October 31, 2014

"Why Excommunication"

Simple question Chuck – why excommunication? This was asked to me by a close friend (not a member of the Church) and thought it might be wise to share it with others as the media and apostates usually do not reveal the full story. c/ork (all of what follows are my thoughts and in no way indicate the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – to wit I’ve no authority to answer for the Church – thus only my reply to the question asked hoping to provide some clarification.)


My reply: For those who are not familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – we have what we call excommunication for those members who’ve transgressed either a Commandment, Statute or Law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This member can come willingly (and most do) or be brought before a Church Council (usually their local Bishop or Branch President or their Stake President) – to reconcile their lives with the teaching to which they’ve testified to and covenanted to live and obey. There can be several outcomes based on severity of the situation – one can be exonerated, dis-fellowshipped or excommunicated. To be dis-fellowshipped will be with the conditions set by the presiding council and the standards of the Church. Excommunication is different in that one is removed from any covenants they’ve made – lose any Priesthood they may have had – and otherwise be as if they were no longer a member. All excommunication is done for the best of the person involved – with love and counsel so that someday they can return if they desire. However, in some cases where one openly opposes the Church and knowingly rejects the Holy Ghost – then their excommunication can be final and they’ll have to rectify their lives after their mortality is over.

In the case of this sister she made her choices willingly – (it’s always amazing those who leave the Church can never leave it alone). Excommunication means she can do what is necessary to be re-baptized – however, this will never be conveyed by the media and maybe not even by her. It is neither final but gives a person the ability to repent for whatever caused their excommunication – mostly it is sexual transgressions – however in this case she acted in direct conflict with what she had testified to as being true. There are many like-minded who leave the Church all of the time for their moment in the media – and then fade away. (A review of the present case: A feminist U.S. Mormon who was excommunicated after advocating for the ordination of women said on Friday her appeal against the ejection from her faith was denied by a panel of male Church leaders. Kate Kelly, founder of the website Ordain Women, was excommunicated in June after Church leaders deemed her actions and public statements to have violated the "laws and order" of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and amounted to apostasy.) 

Sadly, there are many churches she could join and have her wish but not in Father’s Church. On the other-side we’ve the longest lasting women’s organization – run by the women of the Church than any other church in America called the Relief Society – and we’ve various Women Presidencies in the Church – Young Woman – Primary and the Relief Society. They’re called auxiliaries – and travel throughout the world in their service. The only difference between the Sisters and the Brothers is that the brothers are responsible for the administrative and presiding in regular meetings. Going to the homes of the sick (or hospitals) and giving blessings at any time of day or night. The Sisters are responsible for the inside of the home and family – while the Brothers are responsible for the family and that which is outside of the home.


Home Teaching is a Priesthood calling and Visiting Teaching is a Relief Society calling. The Home Teaching is a visit to the whole family – while Visiting Teaching is just to the Sister in the various families.


Sisters and Priesthood both can serve missions.


So what she was asking for is both unneeded (never has been within the Savior’s Church during any dispensation) and against Revealed doctrines to a Prophet of God.


Indeed – the man without the woman – and the woman without the man cannot progress to the highest degree of Glory (spoken by Paul) in the Celestial Kingdom. i.e. the Temple Sealing.


Back to the question of excommunication – in her case she most likely demanded it by her refusal to accept the counsel provided to her – and her rebellion against the Savior and his Church. However, without the blessing of excommunication there is no other way when one has transgressed the ‘law’ of the Gospel (Commandments, Statutes, Laws) we’ve all covenanted to obey and sustain. Thus someone in transgression could not gain the full forgiveness (predicated upon their knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) without excommunication. Therefore it is a blessing rather than a penalty – she just chose to make it a media event (which from what I’ve read was her goal from the beginning).


I’ve known many who’ve been excommunicated – and then when having followed the recommendations given to them have been re-baptized with a clean slate between themselves and Father. Thus a great Blessing to them and their families.




“Why Excommunication”





Having gone astray the path

losing the road to Zion fully

seeking a way to return home

knowing all would be lost

eternity without my family

being left in eternal torment

thus getting up the courage

asking for a Church Council

pleading my indiscretions

before the Lord’s anointed

leaving nothing hidden away

accepting the repentance way

thus you inquire my friends

‘why excommunication?’

there is no other way to go

to become clean from my sins

knowing eventually to come back

being baptized once more

to become clean and pure

forgiven by the Father

therefore is this blessing

excommunication done!


Copyright © 2014 – cji


Home Teaching Message November 2014

Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides the foundation upon which we can find lasting peace and build eternal family units.

