Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thoughts for a Thinking, Feeling, Suffering Believer

Those of us who are disturbed and concerned about the embrace of evil and sin our culture has taken, and especially the tragedy that our church congregations and members of our own families have taken this direction also, have a wonderful opportunity to turn to the Lord. That is actually the most important thing to do.

We empathize with those who have poured out their hearts to us in frustration and disillusionment. We totally understand. We are with you. But, as a wise friend said, those who are complaining are the ones with the most pressing problem. Yes, when we are feeling frustrated and disillusioned, betrayed and perplexed, unsupported and even shunned, we are the ones with the most pressing problem. It's not a problem for our enemies. They don't care. They are full of themselves and completely deceived. We are the ones faltering. Lack of faith is a weakness, a sin in and of itself. If we were perfect we would never falter in our faith. So here we are, ourselves weak and sinful. As such, this is an amazingly clear opportunity to repent and show whose side we are on. It's an amazing opportunity to turn to the Lord, trust fully in him, put our whole reliance on him.

This doesn't mean we won't get discouraged sometimes. It doesn't mean we won't feel sorrow for loved ones and others who have sold their souls to this world and its wickedness. It doesn't mean we won't see what's happening and what will inevitably follow. But it does mean that we continually turn to the Lord, that we wish the true best for everyone, that we choose God first, that we exercise faith in God's plan and Jesus Christ as the only way, that we bear our own small crosses out of love for the Lord, that we live our daily lives looking forward with hope for eternal life In this way, our joy will outweigh our sorrow.

We find it helpful to keep the Word of God close. One way is to memorize scriptures so as to have them at the ready in our hearts and minds at any time. Here are some good ones to memorize and ponder and apply, to, if we must coin a word,  applonderize.

Howabout:

We are troubled on every side,yet not distressed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Or this particular favorite:

. . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 123:1-2


Of course there's:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

Maybe the best:

And now my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock or our Redeemer, who is Christ , the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty wind, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless woe because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. Helaman 5:12

There are seemingly endless terribly lovely truths to choose to hold in our minds. And that is what we must do.

Flannery O'Connor said (and we paraphrase) that any dismay at the wickedness of the world or the inefficiencies of the church is a sign of our nearness to God. There is nothing much we can do about the powers that be here on earth. We mustn't worry about it. Our primary job is to preserve and grow our own personal faith, and that's a difficult enough job for anybody nowadays. Now is the time for followers of Christ to do what they say they believe, to live out the gospel in their minds and hearts and actions. And by the grace of Christ miracles may occur, the greatest miracle being the change in a hard human heart --- including our own.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

What Constitutes an Anti-Christ?

We were sitting in Sunday School last Sunday being instructed on Alma 30-31. I didn't make the comments I wanted to, so I thought I'd share them here.

There are many anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon and each had his own false teachings. But the one teaching I have found they all had in common was that there was no need for repentance. Korihor said there was no sin ("whatsoever a man did was no crime") and so no need for repentance, a Savior, or redemption.  This is why he was an anti-Christ. He wasn't just denying the existence of God, he was outspokenly denying the concept of sin and Christ as atoning for our sins if we repent, which I believe was the primary falsehood he wanted to spread.And it made him very popular.

Another thought was that the story about the Zoramites is to be applied to us, ourselves. I have found it very instructive to continually examine my heart and my motives to see if I am placing myself above others in any way. Or if I am forgetting God at any time. Or if I am taking glory upon myself instead of giving it all to God. Or if I am relying on managing myself or relying on others instead of on the Lord. Or if I am belittling my sins or excusing my weaknesses. Or if I am denying the power of Christ's Atonement in regards to my sins and weaknesses in any way. The list goes on. The Spirit of the Lord sure lets me know where I am deficient.

