In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bonds of friendship strong between Catholics and Latter-day

I feel that in times like these it will be relationships like this that will help people keep the Christian faith. I remember while serving my mission in the Bible Belt we used to joke around and say that Catholics make the best Mormons, I had the opportunity to do service with many Catholics and had nothing but respect for each of them as well as those of other faiths who helped us in many ways. Although I recognize the added truth that we have received via the Book of Mormon (D&C and PGP) and latter-day prophets and I am greatful for those truths and do my best to understand them and apply them to my everyday life but I still think that when we all meet our maker we'll all be taking some sort of a "Religion 101".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mormon Times: From Sierra Leone to Temple Square

This is the video of Sister Mariama Kallon. I served my mission with her for about 6 weeks. She actually served her mission in the SLC Temple Square mission and as a 4 month reassignment that Temple Square missionaries get she was called to the Kentucky Louisville Mission. I was her first district leader and can attest for what an amazing woman Sister Kallon is. Upon entering the mission home she asked the mission president (Michael C. Cannon) for a rag that she could use. President Cannon gave her a rag and went about his business only to discover she didn't need it for herself. She used the rag to clean the shoes of her fellow missionaries after they had kicked off their shoes at the mission home door. She did this out of respect and the love she has for not only her fellow missionaries and their calling a calling the she herself held and fullfilled in such a reverant manner.

Her Christ like love was contagious to all those who knew her. I remember my companion and I and Sister Kallon and her companions getting up one morning and having a little campfire on the banks of the Ohio River and just hanging out as friends and having a good time kind of as a welcoming get together for her when she came to the mission. I later was transferred to my last area in Evansville Indiana and never got to see her again. So its good to see that she is still extremely active and shares her message....a message that needs to be heard! Upon finding out that my companion Elder Seegmiller and I were being transferred she made each one of us the following handkerchieves to show her appreciation to us as friends and fellow missionaries. She has truly been such a great example to all who know her.

Sister Kallons documentary DVD can be purchased through deseret book at the following link.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Genetic traits possible link between Hopi and converted Lamanites (Anti-Nephi Lehies)?

Albinism Among the Hopi Indians in Arizona

The variation in frequency of generalized albinism in various human populations constitutes an intriguing problem in population genetics. The overall frequency in European populations has been given as 1 in 20,000 (1946) with estimates varying from 1 in 10,000 in Norway to 1 in 29,000 in Italy and perhaps lower in france.

In a book entitled Physiological and Medical Observations Among the Inidans of Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, by Ales Hrdlincka (1908) devoted a section to albinism. In 1906 he studied the Hopi Indians in Arizona and found 11 albinos from ten sibships among an estimated population of 2,000. This gives a frequency of 1 in 182. In addition Hrdlincka thoroughly described the albinos. He also noted that the Zuni pueblos a related tribe just east of the Hopi had a population of 6 albinos as well.

In 1961 Charles M. Woolf and Robert B. Grant from the Department of Zoology at Arizona State University (Tempe Arizona) set out to re-test these statistics. Fortunately many informants were found who were willing to help in supplying the names of albinos and in the construction of pedigrees. At the time there were 22 Hopi Albinos. The frequency is 1 in 227, using the estimated population size of 5,000.
Soon after the study was initiated it was realized that present day Hopis attach no religious signficance to albinos. At no time did an informant give any indication of belief that a village has "good luck" if any albino resides in it or that an albino has "supernatural influences"; thus, any rumors to this effect are apparently false. Albinos are viewed today as any other individuals with congenital defects; they are well integrated into Hopi society. In fact, they are frequent performers in the elaborate Hopi ceremonies and dances, as many tourists can testify.

