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Idaho Falls & Logan Locations

The final arrangements for Idaho Falls and Logan are as follows:

Idaho Falls will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 28th at the Skyline Activity Center, located at 1575 North Skyline Drive in Idaho Falls. It will hold approximately 200 people.

Logan will be at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 29th at the Coppermill Emporium, 2nd floor, located at 55 North Main Street in Logan. Parking and entry are in the rear of the building. It will hold approximately 500 people.

Agenda

Each talk will be a “stand alone” event. No talk will be repeated. If you go to Boise, you will hear a different talk on a different topic, using different scriptural references than will be addressed in Idaho Falls. In turn Idaho Falls will discuss a different topic than Logan. Each will be a complete discussion in a self-contained presentation.

At the end, if you were to listen to all of the lectures, you will find they fit together. They will be akin to essays on the common theme of the religion being restored through Joseph Smith. There will be a “whole” to the entire material. But each part is self-sustaining as a discussion.

It would be helpful to hear all of them, but should be beneficial to hear any given one. I do not expect anyone to attend all of them. I’m hoping it will be interesting enough that, for anyone hearing one of them, they will want to listen to the others.

If you hear them all, you should have a much better idea of what the religion Joseph was restoring was beginning to look like. Some of it remains recognizable still today. But it requires some effort to reclaim what we were once offered. I will try and motivate you to make that required effort.

September 28 & 29

Idaho Falls will be on Saturday September 28 and Logan on Sunday September 29.  Idaho Falls at 6:30 p.m.  Logan at 7:00 p.m.

The locations will be confirmed and announced soon.

I guess I need to say it again . . .

Got some more interesting emails, and I’m not sure what goes on in the Internet. I don’t have time to read everything out there. Based on email, once again I need to remind readers I have said this and this regarding people speaking on my behalf. It is still true. No one is authorized to speak for me. If you want to know what I think read what I write.

There are no private conversations, personal interpretations, or personal descriptions given or retold by “friend” or “foe” that can be honestly or accurately attributed to me. I don’t have spokesmen, agents, and do not want disciples. I willingly accept responsibility for everything I write and whatever I have or will say in a public talk. However, the interpretations, misunderstandings, selective memories and assumptions others make are not my responsibility. Oftentimes I choose what I say carefully, only to learn the care is not preserved in the re-telling. I’m not responsible for that.

Idaho Falls and Logan

A few weeks after Boise, the next two talks will be given in Idaho Falls on a Saturday evening and then Sunday, in Logan. Locations and times are being arranged. I will post those as soon as they are finalized.

Following Logan, the next talk is tentatively planned for Centerville, Utah, but no time has been set for that one.

The only venue confirmed is Boise. However, there will be some Utah locations including Provo, then I’m considering Grand Junction, Colorado, St. George, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada before concluding next year on September 9, 2014 Phoenix, Arizona. I mention this in advance because there have been those who have offered venues for planned locations. Giving advance notice may assist in getting things finalized.

Boise will help in estimating a number of things, including the size of a facility needed, the time discussions will take and the difficulties of getting the recordings completed and available. The hope is to see new people, let them listen to something about the religion Joseph Smith was restoring, and have both understanding of and faith in that religion rebound from the rather moribund state we currently find Mormonism.

If you have read what I’ve written and plan to attend, I would ask you bring someone who is struggling with their faith, or alternatively someone who isn’t, but who thinks poorly of me. Either will do. I would like to speak to those who haven’t heard me, or who dislike me, or whose faith in the Restoration is failing.

Boise will be on a Tuesday night. It will be “come as you are.” Bring your scriptures. For Idaho Falls and Logan, bring your scriptures and a copy of the Lectures On Faith. Idaho Falls will be casual dress and for Logan, I will be in Sunday dress.
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Finally, to respond to an inquiry about the upcoming talks and the cost of buying recorded copies:

I have great empathy for the poor. They are generally the most generous people on earth. They have the Lord’s greatest concern and respect. What is said in the Psalms about the poor should make us all sober about their plight.

