Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, Videos
There is a video out there that tries to make a case for hating religion while at the same time loving Jesus. There is nothing necessarily new in that message, just the way it is presented is captivating and many people probably like it.
However, the message is wrong, because to say that we hate religion does not produce good will among men, and complete lack of religion never created a happy society.
Moreover, the author of the video does not understand that Jesus in fact established a church when he lived on this earth, and Jesus does not hate religion. If it is true that in the name of religion many atrocities have been committed, it is also true that many great things have been done because of religion. So, the problem is not “religion” but what we do in its name, and I think that the good things done in its name still outweigh the wrong one (but they are usually less glamorous).
The following video is a Mormon or LDS reply to that video, Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus. I prefer this one
Filed under: Book of Mormon, Mormon Church, Mormon Videos
The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is Holy Scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God’s guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious histories of different civilizations. While the Bible is written by and about the people in the land of Israel and surrounding areas, and takes place from the creation of the world until shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God's dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD.
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and this means that I have read the book, and thought about its teaching, and prayed about it, and I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that is a true book, written by ancient prophets. The Book of Mormon contains the word of God, and if we live by its precepts we will be blessed in our lives.
Filed under: Joseph Smith, Mormon Church, Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon Videos
I am really excited to see the new version of the movie about Joseph Smith.
When I first arrived to the US (in 2001) I went several times to watch the movie The Testaments, one of my favorite movies ever. When they finally released the Joseph Smith movie I thought that it could not be better than The Testaments, but I was actually impressed by the new movie. I have not decided yet which one is better, but the few things I have heard about the new version make me feel that I will probably like it even more now.
According to LdsMediaTalk,
This is the first full-length motion picture the Church has released on the Internet. It is a revised version of the film that has been shown since 2005 in the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City and in 19 visitors' centers around the world. The revisions are to make it more easily understood by a wider audience, now that it is available to everyone online.
Ron Munns, who produced the original film, said, "The first Joseph Smith film was excellent and was well received by many. However, some parts were not easily understood if you did not already know the story. Everyone comes to the film with different backgrounds and knowledge and we wanted to make sure that every person who sees the film walks away with a better understanding of the Prophet Joseph and what he did."
In the new version, "there is less focus on Joseph the man and more focus on Joseph the prophet. It's the same story, just with a different emphasis," said John Garbett, who produced the new movie. For example, a scene showing a leg operation Joseph had as a young boy was removed because it was less essential to the purpose of the film. Those who have seen the film before will notice that the revised version has a new narrator: an actress representing Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother.
"We chose this device to tell the story because Lucy Mack Smith was an eyewitness to everything that happened," Garbett said. "This is a mother talking about her son in her own words."
Now, I need to leave and go take a look at the movie!
Filed under: Humanitarian services, Mormon Church, News & Politics, Videos
Yesterday I read as the governor of Tokyo apologized on Tuesday for saying the earthquake and resulting tsunami that left thousands dead were divine punishment for Japanese egoism.
“I will take back (the remark) and offer a deep apology,” Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said at a Tuesday news conference, according to Japan's Kyodo News.
On Monday, Ishihara had told reporters, “I think (the disaster) is tembatsu (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims.”
After reading that on CNN.com I thought of a passage in the Bible:
There were present at that season some who told Him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, nay; but unless ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all other men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, nay; but unless ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
It is true that we are told that in the latter days many calamities and destructions will visit this planet and its inhabitants, but as the previous scripture reminds us, the people who lost their lives or their possessions were not “sinners above all the others”. Our duty is to help, not to judge.
It is impossible to know, and useless to speculate, whether a specific calamity is a natural consequence of the way our imperfect physical world operates, or whether is the consequence of our sins.
Everything is imperfect in this world, and those calamities may serve as a reminder to all of us that this world will not last forever, and that we should not spend all of our time and efforts on what has no eternal value, but that we should focus on what really matters.
A friend suggested this video as a very positive one about the BYU Honor Code. I was really impressed to see how positively they were talking about it. It is a tribute to the values for which Brigham Young University (BYU) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) stand for. What seems impossible and unrealistic to many, it is actually possible.
This is the video ESPN BYU Honor Code
Reasons for the BYU Code
Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University--Hawaii, Brigham Young University--Idaho, and LDS Business College exist to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That atmosphere is created and preserved through commitment to conduct that reflects those ideals and principles. Members of the faculty, administration, staff, and student body at BYU, BYU--Hawaii, BYU--Idaho, and LDSBC are selected and retained from among those who voluntarily live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Observance of such is a specific condition of employment and admission. Those individuals who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also expected to maintain the same standards of conduct, except church attendance. All who represent BYU, BYU--Hawaii, BYU--Idaho, and LDSBC are to maintain the highest standards of honor, integrity, morality, and consideration of others in personal behavior. By accepting appointment on the faculty, continuing in employment, or continuing class enrollment, individuals evidence their commitment to observe the Honor Code standards approved by the Board of Trustees “at all times and . . . in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
BYU Honor Code Statement:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).
