How do you try to achieve Harmony?

That We May Be One
By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

When we write the tune, that forms our short life,
We observe all too soon, that there will be strife.

In a choir and band, there must be music players.
And though the piece is grand, it can be played by music slayers.

For, even if we plan the most beautiful thing,
We’ll loose our best fan, if it’s flat when they sing.

I now clearly see, it is God that I should trust.
If our duet becomes off-key, then MY tuning I'll adjust.

Yes, that's the key to life, to trust in God above,
And overcome all strife, with harmony and love.

What does being "ordained" mean to you?

I was reading a news magazine the other day and in a small section titled Consumer Leisure I found the following list.

The Internet sites for online ordination:
  •, the site of Universal Life Church Monastery, performs online ordination for free, instantly. The church's ordination not only qualifies you to marry but also to "bury, anoint, or exorcise others."
  •, will ordain at no cost, but requires an email "within 48 hours of sign-up to activate ordination credentials."
  •, the American Fellowship Church site, charges $25 plus a $3 fee for ordination. The AFC requires "signature and document mail-in" - meaning you may wait up to two weeks before officially being ordained.
  • is the online shrine of the unconventional Church of the Latter-Day Dude. If you don't mind the frequent uses of "dude," become ordained instantaneously at no cost.

I just don't think ordination can occur over the Internet. What does "ordination" mean to you?

The Grace of God

The Grace of God
By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

Grace is not the removal of consequences for ongoing bad behavior. Grace is the miraculous, divine help that transforms us as people so that we can correct and overcome bad behavior. Imagine that a new oil company was started and this company had unlimited resources. They quickly build gas stations in every town in the world and announce that gas at these stations is free of charge. We could sit at home and say, “the gas is free, I don’t need to do anything to receive it.” If we held these beliefs, we would not get very far when we attempted to drive our vehicles. Even though the gas is free we need to go to an authorized gas station to fill up our tank. The gas is truly free, and there are still requirements to receive it. “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.” “Faith without works is dead.” Knowing that the gas is free is not enough to sufficiently fuel our repentance and conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must also go to the authorized station and fill up our tank once a week. This will help us to have the power to arrive at our destination, eternal life in the presence of God. Can we boast about the journey that we have made? No, it was God who provided the gasoline.

What does repentance mean to Mormons?

I recently read a blog talking about a Mormon Repentance Quiz. It said that Mormon's believe it is too hard to repent. The blogger used the Doctrine and Covenants to pose True and False questions about repentance. I think he was trying to scare people away from being a Mormon by saying, "It's too hard." I can't help but chuckle at that - ironically, he also things the rewards for Mormons are "too great".

I have taken the liberty to adjust the requirements of his Mormon repentance quiz and modified it to use the Bible as the word on the subject.

Have you met the requirements of repentance as defined by Jesus Christ?
1. True or False? According to the Jesus Christ, people who repent of their sins forsake their sin.
2. True or False? True repentance involves keeping the commandments.
3. True or False? In order to live with Heavenly Father you must stop sinning.
4. True or False? True repentance means never repeating that sin again.
5. True or False? A crucial test of repentance is abandonment of the sin.
6. True or False? If you hope to achieve exaltation in the next life, you must overcome your sin in this life.
7. True or False? Repenting of only some sins never results in complete forgiveness.

Answer Key:
1. True: "He that coverth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13) John was baptizing and people came to Jordan "confessing their sins" to be baptized and when the Pharisees and Sadducees came John rebuked them saying "Bring forth therefore fruit meet for repentance". What is the "fruit", if not repentance?

2. True: True: Jesus says "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Jesus then goes on to explain being angry is sin, if you don't forgive a brother it is sin, lusting after a woman is sin, swearing is a sin, not loving your enemies is a sin… "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not the publicans the same?" If you can't be like the Pharisees and publicans, doesn't that mean you have to follow the commandments of God?

3. Jesus Christ says "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven… Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Doesn't being perfect mean "stop sinning". (Matthew 5:45-48)

4. True: "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." (Proverbs 26:11) 2 Peter 2 describes quite a few that were destroyed because of their persistence in sin.

5. True: Else why would Jesus "upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not"? Those cities did not abandon their sins, so Jesus continued to upbraid them. Are you suggesting that you can continue in sin and magically be saved?

6. True: Paul says the sorrow of the world worketh death, but "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation" (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) If one does not feel godly sorrow for things done wrong, how can repentance lead to salvation? Jesus commanded "be perfect". That is His standard not a Mormon standard. Additionally, Jesus said to the young man desiring eternal life "but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." I don't see where Jesus said anything about not keeping a few of his commandments and you can still enter into "life".

7. True: Unless you are suggesting one can "be perfect" while sinning? A shirt with dirt on the inside is still a dirty shirt. Jesus said "Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:19) So which sins can you keep and make it into eternal life?

So, how did you do?

1 Telestial

But don't worry too much, because Mormon's believe everyone gets a reward for trying!
Source: Picture of Repentance Tough on Sins (I loved the Jedi's too)

Where to find Mormon Music? And do Mormons listen to Evangelical Christian music?

This afternoon my wife found a website called It is a free music website that plays songs based on your favorites. For instance, if you wanted to listen to Country music, you can type in the name of a song and a playlist will be created for you. The website will play tons of songs based on your preference for music. It creates a great mix of spiritual music for Sundays.

This brings me to the title of this post, "Where to find Mormon Music? Do Mormons listen to Evangelical Christian music?". At we entered "Mormon Tabernacle Choir". Turns out Pandora play lots of LDS music and it mixes in the likes of Charolette Church, Greg Buchanan, David Phelps, Jeff Majors, and the London Philharmonic Choir. It's been a joy to listen to.

