Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Our Hearts Go Out to Katrina Victims

Our hearts go out to the people stricken by Katrina. If you are part of the relief efforts, I'd like to hear about when you get back. I was in Homestead, Florida for one such effort shortly after it was decimated a number of years ago, and it was heart wrenching to see how much damage a hurricane can cause. Such disasters remind me of what may be the most important reason to follow the prophetic counsel to have a significant food storage and emergency preparedness program: the ability to help our neighbors. Those who are prepared can feed the hungry, provide much needed drinking water, and help with first aid, long before organized relief efforts move into town. All of us need to be prepared for disaster.

This would also be a good time to be generous in donating to the Church's humanitarian aid program.

I'm very worried about what's happening in the regions hit by Katrina. My boss (one of two) has family in Biloxi. Hasn't heard from them - phone lines are out, cell phone batteries have probably died. They rode out the storm in sturdy brick homes, but there is a serious risk of severe flooding. So much heartache has been caused. I'm not weeping too much for the damaged casinos, but so many people like you and me have lost everything all at once. Keep them in your prayers, and thanks to those of you who are or will be participating in relief and rebuilding efforts.

12 comments:

Joshua said...

This is the guy who's contemplating a mission again. I just don't want to sound like the jaded guy who questions Church Doctrine because I believe in all of it. I just really am having difficult time thinking about leaving my life for two years again. I am already 2-4 years behind the average Mormon guy in BYU because of military service. I just don't know if going on a mission is the right decision for me. I know I sound selfish. I know Prophets have said that all worthy young men should serve missions but then again some have chosen or were counseled to not serve missions. Steve Young is one famous example. He got to play professional football and make millions. I don't have such grand dreams but I still want a good life. If I serve a mission and come back as a 24 year old sophmore then it's just going to make it harder for me to start a career, earn a stable source of income, and start a family. I won't even be able to provide a family. I've seen so many young families in BYU. I just can't see myself putting through my family to all of that should I start a family while I'm still in school. Sometimes I don't even think it's fair that I'd be expected to serve a mission. I know I sound like a complete jerk when I say all this. I know that I am far from the idealistic kid I used to be, dreaming about serving a mission but my life took a different path. Can't I make a difference in the kingdom even if I don't serve a mission? Can't I be just as good of a teacher in the Church through dilligent study of the gospel? Can't I be a better leader by going to school and learning all I can? I know I'm complaining, after all the early leaders of the Church left families several times. But none of my other peers are asked to make the same sacrifice. What do the Brethren say about military service and missions?

Bookslinger said...

Random man (Josh):

Did you read the threads in response to your question about going on a mission?

They are Here, where I tried to address the benefits and drawbacks about going now.

Also see Here for Jeff's comments.

Basically, try to get a confirmation either way. Study it out, then pray about _not going_, see if you get a confirmation. If you don't get one, study out about going on a mission, then pray about _going_, and see if you get a confirmation. If you're unclear about how to seek a confirmation, consult with your Bishop. Remember that the Lord usually gives either a "Yes" answer, or else a stupor of thought.

There are 3 options:
1. Go on a mission now.
2. Go on a mission later.
3. Don't go on a mission.

Fortunately, the Lord knows what is best for us, and is willing to guide us.

Anonymous said...

Talk to your Bishop, and talk to your stake president. Tell them how anxious you are about this decision.

To me you sound like an anxiety attack ready to happen.

Get married, serve the mission of raising children in the gospel. that is a mission in itself.

Joshua said...

to anonymous.

thanks for your comment. thats what i'm saying!! I Can serve a mission with my wife or something. but i know its really bad.

i dont mean to sound like the cynical prick here but you are pretty much stigmatized in most conservative mormon circles if you dont go on a mission.

