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Meerkat

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About Meerkat

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    Meerkat
  • Birthday 11/07/1948

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    South of Seattle
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  1. Meerkat

    The Nephite Baptismal Prayer

    There have been other covenants that have changed and become more simple over the years. I don't believe the simplification changes their meaning. I think it falls in the category of parables, as the Savior said in Mark 4:11-12 "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a wonderous gift. "...when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me." Acts 8:17-24 Initially, Simon didn't understand. But this scripture shows that enlightenment can begin with confusion, fear, hope then repentance. When that can happen, the simple ordinance makes sense because they begin to experience "theSpirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.“ as mentioned in your reference.
  2. Meerkat

    Being offended

    Yes. The ideal would be to forgive seventy times seven, and eventually forgive everyone. Some people have a gift of not taking offense. But many of us struggle to forgive and forget, and forgive ourselves when we know we've been the one who's done wrong. I think it's part of being human. Joseph Smith said "“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty, who will give me dominion over all and every one of them, when their refuge of lies shall fail, and their hiding place shall be destroyed, while these smooth-polished stones with which I come in contact become marred." Dealing with offenses must be an important issue for us to resolve. While I agree with Eek!'s comment, the issue is complicated. We also have the assignment to learn how to mourn with those who mourn and suffer, sometimes due to offenses.
  3. Meerkat

    Being offended

    For those times when we missed it, or didn't do the right thing, the Apostle paul said to the Galations in chapter 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
  4. Hi Tacenda-- I believe a fantastic story that is based on the greatest miracle in the world, that Jesus Christ died, rose from the dead and that through Him we can live forever. While there are many who testify this is true, many find their testimonies unconvincing. Paul said, in 1 Cor. 2:14 "14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." In other words, this knowledge comes from God speaking directly to man. That is how I know God lives, and Jesus took my sins and sorrows upon Himself when I repented, and replaced them with joy. The Bible shows a pattern of God speaking to man through prophets on matters of doctrine that apply to everyone. In this complex day and age, there is a greater need for a prophet than ever before, and we have one, Russell M. Nelson. The evidence us unconvincing to many or most. But Alma the Younger, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, described exactly how I came to know the LDS Church is true in Alma chapter 5: "11 Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them? 12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true. 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved. 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? 15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?" That's how I know it's true. And that's how anyone can know. It is a matter of faith, believing AND being faithful to the end, doing the deeds of Christ in our own lives. That is how Jesus also said we can know: "17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17 This has been God's pattern since days of old: "19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel 11:19-21. This knowledge is a gift, yes. But work and effort is required. "...do His will" and know His doctrine. Following the prophets leads to personal revelation, a personal communication between God and His child. You are His child, as am I. Just because Christ has always spoken to mankind through prophets doesn't overcome the importance of a personal relationship with God in this day of modern day prophets, any more than it did in the days of ancient prophets. "the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free. 5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever. 6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. 7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered." 2 Nephi 2:4-7. The Church us true. Do the thing. Know the doctrine. Believe it. Live it. The difference between us and others is that we preach the Gospel, not of belief only, but the Gospel of changed behavior.
  5. Meerkat

    Tithing & Coercion

    Beautifully put. My experience has been the same. I live that commandment because I love it. The promises are real. Thanks be to God for the blessings of tithing.
  6. Meerkat

    Tithing & Coercion

    You are right than many of the blessings are apparently intangible. But not to the faithful tithe payer. They are actual. There are blessings of peace, increased faith to petition God for what we need and receive the needed answers. Many who faithfully tithe will tell you they have received tangible blessings. This is my experience: When I began to pay tithing out of our need, the tangible blessings were immediate. As time went by, the tangible blessings became less frequent. I prayed to know why. The answer that came to me was that tithing is an act of faith, even a test of our faith. If there was an immediate financial blessing, where is the need for faith? It would be no more than an ATM machine. Faithfully paying our tithing, the tangible blessings came when we needed them. The intangible came when we needed them. It is an act of faith, and our faith in God and His promises are strengthened as we do it. My experience has been miraculous. There is nothing you could say or do that could persuede me to withhold my tithing. I have done as Malachi 3:10 promised when the Lord said "Prove me now herewith." I have proved Him. The windows of Heaven have opened up for me. I believe they will for you also if you go out on that limb and act in faith.
  7. Meerkat

    the gospel of change?

