Joseph F. Smith – An Unshakable Personal Testimony, Even at Gunpoint

What if the Church Leaders Denied Their Testimonies? I asked my seminary students and gospel doctrine classes this question: “Suppose that the prophet announced at general conference that the church is not true. Therefore, the prophet asked that the members sustain the general authorities and officers in dissolving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day … Continue reading Joseph F. Smith – An Unshakable Personal Testimony, Even at Gunpoint

Personal Revelation (Pt 1/5): The Right to Receive Personal Revelation

A distinctive fdoctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the belief in continuing prophetic revelation and personal revelation.  The Lord’s church recognizes that both church leaders and church members can and do receive revelation to guide them in their stewardships and lives. ("Two lines of communication with God." "Priesthood Line" and … Continue reading Personal Revelation (Pt 1/5): The Right to Receive Personal Revelation

In Praise of Vaccines

My Traumatic Childhood Experience As a boy I stood in long lines at our elementary school waiting to get our compulsory smallpox and polio shots. My first vaccination was traumatic.  With dozens of classmates watching, on reflex I jerked away from the nurse, and she accidently shot the vaccine into my eye. That caused a … Continue reading In Praise of Vaccines

I Disobeyed the Spirit Out of Sheer Stubbornness

(I recently shared the experience when I wore a different colored tie based on the promptings of the Spirit. The following experience reveals that I am not as righteous as some people might think.) Over forty years ago, during my lunch break, I rushed to the bank near the DA’s Office where I worked. I … Continue reading I Disobeyed the Spirit Out of Sheer Stubbornness

Roger Williams -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 2/5)

Concept of "Separation of Church and State" Roger Williams Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is given credit for the phrase and concept of “separation of church and state.” That credit is largely misplaced. The person most responsible for “separation of church and state,” is Roger Williams (1601-1684). Roger Williams made a "monumental contribution. . .  to the cause … Continue reading Roger Williams -“Early American Heroes of Religious Liberty” (Pt 2/5)

“Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt,” by Michael R. Ash

Book Review and Recommendation I have spent thousands of hours studying the church and gospel, reading hundreds of church related books, including biographies, histories, and commentaries, in addition to the scriptures, and attending dozens of lectures and symposia. Thus, whenever I have been confronted by anti-LDS claims, my faith has not been shaken.  (Of course, … Continue reading “Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt,” by Michael R. Ash

“Intent of the Founders” — Separation of Church and State

The Founders Disagreed and Held Different Opinions During political arguments and constitutional debates people often cite the “intent of the Founders” to prove their point. However, discerning the “intent” is not as easy as people think. The Founders were independent thinkers with strong personal opinions. They were not united in their beliefs, statements, or actions. … Continue reading “Intent of the Founders” — Separation of Church and State

My 256 Abortion Protest Cases

The High Volume Misdemeanor Arraignment Calendar As a brand-new judge I was assigned to preside over the high-volume misdemeanor arraignment calendar. Ironically, I had that assignment at the both beginning of my career and in my final years on the bench.  Most judges hate that assignment. By I enjoy it. I like dealing directly with … Continue reading My 256 Abortion Protest Cases

Reverence Was a Matter of Life and Death for Us Kids –Literally

My father was a truly great man. He was loyal to the Lord, his wife, his family, his church, and his country. He was consistently kind and considerate throughout this long life. Obedience, respect, and reverence were very important to him. It is said: Crying children in church are like good intentions, they should both … Continue reading Reverence Was a Matter of Life and Death for Us Kids –Literally

Prayer in Public Schools: The Practical Problems

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prayer in the classroom violated the religious Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  (Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)).  This case caused a firestorm of criticism. The Court explained, “There can be no doubt that state prayer program officially establishes the religious beliefs embodied in the … Continue reading Prayer in Public Schools: The Practical Problems