Saturday, March 30, 2013

Did Joseph Copy The Masons?

Did Joseph Smith borrow or use elements of Masonic Ritual for the temple endowment? What purpose would it have served him to belong to this fraternity if he claimed to be a prophet of the Lord? Hopefully this article below helps to shed "further light and knowledge" on the subject. (Pun intended.) - Josh Nelson -
Some critics of Mormonism see similarities between the rites of Freemasonry and LDS temple ceremonies and assume that since Joseph Smith was initiated as a Freemason shortly before he introduced the Nauvoo-style endowment he must have plagiarized elements of the Masonic rituals. This viewpoint leads them, in turn, to conclude that the LDS endowment is nothing but a variant form of Masonic initiation and therefore not from a divine source.

Joseph Smith was initiated as a Freemason on the 15th and 16th of March 1842. But previously, on the 19th of Janaury 1841, the Lord issued a revelation wherein He stated that He was going to "restore again," through Joseph Smith, the "lost" ordinances which had once been practiced in the Tabernacle built by Moses and the house built in the land of promise -- meaning the temple of Solomon (D&C 124:28, 38). The Lord also provided a list within this revealtion of many ritual elements that would eventually be practiced inside of the Nauvoo Temple. Some of the elements mentioned in this revelation are the same ones that Joseph Smith is accused of plagiarizing from the Freemasons.

A detailed look at LDS Church history before the 15th and 16th of March 1842 reveals that Joseph Smith and some of his collegues were well aware of a number of Nauvoo-style temple ritual items early on - including ideology, vestments, actions, forms, language, and architecture. Knowledge of many of these things even predated the revelation given on 19 January 1841 (D&C 124). A careful look at the pre-1842 scriptural texts produced through Joseph Smith's instrumentality is also very instructive because they include a wealth of information connected with the rites that would be introduced among the Saints during the Nauvoo period.

Joseph Smith and other nineteenth century Mormons had a definite stance on why there were similarities between the initiation rituals of the respective groups. They taught that there was an original "Priesthood" source of divinely-determined ceremonies: the Masons derived their system from degenerated branches of this source while pristine material was restored to the Latter-day Saints.

One of the strongest evidences that Joseph Smith did not plagiarize Masonic sources in order to 'create' the LDS temple endowment is that 20th and 21st century scholarship has greatly clarified the picture of initiation rites in the biblical and early Christian periods. A comparison of this picture with Joseph Smith's model and the Masonic model shows that what the Prophet gave to the Saints is indeed a restoration, while the Freemasons only possess fragments of the God-given scheme.

Jeremiah 4:19 - The Tummy Ache Scripture

Jeremiah 4:19 ¶My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Here is my interpretation, knowing nothing more about this passage of scripture save that it is written in English. - ¶My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; - Ancient prophets of Israel may have been eating food that didn't agree with their stomachs. It gave them heartburn. - my heart maketh a noise in me; - maybe sounds that come from the heart could resemble movement within the bowels. - I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war - watch out... I won't be able to hold my #2 in... so I need to have a toilet and fast and I will sing, "O my soul, the sound of a trumpet, the alarm of war" for my regular singing while in the John musical number. I am about to destroy this outhouse! The End! AMEN!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Jews Vs Christians Vs Mormons (Redux)

This is derived from an article found at:

Dear God-fearing friend,

I am writing this letter because of a great threat to the cherished words which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has given us through His holy prophets.

You've probably had Christians come around to your door, wanting to engage you in "discussions" about their faith. And maybe, as a good Jew, you've let them in the door. They seem to be nice, well-dressed, well-mannered. They may speak about Israel's God, and they may carry the Bible under their arms, but don't be deceived-they are not Jewish. Christianity is an insidious cult that seeks to tear real adherents of Judaism away from Moses and the Bible.

Take, for example, their principal message, about the Messiah. They bring you their "New Testament, Another Witness of the Prophets" and try to convince you that their founder, Jesus, was the Messiah. But believe me, this is not the Messiah of the Bible. No, my friend, the Christians teach a very a different messiah than what the holy prophets wrote about. While the biblical Messiah is a king who will liberate us from our enemies, the Christian messiah is said to have died to liberate us from our sins, despite the fact that the Bible teaches that every man is responsible for his own sins (Leviticus 20:19-20). If a man commits murder, for example, he is to be executed for his sin, and there is no provision for someone else dying in his stead (Genesis 9:6). The law of God clearly states that "every man shall be put to death for his own sin" (Deuteronomy 24:16). For those not guilty of capital crimes, the Bible is clear about the procedure that must be followed in order to be cleansed from sin. One must confess his sins, make restitution for wrongs, and offer the proper sacrifice (Leviticus 4:2-4; Numbers 5:6-7).