As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University--Hawaii, Brigham Young University--Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code
Filed under: Internet & Media, News & Politics, Videos
Last week I heard about the recent developments in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the army is helping the police to gain control of the favelas (slums). This video is an interesting analysis of what is happening.
An article on BBC explains that
“Everyone here is focused on the World Cup and the Olympics.” As Rio gets ready to host the matches in the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later, the city’s hillside shanty towns are the target of a government clean-up that in turn is being used as a springboard to develop tourism in the favelas with special tours.
To have the privilege of hosting the finals of the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics is a responsibility that pushes governments around the world to make some real improvements (and some only for appearance’s sake) that will make them ready and especially “look good” to the rest of the world. In spite of their dominating ideology or current economic circumstances, they know that they need to live up to certain minimum standards to be considered good hosts. At each new event, the hosting nation tries to impress the world.
Even Hitler tried it. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia
For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character while hosting the Summer Olympics. Softpedaling its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to bedazzle many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany.
Therefore, what we see in display during the games is not the reality of the country, but I believe that in most cases (Germany’s case was very extreme) there is a benefit in giving a chance to new and in some way problematic countries (and all are in some way) to open up and better align themselves with the “best practices” around the globe, and become more fully integrated with the rest of the world.
In the case of Brazil, for example, their soccer team is already good enough, but they need to make an effort of improving many other things, first of all, safety around the stadiums.
To choose Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup will also push those countries to do something real beyond lots of propaganda (and Russia is very good at it). Russia will try to show that is really becoming a modern and democratic country, and Qatar will be engaged in proving that Middle East countries are not all about extremism and intollerance.
This is obvious a very superficial and quick analysis, and a lot more could be said, but I cannot avoid feeling like these international sport events may provide many benefits in at least some of the countries they touch.
In Brazil, even after the World Cup and the Olympics will be over, many of the economic and safety changes will probably stay with the population. In other countries, such as China, or Russia, perhaps new opportunities will be created. Ideas and values may be shared, and personal friendships between people who normally would never be in touch may be formed. Those ideas and relationships over time may grow and produce real changes, in spite of the original intentions of those who are in control of a country.
This is the video of the complete Rome Mormon Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony held in Rome, October 23, 2010.
A few parts are only in Italian but most of the talks were given in English, including obviously the final talk by President Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).
President Thomas S. Monson was accompanied by Church officials including Elder William R. Walker, Executive Director of the Temple Department; Erich W. Kopischke, President of the Europe Area and his two counselors, Elder Gérald Caussé and Elder José A. Teixeira; Elder Alfredo L. Gessati, Area Seventy; President Massimo De Feo, Rome Italy Stake President; and President Raimondo Castellani, Bern Switzerland Temple President. Numerous government officials were also in attendance including Mr. Giuseppe Ciardi, vice mayor of Rome, and Senator Lucio Malan.
In his remarks, President Monson emphasized the unique and historic nature of the temple’s construction, which has significance extending beyond the borders of Rome and Italy. He thanked the Saints for their faithfulness and commitment to follow the example of Jesus Christ, urging them to be good citizens. He said, we love, honor and obey the laws of the country, and we love, honor, and obey the laws of God.
All Italian Saints are now hoping to see the temple completed according to schedule, before the end of 2013.
Two years ago, in October, my family and I went to watch the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) at the closest Stake Center. We had recently cancelled our subscription to cable TV and we were not used yet to use the Internet to watch conference. Therefore the Stake Center was our best option.
That morning very few people were with us in the chapel, and when President Monson started talking and announcing the plans for new temples constructions we were surprised – as many in the audience – by his announcing the construction of the Rome Temple.
When we heard that announcement, we could not refrain from jumping on our feet and shout, as many Italians would do when their favorite soccer team scores a goal!
Now, two years after that historic announcement, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, President Thomas S. Monson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the future Rome Italy Temple, now being built on a pastoral site in the northeast corner of the city.
When in Rome last November, I had the privilege to visit that site with the Rome Mission president, and I was amazed at the thought that a temple could be eventually built in Italy, and especially in Rome. Thinking back to the time when I had been baptized, in 1985, I remembered how hard would have been at that time to think of being able to see such a day. But the Lord works miracles and His work moves forward.
On Saturday, he shared remarks and counsel before offering a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication on the temple site and construction project.
Following the prayer, President Monson stepped down from the podium, gripped a shovel and turned the maiden load of dirt to commence the construction of the temple.
Now some 25,000 Mormons here look to the years ahead when Italy’s first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open.
