Gospel for thought

Thought-case: A stranger walks up to the missionaries, states that he is moving to a place for the rest of his life where the church will never be. He wants to get baptized but doesn’t have a testimony of the church. Do you baptize him or not? If he is baptized what benefits/blessings would he receive for being baptized?

What is the intrinsic value of being baptized? Without testimony, without passing D&C 20:37 or batismal interview questions, as if they don’t exist, what effect would being baptized have on a person? They will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and (those who are within church contact) get connected to the church. End question: Is it better for a person to be baptized than not?

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The Lost Ark of the Covenant in Japan?

Japanese members of the church believe that much of the religion in Japan, mainly Buddhism, was influenced by Judaism carried over from Israel, long before the Portuguese came to the islands. This is a general story the majority of members believe in. In fact, it is so prevalent that in Japan I went to a priesthood leadership meeting one Saturday night where they compared and contrasted information about the Ark of the Covenant with Japanese artifacts, religious ritual pieces, and common knowledge. I also had one of my teachers in the Missionary Training Center, a Japanese convert, teach us a little about this myth. I even watched Japanese news reports/documentaries about this myth in one of my Japanese classes since being home.

This little article I found is a good summary about some of the general beliefs the Japanese hold concerning this myth. I find it very interesting; especially the end, where the government stopped anyone from excavating. That is a normal response in  Japan. There are LOTS of places that archeologists want to excavate, but many have been cut off by the government. There are even ideas that in some of the Buddha statutes there are Jewish relics and symbols, but nobody can look inside to find them.

Check it out!

http://pinktentacle.com/2010/04/is-the-legendary-lost-ark-buried-in-japan/

*I think it should be noted that in Japan I got to visit the Grave of Christ . . . Yeah . . . a town wanted to make a name for itself, and it’s sister town was in Israel so they combined heritage and had a hay-day. So who knows. 🙂

The Final Countdown

Rights go to BuzzParadise apparently

(Cue The Final Countdown) It’s all over! I meant to write this post about my internship a week and a half ago, but I got caught up writing research papers and hitting the town for my final two weeks. It’s been a fun ride! I’m not too excited to head back home and go into Microeconomics . . . but this has been a huge influencing experience in my life and I’m very grateful to have had it.  For now I want to at least share some of the praise that my AWESOME school received from various people at my internship. These are all things coworkers told me throughout the semester and on my last day:

“We have had a long line of GREAT BYU interns here so the bar is high for you.”

“I don’t know what it is about you guys, something they have in the water at BYU or something, but the guys I’ve met from BYU are always really good guys.”

“The BYU academic system does it right with you guys. You all have it down. You really know what you are about, and it is awesome for business.”

From my chinese manager, “Did yu kno that Birmingham? (Brigham Young?) Right, Brigham Young, was the firs ones to come into China? (No) Yeah, they have some government connection for long time and I guess yo school is really good at dance? An they had their dancers come perform. (Really?) Yeah, I remember that! It was a big thing. We, it was the first civillian connection in China. (That’s great!) Yeah.”

“BYU campus life and academic system consistently produces people who can handle a lot of work very calmly. Other universities should send people to BYU to learn how they do it.”

It was fun in the Advocacy Center. They were so nice to us all. We would have CEOs of companies coming in every day, and they would always be happy to see and work with us. If I were to restate what my internship was at the Advocacy Center (to show how much I’ve changed, I guess) I would say, I supported the managers by completing due diligence checks and research on new clients who are seeking advocacy from the government in order to receive a fair treatment in various countries around the world. Pres. Obama’s National Export Initiative lands squarely on the shoulders of the Advocacy Center since we are a key source for helping U.S. firms succeed in exporting billions of dollars worth of goods and services around the world. We started finding out towards the end that the Advocacy Center is one of the most sought-after jobs within the International Trade Administration. So the other interns and I felt lucky to have worked and learned there. Would I ever work there? Yeah, I wouldn’t mind working there for a couple years. But, it’s not an entry level position. It’s something you have to maneuver into over time. Who knows where I’ll end up, I honestly do not have that plan yet. But, this internship had undoubtedly taught me mounds of things about working for the government that will help me make that decision later.

Only two days until I head home!! http://128.187.51.10/view/view.shtml?imagePath=/mjpg/quad/video.mjpg&size=1

When I posted this the webcams showed a busy bookstore, like always, and a cold campus, like always. Oh look, the same cop I’ve seen guarding the bookstore for 5 years now . . . yay . . . home . . .

Northern charm, Southern efficiency

Tourist Season in DC

The next stop comes. An old lady, a Hispanic, and an Indian are last getting on a packed metro car. The Indian yells at the Hispanic for not moving to the center of the car quicker. The Hispanic retorts there is an elderly lady he was letting get to a seat first. The Indian man gets angrier for being proven wrong. Everyone packed around the two are now angry at the Indian.

The next stop comes. Two white guys are already on the crammed car with a muslim woman getting on. One white guy starts to ask if the lady would like the open seat (trying to fight the negativity that built from the last station’s episode). Mid-sentence the second white guy busts through the first white guy’s arms claiming he is 63 years old and completely legitimate for the right to sit in the elderly/handicapped seat next to the door. The first white guy responds patiently, which the second guy snaps at asking what had been said. The first responds politely and honestly that he thought the second looked quite healthy for being 63 years old and turns to the muslim woman with an apologetic shrug of the shoulders. Everyone packed around the second white guy are now angry at him. Everyone questions the goodness of humanity.

The next stop comes.