By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Bryce Inouye has done a very cool thing here at Milennial Star--namely make a map of bloggernacleites. Or bloggernacleans. Or whatever we are. I'm right smack in the middle. Thanks, Bryce!

Well, I totally missed the brouhaha over Banner of Heaven. Too bad.

Let's see. What else is going on? Today is Halloween. (Big surprise, eh? Bet you forgot all about it and now you have no costume to go trick-or-treating in.)

My head is spinning trying to keep up with what is going on in the government and in the Supreme Court nominations. I will be glad when things settle down a bit, but I'm sure it'll be awhile.

Please go over to Times & Seasons and read Wilfried Decoo's piece entitled "Coffee." I think it is an important article that will give you some things to consider. We really do not know what someone else's life is like from the inside, do we?

I need to get busy and post to my blog more often, don't I? I so enjoy reading all of your blogs.

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 14, 2005

Life of Josephus, Part 2

After returning from Rome, where he had helped secure the freedom of some incarcerated priests, Josephus found that many people in Israel were contemplating rebellion against the Romans. He tried to talk them out of it because he could see that they were no match for the Romans, but those enthused about rebellion would not listen to him.

Josephus finally began to fear that if he continued to speak against rebellion, he would be perceived by the other Jews as an enemy, so he withdrew to the inner court of the temple. I take that to mean that he busied himself at the temple so that he could avoid what was going on in the general population of Jerusalem. He eventually became more involved again, though, and was dismayed to see so many of the rebels with weapons. He and those of like mind were frankly afraid to speak too strongly against rebellion for fear of being killed, but they did try to persuade the rebels to lie low and wait a bit. Apparently, they had high hopes that someone named Gessius would come with a large force and put an end to the rebellion. Gessius finally arrived, but was beaten, which just made things worse, as it gave the Jewish people the hope and belief that they could beat the Romans, so they continued their rebellius plans.

I tried to find out something about Gessius from wikipedia. He was a Roman Procurator of Judea 64-66 a.d. He is mentioned in the article, "The Great Jewish Revolt," toward the end of the "Background" paragraph. It isn't a lot of information, but he was a Roman leading Roman forces, so that lets you know that Josephus' hope was that Gessius would defeat the rebels early on, so as to prevent much greater bloodshed and war. It may be, too, that Josephus was quite content with the status quo.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Journal of Discourses

I recently discovered a link (over at FAIR) to The Journal of Discourses online. I thought some of you might be interested in reading from Volumes 1-26 of that publication. Enjoy.

The Journal of Discourses

I almost forgot to mention that I turned on word verification to cut spam, but I expect you have noticed by now! It really helps so any bloggers out there who haven't tried it, go ahead.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Everyone's Own Viewpoint

I have been thinking lately about how each of us has our own view of the world and the things therein. This view is made up of our innate traits and abilities and our environmental influences and our experiences in life. It is, in other words, a complicated mess!

I have noticed that I am not always 100% consistant and I don't think anyone else is either. And that is probably a good thing--what works well in one area may not be the best answer in another area.

I have also noticed that it is hard to understand someone who thinks differently from you. Not that you don't understand what they are saying, just that you think it is totally wrongheaded. But then they are probably thinking the same thing about you, so it all evens out.

In many ways, this variance of viewpoints is good. We learn of new ideas and new ways of looking at things and even new ways of thinking. We learn a lot of patience and tolerance and understanding.

But where do we draw the line? Or do we? What I am thinking of is the gospel and its doctrine, although I suppose almost any subject could be considered here. It is one thing to make certain we are not harsh and mean-spirited and hurtful. But are we not even allowed to stand up for what is right? It seems like most gospel discussions anymore are quite wishy-washy because no one wants to be too definite about anything. I understand about not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings or discourage them, but can we not say straight out, "It is a sin to rob a bank," or whatever the topic du jour is. Do we have to get into long and intricate discussions of what sin means and what rob means and what bank means?

I worry that we get to thinking that everything is relative and that we are not doing the best we can to live the gospel and do the will of our Heavenly Father. He is merciful, but He is also just--He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Are we allowing Satan to lull us into a false sense of security--that things aren't so bad, that we aren't so bad? I understand that we do not need to be too hard on ourselves and others, but I do not think we should be too easy on us, either.

I suppose it is a matter of balance and moderation, a matter of praying to know if what we are doing or saying is right or wrong, of trying to be a good example to others without being so blunt that we offend them and drive them away. I know that with myself, I have to not allow all that I need to do to overwhelm me and I need to take things a step at a time--I need to not run faster than I have strength, but to persist in being diligent.

It's never easy, is it? I believe that I have inadvertently offended people with my, shall we say, enthusiasm for the gospel, and I am sorry for that. It has never been my intention. So here I sit, wondering how to find that right balance of standing up for truth without running over people. Because I am quite sure that God the Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one and do not want them run over or hurt or driven away.

Charity. A key word, I suspect.


General Conference

I enjoyed General Conference--listened at home over the internet. No distractions that way.

I felt that the talks were somehow more powerful this time. Or perhaps I was more ready to hear the messages, or in more need of the messages.

I will not try to comment on specifics because I listened and did not take notes. Rather, I absorbed the spirit and thought about what was said. That means that afterwards, after 8 hours of talks, they all ran together! But that is okay. I like to review everything when the Ensign comes out.

I hope all of you enjoyed General Conference in your favorite way, as well.