I know Joseph made mistakes. Of this I have no doubt. That was Joseph. Unlikely, uneducated, untainted. God, knowing a successful restoration was imperative to the divine plan, chose Joseph.
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Not just at age 14, but every step of the way. How can we judge a man who literally held the world on his shoulders? We cannot fully understand the context of his life, the newness of all he was learning, the questions he must have had. He too had concerns. He took unimaginable leaps into darkness. He knew sorrow, struggle, heartache, and aloneness in ways most of us never will.
Moroni prophesied his name would be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds and people JSH I just never thought it would be among our people. So I have a challenge for those of us who call ourselves Latter-day Saints. That we revisit our testimonies of Joseph.
That we read his history and the book he translated. We must be willing to wrestle with difficult questions.
And by wrestle, I mean consider our questions good. Consider them an opportunity for personal revelation, not a threat to our faith. Last Saturday Sheri Dew spoke to the women of our stake and taught that spiritual wrestling leads to knowledge and revelation. Only a witness from the Holy Ghost can counteract any logic or intellectualism that has cut away at our faith. Sister Dew also quoted Elder Quentin L. Cook who recently expressed concern that we do not hear testimony of Joseph enough.
He is more than a name in history to me. He is my brother. And when I use that term, I do it with great affection. I believe Joseph knows those who know him.
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And when we speak good of him, honor him, we can feel a connection to him that is powerful and sustaining. A new fire has flared in my heart for Joseph these last few weeks. I have drawn courage from his commitment, strength from his brave pursuit of an almost impossible path, and light from his interactions with the Father and Son. And do you agree? Have we become afraid to say what we believe about Joseph? How can we make wrestling with questions a door to revelation rather than doubt?
This article is part of a series on the Word of Wisdom. To view all the articles in this series, see Discovering the Word of Wisdom. If that were the case, there would be no purpose for the dietary counsel in the Word of Wisdom. Instead, the Lord knows that the foods we eat have a powerful impact on the health we can enjoy. In fact, research on the human microbiome shows us that the way we eat has a tremendous influence on how our genes operate in us. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear of women deciding to get a mastectomy simply because they have a gene that is associated with breast cancer.
But these ideas have been challenged and are now discredited, first by the fascinating field of epigenetics and now by research on the microbiome. Only some of them are being expressed at any one time. Some are skin cells, some muscles cells, some blood cells, etc. Many environmental factors influence how our genes are being expressed. Examples of these factors include stress, exercise, exposure to toxins, and of course, diet.
Since many of these factors are under our control, we play a role in whether traits in our genes are expressed. In this sense, rather than our genes controlling us, we can determine the effect our genes have on us!
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Epigenetics is the field that studies gene expression. What is fascinating is that the tiny microbes in our bodies also influence our gene expression. What are the implications for the prevention and reversal of chronic disease? Of all the environmental factors that can determine whether we eventually succumb to disease or not, diet is primary. We are what we eat, and no matter how dire our genetic disposition, if what we eat does not trigger the genes to express themselves in disease, we may very well live as long and healthy of lives as those without the ominous genes.
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There is no need for radical surgery to prevent disease we can more easily prevent by simply changing the foods we consume day in and day out. The science on epigenetics and the microbiome confirms what whole food, plant-based experts have long told us: genes load the gun, but diet pulls the trigger. That is, genes predispose us to certain diseases, but genes are not destiny. They only present a possibility. All of this may explain the power of diet and why some people experience almost miraculous healing when they change what they are eating.
Cancer cells can stop spreading, the lining of the arteries can heal, inflammation can die down, the lungs can heal, and many other serious symptoms may be reduced or even eliminated. Perhaps one reason the destroying angel will pass us by is that when we consume a Word of Wisdom diet the genes linked to disease never get activated!
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It seems incredible that the indescribably tiny microbial creatures in our bodies play such a powerful role as to actually direct the expression of our own genes. It is remarkable to learn how complex and sophisticated our microbiome is. This second genome works in a coordinated fashion with our human genome, much like an extra human organ. We know our human DNA is unique, but it turns out that our microbiome is even more unique, and can communicate a lot of things about us.
According to gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan:. The mix is so distinctive that your microbiome is actually a more accurate identifier of you than your DNA. If genes are not our destiny, what is? Our prophet, President Thomas S. Elder Russell M. Nelson gave us these words of encouragement:. That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny. Although the human microbiome is incredibly complex, what we can do to nourish it so that it can serve us well is incredibly simple.
This describes a high fiber diet filled with whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. We are blessed to live in a day when there is a huge variety of good, nourishing whole plant foods widely available. With these nutrient-rich plant foods readily accessible, we have no need for the fiber-less animal foods and fiber-poor processed foods that cannot nourish our microbiome and that contribute to chronic disease. Fortunately, which foods we choose is up to us. Here are some tips for adjusting to a higher fiber diet.
She can be contacted on her website, Discovering the Word of Wisdom. To read the full article, click here. When Donald Trump began running for president in the summer of , most pundits dismissed his candidacy because of his public profile as a reality TV entertainer. His campaign generated attention through a series of controversial statements that alienated many voters but won him a devoted following. Still, few considered him a viable candidate. But now that voting has begun, Trump has started to win actual delegates for the nomination. His statements that did not make front page news now deserve special consideration.
To read the full article on LDS. If you missed the Day 1 report, please click here. They perhaps lived here only three or four years while they built a ship. This place was a way station for them, a bit of relief from the miserable, thirsty 8-year journey they had made. Small populations of people had obviously inhabited this verdant spot at times in the past and then abandoned it.
We could certainly see the remains of their rock shelters, tower and mysterious double lines of rocks. But these had been accomplished by larger populations of people who lived here for long periods.
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