Archives for July 2010

George W Bush on Religion

George W Bush

My main objective in my discussions on religious freedom is to remind this new generation of [Chinese] leadership that religion is not to be feared but to be welcomed in society. (Mon, 04 Aug 2008 Washington Post)

I don’t think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made. (Mon, 23 Apr 2007 New York Times)

I will be your president regardless of your faith, and I don’t expect you to agree with me necessarily on religion. As a matter of fact, no president should ever try to impose religion on our society. (Fri, 05 Nov 2004 USA Today)

Prayer and religion sustain me. I receive calmness in the storms of the presidency. But when I make decisions, I stand on principle, and the principles are derived from who I am. (Thu, 14 Oct 2004 guardian.co.uk)

We also hear doubts that democracy is a realistic goal for the greater Middle East, where freedom is rare. Yet it is mistaken, and condescending, to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again. (Tue, 20 Jan 2004 State of the Union Address)

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Missionary Dan Email #16 from Vancouver, Washington

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper

Daniel (left) with Elders Hardy, Hodson, and Draper.

This week went very well. We had some of the best work I’ve had since coming to this mission. The Lord really blessed us and we were grateful.

There are many exciting stories to share, but I’ll just mention one. We have been meeting with an investigator that has been thinking that he doesn’t have nice enough clothes to come to our church. We didn’t really know that was his concern, but we left him with a commitment to read Alma 32. He read the chapter and when we returned he mentioned to us that it talks about people being kicked out of the churches because they were poor. It teaches that it is more important to have faith.

He said, “Did you know that was in there? You hit it right on with that chapter you gave me to read.” We were again grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and were able to resolve his concern. It opened up the opportunity to resolve other concerns as well. We are hoping he will come this Sunday.

This coming preparation day will be on Monday. We are having a 4 day mission-wide leadership training from Tuesday to Friday next week. It will be exciting. The elders currently in my district are great and I’m glad to have them. Thanks for everything you do, I love you all.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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Mitt Romney on Religion

Mitt Romney

We separate church and state affairs in this country…. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. (Fri, 7 Dec 2007 National Public Radio)

I’m not sure that we fully appreciate the profound implications of our tradition of religious liberty. I have visited many of the magnificent cathedrals in Europe. They are so inspired … so grand … so empty. Raised up over generations, long ago, so many of the cathedrals now stand as the postcard backdrop to societies just too busy or too ‘enlightened’ to venture inside and kneel in prayer. The establishment of state religions in Europe did no favor to Europe’s churches. (Sun, 9 Dec 2007 American Rhetoric)

In recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America –- the religion of secularism. They are wrong. (Fri, 7 Dec 2007 WCVB TV Boston)

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. (Thu, 6 Dec 2007 MarketWatch)

I believe in my Mormon faith, and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers; I will be true to them and to my beliefs. (Thu, 6 Dec 2007 Austin American-Statesman)

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Fireworks

Saturday we had family over for a meal. Afterwards we set off a few fireworks in daylight so that Bryson and Aurora wouldn’t be frightened of them. Steven lit one of the racing car fireworks which got too close to Adelaide and Aurora. It frightened Aurora, so before Steven lit the next firework, Adelaide moved herself and Aurora to the opposite end of the patio and sat between me and Jake.

Now that they were at a safe distance, watch the video for what happened next.


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The Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Today we hiked The Mueller Park Trail in Bountiful. It is a great walk that is mostly shaded all the way up. Much of the trail is gently sloped. From various locations there are good views of the Great Salt Lake and the valley far below.

The Mueller Park Trail is 13 miles round trip. The route begins at the Mueller Park Picnic Grounds in the east Bountiful foothills and ends at a small grassy clearing called Rudy’s Flat. We chose to turn around at Big Rock, called “Elephant Rock” by the locals, to make it a 7 mile round trip.

Mueller Park Trail can be busy on weekends and holidays. Its multi-use designation means it’s open to hikers, mountain bikers, and motorcycles. Today we were passed by numerous bikers.

Click on the images to enlarge. In the video Jill explains what we are doing.

Mueller Park Trail

Jill at the trailhead


Mueller Park Trail

Susan, Shauna, Jill, and Mike begin the ascent

Mueller Park Trail

We are headed for Big Rock

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Here we are just above Big Rock

Mueller Park Trail

Taking a break on the bench above Big Rock to admire the view

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

JIll says, "I'll race you down!"


Mueller Park Trail

Goodbye folks, I'm glad you could join us on the Mueller Park Trail. Photo by Susan Ward

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Days of ’47 Float Preview

Days of 47 Float Preview

On Tuesday I went with family to the Days of ‘47 Float Preview Party at the South Towne Expo Center. You could meet the creators and technicians behind the 2010 Days of ‘47 Parade floats and see how it all comes together. There was voting for your favorite float to win the “People’s Choice” or the “Children’s Choice” award. Also enjoy bands, clowns, and entertainment.

