What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mormon Women: Eliza R. Snow

There are many incredible women in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  However none is more revered than Eliza R. Snow.  
Eliza R. Snow is best remembered for her poetry.  Ten of her poems are published in the LDS Hymn Book.   The most popular is undoubtedly, "O My Father."  This beautiful description of our Heavenly Mother, and eternal realms is a Mormon gem.   She also penned "How Great the Wisdom and the Love" which is often quoted in conference.  "How great, how glorious, how complete  Redemption's grand design,
Where justice, love, and mercy meet  In harmony divine!" 
A book I am now reading, "Signs, Wonders, and Miracles"  points to her as a widow of the martyred prophet Joseph Smith.  She had asked the Lord to take her as well.  However the prophet appeared to her from beyond the veil, and told her that was not God's intentions for her.  The prophet told her to "be of good courage and help to cheer and lighten the burdens of others."  Eliza was later asked by Brigham Young to organized relief societies in the local units of the church.  She then became the second general president of the relief society.  
Although  "O My Father" is a poem well revered, I like another even better: A Word To Saints Who are Gathering
by Eliza R. Snow
Think not, when you gather to Zion,
Your troubles and trials are through--
That nothing but comfort and pleasure
Are waiting in Zion for you.
No, no; 'tis design'd as a furnace;
All substance, all textures to try--
To consume all the "wood, hay and stubble,"
And the gold from the dross purify.

Think not, when you gather to Zion
That all will be holy and pure--
That deception, and falsehood are banish'd
And confidence wholly secure.
No, no, for the Lord our Redeemer
Has said that the tares from the wheat
Must grow; until the great day of burning
Shall render the harvest complete.

Think not, when you gather to Zion
The Saints here have nothing to do
But attend to your personal welfare,
And always be comforting you.
No, the Saints who are faithful are doing
What their hands find to do, with their might
To accomplish the gath'ring of Israel
They are toiling by day and by night.

Think not, when you gather to Zion,
The prize and the victory won--
Think not that the warfare is ended,
Or the work of salvation is done.
No, no; for the great Prince of Darkness
A tenfold exertion will make
When He sees you approaching the fountain
Where the truth you may freely partake.  (LDS Women)

Now, recently in the media we are made aware of another way to think of Eliza R. Snow, as a survivor of gang rape.  This knowledge helps me to appreciate this woman even more.  Two times she has to pick herself up, and go on.  I noted in the "Liahona September 1987" this story about Eliza Snow.  With the expulsion of the Saints "a man taunted Eliza R. Snow, saying, “Well, I think this will put an end to your faith.” She replied, “No, sir, it will take more than this to put an end to my faith.” He humbly responded, “I must confess you are a stronger person than I am.”  Eliza R. Snow is a person among people.  A person who overcame hardship, and was able to help many others.  A woman who fought for women's suffrage and women's rights.  (Utah had women's suffrage long before any other state or territory, but it was taken away by the federal government.)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thoughts on the Joseph Smith Translation

A couple thoughts on the Joseph Smith Translation of the bible using as sources the LDS Bible Dictionary and an article in the book "Signs Wonders and Miracles." by Glen Rawson.  The text is from the bible dictionary and in brackets the information from Rawson, or myself.

Joseph Smith Translation (JST)
A revision or translation of the King James Version of the Bible begun by the Prophet Joseph Smith in June 1830. [Interesting to note that the translation of the Bible began shortly after he finished translating the Book of Mormon.] He was divinely commissioned to make the translation and regarded it as “a branch of his calling” as a prophet. Although the major portion of the work was completed by July 1833, he continued to make modifications while preparing a manuscript for the press until his death in 1844, and it is possible that some additional modifications would have been made had he lived to publish the entire work. Some parts of the translation were published during his lifetime.  [Glen Rawson writes, “Many have opined that he never finished it, or that its text was adulterated after he died, both ideas are false.  Perhaps its greatest contribution is its witness of the Savior.  The Joseph Smith Translation reveals a greater Christ—more noble, and even more divine, making the Joseph Smith Translation another treatment and the most correct of any Bible on earth.”  Rawson also points out that the Joseph Smith translation is a testament of Joseph as a prophet.  He translated with out seer stone, and never lost his concentration or place, translating slow enough a scribe could write his words.]
The translation process was a learning experience for the Prophet, and several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (and also other revelations that are not published in the Doctrine and Covenants) were received in direct consequence of the work (D&C 76–77; 91). The book of Moses and the 24th chapter of Matthew (JS—M), contained in the Pearl of Great Price, are actual excerpts from the JST. Many excerpts from the JST are also given in the appendix and footnotes in the edition of the KJV that accompanies this dictionary. The JST to some extent assists in restoring the plain and precious things that have been lost from the Bible (see1 Ne. 13–14).
Although not the official Bible of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the JST offers many interesting insights and is an invaluable aid to biblical interpretation and understanding. It is a most fruitful source of useful information for the student of the scriptures. It is likewise a witness for the divine calling and ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Monday, March 21, 2016

