Monday, November 21, 2011

About Mormons

I wrote this post in answer to a request on Amazon's discussion forum asking for opinions of Mormons...

I find it interesting that, in this day and age, not only do a rather large percent of the younger generation totally reject the restored Gospel (i.e. the Book of Mormon), but they are, in ever-increasing numbers, rejecting the Bible and, by association, the Savior, as well. I'm a child of the 80s, so I can relate to many of the younger generation, but it saddens me that it seems pride is more often than not being lifted up as the God of the populace. More and more of my generation believe words prophesied against in the Book of Mormon, such as: "I am no devil, for there is none.", "...That every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature ... and whatsoever a man did was no crime.", "if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.", "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us", and, of course, "A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.". It has been said, "Woe unto the generation that understands this book!", and I can see why. When we start living the teachings of those who were wicked in the Book of Mormon, it stands to reason that the same consequences which befell them might very well befall us.

I also see many young people turn away from religion because they mistakenly believe that our Father in Heaven should rob us of free will when we might hurt ourselves or someone else and should never allow us to pass through the kind of trials that will mold us and shape us into beings more like Himself with each passing day. Many of them really want, for their God, someone who will throw them regular frat-style keggers, never expect them to do or learn anything that isn't fully fun and entertaining every nanosecond of the time spent thereon, and always permit any action without consequence, no matter how damaging to themselves or others (because they want Him to stop others from hurting people, but they absolutely do NOT want anyone stopping them from having "a good time").

As for my opinion of Mormons, well, like any religion, we have our more sanity-challenged people on the outskirts, but the core of the Church seems, in my opinion, to be mostly very kind and caring individuals who love others regardless of their religion (there is good in all religions, after all). As to one comment made about our "special kind of crazy", I fail to see how believing that God gave a gift of tongues (i.e. the ability to translate languages you do not know) to an uneducated farm boy so we could have a new, more complete account of His Gospel (especially since they were inhabiting the continents upon which the distant descendants or relatives of the civilization that wrote the record existed) is so much more crazy than believing that a 34-year-old Carpenter's Son preformed a plethora of miracles (from walking on water to healing leprosy) was publicly executed and came back to life about 36 hours later (executed on Friday evening, rose on Sunday morning). Now, I personally believe in both, quite strongly, but I fail to see how the gift of tongues is so much more difficult to swallow than all the miracles Jesus did, other than modern stigmas and assumptions. Honestly, if the ancient creeds and traditions, most of which have nothing to do with the Bible, had never existed, would people still find it so hard to accept the Book of Mormon? In my experience, the more familiar a person is with the actual teachings of the Bible (instead of just what small portion most preachers talk about on Sundays), the more likely they are to accept the Book of Mormon. Those less familiar with the Bible (and more "preacher-dependant", as I prefer to call them) seem less likely to accept more scripture (and why should they if they can't really be bothered to read and search the scripture they already have, no offence intended, of course). Outside of the dual scriptures in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelations 22:18-19 (which prohibit altering, i.e. adding to or deleting from, the words written in the Bible and have no bearing on the Book of Mormon because it isn't a book of the NT or OT, it's a new record of Holy Scripture) show me a single part of the Bible that gives us permission to tell our Father in Heaven to shut up and stop bothering us. Show me a single passage that says, "I have spoken and acted and I will never again speak to man which I have created nor will I act to do anything for or against them, no matter how much they might pray or believe in me. If you blow yourselves up, don't say I didn't warn you. Have a nice life." I'll give you a hint, you won't find this, or anything similar, in all of sacred writ (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.).

In short, if the fact that God speaks and acts (i.e. lives) today is so offensive to so many people, I fail to see how the Bible can be deemed acceptable. If the Bible is thrown out of the heart, the people seem to turn almost instinctively to following Korihor's teachings, and we Mormons know how "well" THAT worked out. So, mock all you will, but remember not to say to us a couple hundred years from now that we didn't warn you. :)


Friday, November 4, 2011

US Politics and the God of America

There seem to be many "talking points" thrown around in this war of words perpetuated by our political leaders to stir up "great contentions" among the people. To an ordinary person, these terms can seem to be quite confusing. Basically, the source of contention is simple. Both sides claim they want to "balance the budget", which means they want to alter our laws so that America not only gets rid of it's deficit (the amount our government spends each year beyond what it actually has, in other words, the amount of money our nation borrows every year to pay its bills) but also actually pays its incredible debts down (something I personally feel is likely to be impossible at this point).