The Christians believe that, because their leader died, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices at the temple. But the Bible says otherwise, commanding, "thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement . . . two lambs of the first year day by day continually" (Exodus 29:36, 38). These sacrifices are to be made "throughout your generations" (Exodus 30:10).

Ironically, the founder of the Christian Church was conceived out of wedlock, which, under the Law of Moses, disqualifies him from participating in religious functions (Deuteronomy 23:2). The Christians' own scriptures acknowledge that Jesus was a winebibber (Matthew 11:19). The Bible warns us, saying, "a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink" (Micah 2:11). The false prophet Jesus, who also claimed divine prerogatives, was tried and found guilty of high crimes (blasphemy and treason) and executed by crucifixion. And yet some people are gullible enough to believe that he was sent by God!

And what of those who perpetuated this false messiah? The Christians claim that some of the disciples of Jesus, including a sometime fisherman and money-digger (Matthew 17:27) named Simon (who goes under the alias of Peter), along with a traitorous Roman money collector named Matthew and ten others who go by the title of apostles, are prophets who speak with God. But their messages contradict the word of God as given through ancient prophets such as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah and their behavior violates all the laws of God.

Peter was once arrested and put into prison until he could answer charges brought against him. But the night before he was to be arraigned before King Herod, he escaped from the guards and ran away (Acts 12:6-9). Tradition has it that after fleeing to Rome and practicing his treasonous religion there, he was again imprisoned, this time by the Roman authorities, who found him guilty of crimes against the state and was executed by crucifixion.

The most outspoken of the followers of Christ was a Roman Jew who preferred to be known more by his Gentile name, Paul, than by his God given Israelite name, Saul. It is this man, more than all the others, who is responsible for writing the "new" testament which Christians deem more holy than the law God gave to Israel through Moses. What kind of a person was he? I will tell you. He was expelled from the cities of Antioch (Acts 13:50), Iconium (Acts 14:5,6), and Lystra (14:19) where his preaching had stirred up riots. In the city of Thyatira Paul and one of his companions were brought before the magistrate and accused of being trouble-makers. When the evidence was presented, Paul was found guilty and sentenced to a beating and ordered to do time in prison. (Acts 16:20-25) The last eight years of his life he spent in a Roman prison and was eventually executed according to Roman law because of his crimes. These are the kinds of people Christians look up to and whose words they claim came from God.

But their words cannot be from God for one simple reason: Malachi's record marks the end of the scriptures which God intended to give mankind. Since prophecy ceased some four centuries before the time Jesus was even born, this is absolute proof that Jesus was a false prophet! Along with the ending of scripture, so did the visitation of angles. Yet Christians claim that angels appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus and to her cousin Zacharias, to Peter and to Paul. The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets (Isaiah 9:15; Jeremiah 28:15), and the Lord warned us through Moses not to add or detract from his word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). The Bible, from Genesis to Malachi, is inerrant and all-sufficient, and it is blasphemous to suggest that God should give us additional scriptures, a "new" testament that contradicts in every particular what he has already given us. And yet, that is exactly what the followers of the man Jesus have done. They dare to give us more of God's word, which, in reality, contradicts the words of God's true prophets.

One such contradiction is found in a supposed "revelation" of Simon Peter's where he claims that God told him not to make a distinction between clean and unclean animals (Acts 10:9-16), despite the fact that the Bible clearly commands that we make such a distinction (Leviticus 10:10; 11:2-31, 41-47; 20:25; Deuteronomy 14:3-20). The "revelation" which he had itself contains a clue to its false nature. It says (verse 10) that Peter was suffering hunger when "he fell into a trance" (Acts 10:10) His supposed "vision" (Acts 10:17)-or should we call it what it really is, an hallucination-was from the feeling in his stomach, not from God. I had a dream very much like Peter's one night, but instead of attributing it to a heavenly revelation, I chalked it up to a morsel of undigested food.

