Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy New Year!

UPDATE 01/30: Check out this amazing article from Clair Barrus, the Salt Lake City Mormon History Examiner, "Mormonism Ready for ET".
A new survey suggests the beliefs of the Mormon Church may be the most likely to survive an encounter with extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI).

Ted Peters, a professor of Systematic Theology wondered "could the world's religions survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Or would their beliefs be so shaken that they would eventually collapse?" He asked 1300 people if they thought the discovery of ETI would shake their faith.

The results indicate religion would survive discovery of ETI. However the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may have the highest rate of acceptance of (ETI). The report notes:

"Note how high Mormons score. Many Mormon respondents added comments to the effect that belief in ETI is already a part of Mormon doctrine. “My religion (LDS, Mormon) already believes in extra-terrestrials.”
My Response:
Could it survive it? The LDS Church was founded on Joseph Smith Jr. having close contact with extra-terrestrials, receiving information from them and using their technology to translate that information into our language. The LDS Church -IS- an extra-terrestrial religion and, my friend, your article provides all the evidence needed to uphold that statement.
The deeper I get into this study the more I find myself coming to this conclusion.  I cannot wait to go further into this subject with you all.

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I hope everyone has had a great holiday season and is refreshed for the New Year.  I've entered into my last semester at the community college and so I've been thrust into a very time consuming and busy schedule.  Though I've slacked in getting through the introduction phase of this project, please know I have not abandoned it.  I would like to give you some insight into what I plan on doing with this blog this year.

As part of my curriculum, I've integrated the study of LDS Church History into my school schedule by signing up for the LDS Institute of Religion church history class at the campus I am attending.  I've been taking notes and have been grilling the instructor with tough questions.  So far I am very pleased with his and the class's responses.

I will be wrapping up the introduction phase of this blog with two more posts.  Once I've completed the seventh post, I will write my thoughts concerning my experiences so far in the church history class I've been attending, what we've discussed and how the information was handled by both the instructor and the class.  I believe by studying the church's official educational system we can gain greater insight into the institution as a whole, especially with how they indoctrinate their members seeking greater educational insight into their religion.

I know you are probably wondering how I've managed to get away with this without causing problems for myself.  I am almost pseudo-undercover in a sense;  I've neither confirmed nor denied my activity in the church.  My instructor has been nothing but open with my intense interest in the subjects we've discussed thus far.  More on this in the next month or so, keep your eyes open for that post.

Most of my posts for this first part of this year (through spring semester) will be pretty informal.  Once school is out for the summer I plan on reading and reviewing several books, including Mormons and Masons recently released by author and BYU Alumni Matthew B. Brown.  I've also picked up an older volume I think will also shed a lot of light onto this study entitled Americanism, Mormonism and Politics written in 1961 by UCLA Historian Richard Vetterli.

In approaching this study, I've come up with two sub-central subjects in relation to Mormonism that if placed in physical form create a triangle.  These subjects are Freemasonry and Extra-terrestrials.  (If you do not understand the relationship of these subjects to Mormonism, then I urge you to read the Introduction and My Story up to it's current episode.)

To better illustrate this study and to also give you a taste of what's to come, I've created the following chart: (Click to Enlarge)
Though one could spend years studying any one of these subjects on their own, the priority of this study is to explore the connections of these subjects to each other and ultimately to Mormonism.  Please understand that I am in no way implying that Mormonism is at the core of these subjects, in fact I believe Mormonism is only one of many secondary facets in this web we're exploring.  It is not the purpose of this study to get to the root or the cause of the world we live in, but do not be surprised if in the course of this study we do arrive there through the writings and research of countless others exploring these subjects.  This chart only shows my personal focus.  It, again, does not in anyway imply the overall importance or severity of these subjects.  I believe that is still up for debate as well as personal judgment.

If you believe I am missing something, please speak up!  I am only one person and I do not intend to make this study my own.  I simply want to explore these subjects in a new light and hopefully get you to think about the world you live in in a different way.  I am open to any commentary, criticism or praise.  Please speak your mind by posting a comment or shooting me an email.

As we enter the the night of the 6th day, I am increasingly excited for what awaits us in the years ahead.  I am optimistic, hopeful and content with humanity and the world we live in and I am so grateful to be alive at this great time in Earth's history.  I hope you all are as well.

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