Tuesday, December 14, 2010

41y In the Inspired words of Nephi, Son of Lehi, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." Book of Mormon:1 Nephi 14:14

To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth Paragraph From the End of This Post!

Please note that beginning with post (41x on December 7, 2010) a new post is being published every Tuesday morning. This will allow me to better accommodate the relatively large number of those (as Google Analytics informs me) who view my posts on Saturdays and Sundays. I had been publishing a new post every five days for several years.



I repeat TODAY'S THEME which I quoted in the introduction of this post in order that you can more intently focus on its words and better understand is prophetic meaning: Nephi, son Lehi wrote this between 600 and 592 B.C. An angel of God caused this vision to to be seen by the prophet Nephi.

1 Nephi 14: 14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. (emphasis added)
As one reads the entire chapter it is obvious that the angel was allowing Nephi to see in vision that which would be happening in our days (the latter-days) of the earth's history.

At first the total membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was very small, beginning with six members on the day of its legal organization in1830. It reached a membership of one million in 1947, not long after World War II had ended. In the year (2010), the year in which this post is being written, total church membership has just reached fourteen million. 

The map shown below shows us where temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are located thus far throughout the world. Many more will be coming. As the angel informed Nephi, son of Lehi, the church of the Lamb of God will be spread throughout the world in our days although their total numbers would be, relatively speaking, few.

At one point in his comments at the end of a previous post of mine, "BOMC", (Arlin Nusbaum) incorrectly  indicated that the turnover in membership of the LDS Church was large. It takes a very faithful membership for a temple to be built to which the Latter-day Saints have access for their own temple ordinances and those of their dead. There are presently 134 fully functioning temples world-wide with 23 under construction or announced. Without an actively involved and faithful membership these temples would have never been built!  Actually, members of this church are willing to sacrifice much and travel long distances to have the opportunity of participating in temple ordinances! There is much opportunity for service of all kinds for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Church of the Lamb of God in Nephi's sacred words)!

The Kona-Hawaii Temple

Map Showing Location of LDS Temples Throughout the World - Google Assisted
Manila Phillipeans Temple

I now show a painting and a scripture I have shared with you post readers on a number of occasions:
Daniel Interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream -Painting: Grant Romney Clawson
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (emphasis added)
As I have indicated in a fairly recent post of mine, the kingdom to be set up by the Great God spoken of in Daniel's prophecy will evolve out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That process has already begun!

I, Neil Birch, author of this blog, will demonstrate for you in this and in at least one following post, examples of how the vision given by of the angel to Nephi, Son of Lehi concerning the Church of the Lamb of God caused him to see that in our day it would be "scattered upon all the face of the earth."

Let us begin by gaining insights into how at the immediate end of World War II, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ was successfully and at first, was very informally taught in a nation, Japan, with which the United States of America had been fighting and had defeated. If you will carefully check the temple map above, I believe you will count three temples being located in Japan. I believe that at least one additional temple has already been announced for that great nation!

SOLDIER'S JAPAN MEMORIES INCLUDE SHARING LDS BELIEFS (Article in the Deseret News (Published in Salt Lake City on December 7, 2010 "Pearl Harbor Day") By Sara Israelsen-Hartley.

The lives of, from left, Boyd K. Packer, Norman Nixon, Tatsui Sato, C. Elliott Richards and Chiyo Sato, with the Satos' son Yasuo in front, were brought together in Japan at the end of World War II. The Satos were among the good Japanese people U.S. soldiers met. -Photo: Courtesy of C. Elliott Richards

SALT LAKE CITY -- They wore dog tags, and instead of white shirts and ties, they were recognizable by Army fatigues and dusty boots. As occupation troops in Japan after World War II, soldiers were tasked with evaluating the damage, beginning the rebuilding process and organizing the transport of soldiers going back home.