This same Peter states that all Christians belong to a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9). The Bible makes it clear that the priesthood is restricted to the tribe of Levi, and that God curses anyone else who tries to officiate in priesthood functions (2 Chronicles 26:18-19). When Aaron and his sons were anointed, God said, "for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations" (Exodus 40:15). God made a "covenant of an everlasting priesthood" with Aaron's grandson Pinehas (Numbers 25:13). It is people like the Christians whom the Bible condemns because they have "cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods" (2 Chronicles 13:9).

As for the supposed Christian "miracles," it is clear that they do not follow the biblical pattern. Their founder is said to have healed people by telling them their sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2), while some people were supposedly healed by touching his garment (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 6:55-56). This practice of magical rites is confirmed in another Christian scripture, Acts 19:12, which says people can be healed by being touched with handkerchiefs or aprons touched by someone who has healing powers. Even more fantastic is the story in Acts 5:15, where we read that people were healed when the shadow of Peter fell on them!

The Christians also deny the efficacy of circumcision, wanting to replace it with baptism. But in the Bible, God clearly states that circumcision is "a token of the covenant betwixt me and you," and is to be "an everlasting covenant." If a man is not circumcised, God says, "that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant" (Genesis 17:10-14). But Christians do not believe God's word. Instead, they invent a "new testament" to justify breaking sacred, everlasting, holy commandments.

In his "sermon on the mount," the founder of the Christian Church openly spoke out against Bible teachings that had been revealed from heaven. Even while professing that he had not "come to destroy the law, or the prophets" (Matthew 5:17), he changed the sixth commandment from "thou shalt not kill" to "whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22). He also reworded the seventh commandment, rejecting the words "thou shalt not commit adultery" and substituting, "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). And though the Bible specifically says that we should perform oaths in the name of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20), Jesus abrogated the commandment and taught "swear not at all" (Matthew 5:34). He also denounced the biblical law of divorce (Matthew 5:31-32). In the same sermon, he showed his utter depravity and demented state by telling his disciples to pluck out their right eyes and to cut off their right hands (Matthew 5:29- 30). It is hard to believe that anyone could accept someone like this as the Messiah.

Still, Christians revere their leader as a martyr, one who "gave his life" willingly. Yet the facts tell a different story: When the chief priests came to lawfully arrest this Jesus, his principal disciple lashed out with a sword, inflicting serious head wounds upon the high priest's servant (John 18:3- 10)! Jesus, the "martyr," was involved in a sword fight shortly before his death! By both Jewish law (blasphemy) and Roman law (treason and sedition), Jesus was condemned to death as a common criminal. This is the kind of man whom his followers admire and ask us to put our faith and trust in.

Then we are told that this condemned criminal rose from the grave as an immortal being three days later! But how do we know this? Where is the proof that such a thing actually happened? Christians can only point to their "new" testament. But who wrote this testament? Why, it was the followers of Jesus, and, more especially, his closest friends and associates. So the only real proof we have is what they tell us. As I have already shown, these disciples were not men of moral virtue and trustworthiness. The proof of this is that Peter admittedly lied three times in one night! (Mark 14:66-72). Judas betrayed his own master. And these were supposedly the most devoted admirers of Jesus. Yet, Christians ask us to believe that the words which such men wrote are just as holy and inspired as the true prophets of God!

Finally, Israel's God pronounced a curse upon anyone who put their trust in another man. Moreover, the Bible clearly states that the heart of such a person had departed from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5). In direct opposition to God's holy word, Jesus told his disciples to come follow him (Luke 18:22). Not even our great lawgiver, Moses,
ever told us to follow him. He always commanded our fathers to put their trust in God. But the followers of Jesus go so far as to take upon themselves his name rather than the name of God. That is why they call themselves "Christians." We honor Moses but we don't take upon ourselves his name. We revere the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, Samuel and all the others, but we don't claim our allegiance to them. We worship God, not some man who claims to speak for God. But Christians have no such belief. They put their trust in the man Jesus.

Now, you might want to try helping your Christian neighbor find his way to the God of the Bible. But bear in mind that it will be difficult to talk to him because Christians have their own unique definition of biblical terms. So when they use the term "Messiah," they're not thinking of the biblical Messiah, but of the criminal Jesus. When they speak of "sacrifice," they don't mean the sacred rites of the temple of God, but refer to the execution of the criminal Jesus. A true Jew understands salvation to be God's intervention in the affairs of men to save his people, Israel, from their enemies. But Christians use the term "salvation" to mean resurrection and going to heaven to live with God. And this comes only if you believe in their other messiah!

