Thursday, 28 August 2014

Heavenly mother



As a new member of our church it was ideal for me to be at the FairMormon Conference in Utah.

I am a thinking person and if somebody say ”this is true” then I am always trying to see the other side of the coin.

So I really liked when Sharon Eubank, whose lecture was called ”This is a womens church”, started out by talking about the doctrine of intelligences. She stated that this is unique to Mormonism and how the doctrine talks about how we always have existed as intelligences. But then we chose to ally ourselves with our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

Sharon Eubank is the Director of LDS Charities


This was intresting. I have a Lutheran friend here in Finland and she introduced, at hbt-services, the tradition to pray both to our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly mother.

I know in our church that LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley has said that Mormons should not pray to the Heavenly Mother because Christ instructed his disciples to address the Heavenly Father in their prayers And I am not talking about prayers here. I am saying that it was intresting because this was the first time I have heard anybody in our churc talking about our Heavenly Mother (besides the missionaries once, briefly)

Sister Eubank said that we define ourselves in different roles and for her the first role is that she is a woman and she believes womanhood has roles related to binding, connecting and bridging. From her own experience, being in an image of the divine feminine, this is what she feels responsible for.

And one role for women is to establish the house described in D&C.

”Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; ” (D&C 88:119)

For her that is not a literal house or even necessarily the temple. It is a generation of life, of community

One way of bulding is going on a mission an sister Eubank was asked if she was excited about young women going serving missions. Sister Eubank herself served as a missonary here in Finland
and said that her mission taught her how to articulate before people.- If we can deepen people’s understanding of doctrine and help them learn to be articulate, it is fantastic, she said.
She was also asked about women and the priesthood and said she belives that anyone who is endowed holds certain aspects of the priesthood and the church is just on the verge of understanding what that means.

I have heard a lot of criticism from non members about womens role in the church and sometimes I, as a man, haven`t been able to answer. For sister Eubank our doctrine is the most moderate and enlightening and empowering doctrine that exists for women.

For me it is a church for all children to our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mother.


To sister Eubank I replied: Kiitos valaisit minua (Thank You You enlighted me)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

UTAH AND BACK


Here are some pics from my trip to Utah and the Fair Mormon Congress in Provo. I am back in Finland with a little bit of jet lag so my readers for now just pics. I will tell ya more later

In Utah are wonderful gardens. Red Butte Garden was amazing

There are mountains in Utah




The conference center in Provo.


Due to some missunderstandings and my timetable I didn´t catch up with a friend of mine but I saw the Temple Scuare Salt Lake City. Gary my brother next time.


nice view



Pink wildflower....



Settlers








from Salt Lake City....


.. to Helsinki


Monday, 4 August 2014

FAIR MORMON

A new day, a great day.


Tomorrow it is tuesday. I will be in Salt Lake City. In Provo for the Fair Mormon Conference. I am looking forward to meet friends and thursday: 

Ty Mansfield; “Mormons can be gay, they just can’t do gay”?: Deconstructing Sexuality and Identity From an LDS Perspective.

Hugs my friends.

Johan

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hit me in Love

Why are we sometimes so afraid of negative feelings? I was thinking about this today when I was reading 3 Nephi 17 and the way our Savior deals with those feelings and how open He is.

"And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubledbecause of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.
And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him." (3 Nephi 17:14-15)

My feelings, also the negative ones are a part of me and should be treated with respect, not guiltily. I shouldn´t be ashamed of them. I shouldn´t feel that my feelings are wrong. Cause how can they be?
When Our Savior felt theese negative feelings just a few verses later they are turned into joy:

"And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise."
"And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full." (3 Nephi 17:19-20)

If we are trying to hide our real emotions by trying to act that we are feeling something else the result is simply a lie and it is impossible to express love influated by a lie.


Yes; some emotions can be hurtful and if someone are eg angry at me they are not going to want to discuss it. But silence is not golden in my mind. Yes you can feel vulnerable when you are wearing your heart on your sleeve. That is a part of your feeling that I do accept.
But the thing is: How do we express our (also negative) feelings? Apostle Paul is talking about speaking the truth in love.

"but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ, "(Eph 4:15)

For me that is about being honest also with negative feelings but in a sensitive and loving way that will not make others feel put down.



Do not force a smile to me if I did something wrong in your opinion. Give yourself permission to feel everything you feel and embrace the fact that you and your feelings are you, perfect or not.

Hit me with your negative feelings in Love. Do not take your feelings as an excuse to blame or insult. I won´t criticize your feelings or try to change them. Only the person who has the feelings can change them. I will listen to you. And I will be glad if you are honest. So will I be.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Travelling

I am going to Utah soon.

