Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday Musing 32: Inconvenient Truth

     Remember the book The Inconvenient  Truth by Al Gore, the full title of which reads An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It ?  The title occasionally pops into my head when I ponder the state of the world today, particularly society in the United States.  And I'm not thinking about global warming.
     One might say I'm thinking about other kinds of warming, such as discontent and anger.  The daily news is full of headlines and stories that involve offenses and contention.  I'm particularly disturbed by the seeming increase of group voices that seem to shout their offenses to the world.  It's becoming "the thing to do".  Our society, in it's desire to not offend and be fair, immediately (with help from the  media) looks for ways to appease the voices.  Unfortunately there often isn't firm moral ground from which to make decisions, and the very principles which could save us are labeled as offending.  I hate to contemplate how big this landslide of offenses and perceived inequality is getting and what will be destroyed in it's path.  Meanwhile the voices declare, "There is no landslide; we're just being authentic--true to ourselves! "   Uh,  wait a minute...duh!!  This is crazy (on a side note....I hate what has happened to the word authentic...I don't get it and I don't want to).
     The real inconvenient truth is not global warming; it's something much bigger.  It's the identity of the actual Creator of the earth, God,  and our relationship to Him. We are children of God, and God's  desire for us is to be happy.  What brings happiness?  Happiness is a state of being in which we follow God's counsel and directives for such; it results from following His counsel, His commandments.  It leads to accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ and trying our best to become Christlike in our behavior.  We grow and progress, which involves  giving up our sins (repenting), and experiencing increasing joy and happiness as we are accepting of the Atonement of Christ.  And yes, the way to happiness is perceived as very inconvenient by the sinner.  It's not easy to repent, but healing and joy come.
     I've been reading and studying the Book of Mormon. I'm on the third or fourth trip through it since almost 2 years ago.  Each time I have read it with a different purpose.  I have read and believed the Book of Mormon since I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but more and more I realize that I did not embrace it. 
     I'm on the path to do so, and I'm having an amazing experience.  Each time I read and study I become more grounded in my testimony that it is indeed Scripture. It complements the Bible.  It sheds light on the Bible.  And a bonus--it's much shorter and easier to read than the Bible!  I'm more and more convinced that anyone who believes otherwise has either a closed mind or hasn't read and  really studied the Book of Mormon (a plug here to undertake to really know the book).
     The Book of Mormon is full of counsel for our day.  The foremost message is to "Come unto Christ", but there is also much information about how to govern wisely, what dangers societies face, and how societies either progress or deteriorate until they are destroyed.  There are warnings about pride and the dangers associated with it.  There are beautiful stories about people from various walks of life who come to Christ, are converted, change their lives, and help change others, even societies, with the help of the Lord. There is an account of Christ's visit to America, and verses of Scripture that intimate He visited other peoples in addition to the Jews and the people of the Book of Mormon.
     The Book of Mormon is ignored and mocked by many people; unfortunately it's part of the Lord's Inconvenient Truth.  I'm working to embrace this book; I feel over and over again that it is a key to understanding what the Lord expects of us in this day of discontent and unhappiness.  It's a light to guide us. 
   
      

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Marriage

     I have lived through two horrible attacks on American soil.  The first was the terrorist attack on 9-11.  I remember how I felt, some of which is recorded in my blog entry dated Oct. 20, 2009, My Deeply Rooted Tree, http://musiolarose.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html  (scroll down).
     The second attack was not physical.  It was an attack on our Constitution, quietly delivered by five Supreme Court judges a few days ago, June 26, 2015.  It was preceded by years of unrelenting blows on morality, family and God.  Most were delivered by fellow Americans.  This was an inside job, and very well-executed.
     In the few days following this event much has been written about the Court's decision and possible consequences.  These include changes in what is taught in public schools, governmental involvement in redefining morality, increased confusion about gender and sexual orientation, loss of religious freedom (which is the freedom to not just worship, but to exercise beliefs), court cases involving unthinkable relationships and how to deal with them, and the breakdown of families at an accelerated rate. A good article discussing possible results of the Court's ruling are here  http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/26/15-reasons-marriage-equality-is-about-neither-marriage-nor-equality/
     We Americans  let this happen. We elected people who support this.  Many of us either discarded God, ignored Him, changed who He is, conveniently forgot or rewrote the commandments so we could justify our behavior, or put material security ahead of God.  We forgot how and why  this country was founded, or apparently decided we didn't like it anymore.  Perhaps we decided we know better and that the Constitution was never intended for today's society.  Now  we have reaped this Court decision.  I fear we will get what is coming to us. This is a debilitating blow (and I believe it was knowingly delivered).  We need to wake up and remember what life is really about, and the grand principles this country was founded on.  If we don't, we will lose more liberties.
     Some believe the court's decision was about love.  That is theology speaking, not the Constitution (if nothing else, at least take the time to read the Constitution).  The talk about love is to help us sympathize with the court's decision.  It's there to blind us to what is really going on.  As far as I'm concerned, those judges might as well have spit on the Constitution.
     As a parent, I want what's best for my children because I love them.  If I don't know what that is, I take upon myself the responsibility to find answers. If we want to save our families, we must take moral responsibility and teach them correct principles. We must then model them for our children.
      Churches are part of the network for finding answers to moral questions. They can strengthen individuals by teaching them on a weekly basis and providing a support organization so members can go home  and live according to what they have been taught.  Regular church attendance is a sacrifice that brings great rewards.
     I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It has been a great strength to me at this time.  I have included here a link to a document written by LDS church leaders which is called Family: A Proclamation to the World.  I believe it to be truth.   https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng
      The Court' decision this week will most likely bring clashes between the marriage ruling and religious freedom.  We must maintain religious freedom. That is a core founding principle of the United States.  Without it, we are lost.
     I deeply love my country.  In the aftermath of June 26 I have again felt my roots, and they are still very, very deep. I have discovered that I am a patriot, and that fills me with excitement, hope and joy!  I know without any doubt that what I feel is good and right.  I know it. I plan to do what I can to support religious freedom and live a Christlike life; I will press forward. I hope there will be many others who do so!
     