We love the Christian people and need to do everything in our power to bring them back to the God of the Bible. You should, of course, pray for your Christian friends. But you can do more. The ministry we have organized here at Yeshivah Ahuvat ha-Shem needs your help in order to continue its work in exposing the insidious Christian conspiracy against the Jewish people. Please send your love offerings to us at Yavneh-Yam. Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness to his ways and your generosity in helping us protect his word.

Rabbi Yohanan bar Alcalai
(adapted from "Solving the Christian Puzzle" by John Tvedtnes)

Before anyone accuses a Mormon of belonging to a Cult, one should take Christianity from the "point of view" as it might be seen from a Jewish perspective. Perhaps you wouldn't be "SO SURE" that what you are saying isn't the same nonsense that you could be hearing from a Jew regarding our savior, Jesus Christ.

Moreover, instead of deal harshly with the Mormons and give them a hard time, making judgments without cause, consider what Christ said in the "Sermon on the Mount."
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

POSTSCRIPT: It might be argued that the above characterization of Christian beliefs is inaccurate or misleading. However, every allegation, as seen from the Jewish viewpoint, has been stated factually. What a Christian would really object to is how those facts have been presented in an unflattering and biased way, while ignoring other important information which might convince an objective reader to view Christians differently. Yet, that is exactly how Latter-day Saints feel about the way most Christian writers and preachers often characterize Mormons to their followers.

P.S.S. Christianity. A standard would be set up and it would reclaim Israel!

Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. Isaiah 49:22 Renewed article from before entitled, "Christianity was a cult LONG before Mormonism" - using new tags and helps. #MormonCult THE STANDARD

Many Christian churches today teach that Mormonism is a cult religion. The reason for this is that we do not believe in Christ's teachings as they do. According to them, the Bible teaches that Jesus was the last prophet and that there are to be no more after Him. Therefore, any religion which claims to have prophets must be a false church. Indeed, the Bible clearly foretells that in the last days there will be false prophets (Matthew 24:24). The same is true of apostles. According to what most Christian churches teach, there were only twelve, specially chosen men called to be apostles. When these men died, not only were there to be no more apostles, but there was no more need for such men. According to most Christian churches, the Bible is absolutely complete. When the last apostle died, everything that God intended to tell us had entirely and finally been written down. Therefore, any church which claims to have new scriptures, is in direct conflict with the words of the Bible itself when it declares that we should neither add to nor subtract from the words of God

(Revelation 22:18,19)

According to most Christian churches, the Bible is the inerrant word of God. To them that means that down through the centuries the Bible has been perfectly copied and accurately translated. Every word, jot and tittle which were penned by the ancient writers has been faithfully preserved to our present day. Therefore, any religion that claims the Bible is not absolutely inerrant is considered to be a cult. Furthermore, any religion which changes the traditionally accepted wording of the Bible is likewise a cult. (This would include the Jehovah Witnesses with their "New World Translation," the Christian Scientists with their "Science and Health with keys to the Scriptures," and the Mormons with their Biblical quotes as found in the "Book of Mormon" and the Joseph Smith translation.)

According to most Christian churches, the correctness of their beliefs is time tested. That is, it has endured through centuries of debate. Therefore, any church which teaches something different than the time-tested, orthodox doctrines of mainstream Christianity is heretical by definition. Perhaps the most common doctrine taught among today's Protestant churches states that salvation comes solely through God's grace without the need for us to perform any saving works, ordinances, or good deeds. Therefore, any religion which teaches something different than what is generally accepted by most Christian faiths is a cult.

According to most Christian churches, visions, revelations, and angelic appearances ceased with the death of the apostles. The stated reason for this lack of heavenly manifestations is that God's word - the Bible - is now complete. As such, there is no longer any need for God to reveal Himself to man in such supernatural ways because man can know everything he needs to about salvation through reading the Bible. Therefore, any religion which claims to have visions, revelations or angelic appearances is considered to violate the teachings of the Bible which declares "though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).

According to most Christians, they believe we should put our trust in God and in His word rather than in the "arm of flesh," meaning a mortal man. The Bible foretells that in the last days there shall be false Christs, false apostles and false prophets. Therefore, anyone who claims to speak for God and encourages others to follow them, is not only an imposter but are to be considered a cult leader. Because Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet of God and developed a devoted following of disciples, many Christians consider him to be a cult leader. Furthermore, the church which he organized is based on a continuing succession of prophets and apostles which the church membership is expected to faithfully listen to and follow, thereby perpetuating this definition of a cult.

