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Mormons: A Short History on Beards

LDS Beards Then and Now Introduction

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."[i] and God at least portrayed by the earliest artists has been portrayed as having both beard and long hair. According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both God the Father and Jesus Christ, our exemplars, are pictorially displayed as having beards and long hair. The God of the Old Testament even specifically told the Israelite's specific grooming techniques that not only allowed disciples to grow their beards but also was divinely mandated from heaven.

In the book of Leviticus, we read a divine command by God that bans the shaving of the beard. "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."[ii] The book of Samuel shows that the shaving of the beard was a sign of humiliation. After some were forced to shave their beards they were sent away and told, "Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, a…

The Title of Luke’s Account

The oldest and most complete handwritten version of the Bible is called the Codex Sinaiticus which was written 1600 years ago (400 BCE). The title of Luke's gospel was simply, "Luke" (Κατὰ Λουκᾶν in Koine Greek.) Throughout the years the translation "Luke" became, "The Gospel According to Luke."
After the restoration of the church, the prophet Joseph Smith felt inspired to edit many scriptural passages in the Bible. One of these edits was the title of the book of Luke which in todays King James Version of the bible reads, “The Gospel According to Luke.” This is changed by the Prophet Joseph Smith to read, “The Testimony of Luke.”

Perhaps the wording, “The Gospel According to... ,” indicated the gospel author's opinion rather than his historical testimony or certainty of the events he recorded? Whatever the case the prophet Joseph Smith thought it was important enough to have it changed. 
There are several advantages in rendering the words, “The Go…

LDS Sunday School: The 'F' Word, Poop and Country Music

One of the most inspiring times in my life was when I taught LDS Sunday School to the Spanish Fork Utah County Jail inmates. I was assigned to teach ICE detainees (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) 
One particular Sunday stands fresh in my mind. As I  normally do, I arrived too early and was asked by the Branch President to attend a current Sunday School lesson already in session until my classroom was ready. I entered into the classroom full of sitting men in orange jumpsuits attentively listening to the teacher up front. The very first thing I heard from the Priesthood leader was "Do you wanna hear a cool 'F' word?" Then he wrote on the board, "Faith." He said the second time, "Do you wanna hear another cool 'F' word?" Then he wrote the word, "Fortitude." 
After the third inappropriate innuendo (which I can't remember) he told an elaborate story about his sister who is currently going through an abusive marriage. He tol…

The Lord's Name in Vain

"There is no peace in vulgarity."1
MY MOM DOESN’T LIKE IT EITHER It was a sunny day in the late 1990's. I was probably about seventeen or eighteen years old. I was nervous about going over to Charlie Bennett's backyard to skateboard on his half pipe. I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt on my skateboard or falling off of his large skateboard ramp but I was more afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted as among those who were labeled as cool.
You see, in my hometown of Manteca, California, Charlie Bennett was not just a regular old Joe. There wasn't a person from both of my hometown high schools that didn't know him. Charlie was the greatest and most well known skateboarder in our area at that time. He would awe passersby's with his talent and gained a lot of attention everywhere he went. You can imagine me wanting to make a great impression on him and his friends. 
It was my turn to go down the ramp. I felt relatively competent enough to try the ramp since I myself was…

Jaredites: The Missing Civilization X

Jim Hendleman's book, Jaredites: The Missing Civilization X claims to provide "a preponderance of evidence… that categorically prove the correctness of the theories and statements herein as correct facts with enough correctness left over to throw mud on mainstream archaeologists' and historians' timeline of their development of man." (p.114) However I have found no evidence whatsoever of what he claims to be, "real facts and hard evidence." (p.5) Let us take a look at what Mr. Hendleman claims to be real facts and hard evidence about the Jaredite civilization:


According to the Author, the Jaredites lived in Iraq, Antarctica, Greenland, India, Mongolia, the Pacific Islands, China, Peru, a lost continent in the Pacific, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, North Africa, Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and France who in the ended up being Mayans who were the, "degenerate survivors of the Jaredites." (p.18, 21, 26, 3…

Mormons and Caffeine

CAFFEINE WAS CONSIDERED AMONG THE GREAT EVILSThere is no doubt whatsoever that the brethren of the LDS church felt that caffeine was considered side by side to those labeled as harmful drugs. From 1930 to 2002, there have been eight mentions in General Conference  (see below) of caffeinated drinks. In all instances, caffeine was regarded as a comparison to poison, narcotics, disobedience, addiction, nicotine, alcohol, disease, broken homes, immorality, disloyalty to God, opium, cocaine, physical and spiritual death.  THE 2013 SCIENTIFIC TRUTH ABOUT CAFFEINEAccording to Wikipedia, "Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid and a stimulant drug. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants... It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the seed of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush...It is t…

Mormons and Face Cards

PLAYING CARDS WERE ASSOCIATED WITH EVILPlaying cards or Face cards are not of themselves evil. They are simply thin pieces of plastic coated paper. However, it seems from reading the quotes below we find that card playing was historically associated with smokers, idleness, cheaters, fraud, saloons, gossip, drinking, profaning God's name, addictive behaviors and even murder.  WHAT AMERICAN HISTORY REVEALSHistory tells us that card games brought an atmosphere of unholiness. According to website Legends of America, "The first American gambling casino was opened in New Orleans around 1822 by a man named John Davis. The club, open twenty-four hours a day, provided gourmet food, liquor, roulette wheels, Faro tables, poker, and other games. Davis also made certain that painted ladies were never far away. Dozens of imitators soon followed making the gaming dens the primary attraction of New Orleans. The city's status as an international port and its thriving gambling industry crea…

Maurice Dew: The Primary Program

Title: The Primary Program
Author: Maurice Dew
Publisher: Pioneer Productions
Genre: Music
Year Published: 2013
Price: $9.99

Maurice Dew is a very talented musician who has introduced Mormons into an unfamiliar genre of music for our LDS culture today. Presenting children primary songs with fat beats, full basses, rhyming lyrics and string accompaniments has never reached our community until today. The content, rhymes, flow and delivery of this new genre of music is attractive to the ear leaving the listener to listen to it again and again.

I have four girls at the ages of three, six, ten and twelve who overheard me playing the music for this review and they loved it. They told me that they recognized the songs from primary and were jumping up and down to the music. It was fun and exciting to see them happy and dancing to primary songs.

However, I do want to say that something to the "orthodox" members of the LDS faith about this music CD. Some may unmistakably consider this …