Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gilbert, Arizona Temple and the Agave Plant From: TravlinmanBlog

The Agave

As a design theme, the humble AGAVE plant, native to
Arizona, dominates the architecture of the new Gilbert temple.
It is apparent in the stained-glass windows, stone work,
carpet, carvings, light fixtures, door hardware, and elsewhere.
The temple’s color palette incorporates soft blue, green, gold
and cream – colors of the succulent AGAVE plant.
After collaborating with church leaders, the principal
architect, Greg Lambright said, “We wanted something to
represent the living waters of Christ, and for the temple to be
an oasis in the desert.”  The AGAVE plant was chosen to
represent the Southwest – a humble, yet strong, tolerant plant.
It is extremely versatile, and has been used for a variety of
purposes, including food, beverages, rope, and basketry awls.
The Aztec used the plant for meat, drink, clothing, shelter, and
writing materials!  It is a common misconception that the
AGAVE plant is a cactus, but the AGAVE is actually a lily.
(That certainly gives new meaning to the scripture…”Consider
the lilies – how they grow”.)
The leaf design of the AGAVE plant used in the temple and on
the outside fencing is interlinked, representing families being
linked for eternity.  In the plant, the lower, older leaves are on
the bottom and the younger ones on top.  The lower leaves
support the younger ones and help them to grow as a plant.
After a decade or so the AGAVE plant grows a tall stalk in the
middle – it contains the plant’s short tubular flowers, which
are the plant’s “children”.  Once the plant has dropped all of
the “children”, the plant dies – It is as if the plant “gives her life
for her children”.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Facsimile #2 With Translation

Fullness of the Priesthood, Priests and Kings

The following information is taken from, The Words of Joseph Smith by Andrew Ehat, these are footnotes from the book explaining the process and dates of these historical events:

21. The Prophet here teaches that though Abraham had not yet received the fulness of the priesthood, he had received from the Lord the promise of an innumerable posterity both for this world and in the world to come (D&C 132:28-31). Joseph Smith, however, clarifies that Abraham's endowment (Abraham facsimile Number 2, figures 3 and 7) was greater than that which his descendants Aaron and Levi would be allowed; and thus "Abraham's" Patriarchal Priesthood (the ordinances of the endowment and patriarchal marriage for time and eternity) comprehended the Aaronic portion of the endowment. Additionally, the Prophet here clarifies that the Patriarchal Priesthood was not the same as the crowning ordinances of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elias returned the authority of promising innumerable posterity, but Elijah restored the authority of the fulness of the priesthood (D&C 110:12-16).  
Aside from this theological commentary, it is important to point out that the Prophet's teachings fit perfectly within a historical context. Joseph Smith administered the first ordinances of the Patriarchal Priesthood on 4 May 1842 when he gave both the Aaronic and Melchizedek portions of the endowment to nine men in his store in Nauvoo (see History of the Church, 5:1-2, or Teachings, p. 137; and H. W. Mills, "De Tal Palo Tal Astilla," Annual Publications-Historical Society of Southern California 10 [Los Angeles: McBride Printing Company, 1917]: 120-21). By a year later, most of the nine received the ordinances of marriage for time and eternity. In particular, the Prophet and his wife, Emma, and James and Harriet Adams were sealed on 28 May 1843 (Joseph Smith Diary, Church Archives). Similarly, Hyrum Smith and his wife, Mary Fielding, Brigham Young and his wife, Mary Ann, and Willard Richards and his wife, Jennetta, were all sealed the next day. But the higher ordinances that confer the fulness of the priesthood had not as yet been administered. However one month and a day after this 27 August 1843 discourse, Joseph and Emma received the anointing and ordination "of the highest and holiest order of the priesthood" (Joseph Smith Diary, 28 September 1843, Church Archives). Hence by 27 August 1843, "Abrahams patriarchal power[was] the greatest yet experienced in [the] church." As  abstract as this may seem, the Prophet was not the only one who understood the relationship between these three orders of priesthood blessings that he said were illustrated in Hebrews 7; they who received these ordinances also understood these relationships. For example, Brigham Young later discussed in public discourse the relationship between the Aaronic and Patriarchal orders of the endowment as follows:    
When we give the brethren their endowments, weconfer upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood; but I expect to see the day, when we shallsay to a company of brethren, you can go and receive the [endowment] ordinances pertaining to the Aaronic order of Priesthood, and then you can go into the world and preach the Gospel, or do something that will prove whether you will honor that Priesthood before you receive more. Now we pass them through the [temple] ordinances of both Priesthoods in one day. (Journal of Discourses, 10:309, quoted in John A. Widstoe, Discourses of Brigham Young [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], p. 396).   
Perhaps more important than his later understanding of the relationship between the Aaronic and Melchizedek portions of the endowment is the fact that three weeks before this 27 August 1843 discourse, Brigham Young demonstrated that the Prophet made clear to those who had received the endowment and patriarchal marriage ordinances, that they had not as yet received the fulness of the priesthood. On 6 August 1843, Brigham Young said, "If any in the church [have] the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood [I do] not know it. For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest." Since he had received, with eight others, an anointing in 1842 promising him he would, if faithful, eventually receive another anointing actually ordaining him a king and a priest, Brigham Young therefore added, "A person may be anointed king and priest long before he receives his kingdom" (History of the Church, 5:527, which is quoted verbatim from the contemporary account kept by Wilford Woodruff). Based on his understanding from Joseph the Prophet, Brigham Young said of this third order of priesthood blessings, "Those whocome in here [the Nauvoo Temple] and have received their washing & anointing will [later, if faithful], be ordained Kings & Priests, and will then have received the fullness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth. For Brother Joseph said he had given us all that could be given to man on the earth" (Heber C. Kimball Journal, kept by William Clayton, 26 December 1845, Church Archives, italics added). This is the theological and historical context for the Prophet's comments on the three orders of temple blessings outlined in this extremely important discourse.    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.303-304)