Our journey through life has periods of both good times and bad. Each presents different challenges. How we learn to adjust to the changes which come along depends on the foundation on which we build. The gospel of our Lord and Savior provides a sure and solid foundation. It is constructed piece by piece as we gain knowledge of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children. The Savior is the Master Teacher. We follow Him.

The scriptures testify of Him and provide an example of perfect righteousness for us to follow. I have shared with the body of the Church at a previous conference that I have a number of notebooks in which my mother had recorded material she was using to prepare her Relief Society lessons. The notes are as timely today as they were then. One of these was a quote written in 1908 by Charles Edward Jefferson on the character of Jesus Christ. It reads:

“To be a Christian is to admire Jesus so sincerely and so fervently that the whole life goes out to him in an aspiration to be like him.

“… We may come to know him through the words he spoke, through the deeds he did, and also through his silences. We may know him also by the impression which he made first upon his friends and secondly upon his foes, and thirdly upon the general body of his contemporaries. …

“One of the notes of twentieth century life is discontent [and trouble]. …

“… The world is crying out for something, it scarce knows what. Wealth has come, … [and] the world is filled with … inventions of human skill and genius, but … we are [still] restless, unsatisfied, [and] bewildered. … [If we open] the New Testament [we are greeted by these words], ‘Come unto me and I will give you rest, I am the bread of life, I am the Light of the world, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink, My peace I give unto you, You shall receive power, You shall rejoice’” (The Character of Jesus [1908], 7, 11, 15–16).

Men and women are shaped partly by those among whom they choose to live. Those to whom they look up and try to emulate also shape them. Jesus is the great Exemplar. The only way to find lasting peace is to look to Him and live.

What about Jesus is worthy of our study?

“The New Testament writers … cared nothing for [Jesus’s] stature, the clothes he wore or the houses he lived in. … He was born in a stable, worked in a carpenter’s shop, taught for three years, and then died on a cross. … The New Testament was written by men who were determined that we … fix our eyes on [Him]” (The Character of Jesus, 21–22) with an assurance that He truly was and is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

One of the Savior’s parables, I believe, especially applies to our current day.

It is contained in Matthew chapter 13, where we read:

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

“But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

“So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

“He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

“But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (verses 25–30).

That old enemy of all mankind has found as many devices as he can think of to scatter tares far and wide. He has found ways to have them penetrate even the sanctity of our own homes. The wicked and worldly ways have become so widespread there seems to be no real way of weeding them out. They come by wire and through the air into the very devices we have developed to educate and entertain us. The wheat and the tares have grown close together. A steward managing the field must, with all his or her power, nourish that which is good and make it so strong and beautiful the tares will have no appeal either to the eye or the ear. How blessed are we as members of the Lord’s Church to have the precious gospel of our Lord and Savior as a foundation on which we can build our lives.

From the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi we read: “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).

We must never let the noise of the world overpower and overwhelm that still, small voice.

We certainly have been warned of events that we will be facing in our day. Our challenge will be how we prepare for the events the Lord has said are surely still to come.

Many in our worried society understand that the disintegration of the family will bring only sorrow and hopelessness into a troubled world. As members of the Church, we have the responsibility to preserve and protect the family as the basic unit of society and eternity. The prophets have warned and forewarned about the inevitable and destructive consequence of a deterioration of family values.

As the world continues to watch us, let us be certain that our example will sustain and support the plan the Lord has designed for His children here in mortality. The greatest teaching of all must be done by righteous example. Our homes must be holy places in order to stand against the pressures of the world. Remember that the greatest of all the blessings of the Lord come through and are given to righteous families.

We must carefully continue to evaluate our performance as parents. The most powerful teaching a child will ever receive will come from concerned and righteous fathers and mothers. Let us first look at the role of the mother. Listen to this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations. Who can put a price tag on the influence a mother has on her children, a grandmother on her posterity, or aunts and sisters on their extended family?

“We cannot begin to measure or calculate the influence of women who, in their own ways, build stable family life and nurture for everlasting good the generations of the future. The decisions made by the women of this generation will be eternal in their consequences. May I suggest that the mothers of today have no greater opportunity and no more serious challenge than to do all they can to strengthen the [home]” (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes [2000], 152).

Now let’s look at the role a father plays in our lives:

Fathers give blessings and perform sacred ordinances for their children. These will become spiritual highlights in their lives.

Fathers are personally involved in leading family prayers, daily scripture reading, and weekly family home evenings.

Fathers build family traditions by being involved in helping plan vacation trips and outings that will involve all of the family members. Memories of these special times together will never be forgotten by their children.

Fathers hold one-on-one visits with their children and teach them gospel principles.

