Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Second Meeting with new Pajarito Ward Bishop

Event: Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Updated: Wednesday, 6 Nov 13

LDS ward house for Los Alamos and Pajarito wards

My second meeting with Bishop Josh M. of the new Pajarito Ward was again pleasant, but a bit frustrating. He had not read anything I had left with him two months earlier and was now unable to open the locked filing cabinet where he had put them. Ironic. See here for that first meeting.

Why do I care so  much about this?  It feels like it's my "job" to continue to interact with Mormons of all stripes (in or out of ecclesiastical favor) and that may qualify me as being certifiably crazy! I want our interaction to be wake up call, enough so that we can have truly meaningful conversations about the Lord and social justice.

Consider dreams and dreaming.  For an institution that claims to be led by divine revelation, I am flummoxed by how asleep it seems to be. (Evidenced by the above.) Whereas the previous bishop surprised me with a dream when we first talked three and a half years ago that brought him to Los Alamos and before I even opened my mouth, this bishop couldn't remember a single dream! I was pleased, however, when he was willing to answer the twelve CREEI questions about an outer event of his, which turned out to score "transformative".

My most recent dream shows me that I've lost control of the conversation in trying to make a "turn to the right". So, I think I need to leave it alone for a while to let wiser inner/outer influences inform and direct my crazy journey....

To be fair, at the beginning of this second conversation I asked Bp. M how he liked being bishop and to tell me more about himself. "I love it", he said, and then told me about his wife, five young children and his work in emergency management at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As bishop he said that his main objective was to help people know the Savior and how to repent. That, of course, is exactly to the point of the conversation that I hope we can have!



Thursday, October 17, 2013

RPK Experiment Shut Down

Posted: 17 Oct 13
Updated: 8 Nov 13

At 9:30 PM on October 17, 2013 the RPK Experiment was shut down. This is because its principle has finally been demonstrated. It will be reactivated on occasion when requested by credible candidates.

See details on: http://rpkexperiment.blogspot.com/.




Friday, October 11, 2013

The La Fonda Group--First posting

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, 19 Nov 13

La Fonda Hotel
On Tuesday, 8 Oct, seven people met in the lounge of the famous La Fonda Hotel off the Plaza of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Birgitta and I met each of the other five face-to-face for the first time. After a short, lively getting-acquainted period, we drove to Ed's home in the hills east of Santa Fe for an early dinner where several neighbors joined us. We were there to view an updated DVD developed and presented by Glenn Steckling, Director of the George Adamski Foundation. The topic was extraterrestrial (ET) visitations: their reality and purpose.

On Wednesday, 9 Oct, most of us met again in the La Fonda lounge to review last night's presentation and discussion. This conversation lasted about 3 hours, after which we disbanded with much food for thought and hope for future conversations.

Sunday evening, 13 Oct. Note: This posting has evolved into its own blog: The La Fonda Group. Those with expressed and accepted interest are invited to view it.


Birgitta's Third Heart Procedure

Event: Thursday, 10 October 2013

Birgitta successfully survived a third heart procedure at the Presbyterian Hospital of Albuquerque. The same surgeon who performed the second procedure in April 2012 did this one. Thanks to all who prayed for and sent good thoughts to her during this time.

Pictures of the stent will be posted as before when I get them.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Major Policy Statement by Mormon Church First Presidency!

Posted: Sunday, 6 Oct 2013
Updated: 15 Oct 13


A major policy statement was made today [Sunday, Oct 6] at the semi-annual General Conference of the Mormon Church by a member of the First Presidency: "We have made mistakes."

It is ironic that this leader, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor to the president, was born in 1940 in Nazi occupied territory in what is now the Czech Republic. His father was considered a dissident in the Third Reich and had to flee to West Germany with his family when this leader was a young boy. Be that as it may, and as someone on the Blogosphere has posted, Uchtdorf is not specific about what kind mistakes, who made them or when.

IMHO, if that statement can be ratified or acknowledged by the Church President in the above-mentioned terms (even if not specific!), it would nevertheless amount to a sea-change in Church policy, not unlike the 1978 announcement on the priesthood that allowed blacks to hold priesthood leadership offices. This cautious, conservative politically-minded ecclesiastical American-based institution can take only one [baby] step at a time.