The first question many might ask is "What is our debt?". Our national debt, as of the moment of writing this article (and it goes up by the second) is just under 15 trillion US dollars. To put that in perspective, our GDP (Gross Domestic Product, i.e. the total value of everything made in the US in a year) is just over 15 trillion dollars. Our tax revenue (the amount of money the government has to spend in any given year) is about 2.3 trillion dollars. So, imagine the amount of money you make in a year. Multiply that by 6.5, and then imagine that this is the total amount of your personal debt.

The next question one might ask is "How did it get so high?". That's actually an interesting point (in the current political situation here). In the 1970s, the national debt wasn't even measured in trillions yet. It was measured in billions. The national debt rose above 1 trillion in or around 1981-2 (just after the presidency of Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and at the start of the presidency of Ronald Regan, a Republican). By the time President Regan left office after his two consecutive 4-year terms, our debt stood at around 2.75 trillion US dollars (yes, it nearly tripled, i.e. it increased by 175%). The next president, serving a single 4-year term, was also a Republican (George Bush, the first one). By the end of his presidency in January of 1993, the debt had risen by 53% to around 4.2 trillion dollars. The following president was a two-term Democrat (Bill Clinton). By the end of his presidency, the debt had risen a mere 35% (1.5 trillion) to a total of 5.7 trillion dollars. The following president was a two-term Republican (George W. Bush, son of the first one). By the end of his presidency in 2009, the national debt had risen to around 11 trillion dollars (yes, it basically doubled again). Despite the whole matter of the 700 billion dollars (0.7 trillion) President G.W. Bush left to the banks as his parting gift (without any strings attached such as accountability or paying it back) and the costly war in Iraq mess he left for the next president to solve, the national debt during the single term of our current president (Obama, a Democrat) has risen by about 35% to 15 trillion. It never ceases to amaze me that the Republicans stand on their high horse about the national debt when it seems that their presidents are the largest promoters of the debt (yet they seem to fall silent about debt when Republicans are in office).

Now, some might ask why this is relevant to us today. One of the largest points of contention in current US politics is figuring out how to "live within our means", i.e. spend less than we make in a year. Any reasonable person will tell you that if you have a lot of debt and spend more than you make or get in a year, then you have to either increase your income or decrease your spending (or, preferably, both). This is where we hit the impasse. The Republicans primarily represent the rich, the upper 1-2% who own something like 90-95% of resources in America (and they also tend to gain a lot of support from "mainstream" Christianity, but I'll come back to that later). The Democrats tend to represent the poor and the minorities (people of races other than White European, and/or religions that aren't Protestant Christian, with a few exceptions on both sides). The Republicans (and those they represent) do not want the rich to have to pay their full share of taxes (90-95%, since taxes are based on material possessions, of which they own the greatest portion) nor do they want to give up government programs that help the rich (such as highly lucrative military contracts and other such back-room deals). The Democrats don't want to increase taxes on the struggling poor, nor do they want to give up the government programs that help the poor and are funded by tax dollars. With neither side willing to give much on this issue, it's unlikely to be resolved, no matter who wins our next presidential race.

But this brings us to an interesting subject, namely that of religion and US politics. As I mentioned previously, Christians seem to be largely in the camp of the Republicans, something that personally boggles my mind. We are talking about a political party that honestly feels the people at the bottom of our society, people who make choices every day between medicine and food, who struggle to keep a roof over their heads, who work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive, should pay more taxes. Forgive me for saying so, but where did Jesus say, "If a man have two coats, let him take the rags from the beggars" or "If a man have meat, let him take the crusts of bread from the orphans"? Instead He said, and I quote, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." (Luke 3:11 KJV). So, if Christians believe that Jesus was, at minimum, a wise man, shouldn't they desire political candidates who try to follow His teachings?

However, Republicans don't frame the issues as "take from the starving to buy a yacht for the rich". No one would vote for them if they did. They tell stories about people on drugs or welfare buying big screen TVs (which have, incidentally, come down quite a bit in price in recent years). I could point out that a struggling family might save a lot of money watching rented DVDs on a nice media center at home instead of going out to cinemas at $10 a head, but the point they are really making is that the poor shouldn't have any luxuries, not that they are saying the rich live without luxuries or calling all those who have two flat-screen TVs to give one to him that has none (or only an old box TV). They use terms like "class warfare", i.e. the poor "persecuting" the rich (it never seems to be used when the rich profit from the poor because that's called "Capitalism" or "good business").