Fathers teach sons and daughters the value of work and help them establish worthy goals in their own lives.

Fathers set an example of faithful gospel service.

Please remember, brethren, your sacred calling as a father in Israel—your most important calling in time and eternity—a calling from which you are never released.

Many years ago at stake conferences, we would show a film clip to illustrate the theme of the message we were presenting. During the course of a year, as we traveled around the Church on our assigned stake conference visits, we became very familiar with the content of the film. We could almost quote it by heart. The message has remained in my mind over all these years. The film was narrated by President Harold B. Lee and gave an account of an occurrence in the home of his daughter. It goes something like this:

One evening the mother of the home was frantically trying to finish bottling some fruit. Finally the children were ready for bed and were settled down. It was now time to get to the fruit. As she began to peel and pit the fruit, two little boys appeared in the kitchen and announced that they were ready for their bedtime prayers.

Not wanting to be interrupted, the mother said very quickly to the boys, “Why don’t you just say your prayers alone tonight, and Mother will just keep working on the fruit?”

The older of the two sons firmly planted his feet and asked, “Which is the most important, prayers or fruit?” (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 143–44.)

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we have the opportunity to teach children a lesson which will have a lasting effect on their young lives. Of course, prayers are more important than fruit. A successful parent should never be too busy to capture a moment in a child’s life when an important lesson can be taught.

It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more. We have a great and noble heritage of parents giving up almost everything they possess to find a place where they could rear their families with faith and courage so the next generation would have greater opportunities than had been theirs. We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, 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 wo, 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).

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides this foundation upon which we can find lasting peace and build eternal family units. Of this I testify in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.

“Eternal Families”





What it is all about in our mortality

holding fast to the Commandments

obedient in all things of the Word

enduring the ridicule of the worldly

seeking after our progenitors always

they without us cannot be perfected

listening to Paul’s baptism for the dead

holding ourselves worthy eternally

believing Malachi 4:5-6 literally

knowing all things are to be eternal

yet only those who covenant

sealed by those with authority

while in our earthly mortality!


Copyright © 2014 – cji

Visiting Teaching Message November 2014

Live according to the Words of the Prophets

To be in harmony with heaven’s divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words.

Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children and desires that they know and understand His plan of happiness. Therefore, He calls prophets, those who have been ordained with power and authority to act in God’s name for the salvation of His children. They are messengers of righteousness, witnesses of Jesus Christ and the infinite power of His Atonement. They hold the keys of the kingdom of God on earth and authorize the performance of saving ordinances.

In the Lord’s true Church, “there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred.”1 We sustain President Thomas S. Monson as our prophet, seer, and revelator. He reveals the word of the Lord to guide and direct our entire Church. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. explained, “The President of the Church … alone has the right to receive revelations for the Church.”2

Concerning the living prophet, the Lord commands the people of His Church:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

To be in harmony with heaven’s divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words.

We also sustain President Monson’s counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. “They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of [the Lord] … , subject to … the President of the Church.”4 They speak in the name of Christ. They prophesy in the name of Christ. They do all things in the name of Jesus Christ. In their words we hear the voice of the Lord and we feel the Savior’s love. “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture … and the power of God unto salvation.”5 The Lord Himself has spoken: “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”6

We are grateful for a church “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”7 The Lord’s house is a house of order, and we need never be deceived about where to look for answers to our questions or uncertain about which voice to follow. We need not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.”8 God reveals His word through His ordained servants, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”9 When we choose to live according to the words of the prophets, we are on the covenant path that leads to eternal perfection.

From a single mother struggling to survive a season of famine, we learn what it means to sustain a prophet. The Lord instructed the prophet Elijah to go to Zarephath, where he would find a widow woman whom God had commanded to sustain him. As Elijah approached the city, he saw her gathering sticks. He called to her, “Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”10

“And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her [again], and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

“And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah responded, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.”11

Imagine for a moment the difficulty of what the prophet was asking a starving mother to do. Certainly, God Himself could have provided food for His faithful servant. But, acting in the name of the Lord, Elijah did as directed, which was to ask a beloved daughter of God to sacrifice that which she had in order to sustain the prophet.

But Elijah also promised a blessing for obedience: “For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.”12 The Lord gave the widow the opportunity to choose to believe and obey the words of the prophet.

In a world threatened by a famine of righteousness and spiritual starvation, we have been commanded to sustain the prophet. As we give heed to, uphold, and affirm prophetic word, we witness that we have the faith to humbly submit to the will, the wisdom, and the timing of the Lord.