I am well aware that these kinds of ideas are unpopular in church today, at least where I am sitting. Maybe that is why I don't say much in church anymore. In a world like ours, where the very idea of being a sinner is played down in favor of  self-esteem and respecting all opinions and fear of estranging anybody, in other words, praise of men, we've turned away from these terribly lovely truths and taken up with the likes of Korihor. We want our ears tickled and our egos boosted. We'd rather hear the comfortable parts and leave out the disturbing parts. Now, when somebody dares to speak the whole truth, it is resisted. As George Orwell wrote, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

I share these comments because the above essential points are not being taught, or not being emphasized. If they aren't prioritized they essentially aren't taught. If they aren't taught, people don't know them and live them. If people don't know and live and love the truth, they know and live and love something else, something not fully true if not completely false, something not of God, which makes it demonic. The devil works just that way. He makes anti-Christ ideas sound good and harmless and comfortable and wholesome. He tells people just what they want to hear. Don't forget that mixing up the philosophies of men with scripture is the work of the devil.

Anti-Christism has crept into every aspect of human society. Life is too painful and busy and difficult to worry about the whole gospel. Life is just about finding something distracting to do, friending everybody, and feeling good about yourself. Vaporous temporal platitudes about sentimental human relations are praised and clung to. Some, like the Zoramites, attach the Lord's name to this pablum. This worshiping and managing of the creature by the creature is what is deemed most important, popular, and acceptable. On the other hand, those who make known they actually believe in the fallen human condition, in sin, Christ, and repentance are revolutionaries, or haters, or at least stodgy, annoying, mean, and judgmental.

No wonder they crucified him.

-Janice Graham

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shame on the In-Your-Face Sexual Movement


We have had an unusual amount of traffic on our transgender and drag queen posts. We've received some hate mail. Really? We are haters because we think it's goofy to dress up as the opposite sex, except maybe on Halloween and even then it's iffy? Why all the interest, really?
We say it's another step toward  sanctioned and protected unlimited sexual behaviors. It's another nose-thumb at God and reality and order and manners and decency. And the reason it's being done is because it is in-your-face. Transgendering/crossdressing is something usually so obvious that it can't be denied. People have to deal with it. It's like a teenager dying her hair purple or piercing her nose to get attention. Think about it. We never know who is particularly homosexual or not, but we usually do know who is trying to impersonate the opposite sex. They either let it be known in a big flamboyant way, like the drag queen organist we've been writing about lately who probably dresses up and entertains somewhere or other as a female impersonator, or they just dress up whenever they feel like it and pretend to actually be the opposite sex. This is usually apparent. As our friend said, men don't make good women (and vice versa). It's usually easy to tell when a person doesn't match their adornments.  Oftentimes they overdo it. They try to outwoman women and it's unmistakably fake and over-the-top. What a strange behavior. It is obviously sexual, as in about sex and sexuality.  People used to do such shameful things in secret, but no more.


First, do drag queens and transgenders really mean to pass for the opposite sex? Certainly not drag queens or they wouldn't have a job. Their whole purpose is to dress up as the opposite sex in highly outrageous ways so everybody knows they are males dressing up as females. They get gigs or go to parties as female impersonators.  But it seems there are some tortured individuals who really do want to quietly pass for the opposite sex . A friend showed me photos on his phone of his niece who has pumped up her body and taken steroids and seems to pass for male, on the surface anyway. But that person is no activist. What about those who put themselves forward, give interviews, get on the news, appear in magazines, write books? What about the activists and those who support them? What is that all about? We see people who don't mean to pass for the opposite sex and some who do, but no distinction is being made between a rebellious flamboyancy and a real mental illness. In spite of all the "compassion" flying around no one seems to care about these people. It's just about how anything should be accepted and celebrated. Yes, those of us who are still thinking and feeling are the bigots and haters. So what is all the push for transgender rights and acceptance and celebration really about? 