Admission was free, and I saw 33 of the 34 floats that will be featured in the parade. I managed to take a few photographs of the stake floats. Click the images to enlarge.

Days of 47 Float Preview

Riverton Copperview Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Nauvoo Temple

Days of 47 Float Preview

West Bountiful Utah Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Murray Utah Parkway Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Days of 47 Float Preview

Winder West Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Days of 47 Float Preview

Cannon Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

South Jordan River Ridge Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Midvale Utah Union Fort Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

West Jordan Westland Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Salt Lake Wasatch Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

Alta View Stake

Days of 47 Float Preview

West Jordan Oquirrh Stake


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Missionary Dan Email #15 from Vancouver, Washington

Elder Hardy and Elder Willoughby

So Wednesday we picked up our new companions. My companion is Elder Hardy from Atlanta, Georgia. He lived close to where I served for three weeks, so that was really cool. He plays the guitar and had a job working at a pest control company selling door to door. He has lots of good ideas that work for tracting, but we keep in mind that following the Spirit is most important. We have had many great experiences already, which comes from working with new missionaries. They are fresh from the MTC full of faith, desire, and excitement which does wonders.

I was prompted to turn down a street that I’d never really noticed before. As it so happens we talked to a man and he allowed us to teach him about the restoration. We gave him a Book of Mormon and said we could come back. The road also was a shortcut to where we wanted to get to. I was grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and it strengthens my testimony that the Lord uses us as instruments. I think rarely do things happen by coincidence especially in the mission field.

At church there is a girl that has been coming to church for about three months. With family problems etc it has prevented her from being baptized and meeting with us. We hope to meet with her soon and she’ll be baptized. That should be exciting.

With the push to have effective plans for each hour and increased desire to find people to teach I expect great things to happen. The Lord has blessed us already. Thanks for all the emails. Good job posting on Mormon.org Dad. It looks like its getting really high-tech. Where are you going on a cruise again? Ask Matt if I’m still vice-president of Fence4u too. Thanks.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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Meet Mormons at the new Mormon.org

Mormon.org website
I wrote recently about the new Mormon.org and the inclusion of 1,000 profiles of Mormons. Each profile is a collection of stories and testimonies from Mormons. Profiles of members just like you and me. In my case it turns out that I do indeed have my profile for all to see in the “Meet Mormons” section. I looked through many of the profiles to see if I recognized anyone but they were all strangers to me.

My profile was not edited in any way and I was permitted to place a link to my blog and Facebook page with my profile.

The Mormon.org site is meant to introduce the Church to the world. Questions are answered, accurate information is given, and the opportunity is provided to learn more. The “Our People” page introduces its readers to Mormons who tell their own stories about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed their lives. “Our Values” highlights some of the cultural priorities of Mormons, such as strong families, service and good citizenship. Core doctrines that underpin Mormons beliefs are in the “Our Faith” section.

What do you think about having personal stories about your faith online? Do you have your profile on Mormon.org? If so, post the link so we can read your story.

Update

It turns out that there is one person I know on Meet Mormons: Marc Lee

Mormon.org Meet Mormons section

Missionary Dan Email #14 from Vancouver, Washington

Riding scooters. Daniel on left.

Transfer calls created chaos (kind of). Every companionship in my district is changing. Only three Elders (including me) are staying and the rest are going to be different. It was quite surprising. Elder Draper and I are sticking it out in the apartment with two new missionaries to train. We were both humbled by the call and excited at the same time. We’ll get to meet them tomorrow.

The hike last week was really fun and it was nice to be with the whole district. The picture in front of the waterfall is with Elder Draper.
Elder Draper and Elder Willoughby by waterfall

My bike had an interesting experience. The back tire’s bearings fell out making it out of commission. That is okay because today is the best day to fix it. It’ll be good to go soon. We decided to ride some scooters around while it wasn’t working (see picture). The person on the training wheels is Nathan in the ward leaving on a mission soon who likes to go around to lessons with us.

Church was great. We were able to have five investigators there. Mostly the ones that have always been coming regularly. Hopefully they will make the commitment to baptism soon. The members are sad to see Elder Derges leave. I am too, we did lots of great work together and had lots of fun.

Thanks for all the support and letters. Keep up the great work.

Love, Elder Willoughby

Vancouver North District A

Vancouver North District A. Daniel third from right.

District hike

District hike. Daniel front left.

Elder Daniel Willoughby is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission. If you want to communicate with Daniel, write in the comments or use one of these addresses.
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