Mormons believe good music can help you feel more spiritual. In fact, one of the articles of faith states, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." Music has been a part of Mormon worship services since the early days of Mormonism. The following quote is from
Three months after the Church was organized [in April of 1830], the Lord,
through the Prophet Joseph Smith, instructed Joseph's wife, Emma, to make a
selection of sacred hymns for the Church: "For my soul delighteth in the song of
the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be
answered with a blessing upon their heads" (D&C 25:12).

Additionally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints created a website that holds all of their hymns. Now you can listen or download the hymns before you go to a meeting. has made a difference in our Sundays, I recommend setting up a Mormon Tabernacle Choir station to all my friends: both Evangelical and not.

Here is a song by David Phelps, I might not agree with his doctrine and the Chrisitan stores selling his CDs may diss my religion by selling anti-Mormon books, but wow, he does a pretty good job and I celebrate his passion:

The Christmas Wish

The Christmas Wish
By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

At Christmas time, the year that my eldest daughter was seven years old, we read the story of the “Northern Express” about a boy who goes to the North Pole on a train in the middle of the night. The boy in this story does not believe in Santa Clause anymore, and so he's unable to hear the bells on Santa’s sleigh. At the end of the story the boy believes in Santa Clause again, and thus can hear the magic ringing of the sleigh bell he received as a fulfillment of his greatest Christmas wish.

After hearing the story, my daughter made a similar wish. The only thing she really wanted for Christmas was a bell from Santa’s Sleigh. She had not written this wish in a letter to Santa or shared this hope with mommy or daddy. On Christmas morning my daughter found no such gift from Santa and she began to cry. When asked why she was so sad, she explained that she didn't get the only thing that she'd really wanted, a bell from Santa’s sleigh. I have told the children all their lives that Santa is real because there are many Santa Clauses and that they can be Santa too. Santa Clause is anyone who gives gifts to children anonymously. While my daughter was crying, I quickly went into the kitchen and grabbed a small sheet of tin foil and then went and got two jingle bells that I used for a visual aid in doing church work. I hastily wrapped the bells in the tinfoil and set it on one of the branches of the Christmas tree. I then asked by daughter to come back to the tree and look more carefully and make sure that she had not missed anything.

We looked for some time and then at last she saw the tinfoil package. She said, “But it does not have my name on it.” “Santa must have been very busy and just had to wrap it this way for you,” I offered. She opened the package, and there was the gift that she had most wanted. Her eyes dried immediately and she was very happy. She has had those bells hanging above her bed, ever since that Christmas day. Some day I may need to explain that there is no Santa Clause, who lives at the North Pole and flies around the world visiting every home, in one night. However, I also want to explain that parents want to see the dreams of their children come true. We want to see our children happy. Connected with our efforts to help our children be happy, is the act of deceiving them into believing in Santa Clause. This is the only way that we can be “Santa Clause” for them.

When your children look up into your eyes in complete innocence and love, you realize the sacred trust that has been given to you from God. We can become the kind of people that we are capable of becoming, in part, due to the desire to be a good example to our children, nieces, and nephews.

The difference between God and Santa Clause is very clear. In the case of Santa Clause there is inevitable disappointment. With God, there is never an accurate reason for loosing confidence in him. God exists, he created the earth in six days (this amazing gift for all of his children - whether wicked or righteous), and through the power of the Holy Ghost he can touch the heart of each person on the earth at the very same time. We can be completely honest with our children about the existence of God. In fact, helping our children, as much as possible, to believe in God and follow his commandments, is the way that we can be the kind of parents God wants us to be.

My greatest Christmas wish is that my daughter will receive many wonderful gifts from God through his spirit. Hearing the voice of the Spirit comes only to those who first believe. These gifts make up the musical harmony of a happy life. The joy received from the gifts of the spirit, is far more wonderful than the joy received from any gift that Santa can deliver.

I believe that my daughter is on the path to happiness and peace. One year before the "bell experience" she had a different experience, which I wrote about in the following poem:

Christmas Reverence
By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

The winter sun goes early to bed
As Christmas lights shine warm and bright
All passing eyes with the lights are led
To the manger scene a wondrous sight

My daughter was out in the evening air
In the quiet coolness of the winter snow
She went and got herself a chair
And sat before the mangers glow

She sat a long time with reverence resounding
and quietly looked at the little Christ Child
Love and joy in my heart was full and abounding
To see her sitting out there so meek and so mild

I saw her through the window and when she had returned
I asked what she was thinking to see what she had learned

My six-year-old daughter's response was thus...
"I was thinking about how he died for us."

Yes, when we see a manger scene let's try to do the same
To think about Lord Jesus and praise his holy name.

Healthcare Systems run by Religion

In March I attended the American College of Healthcare Executives meeting in Chicago. I had a wonderful time and learned so many things from the classes offered there. One of the things that amazed me was the origins of so many hospital systems in the United States. Here is a short list of healthcare systems and the religion that started it:

Adventist Health System - Seventh Day Adventists
Catholic Healthcare West - Catholic
Baptist Health South Florida - Baptist
Episcopal Health Services Inc. - Episcopal
The Methodist Health System - Methodist
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System - Jewish

The Mormons, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also started a healthcare system. But in 1975-76 they gifted the system to the community. Today that system is known as Intermountain Healthcare and is ranked among the best integrated healthcare systems in the United States.

I was surprised how many religious organizations had worked to take care of the poor and needy. What a neat thing shared across religions. For those that care for the poor and needy, there exists the shared spiritual language of love.