Now I'm going to ask some admittedly "charged" questions. First, should a "good business" be defined as the business that makes the most money annually or the one that best serves the people, both customers and employees? Second, is Capitalism (a system centered around the laws and ordinances of the "almighty dollar") really compatible with Christianity (which centers around the laws and ordinances of an almighty God who counseled us to "sell all and give to the poor" and whose followers lived with "all things common", i.e. shared, among them)? How can we claim to be a Christian Capitalist country? Isn't that an oxymoron, like calling someone a militant pacifist or a democratic dictator? Third, do we really want to live in a country that turns its back on the poor? Would we really rather trade, for example, food, housing, and medical care for a year for a hundred homeless, even if they are high on drugs and/or drunk on moonshine, for another sea-side vacation home for one more rich businessman? Is this the kind of society we really want?

More and more these days, I find myself wondering what or who we support as the God of America. If it really is the Christian God, we have a funny way of showing it. We twist His words to attack science classrooms and Stem Cell Research, but we support the decadent lifestyles of the rich. It seems to me that if our actions were used to elect the God of America, money would defeat the Judeo-Christian God by a landslide (I doubt God/Jesus would even have enough votes to get on the ballot). Unfortunately, the "god" behind the love of money cares nothing for good judgment, mercy, compassion, or peace. Following him will lead us, as it has nations before us, into utter ruin.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Good Deed...

To understand this event, I need to give a little background about myself personally. I am, at the time of writing, a 30-year-old vegetarian woman who lives in a 3-bedroom house with her 6 cats, 2 dogs, fishtanks, and numerous houseplants (including some fascinating carnivorous species). Due to a multitude of health issues, I have never had a chance to marry, nor do I have the energy to spare for courtship. To make matters worse, even if I did someday wish to pursue a romantic relationship, my health would make it nearly impossible for my boyfriend/husband to touch me, and absolutely impossible to do anything "else".

Because my health also limits my ability to get out of the house and get my much-needed doses of social interaction, I invite the few local kids who still live in my tiny, western Kansas farm town to come over to my place to hang out. I have a laptop computer with internet, a Wii (also with internet), a PS2, 2 DS game systems (a DSi and a 3DS), and numerous boardgames they are welcome to play with while visiting my home. I also buy them a nice amount of snack food every month (when I go on my monthly shopping trips) and some small "fun size" candy bars, of which they are allowed to pick 2 per day. Since our local library is only open a few times a week for a couple hours at a time, my house has become the local hang-out for the two families of pre-teens and teens (as well as a few young adults from those families) who live in this town.

As a final personal note, I should mention the rules of my house. I do not permit profanity (at least not within my hearing range), nor do I permit lude or inappropriate jokes. As I tell them, "If it's not G-rated, it doesn't need repeated." I also ask that if they use something, they put it away when they're done, and if they make a mess, they clean it up. If they want to earn a few extra dollars for themselves, I frequently have chores they may do for me to get paid, if they wish to do so. As for the computer, the first rule I tell every person who comes over to use it is, "No porn". I will not tolerate any use porn in my home, and it's one of two things that they've been told will earn them a permanent ban from my house (the other is stealing).

On that note, I'll relate what one of the kids told me yesterday. He has a friend from a town about 15 minutes drive away who sometimes comes over to visit or stay the night with him. When his friend comes over, he says that they can't come over to my house because his parents forbid him to come to my house. They think, according to him, that any 30-year-old woman who lets kids come over to her house and gives them free candy must be a child molester.

Now, I'm not offended by this baseless accusation. Goodness knows I've been accused of other crazy things before, such as a few supposedly religious people saying that all my health problems stem from the fact that I play a video game as evil and Satanic as Pokemon *eyeroll*. It did, however, make me stop and think. I had always assumed that it was impossible to offend people merely by being kind. I now see that this is, in fact, not true. I considered what I would do in such a situation, and I honestly feel that a better solution would be to come and meet the 30-year-old woman. Sit down and talk with her. Find out why she has no children of her own and yet loves to be around children and makes a place in her home for them to visit and enjoy themselves. I think that I would find out more about someone before I proposed the possibility that they might be a child molester and forbad my child from visiting their home.

In short, I feel that we should all try to be slower to take offence and quicker to bear one another's burdens that they may be light. Perhaps, if we do so, we'll be able to change the common saying from "No good deed goes unpunished" to something more positive, such as "No good deed is ignored" or "No good deed goes unpraised".