According to many in the Christian community, Mormonism is also a cult based on the sullied character of its founder, Joseph Smith. He has been described as a money-digger who was only interested in bilking people out of their money. He has been labeled a person with a wild, vivid imagination, whose greatest hoax was the story of receiving gold plates from an angel of God. The many times that Joseph Smith was arrested and held in prison has been proof to some that he must have committed crimes against society which warranted his incarceration. The practice of polygamy has convinced some that Mormons not only are willing to violate the laws of the land but reject the moral laws of God as well.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is founded on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon from gold plates delivered to Joseph Smith by an angel. According to many Christians, there is nothing to prove that such an event actually happened. Despite the testimonies of three special witnesses, and, later, eight more witnesses, many Christians remain highly skeptical because all of these testimonies come from close friends and associates of Joseph Smith rather than from credible, independent sources.

Because of these, and other reasons, many Christian leaders feel it is their duty to warn others of the false and unChristlike doctrines which Mormons teach. Therefore, they hold meetings, circulate pamphlets, write books and preach sermons which point out in great detail how each Mormon belief violates God's word. And they do this in an effort to protect unsuspecting and gullible people from being deceived by the innocent appearance of clean-cut missionaries, who proclaim their message with sincerity and seeming piousness.

If all of this is true, then the same standard of judgment should apply to everyone, including those of traditional Christianity. In that case, let's consider how a Jewish Rabbi would view those who profess a belief in Jesus Christ:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Church's Official Position on "Gays and Lesbians."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement through a spokesman following the delivery of a petition by the Human Rights Campaign (broadcast quality video (.mov) and audio (.mp3) is available for media use. A YouTube version can be viewed or embedded here) : My name is Michael Otterson. I am here representing the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to address the matter of the petition presented today by the Human Rights Campaign. While we disagree with the Human Rights Campaign on many fundamentals, we also share some common ground. This past week we have all witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different – whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society. This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society’s leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex. This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment - to love one another. As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down. Further, while the Church is strongly on the record as opposing same-sex marriage, it has openly supported other rights for gays and lesbians such as protections in housing or employment. The Church’s doctrine is based on love. We believe that our purpose in life is to learn, grow and develop, and that God’s unreserved love enables each of us to reach our potential. None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations. Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves. The Church recognizes that those of its members who are attracted to others of the same sex experience deep emotional, social and physical feelings. The Church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other. It’s not a sin to have feelings, only in yielding to temptation. There is no question that this is difficult, but Church leaders and members are available to help lift, support and encourage fellow members who wish to follow Church doctrine. Their struggle is our struggle. Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God. Obviously, some will disagree with us. We hope that any disagreement will be based on a full understanding of our position and not on distortion or selective interpretation. The Church will continue to speak out to ensure its position is accurately understood. God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgement of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another. We hope and firmly believe that within this community, and in others, kindness, persuasion and goodwill can prevail.

Monday, March 18, 2013

LDS Temple Worship VS The San Vitale Chapel Mural (Similarities)

This cathedral was built in the 6th century A.D., commencing between 534 and 538, with the addition of the mosaics during 671 to 677.2 The building was named for Apollinaris, a Bishop who reportedly came with the Apostle Peter from Antioch to Rome, and "Peter, having laid hands on him, sent him to preach in the east of Italy."

The Basilica's location is attributed to the spot where Apollinaris was martyred in Ravenna, and his body was subsequently buried under the high altar.3

Interior - Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe (Ravenna, Italy)4

The building is characterized as having Roman and Byzantine influences (more so the latter), and is decorated with marble and mosaic.5 The church was built under the direction of Emperor Justinian and may have been designed by Julianus Argentarius.6 Included in the numerous mosaics throughout the basilica, is the depiction of Melchizedek, Abel, and Abraham (with Isaac) presenting offerings at an altar before the veil of the temple.

This scenario is generally referred to as representing the Eucharist, which symbolizes the sacrifice of the Savior.7 As noted above, the "so-called seal of Melchizedek" is depicted on the altar cloth.

Mosaic of Melchizedek, Abel, and Abraham - Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe8

For additional pictures of this Basilica (in color), see here and here.

