Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oral Abstinence; the Key to a Happy, Fulfilling and Joyous Marriage

Whilst doing a temple recommend interview last night I was asked by Sister McCulloch whether it was against the rules of the church to engage in the stimulation of the most sacred regions of ones holy temple whilst employing the use of ones lips and tongue. At first I was perplexed by the question, but then the spirit came to me and I said “just to clarify Sister McCulloch are you by any chance referring to intercourse of an oral variety and nature?” to which she hesitantly nodded. 

Local church leaders are not to ask married couples about their sexual practices and when members bring questions like this up we are to tell them that if it’s something they feel the need to bring up in an interview then perhaps the practice should be discontinued.

I told her that in my experience whenever these questions come up it is almost always the husband who is at fault. Why a priesthood holder would require such atrocities of a beautiful innocent sister like this is beyond my comprehension. If she were my wife I wouldn’t even think to make such a request. In fact I have never even approached Sister Paternoster with regards to intimacy unless invited and in the spirit of producing offspring unto the Lord.  Self control ought to be the guiding force amongst the brethren of the church.

I felt the issue would be better addressed as a couple so I asked the husband to come and join his sweet tender wife in my office.

I assured the couple that many men have fallen into the temptation of asking their wives to participate in acts that are degrading in nature. On this blog due to the sacred nature of the temple I cannot go into details but I did clarify with the couple that this is precisely why we make sacred oaths to not engage in impure and unholy practices.  

I took out from my desk a folder that the previous stake president had left behind on the subject that I have often benefited from in counseling with members.  I had Brother McCulloch read this quote from our loving Apostle Boyd K. Packer:
"What if the person asking you to engage in something defiling is your husband, whom you love? A married couple may be tempted to introduce things into their relationship which are unworthy. Do not, as the scriptures warn, 'change the natural use into that which is against nature' (Romans 1:26). If you do, the tempter will drive a wedge between you."

Brother McCulloch went completely red in the face as the Lord was teaching him through the reading of this quote. I hope that not wanting to drive a wedge between him and his wife will be enough to deter him from such base desires going forward. Divorce is so rampant these days and President Packer has given a very important clue here as to how to have a more fulfilling marriage.

We then read this quote which comes from a First Presidency letter with regards to interviewing. It was addressed to all leaders from Bishops up and is crystal clear in stating:
“The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice.”

The McCulloch’s asked to see the letter. I consider it every member’s right to know the position of our prophets, seers and revelators on this very important topic so I handed it to them and would be happy to post it here if requested.

We continued with a quote from a good friend of mine Elder Spencer J. Condie who said: "Unfortunately, some married couples fail to realize that sexual experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts. When couples….participate in unholy practices, what should be a spiritually bonding element in their marriage may actually become a disruptive force.”

Here again we are learning from our leaders that a key to a successful marriage is staying away from unholy sexual practices.

I explained to the couple that sexual relations in marriage are not unrestrained. We must remember that life was not designed just for sex. Even marriage does not make proper certain extremes in sexual indulgence. The Lord's loving condemnation of sin included secret sexual sins in marriage when he revealed this to the pure hearted prophet Joseph Smith: "And those who are not pure…. shall be destroyed" (D&C 132:52)"

President Spencer W. Kimball said "If it is unnatural, you just don't do it. That is all, and all the family life should be kept clean and worthy and on a very high plane. There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it."

President Howard W. Hunter said “Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Any indecent or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord. Pornography and unwholesome fantasies erode one’s character and strike at the foundation of a happy marriage.”

I hope the message is clear to all readers. A happy marriage is based on controlled and disciplined intimate behavior, free from all unwholesome fantasies. Please don’t do anything that would allow Satan to ruin the foundation of your marriages.

I ended the interview with this quote from the aforementioned letter from the First Presidency which states that "Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure, or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such practices.”  Based on this instruction I asked the couple to report back in one month on their progress, after which I will be happy to sign their recommends.

Brothers and Sisters aren’t you thankful to the Lord that the apostles and prophets never waver on sin? No matter how strong the winds of public opinion may blow, the Church remains steadfast and immovable in protecting marriages and families against the wiles of the tempter.

