Studying the Doctrine & Covenants

I finished the Book of Mormon yesterday. I used to keep track of how many times I have read it. I have a set of scriptures that has dates of each time I completed it on the last page. I haven’t kept up with that though. I would say it might be approaching the teens.

Before reading the Book for Mormon, I read the Bible. Now I am moving on to the Doctrine & Covenants. Embarrassingly, I have never really studied the Doctrine & Covenants by myself.

One of the most exciting parts about it is that each section heading gives the background and where the revelation was given. So in reading section 1 this morning, I looked up Hiram Ohio on rent a car bulgariaGoogle Earth. I found a photo of the John Johnson farm and learned a bit more about it on Hiram’s Wiki page. I love having all this information so readily available. I love the power of the internet. In reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, It’s pretty much been all online at I like to increase my font size really big – not that I have bad eyes (yet), but it just makes it easier to read.

Technorati Tags: doctrine & covenants, church history, hiram ohio

Dave Ramsey Live Event Was a HUGE Success

компютриDave cutting a credit cardIf you missed it, I’m sorry. It was awesome! Well, it was for me and my wife.

We actually got Platinum passes so we got to go early and have a nice steak lunch and meet Dave before the show. We also got a bag full of books (two of the autographed) and we got to go back stage during breaks for refreshments.

There was a downside though. I had a stake priesthood leadership meeting at 4:00 pm so I had to leave early.

From what I heard from those at the financial peace place (Dave’s employees) it was a huge success:

Not only did we sell out, over 500 families signed up for FPU!!  That is amazing….AND broke a company record!!

We heard about the live event on Monday; everyone was saying it was one of our most exciting ever.

Dave Ramsey – TMMO Live Discount

See Dave Live

For those who haven’t heard, Dave Ramsey is coming to Salt Lake City!

On May 17, 2008 Dave will be doing his Total Money Makeover live event. I’ve already purchased VIP tickets for my wife and I. We started on his plan about two years ago. I wrote down all our debts and figured we owed nearly $42,000 – not including our house. It was much worse than that just a few months earlier. I was looking for anything. That’s when a friend told me about the Financial Peace University course he attended. He let me borrow his CDs and I was hooked. It is doctrine the church has been teaching all along, but with more enthusiasm and hope! I learned how to budget the right way, how to communicate with my Spouse about money, investing 101, and most importantly the “baby steps”. We are now about 2 months away from paying off all our debts except for our home mortgage.

If you want to attend this event, I can help you save $10 per ticket. Just go to and click “See Dave Live”. Click Salt Lake City, UT, then select the Total Money Makeover Live Event. Use the promotion code “taylorsville” when you check out to save $10 per ticket!

Do it now. This is Dave’s first time in Salt Lake City and I think this event may sell out soon.

If you want to hear Dave’s radio show, tune to AM 570 KNRS weeknights from 7pm – 10pm. Or you can download his radio show as a podcast (find him on iTunes).

I Enjoy Home Teaching

I had two home teaching appointments tonight. I realized something when I got home. I really enjoy home teaching. It was a surprise to me actually. I guess I always figured it was just something I do to fulfill my duty. As I was pulling in to my garage I got a great feeling just knowing that I enjoy visiting with my families. They are my friends. The visits went well. Whether we are just talking about life or the Gospel, I enjoy visiting.

Prophesies of Mormons

I recently was looking at comments in a forum of sorts and the question was asked:

“The coming of Jesus was prophesied. Were there any prophecies about Josephs Smith or any of the other Mormon people?”

So off the top of my head I thought of a few that I could write about.

First, one of my favorites is found in Isaiah 29:11-12:

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

Then we read the story from Joseph Smith’s history:

63 Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:

64 “I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.

65 “He then said to me, ‘Let me see that certificate.’ I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, ‘I cannot read a sealed book.’ I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.”

The above references verse 11 of Isaiah 29. To understand verse 12 we should know that Joseph Smith was a farm boy who possessed little formal education. He felt inadequate when God asked him to translate the Book of Mormon. When asked to do so “he saith, I am not learned.”

The second prophecy that comes to mind is also found in Isaiah. Isaiah 2:2-3 reads:

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

I don’t know of a better fulfillment of this prophesy than the reference to the Salt Lake Temple. Temples are the Lord’s House, where members are taught of his ways. The name Utah comes from the Ute Indian tribe and means “people of the mountains” or “top of the mountains“. Every year people from all over the world come to see and some come to worship in the Salt Lake Temple. Truly all nations flow unto it. Speaking of Salt Lake City, how many nations came to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics. I wonder how many stopped to see the Temple.

The third prophesy is found in Ezekiel 37:16-20:

16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 ¶ And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 ¶ And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

To better understand this scripture, think of how scriptures might have been written and read in Old Testament times. Picture scrolls. Scriptures were written on papyrus and rolled up in “sticks.” The Bible is a record of the Jews. Who are the Jews? Members of the tribe of Judah. The learn in the Book of Mormon that they were descendants of Joseph, through the tribe of Manasseh. The prophesy states that the scriptures written by descendants of these two tribes would be combined into “one stick” or one book. Another prophesy fulfilled.

The last one I want to write about is found in the Book of Mormon. It was a prophesy written by Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel, who was sold into Egypt. The whole of it can be read in 2 Nephi 3, but I want to point out verse 15 which makes it quite obvious of whom he is speaking.

