By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Songs of the Righteous

A Prayer Unto Me (Jesus)
Emma Smith

During the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Lord Jesus Christ himself revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. that music is to be a part of Latter-day Saint culture, praise and worship.
In Doctrine and Covenants Section 25, the Lord reveals to Emma Smith, Joseph's wife, that it is her duty to put together a book of songs for the Saints of Zion to sing praises unto Him. Jesus instructs
A revelation I give unto you concerning my will... it shall be given thee... to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is (verse 2)
pleasing unto me, to be had in my church. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

Is God Jealous of Maria Carey?
Mariah Carey
God is not jealous of pop singers and celebrities. What. He is jealous of is his people whoring after other gods.
Now, you say, what are you talking about Rod. I listen to Praise Sirrius FM! Well, then I am not talking to you!
If 50 Cent is all we listen to--not the piece, but the rapper--we worship that.
The thing that we enjoy doing the most is that which we do all the time. We live in a world that increasingly tells us to focus on our own desires and wants above others.
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975)
Government gives rights instead of them being natural rights given from deity. A crude sexual act that rhymes with luck is the new freedom of speech now instead of free expression of political choice.
Many preach that God does not care what religion we make up and force God into a box because all is free and love and blah!
gansta rapper can attribute all his success to the glories of God, you know, that old spiritual Bleep the po-lice!! playing in the background while we are praying to our glorious God through the spirits in a bottle!
I remember when all of the good songs were about God. Songs still are about a god though. Sex is the god of this world now. The most sacred sacrament of mankind is now the most broadcasted act on the planet in music.
Listening to the radio is risky now because by the time it is turned off I have just listened to and viewed graphic pornography! My senses are stimulated and my mind is full of images that would make a good person cringe!
I get to bring sexy back and blame it on the alcohol! I cannot even screw in a bulb to a socket now without there being another meaning to screw!
We live in a world that glorifies another three letter word besides God and a world that teaches us to worship ourselves--our appetites and desires. If it is not sex, it is drugs, food and even exercise that we worship--not individually but collectively.

Being in shape now means being sexy! I have to show off some skin to show I am healthy. Why should I hide my eight pack and my lean muscles or my tiny waist and my firm bosom.
This is what I hear kids going about singing. This is what the young parents find cute when the three-year-old starts to employ the God-given need to sing! We justify it by saying no harm is being done, but harm is being done!
It is all music too. I have heard songs about being in love with God. Excuse me? Just because God is in a song does not mean it is a gospel song!
How inappropriate that gospel singers are becoming more secular. You cannot even tell the difference between gospel music and secular music anymore!
It is not just the words that give off the bad vibes, it is the beat, tempo and instruments. I am sorry, you cannot get your praise on to erotic music just because the singers say the name of the Savior!
I hear there is porn music! I am not sure about this one, but there is certain music that is specifically made just for porn! I wouldn't know it if I heard it because I avoid porn, but to know that I might listen to it by mistake sickens me.
How foolish I would feel rolling down the avenue with my kids in the care listening to porn music and being unaware!
No, God is not jealous of Mariah Carey, but the new god of music is named SEX.
Music is the way that humanity uses to express itself. There are many forms of this expression, but God calls it a prayer when the righteous make songs. If someone were to take your iPod right now and listen to the songs listed there, would you be convicted of being a Christian, a righteous person based on the songs that played?
I love boyzIIMen, but I'll Make Love to You is not the type of worship song that I want my kids to hear me listening to on the iPod. Such songs are for my spouse in private situations. I kissed a Girl, and I like it is also a song that I would not want people seeing on my iPod--again for my wife, and I more than liked kissing her!
Music has the ability to bring emotions out of us that incites hatred, passion, love, devotion, peace and any other emotion.
We are musical beings by nature. Even if we do not like popular music, the rhythmic sounds of nature or just the heartbeat brings satisfaction to some. Rhythm makes us live, the very lifeblood of our body has a beat!
The man or woman that cannot hold a tune or step in time to a song still has an awkward song or dance in the mind--the very elements of the body that testify of our melodious heritage.

          Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)

orn: October 12, 1935, Modena, Italy Died: September 6, 2007, Modena, Italy
born: October 12, 1935, Modena, Italy Died: September 6, 2007, Modena, Italy

              Plácido Domingo (Tenor)

Born: January 21, 1941 (age 72), Retiro
Born: January 21, 1941 (age 72), Retiro

                   José Carreras (Tenor)

Born: December 5, 1946 (age 66), Barcelona, Spain
Born: December 5, 1946 (age 66), Barcelona, Spain

               Ne-Yo (Pop Star)
We do not have to sound like one of the Three Tenors, or croon as well as Ne-Yo to sing songs.
Granted, others might enjoy the songs of our hearts if we do sound like those talented people, but the point is we all have songs in our hearts
By what songs we listen to the most helps us to know whom and what we worship.

