How I believe Heaven itself hallowed
the mission and message of Elder Boyd K Packer in the last week of his passage into Light.
Obergefell vs. Hodges hit social media like the death of John F. Kennedy, or the explosion of the Challenger, and I was there, in the trenches, for a good part of the day, typing away. My status updates were set to public, and I made a public photo album which I have since converted over to WordPress and used as the basis of a 2-part blogpost: The Rainbow Connection. While I don’t care what the world thinks because I have little power or influence over their self-deceit, I was deeply concerned over the responses of many of my LDS friends. This was more than trivial “drama” playing out to me. It was the minute-by-minute coverage of the slow-death of liberty in my country. It was witnessing my friends and associates walking off into mental mists of darkness, with all the self-assurance in the world. In the words of President Hinckley, it was a switch point on the railway of life being set off. I was shocked to see how many were setting themselves up for bigger problems with the Church and members like me in the future. For them, there will be another switchpoint coming.
The course of our lives is not determined by great, awesome decisions. Our direction is set by the little day-to-day choices which chart the track on which we run.
Many years ago I worked in the head office of one of our railroads. One day I received a telephone call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey, who said that a passenger train had arrived without its baggage car. The patrons were angry.
We discovered that the train had been properly made up in Oakland, California, and properly delivered to St. Louis, from which station it was to be carried to its destination on the east coast. But in the St. Louis yards, a thoughtless switchman had moved a piece of steel just three inches.
That piece of steel was a switch point, and the car that should have been in Newark, New Jersey, was in New Orleans, Louisiana, thirteen hundred miles away.
So it is with our lives—a cigarette smoked, a can of beer drunk at a party, a shot of Speed taken on a dare, a careless giving in to an impulse on a date. Each has thrown a switch in the life of a boy that put him on a track that carried him far away from what might have been a great and foreordained calling. And as Nephi said, “… thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” – Gordon B. Hinckley, 1972
Not that I was surprised by most of my Facebook friends who marked themselves with colored stripes. I had seen many of their earlier posts! But yes, there were a one or two jaw-droppers among the statements and images that I hadn’t expected. So while I was dismayed by the silence of the majority of my Christian friends I was not surprised. I have studied events surrounding Germany and World War II since my early teens. I have also read Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. So, I’m sad to say that I expected to see the chips falling, but I was sad to see which of my friends they were. I think somehow I have felt a forboding about this mess in the United States for a long time, maybe even since childhood. Because every time we would watch the opening credits of The Sound of Music, and they’d get to that part that read, “In the Last Golden Days of the Austrian Republic” I would get such a feeling of dread and insecurity. I would stare hard at those words while they remained on the screen, reassuring myself that it really didn’t say American. Yet something still whispered that I might very well be living in the last golden days of the American republic. So I wasn’t necessarily downhearted by the end of the day but I did feel somewhat grieved as dusk began to fall and fatigue to set in. I sat down to post a status update:
Social Media Post, June 30 2015, 9:11pm. “The Great Conjunction is the end of the World! Or the beginning! Humph!” – Aughra, The Dark Crystal. Everybody is saying this Jupiter-Venus conjunction is the Star of Bethlehem again, but I don’t believe it. Think about it:
1. Ancient peoples watched the skies MUCH more often than we did and actually knew them very well. They had astronomers in some cultures: folks who I am pretty sure knew the difference between a conjunction and a star. 2. The scriptures say STAR. 3. The Book of Mormon testifies that there was more than just a new star. 4. Maybe there are people that want us to believe that the original sign spoken of in the new testament was “just” what we are about to see “replayed” again? (A little bit of doubt-planting about stuff like divinity and Bibles?) Sorry, I am not convinced. Maybe this was the sign of “Hey! You can leave Egypt now, little Holy Family…” So to check out that hunch, I looked up what LDS astronomer John Pratt had to say. He says that the conjunction 2000 years ago was a sign of Christ’s conception. I believe it. [Here is the link to his article].
Social Media Post, June 30 2015, 9:16 pm Oh dear… if John Pratt is correct, then we have two planets symbolically up there doing something VERY not homosexual. I wonder what the heavens could POSSIBLY be witnessing? Hmmmm….
Comment of a friend, June 30 2015, 9:39 pm I worked at a planetarium years ago and they had an amazing christmas show that showed were the planets and stars were around the time of Christs birth. It is a rare occurance. I believe the Prophets and scriptures that say we will have signs but we are not to seek them out. Only Christ the Lord and GOD know when that time cometh it is not for us to worry about but to be prepared.
Social Media Post, June 30 2015, 9:42 pm Yup! I didn’t even know about this thing until I read about it on a blog a few days ago. I think it’s hilarious! John Pratt just made my day. Heavenly Father has such the sense of humor when he bears witness of his omnipotence and his laws sometimes. The only kind of conjunction that leads to conception REQUIRES male and female. There is no other way:
Social Media Post, June 30 2015, 9:50ish pm
Social Media Post, June 30 2015, 10:22 pm
Nitey-nite, all! https://youtu.be/y3KyH6rP-ks
(Liked my own post. hahahaha)
Social Media Post, July 1 2015, 2:10 pm Now it’s being called a Bethlehem-less “double-star moment in the night sky” by CNN. [Much more gay-friendly phraseology, I guess.] Happening at a sky near you this coming Tuesday.
[Another interesting fact from the cozy article above is this sentence: “Venus will look like a crescent and Jupiter should shine with its four largest moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – according to Sky & Telescope Magazine.” Wow, this is powerful symbolism. Venus being crescent, as in a concave, receiving vessel, as in the female function during conception. Jupiter, the male symbol and top God of the gods, arriving along with 4 companions. Hmmm… Companions like Four Horsemen, maybe? Named Conquest, War, Famine, and Death.]
Social Media Post, July 1 2015, 2:16 pm
Just a thought: On one of the only days left when a majority of Americans will be staring up at the night sky, the 4th of July, how many of them, having eyes but not seeing, will look straight at the planetary conjunction amid their fireworks and festivities over the “liberties” of this land, and think it a thing of naught? Most, I’m afraid. Where would I post a message to all my American children about my feelings regarding their behavior, if I were God? Right where he has put it. D&C 63:9 “But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.” I didn’t look for this thing. It just found me. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/signs-of-the-times.p2?lang=eng&letter=s
WordPress Post-script. July 4, 2015: I can think of no better second witness that this conjunction of planets to honor the mission and passing of a prophet, seer and revelator. Elder Boyd K. Packer has been a spiritual guide and true friend to me all the days of my life. The conjunction justifies and glorifies the staunch, unyielding witnesses about all things family given by this preacher of righteousness. “Participation in the mating process offers an experience like nothing else in life. When entered into worthily, it combines the most exquisite and exalted physical, emotional, and spiritual feelings associated with the word love. Those feelings and the lifelong need for one another bind a husband and wife together in a marriage wherein all of the attributes of adult masculinity are complemented by the priceless feminine virtues of womanhood. That part of life has no equal, no counterpart, in all human experience. It will, when covenants are made and kept, last eternally.”