Monday, May 28, 2012

President Paternoster's Swimwear Edition

Many Stake President’s the world over have thanked me for my blog letting me know that they not only read it, but also take great counsel and inspiration from the words found therein.  President Wong from Canada recently asked me how I get my members to dress appropriately in the summer.  This question was very timely and I will share with him and all blog readers the following letter that recently proceeded forth from the mouth of the three presiding high priests of our Stake: 

To the beloved sisters and young women of our blessed Stake in Ireland,

In our many years of experience in the Church we have found that as the warmer weather approaches the sisters are often tempted to disregard the counsel of Church leaders with regards to beach and swim wear.  This has caused many a priesthood holder to, as the Saviour put it “look upon them with lust” and/or “commit adultery with them in their hearts”.  You will have all heard by now that Bishop Keane requested to be released following the ward picnic at a beach in the Dingle Peninsula last year.  In his address to the ward he mentioned that the form fitting swimsuits had caused him to view several of the sisters in a way that would not be in keeping with the spirit of the Lord.  Fortunately Bishop Keane repented and has recently accepted a position on the Stake High Council with specific responsibility over the singles ward. 

In the October 2001 General Conference Bishop H. David Burton quoted the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet saying:
“We need to stand tall in following the counsel of the prophets to attire ourselves modestly. Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight [form-fitting] clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire.”

When shopping for swim and beach wear one may wonder how to do so all the while heeding the counsel of the brethren to avoid clothes that show the shape of the body (otherwise known as form fitting clothes).

Thankfully we as your stake leaders have researched the issue in order to provide more clarity. The first thing we wish to clarify is that bikinis are extremely displeasing unto the Lord.  In fact from the Church’s official website we learn that bikinis are so evil that we should not even allow our children to dress their dolls in such a demeaning fashion.  This was shown in the article entitled “Trying to be like Jesus Christ” in the Friend magazine, quoted below:

“When I was seven years old, my friend and I were playing with our dolls. We decided to take them swimming with us. I didn’t have my doll’s swimsuit with me. My friend thought my doll could just swim in her bikini. I remembered that when my mom and I had bought the doll, we’d agreed that the bikini was only for wearing under her clothes. I decided to go home and get her one-piece swimsuit. When I came back, my friend and I had a great time. I’m glad that I chose the right.”
Often people of the world try to influence the righteous to wear bikinis.  Adults and children alike can learn much from how this eight year old handled the following situation:
“I was at my friend’s house when we decided to go swimming. I hadn’t brought a swimming suit, so I needed to borrow one of hers. Her mom gave me a bikini. I told her I did not want to wear that kind of swimming suit. So she found a different one for me to wear. I’m glad I followed one of My Gospel Standards: “I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.”

The key principle to remember when purchasing swimwear is to avoid any and all variations that are form fitting.  As a Stake Presidency we took the time to research the available options.  We were pleased to learn that there are plenty of modest options available.  To avoid any confusion we are including the below photos with our observations. Please use this as your guide when shopping.

We found the below swimsuit to be inappropriate in that it shows the shape and curves of the sisters body in a manner that would be displeasing unto the Lord.  We also noted that contrary to the counsel of Church leaders she has disfigured her body with tattoos and has failed to cover them.  My second counselor President Price also pointed out that this outfit along with her red nails may actually send out the wrong message to any brethren who may be at the beach at the same time as her.  As a Stake Presidency we uniformly agreed that this outfit would be unappealing to all worthy priesthood holders.

At first looks the below swimsuit seems modest but as my first counselor President McRomney pointed out the outfit is in fact just as form fitting as the one in the above photo.

The below photo is what we as a Stake Presidency recommend.  It is both attractive & wholesome.  It will not interfere with swimming and most importantly it meets the Lord's requirement of not being form fitting.  This and other wonderful swimwear can be purchased directly from 

As a Stake Presidency we promise that as sisters follow the Saviour by complying with the dress codes given by the brethren in Salt Lake City, Utah, they will be blessed with stronger testimonies and an added measure of the spirit of the Lord. 