Make a Joyful Noise!

I am sure that when the translators of the Bible reached Psalms they did not intend for the songs to actually be unorganized noise.
Some of us sound like that even if we are trying not to sound that way. For personal singing, it is okay to sound horrible. I mean it.
We should be able to sound as horrific as we can when singing to God personally because he likes our righteous desires and he is listening to the desire more than the music.
Oh, my Mahalia though! Do not presume to sing a song about God as an expression of talent and expect me to like it!
If you sing a gospel song at a talent show, and you sound like hell instead of heaven, I will not be damned in the literal sense of the word! I will tell you.
Don't ask me if you sounded good because I will not go to hell for lying!
If we are at church, and you are singing a song of praise, I still want it to sound good, but I can handle it being a song for instruction--an expression of faith! I cannot disrespect the noise in that case. As a former choir director for my congregation, it is not about putting on a show in sacrament meeting but participating in worship music to help bring the spirit. I believe the sound must be good, but I also believe as long as you want to sing, come.
If you sound bad while singing, I will have you sing the melody. If that doesn't work I just tell the other singers to sing loudly and you to sing softly. I think everyone should sing.
If it is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir though, don't bother trying. We have Ward and Stake choirs to help edify the saints. When it comes to church choirs like the Mississippi Mass Choir or the ilk, you must come correctly!
No bad singers representing the church to the world! Sorry. I do not want to hear a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by a choir that sounds bad!
I digress. The fact that we are able to make a joyful noise is fine. Personally I don't want to hear the bad sounds, but God allows all of us to sing from the heart whether we sound like heaven or not.
I just let my sinful nature ring true in the words above. I do not like bad singing, but I love smiling faces of kids that sound loud and bad but look happy. I love to see adults open up and belt out a song that crushes my ears in relentless horror, but warms my heart in joy.
I said I like to see it--see being the operative word. God likes to hear it though.
Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays
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Amazon Price: $9.10
List Price: $13.98

Listen to Wholesome Music

Songs about family, pure love, happiness and God bring peaceful and loving feelings to our heart. I have never heard of a bank hyst group listening to hymns to help prepare for the psychological impact of committing a crime. Hard rock or acid can help set the mood for that.
Every song does not have to be a hymn, but music is not a light thing. It is a powerful influence for good and bad. Think about the music you enjoy and adjust it to help you draw closer to God.

Race and the Priesthood Link On!

Race and the Priesthood:

At the link above you will find a historic article on the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding its policy of diversity presently and its disavowal of all the racist teachings about Blacks of African descent. 

It has come much later than many have wanted, but acknowledgement that Blacks are not curse or the representation of Satan on the Earth is  big step in the right directions.

Stated in the closing remarks of the long awaited article:
Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form. Race and the Priesthood:
The church generally has always taught that all people are equal before the Lord; however, the members of the church have interpreted what constitutes equality differently and from a majority point of view--White point of view.

An entire culture exists because of the racism of White Europeans in America. This token of solidarity for Black Mormons is but a small gift of peace of mind to true believers in the restored Gospel--a welcomed gift nonetheless! 

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That's the Purpose of a Gun!

Guns Don't Kill, People do?

Both do! I understand the need for people to say that slogan as it were, so that many may feel justified in denying a huge problem that we have in this country!
I am all for my Constitutional rights, but knowing my rights and upholding them still does not solve the problem that we have today--almost like a disease of people killing people using guns as the weapon of choice.
The minority communities which many are indigent and have property listed in another person's name, suffer the most from this disease. Gun play occurs so often that municipalities are not aware of it anymore!
I say this because it seems society has become numb to the fact that thousands of people die from gun play with no police closure on investigations around the nation. A killing in the projects is no more noticeable than a blink of the eye.

The gun play goes unnoticed until it spills into the contained and supposedly safe communities. I live in one of those communities and I do not feel safe anymore. Will the day come that the suburbs will also be no more than a blink of the eye with gun violence?
We need to stop it at its source, but no one has decided to put the concerted effort into doing it. If it were so, there would be all out war in the streets with criminals!
To really get the drugs and guns off the street which are illegal, we would have to start a civil war with the bad guys. Unfortunately some of the bad guys have power and prestige in society. The minorities that kill each other are just foot-soldiers. What are we to do?

Instrument of Death

People claim that guns do not kill people. What purpose does any gun have that is semi-automatic? What other purpose are guns made for than to destroy lives? Those guns are not used to hunt!

