I’ve always wondered why some people are afraid of Utah history. The state has many beautiful stories to tell. Most of them are intertwined with the history of the LDS Church. Today I enjoyed a piece of that amazing history up close and personal. I went on a tour of the Dream Mine, also known as Bishop John Koyle’s Relief Mine. I met some wonderful people on the tour with me.
The Relief Mine is rarely opened to the public so this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I counted about fifty people on the tour, some from Idaho, Arizona and me from California. My friend who lives in Leland, Bishop Koyle’s old ward, now part of Salem, invited me. He added to the comments of our guides and others on the Relief Mine board. I enjoy meeting my readers.
It was a forty-five minute hike to the top. This is not a tour for the faint-hearted. Carol stayed in the car while I got my exercise for the day. The view from the top is beautiful. Our guide told us about Bishop Koyle’s vision of the white city that would spring up almost overnight in a year of great economic catastrophe, also an election year, and a year the U.S. President is assassinated.
Tetrad of Blood Moons
Several in the group spoke of the tetrad of blood moons and their significance. The fourth in the current tetrad will occur on the 28th of September this year. There seemed to be quite a bit of knowledge of the Jewish holidays, their significance and the signs in the skies. One tour member has published a book on the subject: Seven Heavenly Witnesses of the Coming of Jesus Christ.
I don’t know much about the signs in the skies, but I do know the Lord said he placed the lights in the skies for our benefit – as a warning to signify timing. I also don’t know how much Bishop Koyle knew about the signs in the skies, but you’ll find his dream or vision of the last days to be very interesting. Again, part of that unique Utah history, not something to shun or to be feared.
I suppose what annoys me most when I bring up stuff like this are the comments I get from some readers who announce it is a waste of time and energy to even read or seek to learn the story of such unusual events. I don’t think we should be afraid of learning about unusual dealings in our history. A little knowledge, especially if you make an effort to get facts straight, can’t hurt you.
A Prosperous Church
The night before, Friday night, Carol and I toured the beautiful new Payson Utah temple. This is a full-sized temple. The Church really goes all out on building these beautiful structures. There is no doubt they are impressive, built of the best materials and construction with wonderful designs. It was fascinating to watch the video presentation before and to see the huge turnout of people.
It looked like most of the people taking the tour were LDS. The majority dressed in white shirts, nice dresses and the like. Utah County has the largest concentration of LDS members – about 82% – than anywhere else in the world. I’m fairly certain it is also the largest source of tithing per capita and has the largest number of families sending missionaries to the rest of the world.
If you want to see the influence of the LDS Church, look no further than this area of a half million of the most conservative Americans anywhere. In Utah County – Provo, Orem, Spanish Fork, Springville, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Salem and more – families look happy and the people seem to be just as nice as can be. Utah County is the poster child for the success of LDS Mormonism.
A Little Off the Beaten Path
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking it. I’m just pointing out how unique this area really is. Where I live in Ventura County, California, LDS Mormons are less than two percent of the population, as they are throughout most of California. Note how I keep referencing the full term: LDS Mormons. I want to make sure you’re aware there are different kinds of Mormons.
I’m a Mormon, but I’m not LDS. I claim Mormonism as my heritage because my family joined the LDS Church when I was five years old. Thus I’m still interested in all things LDS. History of Mormonism is especially interesting to me. That’s why I like going to places like Salem Utah on my vacation to see the Dream Mine, a place I’ve only read about, but not really a tourist spot.
It could be. I wonder if the shareholders have ever considered investing in improving the road up to the mine and perhaps charging for a more frequent tour. The four who contributed to the tour had wonderful and fascinating stories and history to tell. I know they work regular jobs, but with a little organizing and improvement, the Dream Mine could become a genuine tourist attraction.
A Working Vacation
I was pleased to read yesterday Elder Perry has returned to some of his duties in the Twelve. I’ve always liked Elder Perry even before I met him. I was also sad to learn of Elder Scott’s health. I still think there should be an emeritus status for the Twelve. They did it for the church patriarch. Now he’s gone and so is that office – forever apparently. That seems like something significant.
I’ve arranged to meet with some writers and publishers this week while in Northern Utah. It’s been a long-time hobby to interview and publish stories of people who value the written word. Publishing a book is a labor of love. Most books sell less than a few thousand copies in their lifetime. Yet it takes hundreds and hundreds of hours to produce, edit and publish a good book.
They’ve agreed to allow me to interview them for the blog. I hope to publish a short summary of each of the interviews Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. After that I’ll be on my way to the Remnant Family Retreat up on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. I’m really going because my friend Bret asked me to be there. Besides, when I asked, the Lord didn’t say I shouldn’t go.
LDS Church Not the Only Way
I’ve prepared most carefully for my interview on Wednesday. If it turns out like I hope, the answers to the twenty questions I have prepared could turn into twenty posts. I think you’ll be interested. I am grateful the individual I’m interviewing agreed to be recorded. Some people won’t go on record. There is no attempt to get controversial quotes, just to understand truth.
I’m surprised how many people have told me I don’t stand a chance at salvation now that I’ve left the LDS Church. I simply don’t understand such a decidedly anti-Christ proclamation. I’ve been baptized – twice now. I’ve made covenants. Those have not been nullified. These covenants are between me and the Lord, and between me and my wife. Faithfulness brings the promises.
I’m grateful I was endowed and received the instruction in the sealing ordinance. You know as well as I do the sealing ordinance is conditional upon our faithfulness to God and to our spouse. Being a member of the LDS Church is NOT a requirement for the promises of God. What IS required is to establish that sacred and binding relationship with Christ. I consider that my life’s work.
Vacations – Good for the Soul
I’m looking forward to attending Church with my sister tomorrow. I don’t get to see her that often. Although my siblings and I get together once a year just before Thanksgiving, it can be difficult for my eldest sister to make it down from Utah. I admire my older sister. She has done well with her work in the LDS Church, although I try not to ask her details of what she does.
It is the Sabbath tomorrow, a day of rest. I like to read on Sundays – catch up on current views and interpretations of doctrine. It always gets me into the scriptures and onto my knees in prayer. Yes, even on vacation. I love the Lord and I love prayer. It can be the sweetest time as I petition the Lord to not forget His humble servant. Ah! Turn me not away, receive me, tho’ unworthy!
I need ever so much to forget about the demands of managing networks for my employer. Even on vacation, he still turns to me when something isn’t quite to his liking. I appreciate the trust, but wish I could get him to turn to others I have trained who are just as competent. The ways of the world are always there. I am grateful I have good employment and can take a long vacation.
The Fellowship of the Internet
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. Thanks for being my friends. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful things with me and bringing fascinating knowledge into my world. I appreciate every good book recommendation, every thoughtful discussion of doctrine and turning doctrine into a religion that can be practiced pragmatically. What good is religion if it doesn’t bring joy?
May God bless you my friends. You have blessed me. You help me understand what it is that the Lord is sharing with you in your life. I don’t claim many gifts. I have had dreams, visions, and have felt the gift of prophecy. I feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost, but also feel alone at times. I know the Lord tests us to see how we will respond. This life is surely a test of character.
We are each special and unique, blessed with various gifts. I want to be a part of Zion. I am still learning what it takes to prepare myself to be counted a friend of my Savior. I ask myself every day if I am living in such a way that He can trust me. There’s nothing I desire more than to be found worthy of being called a friend of the Redeemer of the World, to be His humble servant.
Until we meet again…