    

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Musings 31

    
     Many years ago I attended a summer geology field camp course offered by Stephens College, Columbia, MO.  I had just graduated from Stephens with a 2 year degree and was waiting to transfer to Brigham Young University in the fall.
     During my second year at school I had  changed my major from music to science, and I was contemplating a 4 year degree in geology.  I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March of that year, hence the upcoming transfer to BYU.
     In the seventies Stephens was a small girls school from which most students obtained an Associates degree. Some married; others transferred elsewhere to get a Bachelors degree.
     My class was held at the Stephens summer camp in Steamboat Springs, CO.  I had never been west before, and I fell in love with Steamboat and the mountains.   It was so beautiful, expansive and free.  I also enjoyed my coursework.  We attended classes in our rustic building and took trips to see and explore other areas with great geological formations.  Most of these were parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park and the Tetons.  I loved the trips, which usually included some kind of hiking.
     The experience was challenging to me emotionally.  I was a new member of the LDS church, and the only member in my group.  A local family befriended me and made sure I got to my church meetings, but nevertheless, life was sometimes challenging.  I was sometimes lonely and depressed.
     One of our trips was to a small extinct volcano in Colorado.  There was no place nearby to camp, so we slept in sleeping bags on the floor of a local young family's home (we were a small group of 10-12 people).  It was uncomfortable, and I remember not being very happy.
     The second day the owner loaded us up in the back of his truck and drove us to the base of the volcano to go exploring.  As we got close to the truck, to leave or as we got off--I don't remember which-- one of the owner's little boys, age 4, came up to me and handed me a bouquet of flowers he had just picked.  I have no idea why he did this; I had not spoken to him.  He didn't give anyone else any flowers--just me.  I was quite touched.  I remember how special this made me feel, and that it was comforting. I have remembered this incident all the years since then.
     Something jogged my memory about it this morning, and I'm reminded of what is referred to as tender mercies of the Lord.  That little bouquet was one of them.  I think of these as little, very personal events in our lives that remind us that God knows, loves, and is aware of each of us always.   Here is a link to some info about tender mercies.  Enjoy the hunt!
http://ldsliving.com/story/75777-fhe-recognizing-the-lords-tender-mercies.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Integrity

     “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” , Albert Einstein



     While studying Scriptures and reading news about potential 2016 presidential candidates, I began to ponder the meaning of integrity.  I don't see much of it in the candidates (one prime example being Hillary Clinton).  Among other considerations, integrity is a necessity for our president.  Lack of it weakens the ability of someone to lead.  It weakens the press.  It weakens families.  It weakens our nation.
     I found a good article online that I would like to share.  It's a blog post.  

http://careynieuwhof.com/2012/02/5-signs-you-lack-integrity/

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Other Side of the Story

    I have been following the big hullabaloo about the new Indiana law originally created to help protect religious freedom in Indiana.  I'm really tired of the power of the press to fuel whatever it thinks will generate shock and awe (or so it seems).  It's very sad to see headlines of major internet news sites focus on only one side of a story and help escalate to what amounts to the verbal stoning of a small pizzeria business.  Ridiculous. This is so childish; it's high school gossip.  We should be ashamed for allowing it to happen.  I suppose it has been done to generate money for the press. 
     Below are two links to articles that I think shed some light on what has happened in Indiana.  They are both very different from each other; one is about a gay couple who supported the pizzeria that was under attack; the other is from Meridian Magazine, an online magazine of LDS origin.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/04/06/gay-woman-who-donated-20-to-christian-owned-indiana-pizzeria-reveals-why-she-took-bold-stand/

http://ldsmag.com/an-ill-storm-blowing-the-frenzy-around-the-indiana-religious-freedom-law/


    

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.