Category Archives: Religious

When my child suffers, how do I keep my faith and still love my god?

“When my child suffers, how do I keep my faith and still love my god?” – A question from my friend, Stu Grater.

My initial general answer to this question is, perspective.

I personally have suffered pain. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual pain. I expect I will continue to suffer pain in the future. “Life is pain”, said the Dread Pirate Roberts. To some extent, I believe he is correct. I believe that one of the many facets of life is to learn how to suffer, or to learn from our suffering.

Experiencing personal suffering is different than witnessing the suffering of others, especially little children. When my children are sick and I have done all that I can for them and yet they still are suffering from pain and discomfort, it can be very frustrating to me.

“How could God let children suffer?”
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Believe in things to come

The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a lot of reasons that faith is a foundational principle in the gospel. Faith is an active principle, requiring input from us to actually bring blessings into our life. A powerful aspect of this faith is the act of believing in things to come as though they already were. Here are a few examples from the scriptures:

First, in the book of Jarom verse 11 we read the following, “Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently… persuading [the people] to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was.” The footnotes indicate that this passage is dated 399 B.C. So four hundred years before Christ actually came, prophets were exhorting the people to believe in Him as though He already was.

Now take a look at King Benjamin in Mosiah 3:13 (dated about 124 B.C.). King Benjamin told the people that whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them.”

And again when Abinadi was teaching in about 148 B.C. (Mosiah 16:6) he used some very interesting wording. Notice the words – he said, “And now if Christ had not come into the world (remember this is 148 years before He came), speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.”

What can we learn from these scriptural examples? When we believe in things to come as though they already were, the blessings are available now. Our Heavenly Father loves all of his children – not just the ones who came after Christ. What great things to come could bless your life now with that kind of faith?

(Re-printed with permission from the author, Dr. Paul Jenkins. Originally printed in, “Orem 4th Ward News”.)

Prisoner Restitution

Citizens of the United States of America have rights. Such as the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When a citizen commits a crime, they do so in trade for some of their rights. In other words, were I to kill someone, I would give up my rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness and depending on the scenario, I could lose my right to life.

This is natural cause and effect. Every action has a consequence. Certain consequences are desirable, others are not. We learn what to do and what not to do based on receiving these consequences. This is a law of the universe. It cannot be changed.
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What is Easter?

I was just imagining what it would be like to happen upon an American Easter celebration with no prior knowledge of the holiday or accompanying traditions.

It would probably seem that Easter is about a magical bunny… that lays eggs. Eggs that mostly contain sugary treats, though occasionally there are other things in the eggs, including baby chickens (what?!). The colors associated with the holiday are usually bright and pastel. Adults hide the eggs and then tell their children that the magical Easter Bunny has visited them and hidden special eggs for them to find. The children then look for the eggs and put them in some sort of basket. After the hunt, the children glut themselves on the contents of the eggs and other treats provided for the occasion. It also appears quite popular to create huge chocolate effigies of this magical bunny and proceed to smash it to pieces and consume it.

Chocolate Bunny

Therefore, Easter is about paying homage to a magical bunny. That seems to be the extent of this tradition. Nothing is discussed about the origin of this bunny. No morals or lessons are actively taught. The whole reason for the holiday appears to be an excuse for lavishing sugar upon children.


Back to reality. I know what Easter is. At least, I know what it is supposed to be. Easter is an extension of Christmas, which celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Easter is supposed to be a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Modern Easter celebrations have gone the way of modern Christmas celebrations. They are both currently bastardizations of the truth.

OH BUT WAIT, the symbolism of the new life in the “Easter Eggs” and the everlasting green of the “Christmas Trees” is beautiful and helps the children better understand the meanings since they cannot possibly grasp what Easter and Christmas are really about.

That is nonsense. Complete nonsense.

Current Easter and Christmas traditions do nothing at all to help anyone remember Jesus Christ. The holidays have become meaningless and hollow. They have become commercialized, selfish, and self indulgent. They mock the truth of Christ. They mock the reality of Christ.

I can see Satan laughing now, as we “celebrate” these supposedly sacred holidays. Not passing on an example of love for our Savior or an example of true discipleship to our children. Instead, passing on unhealthy eating habits, gluttonous desires for presents, and the ritualistic worship of false idols, named Bunny and Santa.

I hereby apologize to my children for contributing to the mockery of Christ by perpetuating these false traditions in my own home. For some reason, today I finally realized what I have been doing. In celebrating these two holidays, I have been remiss. By not actively doing something to fix the problem, I have been inactively allowing the default to take place.

I vow to do better.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you celebrate Easter and Christmas in ways that help teach your children about the true reasons for those holidays?

Is there a situation where democracy won’t work?

This important question was asked and answered by Clayton M. Christensen on 16 May 2009 in a commencement speech given at Southern New Hampshire University.

I encourage everyone to read this speech. Here are a couple of quotes from it that caught my attention:

Too often, as a result, we overlook an obvious fact: finding the right answer is impossible unless we have asked the right question.

You just think that because democracy works for you that it will work everywhere. It only works where there is a strong foundation of this particular type of religion.

Those who seek to minimize the role that religions can play on the public stage are … seeking to minimize the very institutions that have given us our civil liberties in the first place.

The full speech can be found here: “The Importance of Asking the Right Questions”

(Thanks to Marie Norris for introducing me to this speech.)

Faith vs Works for Salvation

Our family was reading recently about when God sent fiery serpents amongst the Israelites as a punishment because of their wickedness.

The part that I found interesting was that God told Moses to create a brass serpent and fasten it to the top of a pole. Then, when someone was bitten by one of the serpents, all they had to do was look at the brass serpent and they were healed.

This story is of course very familiar to me, as I have heard it retold since I was a child. However, when we read it through this time, I saw it from a different perspective.

I realized that this was an excellent analogy to help me better understand the age old arguments about faith versus works for salvation.

In the brass serpent story, God prepared the way to be saved, but there was still a task to be performed in order to RECEIVE that salvation.

Just as many symbols that were given to the Israelites, the brass serpent was in similitude of Jesus Christ.

We have all been bitten by the fiery serpents we call sin. Our Heavenly Father has prepared a way for us to be healed from those deadly bites. He raised up His Son, even Jesus Christ. He has prepared a way for us to be saved. And as free as it is for the taking, He still requires us to do something to RECEIVE that salvation. First, we need to have faith in Jesus Christ that He can actually save us. Second, we need to look unto him. Jesus Christ is our perfect example. They way He lived His life is the perfect example to us for how we should be living our lives.

Thus, faith leads to good works. Good works are fruit of faith. That is why James told us that faith with out works is dead. Because if you truly have faith in Jesus Christ then your actions will mirror His actions.

We certainly cannot save ourselves without Jesus, yet He also cannot save us without our acknowledging and accepting that salvation and performing the tasks that He requires of us (His commandments). He has made salvation freely available for us, but we still need to RECEIVE it. We need to have faith in Jesus Christ that He can save us, then look unto Him as an exemplar of how we should live our lives, and live accordingly.

Soul Feasting

While discussing the topic of “feasting on the Word of God” (2 Nephi 31:20) today at church I presented the following analogy which I particularly like, as it helps me visualize better the need for me to study the scriptures daily.

You have probably heard that we should feast upon the scriptures, in other words, the Word of God. You may have also heard the common analogy citing your mind to recall a feast from Thanksgiving or some other occasion where there is much eating. While this is analogy is usually adequate, I find that is not realistic, for I do not find myself stuffing myself silly as I do on those several special occasions during the year.

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