Tuesday, September 30, 2008


If scriptural things don’t interest you… there’s no need to proceed. And what are you doing on my BLOG anyway; you were probably looking for my wife’s BLOG at http://toeternityandbeyond.blogspot.com/. Her BLOG is much more interesting than mine. Plus, guys aren't exactly allowed to BLOG since it has almost been entirely high jacked by women. I get the feeling my BLOG is like Joey Tribbiani carrying around his "Man Bag"

Frankly, what I enjoy the most about this BLOG is my playlist of music.   Every song has 20 memories attached to it. I sit at my desk all day and let it continually play in the background. If there’s anyone that’s nostalgic, it’s me. I have a hard time letting go of the past. Just ask my friend Justin. He must be so sick of me constantly retelling him the story about when his car stereo was stolen. I’ll be nice and not retell it here… however, feel free to ask him about it. If you do, please be sure to have him reenact if for you.

This post is just for my own adventure and you'll probably enjoy a rerun of Three’s Company more than this. Especially the one when there was some confusion, and somebody thought Jack was doing something bad, but he really wasn’t. Yeah, do you remember that one?

I repeat my wife’s BLOG can be found at
http://toeternityandbeyond.blogspot.com/ Anything that follows is just what Kempe’s thinking. And that can’t be good.

Okay then, tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about our Priesthood lesson yesterday. We discussed Joseph B. Wirthin’s talk, ‘
Concern for the One’, from last conference.  As those lessons often go, we were each handed a slip of paper with a quote on it to read. My quote was this:
“To those who have strayed because of doctrinal concerns, we cannot apologize for the truth. We cannot deny doctrine given to us by the Lord Himself. On this principle we cannot compromise.

I understand that sometimes people disagree with doctrine. They even go so far as to call it foolish. But I echo words of the Apostle Paul, who said that sometimes spiritual things can appear as foolishness to men. Nevertheless, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men.”
In truth, things of the Spirit are revealed by the Spirit. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
We testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ is here upon the earth today. He taught of His Father’s doctrine, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
The lesson went long and I never actually read it out loud.  But even though I didn't get to read it, I'm glad I was able to at least read it to myself and put into context some things I've been thinking about lately.

Over the last 10 years since I've been home from my mission, I've had a few coworkers, acquaintances and friends who have openly spoken out over their doctrinal concerns with the church.  What keeps me up at night is that some of these people I know, are the ones who have taught me about what I value.  It's because of them, in many ways, that I value what I do.  I’ve worked with and known them very well and it's hard to see them walk away from something I knew they valued at one point in their life.  (I don’t intend to fill in the blanks with all the who, what, when, where and why’s, but I imagine others can relate.)

What got my mind reeling tonight is the
84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Tonight, Rachelle and I only read the 83rd section, but as we finished I just quickly read the heading of the 84th. I already knew it’s the revelation on the priesthood. What I didn’t know, and found interesting, was this revelation was received after all the elders were returning home from their missions to the eastern states.  I would have figured that this revelation would have come just before they left on their missions, not after.

This revelation was received after they came back and were all reporting on their activities. I know I'm reading more into this than is really there.  But for me, this relates.  I used to think that things would get so much easier once I was returned missionary.  I believed that up until I was actually a returned missionary.  So much so, I broke down and had to right down the specific goals and rules I felt I needed to live by. I always had my “primary answers” for goals & rules but I needed some that was specific to me and my plight.

Without sharing what I failed on in the middle… I first wrote
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
At the end, I then wrote this,
“Conclusion: You can do two things, you can build yourself or you can erode yourself. Obviously the rules are different here in the states from those in the mission field, but the Law of the Gospel has remained the same. It is only by and through the power of Jesus Christ that we can be saved. It is possible to have the spirit all the time.”
The question I had to ask myself right after my mission and am being reminded of right now, is that without Christ what else matters? Is anything worth pursuing if it requires me to lay down my faith?

If America collectively forgets Christ… does it really matter who we elect as our next president? If we forget about Christ… what impact will a 700 billion dollar bail out have? I’m guessing there’s a right and wrong answer to our current situation but if we forget Christ… does it matter? If we decide to forget Christ, what will we gain? “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

There’s no question that still I have a lot to learn. But along the short path I’ve taken so far, I’ve learned desire comes first, the trial second, and the lesson third. A blessing is in there somewhere but sometimes hard to see. - Like the missionaries who came back from the eastern states, they committed themselves to the gospel, joined the church, and then desired to share it. They experienced many trials on their missions. Then, after they returned, they needed to receive and learn about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.

For me, and for others I think as well, it was about the same. I always desired to serve a mission. I had more trials on my mission than I knew what to do with. (Grateful for only half of them really ...) When I came home I thought I knew what I needed to know. However, I really didn’t know anything. My real lesson about the priesthood, and everything in general, came after my mission.  Unfortunately, it's really hard to see those few who let questions, doubts and concerns get the best of them after their missions.

They apply to everyone, but these verses came as a revelation to returned missionaries in the 84th section after they returned from their missions.  As I read the 84th section, part of it seems like a big heavenly paddling.  

“Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.

And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.

For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.

For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

I’m excited for this weekend. General Conference is here once again and it’s a great opportunity to “live by every word that proceedeth forth form the mouth of God.”

Never give up…

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