30. One of the major milestones, if not the major milestone, of the Latter-day work was to be the restoration of the fulness of the priesthood (D&C 124:28). The Prophet's "mission[was to] firmly [establish] the  dispensation of the fullness of the priesthood in the last days, that all the powers of earth and hell [could] never prevail against it" (History of the Church, 5:140, or Teachings, p. 258). What was this fulness of the priesthood? The most concise but inclusive definition of the authority of the fulness of the priesthood was given by Joseph Smith in his 10 March 1844 discourse when he said, "Now for Elijah; the spirit, power and calling of Elijah is that ye have power to hold the keys of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the Kingdom of God on the Earth and to receive, obtain and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God[to] have power to seal on earth and in heaven." However, the Prophet had not as yet administered the ordinances that made men kings and priests. Brigham Young said three weeks before this discourse that no one yet in the Church had the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, "For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest" (History of the Church, 5:527, which is quoted verbatim from the original source kept by Wilford Woodruff, Church Archives). These ordinances were instituted on 28 September 1843 and in the next five months were conferred on twenty men (and their wives, except for those whose names are asterisked): Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Newel K. Whitney, William Marks, John Taylor, John Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, Alpheus Cutler, Orson Spencer, Orson Hyde*, Parley P. Pratt*, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Levi Richards*, Cornelius P. Lott, William W. Phelps Isaac Morley, and Orson Pratt.* As George Q. Cannon later said,    
Previous to his death. the Prophet Joseph manifested great anxiety to see the temple completed, as most of you who were with the Church during his day, well know. "Hurry up the work, brethren," he used to say, "let us finish the temple; the Lord has a great endowment in store for you, and I am anxious that the brethren should have their endowments and receive the fullness of the Priesthood. Then," said he, "the Kingdom will be established, and I do not care what shall become of me."    
Prior to the completion of the Temple, [Joseph Smith] took the Twelve and certain other men, who were chosen, and bestowed upon them a holy anointing, similar to that which was received on the day of Pentecost by the Twelve, who had been told to tarry at Jerusalem. This endowment was bestowed upon the chosen few whom Joseph anointed and ordained, giving unto them the keys of the holy Priesthood, the power and authority which he himself held, to build up the Kingdom of God in all the earth and accomplish the great purposes of our Heavenly Father."    
Knowing that Sidney Rigdon was the only member of the First Presidency to survive the martyrdom but knowing too that he had not received the ordinances of the fulness of the priesthood, George Q. Cannon added this significant comment: "It was by virtue of this authority, on the death of Joseph, that President Young, as President of the quorum of the Twelve, presided over the Church" (Journal of Discourses, 13:49). Joseph  Smith's followers did believe he "firmly established the dispensation of the fullness of the priesthoodthat allearth and hell [could] never prevail against it." See notes 21  22, 29  38, this discourse.    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.306-307)
This is from the body of The Words of Joseph Smith:
Men will set up stakes and say thus far will we go and no farther, did Abraham when called upon to offer his son, 35 did the Saviour, 36 no, view him fulfiling all rightousness again on the banks of jordon, 37 also on the Mount transfigured before Peter and John there receiving the fulness of preisthood or the law of God, 38 setting up no stake but coming right up to the mark in all things here him after he returned from the Mount, did ever language of such magnitude fall from the lips of any man, hearken him. All power is given is given unto me both in heaven and the earth. 39 Offering's sacrifice's and carnal commandments, was added in consequence of transgression and they that did them should live by them. 40 View  him the Son of God at saying it behoveth me to fulfil all rightousness 41 also in a garden saying if it be possible let this cup pass from me nevertheless thy will be done. 42 What was the design of the Almighty in making man, it was to exalt him to be as God, 43 the scripture says yet are Gods and it cannot be broken, 44 heirs of God and joint heirs I with Jesus Christ equal with him possesing all power &c. 45 The mystery power and glory of the preisthood is so great and glorious that the angels desired to understand it and cannot: why, because of the tradition of them and their fathers in setting up stakes and not coming up to the mark in their probationary state. 46    

