By Alan on Aug 29 in Blog tagged Bible, Book of Commandments, Book of Mormon, Christ, don't you see, Gold Plates, history, Jesus Christ, Mary and Caroline Rollins, Missouri, Monk's Mound, Moroni, Nephites, part two, sacrifices, scriptures, St. Louis, William Tyndale | No Comments
“Don’t You See” – PART TWO
In follow up to my first “Don’t You See” Article, I invite you to watch this video which portrays how some of the scriptures were preserved for our day. Many individuals were called upon to make tremendous sacrifices, including jeopardizing their own lives, to preserve the scriptures we have today.
The video includes such accounts as William Tyndale, who suffered death for his unrelenting passion to bring common people the Holy Bible in the English language they knew; the courage of Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet who was hunted for his unwavering determination to fulfill his destiny of completing the histories found on his gold plates, and Mary and Caroline Rollins who risked their lives to save pages of the Book of Commandments during the destruction of a printing press by an angry mob.
The first sweeping scene (below) shows Christ descending in a shaft of light to visit multitudes of Nephites who are streaming up a ramped earthen platform mound reminiscent of Monk’s Mound and the grand murals inside Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site – east of St. Louis, Missouri. The background is a vast plain with interspersed massive grass-covered mounds, wooden homes with thatched roofs and hardwood forests, while the foreground shows a large wooden temple atop a monumental ramped earth structure. The scene is one that is true to the Book of Mormon record, without stone pyramids or thick jungle vegetation since nowhere in the text is there any mention of stone buildings, palm trees, monkeys or a tropical climate. The voice of Elder D. Todd Christofferson narrates the scene saying, “We were not among the other sheep that Christ visited in America.”
The central purpose of scriptures is with faith
to bring us closer to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The scriptures contain counsel from prophets
and inspired accounts of God’s dealing with people.
“The holy scriptures are the word of God given to us
for our salvation. The scriptures are essential in receiving
a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. …
These sacred records bear testimony of
the Savior and lead us to Him”
By Alan on Apr 04 in Blog tagged 150 Built or under construction, All are welcome, dedicate, for eternity, God's laws, Holiness to the Lord, holy, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Kansas City, Latter-day Saints, maintain sacredness, members, Missouri, Mormon, Mormon Temples Are places apart, ordinances, place of worship, respect, reverence, sacred purposed, set aart, temple, temple-goers, temples are not open to the public, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The House of The Lord, unite families together, Washington Post | 2 Comments
Mormon temples are places apart from the world.
Later this week yet another new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint–this one in Kansas City, Missouri–will open its doors for public tours before being dedicated. After dedication, the building will no longer be open to the public, but only to members of the church “in good standing.”
To some, it seems like a curious thing for a place of worship not to open its doors to all comers. It may be a good time to try to explain.
Mormon temples come in all shapes and sizes. They range from the iconic six-spired granite edifice on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, to the towering white marble structure familiar to Beltway commuters in Washington, D.C., to the smaller temples in unlikely places like Nuku’alofa in Tonga, or Hong Kong.
In all, Latter-day Saint temples now number around 150 built or under construction –more than half of them finished or started within the past dozen years. All of them, no matter what the architecture or location, have one external identifying feature in common. Above or close to the front entrance, etched in capital letters, is the inscription: “Holiness to the Lord. The House of the Lord.”
Bible scholars will recognize the words. In the days of Moses the phrase “holiness to the Lord” was inscribed on a kind of headband or crown worn by the high priest, whose duties and vestments are described in detail in the Old Testament books of Exodus and Leviticus. While the office of high priest has long ceased to exist among the Jews, there is a world of meaning in the same words now inscribed on every Latter-day Saint temple.
The English word “holy” doesn’t entirely capture the intent conveyed by the ancient Hebrew. English usage of “holy” certainly associates objects or people with the sacred, as in worship. But the original Hebrew (kah-dash), Greek (hagios) and Latin (sanctum) each carry the additional sense of something separate or “set apart” for sacred purposes. Latter-day Saints understand the words “Holiness to the Lord” in exactly this way. Temples are places consecrated, dedicated and set apart for sacred purposes, and when temple-goers walk through the doors they have already set themselves apart mentally.
Set apart from what? From the distractions of the world, from the profane and materialistic, and instead–as the apostle Paul urged Jesus’ followers –in order to set their affection “on things above, not on things on the earth.”
A few years ago a leader of my church put it rather well: “Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God’s laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God’s will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong.”
Isn’t this the same reason why we walk through the doors of any church? No, not exactly. There are many thousands of Latter-day Saint chapels, or meetinghouses, around the world, and of course just like other churches they are treated with reverence and respect. Our buildings typically include a chapel for public Sunday services, classrooms, a basketball court and a kitchen to service recreational activities through the week. For Latter-day Saints, these buildings are part house of worship, part community center and all are welcome to join us in worship and communion.
No Latter-day Saint would ever regard the temple as a community center. For a temple-going Latter-day Saint, crossing the threshold of a temple is accompanied by a wholly different feeling than walking through the doors of a chapel for Sunday worship. To begin with, we don’t go to the temple on a particular day of the week. There is no schedule for temple attendance and no expectation of frequency beyond a person’s own motivation. Temple attendance is not a matter of calendar but of a personal desire for a higher commitment to God. In a weekly Sunday service, our taking of the “communion,” or “sacrament” as we call it, is an act of reconciliation, a reminder of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and a symbolic gesture that invites the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives for the coming week. In the temple, however, “Holiness to the Lord” engenders something more – an understanding that we are not simply going to try to live our faith for another week, but that we are about to make personal promises to God to consecrate and dedicate our whole lives to him.
