An Analysis of Some of my Top Posts
I find it interesting that my bog still receives a lot of visits from faithful members of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. This pleases me. I watch the key words and phrases that bring people to my blog and many of them are similar to the title of this post, “Wickedness Never Was Happiness,” (see story below) as found in the standard LDS scriptures in Alma 41:10.
Another phase that brings visitors is “Looking Beyond the Mark.” Of course, once they read what commentary I have offered on the subject, they look elsewhere. That’s easily seen in the bounce rate and the amount of time that visitors spend on that particular post – about twenty-nine seconds. Apparently, it takes that long to notice the post is not quite orthodox.
One post I find particularly interesting is “What They Don’t Tell You About Bishopric Meetings.” I get hits on that one a lot on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I believe the majority of those visitors are new Bishop’s Counselors who have been asked to gave a spiritual thought and are being lazy by turning to the Internet. That post is actually a pretty good one.
Orthodoxy is Important in the LDS Church
Long-time readers know my blog took a turn from orthodoxy about 2012 when I started reading the works of Denver Snuffer. However, “Ten Signs of the Second Coming,” from Sept 2012 was taken directly from the Gospel Doctrine manual. I was a substitute teacher fairly often that year. You can trust that post. It is very orthodox. Seriously – straight from the manual, that one.
I think you would also find the 2013 post titled “The Stupor of Thought” to be helpful in seeking a real-world example of how I experienced and learned about that principle for myself in a Stake Council meeting that year. There are dozens of early posts – most prior to 2014, that demonstrate my own growth and efforts to remain true and faithful to orthodox LDS thinking.
On the other hand, “Visions of Glory and the Last Days,” along with “Excommunicated for Priestcraft,” my top two posts of all time, would probably not go over well for discussion in any official LDS-sanctioned meeting or as part of the “Come Follow Me” Program. Stick to the manual. But they are good posts and well worth your time to read. I highly recommend them.
A Fascination With Excommunication
With over 600 posts written over fourteen years, I have always been fascinated by the number related to excommunication that show up in the top 25 list. You can enter the name of just about any LDS writer or teacher who has become popular and put the word “excommunicated” behind their name and find someone has searched that on Google. I get a lot of those hits.
From Denver Snuffer (yes) to Duane Crowther (no) to Max Skousen (yes – twice) to Mike Stroud (also yes), LDS folks seem to be drawn to these kind of posts. Why is that? I suppose it is because church members want to know if they can trust someone to teach them orthodox doctrine. It is a general principle that church members purposefully shun those who have been excommunicated.
My case is a little different. I was not excommunicated, I resigned. I still go to church with Carol each Sunday and feel very welcomed by old friends and in the ward and stake. They ask about me when I am not there. I find fellowship in the local LDS community. I don’t regularly associate with members of the remnant or fellowship movement as it is called by those who accept Denver’s writings.
Wickedness Never Was Happiness
The phrase comes up as Alma is discussing the subject of restoration or resurrection with Corianton. Numerous sermons have been shared over the years using the phrase as the title. In a statement made by the Lord in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant, we have been told, “Even a single soul who stirs up the hearts of others to anger can destroy the peace of all my people.” (T&C 157:19). I would like to put these two ideas together to discus the effects of what you and I write or share with others as we try to be persuasive.
There has been much discussion lately about Systemic Racism, White Privilege and Critical Race Theory. My last two posts addressed some of these points as I reported on and endorsed the #1 best-selling book by Matt Lohmeier, Irresistible Revolution. I also quoted from one of my favorite critics of White Privilege and CRT, Christopher Russo. As an activist, Christopher has been in the news over the last few days with his report of the white male privilege being taught to (forced upon) employees of defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
I think I’ve been clear that Carol and I don’t accept the ideas and “solutions” being touted by proponents of CRT and White Privilege. We make no apologies for being born white, and I specifically make no apologies for being an old white man. I certainly don’t believe I have any undeserved power of privilege just because I was born in California at the tail end of the baby boomers. I’ve had to learn how to work hard, keep myself educated and employable and have suffered my share of setbacks because of the natural order of things.