With respect to the work I am doing (and make no mistake about it being work) understand:
-I pay my for my wife, myself and whatever family members come to attend.
-I am not paid anything for the recordings of any of my talks (never have been and never will be). Anything left over after costs of production are entirely donated by me and I receive nothing.
-I pay for the costs of renting the facility where I speak, requiring from me a greater price than for anyone who attends, for they pay nothing for the facility.
-I pay for the cd’s of my talks. My wife has purchased many copies from Benchmark Books and Confetti Books which we subsequently gave away.
-I will drive ten hours to get to Boise and home on the day of the first talk.
-I am inconveniencing myself so that others living in Boise or nearby are not inconvenienced. This will be true of all the locations.

If you feel you ought not to suffer any inconvenience, and should always be given for free what takes the time and money of others to make available, then you can entertain your view, but please allow me to have a different one. As for warning me that “critics” will find fault with paying for recordings, I grant critics the right to fault me for that, and anything else they feel inclined to criticize. When time permits, I will put the transcripts on this blog. If you will wait, then you can have for free what others pay a dear price in time, money and effort to make available for you.

Having said that, let me be clear: I fully expect criticism of anything and everything I do. I do not need to be defended by friend or foe. No one needs to explain my motives, take offense at criticism directed at me, or praise my efforts. I’m irrelevant and energy spent on such things is entirely wasted. This is about faith in the Lord and the religion He was working with Joseph to return to the earth. That matters. I don’t. Rather than take a moment’s notice of me, look to the Lord and His purposes.

When I hear criticism about me, my first thought is “they’re probably right.” So if you feel inclined to defend me, instead why don’t you reflect that “they’re probably right.”

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On an unrelated topic, here is an old story set at the time of the Babylonian captivity:

There were two men, one a scribe the other a zealot. Both were poor. Both sought favor with God. At the first, the zealot was the poorer. The scribe was named Ezra whose living came from the work he performed transcribing scrolls. As circumstances permitted, he used his means to buy the leather scroll from the priests, made from the skins of the sacrificed lambs. He then spent his days transcribing the work of Jeremiah from a scroll he borrowed, thinking them of worth to study and of value to others who might purchase the scroll and be benefited from his labor. When he finished his labor, the scroll was placed for sale by Ezra. The scroll, however, was stolen by the poor zealot because he could not pay and he believed it was important to have the words of Jeremiah, believing they came from God. For Ezra, the loss cost him the year’s labor. The zealot took not only the scroll, but also Ezra’s savings to buy the leather, and the year of labor spent upon it. Nevertheless, Ezra forgave the theft and did not trouble himself over it, commending to God the good which his labor might bring and hoping the means would be provided that he might make another. But the zealot excused himself of his own theft and thought himself greatly blessed, even favored by God, because he had God’s prophecies before him. At the end which of these two were the poorer?

Detail for Upcoming Boise Talk

The planned talks will be an effort show gratitude to the Lord for the faith I found and to return something of what I have learned back to my fellow saints. I’d welcome anyone and everyone. I encourage you to invite skeptics, the faithful or the disaffected, those who dislike me or fear me, those who question my motives, and those curious about Mormonism. I’m hoping the audience will include local leaders and those who are inactive and everyone in between. Mormonism is one of the most interesting, compelling and inspiring subjects we can spend time considering.

The Boise venue will be the Boise Hotel and Convention Center on Vista Avenue. I will begin at 6:30 p.m and speak for approximately 2 hours.

Because of family commitments (school will have started), my wife and I will drive up immediately prior to speaking and return home immediately after.

The tentative plan for the next two talks will be Idaho Falls on a Saturday evening and Logan the following, Sunday evening. Dates, venues and times are not yet set, but we hope to do them this Fall.

We have received a generous, anonymous donation from a family and a handful of verbal offers from people wanting to contribute to the cost of this venture. We had not anticipated that, but we want to clarify: We do not expect nor want financial contributions for this effort. We aren’t set up to receive them. The offers are appreciated, but if you want to donate, then contribute to a local homeless shelter, or a family in need, or a stranger who needs food, shelter or clothing. Bless the lives of those less fortunate. When you do good to the stranger you are doing good to your Lord.