During the time that the Constitution was written, it was common for a man to hunt for his food and there existed no regularly organized police. The only way a man could protect his family was to do so with a gun.
Since that time society has evolved, but the law has not caught up with it. What purpose does having a gun serve?
The people have lost its freedom to the federal government already. Citizens cannot speak against our government or change it if they think there is a need. Even with their arms they are powerless to make changes.
On paper Americans are free, but in life they are restricted by the laws of local, state and federal government. They elected the people in office who impose many laws on them.
They then vote them into office term after term as their rights are eroded. Guns are just the next issue that will be taken from the lawful, while the unlawful, who will menace society.
Disarm the unlawful first and then have a conversation with citizens regarding the type of guns the average citizen should have. Arm the lawful! Disarm the unlawful. Obama and gun owners will be at odds if legislation is proposed and passed to disarm the lawful.
President Obama needs to support a state-led effort to rid criminal activity from the government and imprison the criminals first. Guns in the hands of criminals are more important to rid than guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. Just because a nutcase shoots up a school does not mean Americans should give up their guns.a ed
It is a horrible tragedy what happened in Newtown, Columbine and other places; however, free ownership of a gun is a necessary risk in comparison when protecting against the criminals who will still posses these ill-begotten guns. The government is doing little to disarm the criminals. In fact, it may be true that criminals influence government officials!
Americans need to protect themselves! Citizens should be allowed to choose the types of guns they want to protect themselves.
Why would fear be placed against gun owners who have permits when there are so many out in society who have no documentation? When did the good guys become bad?
Society views gun possession backwards. Supporting the passage of laws that limit the lawfulAmerican to own guns may prove the further undoing of American freedom.

And the Truth shall free set you Free! It will not control your Gun!

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First Organization the Family

One of the greatest and most influential organizations to ever exist on the face of the planet happens to be a small and seemingly insignificant group when compared to the empires of old and the august councils of the world. This organization has existed for longer than any other organization that has ever sprung from the minds of humanity arguably. And, it will exist long after many other organizations have floundered and dissolved because of the loyalty it creates.

Go to Before the Fall of Every Civilization, the Family Failed First! to read the rest.

Zimmerman IS Not Guilty in Court but He is Everywhere Else!


Without getting into the technicalities of the trial and the hashing back and forth about evidence and what not, the truth is: George Zimmerman is not guilty of murder.
As hard as it is for some of society to accept, the man was acquitted based on the evidence in the trial, there was reasonable doubt. The defense lawyers took advantage of that fact. Not only was there REASONABLE doubt, the prosecution aimed too high with the charges--come on! They basically handed the case over to the defense trying for second degree murder. The best they could have gotten from the evidence presented was involuntary manslaughter. That's right, INVOLUNTARY!
Truth is, people who support the Martin family do so out of racism it seems. All the comments on Facebook seem to say something about Zimmerman's racial make-up in a negative fashion--even though the guy looks Latino. His name is Zimmerman like the name of the family in the book Charlotte's Web. Unfortunately George is no pig; and no spiders are writing great words above his head to keep him from the slaughter!
In fact, the media spiders are writing things that say to the vigilante public "Come and Get Him! Tortured somewhat uh... White man to lynch!"
Source: Pen on Pointe ~ Pirouettes & Pencils - As I Write

The New Whites

This society has reached a point where White people are now preyed upon by the uncontained passions of minorities. Look, slavery was so long ago it took movies to get the info out like Roots, which was a book first. People would look foolish using slavery as an excuse to hurt White people seeing as how there are no slaves around (none that is known of anyway ((((conspiracy))))).
Now, if people used the Civil Rights Movement caused by the injustices against Blacks and women, at least there are still living some of the people who suffered from that era. There may be some understanding on that; though, no one has expressed any anger over that time--even those still living who went through it!
What is the prevailing cry of the day. Well, it is that White people are evil (even thought those same White people were wearing hoodies and protesting along with the other groups) and they always get off easy. Personal messages are sent between friends expressing hatred for the man Zimmerman. They don't even know him!
Blacks are different though. Blacks share angst and oppression. Slavery taught Blacks to share the grief together and it has trickled down through the generations to modern day Blacks.
"If they did it to one of us, it was to us all!"
God save the man who finds the wrath of the new "White people", the Blacks. Yes dear reader; the Blacks have become like the old Whites of the pre-Civil Rights era. If a White person steps out of line, BEAT HIM! Isn't that what the old Whites did to Blacks?
YES, it is what happened. Zimmerman, a bi-racial man, now is the hunted escaped slave. He is going to need a Harriet Tubman to the rescue--all the way to Canada. Luckily Canadians have no televisions, so he could blend in up there.
What? They do have televisions? Could have fooled me with all of them coming here to be movie stars and singers. That's another story though. Then there is no escape from public threat to Zimmerman by the new "Whites," the Black people!

