Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

Chicago area Mormons, Presbyterians visit Nauvoo together

Chicago area Mormons, Presbyterians visit Nauvoo together
Author: Jill Brim
Source: For Mormon Times
24 September 2010 5:30am

WHEATON, Ill. — This summer, the Wheaton Ward of the Naperville Illinois Stake hosted the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton on a tour of the historic sites in Nauvoo and Carthage, Ill. Departing from the Naperville Stake Center, Bishop Reed Nuttall and the Rev. Dr. Jay Moses greeted 91 participants from both congregations as they travelled 250 miles from the Chicago suburbs to Nauvoo.

To become better acquainted before the trip, members of the Wheaton Ward invited the First Presbyterian Church members to the LDS chapel for a fireside and social on May 6. Presentations on life in 1840s Nauvoo were given, followed by a 19th-century stick-pulling demonstration and refreshments typical of the pioneer era. Conversations that evening revealed that one guest had attended dances in Nauvoo as a young girl. Presbyterians Bob and Marge Stevens had lived in Ogden, Utah, and met LDS neighbors who shared bread-making techniques. Former schoolteacher, Pam Ballard, had taught a Wheaton Ward family’s autistic son, developing a close bond with the family.

The joint group was welcomed to Nauvoo upon arrival by public affairs missionaries Elder Dean Hughes and Sister Kathleen Hughes as all strolled together through the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center and Monuments to Women Garden. Elder Hughes began by placing the story of the Latter-day Saints in the context of the 1840s midwest history.

In the evening, the group walked down the Trail of Hope along Parley Street, retracing the steps of the Mormon pioneers as they left their beloved city of Nauvoo, in the bitter cold of February 1846. The Rev. Moses was particularly moved by the plaques along the trail with journal quotes of several Nauvoo residents who were forced to leave their homes and temple in order to avoid further persecution.

At the Mississippi River’s edge, Taylor Phillips, a Laurel in the Wheaton Ward’s Young Women, told the moving story of her pioneer family’s attempt to secure provisions for the destitute Saints while risking personal safety.

The next morning, the bus arrived at the Nauvoo Temple grounds where Sister Hughes explained the significance of temple worship to families worldwide. She explained President Hinckley’s vision of the Nauvoo Temple and the Salt Lake Temple standing as two bookends facing one another. In the Old Burying Grounds on the outskirts of Nauvoo, Joe Bell, high priests group leader from the Wheaton Ward, described the sacrifices of his pioneer ancestors as they arrived in Nauvoo. Reese Nuttall, a priest in the Young Men, told the story of his ancestral family and their contributions to the growth of the 1840s church. Members of both congregations walked through the pioneer cemetery, reading headstones and sharing feelings of the sacrifices required of one’s faith.

The group then traveled to Carthage Jail, site of the shooting of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on June 27, 1844. Again, the senior missionary couples gave thought-provoking insights into the events leading up to the martyrdom, the tensions in Hancock County, and the impact of the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

At the conclusion of the trip, several participants from both congregations expressed what the Nauvoo trip had meant to them personally.

Celeste Colton, Relief Society president of the Wheaton Ward, said, “As we literally sat shoulder to shoulder in the Seventies Hall together, the Spirit was manifest and my testimony was strengthened.”

Mimi Hill added, “I loved the perspective that the First Presbyterian church members provided. I was able to see and experience Nauvoo and its historic sites as if for the first time.”

Ed Ballard of First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton remarked, “What a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and learn about the importance of Nauvoo to the Mormon faith. The places we visited and the people who shared their faith and their history with us brought the Mormon experience to life.”

The Rev. Moses and Bob Stevens composed a page on the First Presbyterian Church website with pictures and commentary on the Nauvoo trip. The Rev. Moses wrote, “It is imperative that we enter into each other’s sacred spaces and places, into each other’s tragedies and joys, if we truly seek to know each other as we seek to be known: that is as children of God. Nauvoo is a symbol for the intersection of both of these occurrences in a community life, joy and tragedy.”

Bishop Nuttall concluded, “In Nauvoo, we felt a kinship with our forebears, while making new friends of the Presbyterian congregation, walking the streets of Nauvoo together. We hope to continue interfaith activities, including joint service projects, in our community to build relationships of faith.”

Jill Brim is the assistant public affairs director for the Naperville Illinois Stake.