More Mushrooms

These are from San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge and from New Park by our house.  The first two from NWR look the same as the others, but they were much smaller and right on the walking path.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

5 Celebrities Share Their Experiences With Porn

Give this a view.  I think it will bring some clarity on porn.  I really like this quote form Terry Crews.  May we treat each other as people, as unique individuals who our children of God, and not as objects.  My problem is not pornography, but that second statement, no treating people as people.  Billy

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Life in Manteca: New Park a Couple Blacks from Our House

We already have a nice park just a half block from our house, with basketball court and playground and large grassy area also used for flood control.  Now in the new subdivision (where all the almond trees use to be) there is a new park.  It has some unique play structures and interesting monkey bars.  Went and played with tony and his friends.  We also took a turn playing baseball.

#Hallelujah—An Easter Message about Jesus Christ

"In Jesus Christ I have found new life"

San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge

I discovered a wildlife refuge only about 20 minutes from our house.  I went to the refuge through Modesto, turning at the mall but going west on Beckwith.  You follow that a few miles and there is a viewing platform on the right.  I must admit, not much to see, but you could hear the gees, and the gun shots from the gun range across the way.
I thank back tracked a little to Gates, and took Gates to the the highway 132 (Maze), turned right, crossed over the river, turned left onto River Road, then left on Dairy and found the parking area very quickly.  I got there at a good time, there were no other vehicles in the parking lot.  There is a small picnic area, and a four mile nature trail.  This park is noted for riparian bunnies.  I didn't think I would see one, but saw two within a couple seconds on the trail, but skirting into the bushes ahead of me.  No was to get a picture.  However I continued on.  The lower trail follows a slough, and in that slough I saw the biggest bird I have seen in the wild, reminded me of an ostrich but of course much smaller.  I think they are blue herons.  I also saw plenty of great egrets, some in flight.  There were smaller birds, and plant life different than I see normally.  The trail goes around the slough so I saw the egrets from another angle as well.
While going around the slough, one of those bunnies came out of the thicket, and seeing me froze, hoping I wouldn't notice him.  I got a couple of pictures.  Later a big squirrel did the same thing, and then I saw another bunny way in front of me hopping down the trail.
The riparian forest is =incredible.  Everything is off limits except the trail--the are protecting wildlife.
The amenities are an out house at the parking lot.  I am glad it was there.   As noted I turned back before completing the trail.  If you walk far enough the map shows you coming up on the San Joaquin River, old channels and new channel.  Also the Tuolumne River flows into the San Joaquin in the refuge.
I returned home a different way.  Followed Dairy until it hit Center Street and took that back to River Road.  I crossed the 132 onto Kasson which goes through San Joaquin City (an old ghost town with nothing there any more but a monument where the plaque use to be.  Then I got on Airport and returned home.  It was a fun couple hour diversion.  And for me it was a terrific discovery.
From the platform

platform parking

Nature Hike, bird of prey

strange plant

Blue Herons is my guess, very large birds

Great White Egrets

Little bird in the reeds

riparian Brush rabbits are endangered species in the refuge.  I don't think this is a sample as has a white butt

Large squirrel

What is that in the bush?

tree samples of the riparian forrest

barbed wire from San Joaquin City; alas the city is gone

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Personal Values Statement

Trying to come up with a concise way to say what I am about.

I am a change agent.  I change myself; and I help others change.  I do this through my employment, and recreational activities.  I maintain a blog which promotes healthy living, I share my belief in God through blogging, and through inviting others to come and see.  I invite people to Christ.  I promote wholesome entertainment.  I share my thoughts on history with others.  I share my genealogy work with others, and thereby inspire others to participate.  I also effect positive change in my family and marital relationships, by focusing on myself, and not insisting that others change.  We all have our agency.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Strangest Mushroom I have Ever Seen

This strange mushroom showed up in our yard.  I have never seen a mushroom like this.  I imagine it is poisonous.