Yet for LDS Army servicemen like C. Elliott Richards and now President Boyd K. Packer, their military experience became more like LDS missions as they dedicated themselves to teaching and testifying to former enemies about the love of Jesus Christ.  

"If there is true love and understanding of our Heavenly Father's plan, then it doesn't matter what color people's skin is," said Richards, who since his Army days has served as an LDS mission president of the Philippines Cebu Mission, an LDS temple president of the Jordan River Utah Temple with his wife Margaret as matron, and still meets weekly around Salt Lake City for lunch with fellow LDS soldiers who served in Tokyo. "The souls of (Japanese) people are just as rich and inviting and needing as anyone else's."

During the war, Richards, a second lieutenant, trained troops in Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, and was sent to Japan only after the war's end, for which he was grateful. Upon arriving at the 11th Replacement Depot, around 17 miles north of Narumi, (now called Midori-ku Nagoya-shi) the Salt-Lake-City boy found a group of LDS servicemen, including Ray Hanks, Mel Arnold and Reed Davis.

The men excitedly told him of an English-speaking Japanese man they'd met in a silk shop, then later in a tea shop.

When the three politely refused a warm drink of tea on the cold night stating they were Mormons, the Japanese man was intrigued, and invited them to his home to teach him more about their religion.

Richards immediately joined the LDS soldiers in their frequent gospel discussions with the Japanese man, Tatsui Sato, and his wife, Chiyo, and their 6-year-old son Yasuo. A 3-year-old daughter, Atsuko, had died during the war.

"And thus began for me, one of the most memorable experiences of my life," Richards said, quoting from his personal history. "I shall never forget my first night in their humble home, sitting on the floor with my feet under a quilt, absorbing heat from the single charcoal pot in the center of the room. It was cold and snowy outside, but inside we were all burning with the Spirit of the Lord."

The Satos learned quickly and even began holding Sunday School in their home with neighborhood children. Along with lessons, the U.S. soldiers often brought army rations for the Satos and their starving neighbors.

Richards remembers leaving the depot in March 1946 with a sad heart, knowing there was no one nearby to continue teaching the Satos. Ye he, and the other soldiers, continued to write letters, sharing their testimonies and encouraging them to keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon.

A few months later, Richards was in Tokyo at a Sunday meeting, when he became riveted by one of the speakers. After the meeting he introduced himself to Lt. Boyd K. Packer, who was also serving in Japan, and the two began studying the scriptures together. A few days after, Richards said he showed Lt. Packer the letters from Tatsui Sato.

"I always thank the lord for my privilege of being informed of the true gospel," Sato wrote. "Being selected, out of, truly scores of hundred thousand people as a believer or a seeker of the true Gospel, I am always looking for a chance to do some good work that would be nice before the Lord. I make it a rule to read the "Joseph Smith Own Story' as it is my favorite story and I read it repeatedly and also I am reading the Articles of Faith which you left to me as your memorial book."

Lt. Packer was so impressed that he and Richards began praying the Satos could be baptized.

Thanks to prayers and coordination with LDS Chaplain Richard Nelson, the Satos were baptized on July 7, 1946, in a preserved swimming pool at the destroyed Kansai University, Richards baptized Sato and Lt. Packer baptized Sato's wife, Chiyo.

"he was one of the most impressive men I've ever known, "President Packer said recently of Sato. "He was a slow speaker and very wise."

At the time of the baptism, Lt. Packer remembers noting that Sato's language skills would make him a valuable asset to the church in Japan. That insight proved to be true as Sato later re-translated the standard works, (which of course includes the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ) and other church materials, served as a mission translator and translator for visiting General Authorities and translated the temple ceremonies. (emphasis and clarification added)

Not only did Sato greatly influence the growth of the LDS Church in Japan, which included the reopening of Japan for missionaries in 1948, he forever changed the way the LDS soldiers viewed the Japanese people.

In a letter from the book, "The Other Side of the Rising Sun," by Komae Mori, Army soldier and lead teacher of the Sato family, Ray Hanks, wrote of his feelings.

