that an actual misdeed was performed by the person the complaint was made against.  Just because someone did not get what they wanted from Joseph, does not mean that he was a fraud or a conjurer.

As to whether you believe or not, in what Joseph presented, that is entirely between you and God.  Read the material, and then ask God what it is.  Being afraid of reading a book is just silly.  Do you not have a mind of your own?  Does not your brain function properly?  Or your heart?  To believe that reading false material and then praying to a loving God about it, that you would get an answer that will lead you astray…..  What kind of loving God would do that?  If it’s false would he not tell you that it was false?  If it’s true, would he not tell you that it was true?   That  is if you believe in a God at all.  If not, then this is not for you.

Point eight……  Where he got the idea that Joseph Smith, Jr. ever had any knowledge of the Islam, let alone the Koran is mystifying to me.  He never had any contact with that religion.  Joseph Smith never said anything of the kind.  Utter trash.   Joseph Smith and the church helped found several small cities before he was murdered. One in Ohio, several in Missouri, and one in Illinois.  They were thriving communities, very orderly and clean.  The fact that the church held together after his death should speak to anyone that there is something more to it than just the schemes of a conman.

The Church did not believe in slavery and Joseph Smith actually ran for President at one point in order to present his platform which detailed a method for reimbursing the slave owners by giving them portions of the Louisiana purchase in exchange for freeing their slaves.  The fact that the church did not hold with slavery was the real reason behind the persecution that drove them out of Missouri.  Many powerful people in Missouri wanted the territory to come in as a slave holding state, and the votes of the Mormons were seen as a possible block to that desire, especially as they were bringing in new members from England who were also against slavery.

After the church was driven out of Missouri and the powerful interests succeeded in getting Missouri brought in as a slave state under the Missouri compromise. The same interests tried the same tactics in Kansas, against those who were not members of the church.  The massacre of all the men and boys in Lawrence, Kansas rallied the rest of the territory of Kansas and it came in finally as a free state.

The rest of Christopher’s rant is equally ridiculous in it’s assertions.  Members of the church don’t pray dead people in.  Some of them do baptisms for the dead, as was done in the ancient church.  Reference the King James Bible, 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?   Why are they then baptized for the dead?

Even in the world of the dead, those who have passed on still have their free agency.  They choose whether they wish to accept the baptism or not.  It is a physical ordinance, therefore it has to be done in the physical world, though by proxy.   The baptisms and other ordinances such as marriages, are performed by proxy in order to link family members together from this side through to the other side.  The church teaches that family is the most important structure we can aspire to.  No other success can compensate for failure in the home.  If, as some believe, that none of that is possible,that no one rises after they die, that there is nothing for us after we are dead, then  what harm does it do if someone wants to indulge in the fantasy?  At least the church is very helpful in assisting anyone who wants it with their family genealogy.

If Christopher Hitchens or anyone else does not wish to be a part of any of it, he or they will get their wish.

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