Tag Archives: Nephi

Northern Israel

Northern Israel

This is our last full day in Israel.  We leave early tomorrow morning to catch our flight home.  We’re heading to Northern Israel near the Lebanon and Syria borders.

I started the day going to the beach to watch and photograph the sunrise.  Matt and Becca took me up on my offer to be photographed.  So did Lehi and his sons Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi.  We were also joined by Mahonri Moriancumer.

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Matt and Becca

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Matt and Becca

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Lehi Finds the Liahona

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Nephi Rebukes Laman and Lemuel

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The Brother of Jared (Mahonri Moriancumer)

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The Sunrise On the Sea of Galilee

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Me Shooting the Sunrise

After a good breakfast…

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Breakfast Today

… we headed to Tiberias for Matt to see a doctor.  He’s been coughing a lot and we’re all worried that he’s getting sicker.  As a result, Becca found a place where he can get in this morning to see a doctor.

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John Ready to Head Out for the Day

We got to Tiberias, found the pharmacy and doctor’s office, and I hung out outside taking pictures.  I did go in for a short while to find they have Voltairan Gel for a fraction of the cost and over-the-counter!  (The USA is the only country according to my doctor that requires a prescription for this gel.  It’s for joint pain.)

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An Old Jewish Man Shopping

Church of the Beatitudes

The Church of the Beatitudes was the next stop.  I imagine the Sermon on the Mount covered much ground.  This church is located in the vicinity of where we suspect it took place.

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John Outside the Church

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Church of the Beatitudes

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In Latin


Banias is a spring and river near a place the scriptures calls Caesarea Philippi.  Some believe Jesus and his apostles frequented this area.  When you see it, you can understand why.  It is beautiful.

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The Falls

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Before the Hike Down the Canyon

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By the Falls



This needs to be on silicone bracelets:  WDTBOMS?

What does the Book of Mormon Say?

What does the Book of Mormon say about politics (and specifically in the U.S.A.)?

  • Dangers of letting a minority rule – Mosiah 29:26
    Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
  • Dangers of evil in politics – Helaman 5:2
    For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
  • No kings to rule in America – 2 Nephi 10:11
    And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
  • Why there should be no kings – Mosiah 29:17
    For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!
  • Welfare – Mosiah 27:4
    That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support.
  • Unpaid politicians – Alma 30:32
    Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands.
    Mosiah 2:16
    Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.
    Mosiah 2:19
    And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!
    Mosiah 2:12
    I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you;
  • The dangers of secret combinations in politics – Helaman 6:24
    And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen.
  • What happens to a society when freedom of religion and speech is suppressed – Alma 10
    (I won’t repost the entire chapter, but you can read it here.)
  • The formula for economic growth – 2 Nephi 4:4
    For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
    Mosiah 10:5
    And I did cause that the women should spin, and toil, and work, and work all manner of fine linen, yea, and cloth of every kind, that we might clothe our nakedness; and thus we did prosper in the land—thus we did have continual peace in the land for the space of twenty and two years.
    …and dozens of other places.

That’s just the start.  Read the Book of Mormon and it gives you a clear picture of what history teaches us.  WDTBOMS?

Sad Day in History

Sad Day in History

I find it a sad day in history.  I saw this based on the actions of the Supreme Court of the United States.  It is based several facts, not just one single notion.

I’m going to restrict most my comments to a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon — it being a type of things that are to come, and a warning voice for the 21st Century.

The first thought about their ruling on ObamaCare and gay marriage was, when did they become a legislative branch?

I remember being taught they can only interpret the law, but here, they are dictating the law to states that in many cases have chosen otherwise.   Their ruling also tramples sovereignty of the states, the voice of the people in those states, and seems to lump us in to one huge state – not the United States, but the Supreme Court’s State.

I find that disturbing.

While many celebrate their rulings, I’m reminded of Alma’s talk to his son Corianton – especially Alma chapter 41:

Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.  And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.  Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.

(emphasis added)

One cannot substitute sexual sin for “love”.  Wickedness never was happiness, nor is it ever love. Nephi, son of Helaman (Helaman 7:5) wrote:

Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills

And, from Alma 10:

Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.

There are several cases where the voice of the people chose righteously, but then the courts chose iniquity.  In either case, I believe it is setting us up for some troubled times.

To go on the record, I don’t hate anyone.  I do have an abhorrence of evil (or sin as it is also called).  Over and over we read in the scriptures that God sends calamities to deal with the world when it becomes ripe with iniquity (sin, evil).   I believe in the doctrine of forgiveness, and while I work at being a forgiving person, I hope my friends who do not believe the same as me will understand why I cannot, will not, rejoice over todays SCOTUS decisions.  To me, rejoicing would be as abhorrent as getting excited about someone who over-doses on heroine because it made them feel good.  It goes against everything I’ve been taught to be good.   I hate smoking, drinking, drug abuse, adultery, yet I have friends who engage in some or all of those activities, and in spite of their vices, they are still my friends.

Latter-day prophets and apostles have voiced their warning too:

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

On a brighter note…

The Book of Mormon also tells us if we’re found doing what we should be doing (keeping God’s commandments) we need not fear as we read in 1 Nephi chapter 22:

Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire. …

And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh—

While the righteous need not fear, the calamities will have their impact.  Loved ones will be lost.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I belong, issued this statement today:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.