Sincerely yours,

President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster
President J. Marvin McRomney
President Percy P. Price

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Importance of Proper Indoctrination

This post is aimed directly at the critics of the Church who attack and mock our deeply held and divinely taught indoctrination techniques.  They think that by pointing these out it will make us look cultish and will have a negative impact on the mission that the Lord has bestowed upon us.  Of course nothing could be further from the truth. 

We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the way we teach it.  In fact when the word “indoctrination” is used in proper context by Church leaders it is anything but negative.  The intent of this post is to show the world that we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are honoured to be known as a peculiar people and are proud of the tried and true methods of indoctrination that we use to help our members develop firm testimonies of the restored gospel.

Although most people view the term indoctrination in a negative light the dictionary correctly defines its meaning ( as follows:
“To teach (a person or group of people) systematically to accept doctrines, especially uncritically.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  As members we raise our children to accept the doctrines of the church and discourage the negative critical attitudes towards these beliefs that are so prevalent in the world today. 

“Indoctrination….is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.”

This view is of course completely supported by the Church.  In fact Elder M. Russell Ballard after talking about how solidly anchored in our testimonies we must be succinctly stated “We won’t question the doctrines that are part of our belief.”
Brothers and Sisters I hope you are beginning to see the word indoctrination in its true (non negative) light. 

Wikipedia goes on to state that “indoctrination implies causing people to act and think on the basis of a certain ideology.”

The worldly who tend to oppose such methods are then mentioned in the same article where it states that “Some secular critics maintain that all religions indoctrinate their adherents, as children, and the accusation is made in the case of religious extremism. Sects such as Scientology use personality tests and peer pressures to indoctrinate new members. Some religions have commitment ceremonies for children 13 years and younger, such as Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, and Shichi-Go-San (baptizing our 8 year olds would also be a good example here). In Buddhism Temple boys are encouraged to follow the faith while still very young (it is the same in our religion too). Critics of religion, such as Richard Dawkins, maintain that the children of religious parents are often unfairly indoctrinated. The process of subjecting children to complex initiation rituals before they are able to critically assess the event is seen by Dawkins and other critics of religion as cruel.”

Now I should state that in the case of other religions I would tend to agree with what has been said but what people like Richard Dawkins will never understand is that members of our Church (which is the only true and living Church upon the face of the earth) are under certain scriptural obligations which carry with them solemn parental warnings.  In D&C 68:25 we are taught: “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.”

If any of you doubt the position of the church with regards to indoctrinating our young people the Church’s official website clears up the matter once and for all where it contains President Kimball’s inspiring talk entitled “When the World Will Be Converted” which included comments on the quality of missionaries needed in the field.  Here is what was said on the topic of indoctrination by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a modern day prophet, seer and revelator:

“When I ask for more missionaries, I am not asking for more testimony-barren or unworthy missionaries. I am asking that we start earlier and train our missionaries better in every branch and every ward in the world…..I am asking for missionaries who have been carefully indoctrinated and trained through the family and the organizations of the Church.”

May we be truly blessed as we indoctrinate a new generation of worthy missionaries who will willingly give up two years of their young lives in the service of the Church.  As a Stake President this is my humble prayer in the holy and sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Should a Man Marry a Man?

I recently came across a discussion on someone’s Facebook wall with regards to the question of whether homosexuals should have the right to marry one another.  The laws of many lands have been altered such that sodomy is no longer even considered a crime and those with same gender weaknesses can openly live with each other.  I am now told that they want to have the right to take their relationships one step further by marrying each other.  I can only assume that if this were to be granted it wouldn't be long until they were lobbying for the right to be sealed for time and all eternity in the temples of our Lord.  This needs to be stopped. 

In the discussion that took place a bishop of the Church presented as evidence (against homosexual marriage) the essential point that Adam and Eve, our first parents, were married by God. 

This led to much reflection in my mind and I believe this good bishop has hit the nail on the head.  If Adam and Eve were in fact the first humans, were real people and were married by their (and our) creator, even God the Eternal Father, then we humans have absolutely no right to make alterations to the definition of marriage.  To do so would be to put ourselves above our creator and would cause his judgments and wrath to come upon us.