Jehovah Who?

(Reposted from my Website Blog Page - Original Post from October 7th, 2011)

I recently participated in a lengthy (but friendly) discussion on Click Critters with a couple of people who insisted that Jehovah was the name of God the Father, not Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Afterward, I wanted to see if this is a point of confusion for most of the Christian world or unique to those with whom I was speaking. Looking up the word "Jehovah" in a normal dictionary quickly told me that this misconception is quite common, and I find myself perplexed by it. I had always thought the Bible more than sufficient to ascertain the identity of Jehovah (and with modern scripture, it becomes unmistakable). Thus, I decided to compile a list of scriptures that seem to make this point abundantly clear.


  1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4)
    • If he was with God, i.e. the Father, and all things were created by him, then John is saying that the "word", i.e. Jesus the Christ, is the creator.
    • Note the usage in "the Word was God". We'll come back to this idiomatic expression later in this section.

  2. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Gen. 1:1)
    • So, the creator is often referred to as God, also.

  3. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (Colossians 1:14-17)
    • Through whose blood do we find redemption? By him were all things created. Unless "mainstream" Christianity is trying to say that we find redemption through the blood of God the Father and *not* Jesus Christ, His Son...

  4. "Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" (Isaiah 44:24)
    • Again, who is the Redeemer of mankind? We are once more told that the Redeemer "maketh all things".

  5. "And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land." (Jonah 1:9)
    • The creator is also called "the Lord, the God of Heaven", another name we can then ascribe to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

  6. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people" (Luke 1:68)
    • So, the Lord God of Israel is also the redeemer, and who is the redeemer, again? Thus, we can add yet another reference to the Savior to our list.

  7. "Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. ... Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour." (Isaiah 45:11-12 & 15)
    • This passage makes clear a distinction between "the Lord, the Holy One of Israel" and "his Maker". Who could be the Maker of the Lord God of Israel except God the Father? Thus, the Lord God of Israel must not be the Father Himself, especially since God the Father is not our direct Savior. Everyone together now, who is our Savior? :)

  8. "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" (Ephesians 3:8)
    • Again, God (the Father) created all things *by* Jesus Christ, denoting Jesus specifically as the creator. If the Lord God of Israel, Jehovah, created all things, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, created all things, does it not stand to reason that Jesus the Christ *is* Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel?

  9. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" (Hebrews 1:1-2)
    • Once again, Jesus is specifically designated as the one by whom the worlds were made.

  10. "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:10-11)
    • Christ is once again designated as the creator, but I didn't include this passage just to repeat the point again. I included it to note another occurrence of the idiomatic expression I mentioned in the second note to Point #1 (John 1:1-4). "Christ is all and in all". Obviously we are not all Jesus Christ. This expression, while somewhat difficult for most people (myself included) to understand, seems to denote a close relationship, so close that two become one.


  1. "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." (Exodus 3:13-15)
    "And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." (Exodus 4:10-12)
    • I lumped both of these together because they are from the same conversation, specifically Moses speaking with God in the burning bush, but for the sake of brevity, I cut out the passages inbetween that don't pertain to our stated topic. Now, we've already established who created all things, thus, if "I AM" created all things (including man's mouth, the seeing, and the blind), then "I AM" must, logically, refer to the creator, which we've already established to be Jesus the Christ.
    • Also notice that "I AM" promises to be with Moses and, in the verses I didn't include, specifically ones like Exodus 3:20, the Lord promises to "smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go". Thus, the deliverer of Israel is also "I AM", i.e. Jesus the Christ. This will be relevant in a moment...

  2. "Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." (Exodus 6:1-3)
    • So, the deliverer of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was and is Jehovah, and, as we've already established, the deliverer of Israel and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was and is "I AM", who is also known as Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus Christ = "I AM" = Jehovah. To drive this point home, I'll add the words of the Savior Himself...

  3. "Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
    • The footnote here points out, "The term I Am used here in the Greek is identical with the Septuagint usage in Ex. 3:14 which identifies Jehovah." Since the Septuagint predates by centuries any English translation of the Bible, we can only surmise that the reason the Jews took up stones to kill him (by stoning, a common punishment in that day for blasphemy) was because he claimed to be "I AM", i.e. Jehovah, the God of Israel. If we, who believe on the name of Jesus Christ, believe him to be a sinless man, must we not, therefore, accept his word when he calls himself "I AM", i.e. Jehovah?

