Early in the Small Plates of Nephi, Ishmael and his family join Lehi and his family in the wilderness. In spite of their likely close proximity, though, we don’t know much about Ishmael.[fn2] Nephi and his brothers found favor in Ishmael’s sight. Although at various times Ishmael’s sons and daughters act for or against Nephi, we don’t have any sense about where Ishmael falls in the Laman & Lemuel/Lehi & Nephi continuum.
The idea that every member is a missionary depends on a certain kind of commitment to the Church. For the Church to make the kind of progress outlined in D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 41 missionaries, even member missionaries, must be willing to make the sacrifices necessary. Recently, the level of commitment that some missionaries end up making has been very public — the Church seems to have switched policy and made public information about missionaries who died in the field. At last report the number who have died is up to 12 (probably fewer than the number of currently serving missionaries that would have died had they all stayed at home — but little consolation to relatives). The subject of this poem was the first missionary to die in the field outside of the United States. Enthusiastic when he left, Barnes wrote a long poem announcing his mission entitled The Bold Pilgrim (which I excerpted for D&C Lesson #11).
The sacred and eternal nature of families is regularly taught and believed among Mormons today. But it wasn’t seen as quite as obvious to Church members in the middle of the 19th century. The teaching that our family relationships extend past this life and are modeled on the family relationship we had before this life developed throughout the life of Joseph Smith, culminating with the King Follett discourse (given just before his death) and with the temple ordinances. The teachings of Lorenzo Snow on this subject (seen in the Lorenzo Snow manual chapter 9) thus represent a very developed understanding of how these relationships fit in the plan of salvation. For many earlier Church members, however, it seems to me that these teachings were mostly comfort on the loss of loved ones, especially children. And it is in comforting those who have lost children that the eternal nature of families can be seen. An example is the poem selected for this lesson.
As Alma talks with his son Corianton in Alma 40-42, he realizes that Corianton does not understand some basic elements of the Plan of Salvation. From what Alma teaches him, we can surmise that Corianton doesn’t understand that all will be resurrected, that each person will be resurrected according to their words in this life (the righteous to happiness and the wicked to misery), and the roles that justice and mercy play in the great plan of happiness. From the context, it is clear that all these teachings were in response to Corianton’s misdeeds while serving a mission, a similar situation to that described in this week’s poem.
After retirement, my father turned to family history and temple work to fill his time. Most of this work has focused on researching ancestors from Virginia and North Carolina. I took this photo at a cemetery in Carrol County, VA, near the the birthplace of my father’s grandparents. My father is shown in the picture. While in the cemetery he was able to locate headstones of people for whom he had completed temple work. It was the first and only time that my father has visited this place that has taken so much of his attention. As a side note, I have to feel for my ancestors who left lush, green, beautiful Virginia for the desert of Vernal, Utah! Sorry Vernal. By L-d Sus ___ This picture is part of our ongoing series highlighting Mormon images. Comments to the post are welcome; all comments should be respectful. In addition we invite you to submit your own images to the Mormon Image series. Other images in the series can be found here. Rules and instructions, including submissions guidelines, can be found here.
In honor of my grandfather, who passed away yesterday at the tender age of 93, I thought I’d post a few photographs. He was a kind and generous man who was always upright in his dealings and loved to surround himself with family. He was not a member of the Church (my mother is a convert), but he led a moderate and principled life that will continue to serve as an example to me. His memory will be carried by his children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This last fall, my wife and I were lucky enough to sneak away to Switzerland with our son and spend some time with him while he was still in good health. Here we are visiting the grave of my late grandmother–my grandfather’s wife of 65 years. by Marc Bohn ___ These pictures are part of our ongoing series highlighting Mormon images. Comments to the post are welcome; all comments should be respectful. In addition we invite you to submit your own images to the Mormon Image series. Other images in the series can be found here. Rules and instructions, including submissions guidelines, can be found here.
Stewart Udall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior under Kennedy and Johnson and a prominent member of a prolific Mormon political dynasty, passed away Saturday morning at his home in Sante Fe, New Mexico, according to a statement from his son, Senator Tom Udall. Known affectionately as “Stew,” he was ninety years old and the last surviving member of Kennedy’s original cabinet. While he did not remain an active Latter-day Saint in his later life, he nevertheless kept close ties with the Church and continued to self-identify as a Mormon, claiming that he was “Mormon born and bred, and it’s inside me… I prize my Mormon heritage and status.” More than that, throughout his adult life he served as an important intermediary for the Church on both political and religious matters. Background and Public Life Stew was the son of former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Levi S. Udall. He was born in the small town of St. Johns, Arizona in 1920 and attended the University of Arizona before leaving on a mission to the Eastern States in 1940. After his mission, Stew enlisted in the Air Force, serving as a B-24 gunner and flying fifty missions over Europe during World War II. Upon returning from his service, Stew attended law school at the University of Arizona, graduating in 1948. He also married Ermalee Webb that same year, his life-long companion with whom he had six children. In the 1950s, Stew entered politics…
People are always making assertions about what heaven must contain in order for it to qualify as heaven for them, some of these assertions being more jokes than anything else. “It’s not heaven without sex.” “It wouldn’t be heaven if [insert name of favorite pet dog] isn’t there.” “If heaven doesn’t have Egg McMuffins, I don’t want to go there.”
Presidential campaigns aside, one of the first political races I can remember paying attention to growing up was the 1990 congressional race between Karl Snow and new comer Bill Orton to fill retiring Rep. Howard C. Nielson’s 3rd District congressional seat. I was 12 at the time and delivered the Utah County Journal, a free area newspaper.