St. Vitale

The Basilica of St. Vitale was named after St. Vitalis, a soldier in Nero's army who had been converted to the gospel by the preaching of Peter. "He was condemned to be buried alive for having taken up and cared for the body of a Christian martyr."9 Hence, this cathedral was erected on the spot where St. Vitalis was buried.

A sketch of the building is below.

For the official site of the San Vitale Chapel, click or copy:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

His Hands - Make Your Hands Like The One From Galilee !!! His hands tools of creation stronger than nations power without end and yet through them we find our truest friend his hands sermons of kindness healing men's blindness halting years of pain children waiting to be held again his hands would serve his whole life though showing man what hands might do giving, ever giving, endlessly each day was filled with selflessness and i'll not rest until i make up my hands what they could be 'til these hands become like those from galilee his hands lifting a leper warming a beggar calling back the dead breaking bread, five thousand fed his hands hushing contention pointing to heaven ever free of sin then bidding man to follow him his hands would serve his whole life though showing man what hands might do giving, ever giving, endlessly each day was filled with selflessness and i'll not rest until i make up my hands what they could be 'til these hands become like those from Galilee. His hands clasped in agony as he he lay pleading, bleeding in the garden while just moments away other hands betray him out of greed, shameful greed and then his hands are trembling straining to carry the beam that they've been led to as he stumbles through the streets heading towards the hill on which he died he would die they take his hands, his mighty hands, those gentle hands and then they pierce them, they pierce them he lets them, because of love from birth to death was selflessness and clearly now i see him with his hands calling to me and though i'm not yet as i would be he has shown me how i could be i will make my hands like those from Galilee. Read more at

Friday, March 8, 2013

God ULTIMATELY is in charge... PERIOD!

The Book of Mormon was truly written for our day. God, at times, will allow us to be led by men who will enact his own agenda and most usually will do so by the voice of the people. Also a wicked king will cause his people to commit sins and all manner of wickedness. Not that people are FORCED to do wrong but through their POOR judgment and behavior, the rising generation will mimic this behavior believing in their own minds that it is acceptable behavior. For example, Bill Clinton had sexual promiscuity and other illicit affairs with women (interns) at the white house. He was even impeached for committing those sexual acts and he is most famous for having "oral sex" in the Oval Office. Two decades later, according to the CDC, "Two-thirds of U.S. youth have had oral sex." (See below for links on this article.) Nearly 20 years later, a very poor example, and may I say actually a "Piss Poor" example of how to be faithful to a spouse and what sort of behavior is "Okay" has created a spiritual epidemic world wide. Although I deduce that those numbers aren't as HIGH in the church (I should hope) moral decay has progressively continued into the serious problem that it is today. A wicked king will cause his people to commit many errors... according to the words of Alma, who certainly lived through that sort of situation, says this about his OWN followers; as they desired him to be their king. Alma said this, regarding their plea to him... Mosiah 23: 6-9 And the people were desirous that Alma should be their king, for he was beloved by his people. But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king. Nevertheless, if it were possible that ye could always have just men to be your kings it would be well for you to have a king. But remember the iniquity of king Noah and his priests; and I myself was caught in a snare, and did many things which were abominable in the sight of the Lord, which caused me sore repentance; Also, this was said about having "A KING." Mosiah 29:31 "For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings." We will not escape the full responsibility for our own sins and transgressions but in the case of our politicians today, some of the sins of the citizenry will be answered upon the heads of those who pretended to lead them. Currently, the US of A is going through its own growing pangs. The book of Mormon also warns us that when wickedness abounds, the Lord will cause sore afflictions to come upon the unrighteous and also the righteous will feel the pain... but if we heed the words of the Lord, we will be protected from "All things" and survive the famines which are certainly on its way... for "...if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." = D&C 38:30 Just know this. The Lord is in charge. The bretheren are NOT panicking! Men may think they are in charge or that they can go against the will of the Lord but their efforts will be counted as naught. For in D&C 121: 33, paraphrased, "...remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints." President Monson has ALSO gone on record saying, "Be of good cheer! Your futures are as bright as your faith!" And so it is. Let's not worry on who we think the "Anti-Christ" is... worry not over what others will do. Right now, the Lord is separating his elect from the inhabitants of the world. They will be FOUND! The LORD has hastened his work! We are in the right place. It will be unto you according to your faith! These things I write, in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN! Josh Nelson - Editor in Chief, "TheLdsLife" Links