We heed prophetic word even when it may seem unreasonable, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. According to the world’s standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect, or socially unacceptable. But following the prophet is always right. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”13 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”14

The Lord honors and favors those who will heed prophetic direction. For the widow of Zarephath, obedience to Elijah saved her life and ultimately the life of her son. As the prophet had promised, “she, and he, and her house, did eat many days … according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.”15

The Lord “will feed those who trust Him.”16 The words of the prophets are like manna to our souls. When we partake, we are blessed, protected, and preserved both temporally and spiritually. When we feast upon their words, we learn how to come unto Christ and live.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote that through the prophets “the Lord reveals the truths of salvation, … the salvation that is in Christ; and he charts … the course leading to eternal life. … In every age the Lord gives his people the direction they need at the moment of their peril and danger. And surely in the days ahead there will be times when nothing but the wisdom of God, descending from heaven and flowing forth from prophetic lips, will be able to save his people.”17

For me, the words of prophets taught by my Laurel teacher gave me a vision of what a covenant marriage relationship should look like. The words of the prophets gave me the faith and hope that I could prepare for and obtain a happy home. Consistently studying the teachings of the prophets, both ancient and modern, sustained me during the strenuous and often exhausting years of bearing, teaching, and nurturing seven children. The words of the prophets in the scriptures and taught from this pulpit are words of comfort, love, strength, and good cheer that embrace us all.

When we heed the words of the prophets, we build our homes and our lives upon an eternally sure foundation, “the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, … that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, 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 … misery and endless wo.”18

We have a choice. We may choose to ignore, trifle with, trample upon, or rebel against the words of Christ spoken by His ordained servants. But the Savior taught that those who do so will be cut off from His covenant people.19

As we prayerfully read and study sacred prophetic word with faith in Christ, with real intent, the Holy Ghost will speak truth to our minds and hearts. May we open our ears to hear, our hearts to understand, and our minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to our view.20

I bear my witness that Joseph Smith was and is the prophet called of God to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ and His priesthood to the earth. And I testify that in President Monson we are led by a true prophet of God today. May we choose to stand with the prophets and live according to their words until we become unified in faith, purified in Christ, and filled with the knowledge of the Son of God. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.


“Eternally to Sustain”





One sustains by doing

accepting correct principles

applying them in all things

knowing what is good/true

thus knowing it’s from God

while sustain all the Prophets

is to sustain Father and Son

living a life worthy to do so

wavering not staying the course

enduring to the end in this life

accepting correct principles

doing well then our part!


Copyright © 2014 – cji


October 30, 2014

"Who Among Us"


Photo Copyright © 2014 – mci



The issue, I think, is not what we should do but how we should do it; and I maintain that the most beneficial and productive thing which Latter-day Saints can do to strengthen every good and proper cause is to live and teach the principles of the everlasting gospel. Bruce R. McConkie 1973


“… Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (Isa. 33:14.)

That is, who in the Church shall gain an inheritance in the celestial kingdom? Who will go where God and Christ and holy beings are? Who will overcome the world, work the works of righteousness, and enduring in faith and devotion to the end hear the blessed benediction, “Come, and inherit the kingdom of my Father.”

Isaiah answers:

“He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high. …” (Isa. 33:15–16.)


“Who Among Us…”





Willing to go where others shy away

speaking truth and understanding

leaping into the refiners fire daily

without hesitation speaking up

in a quiet voice for all to hear

what is required to become

as we each are tested

till knowing literally all

the Father has tasked

returning to the basics

to become what is required

hearing the still quiet voice

speaking up against the evil

seeking out the refiners fire now

understanding and truth speaking

willing to go where others shy away!


Copyright © 2014 – cji

“Is There Any Limit on Forgiveness”

“Is There Any Limit on Forgiveness”





Opening up the heavens above

searching throughout eternity

letting the expressions of mind

traveling through all of space

seeking an end of forgiveness

unwilling to accept the Atonement

rejecting the message of the Savior

there is no limit to forgiveness

if one can truly repent fully

reconciling with the Father

having a pure heart/soul

becoming fully obedient

to all of the Commandments

willingly being in tune

feeling the promptings

the still small voice of love

then there is no limit found

but all is required from us

and if not then we fail

rejecting the Atonement

unforgiving ourselves

unwilling to be obedient!


Copyright © 2014 – cji

"The Will of God"

1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:


“The Will of God”





What’s required for wisdom

doing the will of the Father

thus to be found in doing

not just doing – well doing

therefore the wisdom of men

becomes as all foolishness

as with women found the same

when not harkening/listening

when our Father whispers

and we obey willingly

well doing for the Father

putting to silence the world!


Copyright © 2014 – cji