If on the other hand Adam and Eve were not real people and the story of them is simply made up, and if marriage is in fact simply a man made institution then man does have the right to change the rules. 

So what do we know about Adam and Eve and what are the arguments used by those who do not accept them as real people? Allow me to briefly summarize.

As far as I can tell most Christian groups agree that the Fall of Adam took place about 6,000 years ago.  The Old Testament timeline that we give to our seminary students (and that I will happily attach to this post, if requested) and statements made by Church leaders show that we in the LDS Church also accept this.  We know from the scriptures that no death occurred for any forms of life before Adam’s fall (see “Death” in the bible dictionary), indeed it was his fall that caused death to occur upon the earth.

The so-called learned people of the world scoff at this assumption and claim that humans have been living (and dying) on the earth since well before 4,000 B.C.  The Sumerians for example supposedly had civilizations in operation some 1,300 years before the first human was even created! 

The problem with accepting these conclusions is they can lead us further back in time such that one may even erroneously conclude that man is merely a product of evolution.

All of these theories of men are of course complete and utter nonsense.  The problem with the world is that they look at the evidence and then draw conclusions.  As more evidence comes to light their conclusions change and thus they find themselves being in the unfortunate predicament of ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. 

As members of the Lord’s church we have the distinct advantage of already having the answers/conclusions through direct revelation.  This allows us to interpret any evidence in such a way that it always supports that which has already been revealed.

Here are some quotes that have been revealed to the world from actual prophets of God and can be found at

In the March 2008 Ensign, Apostle Boyd K Packer who may very well become the next President of the Church wrote the following:
“We are taught in Genesis, in Moses, in Abraham, in the Book of Mormon, and in the endowment that man’s mortal body was made in the image of God in a separate creation. Had the Creation come in a different way, there could have been no fall.”

I should add here that if there was no fall then there was no need for man to be redeemed from the fall by a saviour.  This could of course lead one to conclude that Christianity is a completely false man made religion. This line of thought is utterly preposterous.

Below are some quotes from the current Old Testament institute manual with regards to the evils concerning the theory of evolution:

“Of course, I think those people who hold to the view that man has come up through all these ages from the scum of the sea through billions of years do not believe in Adam. Honestly I do not know how they can, and I am going to show you that they do not. There are some who attempt to do it but they are inconsistent—absolutely inconsistent, because that doctrine is so incompatible, so utterly out of harmony, with the revelations of the Lord that a man just cannot believe in both.”

“. . . I say most emphatically, you cannot believe in this theory of the origin of man, and at the same time accept the plan of salvation as set forth by the Lord our God. You must choose the one and reject the other, for they are in direct conflict and there is a gulf separating them which is so great that it cannot be bridged, no matter how much one may try to do so. . . .”

Brothers and Sisters I testify to you that Adam and Eve were real people and that they were the first human beings upon the earth.  I know this because the scriptures and modern day leaders within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have told me so.  The scriptures tell us that Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden, a real place that existed in the United States of America.  I know without a shadow of doubt that God married them and that marriage is ordained of God to be between one man and one woman only.  The Church has and always will support this view. 

Let us not defile the sacred institution of marriage by allowing perverted forms thereof. 

We have been warned in a proclamation to the family given to the whole world by our leaders “that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”  We are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy right before our eyes. 

To the faithful readers of this blog I beg you to please vote for political leaders who support the equal rights of all of God’s children to be born and raised in a home with both a mother and father.  In this way all families will be able to emulate the exemplary first family that was set up by God Himself, even that of Adam and Eve and their children which included Cain, Abel, Seth and many others.  I leave these thoughts with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Big Bang Theory and Mormonism

Some of the things these scientists come up with are so utterly ridiculous that they aren’t even worth mentioning but this so called Big Bang theory of creation seems to have thrown a lot of people off course such that a prophet of the Lord has finally decided to put his foot down and set the record straight once and for all. 

According to Wikipedia (with my comments in brackets) “The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory (how on earth they could go about testing an explosion that supposedly occurred billions of years ago is beyond me) which is widely accepted within the scientific community because it is the most accurate and comprehensive explanation for the full range of phenomena astronomers observe. Since its conception, abundant evidence has arisen to further validate the model.”