Latter-Day Scripture (a.k.a. the Cheat Sheet)
(I need not make any content notes here. These speak quite clearly for themselves, one obvious advantage to the use of Latter-Day Scripture.)

  1. "Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him." (2 Nephi 9:5)
  2. "For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. ... And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary." (Mosiah 3:5 & 3:8)
  3. "And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name." (Helaman 14:12)
  4. "And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen." (Moroni 10:34) (See Romans 14:10 if you don't know about "the judgement seat of Christ", or...)
  5. "Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?" (Alma 5:14)
  6. "Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh." (Ether 3:14-16)
  7. "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning." (3 Nephi 11:10-11)
  8. "Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end." (3 Nephi 15:5 - Jesus is speaking)
  9. "We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying: I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father." (D&C 110:2-4)
  10. "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins" (D&C 29:1)
  11. "And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was; Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation— The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men. The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him. And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us." (D&C 93:7-11)


I feel that I've provided ample evidence, both Biblical and from Latter-Day Scripture, to support the assertion that Jesus Christ is Jehovah. Thus far, I have yet to find any evidence to prove that Jesus is *not* Jehovah other than the traditions of men (which usually have little or no connection to scripture). With Latter-Day Scripture, this fact is unmistakable, but even with just the Bible, I think it's a very clear point. Unfortunately, I suspect that the larger problem is a difficulty finding faith in the divinity of Christ, upon which all Christianity, of necessity, is based and without which it inevitably falls.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Advertising and Adoptable Sites

Yeah, I know it's been a while since I last posted. I tried several times, but I guess I was posting at peak times and the server wouldn't add my post (after half an hour of trying each time). Anyway, hopefully today's post will upload.

My first topic today is advertising. It's everywhere these days, and many websites subsist only upon the revenues from advertising. Understandably, advertisers want to get their name into the heads of consumers, and some advertisers seem to think that annoying people is the best way to do this. While I admit that it's a good way to get people to say, "I'll never buy or support *insert the name of company with a horrible ad like Quiznos or Geico*", I can't see how that does the company a service. With Internet ads, some advertisers seem to think that they have to make flashing ads to get people to pay attention to the ad. I've got a newsflash for them. First, flashing ads, which are detrimental to certain health problems, make many people disable all ads just to get around them. Second, flashing ads cause complaints to webmasters who then must manually block the offensive ads. Third, people do pay attention to ads if they have something meaningful to say. Most web surfers know to ignore the "Click here for your free Wii" and "You are the 1 millionth visitor, click here for your prize!" ads. They are little more than scams. Since many websites gain a limited pool of advertisements, most regulars on any given site have seen ads for a game before. Making a new ad that flashes just annoys people (there's a reason that HTML no longer supports the BLINK tag), and makes people want to avoid your website. In short, stop making annoying ads, inappropriate ads, and idiotic ads. People are numb to stupid tactics companies concoct to get their money, and an ad that annoys someone is more likely to drive them away than bring them in.

Now on to my second topic, which is only tenuously connected to the first: Adoptable sites. (Adoptables are, in themselves, a form of advertisement for the website that distributes them.) These seem to be the fad of the year, with new ones cropping up regularly and a pre-made script or two being distributed for use by anyone with the inclination to do so. Everyone seems to have their own way of encouraging players to click other adoptables on their site such as: paying site-specific currency (ex: Valenth, Whimpsters), giving random site rewards (ex: DragonAdopters, UniCreatures), giving out exclusive adoptables (PokePlushies, Virtuadopt), listing those who have clicked on one's adoptables that day (ex: Global Pokedex Plus), and some sites have no incentive at all (ex: Dragon Cave and Arvyre, as well as all the other sites using the same cookie-cutter code that Arvyre uses). Of all of these methods, I'd have to say that none of them seem to be especially effective. There is another option that many adoptable site players use: Click/Link exchanges. These exchanges give click for click. If you click on another's adoptable, you eventually get a click in return from someone else. There are downsides to these systems also, such as the resources required to run them. In short, it seems that no adoptable website I've seen has managed to solve the problems with making adoptables more interactive without rewarding unwanted behavior (like spamming or leeching).


PS: The idea of adoptables is not really new. My first computer graphics projects over 10 years ago were animating "adoptable" Care Bear images, but the adoptables were nothing more than HTML image links back then. There was no "leveling" involved, primarily because it was very expensive to purchase a hosting package that allowed the user access to the kind of server-side programming needed to give adoptable images levels and names.