Again, IMHO, because this institution's theology is fundamentally open to it, it would set the scene for another significant policy statement by the US President: "We are not alone" [in the universe, that is].

On October 7th, Paul Toscano, one of the September Six, posted this rigorous and provocative response on his FaceBook account:
I wonder what mistakes President Dieter F. Uchtdorft had in mind in his latest conference address? The mistake of leaders lying about the Church's past? Refusing to answer questions? Being shamelessly arrogant? Lining up in order of seniority to pee? I suppose all these are mistakes that could have been referred to by President Uchtdorf. But I wonder if he was sincere about more serious mistakes? 
I can think of one or two mistakes so serious they might warrant a church disciplinary tribunal of one or two of the current top LDS Church leadership. 
For example, wouldn't an apostle's conniving the excommunication of a group of believing members just to satisfy his lust for control and domination--wouldn't such unChristian-like conduct unbecoming a leader constitute a mistake serious enough to warrant at least a trial on the stake level? 
Of course, such would never occur. 
Thus, Uchtdorf's message is hollow. I will believe he is sincere when the apostles haul Boyd Packer up for church discipline for almost single-handedly ruining a great religion. When Elder Packer is publicly disciplined and cut off from his leadership position for using it to menace members and when D. Michael Quinn is installed in his place and Margaret Toscano is made 1st Counselor in the LDS Church First Presidency, then will I believe Church leaders are sincere. Then will I believe they have finally rejected the corporate gospel that worships the bitch goddess success, and reinstated the gospel of Christ in its place.
Until then, Uchtdorf's remarks are nothing more than a corporate show, worthy of the magician David Copperfield-smoke, mirrors and tricks. 
So long as the leaders see themselves as a de facto infallible board of directors of a multi-billion dollar corporation, there will be no continuing revelation, no gospel, no forgiveness for members, no repentance by leaders--nothing. This is why Elder Dallin Oaks announced no changes to be expected in Church doctrine or policy. (Hear that Ordain Women!) For, apparently, withholding priesthood from women contrary to the promises of the temple and of Joseph Smith, is not one of the LDS Church leaders' mistakes, nor were making changes in the endowment ceremony, nor shutting down the law of consecration and stewardship, nor making common cause with homophobes, misogynists, anti-intellectuals, and the greediest elements in our national demographic. 
It is pathetic that we will attribute so much to so few who have given so little to so many for so long.
On Oct 14th, Eugene wrote:
Wow!!! Spoken with the righteous indignation of an Old Testament-like prophet that he is.

Bravo, Paul! I can hear the aria in Handel's Messiah where the bass soloist sings: "But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire!"

On Oct 14th, Adam Ford, Chairman of the Sunstone Foundation, commented on his FaceBook account:
I just have to say again how mind-blowingly amazing President Dieter F Uchtdorf's General Conference talk Saturday morning was. He admits that while the Church is named after Christ, Christ does not lead it, men do. Men who make mistakes. 
My non-Mormon friends will say, "Of course, what is the big deal?" But coming from a culture where questioning a Church policy is tantamount to arguing with Jesus, this is huge. Really huge.

He said:

"And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.

"I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes."
 
He said: "And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine. 
"I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes."

On October 15, Eugene wrote:
I agree with Adam that despite Paul Toscano's fiery pessimistic challenge and the disclaimers of non-Mormons or other disenchanted Mormons, this is a "HUGE. Really huge" public policy step for LDS ecclesiastical leadership to take, especially by the specific leader who made it. The next step is for Church president to ratify it publicly.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Convergence

Posted: Friday, 4 October 2013
Updated: Wednesday, 9 Oct 13


Starry Night

It is early Friday morning as I begin this post. Something is coming soon. It feels so long awaiting. When did the wait begin?

I cannot tell for sure.

Was it that dark, starry night in north Phoenix when I was 16? "Something is waiting--for you!..." seems whispered in my mind as I look into the sky after taking Vonda home where she lives without street lights. That something frightens me and, refusing to think about it further, I jump into my car, drive wildly home, dive into bed, and with eyes tightly closed, shiver under the covers for the rest of the night.