President Paternoster

Since some of you have requested to see the letter of which I spoke I have edited this blog post and attached both pages below.  I apologize though that the lettering is so small. If anyone is good with photo editing and can enlarge this I will re-post.  I noticed if I click on the images twice they become readable. Allow me to quote directly from page 2 in case the lettering is too small for some: “In interviewing one for a temple recommend, the individual being interviewed should be reminded that the Lord has said that no unclean thing should enter His house…. Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure, or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such practices…… The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice.”
The letter is signed by the First Presidency including Gordon B. Hinckley




Friday, January 3, 2014

President Paternoster Trains Missionaries about Cults

When the mission president found out that I am one of Irelands leading authorities on cults and cult deprogramming techniques he asked me to meet with the missionaries to share with them some thoughts and counsel on the matter. 
I explained to the missionaries that Satan is the great deceiver and one way he leads people away from the truths of the restored gospel is by getting them involved in cults where they are indoctrinated to such a point that they are unable to recognize the truth even when it is clearly presented to them.
While I have personally ‘deprogrammed’ many souls I explained to the missionaries that most people involved in cults are so hopelessly dependant on the system they are in that they will fight to protect it even when the evidence shows that their beliefs have little to no foundation or that the organization they are in is corrupt.  To some it is all they have known and the feeling of belonging to a group and fitting in is more important to them than the truth.
I further explained that it is not possible to be in a cult and at the same time know that you are in one.  Only when someone comes out of a cult and can clearly see it through the eyes of an outside observer can they realize that they were in one. 
I displayed a large screen where we read the well researched and crystal clear definitions of a cult directly from the website http://www.howcultswork.com/
I first explained that what makes an organization a cult is not what they believe.  What makes an organization a cult is whether they use manipulative control techniques on their followers.  We read from the site exactly how cult leaders control people and I made it clear that the organizations the website is referring to are one’s that have absolutely no priesthood authority or power upon the earth. This is what was said: 
“Cult leaders need to make you believe that there is nowhere else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the "one true church" then you are going to hell.”
I explained as per the website that the problem with other churches doing this is that it “is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the cult. It also gives the cult leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the cult leaders even when you disagree with them.”
Continuing on we read the following right from the site:
“Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life.”
I taught the missionaries that this of course is the ultimate control.  If leaders of other Churches can, under the influence of Satan, convince their followers they are authorized of God then members will be in their power.  Followers in this situation will do whatever they are asked including donating large portions of their incomes to the organization even if it means that their own families go without.  I gave the example to the full-time missionaries of one lady who I recently deprogrammed out of Scientology who was working long hours day after day for the organization with no pay, but who had been mentally programmed from her birth that serving in this way would ensure spiritual rewards in this life and the next.  She explained to me that her whereabouts were always known to at least one other person, she couldn’t phone home to talk to her own mother and if she complained it was seen as a sign of weakness and lack of faith by her peers and leaders.     
Another important point about the more advanced cults is that they “will have a slick well-rehearsed Public Relations front which hides what the group is really like. You will hear for example how they help the poor.  You will not be told what they really believe. These things will be introduced to you slowly, one at a time, so you will not notice the gradual change, until eventually you are practicing and believing things which at the start would have caused you to run a mile.”  For example if you knew that by joining the Jehovah's Witnesses you would at some point in your progression be required to commit all of your time and talents to the building up of their Kingdom, you would probably not have joined in the first place. 
I explained to the missionaries that when groups with no authority from God deceive people like this it inhibits mans God given free-agency to accept the truths of the restored gospel.
Having given the missionaries a basic overview of how cults work, we then got to the important point in the discussion that dealt with getting people out of a cult. 
I explained that the art of deprogramming involves reversing the indoctrination process used by cults with the goal of showing cult members how their own decision-making power has been taken away from them.  Convincing them that they are under control (and that they aren’t just doing things because they love to serve and want to be obedient to God) is extremely difficult, takes a lot of patience and requires listening attentively to and following the promptings of the spirit.  The problem, of course, is that those involved in a cult cannot see that they were being controlled until they are out (even though it is blatantly obvious to us onlookers). 
I went through the following deprogramming steps that I often adopt when meeting with someone who is in a cult:
1.     Discredit the figure of authority: the cult leader – This is highly effective.  In the case of Scientologists showing the follower that Ron Hubbard (the founder) was convicted of fraud is a great way to get them to ask further questions.  I can’t imagine anyone belonging to a group which was started by someone with a clear track record of fraud.
2.     Present contradictions (ideology versus reality): "Jehovah Witnesses preach family values but if you leave the organization family members are warned not to talk to you and you are considered lost forever…" is an example of where their ideology doesn't match reality.  
3.     The breaking point: When a subject begins to listen to the deprogrammer; when reality begins to take precedence over ideology.
4.     Self-expression: When the subject begins to open up and voice gripes against the cult.  You will find that all members of cults have things that they lived with and accepted but didn’t like; since they were unable to voice their concerns while in the cult part of the process when coming out is that they will express these things to you.  They may also create online forums where they can connect with others in similar circumstances.  Those who are still in the cult that read these forums will view them as a bunch of whiners who were obviously weak in the faith.  In reality they are a group of people who have figured out the truth with regards to the cult they were (or perhaps still are) in.
5.     Identification and transference: when the subject begins to identify with the deprogrammers, starts to think of him- or herself as an opponent of the cult rather than a member of it.  Those who learn the truth about the cults they were once in and that they dedicated their lives to will almost always become an opponent of the cult once they are out.  This does not usually occur in the case of non cultish organizations.  In fact you can get a good idea of which organizations are cultish by the way people react when they are in steps 4 and 5.
I tried to convey to the missionaries the true joy of bringing a person to the point where they have opened their minds and can see through all the lies that they have been programmed to believe. They realize that they have been duped and they come out of it.  It’s incredible to see the effect it has on someone when their mind starts working again.  And most importantly when this happens they are finally ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Important Distinction between Lying & Lying for the Lord