Who's Yo Daddy?

Hopefully, this will die down and people will forget all the drama. Two minorities fighting and one dying in the fight would normally not make so much of a headline. In Zimmerman's case, his name betrayed his Latin heritage. It if would have been Gonzalez, there would have been no press at all.
The media did this because George Zimmerman had a White man's name. He has a Latino face, but no one cares because he is White by default because his dad is White!
Memory Piece: Life
Memory Piece: Life
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This Is Christmas

Happy Holidays

Christmas has come to mean something different in today's society than it did in the past. It is great that Christmas is observed. The real meaning of the holiday may be masked behind Santa and reindeer, however, the Spirit of Christmas has an overwhelming and undeniable affect on all who celebrate it no matter what the traditions associated with it.


Source: Crazy Kendra
The cries to remember the REASON for the SEASON do not go unheard. Each time someone says "Happy Holidays" the first thought that comes to mind is Christmas and all the wonderful things associated with that holiday or Hanukkah--the festival of lights. Not many people think of other things during the holidays. Whether people believe in the original story of Christmas or not, the feelings during this season all around the world of brotherhood is heightened.

Commercialism takes advantage of the need to express the joy at feeling the Spirit of Christmas by advertising wondrous items at spectacular prices so that those who can will purchase and give to each other. Also, this same commercialism shares along with the products the feelings of Christmas! Each jingle that a commercial uses with a holiday tint adds to the excitement of the season. As non-important as the toys and gadgets are, the true meaning of Christmas can be found in every toy and gift to every man and women, boy and girl!

The Target and Wal-mart commercials send out the message to "come and buy" but also "be happy it is Christmas!" It is an undeniable truth, and the marketing is crafty and appropriate.


Published on Nov 16, 2012 by Kmart

One series of commercials show people in slow-motion responding to different happy situations with words "The lights the lights the lights that Light!" repeated. Immediately Hanukkah and Christmas pop into the minds depending on the person. Kwanzaa may even enter into the hearts because the feelings associate with these holidays promote the same thing, giving. Thanks to Kmart.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Carol Of The Bells

Commercialism is here to stay. Take the good that comes from it and ignore the bad.
Doing so will help create the proper Christmas feelings around the home and in the office.
"Happy Holidays" may be the new "Merry Christmas," but the Spirit of Christmas will not change in the love behind the words.
That same Spirit finds a way to warm the hearts of men and women that warmed the hearts of those who stood around a babe long ago in an obscure tribal village of Hebrews to look down where he lay giving gifts.
In Scripture, this babe, then an adult, taught that all men do to each other they do to HIM. The giving of gifts reflect that teaching during the Holiday Season. The truth finds a way to reach each person in a way that he or she will accept. So, let "the lights the lights the lights that light" continue to shine in the hearts of good people this Holiday Season replete with reminders from commercialism of the gift-giving and teachings of Jesus Christ.

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Wake up Elder Johnson,” Shouts Elder Thompson gleefully. “It’s time for comp’ study.” I look at him and roll around a bit before I get up. I resent the fact that he wakes me up after such a wonderful dream-- I had a new companion in my dreams. It 

Missionary Training Center Christmas

Salt Lake Airport

I step off the airplane for the first time in Salt Lake City. I feel extremely nervous. It’s my first time so far away from home. It’s actually real! I actually am an ordained minister of Christ, a missionary!
"I can hardly believe it!” I say to myself.
The airport is busy and bustling with activity. It’s December 8, 1998, and travelers from all over are leaving and arriving—getting to their families. I spoke with Russell before I left Georgia and I know where he told me to meet him. Russell is the guy who introduced me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a missionary. I want to be like him, a missionary. Now I am! I walk along looking around and marveling at how homogeneous the people are in Utah.
“There is no way that Russell will miss me in this crowd. I stand out,” I think as I arrive at the specified rendezvous point. Minutes seem like hours as I wait.
“Rodric,” I hear over the crowd. “Rodric, is that you?” I look frantically through the throng. Warmth and relief overcame me as I see Russell Sheridan and his family hailing me. He baptized me only six years earlier and now I stood before him waiting to do the same to some other fortunate soul.
We hurry toward one another and embrace. He holds me tightly and I return the embrace as I puzzle at the former Elder Sheridan. He is shorter now. He has little hair. This is not the picture I was expecting. Nevertheless, it is my missionary! I remember the smile. I remember the voice. I remember him, and tears start to form, but not fall. I'm  spending the rest of the day with Russell and his family. I meet my missionary's parents. They treat me like royalty! It is all too much for my simple brain.