But the church leader reminded them of those pivotal, essential moments from their nation’s past that cannot be forgotten.
The ancient apostles Peter and Paul were missionaries here,” he said. “Approximately 1,800 years later, in June of 1850, (Mormon apostle) Elder Lorenzo Snow and two companions, Elder Stenhouse and Elder Toronto, traveled to the valleys of the Piedmont Mountains in northeast Italy, where they began missionary efforts in this dispensation.”
He also paid tribute to the LDS Italians -- the local pioneers -- who proved faithful over many years by traveling across international borders to worship and serve in the Bern Switzerland Temple.
“Such devotion to temple work has contributed to the wonderful blessing which will soon be ours -- that of having a temple; a house of the Lord -- here on this spot in this beautiful city. Members throughout Italy, and indeed the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here, no longer needing to travel such long distances, often at great expense.”
I love the Temple, and I still remember the many trips we took to the Swiss temple, when we still lived in Italy. In one of those trips my first son Luca was born, two months in advance, and it was a great blessing, and probably it saved his life, to be born in that particular place and time.
I know that the Rome Mormon Temple will bless the life of thousand of people, bringing them closer to the Lord.
Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, News & Politics
Follow the link below to watch this interesting video produced by CNBC about the influence of a Mormon Mission on future business leaders.
For Mormons, religion has a huge influence on how they conduct business. A belief in the Mormon faith impacts relationships with employees, business partners, and competitors. It influences the manner in which they handle leadership, power, and their personal wealth.
On a smaller scale, the organization of a ward (local unit of the Mormon Church) can be compared to a business. The two main differences between a business and a local unit of the Church are the purpose of the organization (to make money versus improving the spiritual life of members) and the fact that in the Church people are all volunteers.
If we keep this clear in our mind, however, we can try to compare the organization of a local unit of the Mormon Church to a small business.
For example, we could compare the bishop to a CEO (but a very good one, one who care for the people and not only of the "bottom line"). In fact, a Mormon bishop cares for the people in his congregation, listens to their concerns, gains a personal relationship, allocates positions, and oversees the operation of the ward.
The ward members also hold various positions of leadership within the congregation, and do their various tasks under the supervision of the bishop. In most cases, wards operate smoothly and successfully. Although ward members have different backgrounds and hold differing opinions, they are able to join together for a common purpose, to worship Christ and serve man. Because a spirit of service and respect is alive in a ward, people feel appreciated and motivated to work harder in their calling.
Mormon wards have performed acts of service throughout their church, communities, and the world because they are passionate about what they are doing and a spirit of good will is manifested. It is no wonder why people who grow up active in the church are finding success in running businesses. Throughout a Mormon's lifetime, he or she will be called to serve in a variety of callings. They will work with children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. They gain experience working with people of all ages, background, and different challenges. Many CEOs simply adopt the set-up of a Mormon ward and use it for a model to run their business.
Mormons believe in full equality between men and women, but they also believe that men and women have different roles because of gender.
Latter-day Saint women celebrate their differences from men, believing that the union of a man and woman is divinely appointed. Sheri L. Dew, a member and former leader of the Relief Society (the 6 million strong Church organization for women) stated, “He made us enough alike to love each other, but enough different that we would need to unite our strengths and stewardships to create a whole. Neither man nor woman is perfect or complete without the other” (“It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 12).
Elder Neal A Maxwell, a prominent Church leader from 1974 up to his death in 2004, added this view concerning husbands and wives:
“When we kneel to pray, we kneel together. When we kneel at the altar of the holy temple [to be married], we kneel together. When we approach the final gate where Jesus Himself is the gatekeeper, we will, if faithful, pass through that gate together” (“The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978, 10).
While men and women are equal partners in marriage, the Mormon church recognizes that men and women are different, too:
“We cannot eliminate, through any pattern of legislation or regulation, the differences between men and women. There are basic things that a man needs that a woman does not need. There are things that a man feels that a woman never does feel. There are basic things that a woman needs that a man never needs, and there are things that a woman feels that a man never feels nor should he.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Equal Rights Amendment”, Ensign, March 1977, page 6)
Mormon women are not subservient to Mormon men:
"The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel ... was devised by the Lord for men and women alike. Every person on earth, man or woman, earned the right in the pre-existent life to come here; and must earn the right, by righteous actions, to live hereafter where 'God and Christ dwell.' … The privileges and requirements of the gospel are fundamentally alike for men and women. The Lord loves His daughters as well as He loves His sons. … This makes individuals of man and woman--individuals with the right of free agency, with the power of individual decision, with individual opportunity for everlasting joy, whose own actions throughout the eternities, with the loving aid of the Father, will determine individual achievement. There can be no question in the Church of man's rights versus woman's rights" (Improvement Era, Mar. 1942, p. 161).