There have also been people who have offered to find or provide local venues for the lectures. Inasmuch as we do not have locations lined up for all of them, we may take people up on that offer.

Finally, there will be a professional recorder who has agreed to come (at his own expense) to every one of the discussions. He will record and edit the lecture into easily accessible tracks and afterwards make it available for purchase. I appreciate very much the work and donated time he and others behind the scenes are making.

Upcoming Talks

For anyone who intends to come to one of the talks I have a couple of requests and a bit more information:

First, unless the talk is scheduled on Sunday, please come in casual dress. There is no reason for you to be uncomfortable. Come relaxed so your minds can focus on the information. If I do schedule one on a Sunday, it may be more convenient for some who attend to remain in Sunday dress. I leave it to each to decide for themselves, but as a matter of courtesy to those who will come on their way to or from a church meeting, I will be wearing something appropriate for a Sacrament meeting.

Second, please bring your scriptures. You will want them. They will help you follow the discussion. (You will be encouraged to use them.)

Third, no one can be expected to accept the religion restored through Joseph Smith unless it has been preached to them. That hasn’t been something we’ve focused on for many years now. Therefore, we will be trying to recover it. Your presuppositions and present understanding can be more a hindrance than help. So if you attend, please come open-minded, capable of being taught from the scriptures about something you may not have noticed before. This is called “humility” and it requires us all to approach with some respect and a little awe what God was trying to accomplish by sending Joseph on His errand. The topic awes me, and leaves me thinking of my own inadequacy and foolishness. The subject is greater than I will ever be. But the attempt to address this is important enough that even the inadequate can provide a little insight if the heart is right.

Fourth, these will all be recorded. The last time I did this there was a question and answer exchange at the end. The questions could not be heard, and as a result the recording was incomplete. Therefore, I’d like any questions to be in writing so, if I choose to address questions at all, I can read and then answer them. I’ve not worked out any mechanics for this, but if you think you will have a question, please bring a pen and paper and plan to write it and pass it forward. Then, if I choose to address inquiries, the recording will include both the question and answer.

Fifth, these series of discussions will really be one long exposition of the religion restored through Joseph Smith. I do not expect anyone will attend more than one of them, but everyone can listen to the recordings of all of them. There will be some deliberate continuity in the total of the recordings.

The first talk will focus on the big picture of what Joseph Smith represents in the context of prophecies about the last days, and how that should influence our understanding of the religion he was sent to begin restoring. You should read the JS-History in the Pearl of Great Price to remind yourself of how Joseph explained the beginnings as he wrote in 1838.

Finally, since I am paying for this, the venues will be chosen in an effort to reduce my costs. Since everything will be recorded, I do not think it matters much whether the place holds 400 or 40. There will be no charge for attendees, but it will be first-come first-served, so to speak. I will let you know beforehand how many seats will be available.

Forty Years in Mormonism

The first talk planned for Boise, Idaho will be the first in a series of lectures. September 10, 2013 will be the first, and the last will be in Phoenix, Arizona on September 9, 2014. They will all be recorded and made available for those interested.

The lectures will be free to those who attend. I want to show my gratitude to The Lord by expounding on the religion Joseph restored. Each talk will build on that subject, but any single one will be self-contained.

After Boise, the next engagements will be in Idaho Falls and then Logan, Utah. Some locations will be close enough that I intend to schedule them on Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. No dates are set for any other than September 10th, and no locations are arranged. As further information becomes available it will be posted here.

Boise, Idaho September 10, 2013

On September 10th I will have been a Mormon for 40 years. To mark the occasion I am going to give a talk. I was in New Hampshire when I joined the church, but I grew up in Idaho and would like to give the talk there.

September 10th is a Tuesday this year; so I don’t expect many people will attend. However, if you are in or near Boise and have that evening available, you can come and listen. As always, it will be free.

The tentative talk title is: “Forty Years in Mormonism.” It will probably start around 6:30 p.m.

It will be recorded and the the recording will be available for any who want it. Specific details will follow.