Brothers and Sisters I hesitate to openly discuss this important topic because I know that there will be those who have not yet reached the spiritual maturity to fully understand what I am about to say.  These individuals may be tempted to mock or make light of my words and I do not wish to cause any to sin in such a vile manner.  Because of this I would ask that only mature members of the Church who have been through the temple read this faith promoting article.  If you have not yet been through the temple please refrain from reading further until through your faithfulness you reach this honoured level.

I would like to start by quoting from the chapter entitled “Honesty” from the Gospel Principles manual that can be found on the official Church website at this link:  

The manual reiterates that “We believe in being honest” and states that “Complete honesty is necessary for our salvation”.

We learn from this chapter that “the devil is a liar” and that “Those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves”.  It is important to understand that “Satan encourages us to justify our lies to ourselves. Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage.”  We learn why people lie, “People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons.”

Speaking of those who will be in the Telestial Kingdom the scriptures testify “these are they who are liars…” (D&C 76:103)

But we must keep in mind the audience for which the book “Gospel Principles” was intended.  As per lds.org “This course is for investigators, new members, members returning to activity, and others who need basic gospel instruction.”
 
As leaders in the Lord’s Kingdom upon the earth it is important that we learn to live by a higher law which unbeknown to the investigator or new member in fact justifies that in certain instances it is better to lie than to be truthful.  This gospel precept is often known as “lying for the Lord” but I prefer to use the more scriptural based terminology of “giving milk before meat” or “not casting our pearls before swine”.  After all we are at war with the adversary and must ever be watchful to not represent the Church or its teachings in such a manner that would turn away those who through correct initiation practices would become Christ’s strongest followers. 

In a nutshell lying for the Lord consists of selectively giving unto the receiver the information that will help him view the Church, its history and its leaders in the most favourable light possible.  True disciples of Christ know that this is to be done line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; never revealing all at once. 

This is perfectly demonstrated by the prophet Joseph Smith in 1844 when he made the following statement:  
"What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one." (History of The Church 6:410-411)

At this time the Church was young and many in and out of the Church were unaware of Joseph’s polygamous practices.  Joseph with his spiritual foresight could see the many problems that would arise if the general membership and neighbouring communities were to find out that he had several wives, so under the influence of the Lord he denied the charge saying “I can only find one.”