Ultimately we show our loyalty and devotion to God by observing what Jesus described as the second great commandment –by loving our neighbor. Men and women through the ages have sought places of spiritual sanctuary, free from the temptations of the outside world, where they can draw close to God. Monastic orders and convents are one manifestation of this. But Latter-day Saints see the temple not as a place of permanent retreat, but as a place of personal covenants, where for an hour or two they can immerse themselves in communion with God, render ceremonial service for those who have departed this life, and unite families together for eternity through sacred ordinances. Paradoxically, the resultant effect of temple worship is not withdrawal or isolation from the world, but to impel the believer to re-enter the world better prepared to serve members of one’s family, church, neighborhood and beyond.
Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley described it this way when speaking to a large gathering of men in the church in October of 1995:
“If every man in this church…were to go to the house of the Lord and renew his covenants in solemnity before God and witnesses, we would be a better people. There would be little or no infidelity among us. Divorce would almost entirely disappear. So much of heartache and heartbreak would be avoided. There would be a greater measure of peace and love and happiness in our homes. There would be fewer weeping wives and weeping children. There would be a greater measure of appreciation and of mutual respect among us. And I am confident the Lord would smile with greater favor upon us.”
With all of this in mind, a few moments’ thought should make it obvious why temples are not open to the public. In my whole life I have never heard a church member refer to a temple as “secret.” The term of choice is “sacred,” and Mormons understand the difference. It is important for Latter-day Saints to maintain that sacredness. Large “visitors welcome” signs routinely flank our chapels, but they are not to be found at temples, other than those few that have adjacent visitors’ centers. Rather than places for casual visits from the public, temples are places where we continue a spiritual journey already begun. While we do not invite the public into the temple, we do invite sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect for the sacred – values which are sadly diminishing even in our religiously pluralistic society.
Micheal Otterson is an On Faith panelist for The Washington Post
For The Family
By Alan on Jan 15 in Blog tagged audience, Branson, brother, child, children, church, compensation, deaf, dollar, donation, entertain, everlasting, Family, Father, fees, finance, foundation, generous, giving, God, grandchild, Grandfather, home, husband, important, Jesus, life, miracle, Missouri, money, Network, one heartt, paypal, plan, school, sister, support, thank you, warm, wive | Comments Off
The Family is God’s Plan of Life.
As an entertainer, and as a television. record, and live event producer, I realized with my wife Suzanne, that even with the many gold and platinum records, sell out concert tours around the world, recording and television studios, and over 50+ years of success in the entertainment industry, that what is MOST IMPORTANT in this world is, THE FAMILY! I am also a husband, a father, a father-in law and a grandfather to ninteen grandchildren, and the most important credential I could have in life, is that I am a child of God.
My brothers and Sister and I even quit touring at one point so that we could be at home more and be with our wives and children and do what Fathers and Husbands should do. We don’t just have children; we need to raise them as well.
At one point we all moved back to Branson, Missouri to work together in our own theater that my brother Jimmy found so that we could all stay together in one place in order for our families to live somewhat normal lives. This way, we would still be able to continue our careers as entertainers with our children in school and to serve in our church callings, and by being good neighbors. And now, the audiences would come to us instead of us always traveling to them. It worked well!
While we were in Missouri, ‘The Heart of America’, Suzanne and I developed further our internet and publishing companies and even formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity called One Heart Foundation to help “Strengthen Families”. My Mother and Father had started the Osmond Foundation which is now better known today as the Children’s Miracle Network with about Six Billion dollars raised so far and donated for sick children in hospitals. I helped produce those telethons and fundraisers and wanted to continue to give back by helping others. We created a charity called One Heart, and have helped strengthen families by building schools with fresh water in under priviledged countries, donated hearing aids to deaf families, produced family valued media, videos and specials, events, donated with our crafters hundreds of thousands of warm clothing for Warming Families of the homeless and families in need, have been spokesmen for Families with the U.S. Olympics, made PSA’s and stood against drug use, pornography, abortion, and encouraged family preparedness, Family Awards, Family History and long lasting unity.
Now with TheFamily.com, which is an effort of One Heart to “Strengthen Families”, we are publishing several thousands of articles, pictures, videos, audio files with music, Free Newsletters all showing and teaching ‘The Way‘ to strengthen The Family Physically (The Body), Mentally (The Mind), Spiritually (The Spirit), Socially (To Be In The Word But Not Of It) and to strengthen The Family with its Grandparents, Fathers, Mothers, Teens, children, infants, and to encourage and teach Families ‘THE WAY’ to a happy and everlasting life.
We do this without doing much fundraising or financial gifting so far and it is taking many people who freely give of their time and talents to furthering this work. Yes, there are costs and expenses that we need to cover. We do not personally take any fees personally but could use any donations and charitable giving to keep meeting our charitable goals and to continue reaching and helping those in need.
If you feel that you would like to “BE OF ONE HEART” and click here to make a generous and secure donation to One Heart’s Pay Pal account towards “Strengthening Families” it would be most appreciated! We have made so many friends who have always been very supportive of our causes that we support and we can promise you with a track record from our past, that your donations will be used properly and ONLY for the cause of Strengthening The Family!
We thank you in advance for your support.
Alan and Suzanne Osmond