               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.247)
38. This is the only known record of when, according to Joseph Smith, the Savior received the fulness of the priesthood. Wilford Woodruff's report of the Prophet's 11 June 1843 discourse recorded a significant comment by Joseph Smith regarding this subject: "If a man gets the fulness of God ["priesthood" as in the published version], he has to get [it] in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, by keeping all the ordinances of the house of the Lord" (see 11 June 1843, note 9  9). To Joseph Smith, however, it was not the Lord's will that all have Elijah confer upon them the sealing power of the fulness of the priesthood, for as Franklin D. Richards expressed it, we receive the fulness by "being administered to by one having the same power and Authority of Melchizedek" (D&C 132:7).    
Joseph Smith distinguished between the ordination of the twelve disciples as apostles (in Matthew 10) and the bestowal of the sealing power of Elijah upon three of the twelve (in Matthew 17), for he himself received the authority of the apostleship in 1829 (Joseph Smith-History, 1:72; D&C 27:12), but did not receive the sealing power of the fulness of the priesthood until 3 April 1836 (D&C 110:13-16; also text at notes 13-20 & of the 10 March 1844 discourse).    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.307-)

43. In his 21 May 1843 discourse (at note 12 &), the Prophet, without elaborating on his statement, said he would "keep in [his] own bosom the design of the great God in sending us into this world and organizing us to prepare us for the Eternal world." Joseph Smith did hint though that the doctrine of eternal marriage was related to the implicit question. Here in the James Burgess account of the 27 August 1843 discourse (three months later), the Prophet finally answers his own question: "What was the design of the Almighty in making man? It was to exalt him to be as God." Given that the  Prophet would have answered the question similarly in May, this is remarkable confirmation of the then unwritten revelation on eternal marriage. When it was written seven and a half weeks later (12 July 1843), this revelation asserted that if couples were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise through the authority of the sealing power of the priesthood and were also given the promise that they would come forth in the first resurrection, and if they should continue without committing the unpardonable sin, "Then shall they be godsbecause they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them" (D&C 132:19-20).    
               (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p.308)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Those Elected Are Responsible

Charley Reese (January 29, 1937 - May 21, 2013) was an American syndicated columnist known for his conservative views.[1] He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001, both as a writer and in various editorial capacities. King Features Syndicate distributed his column, which was published three times per week.

This is his last column

Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail
directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must
assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every
day.  It's a short but good read.  Worth the time.  Worth remembering!
                545 vs. 300,000,000 People
                -By Charlie Reese
                Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems
and then campaign against them.
                Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the
Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
                Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against
inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
                You and I don't propose a federal budget.  The President does.
                You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
                You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
                You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
                You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve
Bank does.
                One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine
Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are
directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic
problems that plague this country.
                I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that
problem was created by the Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but
private, central bank.
                I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound
reason.  They have no legal authority.  They have no ability to coerce a
senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing.  I don't
care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.  The politician has
the power to accept or reject it.  No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is
the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
                Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you
that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con
regardless of party.
                What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of a
Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.  The
President can only propose a budget.  He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
                The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives
sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes.  Who is the speaker of the House?  John
Boehner.  He is the leader of the majority party.  He and fellow House members,
not the President, can approve any budget they want.  If the President vetoes
it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
                It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot
replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence
and irresponsibility.  I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not
traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth
that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must
follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
                If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
                If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the
                If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because
they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...
                If they do not receive social security but are on an elite
retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
                There are no insoluble government problems.
                Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom
they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice
they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from
whom they can take this power.
                Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there
exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or
"politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
                Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.  They, and
they alone, have the power.
                They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people
who are their bosses.  Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own
employees...  We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!