Image result for drag queenAs the movement flattens and mutilates our culture as with a steamroller, we see ever more outrageous costuming and behaviors. Please note that nobody talks about boundaries or limits. Please note that public sentiment, policies, and laws are encouraging unlimited sex behaviors. Please note that little children are being objectified and exploited. Please note that religious freedom and free speech is being sacrificed on this altar. Please note that unless people speak out against the hedonism we are witnessing in every aspect of society, this intimidation, oppression, and the societal ills that follow will only worsen. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke)

Our readers on the other side need to do some thinking. Do you really want rampant hedonism instead of some standard of decency? Today, the former is being embraced and the latter is being punished. Is this really the kind of world you want? Is is right or fair for innocent people? For children?

There will always be scoundrels and rebels and mentally ill people. It's too bad. But at least we mustn't allow it to be shoved in everybody's face and call it good or persecute those who take a stand against this nonsense.

The only shame is to have no shame, wrote Pascal. 




Friday, July 29, 2016

More on American Guild of Organists' Drag Queen

Dear Mr. Bedford,

Thank you for responding to my concerns. One question, if you are so interested in diversity, why not highlight an outstanding organist who came out of homosexuality? What if I could find one for you? What about an outstanding young organist, or an older one, who is also an activist for traditional moral values, has written books, and would like to combine his musical talent with his values all in one, as Marshall Cuffe would like to do? I can find you these also. Wouldn't they add some colorful threads to your "intricate tapestry?" In other words, there are people on the opposing side of this very controversial issue it is quite obvious you will never feature.  Really,  aren't there enough interesting "rising stars" to write about without having to highlight one that is only interesting for his unusual sexuality and who is obviously outrageous/mentally ill? I submit that Cuffe was intentionally chosen to appear in your magazine  because he is a drag queen first and a special young organist second. Another question, Mr. Thomashower sent me copies of emails that disagreed with my stance, but told me there were others that agreed with me. Why wasn't I sent those also? And were those who liked the article sent my email? I doubt it. Can you see how blindly one-sided your view is at AGO and why as things stand I will never consider returning to the "fold?" By the way, I don't appreciate this insinuation that I am wayward. You at AGO are the ones who have strayed from the fold seeing as how this is the first hint anyone belonging to AGO has ever had that this organization has a pro-LGBTQI sexual activist agenda. 

Sorry, reviewing publishing policies with your editorial board is not enough for me. The damage is done. I know what you are about now. You did not say, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. We're retracting this article. It will never happen again. In fact, we will do everything we can to uphold the  values we know the great majority of our members hold." All you have done is justify this travesty. I do my best not to support or participate in any organization that excuses and promotes pornography and homosexuality and indecency and mental illness, while lamely calling it diversity, as you have done in your magazine and again here in your email.

By the way, I showed my daughter your magazine without a word and when she got to page 44 she gasped and exclaimed, "That is disgusting! Why is this in here?"  I have written about  this  development on my blog, standardofliberty.blogspot.com which blog and web site has several thousand subscribers and have also communicated with my local AGO chapter.  This is not about people like me being offended. It's about right and wrong.

Janice Graham

Is Life About Likes? An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Glenn,

I was shocked at something you said on the radio yesterday. I couldn’t believe you were being serious. I thought it must be one of your sarcastic rants. But apparently it wasn’t.

You said you and your daughter left the movie God is Not Dead because it was so horrible how atheists were being demonized and shown as one-dimensional. I gasped. Atheism is demonic. The devil is a demon who defies God and uses every trick in the book to lead his children away. Demonism is anything that takes the place of God. Evil isn’t supposed to be excused or ignored because Satan uses some truth or because atheists do other things that are good. And then you went on and on about Ellen DeGeneres and how we conservatives should all be like her and make ourselves more likeable. Seriously? The devil is likeable too!  The anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon were like rock stars! Everybody loved them! Did you forget that the only reason Ellen got famous in the first place is because she had the boldness to come out as a lesbian? That’s what got people’s attention: her thumbing her nose at God. Plenty of people are funny, but she is first and foremost a lesbian. Because of that one-dimensionalism she has led many many vulnerable young people astray.