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
I don’t try to force my ideas or beliefs on anybody. I stay away from the chat groups, discussion groups, Facebook and other places where arguments abound. I’m not a lawyer or a trained apologist so I don’t go about tying to convince anybody they should think one way or another. I desire peace. I seek peace. I practice being a peacemaker and believe wholeheartedly in the promises of the Lord that “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God (or sons of God).” I very much want to be part of God’s family.
Carol and I are somewhat in awe of individuals who have been blessed with gifts of persuasion in the national public discourse and are grateful they have both developed their gifts and stand up for the conservative principles we believe in: Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Christopher Rufo, and yes, even Ann Coulter. However, just because we are influenced by great conservative thinkers, that doesn’t mean we force our views upon others which whom we associate. Some of their ideas can stir people up to anger.
Perhaps the best thing we can do is point out where others can find what we believe are sources of correct critical thinking, then let them decide for themselves if they will take the time to educate themselves or continue to believe what the vast majority of Americans believe because they read or watch nothing but the mainstream news, which is decidedly leftist in their thinking, their agenda, their objectives and their ideology. Way too many have embraced CRT, the “infallibility” of the unproven vaccination and the “mask mania.” We don’t.
None Dare Call it Conspiracy
Marxism has made incredibly stealthy inroads into America in my lifetime. I have watched it with alarm after having been alerted to the danger by good men such as Gary Allen, Ezra Taft Benson and W. Cleon Skousen (The Naked Communist). The words of President Benson are downplayed in the LDS Church today. I am grateful to have been there in 1976 to witness the celebrations and remembrances of the 200th anniversary of the founding of this great nation in 1776. I do NOT believe the history taught in the 1619 project is at all accurate.
Why did I choose the title of this post and associate it with what I have written so far? Because I believe the things that are being taught today about critical race theory and white privilege are evil and wicked, mainly because they deny a belief in and discourage a worship of the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ. This a great land of promise and the promise is that we will prosper in the land according to the heed and diligence we give to the commandments of the Lord as found in the Book of Mormon. You can read more in Denver’s latest post.
I once lost a friendship I cherished because I would not acquiesce to this friend’s point of view and desire for a course of action on a certain matter which, in some parts of this movement, still seems to be an unsettled issue. He has not spoken to me since I declined to be persuaded by his reasoning and logic. I miss my friend. He was and is a gospel scholar. I have never met anybody who knows the scriptures like he does. But I will not argue. If I disagree, I will say so and perhaps point to some supporting resources, but not always.
Walking With The Lord
I am grateful I am not called upon to judge another for their way of thinking, acting or believing. The one great freedom we all have that NOBODY can EVER take away from us is in believing what we choose to believe. There is only one who can ever begin to understand why we believe as we do in certain areas. In fact, He understands perfectly. He has been there right with us as we have passed through our trials and educational processes – life’s experiences – which caused us to make the decisions we have about certain things in life.
He also encourages us to change our thinking when we are wrong. He will help us do so if we ask Him to help us see and understand mistakes we have made in our thinking. He helps us know who we must forgive for influencing us wrongly, including ourselves for when we have made erroneous conclusions about what we have read, heard, learned, thought or believed. He is willing to walk with us each and every day. Some days, I know He is there because I feel like I am walking through an undeserved situation, but I know I am not alone.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have faced something I felt was unfair or unwarranted and heard the voice of the Lord say unto me, “I understand, Tim. What I faced was not fair, but I faced it anyway. You can too.” And I do. And you know what? At the end of the day, I look back and say to myself, “That wasn’t so bad. I didn’t like it as I passed through it, but look at it now. It’s over. Nobody was hurt. We came away in agreement and with a plan. Life is good.” I am grateful for a loving God who means what he says and will prosper us.