Top Ten Posts of 2005

In light of our new digs and the new year, here is a list of our most popular posts of 2005, based on comments.

  1. Pressured Revelation – 100 comments
  2. Anti-Gay – 95 comments
  3. Does God want the USA in Iraq? – 66 comments
  4. Simon Southerton Promoting Book Again – 65 comments
  5. Relief Society Dues – 64 comments
  6. Culture – 56 comments
  7. America’s Dilemna – 46 comments
  8. Sell me on this LDS concept – 45 comments
  9. Glory – 44 comments
  10. Nature – 44 comments

Feel free to continue the conversation in any of them. For that matter, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what your favourite post was.

Prayer Pattern

While reading in Enos last night, I came across an interesting concept.

In verse four, Enos prayed for his own soul. After his sins were forgiven, Enos prayed again, but this time for his “brethren’s” welfare. After the Lord said He would bless Enos’ brethren, Enos prayed a third time, but this time for his enemies, the Lamanites.

Can we use Enos’ example in our own prayers and desires? Should we be concerned first with our own spiritual welfare before we concern ourselves with the welfare of our friends and our enemies? Should our concern for our enemies be the least of our prayerful desires?

Clarity

Anyone who follows the 37 Signals blog knows they are pretty big on the idea that less is more. I’ve been reading them for quite awhile now and have implemented many of their suggestions and idea on our work site.

I have also noticed in the last little while that this philosophy has crept into my religious/church life. I find my prayers becoming more succinct, and the way I perform ordinances to be more fundamental. For example, one popular way to give a blessing to someone might be:

John James Doe, having been given the Melchizedek Priesthood, we seal the anointing that has taken place, by its authority and in the name of Jesus Christ, and pronounce upon you a blessing. We bless you that…

Now, what I say may be something more similar to this:

John James Doe, by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood we seal the anointing and bless you that…

I am finding that my focus now seems to be less on how I introduce the ordinance and more on what is said during the ordinance. I also find that I am less inclined to rely on habitual repetition or traditional wording in the way I speak.

Constant Scripture Reading

While reading in the Book of Mormon yesterday, I came across something Jacob said while expounding on Zenos’ allegory.

“[After] ye have been nourished by the good word of God all the day long, will ye bring forth evil fruit . . . ?” (Jacob 6:7)

This statement/question posed by Jacob caused me to reflect on the role the scriptures could play in our lives.

It is not any wonder that I seemed to be at a different spiritual level on my mission; that I seemed to have more good works than I do now. While I was not literally immersed in the scriptures throughout each day, I certainly spent more time in them than I am now.

I am left to wonder what sorts of things I could accomplish spiritually as a Christian if my job and other temporal things didn’t take up so much of my time.

New Our Thoughts

It doesn’t look much different, but there are some cool things at the new Our Thoughts.

You can search for posts. You can see the most recent comments. Clicking on one of our names will bring up our profile (currently being tweaked thanks to WordPress 2.0) and our most recent posts. We now have RSS feeds for comments and individual posts. Readers can subscribe to posts so they are emailed whenever a new comment is added.

Of course, one of the most noticeable features of the new Our Thoughts is its location. We moved off of Blogger to our own domain. Hopefully this makes it easier for others to find us and further solidifies our identity as a Canadian group blog.

One other point to note is that comment moderation is still in effect, but only for first time commenters. Once you’ve posted a comment, your future comments should not need to be moderated.

We hope you enjoy the new Our Thoughts and find it easier to visit again.

Branches & Roots

While working on President Hinckley’s August 2005 challenge to read the Book of Mormon, I came across a verse in Jacob 5 that cause me to ponder. In verse 47, the master of the vineyard is pining over the fact that his good olive tree has become overrun with wild fruit despite all his effort to encourage the growth of good fruit through pruning, fertilising, and aerating. His servant’s response is in verse 48:

“And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùhave not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?”

It seems the grafted-in wild branches spread out to bear fruit more quickly than the roots could handle.

As I was pondering this, I wondered if perhaps some new members are similar to this tree. Not in the idea that they are bearing wild fruit or that their efforts are corrupted, but in the idea that perhaps they are spreading out quickly in an effort to produce a lot of fruit. Too quickly for their root system.

Do we expect too much of our new converts? Do they expect too much of themselves?