A week or two later, near the garage of Vonda's home again late at night after a date, lightning strikes the garage and knocks me out. I awake on my back in the rain about 20 feet from where I'd been standing near my car and the garage. It was as if something is saying "don't forget!"

Or was it the motorcycle accident in Paradise Valley north of Phoenix in early 1953? I am now 19, having just quit college in Provo, Utah to come home and marry Vonda. The Cold War is now raging and I'd ignorantly given up my draft deferment. But now that was moot, since the accident injuries would likely keep me out of the war. Or so I thought, until I checked with the local draft board to make sure all was OK to proceed with marriage plans. Incredibly, I was informed that my draft papers were on top of the Sargent's desk ready to send out that very day! I am considered fit for duty: 1-A!

"Oh, my God!" I exclaim aghast, "I don't want to get my ass shot off over there!" And then I think: "Maybe there is something for me to learn? If I had my wildest dream come true, what would I study?!" Without thinking further I blurted: "Is it possible to learn my father's mother tongue? Is there someplace in the Army where I can learn Russian?" (Of course, secretly I know it is only a 'pipe dream'.)

But...

The draft board Sargent looks at me with astonishment and declares, "We have today just received a letter from Washington, D.C. for the month of April for the state of Arizona for a quota of one to the Army Language School to study Russian! If you can qualify, you're it!" I'd finished a quarter of Russian at BYU only months earlier.

It is enough.

"Where do I sign?" I say on that Friday in April 1953. I've just become a soldier. The next Monday I am on a bus to Fort Ord, California, for basic training in the U.S. Army. I don't see Vonda again for over 20 years...

Those and other scattered events were the beginning--I think--for what is now converging here in Los Alamos and Santa Fe.

Friday evening...
The first step began late this evening of October 4, in Los Alamos, when Linda called. She has just arrived here, ahead of schedule.

Saturday evening...
Linda came to our home for breakfast this morning. Birgitta had prepared her eggs-bacon-mushrooms specialty. Linda then gave us her new draft manuscript to respond to, which is the newest version of "Goodbye Man", a personal journal experience of her life with her remarkable father. Later, Linda's friend DLS joined us...

Sunday morning...
At church at Bethlehem Lutheran I ask for the sermon on angels by Pastor Bruce delivered the previous Sunday and then in the Sunday greeting line I mention to him the convergence of friends with respect to George Adamski. He raises his eyebrows with interest. He and I have discussed this subject previously.

Later that morning, at church at St. Dimitri Orthodox mission parish, Fr. John Hennies is ill and unable to attend. Parish members discuss present circumstances where parish and diocese leadership is in flux. I read my impassioned correspondence to the diocese leadership.

Sunday evening...
A movie about the current status of the new science of Cold Fusion (LENR or low energy nuclear reaction) was presented at St. John's College in Santa Fe, featuring Ed Storms, a retired LANL physical chemist, as one of its major actors. Ed, who now lives in Santa Fe, hosted the movie and answered questions afterwards. He is considered the foremost scientific authority on the subject in the country and probably the world.

Unfortunately, the film was not well done and did not advance the confidence of the audience on the subject. This includes me, although I am convinced of the reality of cold fusion/LENR. What became clear to me, however, is how confusing the subject still is in the scientific community at large, especially in this country. I had thought it was closer to being commercially viable than it currently is.

I believe that this science and its commercial application may be part of this "convergence" now taking place.

Monday
The day is spent at our home with Linda and DLS discussing Linda's manuscript. She treats us to dinner at the Blue Window Bistro.

Tuesday
The group meets in the lounge at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe before traveling to Ed and Carol Storms' home up in the hills above "The City Different". I'll refer that gathering--convergence!--as the La Fonda Group (LF Group) from now on. B & I, L & D, G & M + Glenn.

Dinner at Ed's with several other interested neighbors. Glenn shows a DVD containing footage from George Adamski and his late father Fred Steckling. A lively conversation develops. It is an historic meeting. The LF Group (now including Ed) agrees to meet at the La Fonda the next day to continue the conversation.

To be continued...