It is funny my way of travelling. I do not prepare much. I do understand that for some people it can be frightening to travel. It can be a frightening loss of control, a disorienting dread of not knowing what's going on. It can be not knowing the language, or being unable to read the signs and losing one's way.




Do not worry abot languge. Je ne parle pas francais and I am travelling with Air France. What´s going on? No problemo.

Monday, 14 July 2014

In the name of J.C About Prayers 3

Jesus Christ says in the Gospel According to John;

"In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."  (John 16:23-24)

Christ also commanded the Nephites to pray in his name: “Therfore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name “ (3 Nephi 18:13)

But what does it mean to ask in Jesus s name? When we end our prayers with: “In the name of Jesus Christ” is it then some kind of secret password? A way to ensure that what we pray for doesn´t go in one ear and out the other of our Heavenly Father?

A while ago I was saying grace beforing eating with a ward-member. I didn´t end my prayer with “in the name of Jesus” and this made my friend a little bit frustrated and he tod me that all paryers should be in the name of Our Savior.



For me praying in Jesu´s name is about two things:

Number one:

We can´t pray for anything. Yeah. I think Joplis song “Mercedes Benz” is a great song but I wouldn´t ask Our Lord to give me a car (or maybe, I say maybe if I needed a car to do His work but right now I can´t see that coming up often enough to justify me praying about it). If we are to pray in Jesus’ name, then this means our prayers should reflect Jesus’ own values and purposes. Sure my own agenda can intrude into my prayers fairly easily but I hope and I want my prayers to be more and more consistent with Our Saviors will.

If we think that saying “in Jesus’ name” is what it means to pray in his name, then we are missing this point. Then we use the words just like a secret password that ensures Our Lord will hear us.

Jesus also uses the phrase “in my name” in other places;

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” (Matt 18:5)

That has nothing to do about saying the words. It is more about doing something under His authority, or as His representative.

Number two:

Praying in Jesus name is a way to tell Our Heavenly Father that we are a part of His family. We come before God, not in our own merit, but in the merit of Jesus and by his permission.

I remember when I was young and my grandad used to own a store. It didn´t matter who was at the cashier; if I wanted to I could go into the store and buy candy on my grandfathers account. Once a friend of mine tried the same. He asked for some candy and said my grandads name. The answer he got was that he couldn´t get anything cause he wasn´t a part of the family

When I am asking God for candy in the name of Jesus Christ I do it as a part of the family and God will listen cause I am coming to him not in my own merit, but in the merit of Jesus and as a part of the family. The family I joined when I was baptized.

In opposite of my number one example this more clearly says me that I shold “sign my prayers” by saying the words “in the name of Jesus” cause signing just with my own name doesn´t show that I am a part of the family.

However. The most important thing for me is to pray in the name of Jesus Christ even the times I do not say the words out loud. That is what I am trying to do.

Earlier posts about prayers:



Monday, 7 July 2014

Welcome in any language

The journey back to Our Father in Heaven can have so different roads. As members of our Church we have differences; our ages, history, culture backgrounds and our languages. As members of Church we are all on this journey. I know that we are all welcome.

I have a “problem” in a bilingual country; in Finland as a new member. The problem is not that I am blessed to be the translation coordinator in our ward. I am translating from finnish to english, neither my mother tongue. In a bilingual country I am a minority; swedish speaking and when I have done translation work at our Sacrament Meetings I have been surprised by how the Holy Ghost guides me. All of a sudden I know a finnish word that I haven´t heard before and I do get a translation without hesitation.

My problem as a new member is practical things in different languges.I am talking in various langugaes when I am talking to members (finnish), missionaries (english). I prefer to read Our Holy Scriptures in my mother tounge (swedish). And all this is allright. And I am so glad that elder C baptized me in swedish and that I met a member from Sweden last week and we did talk in my native tounge.

So in a discussion if I know by heart a qoute from The book of Mormon in my mother tounge. I can´t say it. Of course missionaries all around the word has languages “problems” and my friend from Sweden had “problems” even in the Temple here in Finland. In our bilingual country.

The first missionary I met spoked Swedish. Elder W.


One thing though that was wonderful; the first missonary that I met was from Sweden and I started to talk with him because we had the same mothertounge.

As members of our Church we have differences; Our ages, history, culture backgrounds, our languages.As members of Church we are all on this journey. I know that we are all welcome. By our Lord. Amen.

And in Swedish:

Som medlemmar av vår kyrka har vi olikheter jag har stött på vissa praktiska då mitt modersmål är svenska ett minoritetsspråk I Finland. Det viktiga är att vi är ett i Kristus. Tack elder W, elder K och syster T för vad vi har talat.


Johan