Atheists, no matter what their other traits, do not believe in God or Christ. That makes them anti-Christ. Proud homosexuals are the same, by putting themselves above God, above morality, above sin, above the need for redemption. It’s all evil. And whole, real, and lasting good cannot be accomplished by using evil. Jesus said we’re going to be hated by the world. He himself wasn’t liked. You seem to forget that Jesus Christ was so hated his own people crucified him. There were not enough people that came to his aid, not enough to make any difference.  Apparently Jesus  would have been lacking in likes on facebook. He always said there would be few who followed him.

Glenn, you sometimes come across to me as acting strangely morally superior because you pretend you love people more than the rest of us. First of all, how do you know about what people feel in their hearts? Talk about one-dimensionalism! You sitting in that movie were doing the very thing you condemned. Life isn’t as simple as going around saying how much we love everybody and being liked as if we’re all on instagram 24/7. The world as it is includes evil and we’re supposed to make the distinction and take a stand in all things at all times in all places---and be unliked, or worse, if need be. That’s what real love is. It’s loving God first and loving all his children second, having faith in His plan because we want the best for everyone, as in righteousness and God’s gift of eternal life.

Every time you say crazy things like this I remember why I can not take you completely seriously and why I listen to you only sporadically.

--Janice Graham

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Organist in Drag Pop-Up


Yesterday I received my first copy of the American Guild of Organists magazine, The American Organist, August 2016, and was enjoying its pages when I was suddenly assaulted by an article on page 44. It primarily focuses on a person's sex identity and exploits, in this case a young man who proudly and publicly presents himself in women's clothes and make-up. It doesn't say how often or when or where he does this. Apart from the shock of the large photo of what is obviously a young man with a prominent Adam's apple dressed and coifed like a girl, and another photo of him (below) in flamboyantly female make-up, wig, and open to the waist robe, my thought was, hold on here, what does a person's ideas about his sex and sexuality have to do with playing the organ?

While I wish this talented young organist all the best, I certainly do not need to know what his sexual fantasies and behaviors are, nor do I wish to join in condoning and celebrating them, as this article does. And no, this article does not highlight this organist's musical accomplishments. I'd say it was at least 75% about his drag queen identity and radical male/female/social philosophies. It is completely out of place when you look at the rest of the articles and photos in this issue, which are about sacred music and beautiful churches and beautiful organs and performance etiquette and ordinary-looking competition winners and being a traveling organist.

When any kind of sexual thing pops up in the most unlikely place, such as a kindergarten class or an organists' magazine, one can know there is a totally unrelated, political, opportunistic, nefarious agenda at work. It's like how pornography pops up on the internet with no apparent link or reason. Surely all the intelligent people at the AGO and its magazine know this and are responsible for this article.  Perhaps some are hoping for reactions like mine in order to further that agenda. (See? There are still bigots out there!) Be that as it may, there are many children and young people pictured in this issue who are sure to be exposed to this article portraying cross-dressing as if it is normal and harmless, even laudable. But then that is the idea, isn’t it?
Whaerhhuh...? #sloppqueen #sloppobottomus #gay #ravezombie #glampire #rayver #queen #dragqueen #mua #chapstickandmascara #andro #androgynous #genderfuck
I quote,"I'd really love to be creating drag performance art, music, and social commentary all in one."  So the AGO is promoting the spread and acceptance of today's PC aberrant alphabet soup sexual behaviors, including cross-dressing. What alternative sexual identity will they be highlighting and encouraging next? Apparently there is no end.



I've been called every name in the book for sharing my biologically-sound, God-based views on the reality of  the two sexes and their healthy and proper roles. My husband and I have a child who as a teen was hurt by pornography and homosexuality and we know the dark predatory side of the LGBT world. (Our son got himself out of it long ago and is now a husband and father.) You can bet the young man in this article uses pornography as a mainstay. Just google cross dressing and you will get a taste of what this debauched sex world is all about. In seconds my husband Steve looked up the man featured in the AGO article on the internet and reports sexual and pornographic content on his blog including a photo of himself wearing only a bra. The above photo is the calmest of the photos there. 