Now we all know that according to Church owned website familysearch.org Joseph was married to the following sisters when he made that statement in 1844 http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=7762167

1827 - Emma Hale
1841 - Zina Diantha Huntington
1841 - Prescendia Lathrop Huntington
1842 - Mary Elizabeth Rollins
1842 - Eliza Roxey Snow
1842 - Sarah Ann Whitney
1842 - Martha McBride
1843 - Sarah Lawrence
1843 - Helen Mar Kimball
1843 - Lucy Walker
1843 - Rhoda Richards
1843 - Malissa Lott
1843 - Fanny Young

So the question that may come to mind amongst the less valiant is “Was Joseph Smith in fact an outright liar?”  In answer to this concern we, the faithful, know that Joseph was a prophet of God and could not make such a bold statement without being guided by the spirit of truth.  His statement which had the obvious intention of not casting pearls (polygamy being at that time a pearl of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ) before swine likely helped to silence the critics for a short time and allowed the truth of the gospel to roll forward and penetrate the hearts of the meek and lowly.  Clearly brothers and sisters Joseph was not lying but was practicing the art of giving line upon line, precept upon precept, in order to further the work of the Lord upon the earth. 

We see similar qualities in our current Church leadership.  When Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland was interviewed for a show called "The Mormon Candidate" which was aired recently in the UK we see a slightly different approach to the principle of lying for the Lord.  I call it the ‘lie and cover’ procedure where we immediately deny or deny knowledge of an event followed by a reluctant admittance.  This takes the sting out of the accusation and is done in the hopes that the faithful will not falter in their sacred testimonies of the gospel.  To see this technique in action please click on the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws4vgihE3Q0 where Elder Holland was asked by the reporter “As a matter of historical fact, was Joseph Smith convicted of being a con man in 1826?”

As an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and defender of the faith Elder Holland’s response was so simple but profound it actually brought tears to my eyes.  He simply replied “I have no idea”. 

When pressed Holland went on to basically admit that he did know about this when he said “this is an incidental matter to the character and integrity of the man”. 

Our beloved Elder Holland is then asked if Mitt Romney would have sworn an oath saying that he would not pass on what happens in the temple, lest he slit his throat.

Once again Holland’s reply is succinct and shows by perfect example precisely how to lie for the Lord when he states: “That’s not true, that’s not true”.

When pushed by the crafty English reporter Holland goes on to admit that we did in fact “used” to have such penalties in the temple (thus Romney having entered the temple before the changes in 1990 did make that specific oath). 

Here we have two examples in the first 1 minute and 17 seconds of the video where Holland represents the Church in the best possible light but then quickly retracts so as to not become a servant of Satan as per the Gospel Principles manual where it states that Those who choose to lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves”

Brothers and Sisters it is my prayer that the Lord will bless each of you to understand the distinct spiritual difference between lying and lying for the Lord, and I leave these thoughts with you in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dinosaurs and the Restored Gospel



As a Stake President I appreciate the hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls I receive each week to express appreciation for my blog.  I apologize for not being able to respond to each and every one of them.  Today I received the following email from 15 year old Josée who is from Ontario County Canada and I thought I would respond.

Dear President Paternoster,

While visiting Canada’s Wonderland last week I noticed that dinosaurs lived and died millions of years ago (I have included 2 photos).  My seminary teacher who was with us said that this was not possible as that would mean that the atonement of Jesus Christ would have been completely unnecessary.  I asked my Dad what was meant by this comment but he said I should ask you as you tend to explain things better.

If it’s not too much trouble could you elaborate?

Josée age 15

Dear Josée,

Thank you for your letter.  Please thank your father and let him know that I am both humbled and honoured at the confidence he has placed in me.  This is a fascinating topic and as someone who is well versed in paleontology and the restored gospel I am well positioned to provide a response.  

Before responding to your question I wish to warn you that hundreds of different theories exist in the world and in your life you will meet many (including Church members) who, while meaning well, will unfortunately fall into the trap of mingling the truth of the scriptures with the philosophies of men.  They do this to make the gospel 'seem' more logical.  This you must not do.  

In order to avoid confusion whenever a question such as this comes up I encourage members to prayerfully look to the scriptures and the official website of the Church (lds.org) for answers.  I promise you Josée that the answers are there for those who seek them.  