There are many theories in regards to why these numbers are so skewed, including population control through the history of the Hopi until about the 1960's when highway 264 was made and made it easier for people to travel to the Hopi Rez and for the Hopi to travel outside of the Rez. In posting this information my purpose is to throw out an idea in regards to the changes made in the body to cause a human to become albino.
Albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no color (pigment) in the skin, hair, and eyes. There are two main types of albinism:
Type 1 albinism is caused by defects that affect production of the pigment, melanin.
Type 2 albinism is due to a defect in the "P" gene. People with this type have slight coloring at birth. Since there is obviously an actual genetic change that is more common place among the Hopi and Zuni or Pueblo Nations the question arises as to why? or How?
The Book of Mormon speaks of possible genetic changes that took place mainly upon the Lamanites. In 2 Nephi 5 Jacob shares some information about the curse that took place as the Nephites seperated themselves from the Lamanites. He says, speaking about the Lords treatment of the Lamanites, "and he caused a cursing to come upon them, yeah, even a sore cursing,because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." He later states that, "they did become an idle people" It seems as though the curse was to not be in the presence of the spirit of the Lord it didn't actually effect the skin color. There is a difference between the mark and the curse. The mark placed upon the Lamanites was a dark skin (Alma 3:6). The curse was not the dark skin but being "cut off from the presence of the Lord" (2 Nephi 5:20). Notice that in both Alma 3:7 and Alma 3:14 the conjunction "and" is used between the curse and the mark. This implies that they are not the same thing. The people brought the curse upon themselves: "And even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation" (Alma 3:19) Through righteousness the curse may be removed, but the mark may remain as it has with the Lamanites. It the case of repentence there were many times where the mark may have had a reverse effect keeping the righteous Lamanites from mingling with wicked Nephites.
In Alma 23:17-18 speaking about the changes that took place among the Anti Nephi Lehies it states.
17. And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.18. And they began to be a very industrious people; yeah, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them.
Also in 3 Nephi 2: 14-16 it states,
14. And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
15. And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
16. And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.
The above scriptures seem to be speaking of both a physical and spiritual changes that took place . Although I don't think that albinism is a direct cause of the removal of the mark my question is would it be possible for this to be indirectly related to the removal of the mark. Could it be possible that the genetic transformations that took place in the Book of Mormon along with hundreds of years of mixing with others to whom these same changes had taken place along with those who were still part of the mark could cause a rare genetic condition (skin and pigment condition) that would manifest itself in these Pueblo people?
As evidence of a physical change that can take place upon conversion I quote from Joseph Smith jr. out of the History of the Church, speaking about the Blood of Abraham
"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such cases, there may be more of a powerful effect upon te body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Genile in pure intelligence." (HC 3:380)
(top) Albino Hopi Mana Middle Mesa.
(2nd from top) 2nd from the right on the bottom is an albino Hopi Flute Priest.
(3rd from top) Close up of the albino Hopi Flue Priest.
(4th from top) Group of 10 year old Hopi girls including one albino.
(5th from top) Two Zuni men one on the left is albino.
(6th from top) Zuni boys, the one on the right is albino not white.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Far Away" Music Video | Lecrae | (Haiti Relief) [OFFICIAL]

This is a video I should have posted months ago because I love the song. This is by Lecrae and it was done for the Haiti Relief efforts. Even though its main purpose was to get donations for Haiti Relief I think that the message is one that each of us can relate to on a daily basis. I know that I personally seem to call on God at times when I am really in need but when things are going good he seems to take the back burner.....and then when we wonder why he seems "far away" once our times of need kick back up. Anyways great song great purpose...enjoy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daniel Peterson: How Nephi understood the Tree of Life (and why the Book of Mormon is an ancient record) | Mormon Times

Why would Nephi see a connection between a tree and a virginal mother of a divine child? His vision sems to reflect a meaning of a "sacred tree" that is unique to the ancient near east and, in israelite history. Specifically to the period before the babylonian captivity-Nephi's era.

Daniel Peterson: How Nephi understood the Tree of Life (and why the Book of Mormon is an ancient record) Mormon Times

After reading the above article feel free to watch this video for further information on archeological finds involving the role of Asherah

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chichen Itza and links to Lehi and the 3 Nephites

While re-reading Dr. Jerry Ainsworths "The Life and Travels of Mormon and Moroni" I stumbled across an interesting section where he is speaking briefly about the history of Chichen Itza and some of the writings of Linda Schele and David Freidel. They say that although the genealogy of the people of Chichen Itza is incomplete, the original father of these people was named Lord Jawbone (Forest of Kings, 362). Any Bible dictionary will identify the Hebrew name Lehi as meaning "Jawbone."

These authors further report that the ancient settlers of that area never appointed kings for themselves. In other words, they could not have been those whom the Book of Mormon traditionally identifies as Lamanites, who were always ruled by kings. Instead, "three brothers" ruled the people at Chichen Itza, with none viewed as superior to the others (Forest of Kings, 359-60).

These statements suggest that the people of Chichen Itza may have been led there, as well as governed, by the Three Nephites. Their migration from the land northward could have commenced as early as A.D. 326, when Mormon was fifteen years old. At that time, the Three Nephites withdrew from among the Nephite nation in general (see Mormon 1:13-15). Schele and Freidel note that the three brothers were called "lords of fire" (Forest of Kings, 360). The Book of Mormon records that the Three Nephites possessed power over fire (see 4 Nephi 1:32)