"Such men like Mr. Sato has shown me that the average Japanese is a peace-loving individual who loves life as we do, and wants to live it the best he knows how," Hanks wrote in December 1945. He passed away in 1981. "As for me, I have no enmity toward them. Their warlords are the guilty ones and not the masses."

As a young boy, President Packer said he grew up knowing many Japanese people who lived near Brigham City, and thus came to the way with no animosity or hatred, despite the negative comments and images swirling around him.

"People are people," President Packer told the Deseret News. "They speak different languages, are different races, but people are people. We're all God's children."

And because of that understanding, leaving the Satos at the end of his service was a poignant moment, as President Packer describes in one of his biographies written by Lucile Tate.

"We had learned to love them, and they us, officers of a conquering army," he said. We were taught a remarkable lesson among the Japanese people. After all our training and instructions to demean them, to subdue them, we found that they were a good people and as individuals they were worthy of the gospel They were seeking light, and even in their terrible circumstances they had many virtues that we might emulate."

When Richards arrived home, he often talked about his experiences with others.

"I was so filled ... with new growth, new understanding ... and love for the Japanese people that I knew, that you bet I shared it," he said.

In fact Richards and his family stayed in touch with the Satos, and after Chiyo passed away and Tatsui moved to Utah, he lived in the Richards' basement for six months before he remarried and bought a home.

Tatsui was just as busy in Utah as he had been in Japan; remarrying Tomiko Hiranishi, teaching for a time at BYU, serving as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple, in the branch presidency of the Sai Ichi Branch in Japan and as a temple missionary  in the Tokyo Japan Temple. He was also heavily involved in genealogy.

Sato passed away June 15, 1996, but Richards still thinks of him often, and how he believes Sato was prepared to help the church make such monumental strides in Japan.

As he praises Sato, Richards is quick to deflect any praise as a teacher or missionary, stating that he was just in the right place at the right time. "I'm just grateful the Lord blessed me with the opportunity," he said.

Military missionaries: Mormon soldiers spread the gospel in post-war Japan

Published: Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 11:47 p.m. MST By Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News


I shared this same video in my just previous post, 41x. I feel that it portrays the theme of this post so very well that I think viewing it again will reinforce Today's Theme also. By viewing the video I have for you now, you will find yourselves really feeling the Spirit of Christmas on a world-wide basis, (the basis which Nephi prophesied (In I Nephi 14: 12) would be the case with the Church of the Lamb of God). (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

(Christmas is only 11 days away) This video is entitled: "A Light Unto All: A Christmas Gift" (Note from Neil: I shed tears all the way through this video which is not very common for me when watching a video.) Please note: After the video has ended please click on the left pointing white arrow in the blue circle, which will take you back to my blog post. This video is only 5 minutes and 41 seconds long! Note: please watch the screen in the beginning scenes of the video for the word, Christmas in various languages. My mission language, Finnish is represented by the word,  joulu which you will see on the screen right under the Star of Christmas.

A Light Unto All, A Christmas Gift


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TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other Blog Post You May Desire To Access): After Reading All of This Paragraph Please Click on the Following: (The) Gospel of Jesus Christ was taught to the Japanese soon after World War II by American soldiers. - Post 41y. When You See the Picture of Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down To Your Target Item (Or Use The Alphabetic Scrolling Device when It Has Been Installed.)


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I deeply appreciate your readership and hope you found very beneficial, that which was presented to you in this blog post.

If you have any questions about what you have read or viewed in this post or in any previous posts of mine, or if you even have a curiosity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and or its teachings, please e-mail me. I'm Neil and my e-mail address is: jneilmelva@gmail.com. If you contact me I'll get back to you just as soon as possible.

I invite you to let your friends and relatives know about this blog if you think they would be interested. Please be advised that I also have an additional blog. It is in Spanish:  Its content is translated from the English in this blog.

Neil Birch