While the scriptures don’t specifically mention dinosaurs let us do some research on the origin of death.  From the Church website at this link http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/death?lang=eng&letter=d we learn that “Two kinds of death are spoken of in the scriptures. One is the death of the body, which is caused by the separation of the body from the spirit.  The other is spiritual death, which is to die as pertaining to, or to be separated from, righteousness.”  Now the absolutely essential thing to note Josée is that “Both of these deaths were introduced into the world by the fall of Adam.”

To further clarify this we read from the same link that “Latter-day revelation (and let’s keep in mind that this is actual revelation – meaning God has revealed this to his prophets, so it’s not just an opinion) teaches that there was no death on this earth for any forms of life before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the fall.”   This is backed up by holy scripture (2 Ne. 2:22; Moses 6:48).

The current institute manual that is used to teach 18-30 year olds confirms this teaching where it states that “There was no death in the earth before the fall of Adam  ...The gospel teaches us that if Adam and Eve had not partaken of that fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have remained in the Garden of Eden in that same condition prevailing before the fall. . . . http://institute.lds.org/manuals/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/doc-gosp-21-30-30.asp

Based on this solid evidence we know of a surety that no death occurred on the earth before the fall. The next question we need to answer then is when did this fall occur?  Again let’s prayerfully go to the official Church site to seek answers to our questions.  At http://seminary.lds.org/courses/ot/ we can download the timeline of the people and events from the Old Testament pictured below.  While the dates are approximate we can see from this timeline that the fall took place at around the year 4030 B.C.  (Adam died approximately in the year 3100 at the age of 930).
 
So here we have a dilemma.  On one hand we have the restored gospel saying that no death occurred for any forms of life before the fall of Adam (some 6,000 years ago) and on the other hand we have the scientists claiming that dinosaurs were living and dying 231 million of years ago (as per the photo you provided)!  Whom should we believe?  Should we accept the Holy Scriptures and the interpretation given by modern day prophets on our official website or should we change our interpretation in an attempt to follow the ever changing theories of scientists? 

Josée you asked what your seminary teacher meant when he said that dinosaurs could not have lived and died millions of years ago “as that would mean that the atonement of Jesus Christ would have been completely unnecessary”.  This question has been answered and is available on the Brigham Young University website in a talk that they still feature given by Bruce R. Mckonkie who was a prophet, seer and revelator.   He said “My reasoning causes me to conclude that if death has always prevailed in the world, then there was no fall of Adam that brought death to all forms of life; that if Adam did not fall, there is no need for an atonement; that if there was no atonement, there is no salvation, no resurrection, and no eternal life; and that if there was no atonement, there is nothing in all of the glorious promises that the Lord has given us.”  
Did you understand this Josée?  Basically what the Apostle is saying here is if dinosaurs died millions of years ago (before the fall) then there was no fall (because the purpose of the fall was to introduce death into the world) and if there was no fall then there was no atonement to counter the effects of the fall.  And if that were the case then this whole gospel of Jesus Christ would be untrue.  This would mean that Church leaders such as myself and President Monson would be, much like the billions of followers of other religions in the world, wasting our lives away in a false religion in a vain and foolish attempt at gaining an eternal award which doesn't exist. And of course Josée, this cannot be.  

My personal opinion, which is the more likely explanation, is that some of the Lord's creations (such as the Tyrannosauras Rex) due to their size and displeasing demeanour were turned away by the prophet Noah at the ark and shortly thereafter became extinct.

Lovingly,

President Paternoster

Friday, February 8, 2013

President Paternoster Doesn't Win 2012’s Best Mormon Blog Award

Receiving the news that President Paternoster did not win the 2012 Brodie Award for the ‘Best faithful-perspective Mormon Blog’ has left me, Sister Paternoster, heartbroken and despondent. 

What’s even more demoralizing is the sad fact that he wasn’t even nominated for this prestigious annual award.  Instead the award went to Feminist Mormon HousewivesThis is a disgraceful name for a supposedly faithful blog.  Mormon women need not be caught up in the feminist movement. Elaine Dalton, General President of the Young Women's organization has recently confirmed what President Paternoster has been teaching us sisters for years -  that Mormon women have absolutely no need to lobby for rights. The President also taught that feminists are completely unnecessary within the Lord’s Kingdom and that what the Church needs are more women who are obedient to inspired priesthood authority.  I have always done my best to rise up to this counsel.  

