None Dare Call it Conspiracy

A couple of years ago I liked a Facebook page.

I’ve liked TONS of Facebook pages.

But this one is different.

It’s called Awaken to Our Awful Situation.

For those not familiar, it’s a reference to a Book of Mormon prophecy about the Last Days:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

– Ether 8:24

I assumed it was an LDS page about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and events leading up to it.

Eventually I figured out it was a conspiracy page.

I wanted nothing to do with any of that.

Later another page I followed shared a post from Awaken to Our Awful Situation.  It was a clip from a talk given in General Conference by Ezra Taft Benson in 1972.

Ezra Taft Benson was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1989 to 1994.  Like every other President of the Church, members sustain him as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and as the official spokesman for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on Earth.

He had also held a high government office.  President Eisenhower appointed him Secretary of Agriculture, where he served from 1953 to 1961.  If any General Authority had worldly qualifications to know what goes on at the highest level of the Federal Government of the United States of America, it’s him.

And along this line, I would highly recommend to you a new book entitled None Dare Call it Conspiracy by Gary Allen.

– Ezra Taft Benson

I found an online copy of None Dare Call it Conspiracy.  It had some editing issues, to say the least, making it hard to read.  I only made it halfway through the book, but it was enough to convince me.

After that I liked the Awaken to Our Awful Situation page again.

That’s not to say I believe every conspiracy theory.

I still believe Neil Armstrong and several other men walked on the moon.

I don’t think Paul McCartney died in 1966.

I don’t think Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ.

But I am suspicious of anything a government, especially the Federal Government, tries to make us do “for our own good.”

Question authority

Don’t believe everything you hear.

Even if it’s on the news.

Even if it comes from an “authority.”

“Authorities” are just people.  With their own ideas.  Their own flaws.

Their own agenda.

How did this person get the authority they claim?

Some people have authority from God.  God doesn’t give his authority to just anyone.  If an authority in the Church tells me something I believe it, unless I have a good reason not to.

Is this person an elected official?  In my mind that gives them some legitimate claim to authority.  I’m more skeptical of them, though.

Is this person an unelected bureaucrat?  I may listen to what they have to say, but I won’t necessarily believe it.

Do they represent a large corporation?  I’ll hear them out, but I know they’re trying to make their corporation look good.

Are they a teacher?  Who taught them?  Where did they get their information?  Did they do their own research, or are they just regurgitating what’s in the textbook?  What are their biases?

Is this a TV news anchor?  Next, please.

Always maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

Mr. Krueger’s Christmas

2017 First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

Things I’m grateful for 20171224

  1. Thomas S. Monson
  2. Henry B. Eyring
  3. Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  4. Russell M. Nelson
  5. Dallin H. Oaks
  6. M. Russell Ballard
  7. Robert D. Hales
  8. Jeffrey R. Holland
  9. David A. Bednar
  10. Quentin L. Cook
  11. D. Todd Christofferson
  12. Neil L. Andersen
  13. Ronald A. Rasband
  14. Gary E. Stevenson
  15. Dale G. Renlund

Things I’m grateful for 20171222

  1. Prophets
  2. Apostles
  3. Comedians
  4. Laughter
  5. Blogging
  6. Liberty
  7. Choices
  8. My health
  9. Light bulbs
  10. Music

Things I’m grateful for 20171218

  1. My wife
  2. My boys
  3. My mom
  4. My friends
  5. My car
  6. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  7. Being able to go to the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
  8. Therapy
  9. My apartment
  10. My shoes

Why I’m still a Mormon

I’m not a shining example of  “Good Mormon.”

I’ve struggled with pornography most of my adult life.

I’ve lied countless times.  I don’t want people thinking bad things about me.

I’ve been inactive in the Church for most of my adult life.

It would be easier to just leave the Church completely.

But I don’t.

I can’t.

I know it’s true.

Turning my back on the Church would be like turning my back on myself.

When I was twenty-four I hadn’t gone to church for several years.

I felt like I needed to go back.  I was afraid to talk to a bishop.  Afraid to confess my sins.

I decided to take some religion classes.  I could get some spirituality in my life without any pressure.

After about six months I decided to go to church.

I only went for Sacrament meeting.  I didn’t go in the chapel.  I sat out in the foyer and listened.

After a few months I had my records transferred to that ward.

I started sitting in the chapel during Sacrament meeting.

Eventually I started going to all the meetings.

Then one day in priesthood meeting one of the other guys told me a group of guys were going to see a movie together.  He asked if I’d like to come.

I got spooked.

I didn’t go back to church for awhile.

I slowly started going again, eventually going to all the meetings.

Then one Sunday it happened.

Just before Sacrament the Bishop’s Secretary came up to me.  He asked if I could see the Bishop after the meeting.

This was it.

The Bishop had just wanted to meet me.  I spilled my guts anyway.

I felt so much better afterward.

I started meeting with him every week.

At that point I decided I’d better find out for myself if the Church was really true.

I’d believed it was for years.  I was never quite sure, though.

I’d been reading the Book of Mormon on and off for several months.

I’d never finished the whole thing.

I decided now was the time.

I finished it.  Then I prayed about it.

I got a feeling I’d never felt before.

I knew it was true.

I still do.

I’m not a “Good Mormon”

I’m a hypocrite.  I’m lazy.  I just don’t wanna go.

I don’t say these things to condemn myself.  I just need to work on them.

I haven’t gone to church for most of my adult life.  I’ve been wandering in the wilderness.

I don’t have a good reason.

That’s not to say I don’t have any reasons.

I have social anxiety.  Especially around people I don’t consider friends.

I haven’t made any friends at church.  Because of the social anxiety.

I feel ashamed.  I don’t live up to the Church’s standards.  I want to, but it’s hard.

That’s no excuse, though.

I love the feeling I get when I’m at Church (as long as no one’s trying to talk to me).

Sometimes I feel the Spirit so strong.

It moves me to tears.

Every week I think, “I’m going to go to church next Sunday.”

Then Sunday morning comes.

Those of you who struggle with getting to church know what I’m talking about.

Dragging myself out of bed.

Dragging the kids out of bed.

Getting them ready.

Getting me ready.

Etc.

The people who go to church every week have these problems, too.  Well, maybe not all of them.

I want to be more like them.

I was afraid to go on a mission

I was pretty sheltered as a kid.

My dad died when I was three.

My mom kept me home most of the time.  I was happy there, so I didn’t mind.

In the LDS church young men are expected to serve a full-time mission for two years.  At that time they would go at age nineteen.

I was afraid of being on my own for that long.

I’d been on my own at scout camps and events, but that was it.

I was afraid of being far from home.

I had always wanted to get married.  That seemed a lot safer, and I’d always been romantically inclined.

I had a plan.

Right after high school I would go to college for a year.  While I was there I would find someone to marry.

Never mind that I had never gone out on a date before.

Never mind that I was afraid to even talk to girls.

My plan was foolproof.

What could possibly go wrong?