But aside from all that, my interest in the organ has zero to do with anybody's sex or sexuality and I don't appreciate being tricked and used as a pawn in the sexual activist movement. I wrote to the AGO withdrawing myself from its membership.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Trumping God



Just wondering. Did the Republican National Convention that lasted four whole days and had thousands of supposed conservative delegates attending ever mention or decry any of the social ills that have most recently beset us? Answer: no.

Instead it was all orating and yelling and screaming and chanting mostly about a person, a human being whom none of these people even know personally, a human being who is the Republican nominee for President of the United States. It was a perfect example of  the foolishness and blindness of mankind's ongoing Vanity Fair.

This is nonsense. What happened to everybody's principles? We just got proof that Planned Parenthood is not just killing off human posterity but selling its human parts for money. We have just been forced by bad judges to surrender the institution of marriage and family in favor of celebrating  sodomy and the like. Even the privacy and safety of our public bathrooms are to be sacrificed on the altar of nonsensical selfishness, vice, and anarchy.

News flash: If we keep God's commandments we will prosper in the land, commandments that include repentance from sin and faith in God.  If we turn away from God we will be swept off the earth.

The Republican platform states opposition to the above wickedness. And yet in its national convention there was absolutely no mention of the wicked state of our nation. When a speaker proclaimed his personal sexual perversion from the podium he got a standing ovation.

That is just nuts.

Have Republican party members lost their minds? Is everybody blind, deaf, and dumb to reality? Have they become cult followers? Is everybody celebrating this man simply because he won? This is how communism thinks and works. Whoever has the power is the dear leader, no matter if he is a tyrant or a narcissist or a jerk or whatever. People just can't resist jumping on the bandwagon of the person who is winning. Suddenly all their principles and beliefs fly out the window. Or if they don't fly out the window they are put in storage. And then the sins of the winning candidate are magically forgotten, or excused, or belittled.  A huge amount of wishful thinking and prideful overconfidence ensues. We'll surround him with good people, they say. We have his ear, they say. He'll listen to us, they say. He's a good man, they say.

What? Let's just take one aspect of this man. This man builds and runs casinos. Casinos are the institutionalized epitome of the seven deadly sins. They are all there, all seven. And no, he didn't have to use his money to build casinos. He could have used his money a thousand different ways. A thousand good and productive ways. But no, he uses his money to exploit every human weakness and debauchery, in ways that mock God and sell souls and break up families and ruin people.Yes, that's the kind of man everybody is all suddenly twitterpated about.

Sorry everybody, you can't build anything good using the devil's ways. You can't close your eyes, ears, and mouth to the truth and expect anything good to happen.That's the danger of those conventions. People get hyped up and enjoy the party atmosphere and the belonging and the mixing with important people and the being  for the winner and hoping they'll keep being on the winning side, and then they are suddenly saying and doing things they never would have a year or even a month ago.

The competition at these conventions is like team sports. Did you know Hitler was all about pushing huge spectator sports because it unthinikingly builds up pride, which converts to national pride, and encourages unfounded animosity toward the "enemy." In this kind of atmosphere people forget their principles, i.e. God and goodness and truth, such as how it's just a game and all human beings are valuable, or how it's just politics and how the hearts of men are easily corrupted. They just want to win. They want power for the sake of power. Look at Chairman Mao and the death and havoc he caused. And the people followed this madman simply because he was in power.

One man said the truth at that convention, reminding people that we can only save our country by standing for true principles, and he was booed down for it.

If our vote is between a criminal and an opportunist (to put it charitably), we better be sure we stand for truth and righteousness all the more and put the pressure on them nonstop. The people have power, but only if they don't surrender it to whoever happens to be elected. Time to decide if we are a God-fearing republic or an unthinking cult.