Original Article:

Photos from First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton:

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Christus Statue in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Mormon Christianity | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

East London Mosque Leader Molests Children

The Telegraph Newspaper (London, England)

By Andrew Gilligan Last updated: January 20th, 2011

East London Mosque

Here’s the full version of a story which appeared in the print edition of the paper:

A MAN has been jailed for a series of sex attacks on children [poster’s note- following the example of Mohammad] committed while he was leader of a Muslim extremist group and a teacher at a hardline London mosque.

Ashraf Miah, 38, from Mile End, a former teacher at the East London Mosque, repeatedly molested the girls whilst they recited religious texts. The youngest victim was five and the oldest only seven.

Miah was at the time the East End leader of the notorious extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which believes that voting and democracy is forbidden in Islam and wants to turn Britain into a sharia state. He is listed as its contact for a number of events.

“He was a bit of a loner in the Hizb and did not have many friends, but he was a senior figure,” said one former member of the group.

During his trial, Miah claimed that the prosecution was a “conspiracy” against him because of his political views. Senior members of Hizb ut Tahrir gave evidence in Miah’s defence. However, the jury rejected his claims.

The assaults took place over a four-year period, from 2003 to 2007, during lessons at Miah’s flat and other houses in east London. Some of the girls complained to their parents about the abuse, but were not believed.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the offences came to light after one of the girls’ fathers had a change of heart and reported her case to police. More victims were traced and Miah was convicted of a total of 13 sexual assaults against five different youngsters.

Sentencing him to three years and three months, Judge William Kennedy told Miah: “The children in this case came from three entirely separate and different families.

“Your suggestion at trial, and apparently still now, was and is that somehow the parents of those children have conspired to destroy your reputation. The suggestion that any parent would willingly encourage his or her daughter to lie about events in these circumstances was one which the jury considered and rejected.

“The possibility of coincidence of similar complaints by unconnected children is simply impossible.”

The court heard that Miah also taught at the hardline East London Mosque, controlled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, which also believes in turning the UK into a sharia state, though by different methods. The mosque has hosted many hate, extremist and terrorist preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda spiritual leader. Some of the victims were introduced to Miah via the mosque. The mosque said last night that it had “no record” of his working there.

The judge told Miah: “You were entrusted with these children as a religious teacher. As such you occupied a position of great importance and reputation. You repeatedly abused that trust.

“Right thinking people find it impossible to understand what gratification could possibly be achieved by the almost surreptitious touching of very small children. That the touching was sexual is beyond doubt.

“The offending was persistent, extending over a period of four years, and always involving children unlikely to be able to complain believably about what you were doing to them.

‘Whatever may be the answer as to why you committed offences of this sort, the fact is that all decent people reserve a particular condemnation for those who abuse positions of trust to interfere with children.”

A Hizb ut Tahrir spokesman said last night that Miah had not been part of the group for two years and it was “satisfied that he did not use Hizb ut Tahrir for any criminal purpose.” The spokesman said that Hizb ut Tahrir members who testified for Miah “did so in a personal capacity.” [poster’s note- Taqiyya, lying for Islam]

Original Article:

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gospel That Saves

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (5) and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. (6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (7) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. (8) Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

As he opens this chapter, Paul’s clear purpose is to show that the hope God has placed before us is not based on men’s guesses or possibilities, but on the testimony of many eyewitnesses then yet living when he wrote this in the AD 50s. Paul adds that he did not make up the gospel, but it was what he received from Christ, and what he received was exactly the same as what he had later been told by the apostles when he met with them in Jerusalem. Paul is presenting the resurrection of Christ as a historical fact.

We also have available to us the witness of the apostles’ lives following the resurrection. Now, people just do not do the things the apostles did without believing what they saw with their own eyes with all their heart. Thus, in the first eight verses Paul reinforces what Peter says in II Peter 1:16-21, that there is plenty of strong evidence of the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is not a figment of these men’s imaginations. It really did occur, and God did not provide a mere two or three witnesses, but hundreds of them to the fact of the resurrection of the dead.

Paul establishes that our hope is resurrection into the Kingdom of God. However, we must take this hope one step farther if we want to make it a motivating force. The resurrection is, in one sense, merely a promised event given at a point in time. It does not occur merely because we believe it, or even because it has been promised. It occurs because of Who promised it. It occurs because there is a powerful Being of utmost integrity, who cannot lie and who will make it occur. This is where our hope must be, not in what He has promised, but rather Who has promised it. Is our faith in God? So must our hope be in God.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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