Thursday, September 27, 2007

To Our Loyal Readers

We will not have a post or a response to comments until Monday, October 1, 2007. At that time we shall return from weekend of fun and frolic with friends up north. We are really looking forward to having the opportunity to meet, greet, and eat, with people who are largely on the same page. It will be sort of like preaching to the choir. We plan on worship, a dinner and plenty of time for sharing God's blessings in our lives.

Since we will be traveling all weekend, we would appreciate your prayers for our safety and that of others who will also be on the road. Enjoy your glorious Fall weekend, and remember to always pray for one another. We will be back with you Monday.

In His abiding love,

Jan & Cecil Moon


I am acquainted with a small orthodox group of Saints with whom I communicate endlessly. Many, whom I have known for years, are close friends; some I have never met in person. It is my loss. They are caring, giving, sharing and have in common our mutual love of Jesus Christ. Their faith runs deep and I am the better for hearing their thoughts.

A recent and recurring topic of discussion is healing. Strong Restorationist believers have a thorough understanding of the marvelous gifts of the Holy Spirit. We do not see them as a biblical anachronism. We understand these gifts to be available today just as they were when the Master walked among us.

Most commonly, we use our elders as an avenue of access to these spiritual gifts and especially healing. These good men are ordained to the power to communicate our cares to the Almighty. They exist as an important component of the healing equation. Regardless of their individual beliefs, peculiarities, and opinions, they have the commission to go before God to achieve the desired ends. This is a charge they all take very seriously.

Just about anyone who has so much as casually allowed his scripture to open is bound to find a reference supporting God’s interest in this procedure. There is a wealth of references to the healing available. Strong’s Concordance cites 143 scriptures for “heal” and its variations. God has offered to make us whole on countless occasions. His interest in our welfare often goes well beyond our understanding so we need to examine the vital remaining factor.

We must have faith. You are in your closet and I in mine and we both pray mightily for relief from pain or incapacity from our all-too-human bodies. Absent the elders, we pray on our own and beseech Him to bring the blessed relief we seek. If it does not come, then what? Did we not use the right words? Was He busy saving tsunami victims or feeding some helpless starving soul? The answer to that is a resounding No! If we pray for His will for us, He will be attentive and not at the cost of ignoring other complaints. It is altogether possible that His will and ours may well be on a different path. I choose not to second guess the mind of God.

Having been the recipient of His healing powers, may I conclude that my faith is stronger than my brother who still suffers? I don’t think so. I do trust God implicitly to deliver His will in whatever form it may take. I clearly understand that my interpretation of His actions may differ from His. Selfishly I see my problems as vital but I also realize that He may not. Just because I don’t understand doesn’t mean I should chuck the whole proceedings and take what comes. Like so many other gifts from Him, I realize I must seek Him for them to become reality. I must express my acknowledgement of His all-consummate power and accept His will for me in the matter whether it be healing, discernment or whatever.

I do rejoice that He has provided me a physical condition which defies my years. In His marvelous design for life and ageing, it is only reasonable to expect some decline. I can’t stay twenty-five forever. Every visit to the barber, we have the same exchange. He says, “How do you want it?” I invariably reply, “Just make me look gorgeous as usual.” We both laugh and then inwardly realize the folly of the conversation. He probably wonders just how he can turn an old log into a lithe, slender branch. I ruefully think upon my youth when I presented a fairly acceptable figure of a man. He then gives me a “boot camp” haircut and we both proceed from there. For all I know, he may also be silently reflecting on the ravages of his age. Simply stated, one of these days, His will may be to deny me the healing I have so richly enjoyed. What ever lies ahead, I am content to yield to His intent.

As the woman touched the hem of the garment of Christ and was healed, He said, “thy faith has made thee whole.” For this reason and many others, I see the principal factor in the healing process as our own individual faith and the understanding of it. My prayer for each of you in this life is to live it as long as you love it and to love it as long as you live it.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Morning Rant (6)

I just read a news article about a shooting on a campus in northern Delaware. It had been shut down and all “non-essential” employees were urged to stay home. In itself, the warning to “non-essential” employees is common in all too frequent circumstances. It does beg a question. Just what exactly, is a “non-essential” employee? In today’s world of downsizing, payroll crunch, and imposition of Spartan controls over budgets and outlay how can any institution tolerate even the suggestion of “non-essential” employees?