    Well, I suppose if a person never sinned, they wouldn't feel that desperate need for a Savior. Having been a sinner, I can tell you I am not the same person I was when the Savior came into my life. My burden of sorrow and care was lifted. Sadness and confusion replaced with faith, understanding, gratitude and purpose. Whereas one may find a sense of purpose in the Kiwanis club, I doubt that service would bring relief from sin. The Savior does.
  8. Meerkat

    Tithing & Coercion

    Sounds reasonable to me. I wish you all the best however you decide.
  9. Meerkat

    Tithing & Coercion

    Actually the principle works outside the Church as well. I became converted to tithing prior to becoming a religious person. When I decided to contribute 10 percent of my income to the Tacoma Rescue Mission, my life took a major turn for the better. I recognized it as a direct blessing from tithing. When we found the Church, tithing was a majoor part of my testimony. I was making money at the time and glad to do it. Maybe attitude had something to do with it also. I don't think I'd pay it if I didn't want to. I like you Jeanne, as well as Tacenda. I say to each his or her own. My comments are how I feel based on my experiences. You have a right to your experiences and beliefs. No offense intended.
  10. Meerkat

    Tithing & Coercion

    Isn't that a little like "My brother hasn't paid back the money I loaned him. I'll show him. I'll just take it out of the money I owe my sister." I understand and sympathize with the frustration about inheritance concerns, especially when owed as in your case. But the last person I would want to short change is God. He has given me everything including whatever inheritances I may receive. And my future is in His hands. Why did He say "Will a man rob God, yet ye have robbed me... in tithes and offerings..." He must have been frustrated with some of His children. I hope He isn't frustrated with me. Ibid.
  11. Meerkat

    The Church has $32 Billion in the Stock Market

    Well, you have building maintenance and welfare needs for a large worldwide church. You have church, Temple, office building sites to purchase and maintain as well as recreation properties. Utility expenses. You have salaries and benefits for a relatively modest human resource infrastructure. You have Family History centers, Temples and associated expenses. You have charitable distributions mentioned earlier. Throw in legal expenses, counseling. How about local church library expenses and classroom materials? Then there is the need for an ample rainy day fund for emergencies, increased welfare needs when there is a downturn in the economy, national and international disasters, etc. (The Church is usually among the first responders with money, labor and other resources.) We've seen such emergencies before, and the Church has been there, thanks to wise planning. I'm sure there are a multitude of other justifiable expenses that our church leaders allow on occasion. I also know they are careful in their stewardship over the Lord's resources. There may be a bad apple occasionally in the organization that draws attention. That's what you get with human beings and families. What do you think are worthy expenses for the Lord's Church by His authorized representatives?
  12. Meerkat

    Joseph F. Smith and the End of Tithing

    Absolutely right. The benefits or blessings for paying tithes and offerings are so great, there is nothing you could do or say to keep me from paying it. It means that much to me, and to MANY converted Latter-day Saints I know. The Malachi 10 blessings are real, as are the Isaiah 58 blessings for fast offerings. People can complain about tithing forever. But for those who know, they would't want to live without it.
  13. Meerkat

    The Church has $32 Billion in the Stock Market

    Regarding how the Church invests their money, I trust their businesses and investments generate more billions to contribute to hurricane victims, refugees, the Red Cross, Red Crescent, DI and other charities than if they took tithing, for example, and immediately distributed it all to the poor. For example: Say a rental purchased in 2011 for $450,000 cash generated $4200 per month through 2012. Today, the income from that appreciating asset is $5600 per month. (For sake of example, ignore taxes and repairs.) The point is $450,000 given directly to the poor depletes that asset to zero. $450,000 INVESTED generates at least $$504,000 every ten years. 30 years = a minimum of $1,500,000 to give to the poor from that piddly $450,000 investment. And the asset continues to appreciate in value and spin off more and more cash for the poor and needy. Stemelbow, your heart is in the right place wanting to care for the poor. I'm glad the Church invests their money so it can do considerably more good than you would, if you had the chance. No offense intended. Just a different perspective. P.S. God bless those billionaires for any good they do. There are MANY in the church whose financial contributions to the poor and needy never show up on a public balance sheet. Those should be counted in the Church column, as charity is a fruit of the Gospel. Add to that service hours gladly given. 🙄
  14. Meerkat

    LDS Church gets beat on medical marijuana

    You're talking about the effects of recreational use in this post as opposed to medical marijuana, right? I agreed 100%! Nothing good comes from recreational drug use. I'm opposed to it.
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