The statement was followed with a reference to this document:  The Divine Institution of Marriage

Making it Up

Making it Up

We’re making it up for dinner tonight.  Rice, shredded pork, carrots, peas, cabbage, mock pineapple, onions, peppers, and a whole bunch of different sauces all for the missionaries to create their own Chinese dish.

It actually turned out quite well.  I think we’ll do this more often.

I made brownies for dessert since Elizabethe isn’t wild about cake.  You can never go wrong with brownies in this house.

Today was fast Sunday.  The Sunday School lesson, taught by my friend Matt, was a great lesson comparing the Beatitudes from Matthew 5, 3 Nephi 22 and the Inspired Version of the Bible.  Matt had some great visual aids comparing the Lord’s promises in the Beatitudes and Satan’s counterfeits.

Then, in Priesthood Meeting, John Harmer gave a great lesson on the 10 Virgins.  He explained the role of the bride, the bridegroom, the parents, and so forth.  He talked about the importance of light and why the lamps (filled with oil) were so important.  It was a great lesson and explained very well.

So, I came away from church today filled.  Even thought it was a day of fasting, I was spiritually fed and filled.  It’s like the old saying, “Seven days without God makes one weak.”

Grandpa Blogger

Grandpa Blogger

Why is it mommy bloggers get all the attention?  It’s about time a grandpa blogger got some attention.  You often read, especially in LDS circles that so-n-so is a mommy blogger, but when was the last time you heard someone say, “Jack is a grandpa blogger!”

I have nothing against mommy bloggers.  In fact, I think it is a great way for them to relieve the stress that comes from watching small kids and managing a household.  It is also a good way for them to document the happenings of the day.  I have daughters who blog, and I love them with all my heart.

A grandpa blogger, however, has much more to offer when it comes to wisdom and insight.  I don’t mean to say that I am better than a mother who maintains a blog, but in general, we often don’t giver our elders the respect due.  Our American culture seems to worship youth over age.  Personally, I wish my own father would blog daily.  Much of my own dad’s insights are the result of 80 years of experience on this earth.

Grandpa bloggers can record family history in their blog.  Reminiscing about personal and family life long past can be a great insight to a younger generation’s traits, habits and behaviors.  These stories can be sources of strength and inspiration for generations to come.

As Latter-day Saints, let’s face it, Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Mormon, and many others were grandpa bloggers.  They even used tablets!  Without their records, we would not have the teachings of the Book of Mormon.  Likewise, the bible contains writings of grandpa bloggers.

Modern-day people like Thomas Monson, Boyd Packer and others are also grandpa bloggers.  Although they may not maintain a WordPress blog, they have written their thoughts in books, and expressed them in talks.  (I guess you could say, they are all v-loggers since their conference talks are on YouTube.)

This Grandpa

Blowing my own horn a bit, I probably have a better track record than most mommy bloggers.  With over 1,800 posts, I’ve hardly missed a day since starting this blog.  I realize I’m all over the place when it comes to content.  So what!  You know what’s on the top of my mind for the day, and you get to follow me places and see some great photography.  I will also note I maintain a few other blogs:

as well as several websites:

As you can see, I’m a busy-bee.

Yes, I want to see more grandpa bloggers out there.  I’d like to see grandpa bloggers who are woodcarvers, car enthusiast, who have served as bishops, stake presidents, and mission presidents, foster parents, who live in Utah, California, Tennessee and more.  I want to read about how they deal with the economy, retirement, the political environment, their adult children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, marriage, and more.  They have some great experience to share.

I want to hear grandpa bloggers talk about the days when we didn’t wear seatbelts, the mistakes they made in their youth, the good choices they made, and how they deal with stress in their golden years.  I want to hear advice that works.  I want to hear what they think and why.


Now, if you’re under 40 and reading this, you’re getting close to being a grandpa (or grandma) blogger.  If you haven’t started recording your thoughts and history, get with it.  Blogs are the new journal.

Just a warning, however, blogs are on the Internet, and no matter what security surrounds your writings, someone can figure out how to hack it.  So, be careful what you place in your blog.  You don’t want to write anything that could help someone steal your identity, money, and more.

Because they are on the Internet, they can also disappear with a single catastrophic failure of technology.   It is for that reason, at the start of every year I have my blog printed in book form.  There are several services that can take the contents of your blog and print them in a bound volume.  I strongly advice you do this as books are more likely to survive time than our ever changing technology.  (By the way, how are those 8″ floppy disks doing?)


If I were a big company looking where to place advertising dollars, I’d advertise on grandpa blogger pages.  Grandpa bloggers are the up and coming trend.


Happy Independence Day

I’m a real believer that our country was founded on righteous principles, principles that are under attack.  Those brave men who on July 4th, 1776, declared their independence from Britain were inspired by God.  Even though their motivations were largely based on Christian ethics, the very fact their Declaration of Independence lead to a Constitution that not only allows men to worship how they please, it allows for people to live without fear of government interference in their lives.  (A concept which lately is under attack.)

Here’s to those brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence!


How does a grandpa blogger celebrate Independence Day?

By mowing the lawn.  That’s about all this grandpa had energy to do today.

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Grandpa Blogger with Some of His Family