In addition to not winning the above award the President also did not receive an award for the best exit story.  This is surprising given his speedy exit from the chapel and car race home to read a letter that had just arrived from the First Presidency (http://stakepresident.blogspot.ca/2012/01/president-paternoster-gets-letter-from.html).  In all his years of glorious service to the Lord, he has never gotten home so fast!  And yet the award went to Sister Stephenson who admits to having a perfect life within the Church before succumbing to the misery that accompanies those whom Satan overcomes. http://www.salon.com/2012/06/01/but_im_a_good_mormon_wife/singleton/

As a final blow the organizers of these awards obviously overlooked a technical glitch in their system and for the second year in a row awarded the late president with the Best Humor/Satire Site or Blog. (See all blog awards here: http://latterdaymainstreet.com/2013/02/06/congratulations-2012-brodie-winners/).

There is nothing humorous or satirical about a humble Stake President relaying his spiritual experiences online as a testimony against the wicked.  I am horrified that such a terrible error would occur not once, but twice.  I take comfort in knowing that all these wrongs will be made right in the world to come.  In the mean time the organizers of the Brodie Awards better have a good lawyer.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Passing of President Paternoster


It is with the deepest regret that I, Sister Paternoster, announce the sudden and unexpected passing of President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster.  

He suffered a major heart attack today while sitting on the stand at Church waiting for sacrament meeting to start.   We were visiting the local YSA branch when a small group of sisters entered the room.  As Bill turned to them his smile quickly faded into a look of horror and he started to clutch his chest.   I rushed to his side while the Branch President called an ambulance.  Bill was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. 

He will be sorely missed by family, friends, the faithful members of his Stake and readers of this blog.  

The sisters in question feel awful for rebelling against the Brethren.  They have promised to never again wear pants to Church.  









Saturday, November 24, 2012

December 2012 Ensign Highlights

In order to assist readers as they prepare for this season of joy and peace I would ask that they prayerfully consider the words of the Lord as given in the Christmas/December 2012 edition of the Ensign.
May we ever keep in mind that “Church magazines are an important segment of the authoritative voice of the Church through which prophetic counsel from the Lord is made available to all of our Father’s children of all ages on matters pertinent in today’s world.” http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/members-invited-to-share-the-gospel-through-magazine-subscriptions?lang=eng
I testify that solutions to the world’s greatest problems will be found as individuals and governments heed the words of the Ensign.
Below I will quote a couple of the wonderful and faith promoting highlights from the December edition:
“If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing."  http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/sacred-transformations?lang=eng
This is a wonderful message that the world needs to hear.  Why anyone would choose to feed their family and pay for water when they could be giving these sacred funds to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is completely beyond me.
Here is another very touching story……
“My wife, Lesa, and I became acquainted with a young woman soon after she came to church to attend an English class taught by the missionaries. She was outgoing, vibrant, and in control of her life, which included a good job, a longtime boyfriend, and her family….When the missionaries began teaching her the commandments, she knew she must obey.”
From the article we learn that her parents seemed worried.  Perhaps they thought she was getting involved in a cult, but she faithfully assured them this was not the case, and stopped talking to them. 
We learn that with the spirit of obedience “She broke up with her boyfriend and quit her job, which required that she work Sundays. She began observing the Word of Wisdom and accepted the law of tithing…..Within a few weeks of accepting the commandments, she found herself without a job, an apartment, or family support.”
Later when they met her while going for a walk she gleefully exclaimed “I am on my way to my new job working the graveyard shift at the drive-up window of a fast-food restaurant.”
I always encourage members to work at fast food restaurants rather than being tempted to accept careers which require them to work on Sundays.  When Doctor Murphy joined the Church he faithfully gave up his career as a heart surgeon so he could attend his Sabbath day meetings. 
The article explains that “This job represented a significant drop in pay, responsibility, and hours from her previous job. Despite significant trials and setbacks in the temporal affairs of her life, happiness exuded from her.  She then announced that her baptismal date had been set.” http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/the-safety-and-peace-of-keeping-the-commandments?lang=eng
What a beautiful example of righteousness. If all investigators could show such obedience and dedication to the one true Church of Christ the world would be a much better place. 
Lovingly shared by President Paternoster