Six of my Twelve District members in the MTC

The next day, Russell took me to the MTC, Missionary Training Center, after breakfast with his family. After the speech given by a leader there, we were instructed to exit different sides of the room.

I looked at my missionary and began to cry. I felt so small and insignificant as Russell left me in that large meeting room with tears in his eyes. He seemed so happy that I, his “Golden Contact,” decided to serve the Lord as a missionary.
I did not want him to leave. I really discovered how alone I felt when he left. He was the last bit of family I had before turning completely to the mercy of the MTC. With my mind riddled with rumors of what returned missionaries told me about the MTC experience, I prepared for the worst. I thought the people in the MTC would revile me because of my race—based on other rumors I heard about Utah members of the Church from Georgia Latter-day Saints.
The orange dork dot on my lapel informed every other missionary that I had just arrived. I was very conscious of my race as I looked around and saw no other person who looked like me. A rather tall missionary approached me. He must have seen my bewildered look. I assumed the harassment would begin when he reach out to me. He grabbed my bags and begin to help me get to my boarding (dorm housing).

I was extremely intimidated by my surroundings, but there was no reason for me to fear.  No hazing. As I walked the halls to receive the items for my stay at the MTC, I felt a spirit of goodwill, but still felt apprehensive. With an orange dork dot attached to my lapel, I received considerable positive attention. I was astonished by the help I received just carrying my belongings to my boarding.
Once there, I was introduced to the other orange-dork-dotted lapel wearers who were in my district in the MTC. My district consisted of 12 elders. I was the only non-White and Black person. Being from the South, I felt awkward at the situation and assumed smug attitudes would abound. Wrong! Not only did smug attitudes not exist, but the greatest filial love I could imagine prevailed!
As a district, we became acquainted. I felt particularly happy about my companion Elder Jenson. I thought of all, I had the best one. I was correct. He was the best one for me. Of al, he encouraged me the most and provided the extra support I needed to get over my fear of racism.


I needed to overcome several other fears; so, I was placed in a situation that I feared the most, leadership. I was called as the district leader. Bells went off in my head as I reluctantly accepted the assignment. I felt that since I was the only non-White, and especially a  Black person, this assignment would cause some problems. I knew that one of the other elders had his heart set on being the district leader. 
I stammered a bit as the branch president awaited my answer. "Say yes," my branch president told me. I did. Elder Jensen assured me that all would be well, and he would support me. He actually became my hero. The elder that wanted to become the district leader cornered me following the call and told me that I only received that assignment because I lacked proper leadership skills. He sat with a disappointed look on his face. He said that he already had leadership skills so he did not need the calling.
I felt a bit hurt by his remarks, but instead of insulting him, as I would have in the past, the Spirit led me to say, "Maybe you’re right.” He was right. I felt more love for him. I expected, however, a larger negative sentiment to be mutual throughout the district. Incorrect. These brethren of mine loved me as before—even that elder who correctly knew I needed leadership training.

I Told Them To Close Their Eyes
Lights At Temple Square

Christmas approached, and packages and letters crowded the MTC. Celebrations and firesides filled the schedules. In our district meeting, a special thing occurred as the Spirit moved me. I spoke and words similar to these came out:
“2000 years ago, 12 men sat with the Savior at the last supper and listened to his words. We are 12 elders as they, and we sit here together to also hear His words."
I told them to close their eyes and continued, “Imagine that those 12 are us and that we sit in Christ’s presence hearing His words, and receiving His counsel.”
I went on to say more that I cannot write. Suffice it to say, tears sprang from a few and the spirit edified us. I told them at the end of that meeting "That is what Christmas is really about." I could feel the love that these brethren had for God, for each other, and for me.
As Christmas approached and came, all the elders received gifts and postage from family. I did not. On Christmas day, I felt my spirit decline. I did not get to speak to my parents because as soon as I left for the MTC, they left on Christmas vacation to Miami. It was my first Christmas away from my family.
My companion and I went out and returned later that day from an errand. On my desk were gifts from my brethren. Each one of them gave me of the gifts their families had given them. I again felt the love of God in my heart, and the words “That is what Christmas is really about” returned to me.
We truly are the hands of Christ. Christmas means to give a gift out of love, as did Heavenly Father in giving his only begotten son. I may have asked my brethren to close their eyes to imagine being with Christ, but they helped me open mine to see He is here with us through our good works.