With such nonsense on the Internet leading people astray it is all the more important for our prophets to speak out and one has done so at a time when it will have the most impact, even at the Sunday morning session of the April 2012 General Conference. 

Apostle Elder Nelson in speaking about the wonders of the human body said the following:
* “Yet some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere.”  And then he goes on to show how utterly ridiculous this line of thinking is by saying “Ask yourself, “Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?” The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!”

For the first time in my life I am going to have to admit that I honestly don’t think I could have said it better myself.  In fact from now on whenever someone says that they think our creation is a direct result of some explosion that occurred billions of years ago I will be using this precise example to prove them wrong.   

And once they realize (much to their embarrassment, I might add) just how wrong they are they will be open to learning the truth. And the plain and precious truth of the gospel always makes perfect sense such that even a child can comprehend.  So as a Stake President after teaching them the truths of the gospel I would look them in the eye and ask the following poignant question; "What sounds more plausible to you; that a big bang set in motion the events that led to our creation or that it was done by a glorified human being who according to the scriptural account in Abraham resides in the Kokaubeam right next to the ruling planet named Kolob?"


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Stake President Denounces Cross-dressing

An excerpt from an address given by President Paternoster at a recent Stake Relief Society fireside:

.......and this is why we do not complain or murmur that we have no temple here in Ireland whilst the members in America enjoy Church funded malls.

And now I will answer one last question that was submitted in preparation for my presence here today. 

Sisters I must admit that it grieves my soul to have to address this issue.  But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, as the presiding High Priest in the Stake I cannot shy away from warning you concerning the lures of Satan that surround us in these latter days. 

One of you asked why it was that sisters are counseled not to wear pants to church.  It was mentioned that being the year 2012 surely equal rights ought to be given to the women of the Church in this matter. 

Allow me to address this issue head on.  As the women of the world increasingly leave their homes to follow their husbands into the workforce many have succumbed to the temptation to wear pants.  This, they assume, helps them to look authoritative and has even been attributed in some cases to them being given dominion over the man in the workplace.  I know of several companies that even pride themselves on their policy of paying women the same amount as men for doing similar work.

This trend of women wearing men’s clothing has even infiltrated the Lord’s Church where I have beheld on more than one occasion a sister dressed in pants.  Make no mistake about it; this is displeasing unto the Lord.

In Deuteronomy 22:5 it clearly states that “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man”. 

Quite frankly I do not know how to say it any clearer than that.  And just in case you are wondering, the same goes for men also where it states that “neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment”

Sisters this practice of dressing up in the clothing of the opposite sex is commonly known as “Cross-dressing” and the scripture goes on to say (speaking of those who engage in such practices) that “all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God”.

Do you sweet sisters wish to be thought of by the Lord as an abomination? Do you think that God, even He who created the heavens and earth takes such things lightly?  No.  The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

Some may argue that it is man who looketh on the outward appearance but that the Lord looketh on the heart, but ask yourself this; can a woman who wears men’s clothing in opposition to the Holy Scriptures and in open rebellion to the counsel of her priesthood leaders do so and still maintain the guidance of the Holy Spirit?  I say unto you nay.  For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to damnation. 

And even worse than wearing pants to Church is the audacity that we occasionally see of sisters wearing them to the sacred and holy temples of the Lord.  This gross error in judgment has caused the leaders of the Church, even our prophets, seers and revelators, to take the necessary steps to nip this in the bud by addressing it right in the temple preparation manual. 

Under the section “Special Preparations for the First Temple Visit” it addresses the very important issue of dress wherein it instructs members to Plan to dress as you would when attending Sunday meetings”. (And just to avoid any confusion amongst the sisters this includes the counsel that “Women should not wear pants to the temple”.  See this link: ).

I am thankful for those sisters who meekly and obediently follow the inspired counsel of the priesthood brethren as they lovingly show us how to become more Christlike in our outward appearance.  I testify that you will be blessed as you avoid the temptation to cross-dress and I leave these thoughts with you in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.