As a church, should we tolerate the existence of “non-essential” members too? The announcement might read, “due to heavy rains and impending storms, all 'non-essential' members are urged to stay home on Sunday.” Dare we define this member? Is it the sister who attends with her chin on her chest and her eyes at rest during the sermon? Is it the brother whose physical limitations prevent any task, including taking the offering, too difficult to endure? Is it the newly baptized child whose minimal age allows her to continue in happy childhood, unburdened by the momentous issues facing the congregation? In that crazy quilt which comprises the congregation, I suggest there is no “non-essential” member. The evaluations of members cannot be accomplished with handheld calculators. No computer program is capable of establishing their worth in the eyes of God. Who is willing to evaluate the former contributions of the aged and the huge potential of the emerging youth?

From patriarch to parishioner, we will all face our Maker as individuals. We are all essential in His plan.


Earthquakes! What a tragedy. A comfortable, stable world suddenly, without warning, becomes unbalanced. Great buildings tremble and fall, people tumble into great fissures in the earth and broken gas pipes provide fuel to a fire akin to hell. This eventuality is real and not that uncommon. In the great natural scheme they occur mostly along fault lines and as a result of shifting tectonic plates. Modern geologists have identified these zones and interested parties keep uninterrupted surveillance.

Having a great interest in these phenomena, I check the reports daily. There are occurrences frequently along the well know fault lines of the West coast. Recordings are made and duly given from these hot spots on the Pacific rim. So, we conclude, the interior is safe. Not so! I take a special interest in those locations not normally prone to serious movements of the earth.

Among the surprises my years long study has established is the occurrence of earth tremors and quakes in places familiar to the Saints. Although minor (for now,) the area around Palmyra, New York is subject to upheaval. A minor fault line exists from off shore in Lake Ontario southerly to about 20 miles east of Rochester.

From offshore Lake Erie, another line terminates just south of Kirtland, Ohio. I have observed tremors within a very few miles of the temple itself. Nothing serious, it just is!

The greatest immediate threat is posed by the New Madrid fault in south east Missouri. As a crow flies, it’s about 250 miles South of Nauvoo. It’s hard to imagine that it would affect Independence but the one back in the early 1800’s rang church bells 300 miles away. It had sufficient power to redirect a long stretch of the Mississippi River. It is closely watched by seismologists as the next most likely occurrence. When it does happen, and it will, it will make Katrina’s damage to New Orleans pale to comparative insignificance. It will also have an extremely damaging affect on our largest river system which includes not just the Mississippi, but also the Missouri and the Ohio. Yeah, that Missouri, the one that runs near Independence. The brilliant minds making these predictions are reading seismographic computer models. The spiritual minds are reading Revelation. The conclusions are identical.

As you can see, the mechanism is already in place. I just thought I’d throw this at you in case you need another witness.


Here is an issue which is best described as “stuck in my craw.” We have as a church, embraced modern technology within the limits of our understanding. We have many private computers and some which work their wonders in the higher offices of the church. We use phones and cars and everything under the sun that operates on AA batteries. Unlike my Amish neighbors, we embrace communication. With one exception!

What is it with our antipathy to recording devices? This seems to be an arbitrary decision by the hierarchy for what ever reason. I certainly can’t find any scriptural references to support the position. We are a body which could be justly accused of an obsession for record keeping. Look at the concern Lehi had for the records of his faith. He risked everything, including his sons and a commandment-breaking murder (see I Nephi) to take them with him. We treasure every fragment of records of every utterance made by Joseph Smith and his successors. Yet, when it comes to our own meetings and conferences any device that would record with surety the proceeds of discussion and procedures are banned. Or, as Joy Muir once wrote to me, “even I can’t use one.”

I had correspondence with the wife of a former secretary who lamented that she and her husband had not been allowed to use any such device. She then told of the hours spent transcribing handwritten notes of conference activities. She was unhappy with my criticism of that procedure. I fully understand her pique, but, it was not I that forbade the use of a labor saving device. I can easily see where the methods used were archaic and probably very irritating to her.

Please don’t plead the excessive costs. We are poor as church mice and we can afford a recorder and enough tapes to cover our needs. I checked with Best Buy recently and determined that an order of multiple recorders and spare tape would have to hurry to exceed a couple, three hundred dollars.

What it boils down to is whether this is some Luddite response to modern technology or reluctance to have an accurate record of what is being said. I hope the former, because the latter suggests a layer of secrecy which is certainly inappropriate for any body in the church. If one feels that their contribution to a conversation is not fit for general consumption then rethink the ill chosen words. God already knows your thoughts so you already stand indicted or blessed by Him. Fear Him, not the membership. All we want is accurate reporting. Even our lawless Congress critters have a record of how they vote. I hope they have more to hide than our leaders and delegates to a church gathering.

Notes on the cuff were great for Sam Clemens and Ring Lardner but with the complexity of the issues we face it is not adequate. As Dennis Miller says, “this is just my opinion, I could be wrong!”

In His abundant love,

Cecil Moon