15 And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.

Joseph Smith Jr. was obviously named after his father. They shared a name with Joseph in Egypt, who saw the great events that would take place in the last days. Yes, many prophets in the old world new that a great and mighty prophet would come forth in the last days to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times. Ancient prophets knew that in the last days people would speak good or evil of Joseph Smith. I can see this everywhere.

Joseph Smith Jr. brought forth many great truths concerning our Lord, Jesus Christ that had been lost through the ages. For that we love him. Yet we do not worship him. We worship Jesus Christ, the Son of the Everlasting Father.

BYU Mens Chorus Closing Hymn in April 2007 Priesthood Session

Brandon mentioned how wonderful the closing hymn was in the recent priesthood session of general conference this year. That made want to listen to it again. (If you don’t remember it, they sang a song to the tune of Be Still My Soul, but the lyrics where words from Nephi’s Psalm.) But since the church doesn’t upload the musical numbers in mp3 and they don’t even upload the priesthood session in mp3, you would think I would settle on waiting for the CDs or DVDs to be available at Well, sometime I get determined, and such was the case today that led me to find a way.

The church did upload an mp4 file of the priesthood session for ASL (American Sign Language). I downloaded the enormous file and found that the audio is all there as well – and it is the whole session! Now, I hope I didn’t do anything wrong here, but I did a search for a mp4 to mp3 converter and downloaded the first one that looked interesting. After converting the audio to mp3 format, I imported it to Audacity and extracted the closing hymn so I could listen to it over and over again.

Now, if you don’t want to go to all that trouble to hear this masterpiece. You can just download it here.


I did a search for the lyrics and found them, plus some additional information about the song. The song is titled “I Love The Lord”. The arrangement is by Ronald Staheli. The lyrics are a paraphrase of 2 Nephi 4 by John Tanner.

I Love the Lord
I love the Lord, in Him my soul delights.
Upon His word, I ponder day and night.
He’s heard my cry, brought visions to my sleep,
And kept me safe o’er deserts and the deep.
He’s filled my heart with His consuming love,
And borne me high on wings of His great dove.

Yet oft I groan, “O wretched man am I”
My flesh is weak and I’m encompassed by
A world of sin, which holds me in it’s thrall,
If I give in and to temptations fall.
Then strength grows slack, I waste in sorrow’s vale;
My peace destroyed, my enemies prevail.

Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin.
Rejoice, my heart! And let me praise again,
The Lord my God, who is my rock and stay
To keep me strict upon His straight, plain way.
Oh let me shake at the first sight of sin
And thus escape my foes without and in.

Condemnation or Salvation

Most Christians are well familiar with John 3:16, as you can often see the verse on posters at football games etc.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The verse following it is not quite as popular, but really stood out to me this morning:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

This verse is just further evidence of God’s love. Sometimes we can feel we are not worth being loved. It seems we would rather have a pile of rocks heaped upon us that have to stand before God with all our imperfections. But here we are reminded that God did not send his son to condemn us, but rather to save us! This is good news indeed.

I think we can look at our church leaders in a similar manner. Sometimes when we have made mistakes that need to be confessed to our leaders we may be a bit scared thinking leaders may be so appalled that they will kick us out of the church. I feel Bishops are called to help us and allow us to be healed by the atonement rather than to condemn us.

What do Mormons, PDAs, & DVDs Have in Common?

I was looking at some web statistics this morning and I noticed that I had quite a few hits on my DVD site coming from a forum at LDS Mingle. I was intrigued (mostly because I’m LDS) so I signed up temporarily to see what the talk was about. A member there suggested visiting DVD Anthology to track your DVD collection, keep track of movies you loan out and print lists of your movies – exactly what I created the site for 🙂

Another man piped up and suggested, why bother when you can keep track of all your movies on your PDA and not have to be tied down to the internet. They argued for a bit about the pros & cons of each. I thought it was funny, because little do they know that the creator of DVD Anthology is also the owner of Shilbon Software and LDS PDA! 😀

I wanted to join the conversation, but it required that I pay for membership. Since I’m already married I couldn’t see the value in it. 😉

[tags]LDS, DVDs, PDA, PDAS, Palm, Clie, DVD Collection, Mormons[/tags]

Jesus Prayed All Night

Luke 6:12 reads:

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

I found this scripture rather interesting. I found myself pondering what Jesus may have been praying about all night. I try to pictures him speaking with his father all night. It must have been beautiful. For one thing, after this night he called his apostles. Wow, if he prayed that long to choose his apostles, how long should we pray when we have the responsibility to extend callings?

What’s In A Singles Ward?

I’ve had this argument with a few family and friends and so I need to put my strong opinion out in the open to get some feedback and arguments – both opposing and supportive.

I feel that if you are single and looking for a mate, you’re more likely to find your mate while attending the home ward in which you live rather than attending a singles ward.

First of all, I understand the desire to want to go where there are more singles to choose from to increase your odds of finding your mate. This logic makes sense but it is flawed. I was going to launch in to a parable about dogs and such but I changed my mind.

Instead, I think I’ll just put it out there… This is my feelings about singles wards from my experiences. Keep in mind that this was 8 years ago and things may have changed since then, but I doubt it.

Continue reading What’s In A Singles Ward?