Anonymous said...

if people stigmatize you then that's their problem, not yours. i don't mean to sound prudish but i'm not a huge fan of the word "prick." honestly, random man, it sounds like you really don't want to go. if you don't want to go, then don't. are you still having trouble because you think you SHOULD go?? that's the real question. not what others will think, not what the GAs have said to a general audience, but what God has said to YOU personally when you pray. If He says that it's better for you to stay, gain an education, and get married, then it shouldn't matter what the GAs have said. And there should be no more debate. But if you ARE getting a "go" answer, then there really is nothing that should keep you from going. honestly, you're not that old. i'm going on a mission at 21 which is a little late. it's not ideal, but you get over it, cuz you're doing what God wants you to do. Bottom line, find out what God wants YOU to do. Then do it, and stop making excuses. They are good for normal people. But remember this decision is only between you and God. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

jeff, what do you think about the recent announcement by the church to allow restaurants in salt lake city to sell wine? the land is owned by the church but they will sell the land to the restaurants if they are planning on getting a liquor license. tolerance is one thing, but i don't know about this. for instance, i don't foresee the church ever selling land to planned parenthood to allow abortions. so why are they permitting alcohol sales?

Anonymous said...

Random Man---


The GA's have said that missions are not for everyone.

Talk to the Bishop and Stake President. If you Bishop leans too hard, talk to a different one. Not all Bishops are created equal in the ability to understand.

Anonymous said...

Alcohol sales were always allowed by the Church in SL before the 1940s. Well, I mean before prohibition. That they are being allowed again is not surprising. Alcohol sales account for a large percentage of many Mormon owned business'. You ever hear how much money BY made off of alcohol? BY was no dummy, he knew where the money was.

AlexG said...

Random man:

I do not think that age is such a big concern, just think of how old the first missionaries of the Church were. So do not fret if you didn't go out at the usual age. That is just when you can start to serve, but not if you don't serve by kind of date. Why do you think that there is an age range in which young men can serve missions? As far as I know, its from 19 - 26, so you are well in that range (I assume you are around 22 years old). Being old and young is a very relative thing. In the long run, age is not a determining factor. The fact that you have served in the Navy and (potentially) a mission would only enhance your credentials as a commited, dedicated person, in my humble opinion.

There is no link between age and career start/ family start, etc. There are many people who have begun to have families at age 30 and have reared wonderful children. Many succesfull businessmen have begun their own corporations well over the age of forty. So do not let those concerns burden you. Should you decide to serve, you will find out that you are capable of starting at any age an education, a family, a professional career, etc.

The main issue is, what is the answer to the pray upon going on a mission. If it is 'yes', then cast your burdens aside. The Lord will greatly bless you for your service and would not leave you unprovided. He that takes notice of a falling sparrow will not let you down. If the answer is 'no' then do not be trouble by what other people think. There are many, even general authorities, that could not serve missions, for one reason or another. Go to the Lord in mighty prayer, fasting, crying for his tender mercies. He will give the answer to your prayer.

Changing completely the subject, I have read that they counsel that local authorities are giving the residents of New Orleans is to fully evacuate. What reconstruction efforts are to take place? Safety in NO is getting pretty worse, with all the looting and shooting. I guess that in that climate, help from outside would complicate. Lets pray that waters can take their normal course so the city can be rebuilt soon. The carnival must go on!

CJ said...

AG:

The sad thing is that the waters' natural course isn't to recede from New Orleans, since it's basically a bowl w/ the ocean on one side and Lake Ponchatrain on the other. The "normal course" would leave the water there. It's going to take pumping the water out, and that's a long ways away, sadly.

AlexG said...

CJ:

Thanks for the geographical update. I did not know that N.O. is between the ocean and a lake. I hope that suitable services can be employed in pumping the water out of the city. The pictures displayed by the news and on websites are pretty appalling, naming New Orleans a 'semi- ghost town'. It needs rebuilding, although I reconginse that this would not be until summer 2006 (when it has been said that the city would become inhabitable again). In any case, lets pray for all those that are involved in the rescuing and rebuilding that the hand of the Lord might be with them and that they can complete their task quickly so as to enable the city to be back on its feet.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, I don't know all the posting rules of your site but I have seen you delete and then edit people's comments when they use profanity. This thread has generated some comments with profanity. I just wondered why you have not edited these comments to reflect the no profanity rule on your site. Someone could accuse you of just editing the profanity when you do not agree with the commenter if you chose to edit some people's comments and not others.